Cheap Headphones vs Expensive
Jan 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

soundisee

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I am curious to know how many of you (if any at all) who have higher end headphones (DT880/990, AKG Q/K 701/2's, HD600/650, HifiMan 400's, etc) have replaced their mid/expensive cans with a less expensive headphones under $100? It doesn't have to be that you have "replaced" your headphones but rather found a cheaper pair that suits you just as good.
 
Jan 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM Post #2 of 24

MalVeauX

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Quote:
I am curious to know how many of you (if any at all) who have higher end headphones (DT880/990, AKG Q/K 701/2's, HD600/650, HifiMan 400's, etc) have replaced their mid/expensive cans with a less expensive headphones under $100? It doesn't have to be that you have "replaced" your headphones but rather found a cheaper pair that suits you just as good.

 
Heya,
 
I've not found any sub $100 headphones that replaced the king mid-fi headphones. I'm not above using a cheaper headphone if it sounds good. And I've tried a lot of sub $100 phones, and all the mid-fi phones, plus some high-ends.
 
It all comes down to what kind of experience you want sonically, and what kind of house you want it to be in.
 
One of the best ways to do it is to go used/refurb. Then modify or have modified. One of my favorite headphones to this day, that I use as a portable, is a DT770 premium that I picked up for $150. I had it recabled, got new microfiber pads (T70 pads), and love it. Superb isolation with the T70 pads. I use it as my portable and sometimes at home when I want absolute isolation. I use it as a portable and as a home unit from a tube amp when I want. I heavily equalize it too.
 
Very best,
 
Jan 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM Post #3 of 24

soundisee

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Well as I wait for the prices for the DT880 premium 250 to go back down in price I keep stumbling upon cheaper headphone recommendations and I keep wondering how good they actually are vs the mid/high-fi cans. The problem is even when I do eventually buy my 880's I will still end up buying some of those headphones just to hear for myself.
 
Jan 15, 2013 at 11:56 PM Post #4 of 24

Leveler

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I have DT880s but enjoy Philips Citisape Uptown quite a bit, totally different sound sigs though, but the Uptown are great! and extremely comfortable, like the 880
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM Post #5 of 24

fabio-fi

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Well, once i upgrade..never look back. 
 
I know there are hidden gems that can be had for little money. 
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:09 AM Post #6 of 24

Ishcabible

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Don't go with many cheap headphones. That's what I did and now I have 12 headphones I'm not satisfied with but don't want to sell. It's much more sensible to get one mid-fi headphone rather than five low-fi ones. I thought the different flavors deal would work but not when you've compared them to a mid-fi headphone. No matter what, you'll probably find glaring flaws in the cheap stuff.
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM Post #7 of 24

soundisee

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Quote:
I have DT880s but enjoy Philips Citisape Uptown quite a bit, totally different sound sigs though, but the Uptown are great! and extremely comfortable, like the 880

You just had to mention a pair I was wanting to try out 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:21 AM Post #8 of 24

soundisee

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Quote:
Don't go with many cheap headphones. That's what I did and now I have 12 headphones I'm not satisfied with but don't want to sell. It's much more sensible to get one mid-fi headphone rather than five low-fi ones. I thought the different flavors deal would work but not when you've compared them to a mid-fi headphone. No matter what, you'll probably find glaring flaws in the cheap stuff.

It's kind of late for that I had already bought 5 headphones and I'm still curious after reading these forums so much.
 
Some headphones I'm interested in trying: Sony MDR-V6, CAL!, Koss DJ100pro, Phillips Uptowns, Sony MDR-1R, and I'm sure there's many more to list.
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:29 AM Post #9 of 24

Phoenix Jackson

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I think every headphone is better than one.  A Beats could probably be better than the old old old Motorola on-ears that come with the old old old cellphone.  But I think what needs emphasis is "for the price."  Like a Beyerdynamic T70 is an amazing set of cans and relatively a downgrade from T1, an upgrade from T50.  But for the price?  Some reviewers say no.  I find Shure 940 an amazing headphone and probably non-relatively a downgrade from Sennheiser HD800.  But for the price (at least in my country) vs its questionable built?  I think not.
I don't know much about headfiers but I think it's human nature to find it hard to look back, once you get a taste of something better.  This (I think) is why it is strongly suggested here to audition cans until you find what you really like.  Be blind and disregard the price first.  Once you find what you like, and the price is out of the budget, then that's when you start looking/asking for cheaper alternatives.
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:36 AM Post #10 of 24

