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Headphones better than M50 under 150 dollars

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I'll start by saying that I have never owned a high quality set of headphone, with the best being the Jlab Epic. So wanting to get a good entry level can I read a lot of reviews and threads here on headfi and the majority of people say the m50s are king. But then there are many others who say they are way overhyped and new phones like the brainwavz mh5 are superior. Also Im buying the M50s first because of the deal on Sonicelectronix (free nvx EX10S earbuds) and I dont want to go through the hassle of selling them to buy a new pair unless there are headphones that legitimately beat them out at the price. All suggestions are welcome, and thanks in advance.
post #2 of 49

Welcome to Head-Fi

The M50s are insanely popular on the site, but as you already said, they might be overhyped.

Although I've never owned a pair of M50s, I was also tossing up between the M50 and the HM5 when I was first looking to move on from Beats. At the time I would have considered myself a bass head, and I loved rap, and hip hop music, as well as electro. But at the end of the day, I bought a set of HM5s, as well as a Fiio E11 headphone amp. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I chose the HM5 over the M50, even though I was a basshead, but I did, and I loved, and still do love the headphones.

I think that the HM5 is overall a better deal. I purachased mine 2 years ago and the packaging has changed in that time. HiFiGiy 528 on youtube did an unboxing of the HM5, and although the contents are the same, you get a hard shell case now over a travel like case that I received when I bought mine.

I guess it depends on the music that you listen to as well. The HM5 is very neutral compared to the M50 which is considered to be a bass head headphone. Maybe enlighten us to your musical preferences?

post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
Alot of hip hop and rap as well, ranging from eminem to pac to kanye to talib kweli... So its kind of all over the place biggrin.gif. I dont consider myself to much of a basshead either and i figured that I could just play with the eq settings a little if I dont lime something.
post #4 of 49

Your musical preference and an idea of the sound you like would be helpful, even if it's something subjective like " I want to hear the vocals better" or "want more bass" or "want more clarity and evenness". For a great setup under $150 I can't help but think the Grado SR80i. Not great if you're into dance or hiphop/electronica ect but very strong for everything else. I perfect headphone for rock and metal IMO at the pricepoint. 


For IEMs ( not sure if you're looking to go that way) I recently got a pair of TripleFi 10s and despite the fit issues ... the lamentations of hundreds of others are true ... they are great sounding for the price. Everything I'm want in a headphone with the exception of some soundstage and comfort.


Good luck! My search for my sound has been a lot of trial and error and opinions you see here will be veeeery subjective. Not sure if you're a musician but each person has a preference in terms of sound and feel, headphones are no different than an instrument including amping and cables... IMO cables are BS for the average person.

post #5 of 49



I had the M50's for quite some time. It was great as a first pair of HP's above $100 price point. Good bass. Clarity and details were the best thing that happened to me in a while lol. It's very well built and portable because it can be folded snd comes with a carrying pouch. The comfort is OK. 


Then I purchased an entirely different HP, an HD 598, and my ears completely refused to go back to the m50's. The comfort on 598's is heavenly good.

I also hear a quickness and a responsiveness from these that the m50's lacked. The soundstage is amazing as well. So, I had to divorce my m50's.


I f you don't mind an open HP that does not isolate sound, has a nice and controlled bass, a bit bulky, not that portable, consider the HD 558. It's sound signature is very close to the 598's. 



Now, I am enjoying the Philips Fidelio X1's. It's a bit out of your price range, but really fun. Warm sounding with great bass. They were selling for like $150 a while ago. 



Good luck  :wink: 

post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
Right now I need a closed over ear because I dont want to annoy everyone around me at home, on the bus to school etc. I might save up for some nice open cans eventually though.

Since I like hip hop there needs to be good bass, not overpowering or anything (not a basshead), I want clarity, and soundstage. That is my main concern with the m50s and I read that all the hm5 clones have a very good soundstage for closed headphones.

Btw since you mentioned IEM's, Im getting a pair of nvx ex10s for free (sonicelectronix.com) with the m50s im going to order. Then I just have to decide whether to keep the m50s or sell them and buy a different set.
post #7 of 49
Thread Starter 
Ill have to look in to the 588s too. Does anyone know where i could demo some of these?
post #8 of 49

Clarity and soundstage, I think that the HM5 is the pick for you in my opinion since Grado doesn't offer the best isolation

post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 
Do the Hm5 clones sound exactly the same, becauese the nvx version is only 80 dollars? And is the bass overshadowed by the mids and highs?
Edited by A5ianInva5ion12 - 2/8/14 at 8:07am
post #10 of 49

All of the HM5 style headphones differ only in looks and included accessories. They are all OEM'd by the same company which I believe is Yoga Electronics.


The NVX headphones are the best to get right now because they include 2 different types of earpads both cables and the case, are much cheaper than the HM5, and are easy to find on amazon or directly from Sonic Electronix.

post #11 of 49

Any person who understands good audio knows the M50s and all Sony's are bad I will go so far as to call them horrible 

They have grain and are forward , lack musicality , in general they suck .....can't wait for all the fanboys's replies 

post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
K, so Im gonna go try to demo some of these at guitar center, order the M50s,and then probably sell them and buy the nvx version.
post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MrTechAgent View Post

Any person who understands good audio knows the M50s and all Sony's are bad I will go so far as to call them horrible 
They have grain and are forward , lack musicality , in general they suck .....can't wait for all the fanboys's replies 

By forward do you mean no soundstage?
post #14 of 49
Originally Posted by A5ianInva5ion12 View Post

By forward do you mean no soundstage?

Yes , more than the separation the grain bothers me bad , I have owned the v6 have the zx700 had the ma900s and the m50s (2 Months) , the ma900s were fine but the rest were horrid , I dreaded going back to them , Its funny to see people like these headphones which are having such brutal accentuation and spikes across the board just horrid 

I quote Zeos (YouTube'er) - "This is the Beats's syndrome"


Zeos's review - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPd5BpEfNz0 

Edited by MrTechAgent - 2/8/14 at 9:01am
post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Haha I was literally watching that review when you said that
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