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Jeffdachef

Cheap(ish) Amazing Headphones List.

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so I've been on a headphone spree since I need it for my work so i'm doing multiple reviews. Please note that I've literally heard all the mainstream earbuds, headphones and do not feel they should cost what they are with how sh*tty they perform even with EQ and mods they dont stack up to these. 

under 50$

KZ ZS6  https://www.amazon.com/KZ-ZS6-Driver-Earphones-Detachable/dp/B075DFB6YX/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1542780252&sr=8-3&keywords=kz%2Bzs6&th=1

These sound comparable to a lot of 200 dollar earbuds for under 50. Balanced armature usually costs upwards of 200+ dollars.  slight stronger than audiophile bass response but very clean and deep and not overbearing in anyway. Absolutely amazing midbass, you feel the drums sweeping across your head and know exactly where they are at and feels very realistic thats close to my sennheiser 58x (review on that later) this makes the soundstage and imaging very magnificent for a pair of earbuds. Decent midrange, slight dip but not really any deal breaker if you really nitpicky on this, you can + 1db to the 1khz range on the phone eq and its absolute perfection most people wont even feel the need to touch EQ though. Treble is extremely nice, detailed, airy, strong above 10khz with no hint of sibilance(i'm Sssss and SHHH sounds sensitive). Actual amazing sound stage, instrument separation, imaging, detail and clarity from this. You will hear minute details in music that you dont hear before. Easily driven with a phone no need for a headphone amp. The cons, cheap feeling stock cable(can be upgraded) doesnt affect the sound or reliablity just feels flimsy but willl last. Stock silicone tips set included might not get you the perfect seal if thats the case get comply t500 foam tips. These are very close to audiophile quality Will absolutely sh*t all over mainstream beats, klipsch, bose,  Sony earbuds and full sized headphones costing ~ 300$ etc... Buddy went from QC 35 II to hearing these and sold the bose and immediately buying these. 

Treblabs J1 https://www.amazon.com/TREBLAB-Headphones-Waterproof-Sweatproof-Cancelling/dp/B06ZXR7646/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1542781192&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=treblab+j1&psc=1

Usually cheap bluetooth earbuds with mic sounds like garbage or overly bass heavy with no clarity. These are relatively balanced in sound with bass mid and treble relatively even, no eq needed actually, slight muddiness in the midbass region but its not bad for what it is. Soundstage is not amazing but there's some of it and some stereo seperation. Not audiophile quality but good average joe to medium level audio enthusiast quality for on the go stuff. The foam tips included are garbage, breaks easily. The silicone tips arent deep enough and the plastic housing design is a bit sharp and rubs against your ears if you use the silicone tip. I'd recommend comply t500 foam tips as well here. If you dont care about bluetooth and just sound quality, definitely get the ZS6 over these, its GIANT fking SQ gap but these are a giant fking SQ gap over cheapo mpow, soundpeats, anker, encafire, or whatever crap thats on amazon right now, i've tried all that i listed, would not recommend any of those garbage sound sh*ts. These have 8 hr battery life, charges fast, about 15-20 feet distance for BT range, microphone is great for calls. 

bluetooth headphone under 100

Bluedio UFO 8 p8 https://www.amazon.com/Bluedio-Bluetooth-headphones-Revolution-Gift-package/dp/B00UZ3LGAK

These are on ears, loud as f**k. I dont like the stock experience at all. Too much upper midrange, cant listen loud without it sounding like a wall of PA speakers blaring at you. The earpads are comfy enough on ears but after 15-20 minutes they start bothering me.  You have to use the volume up button on the headphone itself to gain more output because its a seperate gain control from your phone volume. Overall sounds like beats with a harsh 3khz to 6khz spike at higher volumes, not too bad at low volumes weak soundstage and instrument seperation/detail.   However WITH MODS. DIFFERENT STORY search up Brainwavez HM5 earpads for 22 bucks take the old pads and throw them away and throw the new pads on. These tame the mids a bit and increase sub bass extension by a lot and soundstage is massively wider not to mention comfort I go down to san diego once every week for work and these wont get hot or hurt your ears, comfort on the brainwavz hm5s are fking niice..  Now you pair this with EQ with slight boost on 1khz range, extreme cut on 4khzish range like all the fk down and decent boost on the 10khz+ range. These actually sound pretty fking great, fun like a nice clean loud sound system with some soundstage. Definitely not audiophile quality but FUN quality. Very loud but non offensive, decent details, Strong and deep bass but the mids and highs keep up and sounds very smooth and blended. Its like like a well done basshead system with decent attention to mids and highs sort of sound. Definitely still miles better than any bose, beats, senheiser bluetooth headphones by a ridiculous amount.  

