Great headphones or earphones under $20

I am very impressed with the sound quality of the JVC HAS160 headphone(under $15) and the Sony MDR-E828LP earphone(under $10). I have bought many headphones and earphones over the past 20 years, some of which were over $100. No others seem to provide as great value as these. Are they the best I have ever owned? No, however I think these have provided the best value for the price of all the ones I have bought.

The Sony E828LP is 16 ohms, 108 db/mw, so it will give plenty of volume even with the lowest power portables. The HAS160 is 32 ohms 103 db/mw, so it won’t play as loud as the E828LP, however it should still play loud enough with a Sandisk player.

Anyone else have any suggestions for headphones or earphones under $20? I am starting a separate thread for the $20-$50 price range.

@jk98 wrote:

I am very impressed with the sound quality of the JVC HAS160 headphone(under $15)

Those are the same as JVC Flats, correct? I have a pair and I agree, the price/quality ratio is remarkable.

@gwk1967 wrote:


@jk98 wrote:

I am very impressed with the sound quality of the JVC HAS160 headphone(under $15)


Those are the same as JVC Flats, correct? I have a pair and I agree, the price/quality ratio is remarkable.

I’m pretty sure they are the Flats, yeah. And they really do sound very good for the money. I just wish they had velour earpads instead of the pleather, which made my ears all sweaty.

I have been thinking about ways to modify the earpads on the HAS160 to velour. Unfortunately changing to velour will probably decrease the bass though. I don’t know what the difference is between the older HAS150 and newer HAS160 flats. I have the HAS160.

The Sony MDR-E828LP was a pleasant surprise. Years ago I had used the E848, however they didn’t fit my ears too well. The E828 was $20 for many years. It is only relatively recently that it is under $10. I was surprised how much bass it has, and how efficient it is 108 db/mw and 16 ohms. I like the right angle plug. Since I liked the E848, at under $10 I thought the E828 was worth the risk. I was pleasantly surprised. The cord is rubberized,anti tangle, which is nice.

It will be very good if you start a separete thread for that

@nayan007 wrote:

It will be very good if you start a separete thread for that

Why?

:neutral_face:

If you want to know about great headphones aka IEM’s under $20 try out the Monoprice IEM’s with the product number 8320.  There only $9 after shipping and no joke they sound as good as my new ClarityOnes that I paid $120 for.  Very good clarity and bass and they work really good with some Sony hybrid tips.  Go to Head-Fi to read about them and all the people who love these things.  I thought it was all hype but for $9 I wanted to see for my self and I’m now a believer.  I’m not a huge audiophile but I know enough about IEM’s (my main pairs are UE Triple Fi 10’s and Etymotic HF5’s) and most people will be impressed by them.  Only thing is since the Head-Fi thread they sellout fast and they wont have any in tell the 9th so act fast because these bad boys go quick they’ve already sold out twice and have had to restock them.

No wonder why the JVC Flats sounds so great. I found a frequency response curve for the JVC Flats S150. It is so flat!!! I imagine the S160 is very similar. They truly are flats!

 http://www.head-fi.org/t/425759/jvc-flats-no-im-not-crazy

I found this article-Best Budget Headphones- and though I would see great headphones under $20 mentioned. Instead they list headphones that are MSRP $50-150, some of which are discounted very little. Up to $150 is a budget headphone??? What do they consider a mid priced headphone, $150-$500???  I consider headphones under $20 to be budget, $20-50 mid priced, $50-100 premium priced, and over $100 expensive.

http://www.headphiles.org/index.php/topic,3814.0.html

@jk98 wrote:

I found this article-Best Budget Headphones- and though I would see great headphones under $20 mentioned. Instead they list headphones that are MSRP $50-150, some of which are discounted very little. Up to $150 is a budget headphone??? What do they consider a mid priced headphone, $150-$500???  I consider headphones under $20 to be budget, $20-50 mid priced, $50-100 premium priced, and over $100 expensive.

 

http://www.headphiles.org/index.php/topic,3814.0.html

It’s an audiophile site and $150 to a real audiophile isn’t expensive.  They’re after a ‘reference’ sound, no (or very little) compromise and then look to find a product that fits the mold.  The criteria of what you consider cheap and they consider cheap isn’t the same.  I’m guessing you look at price first then what you can tolerate for sound quality.  An audiophile is the reverse.  Nothing wrong with either way of looking at it, it’s just different yardsticks for different folks.

Case in point: for portable audio I can tolerate cheap.  For home audio, no way.  Plopping 1-2k for an amplifier or  5k+ for speakers is worth it to me.  I consider anything under 2k for speakers ‘cheap’ but I know many don’t think that way.  I’m betting there will be some here who think I’m a cheapskate with a 2k power amp and it’s junk.

I just found a post by someone who claims to have had both the HAS150 and HAS160, and he said that the bass on the HAS160 sounds better. Interesting. They look the same, so an improvement in bass would make sense for the need for a model number change.

The Panasonic RP-HJE120 IEM for around $7 is a good deal for the price. The bass is much stronger and the sound  more refined  on the $23 RP-HJE450. The HJE450 is also much more efficient, however for the price the HJE120 is quite pleasant.

Any other ideas?

The JVC Riptidz IEM($8) sounds quite good for the price. Its treble is almost as good as the RP-HJE120, but it has much better bass. It is now my favorite IEM under $15.

I’ve always gone with Sony and tried many other, up until i stumbled upon Sennheiser [cx200], got me a pair for just about 20bucks at a FYI store… not much on the tech. side with headphones but to my personal use they’re awesome! Enjoy many music genres , mainly thrash/death metal fully amped! So they get a pretty good beating. Just about a yr with them and sound as good as when i bought em.

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_street-line-cx-200

My Suggestion:

Koss KSC75.  It is under $15 And I´m very impressed with sound quality and confort. Suits very well for outdoor activities.

  KOSS

The new JVC HA-FX40 IEM for just under $20 is the first earphone using carbon nanotube technology. It has great sound quality.The Panasonic RP-HJE355 for just under $20 has very clear sound. The Panasonic RP-HJE140 for around $8 is a great improvement over the HJE120 with much greater sensitivity(107 db/mw vs 96 db/mw) and much better bass as well as less distortion.

The Koss Sportapro and KSC75 are good open headphones to use while exercising. They will stay on your ears, and if the music isn’t too loud, you will be able to hear what is going on around you. I have had these for over 10 years. The bass on these though is a bit out of control(especially on the Sportapro), while the lack of headband pressure against your ears on the KSC75 makes the bass much weaker(you can see what I mean by pressing the KSC75 against your ears while listening).

@jk98 wrote:

The JVC Riptidz IEM($8) sounds quite good for the price. Its treble is almost as good as the RP-HJE120, but it has much better bass. It is now my favorite IEM under $15.

Gonna have to try these.  My favorite in-ear buds is the Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket but doesn’t make the list at 2X your limit.  90% of my in-ear listening is on my riding mower when I wear them under a pair of muffs. The FMJ are too pricey for mowing (the cord sometimes gets snagged & ripped off my head) so $8 sounds REAL good :slight_smile:

The L-shaped buds get pinched under the muff seal & give me a headache so I prefer the low & short models.

The new JVC HA-FX40(around $20) has great clarity and detail. It is the first earphone with carbon nanotube technology. The Panasonic RPHJE355(around $20) also has great clarity and detail, but is slightly warmer sounding than the HA-FX40. The new JVC HA-S200 headphone(around $20) also uses carbon nanotubes.