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Best Monitor headphones for $100 or less?!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by zantaff, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. zantaff


    Nov 28, 2012
    I've been searching many hours for top notch Monitor headphones for around $100. I've narrowed it down to 3 models:

    Audio Technica ATH-M50 ~$100
    Sony MDR-7506 ~ $90
    Sennheiser HD 280 ~$70

    I've heard really good things about all of them, and am very torn on which ones should come home with me.
    What do you think of the quality and value of these headphones? Any suggestions?
  2. zantaff


    Nov 28, 2012
    'm a bassist, so it's important the low ends are very solid (not overpowering, though). I've been looking at Monitor headphones for their hifi sound, as well as good sound isolation/low sound leakage.
  3. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I've got Audio Technica ATH-M35s, and I find them to be pretty good. The are a little pumped in the bass region though, my mixes never sound as fat in the car as they do on the headphones.
  4. goldenglory18


    Nov 30, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Your Mom.
    Yeah, the 30 series are pretty low heavy. A lot like the Beats products actually.

    IMO, another great set for the value is the ATH-WS55. I've heard nothing but good things about them and those will be my next set of (nice/expensive) monitoring phones.

    Also, I'm super interested in the phones Monoprice have been coming out with. I'm a huge fan of their A/V products and have heard great things about the 8323. For $24, they can't be terrible....
  5. Col200


    Feb 18, 2007

    I use them for tracking as well as for checking/editing my tracks in the mix. Good isolation. Handles low frequency very wel.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Hey they are all good headphones
    Singling out one as better is a tough choice

    Maybe buy the cheaper, and at the same time buy some earbuds from the drugstore. 99% of people are going to be listening on cheaper earbuds. You have to mix down to best sound on both high quality and low quality headphones and speakers.

    It mostly works using nearly any headphone or earbuds, as long as you don't buy headphones that are weighted heavy in the bass - like Dr Dre, or you'll end up with mixes that sound good to you, but weak on bass for others listening on regular headphones and speakers.
  7. goldenglory18


    Nov 30, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Your Mom.
    Great advice....
  8. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    A lot of it comes from learning the limitations of whatever equip you have, and adjusting your mixes to suit.

    My final mix test is always how it sounds in my car, since that's actually where I do the majority of my listening these days. I reference everything back to that.
  9. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    If you can get the M50's for a hundred bucks, snag them. That's an awesome price.
  10. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Ultrasone HFi 580 could also be on the list. Better then the M50, cost the same in Europe.
  11. Ditto. I love mine. I got really lucky and got them at a local retailer's summer blow-out for $70, and they are worth every penny.

    They isolate well, and they have a great frequency response.
  12. Right On. 'Back in the Day', the 'Motown Sound' was mixed down on a set of 6X9 car speakers. Barry Gordy knew that everyone was listening in the car, and tailored the mix to the client and the sound system.

  13. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I paid $104.95 at B&H Photo in NYC ... http://www.bandhphoto.com
  14. The HD280 have a good even response across the frequency range. In a recording situation that's what you want to look for. Any bumps or dips in the frequency response can lead to a misleading representation of the mix. I just found that the HD280 have a good frequency response.
  15. I'd have to agree with 863's assessment. I have the HD280's and love 'em. Comfy, powerful, flat. Zero fatigue when practising for hours.

    Very solidly built too.
  16. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    i have the SONY 7506 and sometimes wear them all day without a problem. The sound quaality is the best Ive ever heard from headphones.
  17. The Impostor

    The Impostor

    Jul 8, 2011
    I have Superlux HD-662's. They go for around 30 euros in Europe. Great deal for the money.
  18. +1 on these.
    I had a pair for years, long enough for the ear pad covers to start shedding :scowl: ..... bits stuck all over the sides of ya head......
    They were replaced with a pair of KRK phones - forget the model - which were quite comparable as I couldn't find any Sonys local at the time.
  19. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    +1 on ATHm50's
    Usually they are around the $159 range.

    I use DT770's, AKG k240's, and HD280's. Having switched between them when listening to the same mix...
    The HD280 are more mid range heavy and not great to me. I threw them in my live mixing console case and only use them for live mixing where I need good isolation. Mostly used for balancing volumes in monitor mixing and not critical EQ'ing
  20. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004