150 dollar wired headphone range.

Audiotechnica ath M50, most people know about the m50x which is the new version which sounds the same but with removable cables. I had mines for 10 years already. Besides worn ear cushions and headband, the headphone works fine.  The stock pads are garbage for comfort. If you upgrade to brainwavz hm5, you'll lose some bass (which is already anemic on these headphones) and gain some soundstage but its definitely worth for the comfort. These are fine for studio work and people wanting a relatively neutral and boring response . Pleasant to listen to but not really audiophile quality to me, there's no life in the music, midbass is lacking, soundstage, imaging and detail is fairly weak, no impact on instruments female vocals are pretty angelic though. I'd actually recommend the zs6 earbuds over these any day for a wired option for musical enjoyment.

Sennheiser 58x Jubilee from massdrop  https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-hd-58x-jubilee-headphones?irgwc=1&clickid=xCZ1WYQAiz-LxDQTP9XClxn8UkgzcQQwiS1mTk0&utm_term=252901&utm_content=Steven Ciofalo&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=impactradius

Stock, these sound extremely warm and veiled but decent bass. If you pull out and remove the foam on the outside, they sound a lot more open with less bass so its your preference from there. These definitely need an amp/dac i'm using a fiio e17 alpen and its barely scraping by. Without the amp it still gets decent volume but sounds no where as good. To my taste it needs slight boosts above 10khz for extra brightness, its not needed but it just responds well to adjustments based on personal preference. my friend like it more flat. Bass, this thing has clean accurate audiophile style bass that goes deep and is present when is called for. Its not strong at all but its there and fairly analytical. Midbass is out of this world, drums sound absolutely magnificent and live, clear instrument separation and detail definitely the star feature of this headphone next to the midrange which is the other star, Ever heard female vocals that can give you goosebumps? Very smooth and angelic, way more than the audiotechnicas. Treble is there not weak by any sense but, just not overly in your face, which allows for a lot of details to be heard in the midrange area again, can be changed with EQ and it'll sound extra bright and airy cleanly. The soundstage and imagine is about a sphere around your head. Not very wide for an open back headphone but very intimate, you hear the vocals front and center like you are the microphone in the recording studio and instruments come through in the background. Overall very effing good for 150$ if you have an amp and do the foam removal.

 

On a scale of pure sound quality alone, the 58x would be would be a 7.2  out of 10 while the Zs6 would be 6.4 out of 10. the bluedio would be 5.0 out of 10. treblab would be 3.5.   All the mainstream expensive headphones like bose, beats,  klipsh, sony, skull candy and included samsung/akg/airpods/apple buds are generally around a 3 ish for me with a few reaching 4 or 4.5 with EQ and mods. a 9.0 for me was sennheiser hd 800s or focal utopias i've demo'd at an expo. Those are 1600 and 3000 dollar headphones. 


09 Sienna Subs : Four Team Ascendant 18s......Sub amp: Two Taramps 15k

Headunit: Pioneer 80PRS......Mids/Highs two pioneer gm 8604 bridged, one at 4 ohms bridged one at 2 ohms bridged, one ppi 600.2 for tweets.

Front stage: Two PWX 10s per door midbass only....... PRV 6MR500 midrange....... Massive CT 2 german tweeters.

320 amp Singer alt....... 1 group 34 under the hood 6 group31 agms in the back 560 amp hours total.

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You all can add to the list. I have a little collection going on 


09 Sienna Subs : Four Team Ascendant 18s......Sub amp: Two Taramps 15k

Headunit: Pioneer 80PRS......Mids/Highs two pioneer gm 8604 bridged, one at 4 ohms bridged one at 2 ohms bridged, one ppi 600.2 for tweets.

Front stage: Two PWX 10s per door midbass only....... PRV 6MR500 midrange....... Massive CT 2 german tweeters.

320 amp Singer alt....... 1 group 34 under the hood 6 group31 agms in the back 560 amp hours total.

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