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aeriyn

The Almighty "best Headphones Under $100" Thread

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i love e888s... gonna get around to getting a set of porta-pros sometime

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If you want some monitoring cans for home that are fantastically musical with a nice warm low end that still has punch look at the Sony MDR-7506's. I prefer IEM's for truly portable use. But for working at home you can't beat the Sony's for the price. They also have a relatively high Sensitivity and Low Impedance which makes them quite easy to drive by portable units. Comfortable fit, solid construction, the closed ear design also gives you a fair amount of isolation, really letting you get absorbed.

I use these for the Portables and for doing work on My DAW, they really let me know what I've gotten on "tape" after a recording.

YMMV

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in my search for good phones throughout the years (the last 11 years or so) i've encountered many brands..and...i did use some cheap stuff for a while...but when you're 13 you're pressed for cash and Sennheiser's weren't exactly cheap back then.

I used to have a nice pair of $89 Technics cans i got at an outlet for $19. I don't remember the model...all i can tell you is it had a funky size adjustment design, which ultimately lead to the death of the cans...the cans were mounted on this band..it was rather large..but, there was this vinyl strap attatched to spring loaded tracks...that's how the size adjustment was done...this broke within months. I starting buying whatever Sony cans i could that were in the $20 range...i thought they sounded pretty good...for a while the tiny little MDR-W08's were my choice on my MZ-E40...i'm still not sure what i was thinking. I used to like the Sony Earbuds if i couldn't get E40's (headphones used to last me 2 months, tops...same with the E40's)..i still think Sony makes both models..in some fashion...the earbuds that came with my PSP are are the same as the $10 ones i was buying about 5 years ago.

Currently..i SWEAR by my Sennheiser HD212Pro's. My first pair of Sennys were HD-202's...which are about $19.99...and are EXCELLENT. Mine however...the solder connection to the right can flaked out after a few months.

I paid $89.99 for my 212's back in 2003...but you can get them for around 60 bucks now. I am happy to report i am on the same pair...although..i've had a few problems..however, these things are designed nicely...and here's why.

For starters...some people might not like the headband..i love it..it's a solid piece of plastic..and after 2 years it's molded to my head. The driver elements detatch from the headband..they clip into a track that's got grooves inside so when you stick them on your head..after you adjust them, they'll sit in place.

After about a year...the connection on one of the cans crapped out...however..these aren't solder connections...the cable uses 1/16" sub-mini mono plugs and jacks. New replacement cable costs around $10 from Sennheiser. However, since i did have a rattling element..i bought a new pair last year...this is where it gets tricky. my original intention was to replace the cable and one element...why just the one? i don't know..cuz the other was sounding fine, so, i swapped leatherette pads and thought i was good to go...well...there was a problem..i had one element that had been broken in for a year..and one that hadn't...it caused for a slight imbalance which just basically annoyed the hell out of me...ultimately...i just kept the cable...i gave the cableless cans to my friend. Ironically tho...the gromit on the plug was defective, and within a few weeks was broken...so...i euventually sat down and forced myself to figure out how to solder this funky wire they used..which i had failed an attempt before..i hit the mark this time, and it's still holding. the element that was bad...for some reason has improved.

so..how do they sound? well..amazing...the bass is nice and punchy..i've actually tickled my inner ear with them..the treble is good and clean..smooth midranges....they have a 15 ft cord..it's made it difficult when going portable..but i've done it.

after almost 3 years..the pads are somewhat pretty worn...but..not totally worn out. they're a bit softer than before..but they've held up REALLY well. my constant flexing of the headband to make it tighter has caused the paint to crack..and the areas that i grab when adjusting the size show wear...but..overall..they've held up well, even to me.

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I received an early Christmas present from my brother! Sennheiser HD-201's! Wow! These things sound way better than anything I have. Crisp highs and tight bass. I did a quick test last night and it literally sounds like night and day. I can't beleive these $20 cans sound so good. When I use my old headphones it sounds like I stuffed cotton in my ears compared to these. Love them. :D

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I don't have alot of exposure to cheap headphones but, I've really enjoyed My Grados SR-60's

KOSS KTXPRO1's (Great Sound for under $20) and Sony EX-51's and 71's I really can't tell the difference. (Not pretty decent sound for under $50)

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Let me add another vote for Grados; I swear by them. Although I now own the $300 SR-325's, which are absolutely incredible, the SR-60's are one of the most detailed headphones you'll find for the price ($60). They might be a little light on the bass for some, but it's all a matter of taste: I myself greatly prefer to hear every little detail and grain on the master tape as opposed to having ear-shaking bass. YMMV.

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I like my Sony MDR-150's. Although I have a pretty large music collection I haven't had a lot of experience the more expensive models. Compared to all of the other headphones I've used in the past though I think they sound the best. Really warm, crisp and clear. $20 and well worth it in my opinion.

