budget wired headphones for music

Sean de Silva

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I have a Philips SHE3900/BK earphone since last four years and am quite happy with the bass, vocals and treble. The earphones sometimes slip off and I have to periodically adjust their position hence I've been on the hunt for over-the-ear wired headphones that will perform considerably better than the earphones. Not interested in wireless headphones.

After hasty research I zeroed in on the AKG K92 from amazon. They’ve been nothing but a disappointment to say the least. Noise isolation 4/10, fit and comfort 10/10, aesthetics 10 /10, performance 2/10. The bass is flat and practically non-existent and the overall sound output felt quite weak. Mind you AKG/hpz does not state anywhere that the K92 requires amplification unlike certain models from other brands like AT and Beyerdynamic etc hence I assumed that a smartphone would have enough juice to drive these to an appreciable volume. I couldn't have been more wrong. I have returned the K92 and shortlisted a few other models keeping in mind my requirements i.e. decent noise isolation, large ear cups, high sensitivity, low impedance and budget.

EIKON H200, EIKON H800, ONEODIO PRO30, ONEODIO PRO50, ONEODIO A71, CLAW SM50, SAMSON SR950, MONOPRICE-MODERN RETRO.

I would’ve considered the Audio Technica ATH-M20X/30X , Shure SRH240A but hpz states that these require amplification.

Any other popular headphone models I should be looking at other than those mentioned above?

I am even open to considering good earphones as a last resort.
 

headcase

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I have a Philips SHE3900/BK earphone since last four years and am quite happy with the bass, vocals and treble. The earphones sometimes slip off and I have to periodically adjust their position hence I've been on the hunt for over-the-ear wired headphones that will perform considerably better than the earphones. Not interested in wireless headphones.

After hasty research I zeroed in on the AKG K92 from amazon. They’ve been nothing but a disappointment to say the least. Noise isolation 4/10, fit and comfort 10/10, aesthetics 10 /10, performance 2/10. The bass is flat and practically non-existent and the overall sound output felt quite weak. Mind you AKG/hpz does not state anywhere that the K92 requires amplification unlike certain models from other brands like AT and Beyerdynamic etc hence I assumed that a smartphone would have enough juice to drive these to an appreciable volume. I couldn't have been more wrong. I have returned the K92 and shortlisted a few other models keeping in mind my requirements i.e. decent noise isolation, large ear cups, high sensitivity, low impedance and budget.

EIKON H200, EIKON H800, ONEODIO PRO30, ONEODIO PRO50, ONEODIO A71, CLAW SM50, SAMSON SR950, MONOPRICE-MODERN RETRO.

I would’ve considered the Audio Technica ATH-M20X/30X , Shure SRH240A but hpz states that these require amplification.

Any other popular headphone models I should be looking at other than those mentioned above?

I am even open to considering good earphones as a last resort.
Earphones are usually 16 ohms easily driven via phone
HPs 🎧 vary in impedance from 32>

So for stock drivability IEMs/earphones will be fine. Some hps with low ohms also

If u want the oomph factor like u mentioned high sensitivity. U'd need to add a HP 🎧 amp. e.g. Fiio hp amps etc

All IEMs & HPs gain from an amp.

ATHM20/30/40/50x & Shure SRH240A are very good options but will sound much better with an amp. U can also add beyerdynamics Custom One/Pro to the list. Even AKG.

 
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Subbu68

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I was in the same situation some months ago. Ultimately chose KEF M500. A flat response as per some tests. Noise isolation is not that great as it is on ear HP but sound quality is excellent and my Nokia 8.3 drives it easily.

Adding USB DAC / HP amp iFi Nano DSD to it is just bliss.

That AKG K92 is their lowest of the line HP.
 

greenhorn

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Any reason why you're looking at only wired? If you're not looking to earn your audiophile badge, but rather just enjoy music, forget the internet advice from your average audiophile audience. Try out the anker soundcore q10. It's on sale now for 2k on Flipkart. Sounds way better than anything you can get under 10k. Else if you've got more money and wouldn't mind getting your head massaged, hpz has some pre owned Sony xb950's

PS: i wasted a lot of money chasing headsets on the internet top 10 charts. Ath m50, Sennheiser hd58x, beyerdynamic custom one pro, creative aurvana (fostec biodynamic), superlux hd662, oneodio pro50, takstar pro 82 - only the 58x did not suck, and that's after a ton of eq. I've sold or given away the rest.
 
