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  #1  
Old 01-23-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default Good Inexpensive Phones

If you're looking for decent phones on a budget (less than $30), you might try some of these:


Headphones
  • AKG K 24 P/K 26 P - K24 is semi-open, with bright sound. K26 is closed design with very heavy bass and good isolation (can be modded for less bass and better overall sound). Both are foldable.
  • JVC HA-S150-BN "Flats" - Good bass, decent clarity, amazing price (can be found for less than $10).
  • Koss UR20 - Closed design, somewhat isolating. Good bass.
  • Panasonic RP-HTX7 - Closed design, slightly isolating. Balanced sound, good resolution. Nice retro design, comes in five colors.
  • Philips HP460 - Closed design, somewhat isolating. Foldable. Fairly balanced, clean sound.
  • Sennheiser HD 201 / HD 202 - Closed design, somewhat isolating. HD 201 is circum-aural, HD 202 is supra-aural. The HD 201 sound better when played through a stronger amplifier.
  • Sennheiser PX 100 - Open design, balanced sound, foldable headband, small form factor. Might cost a little more than $30, but they're some of the best inexpensive phones out there. Check out Capn's review.

In-ear phones
Earbuds
  • AKG K 14 P - Not much bass (more than Sennheiser MX, however), good mids and treble for the price, decent soundstage, inline volume control, winding case.
  • Beyerdynamic DTX-20 - Balanced sound, good soundstage.
  • Sennheiser MX 400 / MX 450 / MX 500 - Not much bass, good mids and treble for the price, decent soundstage. The MX-500 have inline volume control. All three come with a nice winding case.
  • Sony MDR-E818LP - Better bass than the Sennheisers.
  • Yuin PK 3 - Probably the best earbuds you can get in that price range... for $50, not $30, unfortunately. Check out this review.

Clip-on, neckband, streetstyle, etc.
  • Koss KSC55 - Neckband style.
  • Koss KSC75 - Clip-on style, good bass, mids, and treble. One of the best sounding $10 phones available (can be modded for more treble, which I personally find unnecessary). Also, for those who don't like clip-ons, they can be modded to be over the head cans.
  • Sennheiser PMX 60 - Neckband style.

Disclaimer: I do not know every phone listed here personally - some information is gathered from some reliable sources on the net. In this thread I only recommend phones where a lot of people agree upon good sound quality for a low price.

(This thread is a work in progress... feel free to contribute!)
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2007, 03:31 PM
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Am I the only one who loves the Koss Spark Plugs?
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2007, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a12ctic View Post
Am I the only one who loves the Koss Spark Plugs?

Yes. As long as you enjoy them though, it's all good, right?
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:57 AM
Slothuus Slothuus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a12ctic View Post
Am I the only one who loves the Koss Spark Plugs?
Rather old post to quote, but anyways...
I just ordered those little bastards but I haven't got any mp3-player to try them with yet, since is was going to buy the Creative ZEN Stone. Luckily the way more appealing ZEN Stone Plus is now released, so I'll wait for that one instead

Are the Koss Spark Plugs good? The big pro according to the item description is the bass quality and depth, so I'm exited to hear that.

Anyways, for a price equal to $20 (I'm living in Denmark, everything is a bit more expensive over here) they are not expensive enough to make me unhappy no matter what!

I am thinking about buying the Ultimate Ears Metro.fi 2, they're just around $75 but are they a lot better than the Koss?
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2007, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slothuus View Post
I am thinking about buying the Ultimate Ears Metro.fi 2, they're just around $75 but are they a lot better than the Koss?
For $57 (and free shipping) you can get MylarOne X3 (normal bass) or XB (xtra bass), which are better than most $100 IEMs, definitely better than the Metro.Fi 2, and even better in some aspects than Super.Fi 5.
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:56 PM
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dfkt:

I can probably find the answer to this question with diligent searching here or at Head-fi, but I'm lazy tonight.

Do you have any recommendations for replacement tips for the MylarOne X3?