Edited by chojin

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Aeriyn,

Get your hands on a pair of Equation Audio RS20 (or the newer RS21s)and give them the test.

Im no headphone expert but they blew me away listerning back to a gig I recorded afew days previously. Talk about a sence of space - I was transported back to the gig.

People should know about these cans.

Edited by bongomaniac

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MDR-SA1000 - I've listened to these for about 4 minutes today, total. However, I think they deserve to be on the list. More to come in due time, but the soundstage and the utter detail blows the Grados out of the water.

Danged comfy too.

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How would you compare Panasonic RP-HJE50 with Sony MDR-E888?

( the following may cost more than 100USD though: are the expensive ATH-CM7/CM7TI,CM700/CM700TI/EC7/EC700/EC700Ti in another class beyond? Does anybody have experience with any of them? )

Edited by kuuan

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for the ease of use and also because of their sociability (they do not lock out external sound...which can be quite useful sometimes) I have just succumbed to the attraction of the Senn PX100...

I am very slowly climbing the ladder in listening experience from Senn MX350 ($7) -> MX 450 ($10) and Panasonic RP-JE50 ($25) now the Senn PX100 ($40)

so far I'm loving them... very easy to forget they are on and very natural sound (a little bit bass heavy but that is ok for me) and so easy as I travel a lot and the foldable design + case just provides the ease of use I had been looking for!

PS: I was in doubt to get the PX200 because of their closed design (less sound leakage in both ways) but then I remembered the reviews on this site and thought: "but hey, at work I mostly listen to quit(er) music and it would actually be good to be able to hear everyone" and then my girlfriend closed the deal by saying she doesn't mind my music coming through if I keep the levels a bit civilised...

Edited by The Low Volta

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any input about Koss SparkPlug or The Plug?

Was quite interested to buy them because of the low pricing, but was not sure if they sound good.

Currently I own a pair of Koss Porta Pro, Sony EX81 (cable rot, so chucked it in my drawer, never to see the light again), ATH-EM5 (on my second pair, the first suffered lose wiring).

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I tried a pair of The Plug earphones. They sounded really bad to me. Muffled sound, bloated bass, and no treble to speak of. I was not impressed.

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It is the same with me, as long as Koss The Plug are involved. Sound is not even acceptable, and that silicone ear plugs are bad thing to wear. Not to mention crappy plastic tubes that can even injured your ear. :angry:

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Grado SR60: everyone should own a pair. Pretty accurate across the whole range, with a nice punch and a wide soundstage. They've got good bass response; it's just not as echoey as IEMS.

JVC FX77: a recent addition for me. The SL version are Japan-only, but AudioCubes has them. Cheap, but excellent groovalizers. Fit and seal can be a bit fiddly, but they sit comfortably, and bass response is huge. Mids are just a hair recessed but are clear, as are the upper registers. A bit claustrophobic for classical, but excellent for electronic/rock.

Sony EX90: these singlehandedly make up for the sins of the EX71. Excellent highs and mids, and bass is accurate and tight. A bit pricey but worth it. Isolation is so-so, but they're an easy fit.

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I like my Sony MDR-150's. Although I have a pretty large music collection I haven't had a lot of experience the more expensive models. Compared to all of the other headphones I've used in the past though I think they sound the best. Really warm, crisp and clear. $20 and well worth it in my opinion.

Do you mean the MDR-V150? I tried them and they sounded like music was being played inside a tin can. I don't have an audiophile ear but it doesn't take an audiophile ear to realise this. Horrible.

Edited by Spare Tire

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Recently, the AKG K8DJ are slowly giving other popular under-$100 headphones (eg, SR60/80, PX100, KSC75, V6, etc) a run for their money over at Head-Fi. And, they're pretty picky over there.

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Do you mean the K 81 DJ? They are closed, how do they compare to the open grados and ksc75?

Yep. Excuse the typo. You'll have to check out the mega-thread on these headphones vs Grados, PX100, KSC75/35, and others. It's a VERY long read. I think I even remember some selling their SR80 because of them. There's even mention of the MS-1.

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Just brought a Sony NW-E005F and running a pair of koss KSC-75 on it, and i gotta tell you i impressed!! i got my 75's last year and i've happy ever since!

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Just about makes the grade as it's on the 100 USD border. See my post on the Sennheiser PCX 150 Active Noise cancelling phones.

http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=17832

Cheers

-K

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i just recently bought a pair of JVC inner ear buds for a spare; the price was right.

(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ETBYHK/ref=pd_cp_e_title/105-7889977-5297206)

i (rayzray) must say i am impressed with them and their (5-24,000) frequency range.

they sound AS good as or even bettah than my Sonly equivalents (sp) and my Panasonic ones too.

i gots me a blue/white pair; they also have PINK (whick stink in colour IMO) and i have just bought a white pair for a present/presant/prezint ??SP??.

just a rant to show-off them; this message may self destruct in 6 days. don't say i didn't warn yous.

Edited by rayzray

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