OzBargainers Choice in Best over Ear Headphones

Considering upgrading from my $5 over ear headphones from Kathmandu.

Various websites recommend the entry level audio technica models, or sennheisers.

What is the best all round set of over ears? Taking into account price, build quality, features eg bluetooth, comfort (a big one) and sound quality?

I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need to spend $200. Cheers

Update 4/5/16

Popular picks:
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 $280 shipped from DWI

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro-80 Closed Studio Headphones $259 pickup from Store DJ

Bose QuietComfort 25 $348 shipped from Video Pro

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x $185 pickup at Store DJ

Update 10/5/16

Thank you all for your contributions! I finally got around to trying a few headphones today. The DT 770 Pro really stood out out of all the options at the store for comfort and sound quality - far more comfortable than the ATH-M50x, which has very strong clamp force. I have ordered the BeyerDynamic DT770 Pro Headphones (80 ohm) for ~$190 delivered from this deal. The next cheapest is $220 from ATA, an Oz seller. For the uninitiated, I would highly recommend this set if your budget is around $200 and you'd like a versatile set that does not require the purchase of an amp. Happy listening!

Comments

  • +1

    I'm surprised noone has mentioned the Plantronics Backbeat Pro's..

    Good Quality
    WIRELESS BT
    Noise Cancelling
    Multi BT connection
    Super long battery
    Extra features (talk mode, auto pause music)

    Most affordable ANC+BT headphone out there with great reviews.

    A bit tight on my head, which is why I sold mine, otherwise I would have kept them.

  • Do you want Open or Closed?

    • All rounder, so probably closed or semi closed

      • I'd rec the Sennheiser Momentum, but comfort is definitely not their strong point if you have large or even normalish sized ears. Plus the 2.0 the pretty expensive at the moment.

        value for money, I doubt if you can get much better than the ATH-M50s, they kinda a mainstay of mid range closed cans.

        ultimately, head-fi are the best place to look for advice. http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide

  • +1

    anything SUPERLUX

    • Yea they seem great value but build quality is worrying

    • I got Superlux HD681-evo, mucked around with some large felt discs etc (from a $2 kmart "holey" placemat)..also felt removal from the original and swapping to the included velour pads, also a swamp Hq extension cable replacement….all very easy to do and reversable. Together with a little topping nx1 for portable or through benchmark dac1 for computer playback and I am one very happy camper. Can also install an electronic filter but I am surprised how well some judicious acoustic adjustment works to bring these cans to a very high level indeed. I am now intending to sell my senn HD650's with Csardas cable I've had fir years. The sound quality is that good. All for an outlay of $70+ vs. $500…….

  • The Audio Technica M50 or M50x are great with velour earpads such as these
    Makes it much more comfortable for extended use.

  • I bought the Philips cityscape up towns for about 39 I think. Well worth a look @ that price

    Pros
    Comfy. Good quality (bass not its strong point though) sound
    Build quality seems OK. No damage after a years worth of use

    Cons
    Quite large
    Too hot to use at gym
    Noise isolation is pretty poor so everyone around you will know that you are listening to the spice girls

  • I use SOL Republic On Ear and House of Marley positive vibrations on ear head headphones. Both are not terribly costly. SOL got it for 90$ in discount sale from myer and marley for 40$ in a sale from JB Hi Fi. Both are excellent headphones. In a quite place marley gives exceptional performance with perfect bass, depth and treble. For outside use during commute and walk, SOL republic are better. SOL republic are virtually indestructible. If you mistakenly destroy any part of it you can replace them happily.

  • +2

    I found the ATH-M50 hurt my ears after about 20 minutes. I use the AD700 on a daily bases but they are massive and open so not very good if you're using them away from home. They are the most comfortable headphones I've ever used.

    • cheers mate. I can't stand clamp force on my ears

  • I have had the sony mdr 1a's for about 6 months now and I have been happy. They were $280 from ebay. I use them with a sgs3 with audio mods: viper4android and boeffla v.2. I have been very happy with them. I just wish I would of tried some other headphones before pulling the trigger. I have nothing to compare them to. Except the stock sgs3 earphones…

  • The ozbargin choice would be Monoprice's 'Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone'

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8323

    ~16 USD, super durable and sound great for the price.

  • http://www.meeaudio.com/Matrix2/

    Best bang for buck. I've got the matrix1 from a deal here a while back… check the reviews on here and elsewhere… check the specs!

    • Yea i think they stopped doing deals on here after the $AUD drop. Other brands seem to have better value now.

  • Audio Techica ATH-M20x for $75. M50x is heavier than M20x and it depends on if you can 'tell' the difference between the sound quality. However, considering you are using a $5 earphone at the moment, I suggest M20x as a starting point.
    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/2d52765b7d84656...

