Most overrated and most underrated headphones
Jul 26, 2009 at 11:28 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 197


500+ Head-Fier
Aug 19, 2007
What are the most overrated headphones?

What are the most underrated headphones?

You can provide a brand, or a specific line (e.g., Sony EX-series or Sennheiser HD-series), or a specific model if you choose.
Oh and just so we're clear, when I say "headphones", I mean it in its most general sense.
Jul 26, 2009 at 12:40 PM Post #2 of 197
I know I am going to get killed by saying this but I think the Grado 60s are ridiculously overrated. They have poor balance within the audible frequency range, lack resolution and were very uncomfortable for me to wear. I was not ambivalent about them when I owned them; I really hated them.
Jul 26, 2009 at 12:45 PM Post #3 of 197
Maybe better to go by brands... Bose is the most underrated surely and Sennheiser the most overrated around here
Jul 26, 2009 at 1:46 PM Post #5 of 197
AD700 is the most overrated right now, and I really have no idea why people are so in love with them. Maybe if you're coming from Koss/PX100 and the AD700 is the first headphone with real soundstage you've ever heard, it might blind you to their terrible sound signature... Did they change something in the last 2 years, because the only other explanation I can think of is they radically redesigned the AD700 since I last listened to it.

Most underrated... probably Bose Triports
Just because there's no way they can sound as bad as everyone says. They're a punchline headphone, so people exagerate their terribleness for comic effect. I'm sure if you actually listened to them, you'd be surprised how pleasantly mediocre they are. But that's just a guess, I've never heard them myself
Jul 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM Post #6 of 197
x2 on Bose triports being underrated. They aren't really terrible headphones, they're just way over priced. I borrowed a pair from a friend and enjoyed them. They're kinda fun. I'd say if they were under $50, I'd buy a pair.

EDIT: I accidentally put overrated at first... sorry
Jul 26, 2009 at 2:42 PM Post #7 of 197
i'd go with grado 60/80 as being way overrated. they sound 'neat' and are certainly good for rock music from a low power source, but thats it.

there are too many little known cans to pick one underrated example
Jul 26, 2009 at 3:05 PM Post #8 of 197

Originally Posted by ourfpshero /img/forum/go_quote.gif
there are too many little known cans to pick one underrated example

This is true. There are many interesting cans I've seen that have had little to no mention on these forums. It's an unfortunate side effect of recommendation leading many people to adopt similar headphones rather than trying lesser-known alternatives and becoming the guinea pigs..
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:13 PM Post #10 of 197
I think that the early-70s Beyerdynamic DT480 closed headphones are very underrated, not least because they seemingly use the same pro metal drivers that are installed in the old DT48s. Without going into all the details, I would privilege the fact that they are powerfully dynamic and tremendously fun to listen to. They are especially fine for rock, blues, vintage pop, and anything that you'd want to relish the slam in. Their bass is not bloated, they don't capture the very top range of the treble, they aren't airy, and they're not shimmery. Considering that I've long been predisposed against the darker, slower sound of closed cans, I'm constantly amazed that they portray music with so much 'grip'.
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:23 PM Post #11 of 197
I'd have to cast a vote for the Koss Pro3AAas the most underrated. It's a very good can that gets no love here. I'd say it has very fast transients, thumpy bass, and good detail. Best of all you can get em for $30. If I were to compare them to anything I'd say they sound like a Grado, but they don't have that Grado midrange. They also have more bass than the SR-325i/RS1 but tends to be a little muddy and loose. Soundstage is also slightly bigger than all Grado's up till the RS1.

As much as I loved my RS1 I eventually sold it since the gap in SQ between it and the SR-325i wasn't as huge as I thought it would be nor was it a massive improvement over it. Plus it was a $400 increase for very little improvements. The once thing it had going was that the sound was more refined and smoother. That's about it and you can get a RS1i for $500 new if you look around in the right places but even this price is too much. As such I think the RS1 is very overrated.

Two other overrated cans have to be the Sony R10 and Ultrasone ED9. I think both sounded very good but for the price I feal they are way too much and I think you could also get far better performance for far less. The R10 has some weird mids and the bass is also something I thought was iffy. The ED9 has too much bass for my tastes and has an odd kind of surround sound thing going on thats makes music sound like your is a small room with sound reverberating.

Of course this is all opinions and I just didn't like either really.
Jul 26, 2009 at 8:24 PM Post #12 of 197
AKG K601 is very underrated in my opinion. For the price (I think used ones go for around 120-140), it has immense sound stage, and more transparent sound than any other cans in its league. Additionally, it only gets better with good amps.
I agree that AD700 is way overrated.
Jul 26, 2009 at 9:52 PM Post #14 of 197
I'm not going to answer the overrated question. There are a number of headphones I don't appreciate at all and think are wildly overpriced, but I've steered clear of buying them, save for the K-701 which was a severe disappointment. Though I should say that each headphone I dislike has a group of supporters who seem happy with them.

As for underrated headphones, I also think the Beyerdynamic DT48 hasn't reached its full audience. No, it isn't for everyone and isn't fun with every genre. But what it does in its element is hardly touched by any other headphone. If you love acoustic music, the DT48 should be on your short list of headphones to try. It's really good and I wish there were more pairs circulating at meets. The DT48 deserves a strong cult following.
Jul 26, 2009 at 10:05 PM Post #15 of 197
overrated? ... Koss Porta pro. I get the classical status thing, and the sound sig is good, but the PX's are better, and the iGrado better than the PX's.

underrated? iFrogz .. only joking.

Underrated, underrated, pass, although there seems to be a lot of love for Bose at the moment!!

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