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Good, Well-Priced Headphones (See Inside)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello. Like almost everyone else, I'm looking for some good, well-priced headphones, But obviously I have some specifications:

 

1. I commute 2.5 hours a day (total) by train. I take three different trains. Mobility is important. However, I am more than willing to sacrifice mobility for sound quality. Sound quality is my top priority.

 

2. I listen to many things, but I really like jazz, classical, blues, and classic rock. So, bass is not very important to me, and lots of bass is definitely NOT something I want. Important things include: 3-D soundscape and highs/mids

 

3. A little story. I've been using iPod earbuds forever, and I figured I might as well upgrade since all I do on the train is listen to music. About five years ago, i bought Sennheiser HD280 Pros. I hadn't used them in years, though, and today I tried them out and remembered why. To me, they barely sounded better than my 20 dollar iPod earbuds. The highs sounded very muffled, and overall sound seemed distant lacking in depth. Not to mention they were very uncomfortable.

 

4. I really don't want to spend more than 100. But I really want something high quality--something that is almost indistinguishable from ~300 dollar headphones to an average listener. Does this exist?

 

From reading this website and forums, I understand that IEMs might be best for me, considering the mobility aspect. However, I'm concerned that I could get much better over-ear headphones for the same price. If I get IEMs, will I really be sacrificing that much at this price point?

 

Anyway, I'd like to hear what you all have to say. Thanks in advance.


Edited by za51 - 2/14/14 at 7:14pm
post #2 of 13

Well obviously a $300 headphone will be better than a $100 one in most cases. I would recommend the Meelectronics Atlas for you. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

Well obviously a $300 headphone will be better than a $100 one in most cases. I would recommend the Meelectronics Atlas for you. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into them.

 

The meaning of the "300 dollar" comment was to be found in the statement "for the average listener"--I understand from reading on here that, as you go up, headphones have diminishing returns and you have to be a more advanced listener to really appreciate them. As an average listener, I don't want to plop 300 dollars down on something that won't sound much different to me than 100 dollars.  

post #4 of 13

You won't be getting a nice 3D soundscape off a $100 headphone; and if you have a proper speaker system, even a $2,000++ headphone won't be enough for you (that's even before you factor in the price).

 

Also for $100 between a headphone and an IEM I'd go with the latter - production and shipping costs (ie how many more a manufacturer can cram into a case going o distributors and dealers) tend to be less per unit so hances are you're getting a better value. It's only when you're really going up the price range and when using them at home where it's quiet that headphones can really compete with IEMs in the same price range. Look up the Fischer Omega, or the RE400 (haven't heard this one but feedback is good); not sure what else is good nowadays under $100 but you can search for "Joker's IEM review" thread.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

You won't be getting a nice 3D soundscape off a $100 headphone; and if you have a proper speaker system, even a $2,000++ headphone won't be enough for you (that's even before you factor in the price).

 

Also for $100 between a headphone and an IEM I'd go with the latter - production and shipping costs (ie how many more a manufacturer can cram into a case going o distributors and dealers) tend to be less per unit so hances are you're getting a better value. It's only when you're really going up the price range and when using them at home where it's quiet that headphones can really compete with IEMs in the same price range. Look up the Fischer Omega, or the RE400 (haven't heard this one but feedback is good); not sure what else is good nowadays under $100 but you can search for "Joker's IEM review" thread.

Thanks for the suggestions! I was leaning towards IEMs because of mobility and it's good to know I won't be losing anything.

post #6 of 13

In terms of IEMs, HiFiman RE-400 is a solid all arounder for $100 price range. It has slightly turned up treble with flat mid and bass. The bass will be there when you're playing songs that has a lot of bass but it won't cover up the treble and mids

post #7 of 13

Krk's offerings can be had for under $100 and are great value. Kinda bulky but they fit in a satchel bag easy enough and are pretty light.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nihilill View Post
 

Krk's offerings can be had for under $100 and are great value. Kinda bulky but they fit in a satchel bag easy enough and are pretty light.

 

I tried KNS8400 and was very impressed with the resolution and the relatively open sound. It was above average in comfort too. The main reason I returned it is that the cable bore noise into the earcup. How's the cable on yours?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

I tried KNS8400 and was very impressed with the resolution and the relatively open sound. It was above average in comfort too. The main reason I returned it is that the cable bore noise into the earcup. How's the cable on yours?


I have the 6400, I don't remember the cable. I modded the socket to a standard 3.5mm and use a silicone or teflon silver cable with Rean plugs. It was an easy mod

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nihilill View Post
 


I have the 6400, I don't remember the cable. I modded the socket to a standard 3.5mm and use a silicone or teflon silver cable with Rean plugs. It was an easy mod

 

Thanks. I just saw the photos. Why did you decide to mod? What's the effect?

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtroria View Post
 

In terms of IEMs, HiFiman RE-400 is a solid all arounder for $100 price range. It has slightly turned up treble with flat mid and bass. The bass will be there when you're playing songs that has a lot of bass but it won't cover up the treble and mids

Thanks--I see Joker gives that a good review too. I'll probably end up getting this. Just wondering though: would it be worth it to go a bit higher (to the 150 range)? Or are the differences too minimal until higher price ranges?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also, I see that Joker gives the Rock-It Sounds R-50 a great review. Are these slightly better than the HiFiMan?

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by za51 View Post

Hello. Like almost everyone else, I'm looking for some good, well-priced headphones, But obviously I have some specifications:

1. I commute 2.5 hours a day (total) by train. I take three different trains. Mobility is important. However, I am more than willing to sacrifice mobility for sound quality. Sound quality is my top priority.

2. I listen to many things, but I really like jazz, classical, blues, and classic rock. So, bass is not very important to me, and lots of bass is definitely NOT something I want. Important things include: 3-D soundscape and highs/mids

3. A little story. I've been using iPod earbuds forever, and I figured I might as well upgrade since all I do on the train is listen to music. About five years ago, i bought Sennheiser HD280 Pros. I hadn't used them in years, though, and today I tried them out and remembered why. To me, they barely sounded better than my 20 dollar iPod earbuds. The highs sounded very muffled, and overall sound seemed distant lacking in depth. Not to mention they were very uncomfortable.

4. I really don't want to spend more than 100. But I really want something high quality--something that is almost indistinguishable from ~300 dollar headphones to an average listener. Does this exist?

From reading this website and forums, I understand that IEMs might be best for me, considering the mobility aspect. However, I'm concerned that I could get much better over-ear headphones for the same price. If I get IEMs, will I really be sacrificing that much at this price point?

Anyway, I'd like to hear what you all have to say. Thanks in advance.
From the specs you listed I think an open headphone will work too but given your price range I would also suggest the RE-400. You should also check out the head-fi buyers here: http://www.head-fi.org/a/2013-head-fi-winter-gift-guide-in-ear-headphones
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