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Need help narrowing things down (Between 50-$150)

Poll Results: Based on what I want, which pair should I get?

 
  • 0% (0)
    Audio Technica ES700
  • 50% (1)
    Creative Aurvana Live 2
  • 0% (0)
    Sony MDR10R
  • 0% (0)
    Logitech UE6000
  • 0% (0)
    Monster Ncredible Npulse
  • 0% (0)
    V-Moda Crossfade M-80
  • 0% (0)
    Sony MDR XB800
  • 0% (0)
    Audio Technica ATH-M40x
  • 0% (0)
    Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
  • 50% (1)
    Audio Technica ATH-M50x
2 Total Votes  
post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, new here. :) After obsessively reading about tons of different headphones within the past few days and overloading my brain with information, I have a few pairs that I'm considering and I'm having trouble narrowing things down. Any help would be appreciated. This is my list of contenders, but if you think a different set other than what's here would work better for me, I'm open for it. It seems that there's always one little thing about each pair I look at that turns me off. A list of things to consider:

 

Requirements

1. They need to sound good. Obviously. :P I'm no audiophile. I probably haven't heard a nice pair of headphones in my entire life. Unless you consider the ratty Sony MDR-V150s I've had for at least 7 years to be "nice." So "good", for me, is hard to describe since I'm not familiar with the jargon, and to be honest with you, I really don't know what any of it means when I read/watch reviews. I have no idea what is considered "warm" or "punchy." All I know is that I would like everything to be clear and crisp and natural, I guess you could say, with a bit of an emphasis on bass. Very few things infuriate me more than headphones having weak or no bass. I like it a little rumbly (but not to the point that it drowns everything else out). I don't have any interest in amping or modification either, so they need to sound good out of the box. 
 

2. Comfort. They need to be comfortable. I don't want them to put pressure on my head or my ears. I want to be able to wear them for hours at a time without feeling like my ears are breaking off. I want them to be like squishy pillows cradling my ears. I want to forget that they're even on my head. :D Keep in mind that I'm a small girl with a small head who wears glasses on this point. 

 

3. Leakage and isolation. I don't want them to leak a lot and I want really good passive isolation. I want to hear little to nothing of the outside world when I have them on at a reasonable volume. Another thing that infuriates me is having my headphones cranked pretty high and still hearing outside noises. No bueno. 

 

4. Appearance matters. I know it shouldn't, but I can't help it. I need to like the aesthetics. These headphones would be at home plugged into my computer the majority of the time, but if I did feel inclined to go out with them, I don't want to have to feel self-conscious. 

 

5. Price. I don't want to spend more than $150, shipping/fees/whatever else included. Unless I can be convinced that it's worth it. (I would consider it on the ATH-M50x, for instance.)

 

Other things that aren't necessarily requirements, but would be nice:

 

- Portability. If they fold up, that would be pretty cool. 

- L-Shaped plug. The headphone jack on my laptop is at the front, so the cord for my MDR-V150s brushes on my legs sometimes and it can get highly annoying. The longest cable I'd want is 6 feet. 

- Volume control on the cord. 

- A nice carrying case/bag. 

- Detachable cable. 

 

The devices I'd be using for listening would be my laptop, Android tablet, and Android phone. The majority of my music is made up of metal with a smaller percentage of rock, pop, dance, and electronic stuff. I think that's about it... Hope it's not too much. :P Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I hope to make my purchase in the next few months. 

post #2 of 13

For the price, the Takstar Pro 80 to me is the best, in it's price range ($80).

And if Sony put their name on it, it might sell for $150.

post #3 of 13

My vote goes to the ATH-M50x. I'd pick the M-80, as well, but you wanted isolation. Even the XS doesn't isolate all that well compared to full-sized cans. I'd just get the ATH-M50s if you want to save some money and don't care about a detachable cable. They're a bargain at the price they're selling for now that its predecessor has come out.

 

Another suggestion: try the Onkyo ES-FC300. I got mine for $100 and they normally retail for $150. Saying something sounds like headphones twice its price is a massive cliche, but it really is true for these. They're not the most comfortable but they're so big that you'll probably be able to handle it. It even isolates better than other on-ear headphones since it's a lot bigger. It has very deep bass yet sounds remarkably neutral (nothing is overly emphasized). I know you'll love them because everything in your criteria is true for these headphones - I should know, we share interests.

 

Full-sized still isolates better, though.

 

One caveat about the removable cable on the Onkyo recommendation: it uses an MMCX connector, which isn't meant to be removed each time you put it away. You only unplug it when you have to replace it. The connectors are pretty fragile (but you'll be able to connect them out of the box). I wouldn't risk buying them used; I did that once and the connectors were broken. Sound kept cutting out on one side.


Edited by Dragonzeanse - 7/29/14 at 11:19pm
post #4 of 13
It sounds like you're describing the UE6000. It matches all of your requirements and also matches your not necessarily requirements but would be nice. At their current prices it's an absolute steal.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For the price, the Takstar Pro 80 to me is the best, in it's price range ($80).
And if Sony put their name on it, it might sell for $150.

