Oh no! Not 'The Beats'!
Seriously. Most of these are pure crap. Get yourselves over to www.head-fi.org and read up a bit then go get some 'proper' headphones/earphones for half of the price or less.
It's boom time for celebrity obsessed audiophiles. The headphone market explosion has seen everyone from 50 Cent to Earth, Wind and Fire slap their names on a pair, whether lending their names to existing products or getting involved in the production process. The spiel accompanying each pair of headphones often makes a case …
Most of the reviewed items are by Monster cable, who have some very misleading advertising and most people feel are overpriced garbage.
Sennheiser HD 600 work great for me. Open backed headphones have the best sound, but obviously they aren't silent in use, there's some sound bleed.
Why spend so much money trying to get detail out of mp3? which is what many listen to with these things.
Spot on. Who on earth would spend £300+ on a set of headphones to listen to an MP3 file? It's a clear case of GIGO (look it up). I can just about understand the multi-thousand hifi lot with dedicated rooms arranged specifically for their sonic sweet spot, but come on, headphones are crap. MP3 is crap. Combine the two and if you spend more than £30 you are fooling yourself.
With a high enough bit rate, indeed they are not. Even without, Variable Bit Rate can make the test you suggest much, much harder.
I suspect, though, that there are still people who rate their pocket-held music collection in songs per megabyte. They are probably listening to crap.
The 3rd gen is, yes. Pre-3rd-gen they were decidedly sub-par. As for the guy below dribbling about,'buying the best,' thanks for making the comparison between iTards and audiophiles, I'd have done it myself but it's more poignant, and dammit just plain funnier, that one of you lot did it first.
There is "spoiling you ears" and "throwing money away"... When the premium headphones cost over half the price of your chosen top of the range smart-phone or tablet, I have to react with WTF?!!!
There is just no justification for those prices. It makes the iPhone profit margin look positively frugal!
"...or, for somewhat more money - Sennheiser HD-25 - apparently indestructible, comfortable, fabulous sound, and most definitely head-fi approved...."
They are pretty hard to destroy. Mine are HD25SPs that I paid £90 for back in 1998 and they're still going strong; by that time I'd managed to get through numerous pairs of headphones which typically lasted all of six months apiece, whereas these just keep on going and sound fantastic. I have managed to damage the cable a couple of times over the years thanks to rank carelessness, but they're easily and cheaply replaced. Not bad considering they've seen extended daily use over that time.
Yep, another Sennheiser fan here. I'm still using some MX500s that must be getting on for 10 years old now. I've got some MX660 and MX880s too - all brilliant, but I don't like the sticky rubber cable on the new ones. I hope the 500s never die!
I've even got some MX 2-somethings (MX-260?) for £10 that are surprisingly non-rubbish for so little money.
CX300 Mark 2s are worth a look if you want noise-isolating cans, but I'd give the original CX300s a miss. Very sensitive to where you put them in your ear, and a bit bass-light even when you put them in right.
I was hoping the article would try and work out how much the endorsements added to the cost, and would compare them to non-endorsed kit for the same sort of money.
CX300 IIs are OK... to be honest they are no good for me though, I've been through two pairs in two years due to the connections breaking. I'm not even especially violent with them! Decent sound quality though, but nothing on the Klipsch S4s or the Marley Redemption Songs. Had a pair of HD595s for years, though unfortunately the plastic microcrack problem is present in them so have started to break, and I'd have to replace them with the 'orrid looking HD598s. Hearing a lot of good things about the HD600s though, so might give them a go.
I have broken a set of HD25's within 2 years they are not that robust.
I have some Technics DJ Headphones that have lasted a decade though. (Need a new cable really but Panasonic actually sells spares). They are good DJ headphones bit heavy though to use for normal stuff.
Both cost about £100 or so but £10 a year average for the Technics makes it cheaper than I spend on in ear ones. (Normally have a pair or 2 a year usually when play.com have genuine sennheisers that are going EOL).
I read an article in an engineering magazine about engineering headphones to fail (after about 18 months).
The Celebs are not ones I trust (Not that I really trust any) for this type of thing either.
(Stuff that Richie Hawtin uses - or anything that the pink floyd sound engineer puts his name on I might take a look at).
The stuff that is worth having is usually stuff that was made specifically for that person and then decided to be mass produced after.
The only closed back 'phones you'll ever need - no celebrity endorsements needed, although they will set you back about £150. Good for mixing, mastering and general listening.
For the iPod? A set of Sennheiser in-ear 'phones that cost me about £40.
Whilst I quite liked the look of the Bob Marley 'phones, a lot of the other stuff strikes me as being overpriced rubbish. The cynical might argue that this is pretty much SOP for anything made by Monster Cable.
I own some Marley cans I got used and they are very nice. But Beats? Seriously? Horrible. All bass. if all you want to listen to is rap and hip hop, then I guess. But Classical? No way, I'm a prog rock fan. I tried some Alan Parsons through them. Sounded like a tin cup and fit your head like a wood vise.
The Register frequently comes out with lists of expensive overpriced tat and I think I've worked out why. It's all an elaborate science experiment to calculate from their Amazon affiliate profits what percentage of their readers are rich and stupid.
£369 for a pair of Monster ear buds... ffs.
quite happy with my AKGs and the outlay for a quality pair was minimal compared to some of this.
you are not even a real man until you drop your headphones on the floor daily. And the AKGs still work fine, I have damaged my hearing with them quite severely, because you can just keep turning them up and they get more awesome linearly. and they never distort, ever. they also have quite a good amount of padding to shield out the shit awful sound of reality and suffering and the like. even so, i turn them way up so that i cant hear the shit awful sound of my own thoughts.
Sennheiser HD485s for listening at home. Must be at least 7 years old and sound great.
Sennheiser PX100s when I'm at work or out and about. About £39.
Pack of 10 in-ear phones off Ebay for listening to the radio in bed at night - works out at 37.5p/pair so it doesn't matter if I fall asleep with them on and trash them. One set lasts about 3 months.
Never thought I'd see RegHardware turn into a chav dealer bling roundup bazaar.
I wish this whole "headphones as fashion statement" fad would just fuck off. I was in a Superdry shop today* and it says it all that in amongst the overpriced, over-branded, 14-million-variations-on-a-theme tat they are also now selling their own range of (presumably rebadged Skullcandy) cans, available in all the muted earth tones of the rainbow.
* I know, I know. In my defence I was with the missus, and don't worry I was rocking my best coder chic of black combats, black boots, ill-fitting black raincoat and black Front 242 t-shirt. I made the whole place about twenty degrees cooler just by being there.
I care far more about the quality of the sound reproduction and build quality than branding or celebrity names.
I use the following, after years of trying lots of different cans:
* Sennheiser HD-650 and Graham Slee Solo amp at home.
* Sennheiser HD-25-1 MKII and Graham Slee Voyager amp for travel and bed.
* Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi 10 with ACS Custom Ear Moulds for travel and work.
HD-25's are great, but even better value were the British Airways ex-concorde SD-25's with the same drivers at about £25 on ebay when they grounded the planes.
After losing (and getting fed up of cleaning) several sets of in-ears at work I decided to get some headphones. I settled for a £15 set of Koss porta pro's, they're one of the best sets of headphones I've owned and would be cheap at 3x the price. The only downside is they're quite leaky.
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