CD900ST-fag

$200 and under Headphones

Aug 26th, 2014
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  1. Headphones under $200
  2. Version 01.50
  3.  
  4. Note - I will start rewriting this. If you have any sugestions for headphones to be added talk to me in the /tech/ /hpg/. Should I add the Phillips Fidelio range?
  5.  
  6.  
  7. This is a basic guide for headphones. If you are looking for IEMs, see the other guide linked in the /hpg/ OP.
  8. There is an FAQ at the bottom of the guide, it's currently still in the process of being written.
  9. If you are an owner of any these headphones and feel you have something helpful you would like to add, please bring it to my attention in the threads. Trolling bullshit will be ignored.
  10. USD prices are taken from amazon.com
  11. GBP prices are taken from amazon.co.uk or Thomann.de
  12. EUR prices are taken from amazon.de or Thomann.de
  13. JPY added to relevant Japanese models, prices taken from amazon.jp
  14. I may add additional currencies if requested.
  15.  
  16. <$50 Poorfag and semi-disposable.
  17. -- Sony MDR-ZX110
  18. USD - 16.00 *on ear
  19. GBP - 13.00 *closed back
  20. EUR - 15.29 *light weight
  21. *clear sound
  22. *right angled jack
  23. *available in different colours
  24. -- Koss KSC75
  25. USD - 19.99 *great sound for the price
  26. GBP - 15.00 *clip on design
  27. EUR - 26.09 *non-isolating
  28. *good for walking/cycling/jogging
  29. *popular for modding
  30. -- Sennheiser HD 202 II
  31. USD - 23.00 *closed back
  32. GBP - 25.00 *light weight
  33. EUR - 29.99 *over ear but cups are small
  34. *bass heavy
  35. *removable ear cups
  36. *long cable
  37. -- Tascam TH-02
  38. USD - 24.99 *on-ear
  39. GBP - --.-- *great sound for the price
  40. EUR - --.-- *closed back
  41. *not very comfortable
  42. *available in white or black
  43. -- Panasonic RP-HTF600E-S
  44. USD - 30.00 *semi-open back
  45. GBP - 40.00 *light weight
  46. EUR - 43.54 *good sound stage
  47. *uses same pads as V6/M50/DT250
  48. *over ear
  49. *bass heavy
  50. -- Monoprice 8323
  51. USD - 35.99 *over ear
  52. GBP - 35.00 *closed back
  53. EUR - --.-- *detatchable cable
  54. *foldable
  55. *comfort issues
  56. *uses same pads as V6/M50/DT250
  57. -- JVC HARX700-E
  58. USD - 38.99 *closed back
  59. GBP - 33.27 *over ear
  60. EUR - 40.40 *bass heavy
  61. *large
  62. -- Superlux HD-668 B
  63. USD - 38.00 *semi-open
  64. GBP - 37.99 *over ear
  65. EUR - 29.00 *sharp treble, benefits from EQ
  66. *cheap build
  67. -- Koss PortaPro
  68. USD - 39.99 *great sound for the price
  69. GBP - 28.00 *lifetime warranty
  70. EUR - 34.97 *on-ear
  71. *non-isolating
  72. *available in different colours
  73. *popular for modding
  74. -- Superlux HD-681 EVO
  75. USD - 40.00 *semi open back
  76. GBP - 40.00 *over ear
  77. EUR - 27.90 *available in white or black
  78. *accessories included
  79. *cheap build
  80. -- Sennheiser HD 419
  81. USD - 47.00 *over ear
  82. GBP - 39.99 *bass heavy
  83. EUR - 42.90 *closed back
  84.  
  85.  
  86.  
  87. <$100 Great value for money.
