Best Headphones for mid range price?
Mar 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM Post #16 of 16

Tunblor

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Headphone light-weight weighing in here.
 
I have just started to get acquainted with my new pair of Sennheisser HD25-II-i headphones (AU$200), and while the comfort is something to get used to (very sore ears after 2 hours yesterday, only slightly sore after 2 hours this morning; clamping pressure is reducing, and my ears are getting used to them at the same time) I have found the sound fantastic for these light, durable, closed back cans. I have found a winner! These have satisfied my need for a portable/closed set, and are my mid-range. They sound MUCH better in every way than all the Beats I have heard (Pro and Studio) for much less money. They look classier, are lighter, and are more durable too!
 
At home I have a pair of HD650s and an O2 amp (AU$550 all up), fantastic combination, the clarity and depth of sound, the bass response, everything. Enormous leap in quality over the HD25's, but they leak sound both in and out, are huge, cost twice as much and really need the amp to shine. Even then, I can imagine what higher-end sound would be like, but I don't think I can justify the small improvement to performance for the price. To me these are EASILY worth the price of admission; because I often sit back and enjoy music purely by itself, the performance is everything. I can understand others who listen to music as a part of some other activity, or who are more indifferent to the performance (more interested in the lyrics, the scene, dancing, etc) can't justify the price of admission. 
 
Price and performance wise, it is hard to beat In-ear sets, such as Triple-Fi 10 (often heavily discounted on sale: ~AU$100-150) and even the more value driven sets such as the MEElectronics A151(AU$30-80) and Head-Direct RE0 (AU$60-100). The Isolation is great, sound quality is fantastic for the price, but personally my ears are too waxy, and the hassle of keeping them and the in-ears constantly clean wasn't worth it. They are also not as durable as a lot of full size or portable cans.
 
I guess what I'm trying to say, is have a good look at where, when, why and what you listen to, and what you can justify to yourself in those categories. You say "mid-range, for X price", but the performance and suitability of the available options and how reasonable prices are change depending on your circumstances. The above are what I justified to myself, and I'm very happy in my circumstances; others' circumstances and perception of value will be different; including your own. I looked at the Denon's, but I read they leaked more sound, were heavier and less durable, and were more expensive then the HD25 I went with. I suspect the Denon's sound much better, but that's no consolation if they leak sound of the train in, annoy other passengers, fall off my head and break!
 
Good luck in your search!
 

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