What are the best headphones (for me) for under $140?
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kurt_fire

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These headphones will be used to listen to music (CDs and concert DVDs). I'm looking to spend up to $140 on the best I can buy. The music I listen to is primarily classic rock and jazz/blues, with tidbits of others. I'm looking for something comfortable, and it does NOT need to be noise-cancelling.
Also, I do not have a headphone amp, and have no plans to get one. I will just be plugging these headphones into my PC and home theatre receiver.

The best pair of headphones I own are some Koss PortaPros. Will something in my budget sound leaps and bounds better than my PortaPros?

Which headphones do you guys recommend? Any brand/model is fine with me. I can purchase from an online retailer or even Ebay if need be. I've done some research and seen that Grado and Sennheiser brands are very popular. Which of these is the better maker of headphones for under $140. How do the Sony MDR-V6s compare to Grado SR-60s?

Is the difference between the SR-80s and SR-60s worth the $25? Is it worth $50 from the SR-80s to the SR-125s? What other models compare to these for around the same pricerange?
 
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seeberg

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$140, hmmmm... any used pairs of Sennheiser HD580's out here? That's what I'd go for(with an amp, these are said to sound AMAZING for the money), because I have almost every other headphone I want(see profile) before I go on hiatus from HeadFi for a while. There are other good bets in that price range, I personally have lotsa love for Sony SA1000's, but they are a bit bright for some, and lack bass for some. I like 'em just fine.

On the Grado front, I think SR60's sound superior to Sony V6's, I just didn't like them on my first listen, and they were definitely burned in(found them at a Goodwill of all places
) If you're gonna go Grado/Alessandro(Grado headphones tuned for studio use), then your best bet would be SR60's, SR225's if you can find an inexpensive used pair, and Alessandro MS1's.

...Or of course, you could buy my SR125's and mod the hell out of them
, but it's up to you. There'll be more suggestions from other brands like AKG and Beyerdynamic, and Audio Technica, but I've got no experience with those, unfortunately.

In any case, happy listening! Oh, and welcome to HeadFi, sorry about your wallet
...Just wait until your wallet is sorry for YOU!

,
Abe
 
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pbalcer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kurt_fire
These headphones will be used to listen to music (CDs and concert DVDs).


This is precisely how I use my headphones!


Quote:

Originally Posted by kurt_fire
I'm looking to spend up to $140 on the best I can buy. The music I listen to is primarily classic rock and jazz/blues, with tidbits of others. I'm looking for something comfortable, and it does NOT need to be noise-cancelling.

Also, I do not have a headphone amp, and have no plans to get one. I will just be plugging these headphones into my PC and home theatre receiver.



In the price range you mention my pick would be:

1) Grado SR80 - wonderful headphones for rock
2) AKG K240S - night-time listenig bliss

You might also try Sennheiser HD280Pro. Although they sound quite well, they might not find them to be as comfortable as the cans mentioned above (it depends on personal preferences).

Keep in mind that I didn't try all the available headphones so I cannot comment on Beyers, Senns HD580, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kurt_fire
Is the difference between the SR-80s and SR-60s worth the $25? Is it worth $50 from the SR-80s to the SR-125s? What other models compare to these for around the same pricerange?


Yes, SR80 sound a bit better than SR60 (deeper bass and slightly more smooth). I wouldn't spend another $50 to go from SR80 to SR125. But I would consider spending more on SR225. But since I already have RS1, I don't have to worry about it.
 
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RMgX

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if you consider the grado phones you might want to look at the alessandro ms1 as well, do a search on them here, there is quite a bit of info. I think they still cost $99
 
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seeberg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RMgX
if you consider the grado phones you might want to look at the alessandro ms1 as well, do a search on them here, there is quite a bit of info. I think they still cost $99


Already suggested them (see above post), and yep, they still cost about $100.
,
Abe
 
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If your not getting an amp I wouldnt do the HD580's. If I am not mistaken they are 300ohm and would be hard to drive out of your sound card. My HD 600's work out of my external extigy but are no where near as clear or tight as with the ra-1 or my X-cans tube amp. The sr-60's however work awsome out of just about anything. Hell, I think if I hooked up a string to a tin can and attached it to the end of my sr-60's they would make the monkey on the other end sound good. Probably the one set of cans I will never get rid of because they sound great out of anything.
 
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kurt_fire

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What is the difference between the Grado SR-60/SR-80 and the Alessandro ms1?
 
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chesebert

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I find Grado cans are great for jazz...when the artist go solo you can really feel each instrument as it is being played (feel..yes only hear, the string pluck, push of a piano key, blow of a trumpet..etc). Never got that kinda reaction from Senns. Will have ety soon so I will try that..but Grado is my pick..
 
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Here's another vote for the AKG K240S's. Since getting them a few days ago, my HD650's have taken a comfortable seat in their box. I didn't expect these babies to sound this good! Plus, they are only 55 Ohms, so they'll be easy to drive by any source you choose to use.

edit: He wants something comfortable, so why the hell is everyone recommending Grado's?
 
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kurt_fire

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^^I've read that the Grados are comfortable as long as you shape the top to your head. Is this true?

Also, over at headphone.com, they say the SR80s are "tighter and more neutral than the SR60, but they require an amp not to sound murky." Since I have no plans to get an amp, would the SR-60s sound better out of my computer?
 
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i got the Sennheiser HD-555's half a year ago for $120ish and i love them. read up on the 555 impressions thread for opinions on them.
 
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If you are looking for comfort, I'd stay away from the SR80/225. They come with the bowl pads, which are uncomfortable for many users. The MS-1 and SR60 come with the Comfy pads, which are well, comfortable. Just bend the headband a bit, and you probably wont feel them at all.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kurt_fire
^^I've read that the Grados are comfortable as long as you shape the top to your head. Is this true?

Also, over at headphone.com, they say the SR80s are "tighter and more neutral than the SR60, but they require an amp not to sound murky." Since I have no plans to get an amp, would the SR-60s sound better out of my computer?



What kind of sound card do you have? For example, the old Soundblast Live! series put out HUGE power.

Also, I think a lot of people go crazy over impedances. When I got my HD280's people said "OMG, 64ohm is too much for computer you NEED amp!"...

Boy were they ever wrong. Out of my M-Audio Transit (external USB), they are more than loud enough at the lowest notch in Windows volume control.
 
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kurt_fire

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SoundMax integrated digital audio. That is my soundcard. It came stock in my Dell Dimension 8400.

What is the difference between the Grado SR-60/SR-80 and the Alessandro ms1?
 
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Yellowjacket

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kurt_fire
SoundMax integrated digital audio. That is my soundcard. It came stock in my Dell Dimension 8400.

What is the difference between the Grado SR-60/SR-80 and the Alessandro ms1?



It can probably supply enough power but its quality is undoubtedly suspect. I'd spring for either the Turtle Beach USB adapter ($25) or M-Audio Transit ($75).
 
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