Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Survey: Best in class headphones - in every price bracket
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Survey: Best in class headphones - in every price bracket

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
There are obviously certain models of headphone that are repeatedly recommended in this forum - ranging from the humble Koss KSC-35 up to the Sony R10 and beyond. But have we ever compiled a list of recommended phones in various price bands?

Please could you provide suggestions of headphones (of any type) that offer significantly better than average quality for the price in each of the following Price Bands:

Band A: Less than US$ 20
Band B: US$ 20 to US$ 49
Band C: US$ 50 to US$ 99
Band D: US$ 100 to $US199
Band E: US$ 200 to $US 349
Band F: US$ 350 to $US 599
Band G: US$ 600 to $US 999
Band H: US $ 1,000 to US $1,999
Band I: US $ 2,000 and over


Please could you list the phones that you believe qualify and the approximate US pricing - repeating is fine, so we can see how many mentions of each we get, but lets confine our entries to first hand knowledge (ie phones we have actually heard).

Note: Headphone-cable-amp combos can be listed - but obviously using the total cost of the combo.

I plan to follow this up with a more detailed assessment of the recommended phones in each Price Band (possibly a poll).

Nix

ps note: I bowed to pressure and split $200 to $500 into two bands ... later - tweaked bands again - now final !!!
post #2 of 66
Thread Starter 

The story so far ... (maintained as posts are added)

Band A: Less than US$ 20
- Sennheiser MX-400 (approx. US$15)
- Sennheiser MX-500 (approx. US$19)
- Koss KSC-50 (approx. US$20)
- Radio Shack vertical headphones 33-1133 verticals

Band B: US$ 20 to US$ 49
- Koss KSC-35 (approx. US$30)
- Koss Porta Pro (approx. US$49)
- Koss SportaPro
- Sony EX-70 ($33--AAAPrice)
- Sony E848
- Grado SR-40

Band C: US$ 50 to US$ 99
- Sony MDR-D66SL (approx. US$85)
- Sony MDR-E888 (approx. US$68)
- Sony MDR-V6 (approx. US$69)
- Sennheiser HD-497 (approx. US$60)
- Grado SR-60 (approx. US$69)
- Philips SBC HP890 (approx. US$90)
- Grado SR-80 (approx. US$95)
- Sennheiser HD-280 Pro (US$99 - music1online.com)
- Sony MDR-7506 (approx. US$99)
- Alessandro MS1 (approx. US$99)

Band D: US$ 100 to $US199
- AKG-K501 (US$118 - Music Friends)
- Etymotic ER6 (approx. US$129)
- Grado SR-125 (approx. US$129)
- Beyerdynamic 250-80 (approx. US$169)
- Beyerdynamic 770 Pro (approx. US$179)
- Sennheiser HD-25 (approx. US$180)
- Sennheiser HD-580 (US$190 - etronics.com)
- Sennheiser HD 590 (US$180 - buy.com)
- Sony MDR-CD1700

Band E: US$ 200 to $US 349
- Beyerdynamic DT831 (approx. US$219)
- Sennheiser HD-600 (US$220 - Meier Audio)
- Etymotic ER-4P (US$269 - Headroom)
- Etymotic ER-4S (US$269 - Headroom)
- Audio Technica ATH-W100 (approx. US$250)
- Beyerdynamic DT931 (approx. US$289)
- Grado SR-325 (approx. US$295)
- Alessandro MS2 (approx. US$299)
- Sennheiser 580 with Total AirHead

Band F: US$ 350 to $US 599
- Sony MDR-CD3000 (US$380 - etronics.com)
- Grado RS-2 (approx. US$495)
- Stax Lambda Nova System (discontinued)
- Sennheiser 600 with Total AirHead
- Ety-4S with the Porta Corda

Band G: US$ 600 to $US 999
- AKG K-1000 (approx. US$630)
- Grado RS-1 (approx. US$695)
- Allesandro Music Series Pro (approx. US$ 699)
- Audio Technica ATH-W2002 (approx. US$ 780)
- Grado HP1

Band H: US$ 1,000 to US$ 1,999
- Stax SR3030
- AKG K501 with the HeadRoom Max2001
- AKG K1000 (DM1590) with SAC K1000 (DM1398) (approx. US$1345 together)

Band I: US $ 2,000 and over
- Sony MDR-R10 (US$4,000)
- Sennheiser HE 90 Orpheus
- Stax Omega II
- Stax SR4040
- Sennheiser HD600 with Headroom Blockhead
- Alessandro MSP or Grado HP-1 with Holmes Powell DCT-1
- HD600 With Zeus or E.A.R
- HD600 With Cary SEI

No new items - I think we are done!!! Checked out prices and sorted into price order.
post #3 of 66
Quote:
Band D: US$ 200 to $US 500
- Sony MDR-CD3000 (approx. US$400)
I would have to put the Etymotic ER-4(S) in there over the CD3000 personally...
post #4 of 66
Band B: US$ 50 to US$ 99

Sony v6
Sennheiser HD-280pro
post #5 of 66
I think 200 - 500 is too broad category as lots of phones lie in that region. How about splitting the band further like

Band D: US$ 200 to $US 350
Band E: US$ 350 to $US 500
Band F: US$ 500 to $US 1,000
Band G: US $1,000 to US $5,000
Band h: US $5,000 to US $12,000
Ofcourse if you think that some phone in band D is in same class as in band E you can mention that.