    Don't go for Bose QC25, unless noise cancellation is required. My ATH-M20x beats QC25 in sound quality by miles, at 1/4 of the price.

    • My current on ears were supposed to be $50. They are Kathmandu branded and they have active noise cancelling. Pretty terrible all round - only got them for the noise cancelling and the price error ($5). However, I had Ultrasone on ears which were super comfortable, and they broke.

      If I end up deciding to go budget, I'm looking at either Superlux or a budget wireless model (e.g. Ausdom)

  • If I fly, I have the Bose QC25.. First pair of noise cancelling headphones.. The sound quality is ok, but the noise cancelling is absolutely awesome.. A must have for sitting behind the wings in the cheap seats!! This is probably the best set of headphones I have ever owned..

    For in ear headphones, I recently took delivery of some xiomi piston 3's.. And all I can say is for the price.. Wow!!! The ear silicone rubber inserts are a bit harder than my $100+ sennheisers, but the sound quality is very good.. Equal to if not better!!

    • Yea I'm looking for a pair I can use around the house so i don't annoy the wife. Versatility, comfort and sound quality are big factors for me. At this stage it's extremely difficult to me to make a decision, so i might go for the cheapest model i feel happy with.

  • You should have included a poll for people to vote.

    +1 for the Audio Technica's

    Based on personal use and bang for buck,they do get a bit heavy after a few hours of use, as others have mentioned. Also makes my head hot. But for up to 2-3 hours, can't be beaten for the price.

    I got mine from Amazon a couple of years back when the AUD was much stronger against the USD, I think I paid about $108 delivered (AUD)

    • How can I start a poll when I don't know which models to include in the poll?

      • Fair enough, I thought you put a few models up after doing some research, eg:

        Various websites recommend the entry level audio technica models, or sennheisers.

        If you don't have an ear for sound, then don't waste your money.

        Perhaps even look at sub $100 ones first. If you've been ok with $5 headphones, anything will be an upgrade.

        • I had hoped to hear about some no names or chinese brands, which i did. Happy to go sub $100 as long as i don't feel the need to upgrade in two years. If a good pair will last 20 years, then id rather get them than have several pairs

        • @tomkun01:
          Had a cheap quality chinese headphones On my ebay watch list for years but removed them after I got the DT770 Pros

          Have no idea what they were and there is so much crap on ebay it's hard to sort through it all.

  • I research things for months before spending money, its a compulsion. I also love headphones, and my research for a nice pair of closed back over ears were split between the Sennheiser Momentum Over ears 2.0, and the NAD viso hp50.

    Both are around 300, but I bought the NAD pair knowing I was done for heaphones until they break, and they are made of metal and leather, they aren't breaking soon.

    Reviews for them say they are pretty similar, both best in class for their type. The HP50s look goofy when worn funnily enough, they look good in pictures, weird on your head. The Sennheisers are a bit more money, but they look great and sound great.

    They sound much much better than dt770s, M50s, top range beats (which despite being overpriced are now quite decent). Headphones are subjective though of course, but give those two (momentums and hp50s) a look!

    • Thanks mate. They haven't had much love on headfi since 2014. I wonder what happened?

      • Headfi is a bit of a circlejerk, and th NAD phones aren't common enough for people to bandwagon and wank on about.

        I had another listen to them last night, and they are even better than I remembered.

        Another headphone I reccomend as exceptional value, amazing build quality (they are bomb-proof) and great balanced sound (they are often used as professional headsets by TV and radio people on the ground) is the Senheisser HD25-II. These were the first pair of closed phones I bought, and they still rank right up there, a good notch or two above the M50's, and holding their own against headphones more than twice the price. I got mine for 180 after shopping around, they go for about 200 ormally. Make sure you get the model with the split head-band, there is a cheaper version with a single piece headband.

        THey are getting a bit long in the tooth now, they have essentially been made obsolete (for consumers) by the on ear momentums, and the Amperiour models, but they are arguably a better quality sound, as they are marketed towards professionals for balance, rather than consumers for bass. THey have been around for a long time and for a very good reason.

        My brother in law got excited when he paid $450 for a pair of beats, and said the bass was incredible. He wore the HD25's and become depressed for 3 days.

        • Arent hd25 2 on ears? Where did you get NAD from?

        • @tomkun01:
          They are on ear, yes, but the comfort is good (clamping force is high at first, but they wear in, and you can stretch them a bit with a ball or pillow), isolation is great, etc. Soundstage is smaller, but clarity, balance, being extremely lightweight and durability make up for it (for me). They are cheaper too than many options similar in quality. They to me are the perfect portables.

          The NAD phones I bought from minidisc australia (online) they have a money back guarantee, so I took the chance. They were pretty cheap at the time, but I dont know what their prices are like now, or if they are even still available there. They are a lot heavier than the hd25 pair, they gave me a sore neck after a couple of hours at first. I got used to them though, and now the comfort is great and the quality of sound is close to my HD650 pair, but they dont leak sound and are easy to drive.

