ljokerl’s headphone review list features dozens of portable and semi-portable headphones.
Red = denotes discontinued models (select “Show discontinued products” checkbox on left to display)
i column (denotes headset functionality)
blank = no headset functionality
1 = mic + single button remote
3 = mic + 3 button remote with Apple iOS volume control
v= mic + analog volume control (compatible with all devices)
|Beats by Dr Dre||Solo||On-ear||3||7.00||8.50||8.00||6.50||7.30||150|
|Creative||Aurvana Live! 2||Over-ear||v||8.00||6.00||9.50||8.25||8.00||115|
|Bowers & Wilkins||P3||On-ear||3||8.50||7.50||9.50||7.50||8.10||199|
|Fischer Audio||Oldskool rpm 33 1/3||On-ear||6.50||5.50||9.50||8.50||7.70||200|
|V-Moda||Crossfade M-80 / V-80||On-ear||3||10.00||7.50||7.50||9.00||8.60||199|
|Monster Beats by Dr Dre||Studio||Over-ear||3||7.50||9.00||8.50||6.75||7.70||200|
|Bowers & Wilkins||P5||On-ear||3||8.50||9.50||9.50||8.00||8.70||290|
|Fischer Audio||Oldskool ’70||On-ear||8.00||4.00||8.50||7.00||6.90||68|
|Beyerdynamic||DTX 300 p||On-ear||7.00||6.00||7.50||6.75||6.80||59|
|Ultrasone||HFI-450 / RH10MS||Over-ear||8.50||8.00||8.50||7.50||8.00||100|
|Sennheiser||HD238 / HD238i||On-ear||3||6.50||3.50||9.50||6.75||6.60||70|
|Philips||SHP5400 / SHP5401||On-ear||6.50||4.00||7.50||7.00||6.40||55|
|Sennheiser||PX200-II / PX200-IIi||On-ear||3||7.00||6.50||7.50||7.00||7.10||70|
|AKG||K81DJ (K518DJ / K518LE)||On-ear||8.50||9.00||6.00||6.75||7.40||50|
|Sony||PIIQ MDR-PQ2 Giiq||On-ear||6.50||5.50||8.00||5.75||6.30||30|
|Koss||UR55 Studio Pulse||Over-ear||7.50||5.00||7.50||6.75||6.70||25|
|dB Logic||Logic HP-100||On-ear||6.50||7.50||7.50||6.00||6.70||30|
|iFrogz||EarPollution Nerve Pipe||On-ear||4.00||4.50||9.00||3.50||4.90||22|
|JVC||HA-M750 €œBlack Series€||Over-ear||7.50||8.00||7.50||6.50||7.20||36|
|Alpha Design Labs||ADL H118||Over-ear||9.50||8.50||8.50||8.75||8.70||269|
|Xiaomi||Mi Headphones||On + over-ear||1||9.50||7.00||8.50||7.50||8.00||95|
Have you tried the Skullcandy “Grind”? I’ve been through many sets of headphones, have a pair of Sony MDR V-6’s I’m still using, find the Grind to be similarly good. The response is accentuated on top and bottom, the deep bass is fully present, lower mids are sweet, efficiency is greater than the V-6’s. They’re going for around $20 these days, worth checking out.
i like your list.
Not directly relative, but within a +/- 0.5 or so range.
I tend to prefer IEMs, especially in the lower price tiers. I’m a fan of neutral sound and prioritize clarity and detail, which budget IEMs can actually deliver very well (though as always there’s diamonds and turds in both categories). If I were looking for bass impact or soundstaging instead, maybe I’d choose headphones.
Are the sound ratings at all relative with the sound ratings in the IEM list?
I’m curious if the sound quality to price point is better with headphones than IEMs? I’ve actually heard IEMs produce better sound per dollar up to a certain point around $150, is this true?
Wow, hard to believe that noone has ever noticed the table being mislabeled before – thanks! It’s buried deep in the code somewhere, I’ll do my best to find it.
