headphones below $50
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azncookiecutter

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After lurking in these forums for the last month or so, it's time to narrow down all my choices for sub-$50 headphones.
1) Sony MDR-EX51s (new version)
2) Senn HD201s
3) Senn HD497s
4) Koss KSC-75
5) Panasonic HJE50S
6) Apple In-Ears
7) Senn MX500 - 400s
8) Sony XD200
Whatever headphones I get are for portable use, primarily for school. Isolation is one factor in my decision, but some cans here are open, but have extrodinary SQ, or so others have said. Do not recommend me stuff above $50 (like SR-60s), as I am extremely cash-strapped at this point. Headphones I can get from jr.com would be preferred, as I have a $20 gift card there, since I bought my DAP there. Point me in the right direction, people, and thanks!
 
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Jose Perez

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I would add the Senn PX100's to that list. They get the most use of any of the headphones I own and for good reason. They're very portable, comfortable, look slick as hell, and sound incredible when powered straight out of my iAudio M3. Not much isolation but then again they're not really designed for that either.

I would also look into the AKG K26P. They're definitely portable, sealed (there's your isolation right there), and are on the HeadRoom.com's Top 10 headphones list. I don't currently own a set so I can't give a first hand account of them but I trust HeadRoom's opinion enough that I ordered a pair for myself which should be here in a few days.
 
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jagorev

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I would suggest the HD 497 for best sound quality out of that bunch. I've tried all the cans on the list except the Panasonics. The 497's are a little less portable (I do use them as portables regularly, though), and do tend to leak some noise if you listen really loudly, but they sound absolutey incredible; easily as good as some headphones two or three times the price. Clean, well-balanced, versatile for everything from classical to rock to house. Detailed on the highs, clean mids, powerful bass. They're easy to drive out of a portable, but it's worthwhile using them with a small portable amp.

/first head-fi post! w00t!
 
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stewtheking

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Portables for school... it's gotta be the sennheiser mx500's, this is largely due to the fact that they have a great sound, but also, they have a sturdy case, which means not getting shattered useless headphones.

Happy hunting

Stew
 
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Ikon

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I would go either for the Senn 497 - which will most likely sound the best from your selection - or for a smaller and more portable pair of phones like the Koss KSC-75 - which are said to be very good.
 
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Electric_Mofo

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How much sound do the 497's leak?, I dont want people to stare at me on the bus or something. Is it just abit or are they fully reccomendable for portable use?
 
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azncookiecutter

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looks like most of you recommend open headphones, but are open cans that good sounding enough to recommend over closed cans? cuz i seriously would like at least some isolation, so i wont piss off my parents in the car for turning up the music to loud to drown out the wind, engine, etc.
 
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azncookiecutter

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Quote:

looks like most of you recommend open headphones, but are open cans that good sounding enough to recommend over closed cans? cuz i seriously would like at least some isolation, so i wont piss off my parents in the car for turning up the music to loud to drown out the wind, engine, etc.


????? Anyone with the answer to this question?????
 
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chesebert

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car/plane: get a pair of noise cancellation/isolaton cans(not bose please)

home: HD497 or a used SR60
 
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psyco1

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I haven't heard them, but the hd 201 gets a lot of big bang for the buck reviews and seems to meet your criteria. ie. portable, <$50, closed, decent sounding
 
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JB.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azncookiecutter
looks like most of you recommend open headphones, but are open cans that good sounding enough to recommend over closed cans? cuz i seriously would like at least some isolation, so i wont piss off my parents in the car for turning up the music to loud to drown out the wind, engine, etc.


Open cans, in general, sound better. If you need isolation on occasion, get the MX 400/500 AND a pair of Koss 35/75. You'll still be within budget and you'll own two very good sets of headphones.

(Personally, I prefer the KSC-35's over the 75's in nearly every respect. I have been listening to mine all day despite having my KSC-75's, Ety's, HD280's, HD600's, and DT770-80's within arm's reach.)
 
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Damage

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Strike off Apple In-Ears, unless you like your earbuds falling out every five minutes or so.

The XD series are nice for home listening, but their size (even the XD200) are much too large for any serious portable use. IF you must go Sony, I'd suggest the EX-51 or 81s (depending on their price). If Sony isn't a must, I might go ahead and suggest PX200s (the closed brethern on PX100), but they do get mixed reviews... The biggest thing to be weary about the PX200s seems to be getting the proper seal, which can be said for almost all of the headphones here.

PX100s would be my recommendation if you don't mind open phone. Many here would also suggest Koss Prota Pro or PP2. I wasn't too thrilled with Porta Pro 2's* myself however, as they sounded terribly average.

PP2s seems like they are Circuit City exclusives, and do use different housing (IIRC) from Porta Pros, so that may make a difference.
 
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azncookiecutter

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Time to cross some cans off the list. Final considerations:
1) Sony MDR-EX51s (new version)
2) Senn HD201s
3) Senn HD497s
4) Panasonic HJE50S
Why these? Here's why:
I usually take long (really LONG) roadtrips almost every year with my family. I sleep a lot in the car, so earbuds and not-so-big full-size cans are ideal to me. I sleep on my side, too, so that plays a important factor in my decision. KSC-75s are no good to me, due to bad experiences with clip-on headphones. XD200s are too humongous. Apple In-Ears were not recommended by one of you guys. I do not like the shape of the MX-400s - 500s, and they do not fit my ears properly, eaven with Radioshack pads (I own MX300s from a previous Iriver MP3 player). MDR-EX51s ad the Pana HJE50S are perfect for my application, but the sound of the Senns also draw me in. Although, most likely the HD497s won't stay on the list long, due to lack of isolation, even though they may sound great.
So anyone ever try to sleep on their side while have a pair of either Senns on? Any help will be appreciated!!
 
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seiferoth10

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I'm sure the price of the Senns will prevent you from sleeping with it on


But seriously, I'm fairly sure sleeping with Senns on will be quite uncomfortable because of the pleather cup pushing agaisnt your head.

If you want isolation.. HD280s


Oh, and for the question regarding closed vs. open cans. I'm not 100% sure, but I read somewhere that open cans generally sound better because the sound can resonate because the cans are "open," obviously "closed" cans hinder this resonance.
 
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Cyclone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azncookiecutter
So anyone ever try to sleep on their side while have a pair of either Senns on? Any help will be appreciated!!


The senns arent a very good sleeping phone, mostly because they arnt padded at all unless you coundt the very thin foam cover that goes on each bud. I just got my Pana's yesterday and so far I like them better than the MX450's overall. Initial reactions of the Pana's are they have well controlled punchy bass, (the senn's have NO bass impact or reach to speak of) they go much deeper than the senns do (but no where near the deep well of bass that is the 280's
) the mids arnt as smooth or detailed as the senns and the highs arnt quite as crisp. But thats the bread and butter of the senns so I really didnt expect the pana's to top them in that aspect. While the Pana's arnt as good as the senns in the mids or the highs i think they are still quite good and I really dont have much to complain about.

It really came down to the isolation, comfort, and bass of the Pana's for me. The mx-450s have very little bass and no impact, are not comfortable to sleep on (but I dont have problems with just regular listening), and dont isolate one bit. My advice is that if you need isolation, sleeping comfort, or have more bass heavy music like rap, rock, techno, etc. then go with the Panasonics. If you listen to more classical like stuff and dont want/need isolation or sleeping comfort then go with the liquidy smooth (but bassless) Senn MX-450's.
 
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