Thanks, Steve
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2007, 07:52 AM
Slothuus Slothuus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
For $57 (and free shipping) you can get MylarOne X3 (normal bass) or XB (xtra bass), which are better than most $100 IEMs, definitely better than the Metro.Fi 2, and even better in some aspects than Super.Fi 5.
The problem is just, that if i order something on eBay I have to pay a lot of taxes (I tried that last time)... So the price is a lot higher.
And here in Denmark everything seems to be so expensive
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2007, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a12ctic View Post
Am I the only one who loves the Koss Spark Plugs?
I am also a fan of the sparkplugs ! I tried more expensive brands, but went back to the sparkplugs.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2007, 08:08 PM
Ne_idet Ne_idet is offline
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Default MDR-EX71 anyone?

Any one of you guys ever considered Sony MDR-EX71? I say it is fairly costly as a pair costs $50, but I think it is an exellent in ear phone. I've had it for about 5 months, and I never regretted investing $50 for it. It definately supports with fullfilling bass and crisp treble.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2007, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ne_idet View Post
Any one of you guys ever considered Sony MDR-EX71? I say it is fairly costly as a pair costs $50, but I think it is an exellent in ear phone. I've had it for about 5 months, and I never regretted investing $50 for it. It definately supports with fullfilling bass and crisp treble.
The EX51 and 71 are some of the worst sounding, most overpriced IEMs I ever heard. Everything about them is bad: muddy bloated bass, non-existent veiled midrange, shrieking sibilant treble, horrible build quality, J-style cable.

Here's a spreadsheet, my personal opinion about several IEMs I own: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=15243 - the bottom place is too good for the EX...
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:41 PM
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Sony MDR-V150 - Closed, somewhat isolating. Excellent bass and mids. Highs leave something to be desired... but for $12 you can't complain!

EDIT: Apparently you can complain. After reading all the negative reviews, I'm taking back my recommendation. I'm hoping Sony was just using better drivers back in 2005, when I bought my pair. Otherwise, maybe I should quit reviewing audio equipment...

Look away, nothing to see here folks.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:18 PM
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Thanks Tobey, but I'm not sure if I should recommend them, seeing that you can get other ones for about the same price - and based on these opinions:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2007, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Thanks Tobey, but I'm not sure if I should recommend them, seeing that you can get other ones for about the same price - and based on these opinions:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...highlight=v150

Good lord, I don't blame you! Maybe I'm not the audio enthusiast I thought I was...
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:21 PM
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The Creative EP-630's are on sale for $19.99 at the Creative website. US customers only, however. That sounds like a solid deal.

Yep, I think Im going to get the Creative EP-630's. From what Ive read, at $19.99, they are a good deal!!
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:55 PM
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Yeah, they may not have exactly the same drivers as the CX300 (12mm vs. 8.5mm drivers, AFAIK), but they sure get good reviews. For that price you can't go wrong.
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:24 AM
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Sony MDR-EX71SL In Ear Headphones - Really bright detailed sound, good bass, need some running in but after a few hours use a really good sound.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:08 AM
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Default Panasonic

Three questions, that I couldn't find sufficient answers through the search forums:

1. Has anyone tried any of the panasonic earphones?
2. Can any of the in-ear canal phones allow you to hear ambient noise as much as regular buds? Someone else asked this, but not many clear answers....I need to hear conversations without lowering volume or removing
3. Do the foam/rubber plugs wear out easily? Has anyone ever ordered replacements?

Thx!
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:13 AM
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1. I only know of absolutely terrible sounding Panasonic earbuds. The $100 Panasonic HJE70 should be good, however.
2. The V-Moda Vibe does not isolate very much, you can hear conversations without taking them out of your ears. But they're closer to the $80-100 category (but worth every penny).
3. Silicone plugs should last forever and are cleanable. Foam plugs get unhygienic rather quick and don't provide any advantages over silicone, IMO.
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:31 AM
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Here's a nice link for phones under $40: http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-budget/under-40/ (even if there are $60 phones in their "under $40" category... )

Headroom usually doesn't use marketing speech and nonsense... even if they have to sell their phones their reviews are rather spot-on.

They don't offer inexpensive IEMs, however - only headphones, neckband phones and earbuds.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2007, 10:21 AM
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dfkt, will any of those "cheap" phones work well the Cowon D2 which has a maximum output of 74mW@16Ω? (Am I talking about "driving?")

Thanks!
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