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Headphone Discussion?

Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments16 Comments
Can we have a bit of a different type of discussion today? I want some opinions on headphone brands. For the longest time I thought Bose offered the best in headphones and stereo sound. Now I'm thinking that Beats might be better? The last time I was at Best Buy, I looked at the Beats... and about fell over at the price. The earbuds are over a hundred bucks!


Then I see a commercial...you can get a laptop with Beats audio. I'm in the market for a new laptop (mine is a piece of crap) so I'm intrigued by this. For someone who lives and dies by music like me, I think having optimal sound would be a great luxury -- something I would really enjoy. Do any of you own any Beats products? I'm pretty sure you can get true Beats stereo speakers as well, but I'm not in the market for that. I don't have the space or the budget. But I'm thinking the laptop with Beats audio would be good... and maybe even the earbuds? I would like a real-life opinion here. If you have the Beats, are they worth the cost and how does the sound differ from iPod earbuds or other brands like Bose? Thank you in advance.


If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a video. Then maybe you can benefit from the discussion too. I'm crossing my fingers that at least one of my readers has an opinion on this!


Reader Comments (16)

I generally listen to my iPod 4-5 hours a day while at work, so good earphones are a must for me. I've never tried Beats, but I've gone through a bunch before finding Bose IE2 earbuds, and I love them. I've had them for a couple of years now and any time I use another pair, I immediately notice the difference in comfort as well as sound quality.
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Never really noticed brand names when it comes to headphones cuz I just look at what will work but Bose would be my pick, Beats just sounds too hipster lol!
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
I use Grado SR60's. Bose you're paying mostly for their huge advertising budget. Here's a fantastic site to compare products, and buy from if you choose:

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBatmaniak
I swear by Bose. Nothing but the best. I currently have AE2, which stands for Around the Ear headphones. Very comfortable and the sound is fantastic. They were $135 but well worth it.
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKixkixass
If they work great, but you'll rarely see any Bose product on any audiophile lists. FYI - Here's a headphone buying guide that got posted today:

http://lifehacker.com/5800772/how-to-choose-the-perfect-pair-of-headphones
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBatmaniak
BOSE has long been one of the most well respected brands in the audiophile world. Beats is a new "hipster" up & comer. Nowhere near the legacy of the Bose brand.
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
Now that's just funny. At any rate, try out various brands yourself, with your own music player. Can't find a lot of good reviews for BOSE products myself (at least for home and personal use), except in cases where people didn't test anything, just read reviews.

http://www.firstadopter.com/fa/archives/001749.html
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBatmaniak
I personally prefer any SHURE in ear monitors; they work great for isolation sounds such as bus noise. They are also excellent for playing drums with or running a click live.
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterspence
The question is whether you want the absolute best, or can settle for the best bang for the buck. The gold standard, unless you're willing to plunk down 4 figures on something, has always been Bose, and I can vouch for the quality of their over-the-ear headphones with noise cancellation -- best set of headphones I ever owned, in terms of sound quality. The only issue I had with them was a flimsy connecting wire that breaks easily and some cheap plastic on the frame that can also shatter. Kind of odd, really, that such shoddy parts can be found on such an otherwise excellent piece of equipment.

Bang for the buck, however -- Sony OTE noise cancellation headphones are nearly as good as the Bose, at less than half the price. Once I got tired of shipping broken equipment back and forth with Bose (although I have no complaints on that score -- they replaced their broken wares for free every time), I broke down and got the Sony and haven't looked back.

This Beats stuff sounds fishy. I'd want to hit a mortar-and-brick store of some sort and try them out live before I plunked anything down for them.
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM.
When it comes to earbuds, I just use the ones that came with my iPod but I've thought of upgrading to Bose until I read Al's post and the above comments.

I did a little hunting as some of the others have...

CNET rates Klipsch Image S4 as the top earbuds for under $80. You can find 'em for anywhere between $64 - $79.99.

V-Moda, MEElectronics, Thinksound and Yamaha all follow suit in gradually descending order regarding price.

Interestingly, Bose, Beats or Sony, let alone Sennhauser are nowhere to be found.

Astonishingly, CNET rates the $65 - $85 Klipsch Image S4 Earbuds better than or comparable to the $1700 (!) Grado PS 1000 Headphones (is the reviewer getting payed off by Klipsch or does she just hate on expensive sh*t since she will never afford it?).

She's also got the Shure SE 535 Earbuds highly rated. They'll run ya between $440 - $500! Santa Lucia!

The reviewer also has the Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones way up there but so is the price at $350 - $717 (smelling salts, please!).

And she's also got the Nokia BH905 Headphones right up there. Again, you'll think your drunk and seein' double lookin' at this price. $300!

If it's the Metalgod's honest truth the Klipsch Earbuds are equivalent or superior in performance to some of these other more expensive headphones and earphones, I'd go with Klipsch!

Klipsch has long had an excellent reputation when it comes to high fidelity audio stereo amplification products so it's a pretty calculated risk these are the earbuds to get, especially for the price!

Geez, now I'm gonna get a pair!
May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
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