I looked these up and watched an unboxing but how would you rate them based on my criteria? I couldn't find any reviews on Youtube. I prefer them to reading reviews. smily_headphones1.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonzeanse View Post

My vote goes to the ATH-M50x. I'd pick the M-80, as well, but you wanted isolation. Even the XS doesn't isolate all that well compared to full-sized cans. I'd just get the ATH-M50s if you want to save some money and don't care about a detachable cable. They're a bargain at the price they're selling for now that its predecessor has come out.

Another suggestion: try the Onkyo ES-FC300. I got mine for $100 and they normally retail for $150. Saying something sounds like headphones twice its price is a massive cliche, but it really is true for these. They're not the most comfortable but they're so big that you'll probably be able to handle it. It even isolates better than other on-ear headphones since it's a lot bigger. It has very deep bass yet sounds remarkably neutral (nothing is overly emphasized). I know you'll love them because everything in your criteria is true for these headphones - I should know, we share interests.

Full-sized still isolates better, though.

One caveat about the removable cable on the Onkyo recommendation: it uses an MMCX connector, which isn't meant to be removed each time you put it away. You only unplug it when you have to replace it. The connectors are pretty fragile (but you'll be able to connect them out of the box). I wouldn't risk buying them used; I did that once and the connectors were broken. Sound kept cutting out on one side.

For the M50x, I'd be willing to go out of my price range a little just so I could have the latest and (presumably) best of the ATH line just because of how highly the M50 was praised.

You've got me highly interested in the Onkyo FC300. I watched a couple of videos and I'm kinda leaning towards them the most, along with the M50x. How do you think those two compare based on my criteria?

Since this would be my first "real" pair of headphones, I really wanna pick the right ones. biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by OMGLadyGaga View Post

It sounds like you're describing the UE6000. It matches all of your requirements and also matches your not necessarily requirements but would be nice. At their current prices it's an absolute steal.

I really, really like the UE6000s. Especally the aesthetics. Blue and black is my favorite color combination. smily_headphones1.gif My only hangup with them is the batteries and leakage. In a couple of reviews I saw, they were said to leak quite a bit (not sure how much that really is though). I hear that the isolation is great when the active noise cancelling is on, but I wonder how it is when it's turned off.
post #6 of 13
You can listen to them without batteries(I and many others think they sound better that the way). The passive noise isolation is great, you don't have to turn it on at all. In fact the active noise cancelation is more of a bass booster for when you want even more rumble. I wasn't kidding when I said they ticked all your requirements and then some.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitters View Post

I looked these up and watched an unboxing but how would you rate them based on my criteria? I couldn't find any reviews on Youtube. I prefer them to reading reviews. smily_headphones1.gif
For the M50x, I'd be willing to go out of my price range a little just so I could have the latest and (presumably) best of the ATH line just because of how highly the M50 was praised.

At most, it seems the M50X is only a cable change and pad upgrade over the M50s. So you might or might not find them any better than the M50 in SQ (different pads can affect SQ a little). I think the UE6000 is a good alternative to the M50. Has a different sound, though. A bassy, warmer darker signature (which means treble light and emphasized bass), whereas the M50 is more us shaped (bass and treble emphasized). I prefer the M50 sound but could see why some people like the UE6000 better. Onkyo ES-FC300 I found to be a bit better balanced in bass, mids, and treble (but still some bass emphasis) over the M50, and slightly better refined sound overall. To me it was a step up in SQ over the M50. Given that you like metal, the better mid presence might be a plus for you.

Of those, the M50 has the heavier duty build quality for durability, IMO, but they are also bigger and heavier but will fold inward or lay flat. I really liked the UE6000 for portability because they fold up very small and come with a neoprene pouch.
post #8 of 13
Just found out that the ATH-M50X are on sale at BuySonic for $122 shipped (you must register to see products). That's a great deal.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitters View Post

I looked these up and watched an unboxing but how would you rate them based on my criteria? I couldn't find any reviews on Youtube. I prefer them to reading reviews. smily_headphones1.gif
 

 

The Pro 80s are not really exactly what your looking for,

but it might be hard to find headphone that match exactly what you are looking for.

The Takstar Pro 80s just offer good sound quality, for the price ($80).

If your willing to spend your $150 (or more) for headphones, you might find something with the features your looking for.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


At most, it seems the M50X is only a cable change and pad upgrade over the M50s. So you might or might not find them any better than the M50 in SQ (different pads can affect SQ a little). I think the UE6000 is a good alternative to the M50. Has a different sound, though. A bassy, warmer darker signature (which means treble light and emphasized bass), whereas the M50 is more us shaped (bass and treble emphasized). I prefer the M50 sound but could see why some people like the UE6000 better. Onkyo ES-FC300 I found to be a bit better balanced in bass, mids, and treble (but still some bass emphasis) over the M50, and slightly better refined sound overall. To me it was a step up in SQ over the M50. Given that you like metal, the better mid presence might be a plus for you.

