Headphones for ~$100

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thebiggoose, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. thebiggoose macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #1
    I am looking for pair of headphone under or around $100. The keys is that they are sturdy. I have broken 3 pairs of iPod headphones (cap of one earbud broke off, wires came out of 2) and a pair of KOSS Sparkplugs. So I need somethign that will not break. I was looking at the V-Moda Vibe's. They look pretty nice. Can anyone attest to how sturdy they are. Especially where the wires meet the buds and the y-splitter. Any other reccomendations. How about the Shure e2's?

    Thanks.
     
  2. magarwal1217 macrumors newbie

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    MidWest
    #2
    I have had the E2Cs for about 2 years now and I love them. Just be warned if you have small ears... The foam inserts completely block out noise- and I thought the quality was even better than the $300 Bose noise-canceling headphones. I have used these on flights, and the only thing you can hear is the engine rumble, which is easily overtaken when you actually start playing music or watch a movie. There are some times when I feel the sound quality could get a bit better, but I was not and am not ready to spend $300+ on multiple driver headphones.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    I have the vibes. I love them! I was reluctant because I had not heard enough about them, but boy are they great! Good level of bass but not too bassy.
     
  4. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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    #4
    any word on the on the constructions of the wires and buds on eitehr fo these?
     
  5. peletrane macrumors member

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    Jan 19, 2007
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    Chicago, IL
    #5
    I have the Shure E2s, and they are AWESOME! The great thing is, you don't have to turn the volume up to have a better listening experience. The only ocassional problem I have had is to clean the wax out of 'em, but it's no problem, ultimately. Also, the $100 brand (i.e, the E2) is the best value. No point in spending $500 for headphones to listen to compressed files..

    I think they might have updated them a bit, you should check their website or google it.
     
  6. anthony113 macrumors member

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    May 24, 2005
    #6
    If you're in the market for actual headphones and not earbuds check out the Grado SR 60 and SR 80. They deliver incredible sound quality for a modest price.
     
  7. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #7
    I also have the E2C and they are great. The wires are nice and thick so everything seems to hold together. The sound is great also.

    Highly recommend
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    The SR 60 seems to be the best set of headphones you can buy for use with an iPod. The SR 80 is even better when connected to a proper amplifier, but the iPods don't have quite enough power for it.
     
  9. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    Jul 14, 2005
    #9
    Grado SR-60 are definitely the best bang for your buck at this price range (below actually), IMHO. I have a lot of friends that are music buffs or musicians and love the SR 60's. Not sure about their bombproofness though. I am usually pretty careful with my SR 80's.
     
  10. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I absolutely agree. I have the sr 60's and they are superb.
     
  11. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    #11
    My Apple in-ear phones are durable (more durable than the included iPod earbuds) and sound pretty good, but you HAVE TO replace the included silicone Apple covers with Shure e2c foam covers (yes, they fit). Not only do the Shure covers allow them to correctly fit in your ear, but the sound quality improves greatly as well. If you go through earphones quickly, I wouldn't recommend spending anything more than the $50 for the Apple in-ears (and Shure covers!) or a pair of Sony phones, which also sound good at that price level.
     
  12. danielhayter macrumors member

    danielhayter

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    #12
    I can recommend the Etymotic ER6i inear headphones. They totally block your ear so you can't hear anything else but the sound is great and you can play your iPod at half volume.
     
  13. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #13
    My friend recently picked up the ety8's (bluetooth) from Etymotic and he is quite happy with their quality.

    Other than that, I agree with the above poster that recommended the Grado SR60, as they are worth every penny, and then some.
     
  14. danielhayter macrumors member

    danielhayter

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    #14
    I am considering getting a pair of Grado headphones for use at home where background noice is minimal, but I find that on public transport and in the street (where I mainly use my iPod) that open headphones can't match the ones that seal in your ear. However one negative point when walking with the inear headphones is that you can 'hear' the sounds of the headphone cable brushing against yourself.
     
  15. T-Stex macrumors 6502

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    Jan 15, 2006
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    Pennsylvania
    #15
    I've got the V-Moda Vibes in Gunmetal, and I love them. They're really compact, and look unique as well. They feel extremely well-constructed, and I'd expect them to hold up for a long while. The cables and connections to the earbuds feel about as solid as you could expect them to be. Much more than the newer version of the iPod earbuds. Also, the cable itself has a rubberish coating that seems like it gives it a little extra strength and durability.
     
  16. Winterfell macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2007
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    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    #16
    I have a pair of Bose TriPort headphones, and they're without a doubt the best headphones I've ever had. I'm going to buy another pair for the office.

