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~$100 Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by macrocheesium, Nov 24, 2010.
  1. macrocheesium
    I'm looking for a pair of full sized headphones for around $100. I guess you could describe my sound preference as exciting, with detailed highs and good sounding vocals. I also like a good bit of impact, not necessarily bass volume- too much rumbling bass will make me sick- but I like to be able to feel the drumbeats well. I mostly listen to rock, pop, electronica, techno and anything in between.
    Also, I'd rather not use an amp, as I don't want to be spending much more then $100. These will be going into a Cowon J3 as my source, and probably nothing else. After looking around and reading, I've narrowed it down to the Audio-Technica M50 and the AKG K-240, but I'm open to other suggestions. Thanks!
  2. Marximus
    I think the M50s would be the better fit of the two for you.
  3. BobSaysHi
    Grado sr60i or 80i might be better suited. The highs are great, and they don't need an amp. IMO the difference between the sr60 and sr80 isn't worth the price difference.
    They are also commonly described as fun.
  4. hudamanium
    Personally I'm not a fan of low end Grados. I think you can do better under $100. 
    You can always consider buying something cheap for now and saving up to $200. That will open up your possibilities into most of the mid-fi headphones. I was in the same situation as you but I waited to purchase to give myself more options. 
    Just my little suggestion. 
    If you had to purchase for $100 i think the M50s would do you pretty well. I would take a look at the SRH750s and SRH840s. In good times they can be found for around $100. 
  5. olor1n
    My recommendation would be for the Alessandro MS-1i based on you wanting something with excitement and impact ("crunch" is a word I use a lot when describing these cans). It may be an acquired taste though, as I'm sure people will point out.
    You can't go wrong with the M50 if you want to play it safe.
  6. tdockweiler
    My pick would be the k240 Studio. They sound perfectly fine out of my Ipod Touch and I'm sure the Cowon can drive them just as easily. Of course these sound their best with an amp.
    They sound is quite balanced, but does have extra bass. I've tried the M50 and sold it and got the k240. The vocals/mids are also a lot better on the k240. To my ears, vocals on the M50 are not as good as they could be.
    If that wasn't enough, the k240 is also good for classical and the soundstage is much better. They're also more comfortable and you can barely feel them on your head.
    One of the few headphones that have almost no clamping force.
  7. earerror
    The Shure SRH 440's may be for you.
    You can hear every detail in music, with a nice amount of bass. 
  8. macrocheesium


    Where can I find them? I looked around but I couldn't find anywhere that sold them.


    How much worse are the vocals/mids? And is there a ton of bass? A little bit extra isn't bad, I just don't like "booming".

    Are they still good at that price point? For $66 I'd assume that one of the hundred dollar choices would be noticeably better.
    I think my choice is now between the k240 and the MS-1i, if I can find out some more about the Alessandro. I did some more research on the M50's and I've read that they're more neutral, and not fun.
  9. BobSaysHi
    I think you couldn't go wrong with either grado. The ms1 sounds like a more balanced sr80.
  10. macrocheesium
    The Grados are a possibility, but I've heard that they have a signature 'weird' sound, that's really unbalanced and fatiguing to a lot of people. I really don't want to run the risk of spending 100 bucks on a pair and hating them. What's your personal opinion on the sr60?
  11. Bilavideo

    I've owned countless pairs of the SR60.  It's an absolutely amazing headphone for the money, and an award-winning headphone in its own right.  Is it the best headphone Grado has ever made?  No, but for under $100, it has an amazing sound.  If you're willing to spend the whole $100, the MS1 is worth getting.  It's based on the same driver, but has the same specs as the $150 SR125.  I found it to be quite a good headphone for the price.
  12. hudamanium
    I also don't like the cheap end Grados. Personally I feel like the sound is too fatiguing and the treble kind of harsh. You really have to try it though, it depends on the person. 
    I do however love the higher end Grados and Alessandros. Those are fantastic headphones. 
  13. winma


    There you go, a couple of candidates that could suit you well. I've used them for rock and some pop, and they are good. 
  14. macrocheesium
    Because of all the disagreement with the Grados, I'm going to play it safe and not take the risk, especially because I have no way of trying them out. I'm going to get the M50's. It was a tough decision, but what I got out of tdockweiler's post was that the M50's had better vocals, while the k240's have a better soundstage and comfort. Another reason, I'd prefer a closed headphone so there's not as much sound leakage.
    Thanks to everyone who posted, I never would have come to a decision without your input!
  15. tdockweiler
    Doh! That was a major typo on my part.
    I meant to say that the k240 had better vocals and that the vocals were not that good on the M50. I find them slightly distant, but not too bad. For anyone that puts vocal quality high up on their priorities I'd skip the M50. I did have the old black boxed version and not the new one.
    k240 to me is a far better headphone compared to the M50 in nearly every way. It just doesn't have as much bass, but that's a good thing for me. k240 definitely isn't bass light or even close. It has more bass than the k601 and k701 for sure.



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