Of those, the M50 has the heavier duty build quality for durability, IMO, but they are also bigger and heavier but will fold inward or lay flat. I really liked the UE6000 for portability because they fold up very small and come with a neoprene pouch.

Pretty much what I would have said. The M50s - and by extension, the x's - do not have very good mids. The Onkyos have far better sound quality across the board, but the trade-off is that it's an on-ear. I can't help but gravitate towards these so often even though I own IEMs, though.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Argh, this is such a hard decision. I keep bouncing between the M50x, UE6000, and the Onkyo FC300. 

 

A friend of mine has a pair of the ATH-M20x and he let me try them out for a few minutes today. If they're anything to judge the M50x by, I wasn't really a fan of the sound. It might be because I've always worn earbuds and I'm used to them, but they just felt really... quiet. I like my headphones loud and it was only when the volume on my phone was maxed out that I was satisfied with the sound. Even then, it felt like the bass was really muted. Like, it was there, but it didn't stand out enough for my tastes. Everything else seemed to be way more prominent. But as far as the build quality and comfort, I liked them a lot. They were pretty great after I adjusted the headband the smallest it would go, haha. 

 

So, I don't know how closely the M20x would resemble the M50x in sound but I wouldn't pick them for that at all. As far as build quality and comfort, they're probably a winner. 

 

When it comes to aesthetics, the UE6000 definitely wins, but a review I watched was critical of the fit and weight. 

 

I feel like I'm leaning towards the Onkyos the most right now, but some reviews have made me concerned about the cables. 

 

The sale on the ATH-M50x is pretty sweet but I can't afford to buy the 'phones just yet. :( Soonest would be in a couple of weeks. 

 

I feel like the Onkyo ES-FC300 would be my best option at the present moment, but I noticed someone voted for the Creative Aurvana Live 2? What are everyone's thoughts on how those compare?

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitters View Post
 

Argh, this is such a hard decision. I keep bouncing between the M50x, UE6000, and the Onkyo FC300. 

 

A friend of mine has a pair of the ATH-M20x and he let me try them out for a few minutes today. If they're anything to judge the M50x by, I wasn't really a fan of the sound. It might be because I've always worn earbuds and I'm used to them, but they just felt really... quiet. I like my headphones loud and it was only when the volume on my phone was maxed out that I was satisfied with the sound. Even then, it felt like the bass was really muted. Like, it was there, but it didn't stand out enough for my tastes. Everything else seemed to be way more prominent. But as far as the build quality and comfort, I liked them a lot. They were pretty great after I adjusted the headband the smallest it would go, haha. 

 

So, I don't know how closely the M20x would resemble the M50x in sound but I wouldn't pick them for that at all. As far as build quality and comfort, they're probably a winner. 

 

When it comes to aesthetics, the UE6000 definitely wins, but a review I watched was critical of the fit and weight. 

 

I feel like I'm leaning towards the Onkyos the most right now, but some reviews have made me concerned about the cables. 

 

The sale on the ATH-M50x is pretty sweet but I can't afford to buy the 'phones just yet. :( Soonest would be in a couple of weeks. 

 

I feel like the Onkyo ES-FC300 would be my best option at the present moment, but I noticed someone voted for the Creative Aurvana Live 2? What are everyone's thoughts on how those compare?


Aurvana Live headphones don't isolate well at all. The Live 2s are no exception. They sound good, though. They sound warm (ample bass, relaxed unfatiguing treble), but have a very lacking midrange. Lots of bass, but expect to turn the volume high to drown out ambient noise.

 

The cables on the Onkyo headphones are durable once you have them connected; they never get yanked out. You have to want to remove them to disconnect them. It's a thin cable, but it has proven to survive some rough-housing (I've caught it on the edges of tables and jerked down on it with my knee when getting in a car).

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


Aurvana Live headphones don't isolate well at all. The Live 2s are no exception. They sound good, though. They sound warm (ample bass, relaxed unfatiguing treble), but have a very lacking midrange. Lots of bass, but expect to turn the volume high to drown out ambient noise.

 

The cables on the Onkyo headphones are durable once you have them connected; they never get yanked out. You have to want to remove them to disconnect them. It's a thin cable, but it has proven to survive some rough-housing (I've caught it on the edges of tables and jerked down on it with my knee when getting in a car).

Well, I guess I'll be eliminating the CAL2 then. Need that loudness and isolation. 

 

That makes me feel better. :) I believe it's a tangle-free cable, too, which is a huge plus for me (unless I'm mixing that up with another pair of headphones. I wouldn't be surprised considering I've looked at so many). Onkyo seems to be the winner right now. Maybe they'll drop in price by the time I can buy them, too. 

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