As for headphone microphonics, they’re generally not enough of an issue with headphones to be worth mentioning, never mind comparing between different sets. The HD25-1 is a bit of a special case because the cable material and cable attachment are both unusual, so there is a little bit of noise carried by the cord, but it would still be a very good score on the IEM microphonics scale if compared directly.
Are microphonics usually a non-issue with headphones? I was looking at the HD25-1 II, but I heard that on-ear headphones tend to have really bad microphonics and there’s no rating for microphonics in this list unlike with the IEM list.
Also, just a small error I noticed, at the top of the list, you have the categories listed as Manufacturer, Model, Type, i, Build, Isolation, Comfort, Sound, Average, and Price, but at the bottom they’re Model, i, Accessories, Build, Isolation, Microphonics, Comfort, Sound, Average, and Price; it looks like this was copied over from the IEM list and was only changed at the top.
Thanks for the list, really helped me narrow down my potential selections!
I’ve actually seen a couple of Beoplay sets in the wild – they’re quite distinctive and I dig the design and materials. Haven’t had a chance to listen to one yet, though.
Have you come across the Beoplay H2 and if so what are your thoughts? Had them since August and for such a portable set the sound is very nice, good detail and well balanced across all ranges. That said I borrowed some M50s today and have fallen in love with them, not as portable but gorgeous, particularly on anything with brass.
Those aren’t great-sounding headphones. Arctic Sound generally doesn’t do Hi-Fi – I’ve tried maybe 5-6 of their headphones and earphones and they’re all just middle of the road consumer stuff. If you need a wireless headset with that form factor they’ll do fine, but don’t expect them to keep up with a good wired set in the same price range, or even a good traditional on-ear wireless.
What about a on-ear behind the neck category?
I am looking for something similar to Arctic P311 Bluetooth headphones. Needs BT 4 and Aptx-LL and Aptx?
Thanks for listing them joker.
I think ill go wth Eph-100. I think their bass sounds closer to CAL! From ur detailed reviews.
KC06s are very good earphone but different than the ones you listed above – they have much more emphasis on the mids. Clarity is very good and bass is quite decent, but they’re really more for fans of strong mids/vocals.
Thank you for reply.
I will look for reviews of Soundmagic E50 and E80.
I also got some good reviews about Ostry KC06. Are they worth it?
In that price range I’d go dynamic but I can’t really comment on the M6 PRO as I haven’t tried those. I also have only tried the E50 briefly so I don’t have a very thorough understanding of its sound.
I’d say go for the Soundmagic E10 (or E50 if it’s getting positive reviews) since you liked the ES18 and are looking for a balance of bass and clarity slightly skewed towards clarity – this is what Soundmagic products do really well. The RHA will sound bassier but gives up some of the clarity, and the VSonics (and in my limited understanding the M6 PRO) err more on the side of brightness/clarity than bass. They’re more of a gamble – you might like this type of balance better, but there’s no way to know until you try it. A higher-end soundmagic is more of a safe bet.
Keeping it under $150, my suggestions would be the Yamaha EPH-100: https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/yamaha-eph-100/ or RHA MA750i: https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/rha-ma750-ma750i/ . Both have good bass and sound smooth, so it depends on which form factor you think you’ll like better and whether you’d rather have a bit more soundstage but with a brighter/more balanced sound (RHA) or a bit more deep bass with a smoother/warmer sound (Yamaha). In that price range I don’t think you can go wrong with either.
In that case, can you suggest a good in ear that is fun like the CAL!?
I look for an iem with a very good, soundstage, good detailing, bass like the CAL!
And not harsh.
Thanks alot for answering patiently.
Thank you for fantastic work on comparison list.
I wanted to buy IEM around 50$.
Currently I’ve had JBL T150A and soundmagic ES18S.(I know they’re not so good :P)
I loved my Soundmagic. Now I want to upgrade to better one.
I’ve shortlisted Meelec M6pro, Vsonic Vsd3s or Vsd5, Rha ma450i and soundmagic e50.
