Best headphones in $250-$350 price range?

Crunch

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2008
701
74
Crazy L.A.
Hi all,

So I'm in the market for one of the headphones that Apple sells in its stores. I looked at several today, including the new "Beats by Dr. Dre" (the black ones), "Bowers & Wilkins P5", "V-MODA Crossfade", "Bose QuietComfort 15", and "Beats by Dr. Dre HD" (the new red ones that recently came out).

I couldn't really make up my mind so I haven't bought anything yet. I did some research and read reviews, but I would really love to hear from some of you who actually own them or know about this stuff, because I do not. At all!

I want something that's high in quality in the $300 price range and the headset should be comfortable, of course. It would be nice if they kept noise out, as there are (very) noisy kids visiting for a while. I am not going to jog with them or anything like that. I will mostly use them watching movies on my iMac (most of them are Bluray's with HD audio and Dolby surround sound) as well as listening to my iTunes collection.

Thanks very much! :)
 

LAK3RS

macrumors newbie
Apr 28, 2010
24
0
I'd skip what they have in store, and since you are willing to drop $300, just go ahead and drop another $50 and pick up some Sennheiser 650's. They are the second best audiophile headphones known to man. Of course the best being Sennhesier 800's, but I don't think you want to drop $1400 on headphones. Sennheiser produces some of the best headphones, and recently have pulled into headsets for gaming. I'm a huge fanatic when it comes to my video games and music, and they both require the best when it comes to audio.

Now, if you want to save some money, which you've already stated the money you want to drop, go with some Audio Technica AD700's or some Sennheiser 555's. They both run between $85-$100, and are a nice blend for music and gaming both. Of course, the lean more toward the music side of things, which will make them a great alternative to what you are wanting.

I know you would prefer closed eared headphones, but to produce the best possible soundstage, as well as sound that excels above the rest, then stick with an open headphone for sure.

Here is my list for you in order from best to worst.

1. Sennheiser 650
2. Sennheiser 595
3.Audio Technica AD700
4. Sennheiser 500

And if everything I said above is out of the question, then just pick up some overpriced, underperforming Beats by Dre......I at least tried!

Good luck!
 

donjao

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2008
80
0
I'd personally recommend AKG K 601 / K 701. I'm a developer myself, and usually have to sit on my butt 8-10 hrs a day, listening to some lossless music. I forget that my K 601 are on my head. The paddings are very soft so that you can listen to it for a very long time. The only downside is that they don't cancel ambient sounds. But you have my vote for those. The sound quality is just superb, and what's most importantly for me - I can wear them all day long without getting uncomfortable.
 

Crunch

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2008
701
74
Crazy L.A.
Hey guys, thanks for the help! Yea, the Sennheiser's (I apologize if I just mutilated the name) get great reviews in a lot of venues.

Do you have an opinion on the B&W P55's? And as for the K701's, which I'm currently leaning towards buying, how bad is the lack of "noise cancellation"?
 

donjao

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2008
80
0
And as for the K701's, which I'm currently leaning towards buying, how bad is the lack of "noise cancellation"?
Well, the best option is to go to a mall and try them on if possible. The only thing I can tell that it's exactly the same as in Sennheiser HD 595. It's absolutely no problem if you listen it in the office with some music on a background, but you cannot hear anything for instance in a plane except the noise from engines (but of course, it depends on a plane). Another thing, is that if you have your headphones on (no music playing), and somebody comes by to talk to you - you can chat with him without taking headphones off your head.

Hope it helps.

P.S. When I was looking for a headphones, my main criteria was ergonomics sound quality and background sound isolation. I went to a mall, tried them on, and I actually did not notice that it wasn't canceling the ambient sounds. And now, when I found it out (when somebody talked to me) - I still do not regret the purchase.

P.P.S. As far as I know any of those goooood sounding headphones do not offer a sound cancellation feature. It seems that it's a feature of lower cost solutions or for average users. But I may be wrong.

P.P.P.S I have K 601, not really sure how the background sound is canceled by K 701. But according to the AKG specifications on their websites, it should be the same.
 

knux11

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2008
203
3
I'd have to vote for the bose quietcomfort. Not sure of the model, i think it's qc15, but they take 2 batteries and have noise cancelling. Try them on (even without music) and turn on the power, and it's like all the noise just goes away. I bought them for my wife after we spent a weekend looking for some good over the ear headphones. She loves em.
 
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