In your opinion, at which price point do headphones provide the greatest value?
Aug 21, 2010 at 6:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 51

gsilver

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Posts
180
Likes
12
I've been a bit curious. Both of my main headphones (Sennheiser HD-650, Sony MDR-SA5000) are at about the $350 price point (they may be more or less depending on when and where you get them). I decided on these from the research I did on various cans, so I'm not very familiar with the comparative value the cans above and below them have.
 
On the very end, quality goes up rapidly with relatively little difference in price, while on the high-end, like the HD-800, T1, and LCD-2, there are hundreds of dollars price difference between them, and rather than absolute quality, it's more a matter of taste when selecting one over the other (from what I gather, anyway).
 
 
So, at about what price-point do you find headphones to provide the greatest value, and most return for your money?
 
(note: this is in general. I'm not asking for recommendations; I'm happy with my HD-650s)
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 6:50 PM Post #2 of 51

varsitypride3

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Posts
128
Likes
10
Point of diminishing returns, I'd say, is around the $300-$400 range. Right about where you are. After that its more taste. Heck, for $100, my audio technica ath-m50 sounds fantastic...
If I weren't a nut, I'd stick with those for the rest of my life.
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 7:23 PM Post #5 of 51

eucariote

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Posts
1,474
Likes
75
I'll venture a figure - $450.  My experience is limited to about 12 decent headphones.  With Denons, I found that D7000 ($650) were very similar to D5000 ($350), and I would not pay the 185% price for 10% improvements in sound if I was a more rational person (sadly I am not).  However with my Grados, I found SR60 < SR225 << HF-1 << RS-1.  So there were big and noticeable improvements for every additional ~$110 I put towards the headphones.  $450 is the price for the RS-1 so that's my figure.
 
Also, I paid less than $300 for my HD600, which I like nearly as much as the RS-1 and more than D7000, so they were a very good return for the investment. 
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 9:14 PM Post #6 of 51

Paste

Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Posts
69
Likes
16
I think the M50 sounds fantastic, too. In fact, if $100 can buy this, I don't think I'm worthy of a $400 sound! But seriously, I wouldn't pay more than $300, tops. That's around the upper limit of the good cans I've seen. 
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM Post #7 of 51

REDH0RN

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 9, 2010
Posts
149
Likes
0
Quote:
 
I think its a great question. you know, there is such a thing as diminishing returns.
 
I love trickle down technology. What beneficial new high tech features become available in flagship products makes it's way to their mid-level offerings in a couple years.
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 9:33 PM Post #8 of 51

Bigrock2150

Member of the Trade: TechHeroMods
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Posts
673
Likes
14
I'd say the $100 range and the $300-400 range. 
 
Both have some great headphones.
 
The only thing about the $300-400 range is that they'll all need an amp, so that adds on to the price significantly. 
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 10:01 PM Post #9 of 51

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,596
Likes
506
Probably around $200-$400. The HD-650 is a very good headphone and was considered one of the best until the recent super-headphone arms race kicked off.

As much as I love the HD-800, I think it costs too much in light of how inexpensive great speakers have become. A lot of people here don't pay any attention to speakers because Head-Fi folk wisdom says that headphones are always the better value. Well, not any more. You can get wonderful speakers for less than the big ticket headphones today. The headphone manufacfurers need to lower prices before more people switch to speakers.
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM Post #10 of 51

Endless

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Posts
166
Likes
12
$100ish unamped.
 
$300 - 400 amped. 
 
I mean, as long as you can hear some sort of sound coming out from your cans, it's all good? Right? Right? No. WE DEMAND TO HEAR THE NUANCES OF EVERY SINGLE WAVELENGTH. 
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 10:06 PM Post #11 of 51

TheWuss

Reviewer at Headphone.Guru
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Posts
2,967
Likes
139


Quote:
Probably around $200-$400. The HD-650 is a very good headphone and was considered one of the best until the recent super-headphone arms race kicked off.

As much as I love the HD-800, I think it costs too much in light of how inexpensive great speakers have become. A lot of people here don't pay any attention to speakers because Head-Fi folk wisdom says that headphones are always the better value. Well, not any more. You can get wonderful speakers for less than the big ticket headphones today. The headphone manufacfurers need to lower prices before more people switch to speakers.


good point, erik.
but, they will only keep raising prices, as long as our community exhibits the demand.
case in point, the edition10. 
blink.gif

 
there are lots and lots of great headphones available now at ~ $300.
and the prices on those "old standby" phones are actually going in the opposite direction:  down.
because companies like beyerdynamic are rolling out multiple new flagships.
 
case in point:  dt880/600 can be found for $260 now.
 
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 10:19 PM Post #12 of 51

K-MONEY

Banned for flipping
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Posts
397
Likes
12
The only headphones or IEM's that provide the best value are the ones you don't come on here for and check what others think of them. If they satisfy you from day to day, then they're worth the greatest value.
 
Aug 21, 2010 at 10:24 PM Post #13 of 51

stevenswall

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Posts
1,058
Likes
50
After listening at CanJam I would pay $300 for a good Beyer... more than $1000 for the HD800 and you have got to be kidding. 
 
That said, the Audez LCD-2 (which I recognized from pictures; I didn't catch the name when I listened to it it June) sounds better than real life. When I listened It was playing a track featuring a female vocalist, and I say better than real life because her voice was coming from the left and the right of my head. If the artist where really there, her voice would only come from one direction... not as good in my opinion. How much is it worth to have this experience with all of ones music? I don't have a price that would fit in my budget even in 20 years, so I'll leave it unanswered.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top