Beats vs Bose vs Shure vs Skullcandy vs Grado

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by trunks3, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. trunks3 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    im looking to buy some over the ear headphones for Christmas, intend to use them on iPod Touch, Blackberry, PC n macbook. generally listen to hip-hop, rock, heavy metal, Spanish music.

    What are differences in the products? Which are better? Sound, price, comfort, durability, noise cancellation. Bass is not a big issue, i know the beats have a lot of it.

    I don't wanna fall for brand name i want a good product. I have bose companion series 3 for my computer and they sound good.

    Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
  3. akswun macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2009
    Lets see here...

    Beats = popular brand name, over priced, ok sound for the non-audiophile
    Bose = popular brand name, over priced, ok sound as well
    Shure = brand nhame, depending on the monitors(headphones) they can be pricey but somewhat worth it, sounds good
    Skullcandy = Garbage, strictly asthetic
    Grado = don't know but i heard they're decent

    Price.... Beats and Bose are really overpriced. They're built for asthetics as well.....Now if you're looking for a 'quality' pair of headphones you're going to spend around $150-200. If that's too much you can always go for cheaper versions of the pro type headphones. But because you put the Monster Beats there as well as Bose headphones which range from 150$ and up heres a couple I suggest that will be worth more for your money.

    Personally i dj. I like my bass heavy but love clear hi's.
    I use Sony MDR V700s(dj headphones 140-150$)... Sennheiser makes a great headphone as well. A lot of djs stand by the HD 25's(around $130). I suggest you try out the Aiaiai's TMA-1 ( they're built to last. Especially if you're going to spend 200$ for headphones...
  4. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    I'm on my second set of Bose QCs. First lot were QC3s which lasted a very long time before one of the ear-pieces stopped having sound go through to it.

    So I replaced them with the new QC15s which have outrageous noise-cancelling ability. QC3 is more convenient with its recharging batteries and smaller size. QC15 is quite bulky. I prefer the on-ear feel to the around-ear of the QC15, but QC15 noise cancellation is far superior.
  5. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    I would stay away from both the Beats and Bose both are drastically over priced. Not to mention the bass on the Beats is unrealistically boasted and the Boss have a horrible sound signature ( IMO ). Honestly I much prefer the sound of even the HD 201's from sennheiser to both the the above listed headphones and they are only around 30 dollars online. If you want something thats a great bargain a lot of people like the Audio Technica M-50s for rap or bass heavy music you can find these for about 120-130 online. The Grados are a love them or hate them affair. I personally don't like the signature that they have from my experiences with the SR-80s ( not the 80i's ) I have not used any other Grados and despite my un appeal to them you may find that you love them. Sound is very personal to a degree and you will have to find which sound like you like. You may want to look at the Grado 80i's ( I heard they are great for rock and smilier music ) Also the Grados are low impedances which means they can be driven by portable devices easier then some of the other phones out there. You don't want to go with some of the Sennheaisers not because they are bad or anything but just because they can't be properly driven without a dedicated amp this is true with many headphones out there when you get high end. Make sure you check out impedances. For portable devices the impedance should be under 32 ohms IMO. Also if you want to play around with some different cans then you could always buy a couple off of Amazon and then return the ones you don't like as much. I did this with a few pair myself. Some cans I would recommend based on the music you listen too are listed below.

    ATH-M50s ( Lots of bass without being overkill, they also retain decent sound through out the range )

    Grado SR-80i ( have not heard these ones personally but heard good things )

    HD 201 ( really cheap and sound very decent )

    Sennheiser PX-100-II ( really portable and very good sound for the price )

    anyway I hope my information will be of use too you. Remember audio is subjective the above listed is only my opinion on those brands. I am not here to make you mad by saying so and so brand sucks its just my opinion. With that said I believe that if you follow the advice above you will be much happier as long as your not buying your phones based on popularity or the "coolness" factor that the Beats and Bose carry with them.
  6. makinao, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

    makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    IN the US$99 range, I'd recommend either the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, or the Sony MDR-7506. Both are closed back, and have generous isolation. They are also very sensitive, so any device can drive them to high levels without an additional headphone amp. They are like polar opposites though, and people who love one usually hate the other. Both also take some getting used to if you are coming from "consumer" or "fashion" headphones. They are not heavily hyped in any particular part of the frequency range, which is what makes them popular among real professionals looking for neutral response on a reasonable budget. Finally, they are durable workhorses. I myself like the fact that you can get replacement ear pads and headband pads rather easily, and that the cables can be replaced by anyone with average tinkering skills.
  7. Benguitar Guest


    Jan 30, 2009

    I second that statement.

    For the price of Beats/Bose I like Sennheiser a lot more.
  8. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    +1. I have been going Sennheisers for my last 3 pairs of headphones.
  9. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I picked up the HD 457's years ago and they still sound great. I only paid about $40 for them. Unless you are a true audiophile or need them for a recording studio cheaper low end Sennheisers are great sounding.

