Personal View site logo
Headphones, best affordable
  • Hi,

    I thought I'd start a thread about the monitoring headphones. I need ones that I can plug into my Zoom H1. Which ones are good value for the money? I would love to buy SONY MDR-7506, but those cost £105 (the real ones, not Chinese counterfeit). So which headphones would you recommend for sound monitoring for no-budget kind of film-making?

    Must be cheap, but relatively good quality, like those cheap Chinese mics.

    Any advice?

  • 59 Replies sorted by
  • unfortunately the PU or PVC they use on ear pads deteriorates over time, oils on our skin and ozone may contribute to deterioration, but I usually find third party replacements on eBay or Amazon

    I need to do that for my Sennheiser 7506!

    Already replaced my gel pads on my Remote Audio 7506 last year.

  • Cool! I'll order a set.

  • unfortunately the PU or PVC they use on ear pads deteriorates over time, oils on our skin and ozone may contribute to deterioration, but I usually find third party replacements on eBay or Amazon

  • My MDR-7506's still sound good after years of use, but the coating that covers the foam on the earpieces flakes off. Every time I use them, I find pieces of the coating lying around.

  • Don't forget that the life of your eardrum is proportional to the distance of the driver from your ear. Choose cans with some space.

  • I've been a Sennheiser man, but have also had AKG over the years. I had Sony WAAAAY back in the day but like @DrDave said I thought the high end was overhyped and a bit fatiguing.

    For really cheap headphones i've been hearing good things about the JVC HARX000 Line. Each model had gotten good reviews. The HARX300 $15 HARX500 $21, HARX700 $37 and HARX900 $60. These aren't the ultimate in audio quality, but from what i've heard they are VERY good and close to the ATH M line. At those low prices it's worth a shot.

  • Anybody tried mp4nation's Brainwavz line? The HM5 'studio monitor' pair has great reviews at their site and on amazon.. I've had a pair of cheap labtecs glued to my ears over the years for everyday use and they work great.. It would be nice to have something high end if I ever get the point of doing actual sound mixing though

  • @Flanaaandeeers you don't want flat, you want them to sound a certain way. The drivers are an inch from your ears so there are nearfield effects that have to be ironed out. You have to try them out. One thing I miss about my local hifi shop that went out of business was that they had all the cans with a switchboard. I haven't heard one that I like more than the ATH M50, but other engineers (with money) like Sennheiser and Grado. I don't know anyone who uses Sony, but I see them in the field. Most of the Sonys I have tried have an artificial high end, but once you get used to your headphones, you adjust. The Sony's are revealing of noise in the recording, so if you need to monitor for noise, factor that in.

    AT make also the M30, I haven't tried them but they routinely show up on eBay for $25 if you want a cheap pair of cans with relative balanced sound.

  • In this case get Takstar HD 2000 and go shooting.

  • I don't want to sound stingy, but those are out of budget too. Here in my country you can only get the original ones for 150 bucks. And it's important to mention that we have lots or problems importing foreign products now, so that alternative (that I've used to consider) is almost impossible.
    Beyer DT231 and 235 are also in the price range but I've read they're not that 'flat'.

  • @Flaaandeeers

    May be get original 7506 or their newer alternative from Sony (just not on ebay) ?.

  • Thanks @Vitaliy_Kiselev
    Those were actually on top of my list, but here they're 2 or 3 times the price of the three that I've mentioned, and sadly out of my budget :(

  • I'm a no-budget bastard looking for a decent pair of closed headphones for field monitoring with my h4n.
    Here in my country I can get AKG-K44, Superlux HD661 (MDR7506 wannabes) or Takstar HD 2000 for similar price. (I've tried Senns 201/202 and I really didn't like them for monitoring) I was leaning to Superlux because I've tried and liked the brand (I have and love the 668B for inside use). They seemed to be a cheap alternative to the 7506 but I've seen some reviews talking about them being not that comfortable.
    Regarding the Takstar, they're a bit cheaper than the other 2 but I've only found a couple of reviews, although all positive. Two sided cable :S
    The AKG-K44 have been previously recommended here in the thread so I guess they're a safe bet, but seem to be the bulkiest of the 3.
    Any updated insights about this? Thanks!

  • Big fan of the AKG 240 Studios. $100 well spent.

    500 x 559 - 178K
  • I have DT 770 80ohm witch I love and use a lot. Then my wife started to use them and take them to work every day. So we had to find something else. Considering that she was already spoiled and wanted something good and comfortable :) we took these ones: with little modification ( ). IMHO best price performance on Amazon.

  • I have the AT M50s and the Sennheiser 580 with the cable from the HD600 ($12 upgrade). All good. There is no best headphones; they are like shoes.

  • as it was mentioned often I bought the HD 201. I must say I am very disappointed. Isolation doesnt deserve the name, output level is so low that I could not use it for watching a movie on the iPad during a flight. Byuing cheap means buying twice :-(

  • HD 280 pro. Nice, folding feature. Rugged and sound fairly flat. Reasonable isolation.

  • Also, can't stress enough the importance of

    a) discreet sound card

    b) linear eq

    Here are the settings for grado 60:

    And plug in the reverse of this for the Porta Pros:[]=1613

    The headphones will come alive; and here are quality sound cards for all budgets:

    Both of those have upgradeable op-amps to achieve incredible sound.

  • @sam_stickland @Sage

    Please, stay on topic. It may seem fun, but it makes unnecessary noise.

  • ;)

    Check out 2:04 -

  • What about these? :) A snip at one million dollars.

  • The ones mentioned here sing, but here's a quick value list:

    Lowest cost: KSC75 Modded - $15

    Portapros Modded, EQ'd to reverse of Freq Response - $35

    Grado SR60i - $80

    HD25 - $200

    The key with the low cost Koss is to recable them to get rid of the easy to break stock cord that constricts the sound, and maybe Kramer/quarter mod them + an in line resistor. Also, you will get vastly improved voice coil response by a slow burn in of your cans - low volume midtone classical for many hours, then increase volume a notch and repeat, until you reach high volume over the course of a couple days. Years ago, I did a test by breaking in one set slowly, and the other more quickly (loud). Though they were the same cans, the slow break-in set still sounds much richer, having put them both to use over the years.