Can you please suggest which earphone will be good?
I like Bass (not too much) and it would be better to have good clarity.
Can you also tell whether to go for BA or dynamic?
The Creative Aurvana LIve! is a pretty unique headphone, I haven’t reviewed anything that I would consider a true upgrade over it. My knowledge of non in-ear headphones is also somewhat outdated – there’s hundreds of new ones on the market I haven’t try.
I want to say something like Sennheiser Momentum (over-ear) would be a good pick here – the little time I’ve spent with it I thought it was a remarkably capable headphone, not boring but smooth and warm and lush – much like the CAL!.
Another option would be the Beyer Custom One Pro. These sound less like the Creative and more like a studio headphone with a ton of bass, but they’re definitely fun in their own way. Plus the sound is (somewhat) adjustable and they’re built like a tank.
I don’t have the M6 PRO on hand so even if I did do a review it wouldn’t be finished for months. Sorry.
I am interested in their Pinnacle P1 that someone else mentioned recently.. should be able to get my hands on those via InnerFidelity.
Have been a big fan of your reviews. Got my first headphone, creative aurvana live! after goin thru all your reviews. Its been a year now and i wud like to upgrade to a new one that has a similair or better sound signature and fun.
Please suggest a good one as there are too many options its very confusing.
Wow, just realized wrong list… MB
Hey Joker, your list is awesome!!! I love my new piston 3’s for a toss around portable earbud for when I’m away from my over ear cans, but I’m super interested in the Mee audio m6 pro. That replaceable cable really has me excited. Could you do a review? or is there a review on the way? Thanks so much.
I’ve read that as well. Haven’t tried the Samson myself but this is not unheard of in the headphone industry so I’m inclined to believe it.
Hey Thank you very much for this list!
I’ve read that the Samson sr850 has the same driver as the Superlux HD6678B that you seem to love.
What do you think about this samson headphone?
Nothing against them, I just never got a pair for review. V-Moda promised to send one out but didn’t follow through, and I got distracted by other projects.
Firstly thank for the huge work from you, that helped me a lot.
Secondly I would like to ask your opinion about the V-Moda M100, You didnt even put them in your list, that mean you think they not as good as the M-80 at least?
Normally it’s whatever I’m currently reviewing plus one heavy-duty “flavor of the month” earphone that I’ve either recently reviewed or plan to review eventually. Right now that’s an Aurisonics Rockets: http://amzn.to/1kD6T90
Thanks Joker what is your main iem you use right now
I’ve tried a few of Sony’s entry-level ZX models but I can’t remember which ones. The latest ones were red/burgundy with a metal plate on the outside. Anyway, they were nice and smooth but too muddy for my liking. I’ll take the less smooth but clearer/tighter-sounding HT-21.
Generally speaking, treble is one of the hardest aspects of a headphone to get right, and going “dark” can be a safer option. If we’re talking about sub-$30 mass-market consumer cans, 99.9% of listeners won’t notice or care about diminished treble presence. Shrill treble, on the other hand…
And no, no experience with the Bose Soundtrue. I’ve recently tried the QC15 (again) and the Soundlink II (the wireless ones). The latter were especially poor, but I really wouldn’t buy either for sound quality. For ANC the QC15 is amazing, but I fly with IEMs.
Just got my ht21 got to say its bang for your buck really good for the price but why do cheaper headphones sound kinda dark?
also have you tried the bose sound true if so how does it compare to ht21
Do you know if these are better then the typical sony MDRZX100 ZX series
I don’t know how the Amazonbasic headphones and Bose on-ears compare but among the cheap (<$30) closed portables I've tried the HT-21 still has the best combination of comfort and sound quality. Next best thing as you go up in price is probably the Audio-Technica SQ505 (the newer version of the SQ5 model in the list above). Assuming the new version is not worse than the old one, it'll give you a slightly warmer and more natural sound than the HT-21.
