Good audio fidelity is a really important part of how I enjoy music and video games. So important that this year I bought a new pair of Sennheisers to replace my starter pair. When I buy a pair of headphones they must do a few things.

  1. Be over the ear and provide an amount of natural noise cancelation. I don't care for the headphones that contain active noise cancelation frequency technology as it kind of hurts my ears. I prefer a solid pair of over the ear headphones that naturally muffle the outside noise.

  2. Sound great

  3. Look pretty good

  4. Feel comfortable over the ear for prolonged use

  5. I'd rather not spend a zillion dollars

That all said, each pair i've got as been a bit better than the last and I think my next pair might be a set of sub $200 intro studio quality headphones. All that to say, I enjoy a bit richer sound from music and video games. As someone that has spent a minor amount of times perusing the world of audiophiles I have at least heard that many audio professionals think the Beats by Dre line of equipment is simply not worth the price. I heard a few songs on a pair in store and whereas I didn't prefer the sound to my Sennheisers I didn't think it was as bad as some claim.

Recently I saw a really great video by YouTube tech personality Marques Brownlee called "The Truth About Beats by Dre!" Not only is it interesting but Brownlee paints a really fair picture of what goes into making a good pair of headphones and how things turn out to be as expensive as they are in the store.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 09/02/2014 at 02:53pm

I don't know that I'd go for studio headphones (what might be called monitors) if you want deeper, richer sounds from music or games. I mean, I guess it all depends on the headset. Then there is the other variable: your ears. Frequency response range is probably most important. Studio monitors are designed for balance and a truer representation of unfiltered sound. Most consumer headphones have that "bass boost," which is undesirable for recording music, per se, but could enhance the listening pleasure of most hip-hop or D&B.

I have studio monitors that I use for recording music, but I don't like to use them for gaming because they don't produce those deep, head-shaking lows. For that I have a set of Plantronic GameCom headphones. One thing the Plantronics also have is a soft fabric cover on the ear pieces. This is a huge thing to consider, especially for prolonged use. The leather-type covers do help to limit outside sound, but don't breathe very well, and after a while they start to get hot and sweaty. I have a set of Sony Gold Wireless that do this, and it's the only thing I hate about them. I've never used Beats, aside from maybe trying them in Best Buy once. The price may have a little to do with the name there, I would assume.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/02/2014 at 04:11pm

I've been incredibly impressed with a pair of $25 Monoprice studio headphones. They're truly amazing, performing at a level I haven't heard in a pair of headphones under $100. They aren't going to beat Sennheisers in the same configuration by any means, but I can use and abuse these without worrying about damaging them.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/02/2014 at 06:32pm

My new Sennheisers cost about $60. I dig the sound but it's a bit flatter than my last pair. I don't mind it though. I picked them up because they had a pretty good sound but also they had a clip mic that works on my phone for calls and have a button for pausing playing tracks.

I wanted a nicer sound than the Apple earbuds but kept the mic/button functionality. I wish more over the ear earphones did that.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 09/02/2014 at 07:13pm

That name "Monoprice" is horrible, but they do look like nice headphones. I like the ability to swap out cables/detach for storing. Can't beat $25, either.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/02/2014 at 08:06pm

The detachable cable is a nice feature. I want that for my next pair.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/02/2014 at 09:37pm

Monoprice is awesome, I never thought of the name, but for cables it's always a good place for high quality and low price. I just never thought they would make good headphones.

And yeah, the detachable cable is amazing. I've ruined headphones by getting the cable caught on something. Now it just pops out if it snags.

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