  88. -- Takstar Hi2050
  89. USD - 56.00 *open back
  90. GBP - 37.00 *over ear
  91. EUR - 55.00 *uses the same drivers as the Pro80
  92. *accessories included
  93. -- Sony MDR-V55
  94. USD - 57.00 *v-shaped signature
  95. GBP - 40.00 *closed back
  96. EUR - 38.99 *on-ear
  97. *headband creaks
  98. *short cable
  99. *available in different colours
  100. -- AKG K240
  101. USD - 67.00 *not as good as they used to be
  102. GBP - 69.00 *semi-open back
  103. EUR - 89.00 *removable cable
  104. *cable uses proprietary AKG mini XLR connector
  105. *lacks sub bass
  106. *no longer made in Austria
  107. *MK II version is the same but has a more modern colour and more accessories in the box
  108. -- AKG K271
  109. USD - --.-- *available in Europe
  110. GBP - 85.00 *closed version of the K240
  111. EUR - 122.00 *removable cable
  112. *cable uses proprietary AKG mini XLR connector
  113. *no longer made in Austria
  114. *MK II version has more accessories in the box
  115. -- Sony MDR-7506
  116. USD - 69.00 *professional version of the MDR-V6
  117. GBP - 63.99
  118. EUR - 113.00
  119. -- Takstar Pro80
  120. USD - 74.00 *over ear
  121. GBP - 51.00 *closed design
  122. EUR - 136.87 *balanced sound
  123. *accessories included
  124. -- Grado Prestige Series SR60e
  125. USD - 79.00 *open back
  126. GBP - 80.00 *on ear
  127. EUR - 99.00 *bright
  128. *popular for modding
  129. -- Sennheiser HD 518
  130. USD - 79.00 *open back
  131. GBP - 70.00 *over ear
  132. EUR - 84.00 *balanced sound
  133. *removable cable
  134. -- Sennheiser HD-280 PRO
  135. USD - 79.99 *closed back
  136. GBP - 75.00 *tight clamp
  137. EUR - 120.13 *foldable
  138. -- Senal SMH-1000
  139. USD - 89.00 *MDR-V6 clone
  140. GBP - --.-- *removable cable
  141. EUR - --.-- *acessories included
  142. -- AKG K142 HD
  143. USD - 89.00 *new version of the K141
  144. GBP - 64.00 *made in Austria
  145. EUR - 88.00 *light weight
  146. *on ear
  147. *open back
  148. *not a lot of headphone for your money
  149. -- Sony MDR-V6
  150. USD - 99.00 *bright
  151. GBP - --.-- *closed back
  152. EUR - --.-- *good build quality
  153. *coiled cable
  154. -- Grado Prestige Series SR80e
  155. USD - 99.00 *open back
  156. GBP - 90.00 *bright
  157. EUR - 129.00 *popular for modding
  158. -- Shure SRH440
  159. USD - 99.00 *closed back
  160. GBP - 70.00 *over ear
  161. EUR - 85.00
  162. -- Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
  163. USD - 99.00 *closed back
  164. GBP - 75.00 *removable cable
  165. EUR - 99.00 *folding
  166. -- NVX Audio XPT100
  167. USD - 99.00 *closed back
  168. GBP - 75.00 *over ear
  169. EUR - --.-- *balanced
  170. *good build quality
  171. *comfortable for long listening sessions
  172. *soft pillow like ear pads
  173. *removable cable
  174. *acessories included
  175. *these are available from other brands such as Brainwavz, others may available in your country
  176. -- V-Moda Crossfade M-80
  177. USD - 100.00 *closed back
  178. GBP - 170.00 *on ear
  179. EUR - --.-- *replacable cable
  180. *bass heavy
  181. *metal construction
  182. *case included
  183. *lots of accessories available
  184.  
  185.  
  186. <$200 Start of deminishing returns.
  187. -- Sennheiser HD 558
  188. USD - 122.99 *open back
  189. GBP - 119.99 *open soundstage
  190. EUR - 129.00 *balanced sound
  191. *can be modded to sound more like the HD598
  192. -- Audio-Technica ATH-M50
  193. USD - $127.95 *closed back
  194. GBP - 96.46 *x version has removable cable
  195. EUR - 130.00 *bass heavy sound
  196. *folds for portable use
  197. *tough plastic construction
  198. *has a tight head clamp
  199.  