and these are the Meelectronics ht21 ones
I mean how does the bose on ear and the Amazonbasic compare to the ht21 terms to comfort isolation and sound and would you recommend the Bose on ear for traveling for the price range of $100 or 60ish dollars used
I have the amperior that I really like they are good sounding headphones but are very uncomfortable and the ue6000 they are just to big. I just recently purchased the ht21 because they were cheap and need a smaller and comfortable headphones for traveling. How does the ht21 compare to the bose on ear and the Amazon lightweight headphones because the ht21 and the Amazon basic were the same price terms of comfortable isolation and sound and would you still recommend the ht21 for one of the best cheapest portable headphones?
i used to have a momentum on ear, i traded that for a beyerdynamic t51p… im trying out the t51p now.. i dont really like the momentum on ear because of the clamping force but it is a durable headphones for sure.. t51p is so much smaller in size and theres more metal to it… t51p looks very very german, functional and somewhat brutalist..
Sorry, temporary glitch. We will be migrating to a new database soon.
DT1350 review can be found here: https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-review/beyerdynamic-dt1350/ . It should show up in the table as well, but isn’t…
Was there any reason the DT1350 was removed from the list above?
I haven’t reviewed any of the newer Philips sets in full but I tried several of them at CES this year: https://theheadphonelist.com/ces-2015-headphone-coverage-part-1-monster-philips-skullcandy/
Long story short, I really liked the L2. It blew the M1 away for me, but then the M1 is closed-back and much cheaper so I guess that’s expected. Also preferred it to the A-series sets. Haven’t tried the X-series Fidelios.
and do you know if there any fakes i should worry about buying used
have you listen to any of the philips fidelio if so do you know what the difference between the m1 L1 x1 and x2. i really like how they sound. expect i never listen to the x2 because at the local store didnt have a converter. do you know any other headphones or iem that sound like them
I’m not sure, I’ve only tried the Momentums, and only briefly (I preferred the sound of the over-ear ones but the on-ears sure are nice-looking and compact)
Tried them once and didn’t think they sounded that great for the (at the time) $400 price tag so I didn’t bother reviewing them. If ever have the time to focus on wireless sets they’ll be more of a contender because there’s less truly hi-fi wireless cans.
Which one is better
Momentum On Ear 2.0 or BeyerDynamic T51P
Possibly a dumb question, but why aren’t the Parrot Zik headphones listed listed on here?
Hoping any newer/cheaper superlux headphone review…
Unfortunately I haven’t tried any of the new models in that price range. The DT1350 and HD25 remain the two best on-ears I’ve tried with isolation as the main priority besides sound quality – the momentum on-ear doesn’t isolate as much, for example. For strong mids, the DT1350 still wins over the HD25 in my book.
My 3 year old Beyerdynamic dt1350’s were recently stolen and I’m in the market for some new portable on/over-ear headphones. I originally was going to just go with some more dt1350s or Sennheiser HD-25’s, but after looking around I found that now there’s also Beyerdynamic t51p’s, t50i’s, and Sennheiser Momenum’s et al. Consequently, I’m not stuck between those two brands/models anymore. If it’s not too much trouble, could you recommend something I might want to look into?
I most often listen to Pop, Jazz, Classical, Rock, and Rap. While comfort doesn’t matter too much to me, good isolation would be preferred. Sound quality wise, I have no preferences on strong bass, warmth, etc, though I do like strong mids and a good amount of clarity. I would prefer to keep it under $300-400
Thanks a lot, and if it’s not worth your time I understand.
The RE-400 and GR07 Classic are pretty well-balanced earphones while the X10 is warm and bassy. Most people would say the X10 is more fun while the HiFiMan/VSonic are more analytical. The SE215, likewise, is like a “milder” X10 sound signature. If you want something even more fun than the X10, perhaps a more v-shaped set that brings up the treble energy in addition to the bass would be a good fit. Maybe an RHA MA750 or even a JVC HA-FXT90. These are bassy earphones, but I find their bass more tolerable than that of the X10 because the rest of the spectrum balances it out in a way.