    Bose TriPort

    List price is around $140; so they're a bit more than you're looking for, but I'd definitely consider them. You could probably find them cheaper if you shopped around a bit online.
     
  17. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    #17
    They're awful. The bass is too overwhelming and muddy, they don't provide any detail at all and they break way too easily. The only good thing about them is that they are quite comfortable.

    You'd be way better off buying something like the Audio Technica A700 for that price if you want closed headphones.
     
  18. Winterfell macrumors regular

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    #18
    Bad experience with yours? :p Perhaps you had a bad pair or something, mine sound great.
     
  19. akadmon macrumors 68020

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    #19
    I ride the subway every day and I love annoying the hell out of my fellow riders with my open-air headphones :D
     
  20. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #20
    The point is the $150 price range offers much better headphones than the Bose Triports. To me most Bose items are a bit low heavy, which like someone else mentioned, usually makes the sound muddy and are no where near transparent enough.
     
  21. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #21
    Yeah - if you're listening to a pair of Triports at home, they are too bass-heavy. Once I got outside however, they made absolute sense. I'd have to say I like them for travelling and I'm no stranger to high-end headphones. But sturdy? Hmmm. Mine haven't seen any damage yet but I wouldn't say they'd take a heavy beating. However on that point, the Grados will fare even worse and are all but useless for moving around with.

    It's probably a choice between the E2c and the ER-6i. The 6i's sound a lot more precise but have a slightly unpleasant tinniness about them, as well as being extremely bass-lite. Given the choice of the two though I'd actually pick the 6i, partly because I find it a lot more comfortable than the E2c is to wear, partly because you can't beat the isolation the foam tips give you and also because the E2c chops off a huge chunk of treble response. If you're rough on earphones though the E2c might be a better choice, as it's shell is stronger than the 6i and the warranty is better - Shure's 2-year warranty is stellar. Make sure you buy from an authorised store though; Shure may not honour the warranty otherwise.
     
  22. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #22
    My Grados have been quite sturdy, and they have survived daily use in my studies as well as travel across the country a few times for performances and conferences. Maybe I am just really careful (but I am also the guy that has a headphone amp gaffed to his iPod).

    Now if the OP is planning on moving around then I agree that open ear isn't the best idea, but there was no mention of such. Not to mention I have little to no experience with closed ear cans. My SR60s are my traveling/school cans and my Grado RS1s are my home/professional cans, so I guess I may be a bit of a fanboy too.:p
     
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    This is just an example, but...

    The Triport weighs a tad under 150g's, comes with a bag and can take being pressed into a laptop-style bag or other such normal bag on a regular basis. The A700 weighs close to 300g, is too large to fit into a regular laptop-style bag, parts of it will crack far easier than the Triport with regular portable handling and sounds a *bit* better. Both provide very similar isolation. When taking off the Triport in a portable situation, you can rest it around your neck. Doing the same with the A700 results in basically the chipmunk look - the earcups are pressing on your cheeks.

    The A700 comes with a 3m cable which you'll have to find some way to coil. The Triport comes with a 1.5m thin cable which is a lot easier to pack away. The A700 comes with a substantial jack plug which can place undue stress on iPod/etc headphone sockets. The Triport comes with a low-profile right-angled connector.

    Wearing the Triport in public is visually 'OK'. Wearing the A700 in public means you look like an escapee from a Princess Leia lookalike contest. As I said this is just one example but I could very reasonably argue that the Triport is a HUGELY better headphone than the Audio-Technica as far as the original poster is concerned.

    If there is a superior alternative to the Triport given what they do / offer for the same money or less, I want one.
     
  24. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    #24
    I must admit, you are quite right. Portability wise, the TriPorts do fare quite well, unlike the A700s. My main problem probably is the Bose bass. I prefer a bass that is a little bit punchy, but doesn't bloom much.
     
  25. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #25
    Yes - in which case you have to take a practicality, weight, comfort or price (in most cases notably worse either way) tradeoff.

    Personally I don't see why so many so-called audiophiles or headphonophiles have such a problem with the Triports. Apart from the bloomed bass (which I have to say works better than I thought in a portable situation as well as compensating for the lost bass of the iPods, especially older iPods) the Triports seem to be fairly decent portable headphones even for the money. If you consider what they offer overall - easy to power, very comfortable, usably isolated, lightweight, OK sound, designed for a degree of portability - they seem to have few to no direct equals.

    If there is better for less as so many of these headphonophiles are want to say, I'd certainly like to know about it. The only ones I've had which get close overall are the Sennheiser HD25SP and the AKG K81DJ, but they both mash my ears and eventually give me a headache.
     

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