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Most under-rated headphones...

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by obobskivich, Jul 8, 2012.
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  1. obobskivich
    Whats up!

    So after seeing the "most over-rated headphone" thread, and the "whats the worst headphone you ever heard" thread, and similar threads in that vein, I had an idea: what about a thread that encourages people to list headphones they feel are under-rated/unknown/real dark horses that members may not be as aware of (okay so for example, how many people don't know about the HD 800? But how many DO know about the HD 565?). I don't mean "oh this is a headphone that people universally HATE and I'm going to shove it down your throat" but more to help members get exposed to some cans they might not otherwise know about. I know I'm not the only one who has relatively obscure/rare cans...

    Remember, the goal is to perhaps inform people of good cans that get obscured/eclipsed by the popularity and reality distortion fields associated with FOTM.

    So I'll start (and if there's lots of replies I may condense them into a larger list in this post):

    I would submit the Koss ESP/950 and Ultrasone PRO2900 as relatively under-rated/under-represented, despite both being excellent performers.

    Anyone else?

    EDIT: Alright, got enough replies to at least start a list - let's keep it going though!

    Ze List (now alphabetized):

    • Apple IEMs
    • AKG K314
    • Alessandro MS1i
    • Audio-Technica ATH-AD300
    • Audio-Technica ATH-A500
    • Beyerdynamic DT231Pro
    • iBuds
    • JVC HA-RX700
    • Koss DJ100
    • Koss PRO4/AA and AAT
    • Koss UR-40
    • Koss UR-55
    • Maxell DHP-II
    • Memorex DJ100 (Beyer DJX1 Clone?)
    • Monoprice 8323
    • Sennheiser PX-100ii
    • Skullcandy Titan
    • Sony MDR-7506
    • Superlux HD 681
    • Ultrasone HFI-15G

    • AKG K181
    • AKG K240 Studio (tdockweiler reports that refurbs are <$100)
    • AKG K271
    • Audio-Technica ATH-A700
    • Audio-Technica ATH-AD900
    • Audio-Technica ATH-ES55
    • Beyerdynamic DT250
    • Grado SR-125i
    • HiFiMan HE-300
    • KRK KNS6400
    • KRK KNS8400
    • Philips Uptown
    • Shure SE315
    • Shure SRH440
    • Sony MDR-CD900ST
    • Sony MDR-V900HD
    • Sony MDR-SA3000
    • Ultrasone PRO550
    • Ultrasone PRO650

    • Koss ESP/950
    • Roland RH-300
    • Shure SRH-1440
    • Ultrasone PRO2900
  2. Brooko Contributor
    Good thread idea obob!
    Alessandro MS1i.  Most people starting out will tend to gravitate toward the Grado SR60i and SR80i - which are both fantastic gateway cans to the Grado sound in their own right.  But the MS1i is often overlooked - and has an absolutely wonderful mid-range, and nice highs without getting too strident.
    It's also incredible value at USD100-110 delivered.
  3. biggbenn74
    One that people keep going ? to is the Monoprice 8323. Although they are not the most comfortable headphones on the market today, they definitely are quite the bang for the buck. I found out about these headphones just 3 weeks ago on Head-Fi. And I'm glad I did.
    ytisawfulnow likes this.
  4. Pulse14
  5. kiteki
    Underrated or overlooked?
    Then again you can't underlook and overrate.
  6. JohnnyAppleseed
  7. Eric_C
    Does the Senn PX-100 ii count as underrated? It's so easily available for ~US$ 77 where I live, and for anyone on Amazon USA it's $50 (and then $55 for the mic'd version).
  8. Ishcabible
    The AKG K271 never really got any attention, and they've been going for $60-70 on eBay lately, which is a silly price considering they're the closest to neutral I can think of under $100. The AKG K181 got close to no attention either, which kind of befuddles me, since they're not horrible. Heck, they're so overlooked I got mine for $28.
  9. TMRaven
    Old style apple buds.  I'm not sure how the newer ones compare but they might be the same thing with just a cosmetic change.
    Seriously, these things sound pretty flat except for the massive and infamous bass rolloff starting well above 100hz, but a little ol bud can't do much about that because they don't seal at all.  Not too bad for being free, especially since they sound better than most other companies buds and in-ears that are supposed to be an upgrade.
  10. jjacq
    Beats are underrated but the price isn't. Many people tend to bash beats and thus muddying their judgment of it.

    Moving on...
    I think the Koss Pro DJ100s are underrated but it's simply because I would've paid more for it for the sound. Honestly speaking, I would put it in line with the HD25-1 II I have but only if it's amped. Amping the Koss gives it a wider soundstage, more controlled bass and it just becomes a whole different headphone. I can't speak for other headphones because I haven't listened them. I would've said JVC gummies some 6 months ago but after going back to them now, I was glad that nobody bought them that they would go on sale. I just use them if I want to have some noise on my ears.
  11. streetdragon
    won't the beats be classified as severely overrated by the media and the uninformed and severely underrated by the beats bashers?
    Eric_C and Rocko1 like this.
  12. Eric_C
    ^ And would you like to list these nominees out, or are you just trying to get everyone to click through to those websites.
  13. obobskivich
    wrt to the Beats, I think both sides are "right" in that they're mainstream popular but under-rated here (or otherwise take a bad rap).
  14. Hellbishop
    Koss UR-40 very sweet treble with an almost eerie expansive soundstage. I still have the original non-titanium versions since 2004. They seem to only get better with age. These were also the ones that started my journey on looking for decent headphones after digging them up out of storage when having recently moved into a small building with thin walls. Now from this one small headphone i have twelve different ones thanks to the search it inspired which led me to head-fi :D
    Koss Pro-4AA the most detailed treble i have ever heard from a pair of headphones catching every little sound in music and games. If your into analytical sound this might be just what your looking for. Oh they pretty much have zero bass if your a bass head. Its there but its the 1970s version of bass :D
    Koss Pro-4AAT similar to the above but not as detailed and with a comfortable amount of bass. They're like a more balanced less analytical warm version of the Pro-4AA.
    KRK KNS 8400- Tons of detailed buetiful sweet treble which brings out extreme audio info in what is being listened to with some bass but not much. They were modeled after their Rokit studio monitor bookshelf speakers which definitely sounds like it. A real joy to listen to especially in games like FALLOUT 3, FALLOUT NEW VEGAS and SKYRIM etc.
    donunus likes this.
  15. obobskivich
    I like that "1970s version of bass" :D

    Why do I also get the feeling this is going to turn into the Koss appreciation thread? :p
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