Help me find some good headphones!

I am currently using subpar headphones (RCA HPNC200) after wearing out a somewhat better pair (Sony MDR-CD180). I want a set of headphones better than both of those (shouldn’t be too hard) that don’t cost much over $50 and are sealed. Buds are uncomfortable and flat headphones don’t block sound in or out. If there is such a thing as effective noise-cancellation in reasonably-priced headphones I’m all ears. (Sorry.)

So far, I’m looking at the Sennheiser HD 202 and the AKG K55 models. But it’s a huge field and I have very little experience or knowledge. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This fellow likes to review headphones. Scroll down to about 2/3 of the way down the pages until you come to the ‘Speakers and headphones’ section…

Thank you. They look like very good reviews.

I don’t claim to be an expert, but have logged my share of hours as a club DJ and mobile DJ. Based on my experience:

Given the choice between the AKGs and the Sennheisers, go with Sennheiser! In my experience, they’re much more durable with better sound quality. The HD202 is a decent model, as is the slightly higher-priced eH150. (The MSRP for eH150 is about $60, but you might be able to score a deal to get them in your price range. Probably worth the extra money in the long run, especially if you use your 'phones often.)

RunAmok: Thanks for the opinion. A DJ should know a good set of 'phones if anyone would. :slight_smile:

$60 isn’t really out of my range. $100 might be, unless they’re really good cans. Some I’ve seen are $260 and up, though, and they are right out. I’m flexible about price, but I do have limits.

Do you have any other recommendations? I’m not locked in to any brand or specific model, as long as they’re sealed.

Does anyone else have an opinion?

Not really, except to say that my headphone shopping generally starts and stops with comparing Sennheiser models. I’ve never been disappointed with them, and their durability is a big selling point for my applications.

I have a pair of $50 Philips model HN050. I like 'em but I often forget to turn off the noise-cancelling and run down the battery.

I have the Etymotic ER4 Micropro earphones, Sony MDR-V300 and the Sony MDR-NC11 noise cancelling buds and I like all of them for different reasons. The Etymotic headphones give me the best sound in terms of listening to music. YYMV

Oh sorry, I didnt realize you wanted models within the 50 dollar range. Ignore my suggestions. :smack:

cherry: My price range is flexible but my aversion to buds is not. But thanks for the input anyway.

Not to sound like Dad, son, but watch your damn ears! Overdo it and your could suffer permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.

Don’t I know it. I got my first personal stereo when I was 16 and liked to listen to it at full volume, I’m now 37 and can’t hear some high frequency tones. I also tend to avoid parties because all the noise causes an uncomfortable crackling sensation in my ears.

Not sure if they would be quite what you are looking for, but I love my Grado headphones. The SR-60 is about $60.00 and very highly recomended.

I second that recommendation. Or, the related Grado SR-80s that have somewhat more bass. They’re both under $100 and sound fantastic.

One warning, though, they are “open-air”, i.e. not enclosed, so other people around will will clearly hear what you are listening to. In a quiet environment (such as a library) it could well be disturbing/disruptive.

Just to clarify, the ER4’s are ear-Canal Phones. They plug into the ear canal blocking out ambient noise (I think the claim is 27db!). Then they allegedly go on to produce some of the best reproduced sound you’ll ever hear. I get my er6i’s in a week or two =)

Carnac: Thank you for the advice. I know what I’m doing with earphones and I will be careful not to blow out my ears with loud noise.

(Getting my eardrums blown out with infection is bad enough.)

robardin: Another duo of 'phones to look at. Thank you. I do want sealed, however, even though this review says ‘open’ are best: I do like to listen to music in places like libraries, where others hearing the sweet sounds of Miles Davis wailing away would be disruptive. I also use music to block out external noise and aid in concentration, and sealed allow me to do that with fewer decibels (and less cumulative damage to my delicate middle and inner ears).

All that said, I think I’ve narrowed it down (again) to two (different) sets of cans:
[li]Sennheiser HD-212 Pro[/li][li]Koss UR-20[/li][/ul]The top pair are about $60 (a bit above my original target price but well within my budget) but got a better review, whereas the lower pair are $20 (well below my original target price and in fact amazingly cheap for ‘pretty good’ cans) but got a review that mainly described them as ‘inoffensive’.

I don’t listen to music that’s cheap and inoffensive, so I don’t see a good reason why I should buy headphones described that way. Unless my finances undergo a shock, I don’t see myself buying the Koss cans.

I will continue to look and read this thread. Thank you all for your help and advice.

Ooh – good deal on the 212s! May I ask your source? That price is about 2/3 of regular retail, and I’m in the market for a new set for my newest mobile setup.

I found this price via Froogle. I hope is a reputable dealership; I’ve never bought from them before.

Reseller Ratings for

There have only been a few reviewers but 7.50/10 is a respectable score.

In anycase, headroom has been around for ages and is oft referenced. I’ve never bought from them, but i’d trust em.

I got a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones from them several years ago–they had a great price and there weren’t any problems with ordering. I’d happily order from them again.

Re the Grados: I’ve tried higher-end Grado headphones; I liked the sound but thought they were really uncomfortable. I would strongly recommend wearing Grados vs. Sennheisers to check out the fit before making a purchase decision.