Ask DN: What headphones do you use?

over 9 years ago from , Designer at Ambidextrous

I'm looking to get an upgrade from my Apple headphones. I'd like to get some over the ear headphones that aren't to expensive. So I'm not interested in paying $400. So what do you all use? Any recommendations?


  • Casey CavanaghCasey Cavanagh, over 9 years ago

    Audio Technica ATH-M50

    9 points
    • Brennan Smith, over 9 years ago

      I have been through numerous different headphones and the Audio Technica ATH-M50 rule them all. Great sound for the price and they are designed for comfort.

      Great review on them here: http://youtu.be/Krdb8lceRoI

      0 points
    • Bruce Vang, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

      I was able to get them for $80 was really disappointed by everything. With an amp they sound okay, but the lack of a sound stage and it's uncomfortable use after 2-3 hours made me sell it. They just weren't the upgrade I was expecting when going into the $100 range.

      0 points
  • Vinh LeVinh Le, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Sennheiser HD 380 pro

    • Great sounding,
    • solid (plastic, makes it light!),
    • comfortable
    • reasonable price ~$126
    4 points
    • Chris CChris C, over 9 years ago

      I own these as well and I love them - sometimes I forget I'm even wearing headphones because they are so light and fitting.

      1 point
    • Nathan NNathan N, over 9 years ago

      Sennheiser makes great headphones for audiophiles. I have the 280's myself and they survived a year in my backpack in Hong Kong so I can attest to the solid build quality. Only issue is if you have glasses (like me) then wearing them for extended periods may be uncomfortable.

      0 points
  • Evan RileyEvan Riley, over 9 years ago

    Grados SR 80i.

    I love them, although they are open so I'm not sure if you/those around you would also love them.

    4 points
  • Kash NourooziKash Nouroozi, over 9 years ago (edited 9 years ago )

    Sony MCR-7506

    Kinda ugly, but they're amazing reference monitors.

    3 points
  • Louis-André LabadieLouis-André Labadie, over 9 years ago

    To answer the topic: I use Bower & Wilkins' P5 headphones. They got me through most work days for the last 18 months.

    Since you're looking at lower-cost, and I see you're in the United States, I suggest looking at JLab. They make low-cost headphones with pretty good sound & build quality (flat ribbon cords are a blessing). Amazing customer service.

    1 point
  • Ard BlokArd Blok, over 9 years ago

    I've been using the Shure SE215-CL ($99) for the last three years. The shape fits very comfortable in the ear so wearing them all day long is possible (usually in-ears get really painful).

    1 point
    • Giulio MichelonGiulio Michelon, over 9 years ago

      I use those with my band, they isolate yourself from the world!

      0 points
    • Todd BenningsTodd Bennings, over 9 years ago

      From one of the Amazon reviews:

      "Technically, these are "sound isolating" earphones and I don't know how that's different from "noise cancellation" but the one thing is true: these earbuds keep the outside noise out and music in. I drove over to my half-deaf grandmother's house just to test this. She likes to get up close and shout all holy-hell about if you'd like to eat. Cue Shure earbuds and stand in shock as grandmother is transformed into David Bowie singing "Ziggy Stardust" and holding a spatula."

      I laughed.

      0 points
  • Jad LimcacoJad Limcaco, over 9 years ago

    I have the Beats Studio Pros, friend works at BestBuy and gave me the best discount!

    1 point
  • Joshua BJoshua B, over 9 years ago

    Had the Bayerdynamic DT 990 for some time. Pretty good for their price.

    But since I destroy my headphones relatively often I use the EarPods again.

    1 point
  • Thibault Lemaitre, over 9 years ago

    Parrot Zik: Noise-Cancelling + Bluetooth

    0 points
  • Ren WalkerRen Walker, over 9 years ago

    JayBird BlueBuds X

    Everything on my desk is wireless, so I wanted my newest headphones to be too. Couldn't be happier. Also managed to find mine for $90.