    If you want to spend some money get the AKG k240.
  10. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    Agreed that the Senns are great I also agree that the AKGs are amazing I own a pair of 702s but if the k240s are anything like the 702s they require a lot of power to drive them to there full potential.
  11. Irick, Dec 28, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010

    Irick macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2008
    The Sony MDR-V6s are the consumer version of the Sony MDR-7506, with the only real difference being the gold plated connector. They are extremely good headphones, with an even better listed frequency response then the Sony MDR-7506. However, a lot of the high end headphones, Grados, Sony Studio monitors, etc, have what is called a "Flat response" which means they reproduce the music faithfully without altering the sound. This is very good to some people, however, some music is mastered assuming people are using worse headphones. In the end it won't matter much, it is all personal taste, but it is something to consider if you're looking for faithful reproduction.

    To me, it would be a Toss up between the Grado SR60i and the Sony MDR-V6s. The Grados are slightly less durable and are what is called "open air" headphones, which means you will hear more of what is going on around you, where as the Sonys will keep you more or less separated from outside noise. Additionally, the grados have a slightly better channel isolation but a worse harmonic response, which may mean nothing to you, but i thought i'd put that in there.

    P.S. You'll never have to replace the Sony MDR-V6s. Ever. They are excessively well built. The only component you may ever need to replace are the pads, which will run you 20$ and will never be unavailable. The MDR-V6 is one of those "never going to change" classics that is highly regarded as a benchmark standard in the high end audio market. I've seen and used 20+ year old models that sound just as good as they day they were made.
  12. brandon.8602 macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2010
    I love my Beats (Solo HDs) but I've heard (literally ;) ) great things about the Sennheiser HD 650s
  13. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    i second this
  14. lubetkin macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    try these


    Beats are pure marketing ...I bought some for my 12 year old because he thinks they are cool but the sound is mediocre at best.

    Pioneer SE DIR800C for 40.00$ more than the beats solo hd you can buy these on amazon and they blow the beats out of the water for audio and surround and they are wireless what more do you want ?

    Sennheiser......has always made nice headhones
  15. zipur macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2011
    The great state of Texas
    can you expand on the ohm resistance I sure I'm not the only one who has questions on this For example what range would or does an iPhone drive? Should we look for 64 ohm or 20 ohm?

    Thanks in advance
  16. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2009
    what's your price range? also I forget which is which in terms of over ear/ around ear, either way I would recommend AKG I had an old pair of K301's that lasted me 14 years and still sound better than any of the Dr. Dre crap

    also I doubt you NEED a headphone amp for anything, my AKG Q701's apparently NEED a headphone amp but they drive fine from my iPhone (not as well as from my mBox 2 Pro but still ok)
  17. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    I've been extremely happy with my Audio-Technica ATH M-50 headphones. I also have Sennheiser HD280 headphones which had to be repaired after only 6 months.
  18. dj-anon macrumors member


    Mar 23, 2011
    For over the ear headphones: Shure and Grado are the serious brands, the rest you mentioned are marketing.

    You should also consider other brands like AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audio Technica, Sennheiser and Denon.

    For actual comparison and reviews I recommend this site:
  19. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA

    For your taste, I would say grados. Sennheisers are balanced but definitely not as punchy. Bose and beats...overpriced. I wouldn't even consider skullcandies. Get yourself a pair of grado sr-60s and kiss your money goodbye - it will start you on a journey up the headphone hierarchy as it is the gateway drug.
  20. MikeT60 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2012
    For half the price of the Beats or the Bose you can get a better set of cans.

    For portability you can't go past a good pair of Panasonics. For audiophile, AKG, Sennheiser (good ones - they make some cheap rubbish too!) and my favorite, Shure.

    For example, a $125 set of Shure SRH-750DJ would outperform both the beats and Bose at every level.

    The $115 Audio Technica M50 is also a great set of cans at a good price. Probably better than the Shure, but I like Shure :)
  21. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    Are you using these for home use? Or on-the-go outside in the streets use?

    If you are using them at home, the shire and Grado's will be much much better than either the bose or beats.

    Honestly, any Grado model will be MUCH better than the others, at least for home use.

    Now, an important detail is what models you are looking at (for Shure or Grado). I would avoid the beats and bose altogether, there is NO comparison between them and the Grado's (but, if you want to use them outside, Bose does have great noise cancelation).

    Shure makes some excellent headphones, but they have a variety of very different models.

    And finally, as others have posted, headphones by AKG, Audio-technica, Sennheiser, or Beyerdynamic are very very good, and are much much better than either Beats or Bose.
  22. neodrew macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    It's been nearly 2 1/2 years since the OP on this topic - I'd really like to know what he decided...

    The Sennheiser HD280s are probably the best combination of low price and high quality - got a pair brand new on eBay for $60 and I love how they sound. Except that my $250 Beyerdynmic DT770s sound a LOT better :)

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