          I read you ordered the dt770 set, I bought a pair for my mum and they are great phones too! Good idea going and trying some out, a lot of factors that I and others are happy to compromise on you may not and vice versa.

    • Those NAD headphones look intriguing. About 19 years ago I bought an NAD amplifier which had scored 5 stars in a What-Hi-Fi review. Two nights later I couldn't sleep, so I decided to listen to some loud music on my headphones. I was astonished to discover it had no headphones socket!

    • Wow I didn't even consider second hand.thanks!

      • hmm that first pair went for a bit..

        • Yea when I saw it hit around $100 with shipping I started to question myself

        • @tomkun01: The beyerdynamic usually sells for +$100 for the secondhand dt (770,880,990) range.

          And the m50s usually have amazing resell value at around $120-160 for a "pristine used" pair, even though you can get them new for ~190

        • +1

          @gagiman: for me, 2nd hand is just too risky. Needs to be a huge discount to be worth it

  • I have a pair of Sennhesier HD518, quite nice. Started off tight around my big head, but have loosened up nicely, and the car cups are huge with great padding. Drivers have also loosened up nicely, very neutral sound, some may like more bass but that can be added in later.

  • Currently testing out Sennheiser Momentum On ears. Pretty boring, IMO. The same songs sound better to me from my computer and speaker setup, and even my car's built in speakers. Maybe it's because they're closed headphones?

    • They're meh in terms of SQ. Very comfortable and excellent build quality.However, I wasn't going to pay $350 for something I wasn't entirely happy with. I'm not entirely sure what the target audience for this set is.

      Deferred purchase for a few more day to try out some more of my "candidates". Tried the DT770, and was sold.

      • +1

        I bought it for $70 dollar? $60? from OfficeWork. It was from an Ozbargain deal.
        Passed it to my girlfriend as I kinda didn't like it, one of the compulsive buying that didn't work for me (and that made me think I should never digress from my rules on not buying headphones without trying). My KSC-75 + headband mod is better in door and I'd rather use my in ear during travel (since I like my in ear more in terms of how it sounds).

        • I reckon we're talking about two different headphones. :) I reckon you're talking about the 1.0 on-ear version.

          Sennheiser has extremely confused names for their product line. I'm referring to the 2.0 "Over-ear" headphones.

        • +1

          @gearhead: I thought you were talking about 1.0 on ear, because tomkun01 has posted links that links to momentum on ear (I assume it is 1.0, since they put 2.0 on the current gen one usually).

        • @Oversimplified: Yup my bad mate! :) I see now.

  • Have a look at http://www.amazon.com/Sentey-LS-4420-Headphones-Definition-D... I bought an older model last year from Amazon, and the headphones are great! Anything more expensive would be wasted on my ears.US$29.99, previous price was US$148.95. There are some good deals on amazon for Ozbargainers.

    • Aha that rrp is total bs. Thanks for the recommendation

  • +1

    Maybe try Sennheiser HD 201 before getting something really expensive, they're $35 at officeworks.
    Good balanced sound, im no audiophile but I like a bit better quality sounding audio than most joe blows and I rate the HD 201 as a good allrounder.
    Just one small thing that bugs me is that the cord is 3m long so your left with a bundle of wiring (i just tie it up with a small zip tie or a rubber band)
    But yeah maybe give the a try, if they're not as good as you like they will still make good backups

    • Thanks but i have budget headphones and id much rather spend that $35 on something that'll last

  • Many complainants of broken headphones have been careless with the cable. I often observe people with expensive headphones wind up the cable as one would fishing line. As if normal rules don't apply because they spent $200+ and then they complain about no sound on one side. But normal rules do apply : plastic and fabric are cheap and copper is expensive. No matter how thick its plastic or fabric sheath, that copper wire is thin, even on Fostex or Bose. Because I get the distinct impression you would not be careless, I still recommend the Aerial7 Tank.

    • I usually wrap the cable around the unit, but is there an alternative?

      • Fine, but many people do so too tightly, like fishing line or a ball of string. They get away with it 30 times or more, but blame the manufacturer when they start hearing mono. It is better to wind it rather loosely and not in a hurry.

  • +1

    Just came back from store dj. Loved the comfort and sound of the bd 770 pros, although I only used them for about 10 minutes. Will probably get them. The ath m50x felt heavy on my head immediately. You guys must be very tolerant

    • I reckon its because the M50s have harder pads and fairly high clamping force.

      • Yea. Strongest clamping force of all the sets i tried. V moda aria were pretty disappointing for a $500 pair

        • told you they are soft :p it's important after a few hours.

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