I'm a collector of cheap, high-quality headphones. Throughout my travels, I have come across some real gems that I think everyone, especially music enthusiasts, should own. In my opinion, many of these headphones sound better than the Bose IE2 ($100), Bose AE2 ($150), and Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio ($300).
Audio quality is rated from 1 (standard iPod earbuds) to 10 (Creative Aurvana Live! $95, the best headphones under $100).
[B] = Bass heavy, [S] = Studio monitor
Full Size Shure - SRH440 $80 ?? - Sony - MDR-XB500 $50 7.5 [B] Extra bass, very comfortable Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio $300 8.0 [B] Active noise cancelling (yuck) Superlux - HD668b $50 8.2 [S] very sharp treble Samson - SR850 $60 8.3 [S] very sharp treble, HD668b re-brand Sony - MDR-V6 $80 9.5 [S] It has a Wikipedia page so it must be good Creative - Aurvana Live! $95 10 [B] Best SQ under $100 Portable JVC - HAS160 $15 ?? - Beyerdynamic - DT 235 $50 ?? - Grado - SR60i $80 ?? - Koss - KSC75 $12 7.0 [B] Koss - Portapro $31 7.1 [B] foldable, pinches long hair Bose - AE2 $150 7.3 very comfortable Monoprice - 8323 $22 7.5 - Sennheiser - PX100-II $50 7.8 [B] Most comfortable, foldable Panasonic - RP-HTF600-S $30 8.2 [B] IEM DUNU - DN-12 Trident $40 ?? - Meelectronics - M9 $15 5.7 [B] Bose - IE2 $100 6.0 - Monoprice - 8320 $7 6.2 Uncomfortable, recommend Sony tips Sennheiser - CX300-II $50 6.4 [B] only on the list because of their popularity Philips - SHE3580 $10 6.5 - Brainwavz - Beta $29 6.6 [B] Soundmagic - E30 $40 6.9 [B] JVC - HAFX40 $25 7.0 Very sharp treble JVC - HAFX1X $17 7.4 [B] Amazing bass for an IEM VSonic - GR06 $66 8.3 -
-Audio Technica - AD700 $100 -best gaming headphones due to wide sound stage
-Audio Technica - M50 $150 -I don't like these, but most consider these the best headphones for the price
-V-Moda - M80 $200 -One of the best sounding and most visually pleasing headphones in this price range. A good alternative to Beats with significantly better sound quality
-Sennheiser HD558 / HD598 - amazingly comfortable
Things to avoid (if you are looking for good sound quality)
-Monster products (most, not all), Bose, Skullcandy
-Turtle Beach, Razer, Steel Series
-Active noise cancelling
-Anything branded as 'gaming'
-Anything endorsed by a celebrity
Post in this thread the best sounding, and best value headphones you've owned for under $100 :)