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edouble101

High quality headphones on the cheap

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I am looking at purchasing a set of high quality headphones without breaking the bank. I will be using them daily, directly connected to my iPhone 5. I want a set to have good tonal balance and smooth response. 

 

Requirements:

1. Tonally correct

2. Closed back to aid with outside noise rejection

3. Low impedance to help get a high output level

4. Smooth frequency response  

 

The German Maestro GMP 8.35 D looks like a good set at $250. 

 

Thoughts?

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Your idea of cheap and mine differ greatly if $250 is "cheap"

While I can't assist, stating an actual budget would help others.

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skull candy earbuds are awesome!  like 50 or60 bucks! i wear them on my motorcycle and theyre bout halfway up at 80 on the highway hooked to my iphone so... plenty loud!

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killer bass response also.

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Your idea of cheap and mine differ greatly if $250 is "cheap"

While I can't assist, stating an actual budget would help others.

$250 for a high quality set of studio monitors is cheap when compared to a lot that are over a grand.

Budget under $500.

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Your idea of cheap and mine differ greatly if $250 is "cheap"

While I can't assist, stating an actual budget would help others.

$250 for a high quality set of studio monitors is cheap when compared to a lot that are over a grand.

Budget under $500.

Just as a Ferrari is cheap compared to a Veyron, still wouldn't call the Ferrari "cheap" ;)

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hooked to an iphone listening to mp3s!?! hardly audiophile grade source. your gonna waste your loot

Edited by gsWes

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5. Beyerdynamic Custom Pro One


4. Grado SR80i


3. V-Moda Crossfade LP

 

2. Jaybird Bluebuds X
1. Audio Technica ATH-M50

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5. Beyerdynamic Custom Pro One

4. Grado SR80i

3. V-Moda Crossfade LP

 

2. Jaybird Bluebuds X

1. Audio Technica ATH-M50

 

The bass selector is neat on the Beyerdynamic Custom Pro One. I will have to look into those and the Audio Technica ATH-M50.

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Your idea of cheap and mine differ greatly if $250 is "cheap"

While I can't assist, stating an actual budget would help others.

$250 for a high quality set of studio monitors is cheap when compared to a lot that are over a grand.

Budget under $500.

Just as a Ferrari is cheap compared to a Veyron, still wouldn't call the Ferrari "cheap" wink.png

 

 

Your idea of cheap and mine differ greatly if $250 is "cheap"

While I can't assist, stating an actual budget would help others.

$250 for a high quality set of studio monitors is cheap when compared to a lot that are over a grand.

Budget under $500.

Just as a Ferrari is cheap compared to a Veyron, still wouldn't call the Ferrari "cheap" wink.png

 

This all depends on the balance in your check book to start with. 

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sennheiser hd 558 or 598

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I highly recommend the beyerdeynamic dt 990 pros. I use them with the fiio e17 because they are 250 ohm. They sound phenomenal and the headphone amp allows you to eq the bass where the headphones lack.

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What... Nobody on the beats by dre bandwagon? Lol I happen to love IEM headphones. The klipsch s4 are my personal favorites. Not entirely sure about over ears tho.

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He could get hd650s for less than 500. Sennheiser are the most comfortable headphones about. Berdynamic makes several good sets in the 2-400 range. Athm50 are around 100 bucks and there is very little at that price range that competes, especially in closed back cans. Takstar hi2050 sound very nice, 70 bucks. Check out superlux hd681 for 60 too. Monoprice has some very cheap ear buds that sound better than 300 dollar buds. The fit is a bit funky though. I would suggest budgeting in a fiio headphone amp. Most mid range headphones NEED a good amp or they just won't perform.

Also, are you a bass head or do you like flat response? If you're sensitive to highs I'd skip anything grado. Grado has the very best sound for classic rock. I have sr325i and I just love putting my Zeppelin vinyls through those cans. Akg 701s sound very good too. If you want a very bass heavy can, the vmoda cross fade LPs are good after a good break in. They really shine eq'd and amplified, overall too boomy for me except when I'm feeling the dub step urge. I have every pair mentioned plus about 40 more. The sennheiser hd650 are my favorites, hands down. 400 is the cap on headphones unless you want to start forking tons of cash into lossless recordings and amps and players and eqs. Fiio e11 I think its called and a set of hd650 or athm50 or even the akg 701 or 550(closed back)should run ya less than 500 and blow your mind to boot.

Now the akg headphones all take a long break in... like 100 hours, but they do sound great. They just aren't as comfortable as the sennheiser cans. Senn. Makes some closed back cans too but I have never used any of them but I hear the momentum cans are very good. Much better amped but fine without.