I would put HD600 and Grado325 in band D
post #6 of 66
Thread Starter 
Actually, I am expecting to see 5 to 10 phones in each Price Band. And yes, I expected ER-4S (and ER-4P) to be there too - just that I have only briefly listened to the ER4S (and a brand new pair at that) - whereas I own a very well worn CD3000.

Will worry about ranking within Price Bands later ...
Nix
post #7 of 66
My personal collection:

Band A: US$ 0 to US$ 49

-Koss KSC-35: best thing to replace the headphones that came with the average portable if you don't want to shove something inside your ear. Good on-the-go phones.

Band B: US$ 50 to US$ 99

-Sony MDR-V6: the value closed headphone.

-Philips SBC HP890: Great comfort and soundstage. Excellent headphones to wear for hours on end. Becoming my personal favorite gaming headphone.

Perhaps there should be a european and pacific modifier placed on some of these categories, due to the fact that Beyer, Senn, Grado, Philips and Koss all change class based on location, not to mention others.
post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 
My two cents:

Band A: US$ 0 to US$ 49

Band B: US$ 50 to US$ 99

Band C: US$ 100 to $US199
- Etymotic ER6 (approx. US$129)
- Sennheiser HD-25 (approx. US$180)


Band D: US$ 200 to $US 500
- Sony MDR-CD3000 (approx. US$400)

Band E: US$ 500 to $US 1,000

Band F: Over US $1,000

BTW: Neither the ER6 or the CD3000 is available in Aus. The
HD-25 is available, but is around A$550 (= US$225) - I have used US prices.
post #9 of 66
Nope, too hard - it depends far too much on listening tastes, source, and many other variables.
You'll just end up with heaps of different headphones in each category, there's no "best" in any pricerange IMHO, just different.


eg: Beyer DT831 vs 770pro. Very close in price, but other than that they have a completely different sound, some prefer the 770, some prefer the 831.

Having said that, add:
US$100 - $200
Beyer DT831
Beyer DT931
Beyer 770pro
Beyer 250-80/250




[edit]
Since when did Sennheiser HD-580s fit in the $50-$99 range??
post #10 of 66
Snufkin regardless of how different the phones sound (eg Senn 600 and Grado 325 have very diff presentation) we can still come out with a list of good sounding phones in each price range.

some more additions
Band B: US$ 50 to US$ 99
Grado SR-60, SR-80, Senn-497

Band D
ATH- W100

Band F
ATH W2002, Grado HP1, Grado RS-1
post #11 of 66
Band A: Koss KSC-35, Sennheiser MX-500, Sony MDR-A44

Band B: Sony MDR-V6, MDR-D66, MDR-E888

Band C: Sennheiser HD-580/600, Beyerdynamic DT-831, AKG-K501, Sony MDR-CD1700, Grado SR-325

Band D: Sony MDR-CD3000

Band E: Allesandro Music Series Pro, Grado HP-1

Band H: Sony MDR-R10s.
post #12 of 66
Are Stax not in the list because they require an amp?
post #13 of 66
Another point worth mentioning;
Prices may vary from country to country - the HP890s are around $55US here in oz and the Beyer DT250-80/250, 770, 990, 831 and 931 all cost around $150US here as well.
Not to mention EU prices, which are similar.

Maybe we need a country specific list too
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by Snufkin
Another point worth mentioning;
Prices may vary from country to country - the HP890s are around $55US here in oz and the Beyer DT250-80/250, 770, 990, 831 and 931 all cost around $150US here as well.
Not to mention EU prices, which are similar.

Maybe we need a country specific list too
A beautiful aspect of this forum and the internet in general is that we're more able to shop globally and assuming it's worth it to soak up the cost of shipping and duty fees, allows us to basically pick from the lowest priced country.

I realize not everyone is pleased by this.
post #15 of 66
yeeees, but not everyone is aware of the fact that you can get some brands much cheaper in some countries than others.

For example, here in Australia Beyer stuff is significantly cheaper than Sennheiser stuff.
Philips HP890s are extremely good value for money.
Grado can be hard to find etc.

So it wouldn't really make sense for someone in Oz to buy a pair of HP890s from the US, but it may make sense for someone in the US to buy Beyer from EU.

etc.

Of course, not everyone may be aware of these facts and of course may not even care, but others might actually be interested to know (heaven forbid!) before they go and place an order with someone.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Survey: Best in class headphones - in every price bracket