SBAF's SUPER Cheapo Headphone Comparison

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by OJneg, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    AKG K240 (vintage Sextet)


    Really like this AKG. It's still an AKG though, with a forward upper mid and lifted treble. Artificial "studio" monitor sound for sure. Otherwise nice and wide sounding with good precision in the treble rendition. Needs a lot of voltage swing.

    Audio Technica AD500X


    This didn't make the chart because it fell apart in my hands. From the brief listen I had, it would definitely be in Tier 1.

    Brainwavz HM5

    Slight tonal weirdness in the midrange holds back this otherwise great headphone. A bit of a cavernous, confusing sound.

    Sennheiser HD558

    Can't go wrong with Sennheiser. Outside of the poor bass performance, this is an excellent all-around headphone that doesn't do much wrong. Great tone and a taste of the magik German rezolushun

    Sennheiser HD439

    Basically a lower-fi HD558. Credit to Sennheiser to being consistent on their classic house sound with the lower-end HD series. I have been using this for instrument monitoring because it's cheap, light, and sounds pretty damn good.

    Sony MDR-V6

    I've always felt that the V6 sounded like tinny ass. But listening to it again after all these years...it's even worse than I remember. I was also sent these with a pair of pads that are much to large so they sound even tinnier and crappier than they would otherwise. I still remember when doofuses on Head-Fi would claim that this was a neutral headphone :eek:

    Audio Technica EP700


    Perhaps the best on-ear headphone I've ever heard (I haven't heard a lot TBH). Has the built-in Audio Technica euphon-o-matic with great open sound and seductive midrange.

    Thinksound On1


    Won't say too much because the pads were effed up. But nothing special here. Nice wood though.

    Sony MDR-D11


    Supposedly this is not even sold separately, but comes with one of Sony's portable CD players. Tinny, compressed, crap. Maybe slightly better than the V6 if you can believe it.

    Hifiman HE400S


    A fair bit more expensive than all of the rest, and a fair bit better sounding as well. I can see why noobs might think play-nars are the best shit ever if they're just emerging from the Lo-Fi Lake of Fire. Well behaved tone, smooth and euphonic, but ultimately has play-nar veil and compression.

    NVX XPT100


    See HM5, but add even slightly more forward upper-mid

    AKG K181 DJ UE


    Could be worse for a DJ phone. Reasonably refined and separated, but ultimately muffled and dead sounding without a good sense of immersion. Get the Takstar instead.

    Takstar Pro 80


    Very fun, consumer oriented sound. Big bass, uncompressed dynamics. Not the smoothest treble, but hey, that's "fun" right? :rolleyes:

    ~~~ratings~~~

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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  2. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    This post has been sitting around for a while. Bump and reserve for summary.

    Feel free to ask questions. No I haven't heard everything.
     
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  3. kazimirmalevich

    kazimirmalevich Rando

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    Where does the Porta Pro fit into all of this
     
  4. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I'll go one better than the Porta Pro...
    Buy a pair of Koss KSC-75 clip headphones. ($15)
    Buy a pair of cheap Part Express headphones ($2) and toss the drivers. Snap the KSC-75s into the remaining Part Express headband. Sure, they look cheesy, but for less than $20 I think they sound better than Porta Pros. Less clamping force and can be positioned better. This is my go-to cheap headphone for office and the pool.

    Or if you want to go all out, use KSC-35s with headband instead. But they are only a very slight improvement over the KSC-75.

    Ojneg, would love to see where these rank with the rest. Might need to start a new ultra ultra cheap category because these make the others on the list seem expensive.
     
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  5. tomtan

    tomtan Rando

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    My favorite ultra cheap headphone is the dt235 which is often available for $30. It's low fi for sure and lacks details and bass doesn't really have a good extension but the mids are good and they're the best I've heard for the price. They're also quite robust and very comfy so ideal as small cheap backup headphones in situations where you don't mind losing them or might break them.

    I might be a bit biased since those were the first real headphones I got that started me down this road :)
     

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