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Inexpensive but decent monitor headphones?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by jkowtko, May 31, 2008.

  1. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I'm looking for a good pair of relatively compact headphones for under $50, to use on the board.

    * I bought the $20 Sony MDR-V160 ... nice and compact, with swivel earpads for easy listening through one ear, but the high end is pretty muted so I'd like to upgrade these a step or two.

    * I also have a very old pair of AKG K240s, which sound great, but they're huge and cost $75-100, a little more than I want to pay for a pair of headphones that I will leave lying around the theater for general use.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks. John
     
  2. PadawanGeek

    PadawanGeek Active Member

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    Right now I am wearing a pair of AudioTechnica ATH-M40fs. They give great sound and are very comfortable. I wear them for hours without them making my ears sore. They cost $70 and are well worth it.

    I used to use a pair of Sennheiser HD 202. For the money, they produce good sound, but they aren't comfortable enough to wear for hours, but they're fine for about 30 min.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  3. tweetersaway

    tweetersaway Member

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    Personally, I use a pair of Behringer HPS5000's. They have a pretty even frequency response witha decent price tag of about 35. They're not great for extended use, but they're fine for at least a half hour or so. After wearing them in a bit, mine are much more wearable. I've also used The HPS3000 from behringer. They're more comfortable, but they're open-back and have a little more tailored sound.

    I also recommend some of the lower end sennheisers if you're concerned about price. Just be careful with the cords, I've wrecked a couple pairs of good sennheisers by accidentally ripping out the cord when standing up.
     
  4. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    I have a pair of Audio Technica M40fs that I've had for years. You really do still need to spend around $100 for a decent pair of cans. I also have a pair of whatever $20 would buy me at Stuff-Mart, I think they're Sony, and they're true enough for most stuff if it's not too critical. Generally they're on my iPod, but my assistant will plug them in so he can listen along to what I'm soloing, they wind up on a drummer once in a while, handy to have in the box for when a performer wants to cue up their playback.
     
  5. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I have a pair of Senni HD212's, ripped the cord out once, but it's a removable cord with plugs on the bottom of the headphones. Just beware, this thing isn't flat by any means; I'd like to see how they added so much bass in it. I've since bought a pair of HD280 Pros and won't look back ($80 on Amazon new).
     
  6. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    I just ordered a pair of HD202's for the theater. Found them for $22 with free shipping. I'm assuming these will be a noticable step up (primarily cleaner high end) from the Sony cheapos.

    I am also interested in possibly getting an HD280Pro for myself, if they will give me better sound than my AKG K240s. Can anyone out there provide a comparison of these two?

    Thanks. John
     
  7. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I know my advice will stray off topic a little bit, but I feel very strongly about these. These two are the defacto standard of live and studio monitors. You don't even have to be serious engineer or musician, they're worth it to keep around for personal use...they're simply that good. They're a good long term investment and I think everyone who enjoys music enough or takes audio engineering seriously should consider getting a pair. Aside from technical abilities, these headphones are durable and reliable (I see old pairs at consoles all the time. They rarely get replaced). My experience with inexpensive headphones is mixed: a majority of time the sound quality gets the job done, but they often break. I can't tell you how many times a stingy friend of mine has replaced whatever cheap $30-50 Koss headphones they carry at Radio Shack. The plastic always snaps.

    I love my Sennheiser HD280s. They attenuate the perfect amount of external sound. I love the sound. You will never buy another pair of headphones again. You can get them cheap if you look around hard (they're very common).

    Sony MVR-7506 are nice too. They fold up very nicely and come with a nice durable carrying bag. I like these because you can drag them to any event easily. This is especially nice if they're your personal headphones and you don't like to live them at your venue or with your rig when you go home. These are very comfortable.

    Looking for more? Check out AKG. They're an old heavy weight in the headphones market. My experiences have been brief, so I don't feel comfortable giving my two cents.
     
  8. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    If you want closed phones, get nothing cheaper than the Sennheiser 280. The ExtremeHeadphones have much better isolation, but I've never compared the sonics - I think it will be a matter of taste. The EH are a little soft in the highs.

    If open airs will do, any Grado will sound much better than all but the best closed phones, and they are affordable.

    As to the industry standard Sony 7506: They are comfortable and they fold up nicely. Their isolation is terrible and they sound awful (bloaty bottom, scooped mids, steely highs).
     
  9. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    So they sound pretty darn good eh:twisted:
     
  10. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Interesting you say that about the 7506. I personally don't have that picky of a set of ears. The 7506 are not the best headphones I've heard, but they're definite not the worst. I know what you mean about it's tonal characteristics.

    I've never bothered to do any research on this, but what made the 7506 the industry standard?
     
  11. andrewharper

    andrewharper Member

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    Check out the More Me Deluxe Headphones. About $30 and not bad.

    I've used my Beyer DT-770 for years. Expensive (around $200) but I tend to follow the "do it once, do it right" rule of gear buying if I can. Excellent bass response and very little hype on the high end. They are much smoother than the 7506s. I'm not a fan of the 7506s for reference or recording but I like them for the drummer because of the high volume output and the hyped high end.
     
  12. AberNStein

    AberNStein Member

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    i've been using sennheiser hd202s for a while now, and they sound great, the price was great, but i've gotta agree that they are not at all suitable for long periods of use. the strap isn't adjustable; just the placement of the earcups. they start to hurt after a while. oh and they have an obscenely long cord, which is not detachable.
    i'll probably upgrade to the 280s soon.
     

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