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Best $100 Headphones

HewnHewn Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright folks, plain and simple, I want your opinion on the best headphones around the $100 price range. I use headphones on a daily basis and I'd finally like to invest in something of respectable quality.

My music ranges across the board, but I'd like something that doesn't overwhelm with bass. Accuracy of recording is preferred. I would like something that fits around the ear. They must be comfortable for long periods of time. And if they work well with an iPod, that's huge, as it is my primary device I am listening to music with.

These are the usual suspects:
Sony MDR-V6
Sony MDR 7506
Sennheiser HD 280

The Sennheisers often get criticized for being like vise clamps on the head. But, overall, they get absolutely rave reviews in terms of sound. Meanwhile the Sony's get high marks for portability and comfort.

I've made too many mistakes in the $50 range with headphones, so I'd like to get this one right. Thanks guys!

Hewn on
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Steam: hewn

Posts

  • limester816limester816 Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Check out head-fi.org , they'll tell you all you need to know.

    I think that the best open-ear headphone is the Alessandro MS-1's, they're basically Grado's, with some minor differences.

  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm interested in suggestions like the OP.

    My head is made of eggshell and cracks easily so comfort is my #1 concern.

  • gobassgogobassgo Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I'm wearing a pair of those exact Sennheisers and I absolutely adore them. I don't understand why anyone would call them 'vice clamps' as I've experienced no discomfort while wearing them.

    The sound quality is absolutely superb and the headphones are actually extremely comfortable and wearable for hours on end. It also works with the iPod (in fact I use it with my own) but the only annoying thing is that the cord is rather long.

    [edit]
    The bass in these headphones is an accurate reproduction of recordings and isn't overly saturated with the "fake" bass boost other cheaper brands do. The highs and lows are crystal clear and pretty awesome for the price you're paying.

    The collapsibility of the headphones is also pretty neat, as its really easy to just toss back into the backpack or whatever.

  • bbmartinibbmartini Registered User
    edited December 2007
    there was a bit of a discussion in the tech forum on the subject, some interesting bits and links in there.
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=40293

    also i saw these at fry's today
    http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=437&subcategory=438&product=16336&nav=0
    17391.png
    sexxxxyyyyyy. sadly i have no idea how good they are.

    camo_sig2.png
  • snarkssnarks Registered User
    edited December 2007
    The HD-280's are very good- however, you may like the HD-555's better. They are open air (so they, at least to me, sound better) and are way more comfortable than the 280s. The HD-280 may suit you better, however, if you plan on listening to music in a somewhat noisy area or if you don't want to bother anyone else with your music (open air headphones tend to be noisy).

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2007
    bbmartini, you're looking at a Creative product, a company known for consumer grade sound cards and not audiophile speakers or headphones, and a product that's been over designed to look as "sexy" as possible. I'm willing to bet based on these facts alone that it's not going to compare to any Sennheiser or Grado product in its price range.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    bbmartini, you're looking at a Creative product, a company known for consumer grade sound cards and not audiophile speakers or headphones, and a product that's been over designed to look as "sexy" as possible. I'm willing to bet based on these facts alone that it's not going to compare to any Sennheiser or Grado product in its price range.
    I had been considering getting the Grado SR 60 or 80, would it be worth it?

    533570-1.png
  • StarfuckStarfuck Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Depends on your taste. I'd say they're worth a try, but Grados can be a bit bright. But you may like that. I prefer senns, but that's my taste.

    Taking a closer look at what you asked for, two hp's I see recommended (but have not tried) in that range a lot are ATH-ES7 or RP21. It sounds like you want something that will do well unamped and those get good points for that.

    jackfaces
    "If you're going to play tiddly winks, play it with man hole covers."
    - John McCallum
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2007
    I've owned a pair of Sennheiser HD457s and a pair of Sennheiser PX100s. The PX100s are the better pair if you ask me, better bass reproduction and cleaner mids. The 457s tend to be a little bass heavy and unclear on the mids.

    Personally, I'd say the best bang for your buck in the sub $100 range is probably the PX-100s. I've tried a number of Sony, Bose, Altec Lansing and Panasonic headphones, earbuds and cans and none have been quite so impressive. Altec Lansing and Sony both have some really nice buds though, if you need something in that style. The PX-100s are better sounding though, very well constructed, very comfortable. Sturdy as all hell, too.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    bbmartini, you're looking at a Creative product, a company known for consumer grade sound cards and not audiophile speakers or headphones, and a product that's been over designed to look as "sexy" as possible. I'm willing to bet based on these facts alone that it's not going to compare to any Sennheiser or Grado product in its price range.
    I had been considering getting the Grado SR 60 or 80, would it be worth it?

    I'd rather go for the Alessandro MS-1s which are 99USD shipped worldwide and tone down the grado highs a bit.

    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I prefer the Grado 80s myself. I used them for gaming and music and they were always bright, crisp and clear with excellent bass and treble reproduction without being fake or twittery. They arent the most comfortable things though, at least the ones I had in 2002. 2 hours max maybe I could wear them before giving my ears a break.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm using a pair of SR-60s right now, they're quite awesome for both gaming and music. They're open air, and can get a little uncomfortable after extended use, so take that into consideration.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I will speak for the Sony 7506's, godlike hardware.

  • kingmetalkingmetal Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The HD-280s are far and away the best under $100 headphones I've ever heard, and rival $200+ pairs. I just graduated with a degree in audio production and I can't be without my 280s. They insulate from noise EXTREMELY well, so be prepared to block out almost all external noise, but this is a GOOD THING for most applications. This way you don't have to turn your music up super loud and destroy your hearing. Bass response is excellent and they're well suited for monitoring in a professional environment. They're extremely well built and I have absolutely no complaints about them. Even the cord is high grade and pig-tails so that you're not always tripping over slack.

