Best Headphones

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gadgetron, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Gadgetron macrumors newbie


    Feb 22, 2006

    This is a very quick question, what in your opinion are the best headphones you can get for under 100.00?
    NO EARBUDS! looking for opinions on closed ear old school.
    Thank you for your time.
  2. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
  3. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004

    Seconded - the sound out of the SR80s is fantastic. Not terribly portable, however.
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Either the Grado's mentioned or the Sennheiser HD-280s.
  5. Pine-Tree macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2005
    Arizona, USA

    I have the SR80's and they're awesome, fantastic sound, highly recommended. They are kind of big though..
  6. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I second the Sennheisers
    Haven't heard the grados
  7. jamesi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2005
    Davis CA
  8. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    I third it. Sennheisers. The pair I bought has plenty of volume when driven by an iPod.
  9. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    I personally do NOT buy anything BUT Sennheiser headphones.

    Everything else is junk
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    anyone have a suggestion for portable headphones. my mom wants me to get new headphones cause she thinks the apple ones are bad for you.... I like the ear bud style because i can just throw them in my pocket/bag. Any ideas
  11. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    i have these sony ones...they're really tiny. they're like $40 at best buy, and they come with this uber-small plastic case to put the 'buds in. and the covers come off so you can wash 'em. i dont know the model number...they sound pretty good.
  12. onthat macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2006
    Ruston, Louisiana
    you should look into a pair of shure e2c IEM's...the isolation makes the highs and mids really sing and the bass response is fantastic. Most people have trouble finding the proper seal for IEM's, but if you test the sound with each earpiece, the bass will really come out. You can get a NEW set for 50 bucks off ebay. They are definitely worth it and as far as comfort can hardly tell when you're wearing them. If your source is an iPod Nano, you need to put the eq on flat...and if it's from an iPod video, you need to turn the eq off completely, or the bass will overwhelm your ears and you won't be able to appreciate the mids.
  13. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    There are a couple of really good choices for all styles and uses:

    If you use it for mostly studio work, where ample power can be delivered to the headphone, you can use a high impedance headphone, for this purpose, there is nothing for about 100$ that compares to the Sennheiser HD495/HD497's. The HD497's are updates to the HD495's and sonically similar. The HD495's have memory foam which really helps if you wear glasses because the pressure put onto your ears are spread out over a bigger surface (the entire surface is memory foam). Detachable cords are convenient if you tend to wear out your cables.

    If you use it for more portable work, or computer output (you'll need a decent audio out solution to appreciate these can's) - nothing beats the Beyerdynamic DT231 or DT231 Galaxy's. These are sonically better than the Sennheiser's, but with less depth, but requires less power to drive. You can generally find these in music stores for guitar's or so. German build.

    I never tried Grado's. For high end audio, or technology that trickles from the highend into consumer technologies, there are only a few good American based companies that are generally accepted and around, and I don't mean Bo$e. Grado Labs is considered excellent, but only gets raving reviews from American based HiFi magazines, and lesser glorious reviews from UK, FR, GR based magazines, that, and I never owned one, so I can't recommend them.

    For ear-bud style listening, only Sennheiser has been able to get it right, I owned multiple pairs, MX400 and MX550's, all of them stellar in performance but doesn't look ostentatious if you prefer the simple looks.

    For all-around listening, but mostly mobile, you can't go wrong with the foldable Sennheiser's, tried them once or twice before, quality is way above the Jap can's, and the cheap Magnavox stuff. Plus they are avaliable just about everywhere. Did I mention they are foldable ?

    That's pretty much the cream of the crop last time I gathered my resources, market for headphones hasn't changed since then, and my personal recommendation, since the Sennheiser HD495's aren't around anymore (my fav's), I'd recommend the Beyerdynamic DT231's, quality sound directly from Germany.

    EDIT. I forgot to mention that the Sennheiser's and Grado's by design are not "closed", they look like closed but actually use the back to completely ventilate sound for near zero reflection. Go with the Beyer's then, they are closed, and "old school" looking.
  14. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    You have to be careful with insulation types, I owned and tried many of them, you suffer inevitably from cord noise, meaning every time your cords touch your clothes the sound is directly transmitted to your ear, same effect as the Cups' N Strings phone we played with as a kid. Wouldn't recommend them for outdoors, insulation makes the environment more dangerous to bike, job, walk, drive, etc in. Also, did I mention the cord noise ?
  15. onthat macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2006
    Ruston, Louisiana
    I found that wind was pretty annoying through them at first, but if you run the cord down the back of your shirt, it appears to completely solve the issue.
  16. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Never tried the Sennheisers, but I do own a pair of SR80s. They sound really nice.

    Make sure you try your gear before buying. What sounds good to you might not appeal to someone else, and vice-versa.
  17. afields macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    Sennheiser px 100....lightweight, portable, great sounding...
  18. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    Just got the pair of Sennheiser HD 202 for like $25 off They are very good headphones.
  19. jihad the movie macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2003
    Smugtown, NY
    Grado SR-80's all the way. I'd make a long post about why, but just find a place that sells them, and give them a listen, you'll understand.
  20. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Here's the correct answer :)
  21. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    There was some press about how listening to music with earbuds for extended periods of time in places where there's a lot of ambient sound (like on the subway), can damage your ear. The explanation is that with earbuds you have to turn the volume way up to drown out the outside sound. The best solution is to get noise cancelling headphones (expensive), after that you can look for headphones that do a better job of blocking out outside noise so you don't have the volume as loud. I've heard the 4shures do a good job of this.
  22. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    Another vote for the Grados.
  23. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Apr 12, 2005
    Outer Space
    I dig my Grado SR-80s, as well. You may want to go to or for some reviews. Keep in mind, the SR-80s are not "closed," as some have mentioned. I'm intrigued by the Ultimate Ears 3. Good reviews and super-portable.
  24. zathras macrumors member


    Nov 6, 2005
    North AL
    I had a pair of the Grados but didn't like them because mine had a solid piece of "ear foam" so it was like wearing earmuffs and they got quite warm.

    Another good line of sealed headphones are the Sony Eggos from Japan - a benefit to them is they fold up quite nicely.
  25. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

    Sep 4, 2004
    Berkshires, Mass.
    I used to own the Grado SR-60's but switched to the Sennheiser HD280's.
    The Grado's have cables to each side and can get twisted up. They also are not fully closed-ear (circumaural) like the Sennheiser's are.

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