Beyerdynamic DT 880 and 990 are both very clear and flat. 990 range is better. Both sets are rather heavy for long sessions. Takstar hi2050 sound very close to the 880 but feel better on the head. They need amplification.

Audio technica athm50 are my best portable cans. Sparkly highs and good bass but not boomy. Also have some at700 open back cans and they are on par with the akg701 but have better low end range. The athm50 do well without amplification, but the 700s need it.

Sennheiser has my heart. My hd650s are the most comfortable, best sounding cans I have, nothing produces more accurate and clean bass, sparkly highs and clear mids. Not a bass heavy phone, but the bass is certainly there. They can work without amplification, but with it, they are unbelievable.

The akg 550 and athm50 are the only sealed headphones I consistently use. Also, fiio used to make a dac amp that hooked straight to an iPhone through the media port.

Edit. The fiio DAC doesn't work with the new 8 pin docking port iphones like the 5s. The line in amps work with any 3.5 mm analogue input.

Edited by Alanharthun

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Thank for all the recommendations! Alanharthun, great write-up!

 

I will not be using a separate amp or eq with these. 

 

I mentioned the GMP 8.25 D. These are what the IASCA judges use as a reference to judge tonality. Since I do compete, the GMP 8.25 D may be beneficial. 

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Popped over to headfi And those gmp cans are very well recommended for good clean sound and maximum isolation. Also very durable and portable. 35 ohm is good too since you don't wish to amp. The only real competition in your price range are the akg550 and the athm50. You have chosen well as far as I'm concerned.

I have just ordered a pair for myself, just because I collect cans and I love to compare them.

On a side. If you ever want to be amazed by cheap headphones, check the superlux 681 and mono price 8320. I keep 8320s in my to go bag. 17 bucks shipped with extra flanges to fit me big ear holes and they sound awesome. The 681 can go for 40-60. Great sound that doesn't hurt me if I lose them or break them or give them away.

Edited by Alanharthun

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I may pick up the 8.35 d's and then the Beyerdynamic Custom Pro One. It is nice to have an example on hand on what my car audio system is judged upon and I love the variable bass reflex design of the Custom Pro One's to satisfy my bass head needs when desired. 

 

I need sometime to research all the pairs you mentioned Alanharthum. Thanks for your contribution to this thread trink40.gif

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I'm glad the beats comment was a joke lol. I can't stand those.... 

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I've run the Monoprice Enhanced Bass buds (8320) and was pretty underwhelmed by them. The major issue I had was with fit, which Alan doesn't have a similar problem due to his luckily-larger ears. I would say a solid bet for you on the reference end when you're takling about earbuds would be Shure's lower line (SE215); ran mine for about two years unamped before I shifted over to the Etymotic ER-4P (also a solid choice, though anemic on the low end). If your budget can swing it, though, the SE535 from Sure (or a set of customs from Westone or Ultimate Ears) would rock your world. IMO, they offer a very balanced sound and have a distinct advantage being a multi-driver in-ear setup. Get those things to seal right, and it's just bliss.

 

As for the Audio Technica, those are some very impressive cans on a budget as I do believe you reach a point of diminishing returns in the sub-150 market and those ATs are riding the apex. Another solid set to look for with some oomph that I've had in my rotation for the better part of 7 years are the Sony MDR-V700DJ; I feel they're relatively neutral, yet are known for coloring the bottom end just a bit more based on its intended source material. Still, they're comfortable, clear, and pretty decent at imaging for a set of closed-back cans.

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I have a small home studio as I produce EDM and also DJ.

 

For monitoring when I can't have the volume up, my AKG K240 Studios do the job fantastically. They have a very impressive midrange, but lack a bit on the low end. Nothing some EQing can't fix to suit my tastes.

 

I can wear them for 8+ hours without them feeling uncomfortable. I power them with a FiiO E17 USB DAC. 24bit/96k smile.png

 

Of course, producing/mixing on headphones is not the optimal choice if I can use my studio monitors + subwoofer at a decent volume. I will always choose those over my AKGs. Come night time though, K240s are still very welcome.

Edited by hatrix

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i have a set of monster ncredible n-tune headphones and love them. use them on my galaxy s3 and ipod. they have great sound and bass in them, plus i like the fact that the cord has a button for pausing....also the cord breaks away from the headphones. overall im very pleased with them, esp for the cost(roughly 120 bucks) and come to find out monster is the maker of dr dre beats so quality is there.

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