Ask The Readers: What Headphones Do You Use?

image from g-ecx.images-amazon.comAs you may have heard, Jimmy Iovine has been advocating for better headphones for MP3 players and better sounding music files in general. Thus, he's looking to put some high-end headphones on the market that capture the full-range of sound and deliver a richer audio experience to music fans. In a line of dialog with the NYT, Iovine critiqued Apple, saying that, “Those headphones that come with the iPod are only there to see if the iPod works.” I have a feeling that most of us are aware of this to some extent.

Through, it still makes me wince when I see people unknowingly buying those bright pink and blue earbuds at the checkout for 10$—those aren't headphones.

They play sound through them, but that's about all.

Personally, I've settled on some Koss PortaPro's for now. Had a pair of Sennheiser PX 100's before that, but I stepped on them and they broke.

What headphones do you use? Are low-end headphones — and MP3s — part of a wider problem that's damaging how fans experience music?

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  1. Right now MDR-V6, I think I’ll get Beyer Dynamic dt880s soon though, they sound awesome.

  2. Sony MDR-7506, I’m on my second pair and I doubt I’ll be using anything else until they discontinue them.
    I tried Dre’s headphones out and I just don’t get it. It’s a boutique item, it’s not a professional mixing tool. You might as well be mixing your albums in someone’s f’ing trunk if you’re using those.

  3. Jbuds J2 at office for the usual iTunes shuffle, podcasts, and so forth.
    AKG 240S at home, recording vocals and mixing.
    Cheap Koss earbud deals for monitoring while tracking everything except vocals (better isolation).

  4. If you want a full 5.1 surround experience check out Psyko Audio’s 5.1 Headset. http://www.psykoaudio.com They definitely aren’t your “riding the train” headphones but are pretty sweet for home use. (and amazing for gaming)

  5. 7506’s were my favorites, too, but I found the M-Audio Q40’s to be quite a good replacement for them.

  6. I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700 cans for work, and though they look kinda silly, I LOVE them. Here a non-affiliate Amazon link for em. http://amzn.com/B000CMS0XU
    Still looking for a decent pair of sub-$50-60 buds for when I go walkin’ around. Can’t spend too much, I’m hard on earbuds. Right now I have a pair of Skullcandy FMJs, but one of them is crackling. :\

  7. For portable music listening I love canal phones. I currently use Senheiser CX300II.
    I couldn’t bring myself to spend really big dollars on headphones I carry with me everywhere, I am really rough on them and end up buying a new sert every 18 months or so when the cables start going dodgy.

  8. For the iphone, I love the V-moda Vibe Duo. For the studio, I’m completely sold on the Sony MDR-V700dj. Both give me pounding techno bliss!

  9. Is there a way to make a poll for this? It would be helpful to see the data as it relates to the Hypebot community. Otherwise this will be a very large anecdotal list.
    That said… for the iPhone I use the crappy white ones that come with it… mostly for the phone functionality (built in microphone)… pretty much hate listening to music on them… but I have trouble dropping 100+ dollars for earbuds when I have great headphones in the studio.. but they suck for travel… not to mention require more power than the iPhone can put out.
    Hope Jimmy brings something nice to market that isn’t way overpriced…. he can use it as a marketing ploy for Interscope… give a pair away with all Interscope CD’s.. and then he can say that Interscope’s music just sounds better than the competition… oooohhhh… and throw a big producers name on the side of them!

  10. Really fond of the Koss PortaPro. Nice rich and deep sound, sweet middle and highs, warm basses. Also have a sony mdr7506, but I find it too aggressive in the middles, and an akg k271 studio, which is really detailed even if it lacks basses.
    Those last two ones are really for analytical purpose in the studio, whereas I use the koss for eveyday listening.

  11. mp3s arent the problem… its LOW BITRATE mp3s that are the issue. I use whatever headphones I have access to that have a relatively flat frequency response, but I like Skull Candy Asyms for walking around the city, and I like in-ear monitors for DJing/Performing.
    My issue is that more mp3s that come into my music library from artists or record pools are LOWER than 192kbs. That is the bare minimum for me to tolerate. If you release music in mp3 form, it will ONLY sounds “acceptable” on small ear buds. I don’t think enough people know that and hence they just rip their CDs and convert them to the smallest file size they can.

  12. I have a pair of Sony’s (like the MDRV700’s) that I use for DJ’ing, and I used to have a pair of Shure’s (SE210’s) for listening to on the train/around the city. Replacing the Shure’s soon (they were stolen, sigh).

  13. Well said. Theres no point in trying to make “everything sound good” through the headphones. They sound great but they’re completely deceiving people

  14. Yes, the real issue are the bitrates – and the fact that mastering engineers these days are mostly told to cater to earbuds instead of home stereo systems that can display the frequency range of sound correctly. That way, they turn up the bass levels way too loud so that the mastered music sounds like a lamentable bass-heavy mess on speakers, whereas when you listen on earbuds, the relative levels of the different frequencies are correct, but the loudness is not really healthy.

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