Best Stereo Headphones under $100

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SpringMan
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Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:45 pm

I don't care for the earbuds type headphones such as those that came with my iPod. That leaves on the ear and over the ear options. I have an el-cheapo (<$10) set of Sony on the ear phones with foam padding. I am looking to upgrade and have decided not to spend more than $100. That leaves out Dre Beats or anything Bose. I have been to Best Buy to try as many as possible but they have limited brands in my price range. These phones would be for listening to music and podcasts around the house, no jogging or much portable use outside the home. I prefer to listen to music as it was recorded, not enhanced with super boomy base. I am leaning toward NVX Audio XPT100s. Amazon has them for $79.99.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093PVTPS/?ta ... hkp8jfex_e
These are identical in specs to Brainwavz HM5's, the Fisher Audio 003's,the Jaycar Pro Monitors all coming from the Yoga CD-990's. The others in the list are priced higher over my $100 limit. Are these a good choice? TIA.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

investor1
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by investor1 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:52 pm

For over the ear, I recommend the Sony MDR-7506. The sound quality on these is better than any pair that I have used.

For on the ear, multiple people have told me great things about the Grado SR-60i, but I have never actually used them myself.

I recommend having an idea of what you might want, then taking your iPod to Guitar Center or a similar store and just trying different pairs out. That's how I ended up with my Sonys. I went there thinking I was going to buy a different pair, but the Sonys sounded better and were cheaper :)

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:58 pm

The Sony MDR 7506 are in my price range and a contender. Thanks for the recommendation.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

tigermilk
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by tigermilk » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:06 pm

Go to head-fi.org for all discussion headphone related. You'll get great recommendations for best bang for the buck headphones (fyi, Bose and Beats always rest WAY down on such a list, so you aren't missing much).

dgdevil
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by dgdevil » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:19 pm

Sennheiser PXC 250 II - I use them for flying. Great noise canceling - save that hearing!

$107.99 on Amazon (keep 'em in the cart, maybe the price will com down)

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-PXC-Co ... pxc+250+ii

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:21 pm

head-fi.org is a great site for headphone research, thanks for the link.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

jbourne99
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by jbourne99 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:57 pm

I discovered, when I bought what turned out to be counterfeit MDR 7506 off ebay, that these items are faked frequently, so buyer beware!

Mike Scott
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by Mike Scott » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:16 pm

Sennheiser HD 280s are really good for their price ($90 on amazon). You can buy better headphones but not for $90.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:19 pm

Any Grado.

inbox788
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by inbox788 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:20 pm

I haven't tried these myself, but the Koss PortaPros are a perennial favorite if you like retro styling for only $35, compares to $100 HD280 and Beats.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4504-4_7-0.html ... d=33192353

I have an older pair Senheisser px100, now there are several version 2 models. These go for under $50, and some comparisons to Beats come out even, others they fare poorer, but you might give them a listen and see if they're sufficient for you.

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Kenkat
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by Kenkat » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:51 pm

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 is a good sounding and affordable option.

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:57 pm

Thanks everyone. Lots of choices, I need to find a brick and mortar place to take a test drive. My local Best Buy did not have many choices. Reading Amazon reviews make it difficult, there are always some unhappy customers that pan any product.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

Quinn
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by Quinn » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:13 pm

Sony MDR-V6 and MDR 7506 are almost the same thing, but I'm not sure if there is a price difference between the two. I would consider those two and the Seinheisser HD280 at your price range.

investor1
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by investor1 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:22 pm

Quinn wrote:Sony MDR-V6 and MDR 7506 are almost the same thing, but I'm not sure if there is a price difference between the two. I would consider those two and the Seinheisser HD280 at your price range.
The V6 is the DJ version, and the 7506 is the studio version.

The DJ version means it has enhanced bass. The studio version means you get true sound.

westie
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by westie » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:42 pm

another vote for the Koss PortaPros...

SDBoggled
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SDBoggled » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:51 pm

These are different from the ones you are considering, but are very light which may have value.
http://www.amazon.com/Koss-Porta-Pro-KT ... al_qh_dp_t

Quinn
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by Quinn » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:37 pm

investor1 wrote:
Quinn wrote:Sony MDR-V6 and MDR 7506 are almost the same thing, but I'm not sure if there is a price difference between the two. I would consider those two and the Seinheisser HD280 at your price range.
The V6 is the DJ version, and the 7506 is the studio version.

The DJ version means it has enhanced bass. The studio version means you get true sound.
The MDR-V6 is good for DJ-ing, but it is definitely not a DJ version. Neither will get you "true sound."

If those designations have merit, it would be due to the plugs moreso than audio quality.

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jpsfranks
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by jpsfranks » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Another vote for the MDR-v6 (or 7506).

I'm not an audiophile by any means but they sound great to me. I've had the same pair for 15 years with almost daily use.

wearymicrobe
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by wearymicrobe » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:16 pm

Any grado, though admittedly I am a fanboy and I spend 10+ hours a day with my RS-1's or SR-325's.

If you really need to be under 100 you can occasionally find SR125i's at that price point.

harland
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by harland » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:17 pm

I know these are a little out of your budget, but another contender in the sealed category are the Audio Technica ATH-M50's. Neutral balance - no bass bloat. Very close to Grado in terms of presentation. With the straight cable, they're $128.50 on Amazon.

I also echo the Grado SR-60i suggestion. They were my first real pair of hi-fi headphones and if not for a sale on the Alessandro Music Series One (made by Grado), I'd still be a happy owner. Along with the Koss Porta Pros, they're one of the best values out there.
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

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magellan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by magellan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:32 pm

jbourne99 wrote:I discovered, when I bought what turned out to be counterfeit MDR 7506 off ebay, that these items are faked frequently, so buyer beware!
How could you tell they were counterfeit? How much less than regular retail did you pay for them?