    Actually, I have one complaint: they're so good you might hate your soundcard. They're extremely sensitive, so if you have a low quality soundcard (like the job that's in my laptop, for example) you can hear all kinds of weird ugly stuff. Totally not the headphones fault! Amazon.com had them for like $70 when I picked mine up, and I urge you to jump on any price under $100, although they're certainly worth over $100.

  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I will speak for the Sony 7506's, godlike hardware.

    Just to let people know, I'm leaning towards these headphones because they are lighter and more compact than the HD 280s.

    Everything else seems to be a wash.

    cathSIG.jpg
    Steam: hewn
  • DioltasDioltas Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Excellent choice. I have the 7506's and they ARE godlike. They're studio quality. Very comfy. Plus, you can get them for around $50 if you look around some.

  • HallucinogenHallucinogen Registered User
    edited December 2007
    How are they 7506's for comfort if you wear glasses? I have the MDR V500's and they're great for sound, and would be comfortable, except they press my ears down against the arms of my glasses. After about an hour or two my ears get painfully sore. Stupid glasses.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Dioltas wrote: »
    Excellent choice. I have the 7506's and they ARE godlike. They're studio quality. Very comfy. Plus, you can get them for around $50 if you look around some.

    $50 you say? I'm going to look around, but if you know a source offhand do tell. That would clinch the decision rather easily.

    cathSIG.jpg
    Steam: hewn
  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I'd say the Sennheiser HD-280 hands down. I did a lot of research beforehand, and they didn't disappoint me. I've had them for over a year and a half, and they're still in great shape. Once you use them for a bit, they become less stiff and feel more comfortable on your head.

    my apartment looks upside down from there
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  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I was thinkin HD-280s, but the 7506's seem better suited for portable use/without the use of an amp... which is more what I need right now than at home headphones. Hmmm...

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  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I was thinkin HD-280s, but the 7506's seem better suited for portable use/without the use of an amp... which is more what I need right now than at home headphones. Hmmm...

    Same here. I've been checking out the head-fi.org forums, as recommended earlier, and the Sony's get extremely high marks all around for iPod use without an amp. The HD-280s, however, get extremely mixed marks. Some people love them, others not so much.

    The real question now seems to be what is the difference between the V6 and the 7506. Some people say nothing, other than color, but the $25 price difference is baffling then.

    cathSIG.jpg
    Steam: hewn
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    How are they 7506's for comfort if you wear glasses? I have the MDR V500's and they're great for sound, and would be comfortable, except they press my ears down against the arms of my glasses. After about an hour or two my ears get painfully sore. Stupid glasses.

    I wear glasses as well, I know that pinch you are talking about. With the 7506's it's very light, I can wear mine for several hours with no residual discomfort. Unlike some sturdier headphones, these don't have a vice grip on your skull.

    I'm not going to tell you you can't feel it, but it's pretty light compared to many headphones I've had.

  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I own the Sony MDR7506 and i feel that the sound is often far too accurate. If you listen to poor bit rate mp3s or dodgy recordings you will notice every single flaw.

    However, that's the only flaw i can come up with.

  • DioltasDioltas Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Alright, I guess you can't find them anymore for $50, sorry about that. But I do have to agree with noobert about the startling accuracy of these things - being able to tell the difference in bitrate is interesting, to say the least. They have basically spoiled me for any other form of audio output (except for the fully rigged theatre that I work in...). But I have seen a man brought to tears by their quality. That's the best I can say of them.

  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ok guys, after reading this thread, I just ordered a pair of the Sony MDR7506 for DJing and computer games. If they suck, you guys owe me $100.

    What I'm sick of is that whenever I buy a good pair of headphones, one of the ear pieces comes undone and is left dangling by just a few cables. From what I saw, the Sony MDR7506 would be hard to break in such a way.

  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky FONOTUNE Electric FairytaleRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I own a pair of 280s, and they are awesome, though whoever said the Sennheisers are like vice clamps wasn't kidding.

    Kochikens wrote: »
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    and I laughed forever
  • Geek LordGeek Lord Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Can I hijack this thread? I'm looking for headphones that sound good but aren't too big, so I can wear them in public (bus, subway) without looking like a tit. I think the ones linked in the OP are a little too big for this. Any recommendations?

  • GlocjtGlocjt Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I recently bought a pair of Sennheiser HD-555s for $100. I'd the be first to admit that I'm no audiophile (don't quite have the ears for it), but I do enjoy high-quality sound when I can get my hands on it, and I'm totally loving the 555s - they're just fantastic coupled with my X-Fi.

    I haven't tried the HD-280s at all, but the 555s were only $20 more (got them from Amazon), and I figured it was worth the money given what I had read on the two sets. Either way, I haven't regretted my purchase at all. I was looking at the Grado SR-60s, too, but decided on the 555s since I prefer circumaural phones over supra-aural ones since I can wear them longer more comfortably.

  • The Black HunterThe Black Hunter Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm gonna get some good headphones


    wireless y/n?

    Also, any recommendations for headphones that are completely and totally indestructable?

    sig-1.jpg
  • RocketScienceRocketScience Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Geek Lord wrote: »
    Can I hijack this thread? I'm looking for headphones that sound good but aren't too big, so I can wear them in public (bus, subway) without looking like a tit. I think the ones linked in the OP are a little too big for this. Any recommendations?

    http://www.ultimateears.com/superfi/superfi-5-Pro-white.htm

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