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Looking for the best "on-ear" portable headphones

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all!



- up to $400 budget

- on-ear, not around-ear or in-ear

- no preference for noise cancellation

- comfort and mobility are key (lightweight, won't cause sweatiness or pressure on head)

- no Bose or Beats by Dre 


If you have thought of any pairs to help me out by now you can stop reading here and please post, thank you so much!


If you care to read my musical/technical preferences to help you help me then read on!

I listen to rap, primarily rap that is very lyrical. Thus, I prefer


- emphasized highs, I would like the "kicks" in the beats of the songs to be almost biting

- an adequate mid-range, especially if I am listening to a rapper with a lower voice

- bass that is present in the proper amount. Not overpowering the mid or hi, and not so lacking that you have to focus to hear it.


Thank you so so much!


EDIT: Just to add, I am a raphead, a connoisseur of rap, rap is a huge part of my life from music from the 90s to modern rap, etc. And I prefer listening on my Apple Earpods than my Beats by Dre Studio headphones.

Edited by Sean R - 10/18/13 at 8:49pm
post #2 of 8



From what I've tried, Philips Fidelio M1 are good headphones in terms of built quality, and isolation but this are quite dark sounding for your likes. On the other hand, Yamaha's HPH-200 is a really good sounding on ear headphone. Warm sounding and detailed with good quality highs and forgiving of poorly recorded music, also quite fresh to wear, but open, that means no isolation. If you don't care about isolation, then this is a very good headphone. Bass is really nice, sub bass could be a little better (below 40Hz).


You can read about the new Sennheiser Momentum on Ear, and Sennheiser Amperior, both are on ear and both should be good sounding.


Best Luck!

post #3 of 8

I have a feeling that you might like the Sennheiser Momentum on Ear. I listened to them, plenty of bass yet the rest of the music comes through. You should go somewhere to try them that lets you plug into your own DAP. No need for an amp.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions! As an update, I went to a store today and tried out the Bowers and Wilkins P5. The momentums were unfortunately not available to try out. I found the sound of the P5s to not be sharp enough, not high enough treble. The bass was fine, but the midrange could've been more pronounced as well. If I am understanding the concept of warm/bright sound correctly, I believe I am looking for a brighter pair of cans? So maybe the impression I got from the P5 can help you guys help me if you have heard the P5s. Thanks again!

post #5 of 8

Sharp and high? with bass? I say Audio Technica ES10

post #6 of 8

In my opinion, warm or cold sound applies to midrange, while bright/dark applies to high frequencies. This terms are quite tricky because a lot of people use them with different meanings.


To me P5 are warm and quite dark.


Here you can see its frequency response.


From what you say, I think you might prefer a bright presentation.


You can compare P5's frquency response with Yamaha HPH-200's


You can see there that HPH-200 are still warm thanks to their mid-bass hump and you can also see there that this headphones have a brighter presentation (much more energy between 6Khz and 10 Khz which bring most details to the front)


To me, HPH200 are warm and quite bright.


Best Luck!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

How about these?



I had a pair similar to these, it looks like these are the updated version of that. The pair I had was on-ear, Audio-Technica, shaped she same way, except the metal outside was a gold-ish color. I loved the sound of it, it had the perfect kick. I just didn't like the amount of pressure it put on my ears so I had to return it.

post #8 of 8

Maybe the Aëdle VK-1 is for you.


Up to $ 400, check

On-ear design, check.

Comfortable/mobile, check.

Highs can be a bit sharp, check

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