Music News

Let’s Have a Serious Talk About Headphones, Okay?

I get it. Headphones and earbuds are seriously subjective things. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t research all the models that interest you before you plunk down some hard-earned money on a new set.

For example, did you know that those hideously expensive and bad-sounding Beats by Dr. Dre headphones cost all of $14 to make? No, you didn’t read that wrong. Per unit manufacturing costs are FOURTEEN DOLLARS PER SET. No wonder Dre got so rich. And no wonder Apple bought Beats.

If you’re into spending huge dollars on headphones, why not buy something that the experts say is worth it?  Abel forwarded me this list from Hertzbeat which lists the top over-the-ear headphones money can buy.

  1. Sennheiser HD 800 (13 picks) – $1499.95
  2. Audeze LCD-3 w/Fazor (11 picks) -$1945
  3. Audeze LCD-X– (10 picks) – $1699
  4. HiFiMan HE-6 (5 picks) – $1299 & Oppo PM-1 (5 picks) – $1099
  5. Audeze LCD-XC (4 picks) – $1799 & Stax SR009 (4 picks) – $3895 & MrSpeakers Alpha Prime (4 picks) – $999.99
  6. AKG K 812 (3 picks) – $1239 & Fostex TH-900 (3 picks) – $1270 & Sennheiser HD-600 (3 picks) – $316

Now that you’ve had a stroke, here are the best headphones you can buy for under $150 USD. Notice any Beats models here?

  1. Grado Prestige Series SR80e (2 picks) – $99
  2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2 picks) – $99
  3. Superlux HD668B – $60
  4. SteelSeries 9H – $110
  5. Sony MDR-7506 – $85 (My personal pick)
  6. Audio Technica ATH-AD900X – $132
  7. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro – $86
  8. Grado Prestige Series SR60e – $79
  9. AKG K240 – $77

Bottom line? Do your research before you buy. Go to Hertzbeat for more reviews.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Let’s Have a Serious Talk About Headphones, Okay?

  • Yay I made the top 10! Under 150 anyway. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro that i use for guitar practice. They sound great to me but i do have some hearing loss/buzzing in my ears so I’m pretty sure the Sennheiser HD 800 wouldn’t make as much of a difference as they might for someone with pristine hearing.


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