Leveler

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Quote:
You just had to mention a pair I was wanting to try out 
smily_headphones1.gif

Go ahead, they are laid back and lush sounding, not too detailed or airy, just a nice relaxed listen. Though they are still nicely balanced, just a little darker than some may like, taking in count my main phones are 880s, you might think these are too dark for me but I do quite like them :). The thing, though, is that I find these really inefficient,to the point that, in the same settings, they sound just slightly louder than the 600ohm Beyers. I really like the looks, but some people just can't stand them. these where my second pair of good headphones, after the SRH440, and I like everything about these better than the 440s. I have since got some m80s, which I prefer sonically to these, so I kind of gave them to my brother, but I had to borrow them for a second and I'm listening to them while I write this, while I prefer the M80s overall, these are far more comfortable,and have better soundstage. I used these as my main phones everyday for around 6 months (august till december) on the bus ride school and back, I live in an extremely hot and humid climate, so the cups did got hot time from time, but isolation and comfort made up for that. A friend got the UE6000 for christmas, and after auditioning them, I wasn't thrilled about them, and think I prefer the Uptown, but that;s just my opinion, UE600s are still fairly good and get a lot of love around here though.
 
Overall I personally think the Uptowns are great, specially for the -$100 they are going for now. Recommending them kind of  brought back my love for them, to the point where I sort of regret giving them to my brother 
biggrin.gif

 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:54 AM Post #11 of 24

Ishcabible

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It's kind of late for that I had already bought 5 headphones and I'm still curious after reading these forums so much. 

Some headphones I'm interested in trying: Sony MDR-V6, CAL!, Koss DJ100pro, Phillips Uptowns, Sony MDR-1R, and I'm sure there's many more to list.



If you must insist upon it, try not to get headphones that sound rather similar, such as the DJ100 and V6 (not exactly similar but if I didn't directly compare them I'd have found only a little bit of difference). Everything said here is way overemphasized. In my opinion, getting all those first four would be a major waste of money, but hey do what you want. But if I was forced to spend $250 on low-fi headphones, it'd probably be the Uptowns, DJ100, Grado SR60, and stretch and buy a Fostex T50RP (if they ever get priced back at $74).
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 12:57 AM Post #12 of 24

soundisee

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Quote:
If you must insist upon it, try not to get headphones that sound rather similar, such as the DJ100 and V6 (not exactly similar but if I didn't directly compare them I'd have found only a little bit of difference). Everything said here is way overemphasized. In my opinion, getting all those first four would be a major waste of money, but hey do what you want.

I'm happy you say that because I really don't want to waste my money. I'm already set on the DT880's (waiting for the price to fluctuate) but I'm still left wondering what I might missing out on.
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 1:03 AM Post #13 of 24

Ishcabible

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I'm happy you say that because I really don't want to waste my money. I'm already set on the DT880's (waiting for the price to fluctuate) but I'm still left wondering what I might missing out on.


Not much. I'm tempted to have a major sell-off and buy a couple of mid-fi headphones because I've realized that there's a certain threshold of technical ability under $100. In my opinion buying all those headphones would be silly because you'll always wish they had similar technical abilities to the DT880. I'm experiencing that now with a loaner Sony SA5000. I'm not in love with its sound signature, but I can definitely notice technical flaws in my old gear and don't find it nearly as enjoyable when I always think that a certain aspect is too veiled or muddy.
 
Jan 16, 2013 at 7:32 AM Post #14 of 24

whoelse

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I have a HD650, MS2i, SRH840 and I still use the HD201 a lot. In fact I don't mind listening to it too, I like it a lot and for a ~$20 headphones one of my very best buy!
 

 

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