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headcase

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Any reason why you're looking at only wired? If you're not looking to earn your audiophile badge, but rather just enjoy music, forget the internet advice from your average audiophile audience. Try out the anker soundcore q10. It's on sale now for 2k on Flipkart. Sounds way better than anything you can get under 10k. Else if you've got more money and wouldn't mind getting your head massaged, hpz has some pre owned Sony xb950's
Heard lots about soundcore will try out sometime if someone has it.
PS: i wasted a lot of money chasing headsets on the internet top 10 charts. Ath m50, Sennheiser hd58x, beyerdynamic custom one pro, creative aurvana (fostec biodynamic), superlux hd662, oneodio pro50, takstar pro 82 - only the 58x did not suck, and that's after a ton of eq. I've sold or given away the rest.
I will disagree here man.
What HP dac/amp did u try with above hps u've mentioned ?
 

greenhorn

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Heard lots about soundcore will try out sometime if someone has it.

I will disagree here man.
What HP dac/amp did u try with above hps u've mentioned ?
I used a Chromecast audio as the source and an smsl sap ii, fx Audio ph a1, tube 02 and a schiit magni 3
Combo dacs - fx Audio dac x6 and dac m3, radsone es100, qudelix 5k

Once i got the qudelix 5k and started playing around with EQ, i realised that I was happiest with a bass heavy (' fun') tuning, and not anything remotely audiophile/ neutral, or even audiophile/ bassy. I started looking for headphones that were reviewed as 'unuseable' by most headphone specialists and found happiness there. Sony xb950 (i have both wired and wireless), Skullcandy crusher wireless, creative aurvana live 2, 1more h1707, and the soundcore q10
Had the same experience with iems, but that's a longer list.
 

stefan

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Samson SR850 is very sweet for the money, very good soundstage and imaging, bass is very good and not overpowering, mids nice not recessed to to forward, highs are good but not perfect could be a bit more airy. However there is a simple little filter which can be made to get the best out of the highs, that's if you're DIY inclined. Overall a ln absolute bargain.
 

Kannan

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I have three though hardly use them. They are Philips 9500, ATH M50 (with FIIO bluetooth accessory) and Sennheiser HD598.
All three have different signatures, The ATH is the most revealing with the best low end and is closed back.
The other two are open back. Philips is the most comfortable, most balanced and best for sustained listening with a little roll off and a bit shy on details.
Senn is in between the above two and has the best built of the three.
 

headcase

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I used a Chromecast audio as the source and an smsl sap ii, fx Audio ph a1, tube 02 and a schiit magni 3
Combo dacs - fx Audio dac x6 and dac m3, radsone es100, qudelix 5k

Once i got the qudelix 5k and started playing around with EQ, i realised that I was happiest with a bass heavy (' fun') tuning, and not anything remotely audiophile/ neutral, or even audiophile/ bassy. I started looking for headphones that were reviewed as 'unuseable' by most headphone specialists and found happiness there. Sony xb950 (i have both wired and wireless), Skullcandy crusher wireless, creative aurvana live 2, 1more h1707, and the soundcore q10
Had the same experience with iems, but that's a longer list.
It could hv been ur source prolly.

A DSR7BT is also a very good BT HP 🎧
 

headcase

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I have three though hardly use them. They are Philips 9500, ATH M50 (with FIIO bluetooth accessory) and Sennheiser HD598.
All three have different signatures, The ATH is the most revealing with the best low end and is closed back.
The other two are open back. Philips is the most comfortable, most balanced and best for sustained listening with a little roll off and a bit shy on details.
Senn is in between the above two and has the best built of the three.
M50 & fiio is a killer combo. Senns are more demanding with a good amp.

Would like to listen on a chord mojo sometime.
 

skk

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Samson SR850 is very sweet for the money, very good soundstage and imaging, bass is very good and not overpowering, mids nice not recessed to to forward, highs are good but not perfect could be a bit more airy. However there is a simple little filter which can be made to get the best out of the highs, that's if you're DIY inclined. Overall a ln absolute bargain.
I would also suggest the SR850 for being a great VFM option albeit requiring some equilizer tuning.
 

Sean de Silva

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Any reason why you're looking at only wired? If you're not looking to earn your audiophile badge, but rather just enjoy music, forget the internet advice from your average audiophile audience. Try out the anker soundcore q10. It's on sale now for 2k on Flipkart. Sounds way better than anything you can get under 10k. Else if you've got more money and wouldn't mind getting your head massaged, hpz has some pre owned Sony xb950's

PS: i wasted a lot of money chasing headsets on the internet top 10 charts. Ath m50, Sennheiser hd58x, beyerdynamic custom one pro, creative aurvana (fostec biodynamic), superlux hd662, oneodio pro50, takstar pro 82 - only the 58x did not suck, and that's after a ton of eq. I've sold or given away the rest.
I got the Anker soundcore life Q10. They've picked up from where my earlier earphones left off. Total vfm headphones and ticks all the boxes. Right off the bat they sound impressive and make my earphones feel a bit strident lol. I'll have to get used to the weight though as they are a bit on the heavier side. I'm not a fan of BT hence am thankful that these came with a 3.5mm aux cable which is how i will always use them. @greenhorn you're my lucky headphone mascot! Cheers 🥳👏
 
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