    0 points
  • Tucker SpoffordTucker Spofford, over 9 years ago

    I'm like Mr. Rogers, I have a set of walking phones and a set of working phones, and I change them out when I get to my desk in the morning.

    Walking: Harmon Kardon BT

    PROS - Wireless so every-time I use them it's like the future - Have AAC, APT-x so they actually sound good wireless - Super comfy for 1-2 hours - Highly durable so far - Easy to recharge and work with a wired cable when the battery is drained

    CONS - Not really all day comfortable - Heavyish - Have a delay with iPad Mini for some reason so you have to plug them in to watch video, not a problem with the Mac - Annoying to transfer from device to device

    Working: AKG K701

    PROS - Most comfortable headphone ever made - Lightweight and breath so they are okay on hot days - Amazing Sound! - Can wear in the office and still hear when someone calls my name

    CONS - Cable needs an adapter for 3.5mm - Too Delicate and large for portable use - Vented, so they will annoy others if you crank the volume to 11, and they don't block environmental noise.

    0 points
  • Zethus SuenZethus Suen, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    I have a few for different situations. Overall, amps and DAC's change EVERYTHING:

    Bicycle Commuting: Apple Earbuds

    Office:Ultrasone Pro 900

    Home:Audio Technica ATHM-50

    Amps/DAC:Fiio E09K + Fiio E17

    JDS Labs O2+ODAC

    0 points
    • Stephen GraceStephen Grace, over 9 years ago

      You have buds in when riding? That would terrify me.

      0 points
      • Zethus SuenZethus Suen, over 9 years ago

        It's pretty common in SF to see people riding around with earbuds in at least. They're not noise canceling so you can still hear the outside world. Just adds a little music to your commute :D

        0 points
  • Jon MarshJon Marsh, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    I swear by the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, 80 Ohms.

    0 points
  • Matt JohnstonMatt Johnston, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    If you're looking for the best (extremely) budget earphones at only $8, checkout this great set from Monoprice. I've really not heard better earphones until getting in the > $100 range.

    You can see a couple write-ups and reviews about them on Life Hacker here and here.

    0 points
  • Elliot JacksonElliot Jackson, over 9 years ago

    Marshall Major Black

    0 points
  • Chris GabrielChris Gabriel, over 9 years ago

    Bose AE2w are great. Light and comfortable. Can switch between Bluetooth and wired easily. Charges fairly fast and lasts almost 8 hours with constant use.


    0 points
  • Bruce Vang, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    I have the DT-770s that I got for $150 from Amazon.

    • It's a closed headphone so you can turn it up and the sound doesn't leak. Great for open floor offices.
    • Super comfortable. It's like putting pillows on your ears. I can wear it for 8+ hours and it doesn't hurt my head.
    • It has a sound stage that cheaper headphones don't even have. A sound stage is like listening to surround sound or a live concert.
    0 points
  • Claude AyiteyClaude Ayitey, over 9 years ago

    I use the Sony MDR - EX50LP. I like the way they fit in well, and they have sliders to prevent tangling.

    0 points
  • Paul JarvisPaul Jarvis, over 9 years ago

    Sony MDR-7506s. Ain't no other headphones...

    0 points
  • Alex MontagueAlex Montague, over 9 years ago

    Pretty much a fact that the Audio Technica ATH-M50's are the best for that price. Only problem is the cord is heavy/long and a pain to deal with.

    I have the Incase EC30001S Sonic Around-Ear Stereo Headphones, which I only got because they were ~50% off for $60. They're actually pretty great, very durable.

    0 points
  • Matt SistoMatt Sisto, over 9 years ago

    Grado SR125i

    0 points
  • Omur UluaskOmur Uluask, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Ultrasone In-Ear

    Lightweight and balanced sound, especially basses. I highly recommend it.

    0 points
  • Per VPer V, over 9 years ago

    Sennheiser HD 25-1 II, hands down one of the best "investments" I've ever made. The price on the Sennheiser site is a bit hefty, you could probably find it quite a lot cheaper elsewhere.

