One $400 or Two $200 headphones?
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 88

Wild

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I've seen contradictory advice on this subject all over the place, so I'm starting a poll. If your budget was say $400, would you rather have one headphone or two?
 
I care more about whether a couple "cheaper" headphones is better than one "good" one, regardless of budget. Any opinions would be appreciated.
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM Post #2 of 88

Wild

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Personally, I'm on the fence between just getting an HE-400 as an all-around headphone, or getting two headphones that can cover more genres. A Grado and a DT770 pro seem like a good example. Or maybe an HD 598 and an M50. Doesn't really matter which headphones though, I just want to hear what you guys think.  
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM Post #3 of 88

Ikelmonster

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Short answer: at some point you will run into diminishing returns with how much $$ you spend on a pair of headphones and the performance the headphones. With this in mind, I think having 2 $200 headphones is better because then you can get 2 headphones that do different things, such as have one that is open backed and one that is closed backed, or one with leather and one with velour, and you can switch them out when you feel like it. 
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:10 AM Post #4 of 88

Wild

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Probably the most reliable opinion I've found so far is at Headfonia. They seem to think that more "cheaper" headphones is better than one "good" one:
 
 
"Rule #3: More Headphones Is Better Than One Headphone

What I’m saying here is that it’s better to own three $100 headphones than one $300 headphone. Or three $300 headphones than one $900 headphone. Why? Because most people don’t limit their playlist to strictly one genre. And following the logic from Rule #2, the right headphone-music pairing is going to be better than one expensive headphone paired to the wrong music.

This is why headphones are so fun. It’s easy to switch from one pair to the next. Imagine if you were listening to speakers, you would need three different rooms to set up your three different speaker sets."

 
http://www.headfonia.com/a-guide-to-headphones/
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:22 AM Post #6 of 88

Wild

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Quote:
Short answer: at some point you will run into diminishing returns with how much $$ you spend on a pair of headphones and the performance the headphones. With this in mind, I think having 2 $200 headphones is better because then you can get 2 headphones that do different things, such as have one that is open backed and one that is closed backed, or one with leather and one with velour, and you can switch them out when you feel like it. 

Thanks for the response.  I think I'm leaning that direction. From the few headphones I've had the pleasure to try, I've found the more expensive ones were always noticeably better, just not universally across the board. Things like comfort and isolation, and for specific genres of music were always hugely different between headphones.  It never seemed like the $500 headphones were twice as good as the $250 (diminishing returns).  I just wish I could find some closure for spending my whole $400 budget on a seemingly great headphone, when I could purchase two for the same price that could provide more versatility at the expense of possibly not sounding quite as good.  Where should the emphasis be placed?  Short-term versatility with two really good headphones, or a long-term great headphone?
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:27 AM Post #7 of 88

Wild

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HE400 is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to diminishing returns IMO. For $400 it has the technical finesse that in some aspects is comparable to some flagship headphones.

Thanks for the response Jerg - just throwing this out there, your reviews have been awesome reads.  Anyways, so what you're saying is that you'd prefer the HE 400 to every set of headphones you've ever tried that total $400?  I guess that's what I'm asking in this thread anyways.  
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:31 AM Post #8 of 88

jerg

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Quote:
Thanks for the response Jerg - just throwing this out there, your reviews have been awesome reads.  Anyways, so what you're saying is that you'd prefer the HE 400 to every set of headphones you've ever tried that total $400?  I guess that's what I'm asking in this thread anyways.  

To my preference? Yes.
 
Though I don't know what preferences you have, so I wouldn't be brash enough to claim that HE400s will be unequivocally the best fit for what sound you seek at $400.
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:33 AM Post #9 of 88

Lorspeaker

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buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....
sell one of them 6 months down the line...
buy the 400bucks can....
compare....
either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...
if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.
otherwise buy another 200can.
popcorn.gif

 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:37 AM Post #10 of 88

jerg

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Quote:
buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....
sell one of them 6 months down the line...
buy the 400bucks can....
compare....
either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...
if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.
otherwise buy another 200can.
popcorn.gif

 
Or read up, ask away, and inform oneself, and just get the perfect-fitting $400 can and save a ton of money, time and effort 
beerchug.gif

 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:38 AM Post #11 of 88

Wild

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Quote:
To my preference? Yes.
 
Though I don't know what preferences you have, so I wouldn't be brash enough to claim that HE400s will be unequivocally the best fit for what sound you seek at $400.

 
Cool.  That's what I'm looking for: everybody else's opinion.  I'm not going to start another thread asking what headphone everybody else thinks I should get based on where I am and what I listen to. There's a million of those. Plenty of people have very similar tastes to me, so finding a suitable headphone in whatever price range wouldn't be too difficult.
 
What's difficult for me is justifying spending another $400 on a headphone that's a bit more well-rounded than my current gear, or just buying another headphone in the same price range to fill in for what I'm currently lacking (and saving myself some $$$)
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:41 AM Post #12 of 88

Wild

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Quote:
buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....
sell one of them 6 months down the line...
buy the 400bucks can....
compare....
either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...
if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.
otherwise buy another 200can.
popcorn.gif

And just as I start leaning down the one headphone path haha...  Thanks for the response and advice!  
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM Post #13 of 88

jerg

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Quote:
 
Cool.  That's what I'm looking for: everybody else's opinion.  I'm not going to start another thread asking what headphone everybody else thinks I should get based on where I am and what I listen to. There's a million of those. Plenty of people have very similar tastes to me, so finding a suitable headphone in whatever price range wouldn't be too difficult.
 
What's difficult for me is justifying spending another $400 on a headphone that's a bit more well-rounded than my current gear, or just buying another headphone in the same price range to fill in for what I'm currently lacking (and saving myself some $$$)

It's all about what a specific sonic improvement is worth to you. Typically if you can even just get a chance to audition the target headphone for 5 minutes, it should be enough information to judge whether it is worth the cost or not. Relying on hearsay is a bit trickier.
 
The good thing about buying a nice all-rounder is, you have the chance to just sell all your other cans if it is well-rounded enough. That tends to squeeze up some extra dosh.
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:43 AM Post #14 of 88

Wild

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Quote:
 
Or read up, ask away, and inform oneself, and just get the perfect-fitting $400 can and save a ton of money, time and effort 
beerchug.gif

I'm trying hard haha. I feel like I've spent more time on Head-Fi than at work over the last few months.  Which isn't a bad thing I guess 
biggrin.gif
   
 
Dec 18, 2012 at 1:44 AM Post #15 of 88

jerg

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I'm trying hard haha. I feel like I've spent more time on Head-Fi than at work over the last few months.  Which isn't a bad thing I guess 
biggrin.gif
   

What are your current headphones anyway? Just curious.
 

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