What is the most under-rated headphones in the forum?
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BigD

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As you've seen the most over-rated thread, I felt some consensus among the member of starting the most under-rated thread. I'm surprised that this thread is not up and running by now. Well, please include your explanations to help understand the rational behind the choice.
 
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pbirkett

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Beyerdynamic DT531.

Why? Well, where can I begin....

1. Its extremely comfortable - this quality should not be underestimated in a headphone IMHO. And these are as good as anything, maybe even better than the Sony MDR-CD3000 because its lighter, and the pads are friendlier to the touch.

2. Extremely forgiving - these headphones will not bite you if you do not have a great amp or source, they will still sound good, unlike many headphones. However, if you feed them a good signal, they sound superb! Not only that, but I have never got the impression they were picky about amplification or sources.

3. Lively sound - These are one of the liveliest sounding headphones I've ever had the pleasure of listening to, but they manage to do it without being fatiguing. Slightly bright balance, but never offensive. Good detail too. Yet they manage to sound extremely coherent at the same time - music sounds like music, it does not sound like an over-seperated collection of sound effects.

4. Superb bass performance - These cans have really good bass. They leave the MDR-CD3000 way behind on my system for slam and punch. The depth they have will not win any awards, but its surely good enough for 99% of people out there, and again, I feel it better than the CD3000. These cans have the best quality bass I've ever heard from any headphones in my possession, at least on my system anyway.

5. Bargain price - These headphones are reasonably priced. They are cheaper than the Sennheiser HD580, Grado SR80, Sony MDR-CD1700 and AKG K240 Studios, yet they sound better than any of those. These headphones will handily compete with headphones costing many times their price IMO. They arent perfect, but they have a REALLY likeable combination of qualities, and I'm surprised they arent more popular round here. Nevertheless, your chance to sample these cans is all but gone, unless you pick up some second hand cans.

I like these headphones so much that I have bought myself another pair, and they will be replacing my MDR-CD3000's
 
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Welly Wu

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I think one of the most consistently under-rated headphone is the Grado RS-1. I feel that it may have its followers and detractors but after I have owned them for several months I cannot fathom why anyone would not fall in love with their sound. They get bashed on these boards simply because they do not have mass market appeal: sleek / modern looks, polite sound, technological buzz-words, etc.

The other under-rated earphone on this board is the Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO. I feel that the hype is certainly justified and warranted for these particular earphones. Jamey from HeadRoom once wrote that they were all that and then some. Granted, not everybody can afford a $1000 USD pair of earphones that have absolutely no resale value but I think that should not be a deal breaker. If Headphone Head-Fi is all about the pursuit of audiophile nirvana, then the focus should be on budget, requirements, and sound. The UE-10 PROs are so good that I just do not need to buy another pair of full sized open headphones. I say so not because I do not have the money (in fact, I am in great financial shape) but because these earphones are unlike anything I have owned or heard. Give them the benefit of doubt even if I may not be the best ambassador of them around here.
 
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Taurui

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pbirkett you're a nutcase
even though I can understand you, I wouldn't trade mine either.
Most underrated... erm... is there ANYTHING underrated on head-fi? o.O
As far as I know, everything has been hyped to heaven and back...
 
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blessingx

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My votes goes to the Sennheiser HD580 (so often ignored for its younger brother HD600 and cousin HD650) and Alessandro MS1 (same for the more showy Grado SR60/80/125 relatives).

Neither is unknown and both talked about a bit more lately (due I think to the introduction of the HD650 and HD600 price drop and Grado dealer international shipping changes), but still missing the respect they deserve. Both are one heck of a phone for $99 (MS1) - $150 (HD580) new.
 
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Big D

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I'm going to say the Shure E2c.

These are always considered "budget buys" in the $70-80 range. I have tried all of Shure E2, E3, E5 and Ety ER4. Without any doubt in my mind these would be my choice of in-ear phone below $200. Sound quality is very good, though the highs maybe slightly lacking, and they may not be entirely neutral. They are versatile phones and can be used at the gym too with minimal microphonics and no chance of falling out. E3 just seem to lack excitement to me and certainly aren't worth the extra $80 over the E2.

The Shure E2c are excellent value for money.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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My two votes for the most underrated headphone both go to AKG: the K240S and the K501. The K240S is inexpensive here in the States (~$100), but it can keep up with headphones costing twice as much when paired with a good, powerful headphone amp. The K501 delivers gorgeous, magnificent midrange and treble sound - but it needs a bit more bass in order for its sound balance to be to my liking. Still, the K501 is a great headphone at its price point - I like it more than its nearest rival at that same price point, the Sennheiser HD555 (the latter is a li'l grainy-sounding in comparison).

I have heard neither the Beyerdynamic DT531 nor the DT440, as they're almost impossible to get in the US so far (those mid-level Beyers have suffered from nearly nonexistent distribution here). And I am one who generally doesn't like getting anything directly from overseas - I must have only those models that are brought in through an official US distributor, since the value of the US Dollar has been plummeting against the Euro (and thus anything that's imported directly from Europe will cost me a lot more $$$ to buy).

pbirkett, the theoretical performance of headphones isn't the only thing that matters; the synergy between headphones, amp and source also matters. It's just simply that the AKG K240S doesn't mesh well with your particular amps and your particular sources. And not everybody hears the same thing, either: One person's "CRAP" is another person's "GREAT!".
 
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tom hankins

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JVC HA-990
 
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utdeep

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KSC-35
 
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plainsong

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Just sending out my love to the dt531.
 
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MagusG

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Quote:

Originally Posted by utdeep
KSC-35


Uh, I'm gonna have to disagree with that. I don't think there is a soul in these forums that won't say that the KSC-35 is the best $30 you can spend on headphones. Period.

-Mag
 
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fewtch

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Echo Blessingx's nomination of the HD580. This is a ridiculous price for the kind of sound you get. In comparison, IMHO the 600 and 650 are overhyped.
 
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In general I would say the Beyer line is the most under rated headphones. Part of this is their own fault, as it is hard to find retailers that stock their product, without resorting to mail order. In turn this makes it difficult to hear them and compare. Their marketing is problematic also, what with "pro" versions, "non-pro version", old version dt880's, vs. new style dt880's, and some model numbers with different impedances, etc.

On the up side, in general, they have the lively sound that people like in the Grado phones, and the comfort of the Sennheiser line, coupled with a quality build, and competitive pricing.

All this adds up in my book to making them "under-rated".

- augustwest
 
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Taurui

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I think the Beyer DT860 is severely underrated here. Probably because noone is able to take the plunge for something new on the market anymore - hype rules ...
 
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