$100-200 over ear headphones help

I listen to music alot and I cant stand using earbuds that hurt so much. Would anyone be able to direct me towards a nice pair of headphones (no dre beats lol) I like to listen to drum and bass,jpop,rap,jazz.I dont know much about headphones but im not looking for anything that is extremely bassy. I would appreciate anyone’s expertise on this topic. Im looking to spend 100-150 on the headphones then im going to look into buying a cheap headphone amp.

I’m going to recommend either:

I have these, and I can vouch, they’re amazing headphones… and they’re like half off.

a bit over your budget, ($200 - maybe eBay cheaper?)


You don’t have to. I’ve recommended these before and I will again. The Sony MDR-7506’s are sub-$100 headphones that studio professionals use for accurate sound reproduction. They have a flat response and very high quality drivers that bring out every possible frequency range with awesome accuracy. Again, these headphones are used by music production professionals when listening for playback/mixing/mastering, etc. They are not “sexy” headphones like some of the others out there, this is 100% function over fashion.

*Street cred: I am a composer and have had the pleasure of taking classes from professionals in the music composition industry, these headphones were recommended to me individually by several professionals and I have been nothing but pleased with them. *

Grado SR-80i headphones & FiiO E5/E6 amp are both highly regarded, and should come in under budget.

I second the Sennheiser HD280s, fantastic headphones, wish I paid that little for them…

going to have to agree with the 7506’s, a great $100 set of reference monitors. i’ve had mine for about a decade now, only just replaced them with the Shure SRH840’s, and that’s only because i work in a DJ shop and can’t help dipping in to my paychecks now and again =/

edit: errr reference headphones

Listen to this man, his location and his usericon gives him the necessary street cred.

@ Das RE: Usericon,
Is that your board? If so can I have it? :wink: The pads on my Axiom pro just aren’t cutting it.

another vote for the HD 280s, been using them for mixing & producing metal music for the last ~3 years or so and have never once felt any urge to replace them with anything else. they still can’t top a good pair of monitor speakers, no headphone can, but they do very well in the comparison.

is it just earbuds you don’t like? if you don’t mind earplug style headphones, Shure SE215s are pretty good.

damn I should of also mentioned that I would like great isolation in the headphones too I cant stand when people can hear what im listening to. makes me feel like an oddball in a silent room full of people(college studyhall) the Sony MDR-7506’s looks really good so far could I still buy an amp for it for an extra boost? and how well does it conceal sound leakage?

I still say 7506’s… you won’t beat them without jumping into the $200 range. The stock leather-y ear pads are very isolating both in and out. I replaced them with foam for comfort reasons (4-6 hour composition sessions can get a bit sweaty) which are less isolating, but still very good.

yeah that’s mine, but no… i can’t let that baby go, it’s the centerpiece of my beat makings. Native Instruments Maschine if you are interested though, $600 for the full guy Maschine Mikro runs around 400, both controllers use the same software, just a slightly different workflow. This guy is why i don’t own an MPC. also i have an axiom 61 that more or less just sits there collecting dust because of this thing, unless i need some keys.

but to get back on topic and reiterate, 7506. 7506. 7506! lol.

oh ok you answered my question pretty quick damn you guys work fast lol. any amp recommendations in the filo category?

What are your main audio sources?

whats the next headphone in the grado line thats better than the sr-80i?

Im going to use my laptop because it has an hd audio card and portable wise I own a phillips go gear mp3 player. Also can you tell me the durability the headphones have also because they look pretty slim compared to other headphones ive seen

Well if audio quality is your thing, you may want to go with a USB audio interface rather than just an amplifier, as the amplifier will only take the signal it’s given and “amplify” it, for lack of a better phrase. A USB audio interface (commonly referred to as a “sound card”) will actually process the signal at a higher quality before it reaches any external outputs. Since laptops traditionally have poor sound interfaces (HD anything aside from video is a marketing gimmick, don’t be fooled), adding an amplifier to that signal won’t “correct” the sound it’s given, only modify it.

