Has music ever sound off? Well you’ve been victim of the dreadful but easily avoidable “noisy music”. Noisy Music may sound like an oxymoron; however, with the wrong audio equipment, you can accidentally create it easily. To get decent audio equipment is tricky and costly, but well worth it. Be careful of which headphones you choose. The old saying, “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply in this scenarios. Before we explain to you why, first, you must know…
A little bit about Headphones
The most cost-effective way to get good sound quality without having to pay more than a few thousands of dollars is simply buying a great pair of headphones. So how do we decide the best headphones for you? Well there is no benchmark for headphones. You just got to use your ears and try them out for yourself. Lets start with the basics. Headphones come in two types of ear cups:
- Open: Open headphones have the back of the ear-cup open; thus, this may leak sound out of the headphones, and let ambient sound in. Open headphones produce a more natural sound, and make it seem like there is more space between you and the sound source.
- Closed: These headphones have the back of the ear-cup closed. Depending on what model you get, it may block ambient sound. Closed headphones sound like audio is coming within your head.
Secondly, there are a few types of headphones:
- Circum-aural headphones – These are full-sized headphones, and their ear-pads cover the whole ear. These headphones are great for home or office use; however, there are some cases where some people would walk around with these headphones. It’s not recommended as they are not made for that use.
Here are a few great headphones that are Circumaural with great value per price point.
Sennheiser HD 558 – These retail for $279.99 CAD from Sennheiser. Sennheiser is a well-known German company that makes professional grade audio equipment. They have an open ear cup design, and are highly recommended due to its very natural sound quality. The Sennheiser HD 558 sound nice and are comfortable for the ears. These headphones are great for listening to high quality music at home. If you can shell out the big bucks, certainly consider these headphones. They are also highly recommended from the Head-fi.org audiophile website.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 – These are headphones created by a Japanese audio equipment designer Audio-Technica. You can find them online for roughly $179.99 CAD. You get accurate sound quality and an overall portable headphone. These headphones are foldable so that you can carry them wherever you want. The Closed Ear-cup design allows you to isolate yourself from the world and enjoy the music in your mind. You can’t really compare them with an open type headphone such as the Sennheiser HD558, because it would be like comparing apples and oranges. So make your choice based on preference. These Headphones would be great for traveling on the trains or long road trips.
- Supra-aural Headphones – These headphones are portable, and have pads that press against the ears. These headphones might be uncomfortable depending on which one, but they are lighter and more smaller. This leaves a smaller footprint allowing you to bring them anywhere and enjoy your music with great sound quality.
Here are a few great Supra-aural headphones we would like to share:
Sennheiser PX-100-II – If you’re lucky, you might find these headphones for under $100. These are very portable supra-aural headphones with an open ear-cup design. Not only that, it is very light and a high quality product which makes it great for working out and gym activities. We tried many supra-aural headphones and we concluded that this is one of many that fit very comfortable on our ears.
Koss KSC75 Ear Clip Headphones – This is a low-cost headphone sells around $20 CAD. They provide great sound quality, and decent Value per Price ratio. On top of that, it has a life-time warranty by Koss, so there are many incentives for you to purchase it. This headphone would certainly be better than the ear-buds that come with your audio device that you purchased.
Although there are tons of headphones out there, these are just a few headphones that we found that were great, and that you can’t go wrong with. You can definitely explore yourself. A great place for testing out the headphones would be places such as Tom Lee, or Bestbuy. Once you’ve got the best headphones for yourself. You’ll need to have a great sound source, so read up on lossless file formats in order to get the highest quality sound. Then bring your mp3 player with your favorite song (in flac format or high bitrate mp3 format 320kbps is good) and start testing. However, beware of those headphones that are sold just for looks such as the Beats for dr dre. They look good, but their bass sounds flat and muffled.