Best headphones/earbuds?

I have the 8G Sansa Fuze. Nowlooking for a set of headphones (or earbuds) ($200 or less) that are good for this small mp3 player and for classical music. Some of the headphones that boast excellent sound accent the bass, which I like for some rock music but not classical. Any recommendations? ea

There are dozens of threads on various sites about this, but from what I’ve gathered (and researched myself), the top choices that keep coming up must have something going for them.

First up, just because I am waiting for my own in the mail, are the Sennheiser CX300. There seems to be a love/hate thing going on with these, because the people who like them, swear by them, and the people who don’t, complain about the fit and the monotone bass response. I wish I could give my personal opinion, but the mail hasn’t come yet today (my fingers are crossed, though!). There are also the CX400 and CX500 in your price range. Just do your research so you know you’re not getting FAKES - there are a lot out there, especially for the 300s.

If I had your budget, and not mine, I’d go for the Etymotic ER-4 MicroPros. Hardly anybody doesn’t like these babies, and even the less-expensive ER-6 and ER-6i models. They seem to be the top pick for a lot of people. Etymotic is a great brand. I have their high-fidelity ear plugs, and they’re amazing.

That’s just a starting point. I’d read up some more, especially over at Endless discussions about earbuds / IEMs (in-ear monitors). Good luck! I’ll update with my impressions of the CX300s as soon as I have some hours with them.

Message Edited by SilverZero on 08-14-2008 03:40 PM

Thanks. I am going to check that


By the way, I can’t believe I didn’t mention this before, but I got the CX300s because I could get them for $30 on, and through the end of September there is a $15 rebate on them if you send in a pair of old headphones. So, $15 for a pair of Senn’s - can’t go wrong!

I also noticed you were open to headphones as well. The gold-standard is the Grado SR-60 set, but there are still a lot of options when it comes to traditional cans. I personally used to have the Sennheiser HD280s, which I loved, but they are a bit large and gawky for public use. :slight_smile: Great in the studio, and very comfy, but I also got a pair of Sony MDR-V700 DJ headphones, and I love those as well.

Rule #1: Don’t take my word for it. Try before you buy!

EDIT: Just got my CX300s, and I’m impressed on my first listen. I’ve tested with Basement Jaxx, Crystal Method, John Mayer, and Fireflight, just for a bit of variety, and everything sounds nice and balanced, very clean even at high levels, good definition. The fit is a bit strange, because my ear canals are slightly off-balance (my left is hard to fit, not an issue with the buds themselves) but they work just fine. The cord is a bit short, and they are a J-style asymmetric fit, which I may or may not dislike. We’ll see when I get out on my bike. :slight_smile:

Message Edited by SilverZero on 08-15-2008 05:13 PM

A lot of the Sennheisers have that mail-in promo. I sent in some junky pair that I got with something and had never used. I had a pair of PX-100 headphones for a few years, and loved them but broke a wire. I wanted to get another pair ASAP, I just don’t want to be without these. Small enough to be portable but still sound fantastic. That promo couldn’t have come at a better time. :smiley:

Message Edited by bdb on 08-15-2008 08:51 PM

$200 should get you some wonderful headphones. You just have to decide how you’re going to be using them.

I have three pairs. Grado SR125 for home listening: crisp, precise, unbelievably clear. (The SR60 and SR80 are OK, but not exactly the gold standard–not once you hear the SR125.) But they are big bulky things for home use. I certainly wouldn’t carry them around.  They also leak sound to other people–you’ll drive someone nuts if they’re in the same room.  Take a look here.

Then there are the Sennheiser PX100–portable, light, extremely comfortable, but not in the same league (price or sound) as the Grados. They’re a good phone for when you want to listen but also hear the outside world.

Finally, I have Shure E4, the gray version of the white E4c (and different from gamers’ headphones, E4G–don’t get those).  Those are sound-isolating inner ear phones: headphones inside earplugs.  Shure has since redone its inner-era headphones with new shapes and numbers, the SE series.  


The SE210 is equivalent to the old E3. Check out this review

The E4 and E3 (not quite as good, but still seriously hi-fi) are still around at hugely varying prices, so look around.  I got my E4 for $179 back in the day. You need to search to find them for under $200. It’s one of those deals where stores can’t openly advertise the discount price, but Google is your friend.  

 I like the Shure better than the Etymotic because the cord is sturdier–Etymotic has a weird twisted pair of wires that rub against each other–and because it sounds fuller–not bass-heavy at all, but the Etys I tried were just thin-sounding. 

The sound of this kind of earplug headphone–called IEM (inner era monitor)-- depends entirely on how it fits in your individual ears, so if you do get them try every kind of plug that comes with it–the Shure has at least half a dozen, of which exactly one sounded good and one sounded great for me. But be aware that they really do shut out the outside world–better than noise-canceling headphones do.    Some people (me among them) like being completely surrounded in sound, but for some having a plug in your ear is uncomfortable. 

I haven’t tried those d-JAYS that the review recommends. You might want to track those down too. 

I find Sony headphones have amazing sound quality for a low price.

I’ve only used Sony 'phones for the past 5 or so years. Even the super budget Sony 'phones have good sound quality. I recently bought the higher end earbuds and they physically lower outside noises considerably, allowing you to listen at a lower volume. You can get a set of these buds at any Wal-Mart for 50 bucks.

Well, if using open cans is not a problem, I’d suggest getting some Grados. As a matter of fact - they are tuned by Mr. John Grado for his favourite music - classical music :wink:

But don’t base just on our suggestions - just listen to as many headphones and just pick those you’ll be happy with :slight_smile:

i would suggest you to check these two guides to find best wireless earbuds these days, and

i would suggest you to check these two guides to find best wireless earbuds these days, and