The downside to this is that it does nothing for your MP3 player.

If you want the best MP3 player sound quality wise (and I KNOW I’m going to get flamed for this) I would go with a (now defunct) Zune 2nd Gen*; second I would go with a Creative Labs. The reason being is the audio interface (again, sound card) built into the Zune provides near 100% accurate (read: flat) frequency response in its output, as opposed to an iPod per say which “EQ’s” the sound and has a lower shelf response (higher highs/lower lows) than most of the MP3 players on the market. Keeping in mind that this will be barely noticeable on most radio-played music (i.e. Rock, Metal, HipHop, Pop, etc.); it’s most noticeable at quiet “dynamics” (i.e. instruments playing softly) which is mostly found in Orchestral/Jazz etc. I mention all of this because you listed Jazz as one of your listened to genres.

An amplifier is really an attempt to “make up” for a lousy audio interface, so in most cases, it’s best to go with a better audio interface out the door.

Hope this helps and doesn’t just confuse the situation. If you have any questions, just post them or PM me.

  • The Microsoft Zune MP3 player was a failure in marketing, not in design. The Zune is widely regarded among audiophiles as having one of the best processing chips found in any portable MP3 Player. The software is abysmal in my opinion, but if you can get passed it, the Zune is one of the only MP3 players (no longer) on the market that is capable of bringing out the quality of high bit-rate audio files. So again, no fan-ism here, as I hate the software, am indifferent on the interface and don’t care about the physical design of the players; but damn if it doesn’t sound amazing.

so I should just basically look into buying a better mp3 player that way I wont have to deal with an amp?

That’s my opinion. I’m sure you’ll get 100 conflicting ones but just remember “amplifying” a signal will not get you closer to the source material, only further away. Our ears have been trained away from “good” sound and pushed in the direction of “loud” sound. Your true tests of what a player/speakers/headphones can do are what comes through (or doesn’t) at the quietest dynamics, not the loudest.

I’m going way outside of helping you with your decision here (i.e. the intention of your post), but here’s a nugget of trivia for you:

Originally, a “subwoofer” was a speaker designed back in the 70’s to catch low frequencies that fell beneath the ability of a standard driver (usually between 20–200 Hz). It was a design to “fill in a blank” space in the music we were listening to in order to get us closer to a live sound. Only during the late 80’s/90’s did the idea of a subwoofer’s function get perverted to “OMG BAASSS,” and it’s only gotten worse from there. Most of your consumer-level headphones/speakers are designed to “tweak” the audio by amplifying certain frequency ranges in order to be “impressive” but are actually moving AWAY from the original sound which should be the goal of any speaker/audio system.

Amplifiers in their intention were to boost the electrical output of an audio signal in order to make it “loud” enough to be logical, and the highest quality amplifiers were not the ones that can make it the “loudest” but the ones that can take the original source material and elevate the volume while keeping it as accurate to the original signal as possible. When an amplifier moves away from this and starts focusing in certain frequencies, what you are actually hearing is a “distortion” of the sound; and though it may sound “wow” ish at first, when compared to a less “wow” ish signal, you’ll realize that the amplifier that tries to go for bass or highs is actually “leaving out” certain frequency ranges, resulting in you not “hearing” all of the intended music.

tl;dr version, the highest quality headphones/speakers/mp3 players/etc. won’t sound like the highest quality products unless you know what you’re listening for. They will sound “normal”… which is the goal.

After looking through a huge review thread on Head-Fi, I ended up getting the Sony MDR-ZX700 headphones, and I’m quite pleased with the result.

I totally get what you mean I dont want to over do it with the loudness because it just takes away from the precise sound. thats exactly why I didnt want dre beat headphones its all bass and it takes away from the rest of the music because its too busy focusing on that one aspect of the sound.