Hi, I'm looking at getting a set of headphones. I've always been a fan of sound isolating ear-buds but i've had probably 5 pairs fail/wear out on me, so i decided if im going to dish out some money for yet another listening device i might as well get a nice set of headphones that won't wear out within a year if i use them daily. Also i recently bout a Zoom R24 and am going to be doing lots of recording so, i need some headphones that are versatile,"something that will sound amazing with my ipod, zoom, and my computer." I have to stay under $100 dollars, and after spending days on end doing research i still can't decide/find what i want in that price range. I want accurate sound reproduction so what i hear while im mixing is what it will sound like when played threw other devices, and i do want good bass, but not "boomy." I have friends with sets of $40 skull candies and what not and the bass overly present but is sickening in a bad way, "very muddy." On some songs its okay but on any normal song everything sounds so muddy as they'r trying to boost the bass and it ruins it. I just want good solid punchy bass, with accurate sound reproduction on the full spectrum. What would you guys recommend/what do you all use?
If you're still looking at getting buds, I'd say Sennheiser CX300s would probably suit that.
If you want over-ear ones, you'll get less for your money, but (again) Sennheiser HD201 or 202s would be best. Or the Sony MDR range.
I wouldn't suggest going with anything less than Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They are the best headphones for recording under ~$400, and you can get them on eBay brand new for ~$115.
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I'v been getting kind of discouraged with ear buds breaking all the time, so i think this time around i want to get some over the ear headphones. I'll take a look at those headphones on ebay but im not sure, I really don't want to spend all that money. I just bout that R24 recorder for 499.99 and im going to have to be buying a new phone here pretty soon so not a whole lotta money lying around to be blowing on headphones/ear buds. If i didn't have a budget i'd love to get me a set of Shure SE535 ear buds and a set of over the ear headphones but unfortunetly i don't so i've got to try and find something that will do the job the best it can for my price range, which i really hate to do.

What i've looked at so far and am considering are:





Does anybody have any experience with any of these or have any suggestions for something better in that price range? I really, really, want to stay below $100 dollars if possible.
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I wouldn't suggest going with anything less than Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They are the best headphones for recording under ~$400, and you can get them on eBay brand new for ~$115.

I have the ATH-M2X..... They were cheap.
I'm looking on ebay and the cheapest i see those Audio Technica ATH-M50s "new" is 159.99 however on amazon you can get them for 150.96 and free shipping, but still out of my price range.
Last edited by broken flyer at Jan 24, 2012,
Grado SR80.

Accurate, albeit a little forward sounding (if you like rock/metal then you will love the sound profile), with a sparkling high end and tight, punchy bass. The soundstage isn't as wide as, say, Sennheiser or AKG headphones but for the price you will have a hard time finding better.

Oh, replace the earpads if you get them. They are terribly uncomfortable compared to aftermarket replacements.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro they are a good price range and a pretty accurate. If you have the money then I would go Beyerdynamic for home stuff.
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I've been eyeing up the Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs. I've seen them for sale at Guitar Center for $80 and online (Amazon) for $65. Seem to get good reviews
I'll take a look at those ATH M40fs, as that sounds more like my price range. Those, grato sr80s look neat but it looks like they're open backed so wouldn't other people be able to hear what your listening to?
Yes, the Grado's are open backed so sound leakage is an issue. If you want to avoid that, I would probably recommend against them.

The Senn HD280s are also great for referencing but I find that for general music listening they can be a tad bit unengaging.

PS: If you haven't already, take a look at the Head-Fi forums. Really helpful guys over there.
Last edited by Mr. Jiggy Fly at Jan 24, 2012,
What about these? Has anybody tried Behringer headphones? I use lots of other stuff made by them and haven't had a single issue yet, but i never realized they made headphones too...




They'r super cheap and that worries me a bit, but everything they make is rather cheap and as far as my experience with them, they'v been nothing but high quality.
Ya, sound leakage will be an issue, as im still in high school and im planning on using these to listen to music on my ipod at school. Maybe i need something like the senn hd280s that are eq'ed really flat then also get a headphone pre-amp with adjustable eq so they could be a bit more engaging as you said. I do listen to rock mostly and the way you described those grato's in sound, is about what i'm after. Clear highs and mids, and punchy defined bass "not muddy", with accurate sound reproduction.
No need for an external eq, just use a program like J. River or Music Bee (assuming you are on Windows) for the built in EQ. Both have some of the best EQ settings that I have heard.

Also, don't buy headphones with the expectation that you will have to add other components to get the sound you want. You should find headphones that meet your needs without need for a DAC or external EQ.

Honestly, I don't think that you would like the Sennheiser HD280s. From what you describe, the Grado sound signature is what you would like. Have you considered in-ear monitors? I made the switch last year (I use Sennheiser IE8) and I couldn't be happier. For your price range and based on the sound you are going for, consider the Grado iGi or Denon AH-C560R in-ear monitors.


I've considered it but i'm not real sure. If i ever get into a live situation where i need headphones while performing or in ear monitors then i would definitively be getting in ear monitors instead of headphones but for recording, im thinking i'd like over the ear headphones. Whats your experience as far as noise cancellation with in ear vs. over ear?
I would say any pair of Skullcandy over-ear style headphones. All the ones that I've used are great quality, and have a great replacement plan if they break.
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From the standpoint of both production and general music listening, I prefer in-ear monitors. I was an overear enthusiast for a long time, but if you can find the right in-ears then you will not look back.

By noise cancellation do you mean isolation? In-ears are, from my experience, much better at keeping outside noise out. It helps a ton with production, as I can hear all the little details that my bigger headphones (Grado SR225i and Sennheiser HD600) would sometimes lack due to bad isolation. It's important to get a good seal when inserting the in-ear monitors, so they are a bit more finicky, but once you get used to it they are quite rewarding. I do all my production with in-ear monitors now.
Ya I ment isolation. I still think I'm looking for headphones... I think right now, for what I'm doing headphones are going to be better.