Need help choosing over the ear headphones

benlee

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
I am looking to get some decent over the ear headphones.

I want something that I can listen to while sitting at my computer, but also use when I'm out and about and not look like a total tool with giant headphones on.

So, I want a compromise between sound and style all for under $50. Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks for any help.
 

bt22

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2009
299
5
Alabama
I have been trying to make this same decision. In the December issue of Mac | Life they give a pretty good review of the Shure SRH240 for $59.99. I have been giving serious thought to trying a pair of these.

Just thought I would mention these..
 

Muncher

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2007
1,465
0
California
Eww, avoid skullcandy. They sound terrible compared to what else you can get. Get the Sennheiser PX200 II. They isolate you from outside noise, and they sound good (so much better than skullcandy).

For a bit more, and if you don't care about new/used, you might look around for a pair of Grado SR60i.
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
2,564
5
Thule GL @ the TOW
I just picked up a pair of Sennheiser PX100's on clearance for $19.96 and they sound great - they are open ear/over the ear but I liked that for when I'm on my bike so I could still hear what's going on around me when needed...
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento

Muncher

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2007
1,465
0
California
OP said "over the ear" which throws the PX200s out (otherwise I think the 250s are a better deal)

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private_headphones_travel-line_004924

Grados are great, but not known for their comfort

I think the Shures are probably fine, but kinda big

http://www.amazon.com/Shure-SRH240-Professional-Quality-Headphones/dp/B002DP594W

You could look at some larger Senns, like the 218s

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-218-Closed-Back-Headphone/dp/B001RNO91U
Oops. Well, to the OP: don't rule out on ear phones like the PX100/200. They tend to be smaller and less obtrusive than the big full sized Shures, so you won't stand out as much in the crowd.

Just to add to the confusion, if you want to try a classic portable phone, the KSC75 is about $15, the two drivers hook inconspicuously over your ears, and can be modded all over (like adding the leather PX200 pads for better comfort).
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
Thanks for the help so far.

I'm not totally ruling out on the ear phones. Especially considering they may be smaller.
 

TheAngusBurger

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2008
93
0
Yeah, I'd really avoid Skullcandy. I got some (Hesh's) for Christmas and they sound terrible, really muddy with no clarity whatsoever. Basically just low-mids and that's about it. Sennheisers are much better for a lot less money.
 

Kenzembo1

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2008
361
0
Youngstown, OH
Let me first start off by saying that I'm not an audiophile by any means, but last week I picked up a pair of Beats Solo by Dre and they are fantastic! They're on-ear headphones and will set you back ~$160. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative that probably sounds just as good (depending on what genre of music you like to listen to) I would go with the Grado SR60i. They don't look as pretty, but they sound great.
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
Eww, avoid skullcandy. They sound terrible compared to what else you can get. Get the Sennheiser PX200 II. They isolate you from outside noise, and they sound good (so much better than skullcandy).

For a bit more, and if you don't care about new/used, you might look around for a pair of Grado SR60i.
I'm looking into the PX200 II. They are a great size and seem to have decent sound.

I like the Grado's and everyone has good things to say about them but they look so uncomfortable.

Let me first start off by saying that I'm not an audiophile by any means, but last week I picked up a pair of Beats Solo by Dre and they are fantastic! They're on-ear headphones and will set you back ~$160. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative that probably sounds just as good (depending on what genre of music you like to listen to) I would go with the Grado SR60i. They don't look as pretty, but they sound great.
Do you think the Beats Solo are worth $160? I love the look of them and if I waited till April I could probably get the mrs. to buy them for my birthday, but are they going to be much better than say the $60 PX200 IIs?
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,358
2,823
I don't find Grado's particularly uncomfortable - they are very light and airy. Some people complain that they clamp a bit too tight, but ymmv. What isn't so good about Grado's is that they are completely open - so anyone in the same room as you will hear exactly what you are listening to at a fairly loud volume. One of my co-workers uses them and I can tell what he is listening to from probably 50' away. By the same token you won't be able to block any ambient noise whatsoever. They are also extremely fragile and wholly unsuitable for anything other than home use.

The Beats are largely being sold on style, not on substance. They may also happen to sound ok, but it's not what you are paying for. You can certainly get something with better sound for less money. The Shure's recommended are probably decent, or consider my default suggestion in this range - the Sony MDR V6 which is the classic closed, over the ear, durable, semi-portable headphone. Hardly changed in 20+ years.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
If Im gonna spend $160 on headphones, they are gonna be someone who has been making cans for more than a few years... senns, B&Os, Denon, AKG, etc

I almost bought the Sony 7605s before I bought my current ones (Senn 555s, about $100 and bulky, but beautiful sound)

You might want 2 pairs -- one for in-home use and one for out on the town.
 

