- Jun 21, 2015
Would be very grateful for recommendations for on-ear headphones – or extremely compact, foldable over-the-ear headphones – to use when out and about. Not aspiring to audiophile heaven – just looking for something that will allow as much as possible of the music to come through, given budgetary and other constraints. Am considering both current headphones and discontinued models available second hand.
Budget: Up to around £70 (c. 100 €/USD), maybe more if there's a very obvious leap in sound quality.
Current source: Mobile phone (Sony Xperia Z3), iPad, occasionally laptop. Mainly high-ish bitrate mp3s, BBC Radio 3.
Will be listening to: Classical music mostly, some jazz. But also spoken word – not always in my first language, so clarity of speech reproduction is really important.
Sound: Looking for clarity, as much detail as possible, accurate timbre, good intelligibility of speech. I'd say my ideal sound signature is balanced, natural and neutral – but is that actually an acoustic contradiction? Don't need or want huge bass.
1. Good sound quality, as above.
2. Portable. Must be be compact enough to slip into a shoulder bag, and ideally foldable.
3. Robust. Able to withstand careless treatment and jostling on public transport.
4. Detachable cable if poss.
Sound isolation is not paramount. I prefer to retain some awareness of ambient sounds, and promise to keep the volume down in public...
Have listened to the AKG K450, on the strength of many glowing reviews, and was very disappointed in the quality and clarity of sound. But maybe it was just a defective pair of headphones? Or maybe the small pads are just not compatible with my large ears?
I used to own the Audio-Technica ATH-ES55, which I found good-enough (not great, but ok) in terms of sound quality, but sadly, the (non-replaceable) cable broke when snagged. Especially in light of this, I'd like my new portable headphones to be solidly built and to have a detachable cable.
Earphones are out of the question, unfortunately. I find earbuds fall out, and I just can't cope with the sensation of in-ear-canal monitors (I've really tried).
Thank you very much in advance for any suggestions!