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  #1  
Old 02-16-2011, 09:09 PM
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Default Any suggestions for sub $100 over ear headphones

I am looking for a set of closed, over the ear headphones for less than $100. I need a pair that would sound good without the need for an amp.

I will be using them to listen to music on my computer and my cowon s9. I listen to mostly ska and punk music.

I plan on using them mostly for home use and for a plane ride I am taking soon.


Any suggestions would be great
Thanks!

Last edited by steviep; 02-16-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2011, 09:53 PM
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$100 isn't a huge budget but you should be able to find something nice for that much. Along with your location if you add the rest of the info here you'll get better suggestions.

Most headphones won't need an amp with a decent source. As a very rough ballpark figure if the headphones are 32 ohms or less, and decent sensitivity, 100 dB or higher, you should get plenty of volume. Remember those are very generalized figures. But I've worked my way through several sets of over the ears cans in the last couple of years and those numbers haven't steered me wrong yet.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:04 PM
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Price Range: around $100, would prefer not to go over
Type/Design: Full or portable
Closed Style: Dont want sound leaking and want good isolation
Primary location of use: Mostly at home. They may go outside but rarely
Preferable SQ or Sound Signature: Balanced sounds good
Media: Ska (music has a lot of use of horns, bass guitar), Punk
Source: Cowon S9, Laptop
Location: US

As for circumaural, supra-aural...I don't know, I am looking for comfortable with little to no sound leakage so I am guessing that would be the circumaural.

I currently use a set of Sennheiser CX500 iems for all of my music listening

Last edited by steviep; 02-16-2011 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:18 PM
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I'd take a look at the Sennheiser HD428. I have a set and use them for most of my non-basshead music. They can produce tons of bass if you EQ for it but it's not their strong point. Yes, I know ska and reggae are not the same genre but there's enough sonic similarities that I have no problems enjoying my reggae with them.

Lightweight and very comfortable but not very portable. They don't fold in any way. The isolation is just middling so I don't how well they would do for your plane trip. I know they don't leak much sound out but will allow a bit of the outside world in.

The Senn HD280 might be worth looking at too. Not quite as comfortable due to a greater clamping pressure but the isolation is great on those. They're studio monitors so they present a very balanced sound. I found an odd little dip in the bass range around 100hz I had to EQ out but after that they present themselves very nicely.

A bit, very small bit, quiet with my portable players but I still don't think you need get an amp for them. I'll bump the volume a few notches on my Clip+ and they get as loud as I'll ever need. If I max it out they go 'way above any sane listening level.

I have other sub-$100 headphones but those seem to come closest to what you're looking for. Hopefully someone else with a wider selection or more knowledge will kick in.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:20 PM
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I'm currently looking at the Senns HD448, HD-280 Pro, and HD428. Pretty tough decision hah. Are there any other ones I should try looking at? I have read some fairly good things on brands like AKG and Audio technica.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:39 PM
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I had the Senn HD 448 before the 428.When I got the 428 I found the sound signature so close I couldn't recommend to spend the extra for the 448. Sonic memory is notoriously unreliable so I don't want to say they were exactly the same but they are very close.

I've been reading some very good things about the AKG 518. If I could find them in black I would have a set by now. I'll probably just bite the bullet and get them in red or blue. I've noticed dfkt only gives an unqualified "get those" to a very few sets of headphones. You should check them out and see if they fill the bill for you.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:22 PM
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I am starting to lean towards the 428s or now the AKG 518 because I am seeing good things on them and they are $40 cheaper than the 448s.

I have read these 428s are lean on bass while the 518s are heavy on bass. And I have read that the fit of the AKGs is quite small and I have a big head.

Now to try to figure out which one I would prefer...

On a side not, are the Sennheiser CX500s considered to be bass heavy?

Last edited by steviep; 02-17-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:36 AM
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The Senn CX line tends to be bass heavy in general but I've never heard the CX500 so I can't comment on those. The only Senn IEMs I have are the CX300 and the CX200. I had the CX150 but I traded them away in a deal before I really got familiar with those. Both are bass heavy but oddly enough I like the bass on the cheaper CX200 much better. There's less bass but what's there is much quicker and less muddy.

I'd hang around a bit for more suggestion. I only comment about and recommend items I've personally experienced. Someone else may come along with a suggestion that's just right for you. Take a look at the JVC line. The HARX branch of that line was a hot item of some forums not too long ago. I've seen some that would interest me if they wouldn't come so close to what I all ready have.

The Darkside recently got himself a set of the Philips Stretch he seem very happy with. He's also mentioned these several times.

I'll be the first to admit I'm no headphone authority. Don't let my recommendations limit your search There's quite a few over the ear sets that might fill the bill for you. I'd look around, list a few that catch your interest and see what others think.

They usually will be decent about it as long as you're not trying to check up on some Skullcandy.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:53 AM
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Did you read the sticky? That's usually a good place to start.

http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59847
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:35 AM
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If you will not use the headphone much outside, except for plane rides, then there are perhaps better full size options than the K518. I have experiences with the K518LE, and while it is a great portable phone it can become uncomfortable after a while. So it works great for commuting on the train or just taking a walk, but I wouldn't recommend it for extended use at home.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2011, 05:51 PM
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Well I am looking into the Sennheiser 428s, AKG518, JVC HARX900, and Audio-Technica ATH-M30
They all seem to have some fairly good reviews and cost around $60.

Last edited by steviep; 02-18-2011 at 07:49 PM. Reason: change info
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2011, 08:05 PM
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If you're ever unsure about the look and feel of a set of headphones head for Youtube. There's dozens "unboxings". Looking at one of the JVC HARX900 I see they're semi open. Instead of the back just being a mesh of some kind they vent sound around the edge of the ear cup. From the looks of it both the K99 and the JVC HARX900 are open, it's just the opening is smaller.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2011, 02:28 AM
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Well after looking into things enough I think I have decided on the Audio-Technicas ATH-M30. Although I am curious what the difference is between the M30s and the M35s. It seems like the M35s are a foldable $10 more version of the M30s.

Either way thanks for all the help!
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2011, 02:46 AM
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Looks pretty much the same to me. The full specs on the Audio-Tecnica site read exactly the same. The 65 ohms at 100 dB sensitivity might be a bit quiet but Cowons have a good amp section so I'm guessing should be all right. Let us know how much you like them once you get them.

Please don't do anything silly like burning them in with high levels of oddball frequencies like pink noise. One of the most fun parts of a new set of headphones for me is listening them in. Dynamic driver 'phones take a few hours to loosen up and start showing their true sound. Takes a little while for your brain and ears to wrap themselves around the new sound signature also. Once you get used to them let us know what you think.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:13 AM
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Ya I think I will end up paying $45 for the (unfoldable?) M30s. I do not think the ability to fold them is worth the $10. Also with the reviews I read on head-fi it seemed to be loud enough without an external amp.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:04 PM
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Well I got my headphones and I am quite happy with them. Ended up actually going with the folding ones (M35) after thinking about walking around an airport with a big pair of non folding headphones. Either way thanks for the help!
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:14 PM
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Nice to hear that. I hope they sound as good as some of the reviews I've read since you pointed them out. Why don't you drop by and give your impressions of them once you listen them in a while? It would be nice to be able to point the next person at a good pair of inexpensive 'phones.

Or tell them to stay the heck away! Let us know which it is.
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