Mar 2, 2018

[Audiophile on a budget] What are your favourite cheap headphones/iems/monitors? Share your story!

I've never had the budget to purchase a pair of decent and audiophile-approved headphones, IEMs, or speakers/monitors, so starting a few years ago, I started hunting for the best quality sound I could get for around $50. I started with a pair of Sony MH1Cs which I thought were pretty great, as I was able to find them on Ebay for about $60CAD. They had a great flat sound that responded fairly well to anything I threw at them, and they were amazingly comfortable! The only complaint I had (as every. single. reviewer did), was that the flat J cord was stupidly... stupid. Enough said.
This past year, I wanted to see if I could find some IEMs that were newer and "better" than my Sonys, so I did some hunting and found the Lker i8s. I was pretty skeptical of the no-name Chinese-made earphones, but after listening to them for the first time, I was blown away. They ARE bassy-er than I was used to, but because of the balance and clarity in across the mids and highs, I quickly became accustomed them, and they have grown to be my favourite pair so far. I wonder if anyone here has come across them as well..?
Another notable mention is a cheap $15 pair of Philips IEMs that my wife had. I had forgotten my IEMs at home so I settled for borrowing hers. I scoffed at the thought of using cheap earphones and prepared for the worst, but I was surprised at how clear they were! They obviously weren't amazing, but the mids and highs had a crisp, clear sound to them that did a decent job of carrying vocals through.
Anyways, would love to hear your stories of your great finds!
Lker i8
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Final audio e2000. at $50, can’t be beat. Amazing details and soundstage and overall clarity. Gets 60-70% of some of the $400+ headphones I own (pm3, Grado Rs2e)
Yeah, you can't beat these babies--incredible presence (in my left ear anyway).
Mine are the Philips SHP9500 - can get them for $45 on sale at Newegg sometimes. Out the box they are beyond average comfort, but Shure 1840 pads and custom leather strap bring them right close to HD700 level of comfort. They have a balanced, clear sound overall and are easy to drive... much clearer sounding than HD6XX with better highs. Bass is more than adequate with a custom attenuator inserted into the 1840 pads. Great sounding all around cans that work well from almost any source you run them from. They were my first open headphone bought, and still use them almost daily.

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I modified the MrSpeakers Leather comfort strap (for the Fostex TX0RP series headphones), punched the four 5/16" mounting holes in it using the clear plastic piece inside the stock headstrap as a template. The custom attenuators are the blue pieces in the center of the following image, which you place inside the ear pads (you can see where it goes in the picture on my first post above):

VRacer111
thank you very much
Another vote for Porta Pros. Best bargain ever in the audio world.
Koss Portapros were one of the first headphones I’ve ever bought, they are still amazing after a lot of dabbling in other things. Still by far the greatest bang for buck of any headphone I’ve owned
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