Thursday, October 17

Headphones below $100 (by DAVID E. ABAH)

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A headphone basically refers to a stylishly  compressed pair of loud speakers mostly worn on or around the user head or over the ears, they can be best described scientifically as electro acoustic transducers that can easily convert different electric waves ( signals) sent by a device into  palatable sounds for a single user listening pleasure. Headphones can also be called earpiece, earphones, headsets,earspeakers,earbuds etc, over the years we have seen the indispensable essence of headphones in terms of security function, educational support tool, health aid, confidentiality tool etc; however experience has shown that headphones level of usage or public demand rate are not only dependent on their prices but are dependent more on factors that suits users preference and purpose and so one can purchase very good headphones less than $100 and will still be able to get the very best out of it usage. Headphones are handy with different features to carryout different functions and so if it’s affordable one can easily purchase More than one headphone to serve different purpose; this exposition is a conscious effort to list out a number of notable and quality headphones with prices below $100, unique features, its merits/demerits, prices etc. With this exposition I am optimistic that people can be better guided in making choices on the quality & pocket friendly DJ headphones below $100

  1. GRADO SR80e DJ HEADPHONES ($95)

The grado sr80e stands out as one of the best open ear DJ headphones; it is of a unique design with well rounded rotatable cups, large foam and ear pads that extends beyond the plastic driver area. Its beauty and aesthetic appeal is further enhanced by an accentuated wire grill that gives cover and transparency for the 40mm drivers, it has a vibe of the famous vintage radio headset because of it stylishly designed metal prongs, the long and thick 2m cable makes it easy for usage in very rigorous environment, if given the right ambience setting on any player grado sr80 is sure to guarantee a passive noise isolation.

 

 

 

 

FEATURES

  • Has a nominal impedance of 32 ohms
  • Has a very appealing foam pads for maximum comfort
  • Frequency response is 20-20,000 HZ
  • Operates in open air (open back cups)
  • The transducer type is 40mm dynamic drivers
  • Sound pressure level is 99.8 Db
  • It comes with a 3.5 mm cable and a 6.8 adapter

PROS

  • Has very powerful design
  • Produces great sound especially for live albums
  • Fast, detailed design with punchy bars

CONS

  • Sound leakages occur
  • The cables are just too large for maximum comfort
  • The ear foams are too big and so can easily be ruptured by sharp object
  • It loses it bass potential with time.
  1. Sennheiser HD 280PRO DJ HEADPHONES ($69)

HD280 pro stands out as the best over ear Dj headphones below $ 100; it is stylishly designed to meet the demands of a rigorous professional environment, its modular design, quality sound and very effective noise isolation potential makes it a viable too for many whom are on the lookout for the best of sounds without any external interference, it collapses nicely with cups that swivels to ensure a high level of compatibility for different application.

FEATURES

  • Very tough single-sided cable (good for DJ function)
  • Has a soft pad landing for comfortable ear fit (sound isolation)
  • Accurate sound quality reproduction potential
  • Excessive noise engulfing potential
  • Have easily collapsible and also freely rotatable ear cups so as to make it more handy and durable.

PROS

  • Produces quality sounds when in use.
  • Has high sound isolation potential than contemporaries like Audio technica M20-40x
  • Has an excellent build quality and can last for years if it is well taken cared of by the user
  • It very good with gaming, movies, bass for casual listening especially at medium low volume or even in a loud environment.

CONS

  • Ear pad and headband materials can easily get coiled.
  • Can be bad for mixing audio for long period because its sound quality fatigues over a wide range of heavy frequency, although for prolong listening period, you can enjoy better sound with lower volumes
  1. Sony MDR-7506 DJ Headphones ($79)

It was first launched in 1991 and has since served as better option most especially recording engineers and other sound professionals with a particular taste for classic sounds, the Sony MDR 7506 offers balance and better  sounds, with accentuated treble range that gives it a very crisper and leveller texture, the design is durable  because its pads are readily available and so can be replaced, MDR 7506 is of a lighter weight of about 8 ounces; headband and ear pads are not as thickly padded as other headphone but it’s just good enough to maintain moderate pressure for long listening time and also ensure optimum comfort for professional functions.

 

FEATURES

  • Connection type: Mini-phone stereo 3.5m
  • Sound output: stereo mode
  • Plug type: 3.5mm nickel plated
  • Adapter:6.3mm
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Drivers: 40 mm
  • Rated impedance : 63 ohm

PROS

  • Very good for sound mixing
  • Provides good sound isolation
  • Solid and durable cable
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • Plastic build and can easily get broken
  • Not too portable because of it 9-8 foot long cable
  • Not good for bass heads
  • Cable makes it heavy
  1. AUDIO CB-1 DJ HEADPHONES ($69)

This are a good studio headphones with 50mm drivers, with two plastic removable cables, it offers a studio style sound with bass for bass heads, with its nice and wide sound stage it would fit in as a good aid for gaming; CB-1 is relatively comfortable because of it bigger and softer ear pads like that of Sony bass products. The big size of the pad provides much space for the ears; the headband is big, squishy, with full length and well angled to fit into just any size of human head, it also offers a profound sound isolation experience.

 

 FEATURES

  • Weight: less than 11.3 ounce
  • Mostly silver or gold plated 3.5 mm
  • Colour: mostly black
  • Connection type: mini-phone stereo 3.5mm
  • Stereo output: stereo mode
  • Headphones: full size

PROS

  • Has a huge sound stage
  • Very affordable
  • Come with two audio cables
  • Has lightweight and squishy design
  • Perfect for media platform use.