    0 points
  • Leon KennedyLeon Kennedy, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    ZinkenUrbanears Zinken Black

    0 points
  • Mariano GambateseMariano Gambatese, over 9 years ago

    Bose QuietComfort 15

    The ones that I found more comfortable to use with glasses, and also the noise cancellation is pretty cool.

    Used Solo2 before, but my ears started to hurt after an hour of having them on.

    0 points
  • James LaneJames Lane, over 9 years ago

    I got myself some Sony MDR-V55's last year and they're brilliant. Relatively cheap for the sound they make (about £70ish but you can find them cheaper).

    They do have a bit of a bass-ier sound so it really depends on what you listen to and how you want it to sound.

    Don't get me wrong though, I still use the Apple headphones as handsfree!

    0 points
  • Ryan Hicks, over 9 years ago

    V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Matte Black

    0 points
  • Zach KuzmicZach Kuzmic, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Sennheiser PX-100 II

    Compact, on-ear headphones with great sound quality and an open design that lets in some of the ambient noise around me (which I like).

    0 points
  • Matt Dobson, over 9 years ago


    I had another pair of these crap out on me but they replaced them - no hassle.

    0 points
  • Bryant ChouBryant Chou, over 9 years ago

    Etymotics are by far the best earphones I've ever used for work. Combined with their little foam inserts, you can block out 100% of surrounding noise and concentrate on the task at hand.


    0 points
  • Kyle ConradKyle Conrad, over 9 years ago

    I just had this same issue - was looking for a pair of over ear headphones that were comfortable for long periods of time, so I could have them on at work without having to rip them off every 30 minutes.

    After a ton of reviews and shopping around, just ordered the Sol Republic Master Tracks: http://solrepublic.com/shop/master-tracks-over-ear-headphones-x3.html

    You can grab them on Amazon for like $120, so not too bad at all. I've heard the sound quality is just alright but that the comfort levels are through the roof. Mine arrive tomorrow so I can't wait to try them out.

    0 points
  • Jonathan SuhJonathan Suh, over 9 years ago

    Sony MDR10RBT

    I wanted a set of Bluetooth headphones but not something that would break the bank. I also wear glasses, and these are really comfortable and I can wear them for longer periods of time.

    0 points
    • Greg BeckGreg Beck, over 9 years ago

      How do they sound? These didn't turn up when I was briefly looking for wireless over-ear headphones.

      0 points
  • Dino PaskvanDino Paskvan, over 9 years ago

    Harman/Kardon CL

    They're a bit of an older model but I really like them. The only problem is that they're rather snug, so if you're wearing eyeglasses with thicker temples, the combination can result in some discomfort (which I avoid by raising the temples above my ears).

    0 points
  • Jamie MartinJamie Martin, over 9 years ago

    At work I have Sony MDR-10RBT Wireless Headphones, they're awesome.

    At home I use a Razer Kraken Pro headset for da gamez

    0 points
  • Beth DeanBeth Dean, over 9 years ago

    I use these Bose earbuds: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/audio_headphones/in_ear_headphones/index.jsp

    I always thought Bose was for business dudes on airplanes that don't care about audio quality and shop at Brookstone, but these are legit. They're comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and I like that they still let in some outside sound so I can hear what's going on around me or if someone calls my name. If you want something to block out all noise though, these are not it. I also appreciate that the input is reinforced, too many times I've bought expensive headphones, and eventually that part wears out and makes them useless.

    0 points
  • Christopher DavisChristopher Davis, over 9 years ago

    I'm absolutely in love with my B&O Play headphones. Are they $400? Well...yes...but they've been totally worth it.

    0 points
  • Kelly LawrenceKelly Lawrence, over 9 years ago

    I might make some audiophiles scoff, but I've owned two sets of JVC HANC80 Noise-Cancelling Headphones (http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000KQQUQW), and never had any issues with them in terms of sound quality.

    0 points