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  • Headphone advice, please!

    So, my wife tells me yesterday that she wants some Beats by Dre headphones as her Christmas present. (She would be using them solely for listening to music, not mixing or instrument or any other more technical purposes).

    Other than having heard of them, I don't know anything about them, except that everything about them (celebrity sponsored name, the look, the price) makes my gut tell me they are overpriced for the quality. I have some experience using headphones for playing synth and for mixing on Reason and Reaper. From that experience, I know that you can get studio professional headphones in the same price range as the Beats, stuff that would be waaaaay overkill for someone listening to music on their iPhone.

    So, (a) am I right in my gut assessment of the Beats by Dre headphones, and (b) if so, can you suggest some that are a better bang for the buck, for the intended user who uses them just to listen to music?
    My gear list:

    Guitars: Epi Les Paul w/ BG Dark Buckers; '06 MIM Fender Strat; '89 MIJ Fender/Squier Tele; '90 MIJ Fender Strat; Seagull S6
    Amps: Vox AC30; Fender Champion 600; Vox Pathfinder 15
    Pedalboard: CS-2/Fulldrive II/SD-1/DD-20/DD-5/Behringer verb/Fish & Chips/Ernie Ball VP/TU-2

    Mandolin: Loar LM-520

    Keys/Synths: Korg Triton; Korg TR-Rack; Roland SH 201; Yamaha MM6; Yamaha DX7; Mac Powerbook w/ Komplete Elements 7, Vanguard; Reaper; Reason; Korg Electribe ES-1

  • #2
    They have way too much bass and cost 4x what they should.

    Still, if my wife says to me "I want x for Christmas" and I don't have to read her mind or spend hours at the mall ..... bargain.
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    • #3
      They're trendy and expensive, making them a popular luxury gift sorta purchase. They're not the best by any means, but if she wants them and you can afford them, they're not gonna actively undermine her ability to hear iPod music in the casual kind of way that people listen to iPod music.
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      • #4
        They're not the best by any means, but if she wants them and you can afford them, they're not gonna actively undermine her ability to hear iPod music in the casual kind of way that people listen to iPod music.


        She said she wanted them just cause she had heard they were really good. When I asked her a couple of questions, she made it pretty obvious that what she really is after is just some good headphones, the brand isn't so important. The Beats price is around the mark that we usually spend on each other for Christmas, so if I can get her some as-good-as-or-better headphones and have some $ left over to spend on other stuff for her, that will definitely be more important to her than getting Beats or any other particular brand.
        My gear list:

        Guitars: Epi Les Paul w/ BG Dark Buckers; '06 MIM Fender Strat; '89 MIJ Fender/Squier Tele; '90 MIJ Fender Strat; Seagull S6
        Amps: Vox AC30; Fender Champion 600; Vox Pathfinder 15
        Pedalboard: CS-2/Fulldrive II/SD-1/DD-20/DD-5/Behringer verb/Fish & Chips/Ernie Ball VP/TU-2

        Mandolin: Loar LM-520

        Keys/Synths: Korg Triton; Korg TR-Rack; Roland SH 201; Yamaha MM6; Yamaha DX7; Mac Powerbook w/ Komplete Elements 7, Vanguard; Reaper; Reason; Korg Electribe ES-1

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        • #5
          She said she wanted them just cause she had heard they were really good. When I asked her a couple of questions, she made it pretty obvious that what she really is after is just some good headphones, the brand isn't so important. The Beats price is around the mark that we usually spend on each other for Christmas, so if I can get her some as-good-as-or-better headphones and have some $ left over to spend on other stuff for her, that will definitely be more important to her than getting Beats or any other particular brand.


          Well, then I'd shop around. If she's using cheapo earbuds right now, anything will be an improvement. I'm not crazy picky about earbuds/headphones. I received a pair of Bose deals (not the noise-cancelling ones) as a gift and they've served me well. I also have a pair of Shure earbuds that I like a lot. I'd say that Consumer Reports or something similar might give you a clue as to "bang for buck" because the Beats aren't that.
          Do not write me for reasons of sass

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          • #6
            My son was looking at those, and after trying several decided to go with Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones. Much better range and they were $100 cheaper than the beats.
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            • #7
              I'll add this to the mix too, for anyone offering me suggestions...the main time she uses headphones, by far, is on the treadmill. So they may be exposed to a drop or two of sweat. I only use earbuds when I work out, so I don't know if any particular headphones are more or less compatible with exercising while using.
              My gear list:

