Need some good portable headphones.
April 20, 2011 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Good portable headphone suggestions.

I am looking to get some new headphones after sitting on my cheap Sony ones and cracking them in half. The price I am looking for is something under $150. They need to be over the ear.

I would mostly listening to them with either my laptop or Ipod. I have a wide range in musical taste but it is important that they can handle Jazz.
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead to Shopping (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is a compact size important? Is isolation important? Do you need closed or open?

Usual suspects: open: Grado 60s; closed: Sony MDR-V6 or 7506, Sennheiser HD-280.
posted by box at 10:55 AM on April 20, 2011

Sony MDR-V6's are excellent, for sure.
posted by odinsdream at 11:07 AM on April 20, 2011

Koss Porta-Pro – the best value in headphones, ever. Not only the best value, but one of the best sounding headphones ever.
posted by krilli at 11:08 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I use HeadRoom for headphone selection. I've bought several sets of headphones over a period of years on their recommendations, and I have always been happy.
posted by cribcage at 12:02 PM on April 20, 2011

I'm very happy with my Audio Technica STH-M35. I bought them after lurking on to see what people were saying about different styles. They have almost everything I want - good fidelity, comfort, portability - but they don't have the coiled wire that some DJ models have. I use them to listen to lectures for hours at a time, and they've spoiled me for other headphones. They don't block out all noise, but I will wear them in a crowded Starbucks even if I'm not listening to audio.
posted by ladypants at 12:36 PM on April 20, 2011

Here is the obligatory Head-Fi forum link. You can spend hours there researching the issue as debated among some serious headphone enthusiasts. BTW - I love the Grado's, but you have to be aware that they don't block any outside sound.
posted by rtimmel at 12:41 PM on April 20, 2011

And 2nding box and odinsdream that the Sony MDR-V6 or 7506 and Sennheiser HD-280 are all solid options. I finally went with the Audio Technica because I'd read that their ear cups were a little deeper and they were about $30 cheaper, but the Sony and Sennheiser models are popular with audio pros.
posted by ladypants at 12:42 PM on April 20, 2011

Sorry ladypants, I didn't see your link. However, please be aware that most full-size cans need more power than an iPod puts out. So unless you want to add a portable amp into the mix, be careful about the power requirments.
posted by rtimmel at 12:45 PM on April 20, 2011

No problem rtimmel. I didn't even think of power requirements, but I've never had any trouble using my headphones with my iPod. I don't know how headphones affect battery life though.
posted by ladypants at 1:16 PM on April 20, 2011

Marco Arment of Instapaper recommends the Sennheiser PX 200-IIi. Seems I may have also seen some positive feelings towards the PX 200-II on
posted by nrobertson at 4:29 PM on April 20, 2011

I love the clip-on over the ear kind, but they always break and they're never in stock.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:42 PM on April 20, 2011

So do any of these suggestions fold and are they easy to transport?
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 6:06 PM on April 21, 2011

Like a lot of over-the-ear headphones (especially studio, dj and other prosumer ones--audiophile home-listening stuff, not so much), the Sony and Sennheiser headphones that I mention upthread fold at the earcups, and can kinda collapse into their headbands (e.g.). Sennheiser PX200/100s and Koss Porta-Pros fold in a different way that might be less durable (that said, though, those last two are much smaller and lighter).

(I hate to disagree with people, but I would say that, while the Koss Porta-Pros are an amazing $30 headphone (and Koss has a lot of earphones that sound great for their price), I don't think they're one of the best sounding headphones ever.)
posted by box at 6:27 PM on April 21, 2011

Lovecraft in Brooklyn: if you like clip-ons, you might give these a try. I've never used 'em, but they seem appealing.
posted by box at 6:30 PM on April 21, 2011

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