Kenzembo1

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2008
361
0
Youngstown, OH
Do you think the Beats Solo are worth $160? I love the look of them and if I waited till April I could probably get the mrs. to buy them for my birthday, but are they going to be much better than say the $60 PX200 IIs?
I have to admit that for me it wasn't easy to justify spending $160 on a pair of headphones, but I convinced myself that I needed something more powerful than my Apple In-Ears. I wanted something that had an all around good sound with a deep bass. I was also looking for something that provided long-term comfort (when listening to music for a prolonged period of time) and for ~$160 I wanted something with a little style - unlike anything Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, or Grado had to offer. My search yielded the Dr. Dre Beat Solos. They are nearly perfect for everything I use them for and all in all I have no regrets!
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,358
2,823
I have to admit that for me it wasn't easy to justify spending $160 on a pair of headphones, but I convinced myself that I needed something more powerful than my Apple In-Ears. I wanted something that had an all around good sound with a deep bass. I was also looking for something that provided long-term comfort (when listening to music for a prolonged period of time) and for ~$160 I wanted something with a little style - unlike anything Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, or Grado had to offer. My search yielded the Dr. Dre Beat Solos. They are nearly perfect for everything I use them for and all in all I have no regrets!
Well, style is obviously a personal decision, but I guess I feel pretty much the opposite - I prefer the function-over-form style of true studio monitors that are designed for heavy use, day in and day out year after year vs. the form over function of the beats. The Sony's are made from a nice metal material and are known to last virtually forever. I'm also floored at the idea of a headphone that requires batteries to operate. I mean, I understand (but don't really care for) active noise cancellation, but can you really not use the phones at all without batteries as some Amazon reviews claim? :confused:
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
I've decided that it is going to be impossible for me to get what I want for home use and for on-the-go use all in one set.

I've decided that my Apple Headphones are fine for now when on the go and am just looking for some good home use phones. But I want them to be comfortable for extended use.

In this case, I don't think the Beats are even an option and don't want to spend that much anyways.

All of your suggestions have been incredibly helpful and keep them coming.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,358
2,823
Well, in that case it is hard to match the Grado SR60's in terms of dollar-per-sound-quality units. If you have a local hi-fi dealer, chances are good that they carry Grado's, so you could try them out/return them. Otherwise, consider buying from a reputable headphone dealer that has a generous return policy (ie. headroom, ttvj.com, etc).

Don't write off a set of studio monitors as an all-around option though. Get a closed set that folds up and you'll have the option of great sound at home or on the go.
 

chrislaw

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2009
649
1
central ohio
I just bought these, havent used them yet but have heard that they are a great value for the price (from online reviews and people on this site).

For $20 shipped i figured i couldnt go wrong.
 

Kenzembo1

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2008
361
0
Youngstown, OH
Well, style is obviously a personal decision, but I guess I feel pretty much the opposite - I prefer the function-over-form style of true studio monitors that are designed for heavy use, day in and day out year after year vs. the form over function of the beats. The Sony's are made from a nice metal material and are known to last virtually forever. I'm also floored at the idea of a headphone that requires batteries to operate. I mean, I understand (but don't really care for) active noise cancellation, but can you really not use the phones at all without batteries as some Amazon reviews claim? :confused:
I respectfully disagree but for clarification purposes, you only need batteries for the Studio edition (which retails for a much higher price of $300)...the Dr. Dre Beat Solos don't require batteries and are much cheaper at $160 (abet still somewhat pricey for the average user). I prefer the Solos because like you, I don't need active noise cancellation and like that the Solo edition has the control talk feature, allowing me to the built in microphone and remote with my iphone.

To the OP: If you've already ruled out the Beats and you're looking for a set to strictly use at home, I would go with the Grado SR60i. From what I've read, they're a great pair of cans and probably the best you can buy in your price range.
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
I just bought these, havent used them yet but have heard that they are a great value for the price (from online reviews and people on this site).

For $20 shipped i figured i couldnt go wrong.
What did you buy?

I respectfully disagree but for clarification purposes, you only need batteries for the Studio edition (which retails for a much higher price of $300)...the Dr. Dre Beat Solos don't require batteries and are much cheaper at $160 (abet still somewhat pricey for the average user). I prefer the Solos because like you, I don't need active noise cancellation and like that the Solo edition has the control talk feature, allowing me to the built in microphone and remote with my iphone.

To the OP: If you've already ruled out the Beats and you're looking for a set to strictly use at home, I would go with the Grado SR60i. From what I've read, they're a great pair of cans and probably the best you can buy in your price range.

Well, I heard with the Grado's people can hear what you are listening to. I don't want that. Although, I have heard fantastic things about them.

I didn't know you could use a mic with the Beats.

Do you find they are a good size to use on-the-go?
 

DaREdBaRoN

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2009
92
0
Illinois
The beats solo are TOTALLY worth it. I have the studio and they are the best headphones I've ever listened to, but they are really big. THe solo has very similar sound quality minus the noise canceling features, but they are smaller and lighter

PS I wouldn't ever buy expensive headphones without listening to them first, so I suggest you try your local Best Buy or other electronic stores and see what they have on display. At the Best Buy I work at we have several Sony's on display as well as the Beats and the SkullCandy Skullcrushers
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
Those Shures are probably as good as any in that price range.

Before I had my Senn 555s I had a pair of Senn HD485s -- doesnt look like they make them anymore -- but one of the features it had was great.

Single sided cable that was detachable -- so if the cable ever got mucked you just replaced it -- and it was 10ft long

looks like the HD485 were replaced with the HD428/438s: http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private_headphones_closed-stereo-headphones_502765

And you still want to look at some Sony V6 or 7605s. Do you have a Guitar Center near you? They often have a decent selection and you can try them on...