Good, cheapish headphone recommendations please!
May 6, 2010 9:45 AM   Subscribe

A simple question that has led me down many dead ends: what cheap-ish headphones would you recommend for someone (in the UK) who primarily wants to listen to music and recorded songs?

Budget is £50 (+/- £10, although lower is not a problem) and I'm not too fussed about noise cancellation as I'll be mainly using them in my room. I'm not interested in them having a built-in mic. What I'm looking for is just some decent headphones that play my music good, and can be used to listen back to recorded tracks for the purposes of recording.

I've scoured Amazon but none seem to come out as clear winners, so any anecdotal evidence would be appreciated! Thank you.
posted by jhighmore to Technology (12 answers total)
Well, you don't mention portability, an important factor in making a purchasing decision.

While I'm a longtime user of Sony headphones (MDR-V600 and various permutations), they tend to not last very long - broken plugs are usually the culprit. Recently, I've been using a wonderful set of Sennheiser PX100 cans with my laptop while in the field, it's a great pair of small, collapsible headphones that are really solid and sound excellent. You can often find them for under $50 in the U.S. if you spend the time searching, not sure about UK pricing. And I've pretty much always owned a set of Koss Pro4AA cans, due to the great sound, and unmatched lifetime warranty. They're not the most comfortable headphones in the world, but they're touch as nails, and again, they sound totally wonderful.
posted by dbiedny at 10:02 AM on May 6, 2010

these are at the top end of your range, but they're also what you're looking for in that budget:
Grado SR60

they're widely regarded as the best sub-$100 open-air headphones.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:26 AM on May 6, 2010

I'll second the recommendation for Sennheiser PX100's. Listen to them for most of the day, every day at work and they are great. Remarkable bass from headphones this size, as well.
posted by dforemsky at 10:55 AM on May 6, 2010

yup, Grado SR60
posted by caddis at 11:21 AM on May 6, 2010

Sennheiser PX200's can be found for just $5 more than the 100s and they sound much better, IMO. I've since moved on to Sennheiser 280 pros, but they are the big and bulky over-ear type.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:25 PM on May 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice so far.

Sorry, I neglected to mention: portability is not an issue at all. I don't expect to be using these out and about.
posted by jhighmore at 2:47 PM on May 6, 2010

As a result of my previous AskMe on the subject, I got a set of Sennheiser HD 202s. That was 5 years ago, so models may certainly have changed, but I'm wearing them right now, and they work fine. And they came in at about 1/3 of your price range.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:52 PM on May 6, 2010

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. These are my favs of all my headphones. They're comfy, sound great, have a coiled cord, have excellent isolation, and lay flat. They're nice and solid too and, according to the manual, can be repaired if parts wear out.

For the cheapies, I think the 100s sound better than the PX200 but that's just a preference. The 100's are open air and the PX200 is closed but they don't have big enough drivers to deliver the base. The 100s seem ok on base. Both are kind of light and tend to fall off my head.
posted by chairface at 3:02 PM on May 6, 2010

Some of the cheaper Sennheiser headphones are awesome. I have these two models; the sound is great and they've withstood some battering. Caveat: I'm not an audiophile. I only use these to listen to mp3s and movies on my ipod and pc.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:45 PM on May 6, 2010

Sennheiser PX100s are really good and at the bottom of your price range at about £20-25.
posted by ozgirlabroad at 6:56 PM on May 6, 2010

Another vote for Grado SR60's. You will be hard pressed to find any headphones that cost the same as the SR60s that sound anywhere near as good - they hold their own with headphones costing much more money - and as such are regarded as one of the best deals out there in Audio. I love my pair. Only con is that since they are such an open design, a lot of sound escapes, so they don't give you a lot of privacy if that is a concern.
posted by Diplodocus at 9:00 PM on May 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all your help. In the end, I went for the PX200s. I'm very impressed, but a few things to note if anyone else is on a similar hunt: they are smaller than they look, and aren't brilliant at noise cancelling. But these factors didn't matter to me, so y'know.
posted by jhighmore at 4:15 PM on May 17, 2010

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