              Guitars: Epi Les Paul w/ BG Dark Buckers; '06 MIM Fender Strat; '89 MIJ Fender/Squier Tele; '90 MIJ Fender Strat; Seagull S6
              Amps: Vox AC30; Fender Champion 600; Vox Pathfinder 15
              Pedalboard: CS-2/Fulldrive II/SD-1/DD-20/DD-5/Behringer verb/Fish & Chips/Ernie Ball VP/TU-2

              Mandolin: Loar LM-520

              Keys/Synths: Korg Triton; Korg TR-Rack; Roland SH 201; Yamaha MM6; Yamaha DX7; Mac Powerbook w/ Komplete Elements 7, Vanguard; Reaper; Reason; Korg Electribe ES-1

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll add this to the mix too, for anyone offering me suggestions...the main time she uses headphones, by far, is on the treadmill. So they may be exposed to a drop or two of sweat. I only use earbuds when I work out, so I don't know if any particular headphones are more or less compatible with exercising while using.


                The Bose headphones I have...sweat kinda causes the black coating on the cushiony headphone part to rub off. Not so cool when little flecks of it stick to yr face.
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                • #9
                  Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros. Love 'em.
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                  • #10
                    Take her to a store that has a good selection of head phones and let her select the ones she likes the best. Hopefully it's sound she's looking for, not just to be trendy.
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                    • #11
                      I have a pair of Audio Technica noise canceling headphones that I'm happy with.

                      Comfortable, sound good, and were way cheaper than the Dr Dre. Plus, they work without the battery/noise canceling (the Bose don't, if your battery dies and you don't have another, you're out of luck).


                      Whatever you do, don't buy any of the Sony noise cancelling headphones. You know that clipping noise you get if you record something with the meter pegged in the red? That's what the Sony's sound like, at least the ones with noise canceling.

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                      • #12
                        **************** Beats and Bose.

                        these are ranked #4 by head-fi, right after a pair of $1500 Sennheisers:


                        http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATHM50-Studio-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U

                        i bought them two weeks ago and they're awesome.

                        http://www.head-fi.org/products/category/headphones (scroll down for the rankings)
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                        • #13
                          I still use and like my old-style Koss Pro4A headphones, but I kind of doubt that your wife would. They're rather heavy and clunky, but comfortable, particularly because the cushions go around the ears, rather than pressing against them.

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                          • #14
                            OP update to the story:

                            So, I ended up getting the Audio Technica M50s. I read a BOATLOAD of excellent reviews on them. They came in on Wed. The family reaction to them must be told in three parts:

                            Part 1: I listened to them. They are indeed EXCELLENT headphones. Wonderfully crisp, clear highs and mids, nice full bass without being too boomy or flabby. In a test session listening to songs of several different genres, they were excellent across the board. I could hear separation between parts in the song (e.g., between vocal and accompanying piano) I simply haven't heard on any headphones I have owned before, almost the sensation of standing there listening live, with the piano physically back behind the singer.

                            Part 2: My wife, the intended recipient, listens to them. After multiple times switching back and forth between the M50s and a cheapy pair of $40 headphones we already had, she finally concluded that she couldn't really tell a difference. In particular, she didn't think the bass was loud enough. I told her it's because she is used to listening to flabby, muffled bass on the cheapies, whereas the bass on the M50s is crisp and defined. She wasn't convinced.

                            Part 3: My 11 year old daughter and 9 year old son do the comparison between the M50s and the cheapies. Both are SHOCKED that my wife can't really tell a difference. Daughter tells her, mom, I think you need to go to the audiologist because I think you're going deaf. Daughter tries to sneak off with the M50s multiple times during the debate.

                            My wife concludes, eh, I think I just like the way the Beats look.

                            Needless to say, I now own a new pair of M50s for my synth and other music activities, and wife now has a pair of Beats Solos, in a nice shiny pretty purple color with the really neato cool Beats logo on the side, ordered and on the way.
                            My gear list:

                            Guitars: Epi Les Paul w/ BG Dark Buckers; '06 MIM Fender Strat; '89 MIJ Fender/Squier Tele; '90 MIJ Fender Strat; Seagull S6
                            Amps: Vox AC30; Fender Champion 600; Vox Pathfinder 15
                            Pedalboard: CS-2/Fulldrive II/SD-1/DD-20/DD-5/Behringer verb/Fish & Chips/Ernie Ball VP/TU-2

                            Mandolin: Loar LM-520

                            Keys/Synths: Korg Triton; Korg TR-Rack; Roland SH 201; Yamaha MM6; Yamaha DX7; Mac Powerbook w/ Komplete Elements 7, Vanguard; Reaper; Reason; Korg Electribe ES-1

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                            • #15
                              Good luck, wiminz often care more about the name of a product than the actual quality oke:
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