  200. -- Audio Technica ATH-A700X
  201. USD - 130.00 *closed back
  202. GBP - 73.00 *over ear
  203. EUR - 87.00
  204. JPY - 8,880
  205. -- Beyerdynamic DT660
  206. USD - 147.00 *closed back
  207. GBP - 99.99 *over ear
  208. EUR - 138.00 *folding
  209. *well built
  210. *comfortable
  211. -- Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X
  212. USD - 149.95 *open back
  213. GBP - 177.32 *wide soundstage
  214. EUR - 146.00 *over ear
  215. JPY - 11,502
  216. -- Audio Technica ATH-A900X
  217. USD - 165.00 *closed back
  218. GBP - 111.63 *Japanese import
  219. EUR - 118.00 *over ear
  220. JPY - 13,300 *wide soundstage
  221. -- AKG K272 HD
  222. USD - 168.00 *closed back
  223. GBP - 86.74 *new version of the K271
  224. EUR - 114.00 *made in Austria
  225. -- Beyerdynamic DT990
  226. USD - 177.00 *semi-open back
  227. GBP - 107.84 *v-shaped signature
  228. EUR - 139.00 *available in different impedence ratings
  229. *available in Pro or Premium
  230. -- Beyerdynamic DT770
  231. USD - 180.00 *closed back
  232. GBP - 107.84 *v-shaped signature
  233. EUR - 139.00 *available in different impedence ratings
  234. *available in Pro or Premium
  235. -- AKG K612
  236. USD - 180.00 *open back
  237. GBP - 100.81 *warmer than K7xx
  238. EUR - 133.00 *benefits from an amp
  239. -- Shure SRH840
  240. USD - 180.00 *closed back
  241. GBP - 121.12 *over ear
  242. EUR - 155.00
  243. -- Sennheiser HD 598
  244. USD - 181.00 *open back
  245. GBP - 149.00 *over ear
  246. EUR - 163.00 *removable cable
  247. *open soundstage
  248. *balanced sound
  249. *looks like a Volvo interior
  250. -- Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro
  251. USD - 184.00 *closed back
  252. GBP - 112.53 *adjustable bass slider
  253. EUR - 145.00 *microphone available
  254. -- Audio Technica ATH-AD900X
  255. USD - 188.99 *open back
  256. GBP - 124.65 *wide soundstage
  257. EUR - 149.00 *over ear
  258. JPY - 13,802
  259. -- Beyerdynamic DT880
  260. USD - 199.99 *semi-open back
  261. GBP - 168.01 *v-shaped signature
  262. EUR - 218.00 *available in different impedence ratings
  263. *available in Pro or Premium
  264. -- AKG Q701
  265. USD - 195.00 *open back
  266. GBP - 171.00 *wide soundstage
  267. EUR - 205.00 *analytical sound
  268. *cheaper than K701 in the US
  269. *needs an amp
  270. *available in different colours
  271. *headband bumps can cause comfort issues
  272. -- Beyerdynamic DT250
  273. USD - 199.99 *closed back
  274. GBP - 112.53 *balanced sound
  275. EUR - 145.00 *available in different impedence ratings
  276.  
  277. -- Sony MDR-CD900ST
  278. USD - 200.00 *closed back
  279. GBP - 129.00 *Japanese import
  280. EUR - 163.25 *does not have foldable hinges like the V6
  281. JPY - 16,163 *developed by Sony Music Entertainment
  282. *vocal monitoring headphone
  283. *used in the seiyuu industry
  284. *made in Japan
  285. -- AKG K550
  286. USD - 231.00 *included because they're cheaper in Europe
  287. GBP - 99.00 *offer great value for Euros
  288. EUR - 155.00 *closed back
  289. *easy to drive
  290. *balanced signature
  291. *good soundstage for a closed headphone
  292. -- AKG K701
  293. USD - 250.00 *included because they're cheaper in Europe
  294. GBP - 144.57 *open back
  295. EUR - 185.00 *wide soundstage
  296. *analytical sound
  297. *needs an amp
  298. *now made in China
  299. *headband bumps can cause comfort issues
  300. -- AKG K702
  301. USD - 218.99 *included because they're cheaper in Europe
  302. GBP - 159.00 *open back
  303. EUR - 205.00 *wide soundstage
  304. *analytical sound
  305. *needs an amp
  306. *now made in China
  307. -- Sennheiser HD 25 ALUMINIUM
  308. USD - 329.95 *included because they're cheaper in Europe
  309. GBP - 144.57 *available in many different versions
  310. EUR - 185.00 *popular with DJs
  311. *used in professional televion production
  312. -- Focal Spirit Professional
  313. USD - 349.99 *included because they are cheaper in Europe
  314. GBP - 200.00 *over ear
  315. EUR - 257.00 *closed back
  316. *foldable
  317. *small cups
  318. *balanced sound
  319. *removable cable
  320. *accessories included
  321.  
  322.  
  323.  
  324. FAQ
  325. >why is there only information about some headphones?
