01-23-2007, 02:36 PM
Ultra Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
Good Inexpensive Phones
If you're looking for decent phones on a budget (less than $30), you might try some of these:
- 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.
- AKG K 324 P - Another Creative EP-630/Sharp HP-MD33S clone... comes with a case.
- Brainwavz Beta Pro - One of the best, most balanced, $30 IEMs I've heard so far. Good bass, decent clarity.
- Creative EP-630 - Heavy bass, decent mids and treble, good isolation.
- JVC HA-FX33 "Marshmallow" / JVC HA-FX55 "Gumy" - Good bass, decent mids and treble, good isolation.
- JVC HA-FX66 "Air Cushion" - Good fit, good bass, decent clarity, overall better than cheaper JVC models. Check out Frodo's review.
- Sennheiser CX 300 - Good bass heavy IEMs, not too muddy mids and treble. Usually cost more than $50, but can be found on eBay for less than $30. WARNING: lots of fake CX 300 are sold on eBay - check the seller's feedback before buying! Check out Aardvark's review.
- SoundMagic PL-30
- 2XL IEMs - Bassy, better than Sony Fontopia. Check out Yuki's review.
Clip-on, neckband, streetstyle, etc.
- 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.
- 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!)