Budget, Comfortable Open Back Headphones

Just looking for a pair of budget open back headphones, around the $100 mark but preferably even less than that. Not looking to do insane critical listening or anything, just want a pair to chuck on that are light enough to use while wearing glasses without pain/headaches, and open back for a few other reasons. Would also like a super wide fit. Currently using a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3's and are way too tight with glasses + heaps of fatigue with the noise cancellation. Here are the options I've found so far;

Superlux HD-681 $37 on eBay (heard ear pads aren't that comfortable, any suggestions on replacement pads?)

Superlux HD-681 EVO $59 on eBay (are these worth the upgrade from the base model/ive heard they may come with extra velour pads?)

Samson SR850 $55 on eBay (little concerned about comfort with these pads again, any suggestions for replacements/is it worth the price hike?)

Audio Technca ATH-AD500x $100 secondhand (these look pretty great but more pricey than the others, this is a good price for secondhand from what ive seen, would these be worth the upgrade?)

Philips SHP9500 ($125 on eBay cheapest I can find, once again a lot more pricey, should I just go with the cheaper options and upgrade the pads?)

Which ones would best fit my criteria of comfort + decent sound? I've heard the superlux are the best value for money sound-wise but coming from the Sony's I'm more concerned about comfort/wide fitting, open ear design with heaps of room for my ears to breathe so not sure which is the best to go for, or if there are any better deals going on at the moment. Any help is appreciated


  • Not sure whether you'd consider Koss PortaPros comfortable, but they are open back and they are within your budget?

    • Wow fantastic pick, they seem pretty perfect honestly plus wearing glasses won't be a problem at all considering the ear cups wouldn't even come into contact with them. They are on ear instead of over ear though, not sure how much I'd love them but I'll definitely add them to the list. Thanks for the suggestion

  • i have the shp9500 - I’m not too sure if I have a big / small head but this pair of headphones is sooo big for me. They are not tight (almost too loose) for me e.g. when I tilt my head forward, it falls off my head. I don’t find them tight at all but I do feel some pressure on my jaw to ear area when I first used them. This can be adjusted easily though as the earcups can slightly swivel sideways. Also, the earcups are huge so that might be good for you as you wear glasses, note that the earcups are very shallow though (probably why it’s not that tight) so your ear is kinda touching the driver pad. I might be wrong but from my vague memory, the headband was pretty comfy and the headphone was pretty light (only slightly heavier than my MH751(closed back). SHP9500 is 3.2kg whereas the MH751 is 2.8kg. I swapped to MH751 as it’s lighter, tighter for me and I found the earcups comfier) Also, I’m no audiophile but the sound signature is pretty good although ofc it lacks some bass due to being open back.

    I reckon it’s a good budget open-back headphones, most complaints I’ve heard from this pair of headphones are: too loose, lack bass, shallow earcups.

    • I'm probably going between the Kossa Porta Pros and these at this point, though concerned about the non-replacable earpads on the Phillips and the non-removable cable on the Kossa

  • Keep an eye on Aliexpress for the Philips SHP9500. You can pick a pair up for under $100 on there.

    • Just grabbed a pair, paid $100 without the box to save $10 lol hopefully it's not too dodgy. They should work out fine for me but if not I'll give the koss a go, from what I've heard these Philips blow the Superlux out of the water so hopefully they'll be nice