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Recommend me some headphones

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Overlord, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    OK, so I've used earbuds for years on PC. Like, probably since I started using computers, and for several hours a day. However the problem with earbuds is that one end (almost always the left one) inevitably ends up breaking so you have to throw it out, and in recent years there's been a drift towards shitty things like these:


    I physically cannot cope with this type of earbud, I use these type:


    As such they're costing a lot more now to buy new pairs of because everyone seems to be pimping the shitty type at the low end, and I'm sick of buying new earbuds every year or so. I'm currently using a pair of free ones I got on an American flight that have zero bass to them, and this has to be a temporary measure. Basically Retro, I'm asking advice for a permanent replacement to this - a decent headset.

    I'm thinking a top-end price of £50, ideally less, with a preference of a 3.5mm jack hookup rather than USB. Anyone got any recommendations?
  2. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    I love my Philips SH8802!


    They are fashionable (there are many patterns and colors to choose!), have a very powerful bass and defined high frequencies. As I got used to the nice sound, using earbuds is now unnaceptable to me, so I use them at home and when I go out!

    The cable is deattacheable (the little section on the image is is useful as you can buy a replacement generic female-to-male 3,5mm cable if it breaks :)

    If you don't mind a bigger headphone, just get some circumaural ones, as they are more confortable and haver better sound as the speakers are usually bigger, too.
  3. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    Sonic CD's Sound Test Member
    I've been using a pair of Sony MDR-ZX100s for about 2 years now. Solid, acceptable quality and they're durable as well as being able to fold the cups so I can put them away. Only drawback is the sound isn't enclosed too well. They go for about £15 now:

    Also, thanks to companies like Currys/PC World and HMV letting you sample them in-store (just clean them first), I've decided to invest in a pair of these in the future:

    Basically, an Extra Bass sort of variant of the ones I already have. The quality is superb and they're suprisingly very comfortable. They also enclose the sound so people around you can't hear what you can.

    Another set I've sampled and would also recommend are these:

    My friend has a pair of these and they're really good as well. Comfortable and the sound is really good. There's a little sound leak (not too bad) and the wire is a little thin (which some people will hate as it's prone to tangling and breaking) but they're a solid pair of headphones.
  4. steveswede


    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    Yeah I second the Sony headphones, well these ones.


    Been using that same make for years and used them for DJing and music production. The only problem with them is that the plastic headband is prone to snapping and after a while the cushions start to perish with black flakes falling off. But in all fairness this is an inherent problem that I've had with almost all my headphones, even ones that cost me £150.
  5. Alriightyman


    I am back... from the dead! Tech Member
    Somewhere in hot, death Florida
    0101001101101111011011100110100101100011 00000010: 0101001100000011 01000101011001000110100101110100011010010110111101101110
    Sony make very good headphones. I have a pair of MDR-V500's that I bought back in 2004. I still have them and they are in superb condition. They were on sale for $80 when I bought them, but retail for normally for $129.99, which I think is out of your price range. Also, basically everything steveswede said. You can't go wrong with a pair of sony headphones.

    Also, these Apple earphones are good. I hate those headphones that goes completely into your ear, and these are similar, but they are different and quite comfortable.
  6. winterhell


    I'm on the 'cheaper' route because headphones here tend to brake every 2-3 years. Currently I'm on Panasonic RP-HTF295
    pleasantly surprised by the bass. The cable is 5M long so it might not be your thing.
  7. MarkeyJester


    Original, No substitute Resident Jester
    Looking for bigger, quality, unlikely to break headphones? My personal choice are these:
    You may hear a slight ringing after hearing them however d=
    I must admit though, on a serious level, I too have had the same problem. The cheap ones I get generally only last about 4 months, and in some cases, one side doesn't entirely break, but players quieter than the other side. I too have never been fond of those in-eared puffy ones, but given no choice in the matter, you do eventually get used to them... Maybe you should give them a bit of a solid chance, let your ears get used to them?
  8. Lyrica


    (Formerly: Donnyku) Oldbie
    Wedding Planning
    Personally I've been using my Playstation Gold Headset lately has my headphones of choice. They have great sound (and if you have a PS3 or PS4 can be customized) and are usable on anything with a 3.5mm pin
  9. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    It's hard to when as soon as you put them in they just fall right back out. I refuse to use the damn things.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I've got some solid material to work with here.
  10. Dude


    Tech Member
    Southbridge, MA
    Random VR/AR trash
    Steveswede is definitely right about the sony headphones. They're pretty tough to kill. However, These headphones lasted me 5 years. They were already old when I got them, so I have no idea how old they actually were. They have excellent sound quality, and the brand is known around the world as being reliable.
  11. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    I'm also gonna throw in my vote for these, I bought my pair about 8 years ago for $20 on clearance and they've been toughing it out ever since. They sound pretty good and they're nice and comfy. Definitely a great value.

