Best Headphones Under £200

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by mr1r15h, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. mr1r15h

    mr1r15h Casual Listener

    Jan 28, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    As the title suggests, I'm looking for the best headphones for under £200. I don't mind if they are over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, but the one thing I do want it purely the best sound for the money. I've done quite a lot of research, but have found the problem being that when comparisons are made, it's always comparing over-ear headphones to other over-ear headphones and IEMs to other IEMs etc.

    I've been through a few in the last year or so, with my preferred so far being the Klipsch Image S4's, although they always leave me feeling as if there's a lot of clarity and precision missing from the mids through to the highs. The other couple I've had are the Etymotic Research HF5's and the Audio Technica ATH ES55's. Both have the positive and negative points for me personally but I felt the negatives outweighed the positives.

    For instance, the HF5's were much betters than the S4's when it came to the highs, and gave me much more clarity, however, and I don't know if I just happened to get a faulty pair, but I felt that there was no bass was no bass at all. And not as in it's just me being a bass head and wanting lots of bass all the time, it was lacking in so much bass, they sounded tinny. But like I said, that may have just been me.

    The ATH ES55's for me represented the best balance of them all, but I always feel as if there's no depth to them, unless the bass and mids are turned up such that the EQ becomes a staggered decline. Without doing this, I found there to be next to no sound stage and no immersion into the music. The problem with turning the bass and mids up is that it often distorted the music and crackled so much that I couldn't listen to them.

    On the whole, I am probably most likely to listen to music through my iPod, so any suggestions should take that into consideration as I'm often away from home and do not have access to an amp. Although this is not to say that the headphones must be portable, as I'd happily have a pair that I would/could only listen to in my room.

    I listen to a fairly wider variety of music, ranging from the likes of Coldplay and Muse to Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machines to the London Philharmonic Orchestra. I enjoy a fair amount of bass, but not so much that it overpowers everything, and I really crave mixing a good amount of bass with a rich, full, clear sound that is packed with clarity and depth. I understand that what I am asking for may well exceed my budget, but I would very much like what the best alternative is within the price.

    Thanks to everyone in advance, and I'm really excited to hear all of your opinions.

    Many thanks.
  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    If your budget can stretch a little over £200 and open back is OK then the Beyerdynamic DT880 32 Ohm is well worth checking out. These headphones have incredible poise and balance and with the availability of the 32 Ohm revision they are suitable for use with portable sources like the iPod.

    If you're looking for closed back then I would recommend the Ultrasone HFI-780, Audio-Technica ATH-M50 or Beyerdynamic DT770.

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