  326. This guide is still being written, it will probably never be finished as new headphones are always being released.
  327.  
  328. >I have a question, can I contact you?
  329. I don't post on 4chan. However I can usually be found in the /tech/ headphone thread.
  330.  
  331. >Do you do reviews and paid shilling?
  332. No. I prefer to remain objective. I feel that I were to receive an item for review without paying for it with my own money, it would distort my view of it unfairly. If you want to send me something for free without a review process, I'm open to suggestion.
  333.  
  334. >Will you be doing video reviews in the future?
  335. Never.
  336.  
  337. >why do prices vary between countries so much?
  338. Generally it's to do with the currency exchange rate aswell as the cost of exporting from the country the manufacturer is based in. If the currency of your home country is weak, expect to pay more for foreign brands.
  339.  
  340. >what is the difference between on ear and over ear?
  341. On ear or supra aural means that the headphone pads will sit on your ears rather than around them. Some people may find this uncomfortable, others may prefer it because the headphone cups are smaller which is better in a portable headphone.
  342. Over ear or circumaural means that headphone pads will enclose the entire ear. This usually creates a better seal and is more comfortable. The downside is that headphones of this type are larger and less portable.
  343.  
  344. >what do words like analytical, bass heavy, and v-shaped mean?
  345. These are words used to describe sound signature. I will explain a few of them without going full PRaT.
  346. Analytical - Generally lacking in the low end with an upper midrange emphasis, can sound tinny.
  347. Bright - Emphasis on treble. It can make vocals sibilant, which is the hissing on "s" sounds, it can also cause percussion to become peircing. It's desirable on studio monitoring headphones as it reveals errors in recordings.
  348. Bass heavy - Boosted bass. Just what it says. The majority of consumers enjoy bass but too much can over power the other frequencies, it can also induce headaches and cause listening fatigue.
  349. Balanced - Evenness across all frequencies with no emphasis on a particular range.
  350. Neutral - Flat frequency response.
  351. V-shaped - Boosted bass and treble. Usually considered a fun signature. Vocals can feel distant. Depending on the degree of the v curve it can have the positives and negatives of both the bright and bass heavy signatures.
  352. How a headphone sounds is subjective, there is no universally perfect sound signature. It's down to you're personal preference.
  353.  
  354. >what is soundstage?
  355. Without getting too technical, it's a sense of audio spatial awareness. When listening to music through headphones with good soundstage you feel as though you are aware of where a particular sound or instrument in coming from and how far away it is. When listening to classical, for example, it can seem as though you are in a concert hall listening to the performance. It can be an immersive experience. Soundstage can be described as wide or narrow. Soundstage is subjective, some people even deny it exists. All I can really say is that you will know when you experience it.
  356.  
  357. >what is a driver?
  358. A driver in headphone terminology is the speaker part of the headphone that creates sound. There are three main types, dynamic, planar-magnetic and electrostatic. All of the headphones listed in this guide are dynamic. For more information on this click the link to the wiki in the OP.
  359.  
  360. >what headphones should I use for gaming?
  361. There are a few things you should look for. It is generally recommended on /hpg/ that you purchase headphones and a microphone separately rather than a headset. Avoid gimmicks such as built in surround sound and wireless headsets. Look for open headphones with a wide soundstage. This helps with positional accuracy in FPS where you will be able to tell the location of a certain sound effect, such as the footsteps of an enemy. If you feel you need surround sound, it can be done in software, such as Dolby Headphone. This is a very brief synopsis to point you in the right direction.
  362.  
  363. >what is impedence?
  364. >do I need an amplifier
  365.  
  366. >will an amplifier improve sound quality?
  367. No. It will make your headphones louder.
  368.  
  369. >do I need a DAC?
  370. Your motherboard already has a DAC, so does your mobile phone or portable media player. DAC is an acronym of Digital to Analogue Converter. The real question is if it is worth spending money on an external DAC. If the headphone output from your computer is free of noise and you do not get inteference from using ports or peripherals then the answer is probably not. Getting a DAC isn't going to give you a mind blowing aural orgasm or change your life, no matter how big or expensive it is. The change is subtle.
  371.  
  372. >Do I need to burn in my headphones?
  373. No. The best thing you can do after buying your new headphones is listen to them.
  374.  
  375. >what is the difference between a sound card and a DAC/amp setup?
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