    If you feel like spending a little more I would also recommend a pair of Sennheisers or Grados, you really can't go wrong with those.
  12. Xilla


    I was just about to recommend those too! Had them for a good few years and never let me down :) Even with the wear and tear you'd expect the sound quality has never dropped.
  13. Ritz


    Subhedgehog Member
    This kind of discussion isn't all that useful without providing history for comparison. In order of use: The Sony MDR-V150 was the earliest pair I can still put a name to and I wasn't dissatisfied with them, but they fell apart long before one of the speakers failed. Grado SR-60s were Head-Fi's budget quality darlings, but they hurt my ears with extended use and the highs were pretty fatiguing. Rolled with the Koss PortaPro for a while, which sounded excellent for the price range despite being built for portability, but those are even more uncomfortable. I got a modded Fostex T50RP next, which sounded great but requires a decent amp ($100+). The Shure SRH840 had an equivalent sound quality without an amp and a much more convenient design- my favorites so far. Using the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 now, which sounds a little less detailed than the SRH840.

    I got the Fostex and Shure cans used on ebay for ~$70, but they're hella expensive now. I feel stupid for paying twice as much for the ATH-M50 (they were store-bought), but they go for $60-80 online. Plenty on eBay, they're like one rung below Dre Beats in popularity right now I think. I'd definitely recommend the PortaPros if you don't mind sore ears.

    Disclaimer: Using a Xonar Essence XT right now, which is supposed to be a top tier DAC but needs the on-board equalization to come even close to sounding neutral and/or decent for some reason- could be that the card is damaged, or it might be the headphones, but basically don't quote me on the ATH-M50s. I've never been able to distinguish 192 kbps mp3s and FLAC so maybe my ears suck
  14. Andeh


    Derp herp. Oldbie
    These are very comfortable and have very nice all-around sound. Sennheiser HD 219 and come in well under your budget too.

    Audio-Technica ATH-M30. Now, these I haven't had the chance to take a listen to but I have a pair of ATH-M50s and they're the best sounding and most comfortable ones I've ever used. The design of these is pretty similar so I imagine they'd be pretty comfortable.
  15. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Lot of support for the Sony phones... I'm leaning towards that. Someone suggested an AKG K44 - Anyone got any experience with AKG vs the Sonys?
  16. GeneHF


    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    I'll just throw the pair I use in here. They're some cheap basic Sony street style around the neck headphones. They're comfy, have good sound quality... they're my workhorse for music editing as well (pause for slight gasps), though they're not very good at blocking loud external sounds, which makes them not very good for train rides when the cars go fast or the plane without making the music louder.
  17. For 20 quid you're going to end up with crap either way. In that price range I've had Philips SHP-1600 all my life, and they're great value. If you're looking for something that can actually accurately reproduce sound, you need to up that budget, yo :P
  18. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Frankly I'd be happy enough with something that sounds like a pair of earbuds that isn't going to kill itself and cost more than 3p to make. =P I'm thinking a £30 or so set would do it.
  19. Falk


    Dunno how useful this is to you but I've used AKG K702s for a decade now. Because I grew up in an environment where the only time I could tinker with audio stuff free of noise was in the dead of the night and the fact that I'm 30% deaf in my right ear (flipping phones is easy) I typically do all my work with headphones and eventually stuck with these. I always have a spare pair in case one breaks, at which point I get another spare pair immediately.

    Crisp, transparent, has just the right amount of isolation for my day-to-day use. While for a pure musical listening experience I might have preferred something more isolated, it's something I can live with.
  20. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

    Be who you needed when you were younger Administrator
    Tower 8 ️
    Welp, this.
    I actually use the Sony street style headphones for listening to music when I ride my motorbike, 'cause I'm a rebel and you can't see them under a helmet. :v:

    So, a few recommendations here:

    - If you're looking to stay with earbud style, I'd recommend the Sennheiser MX 365 (or their newer version, the MX 375): they avoid the nubs you complain about and for a tenner you can't go wrong.
    - For over-the-ear style headphones, one of the best sub-$100 picks is also one of the cheapest: the Sennheiser HD 201. Personally I've only ever had the HD 202/203, but I've read great reviews from people who give a shit about headphones like The Wirecutter, Head-Fi and HeadRoom.
    - The Sony MDR lines that people keep recommending here are showing up for a reason: they're a pretty good bang for your buck. I have a pair of MDRXB400s that I got on the cheap because they're a ridiculous colorway and they're super-comfortable if you're the type of person who finds over-the-ear phones hard to wear for more than an hour or two.
    - Holy shit avoid Beats like the plague. Someone gave me a free Solo HD pair (free!) and I still prefer every other pair of headphones I've ever had.