Thanks,

Jim

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:59 pm

magellan wrote:
jbourne99 wrote:I discovered, when I bought what turned out to be counterfeit MDR 7506 off ebay, that these items are faked frequently, so buyer beware!
How could you tell they were counterfeit? How much less than regular retail did you pay for them?

Thanks,

Jim
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/g ... eo.257563/
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by lightheir » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:27 pm

jpsfranks wrote:Another vote for the MDR-v6 (or 7506).

I'm not an audiophile by any means but they sound great to me. I've had the same pair for 15 years with almost daily use.
I've got these as well.

Honestly, they're good but don't expect groundbreaking. What they are is what they advertise - clear, pro-level UNENHANCED sound that does not add/subtract to the music being played. You may very well find that you're more 'impressed' with headhpones that add bass if you're a electronica fan, or other things.

I honestly found my noise-canceling earbuds from Shure the best sounding of my experiences with headphones - the noise canceling really, really made the nuances of classical recordings stand out superbly - moreso than the Sony MDRs (not noise cancelling.)

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heartwood
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by heartwood » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:41 pm

I recently did the same search and found these for under $10.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EL ... UTF8&psc=1

Note over 9600 reviews and an average rating of 4.4.

Multiple colors, three sizes of ear covers and best of all a great sound. They more than meet my needs.

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by madbrain » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:47 pm

I love the AKG K240 Studio . These have a replaceable cord. The headphones sound great, very flat response, and should last a lifetime. The main thing that's likely to break on well-made headphones is the cord which can be replaced on this model.

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:52 pm

heartwood wrote:I recently did the same search and found these for under $10.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EL ... UTF8&psc=1

Note over 9600 reviews and an average rating of 4.4.

Multiple colors, three sizes of ear covers and best of all a great sound. They more than meet my needs.
I am the original poster. Thanks but I stated I did not care for earbuds style. I have an iPod that came with white earbuds and I gave them a try. Some people like them and some don't. My requirement is either on the ear or over the ear style. Leaning towards over the ear style currently.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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heartwood
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by heartwood » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:43 pm

Sorry, I missed that requirement somehow.

I also am unable to use the apple earbuds. My ear canals are too small. The Panasonic's variety of ear covers are adequate for me. I use them primarily while walking and prefer the lack of bulk.

I'll try to read closer in future!

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by 4stripes » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:50 am

I 10th Grado. Especially if you're using it with mobile devices, which generally have weak outputs. The Grado's are lower ohm and thus sound louder on cheapo devices. I'd second Sennheiser. Bose if you must. Everything else is just marketing.

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by TareNeko » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:37 am

investor1 wrote:For over the ear, I recommend the Sony MDR-7506. The sound quality on these is better than any pair that I have used.
+1

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:13 am

4stripes wrote:I 10th Grado. Especially if you're using it with mobile devices, which generally have weak outputs. The Grado's are lower ohm and thus sound louder on cheapo devices. I'd second Sennheiser. Bose if you must. Everything else is just marketing.
Looks like most Grado headphones are 32 ohms. The NVX PT100s I was initially considering are 64 ohms. The device I use is an 5th generation iPod touch. Is there a rule of thumb on the number ohms a device can perform well with assuming no additional amplification?

edit: After using google, it appears this is a very complicated question. It involves more than one variable, for example, sensitivity enters in. I guess there is no substitute for trying out headphones before purchasing. Grado does seem to fit the bill well.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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ogd
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by ogd » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:31 pm

SpringMan wrote:I am the original poster. Thanks but I stated I did not care for earbuds style. I have an iPod that came with white earbuds and I gave them a try. Some people like them and some don't. My requirement is either on the ear or over the ear style. Leaning towards over the ear style currently.
Don't write off in-ear headphones until you've tried some nice ones and spent some time picking the best fitting tips, I think they're great value and very portable. Currently sporting a pair of $55 Brainwavz M2 which I love. At the very least they are good secondary headphones for gym, street and subway.

Long ago my over-the-ear research led me to Sennheiser HD280's, which are great but these days I just don't bother. Audio Technicas also have a nice reputation. However, I don't know much about the new wave of Chinese solid value offerings in that space, which probably changed things quite a bit like they did with in-ears (see: Brainwavz).

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by Cb » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:36 pm

madbrain wrote:I love the AKG K240 Studio . These have a replaceable cord. The headphones sound great, very flat response, and should last a lifetime. The main thing that's likely to break on well-made headphones is the cord which can be replaced on this model.
Some time ago I bought Sennheiser HD280's, and while they sound great they sure are tight. I just bought AKG K240S's and they sound every bit as good and are very comfortable.

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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by gunn_show » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:39 pm

Quinn wrote:Sony MDR-V6 and MDR 7506 are almost the same thing, but I'm not sure if there is a price difference between the two. I would consider those two and the Seinheisser HD280 at your price range.
Sony MDRV6 Monitor Series Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00001 ... UTF8&psc=1
1400 + reviews
amazing sound

went through this same search early last year and these Sonys were the hands down winner for the price ($68 at the time)
only negative is that they are for studio use, so the cord is wicked long...
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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SpringMan
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Re: Best Stereo Headphones under $100

Post by SpringMan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:01 pm

I got to try out the NVX Audio XPT100s and really like them. They come with a long cord and a short cord and an extra set of pads. Ordered from Amazon for $80. I do want to thank everyone for their suggestions.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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