Looking for best headphones under $100
Jul 6, 2008 at 2:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Gannon

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Hello everyone.

I'm looking to buy my first high quality headphones and I'm hoping to do so for around $100 or less. I'll be using these headphones for mostly when I'm on the computer and listening to my iPod. I'm thinking I want closed headphones on account of blocking out sound and also keeping it in. However Ive heard closed headphones sound too tinny, I may be persuaded to open-design if it is substantially better.

I am mostly looking for a full rich sound. Not too basey. Detailed and accurate. Comfortable. Preferably closed design if its not too tin-can sounding. All at $100 or less if that is possible.


All comments are appreciated.

P.S. I listen to mostly progressive rock.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 3:23 AM Post #2 of 18

Drag0n

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Theres plenty of threads on head-fi answering the same question.
I like my Grado SR80 for under $100.
I use Sennheiser yellow pads on them with a quarter-sized hold cut into them to allow the sound to open up better.
The yellow pads are replacement pads once used in the Sennheiser 414 headphones.
Im actually listening to mine on this pc right now through a new home amp i got today, a Mini Millet DIY'd by RDS.
Sounds great!
SR80's are easy to drive with or without an amp , but an amp makes them sound even better.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 4:25 AM Post #3 of 18

Gannon

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Thank you for your reply. I realize there are similar threads but i just thought id give my list of specific needs to help narrow the search.

Yes I have heard great things about Grados but my only concern is that they will leak too much sound. So to those of you who have Grados, how much sound do they really leak?
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 4:29 AM Post #4 of 18

tpc41

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i have been using the denon d1001 and i think they fit your criteria quite well. They are closed and extremely comfortable.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 6:14 AM Post #5 of 18

alitomr

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HD555. They are open though, but are incredibly comfortable. They are much more comfortable than the flagship, HD650. I dont think headphones can get ay more comfortable than them.

The SR80 sound thin to me, i think you shuldnt consider them. Not to mention they also sounded like...awful compared to the HD555.

Ive heard the audiotecnica a700 is awesome if you are willing to add about 20bucks more.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 7:05 AM Post #7 of 18

blessingx

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What yale.reinstein said... but in reverse. Be respectful of those around you.

That said... you may have to screw it. If you want the best sound for $100 the leading candidates are all going to be open. And the clear winner, though some have comfort issues, is the Alessandro MS1.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 8:08 AM Post #8 of 18

Ham Sandwich

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What is your listening environment? What noises are going to be around you that you need to isolate from? How close are other people that you would need to seal off sound leakage from?

For under $100 headphones for classic rock or progressive rock I'd be looking at Grado SR-60 or SR-80. I have the SR-60 and really enjoy them with classic rock and similar music. The Grados can be played directly from an iPod just fine.

My budget portable setup is an iPod with no amp and the Grados or JVC FX55 in ear phones. Both do just fine without an amp. I use the Grados when I want good sound and an open headphone is suitable. I use the FX55 when I need to isolate, but with my portable listening habits that isn't very often. The FX55 isn't stellar but does sound much much better than Apple ear buds. SR-60 plus FX66 (the FX55 has been discontinued) would put you right at $100 at full retail.

I also have a portable amp and HD600's and other headphones. But I don't take the amp with me very often with the iPod. The amp and HD600's get their use mostly at home at the computer.

I also have Sony MDR-V6 headphones which are sealed. I much rather listen to the Grados than the V6. The V6 is sloppy and boomy compared to the SR-60. I wouldn't want the V6 as my primary headphone.

My next headphone purchase is probably going to be a better Grado model (225, 325i, or...). I like the Grado sound for classic rock and bluegrass, and similar music.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 8:21 AM Post #9 of 18

WittyzTH

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blessingx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That said... you may have to screw it. If you want the best sound for $100 the leading candidates are all going to be open. And the clear winner, though some have comfort issues, is the Alessandro MS1.


x2

I haven't been impressed by budget Grado (SR60/80), but MS1s impress me a lot.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 9:58 AM Post #10 of 18

yale.reinstein

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Maybe you guys just misunderstood what I said? I mean to say that generating too much noise in any environment is most likely caused by the lack of out-to-in isolation. Thus, respect yourself before you respect others
wink.gif
Don't blast your ears listening at a level that generates that much of a ruckus. Using my SR80 in near silent environments I've never had an issue with other individuals.
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 10:21 AM Post #11 of 18

Oya?

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Definitely go for entry level Grados or an Alessandro MS-1 for the best SQ at your budget. The MS-1 was my first headphone, they were recommended by others on here for my favorite genres at the time (progressive rock and new-prog
wink.gif
), they won't disappoint.

As for closed headphones sounding inferior (tinny?) to open headphones, a closed design introduces a lot of sonic hurdles; hence respectable closed phones are hard to come buy until you go into a higher price range.

So if you don't mind sacrificing portability go for the Grados. If you're able to stretch your budget to around $150, maybe $170, there's some nice closed phones to choose from.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 7, 2008 at 12:23 AM Post #12 of 18

4ki

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Another vote for the MS-1. You'll want sennheiser pads for comfort, or bowl pads for some staging depending on your taste.

However, despite truths in yale's words, I'd never use the MS-1s in a library if I was sitting within 20 feet of another person. Even at lower settings I can hear them leaking from that distance, and not to mention that listening to them at that low of a volume is quite disengaging; unless your ears are sensitive, you'd still be doing yourself a service by using closed cans. As-noted, it's not as big of an issue if you're in places with conversation-volume noise.

I'm thinking of getting some Denon 1001s recabled as mentioned a few threads back for this reason. Different sound, but it's good to have a few phones for different situations. Still, need to save cash...
 

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