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czGLoRy

$150 To Spend... Need Headphones!

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i recently looked into buying one of the best headphones in the world... i settled on the Koss Portapro's which are somewhat cheaper $40-50, but they first came out in the eighties and they still make them today, no design change because they are THAT good! :)

 

anyway, on my travels around the net looking at what are the BEST headphones on the market, you need to spend a decent amount of money on Sennheisers to get decent sound quality as they've started making inferior budget models to appeal to the mass-market...

 

the Grado SR-125's look like something a sonar technician would wear in a submarine to me, but apparently they have the best sound in the world for the $150 mark and are highly rated around the world by professionals and consumers alike... apparently they aren't the most comfortable headphones though and need to be broken in (i guess like a shoe? lol) you can however get pads for them to make them comfortable

 

it's younger brother is the Grado SR-80 which is also highly respected in the audiophile community... you can get these for $95

 

the Grado's, while very well balanced, are also suited for heavy driving bass... so if that's your cup of tea (it is mine) then you might wanna check them out

 

if you want something more comfortable you could go for some Sennheiser 580's ($159) or Sennheiser 555's ($149) although these are more suited to extremely high detail music like classical, jazz, etc... the bass on Sennheiser's generally sounds better when driven from an amp rather than a computer or portable music player of w/e description... e.g. my Sennheiser HD575's sound like butt* if i listen to my mp3 or cd player directly, sound ok on the computer, and are breathtaking through my amp...

 

* relatively of course, it's not like they actually sound like butt, they just don't sound as good without an amp driving them

 

other recommendations for the ~$150 mark

 

AKG K501

Etymotic ER-6

Shure E3C

Sennheiser PXC250

 

oh oh oh, i just re-read the thread and saw you said "mostly for an iPod" in which case i'd recommend the Koss Portapro's and the Sennheiser PX100's as they are both mind-blowing sound for the price (~$40) and both fold-up!! they sound about the same, but it seems to be that the Portapro has the edge in terms of sound, while the PX100 has a much more modern aesthetic design

 

definitely check those two out as they are lightweight, folding, amazing-sounding, award-winning headphones... cheaper than $150 but MUCH more suited to portable audio, the AKG's and Sennheiser's sound best driven through an amp, so you'd need something like a $150 portable headphone amplifier ON TOP of the cost of the $150 'phones!  the Shure and Etymotic's are designed to work well driven direct from the source as they are in-ear (not stupid 'buds' but actually INSIDE your ear like an ear-plug, music pros use them for monitoring on stage for example)

 

my current headphones:

 

Sony MDR-G61 (recently retired portable headphones, 5 years of use and abuse)

Sennheiser HD-575 (home headphones)

Koss Portapro (my new love)

 

:music:

 

edit: just have to say that the Koss Portapro's rival the sound of my much more expensive Sennheiser HD-575's and sound BETTER if comparing them from my iRiver iFP-899 mp3 player (which has a 5-band parametric EQ +/- 15dB on each band!!!)

 

also, i look like a tit if i wear my Senny's outside the house, unless i'm like dj-ing or something lol

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i read a review today that soudned a LOT like what you said... did you write a professional review over grado and the sennheiser/portapro? Seems like your the same guy. VERY useful thank yuo a lot. Sounds like the Koss Portapro would be best, what do others think? are they comfortable, they look really funky.

Edited by czGLoRy

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lol, no, it's a combination of my own knowledge and experience, and my recent adventures on the internet while looking into what are the best headphones in the world (without paying a fortune)

 

so yeah, i have summarised and plagurised reviews and opinions from all over the internet to kinda give you the concise version :)

 

edit: the portapros are very comfortable, the most comfortable portable headphones i've ever worn, so glad i don't have to wear those ear pinching sony mdr-g61's anymore! ("street-style" round the back of the head) they just pure hurt after several hours..

 

these portapros are so comfortable i could sleep in them lol... the band with the three comfort settings is a brilliant feature as it lets you adjust the "clamp" strength on your head, i have mine on medium so that they stay on my head, but don't squeeze too tight...

 

they DO look really funky... lol... sykocus says they look like a portable toilet - aka portapotty - :lol: but meh, he doesn't like anything... i like the style of them, not like eighties and rubbish, but eighties and cool looking... i think they look like some sort of special ops headgear or something lol... "i am sam fisher. i am a splinter cell" :D

 

apparently they sell the Portapro's and PX100's in retail stores over there... i'd say go check them out if you can

 

:music:

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I quite like my Audio-technica ATH 911's... but they're old and you probably can't get them anywhere anymore I expect.

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If you want the best possible music quality, go with in-ear. Shure e3c's will give you the best quality for music in that price range as far as I'm concerned. If you are looking for gaming, i wouldn't suggest in ear as the occlusion effect will bother you if you use a mic (the air chamber left between your eardrum and the sealed earbud with create a booming sound when you talk and it makes your own voice very loud in your head) But for solely music, shure e3c's all the way. they are more comfortable then any over-the-head/monitor headphones as they don't touch any part of the outer ear and when they are slid into your ear you don't feel them at all, plus they come standard with a custom fitting chart and different pieces to use for your ears.

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If you want the best possible music quality, go with in-ear. Shure e3c's will give you the best quality for music in that price range as far as I'm concerned. If you are looking for gaming, i wouldn't suggest in ear as the occlusion effect will bother you if you use a mic (the air chamber left between your eardrum and the sealed earbud with create a booming sound when you talk and it makes your own voice very loud in your head) But for solely music, shure e3c's all the way. they are more comfortable then any over-the-head/monitor headphones as they don't touch any part of the outer ear and when they are slid into your ear you don't feel them at all, plus they come standard with a custom fitting chart and different pieces to use for your ears.

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i tried out the koss portapros and they did not seem comfortable, had a metal piece that poked my head. The Stennheiser H555s were GREAT, but i dont think they are worth $130. Very limited selection here. I would look more into the grados, butr you said they aren't very comfortable.

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not the most comfortable with the stock "pads".. they are truly old school in that respect... but i'd seriously look into the comfy pads that you can get to make them comfortable... basically, if i had the money i would have got the Grado SR-80s but the price is a little out of my realistic range atm...

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