Headphone buying help, please!
August 31, 2009 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Big sale on headphones in Canada! But which ones to get?

So there's a big sale on headphones at Canadian store The Source going on right now. And lucky me, my current Factory Direct cheapies are going bad, so I'd like to get new ones. I am so not up on headphones though, so I thought I'd ask you guys which one(s) out of the ones on sale look good. I'm interested in headphones, not earbuds, and other than it being nice if they were durable enough to use in the winter I don't have any specific requirements beyond being comfortable to wear and good sound. Any recommendations?
posted by the dief to Shopping (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm leaning towards these Sony MDRXD200 ones because I like the idea of whole-ear headphones and they seem to have gotten reasonably good reviews, but if there's something else I should be looking at please let me know. Thanks!
posted by the dief at 4:57 PM on August 31, 2009

I once had those exact headphones. The sound was really nice, but I have to say that the size gets to you after a while, particularly if you're going to do a lot of walking around. Also, I've been going with headphones about half the size for a while, and I have to say that the sound difference is rather negligible compared to giant headphones, at least to my ears.

You might want to give these Studio Monitors a shot. I once had these until I caught the wire on a fire hydrant, and they were basically just as good, and much more comfortable.

I also remember that the Sony MDRXD200 headphones played really quiet on my iPod...probably because they were meant to plug into a stereo system. Also check out cord lengths for the same reason...I believe the Studio Monitor cord dragged on the ground until I tied it up.
posted by hiteleven at 5:33 PM on August 31, 2009

Honestly, I don't think any of those look good.

If you're interested in over-the-ear headphones, I like the Sony MDR-V6 (or the MDR-7506, which are basically their twin) a lot. The Grado SR-60s are also nice, but don't isolate as well, and aren't as durable, as the Sonys. The Sennhiser HD-280s isolate even better than the Sonys, but aren't as comfortable. Of course, the headphones you mention are on sale for $25, and the ones I mention are at least twice that.

For about thirty bucks, Koss Porta-Pros are a popular budget-audiophile choice (they're also pretty hideous-looking).
posted by box at 5:41 PM on August 31, 2009

I have the Koss PortaPros and the Sony MDR-7506. I'd recommend them both; PortaPros are good if you're on a budget or want more portability, and the 7506 are great, comfortable, large, isolating headphones.

One thing I would seriously recommend is paying attention to comfort. I previously had the Koss Pro4AAT, and they did sound pretty good, but they got really uncomfortable after extended periods of time, which over time soured my opinion of them completely.

After looking at your link, if you have to get something from that sale, I'd get some Sonys I guess. The other ones kind of seem like toys. Honestly though, if you want some pretty good, pretty cheap headphones, I'd recommend whatever well-reviewed Koss headphones fit what you're looking for. I've gone through tons of them (for very little money, since they have an actual lifetime warranty) and they're all pretty good.
posted by miraimatt at 6:35 PM on August 31, 2009

I second the nomination for the MDRV150s linked to by hiteleven.

I've been using them for ages and will continue to do so (Am on my third pair - thanks, staff discount! Not you, extreme sports calendar). The plastic bits do like to break in strange places, though, so patience and mending skills are sometimes needed.
posted by rhinny at 2:16 AM on September 1, 2009

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