CONS

  • It noise is isolation capability is not really as good as it seems
  • It’s a bit heavy and not so mobile friendly
  • Its aesthetics are fragile and not very catchy
  1. AUDIO TECHNICA ATH M40X DJ HEADPHONES ($98)

Stands out as the best pocket friendly bass head phones that is ideal for audio monitoring, sound mixing and studio tracking by professionals, headphone are turned flat and so this makes studio monitoring process over a long larger frequency range possible as with an improved sound isolation, M40X also stands out as the best headphone option under $ 100 that can serve perfectly for gym and travelling purposes.

FEATURES

  • Perfect with noise isolation in very noisy environment
  • Highly portable with collapsible space-saving ear bands
  • Head band is comfortable as well as durable
  • Magnet type: Neodymium
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB
  • Impedance: 35 ohms
  • Weight: 45 grams
  • Cable: comes with two interchangeable and detachable coiled cable of about 9.8 inches
  • Input power: 1,600 MW
  • Voice coil : (CCAW) copper-clad aluminium wire

PROS

  • Its highly durable because of its pro-grade materials
  • The headband and ear pads offer maximum comfort due to its very soft feel
  • The sounds are very clear and so is a very good option for low budget professionals involved in ideal sound monitoring, travelling or personal use
  • Its portable, durable and affordable

CONS

  • The base for some is still not heavy enough, especially when compared with other studio monitor headphones
  • Requires a separate case better than the cloth bag it came with so as to ensure stability and safety when packed for heavy travelling
  • Ear cups swivel only at 90 degrees
  • Those not work with interchangeable cables from other brands except only with Audio technica cables
  1. SENNHEISER HD559 DJ HEADPHONE ($98)

Is a limited version of the sennheiser HD599, it is of a lightweight, with moderate reassuring plastic composition with a very palatable padding for the headband and ear pads, it is of 3m length with thick durable cables and a ¼ stereo plug to make it usage much more convenient.

FEATURES

  • Has a frequency range of 14-26,000 HZ
  • It sound pressure level (SPL) 108 dB
  • Impedance of 50 ohm to function effectively with portable players and computers
  • Has a relatively decent harmonic distortion less than 0.2%

PROS

  • One can easily identify the different instruments used in the song playing
  • Super comfortable and fit to wear
  • A superb bass response with soft and tight feel
  • Cables are replaceable and available
  • Due to its extensive soundstage it gives a thrilling and immersive experience especially during gaming
  • It’s the most ideal option for listening to genres like rock, classical and jazz
  • Has a neutral, balanced song with high durability

CONS

  • Do not have any noise cancelling mechanism/feature this makes it possible for others to hear sounds that you are playing at high volume
  • The extensive length of the cord can easily make it get tangled
  • Not the best option for bass heads
  • It very tight fit can easily make it clamp down on users ears.

BUYERS GUIDE

We understand that they are tons of headphones with peculiarities, similarities as well as dissimilarities. The onus lies on the user to make choice of which type of headphones to buy; however consideration to be made when getting a headphone is:

  • Fit and comfort
  • Weight and portability
  • Durability
  • Cables
  • Budget
  • Purpose
  • Single-sided or double sided cable designs
  1. DURABILITY: the fact is that most durable headphones are of heavy weight, but you can still ensure durability for a light weight headphone by putting them in protective case and places, checking out hinges for sturdiness when folded up and minimizing accidental falls. Ensuring durability also for headphones also requires you to know quality cables either thick or slender and also make sure that they are modalities for replacement of parts like cables, ear pad, and head band instead of a whole headphone set.
  2. FIT AND COMFORT: All headphones are designed to offer comfort but due to variations in human morphology. Some headphones become uncomfortable when worn for long period, it is advisable to at least wear for 20 minutes before outright purchase. Headphones with bigger ear cups are good for closed back, for better pressure level use headphones that rest on the ear padded with fabric and also smaller size.
  3. WEIGHT AND PORTABILITY: Although weight portends durability a times, but when purchasing for long listening purpose it is much better to get a super light headphone with very soft foam pads on ear bands and head bands. Whichever headband you may choose be it over the head or behind the neck they must be adjustable; the rotating ability of cup is good for adjustment and reduction in leaked sound.
  4. CABLES: ensure that cables are lengthy enough to suit your purpose, but avoid excessively long cables as they can cause negative sound, reduced volume, noise injection and can easily get tangled. In getting extensions for very short cables ensure that you get another cable of similar quality or better still get a longer quality cable so as to get the best of signal
  5. PURPOSE: in purchasing headphones it is always good to know the purpose you want to use it for; look out for headphones with features that can meet your purpose e.g. A person involved in studio monitoring should go for big bass, big ear cup noise isolation headphones with capacity to swivel
  6. SINGLE SIDED DESIGN OR DOUBLE SIDED CABLE DESIGNS: double sided design can be easily tangled and so a single sided design is better because it has internal circuitry that carries the right signal to the appropriate ear
  7. BUDGET: this is also a very important consideration when purchasing a headphones budget should come after you must have determined your purpose and all of the other above listed purpose. They are tons of headphones with price variations, but sometimes it’s not really about the price but the ability of the head phone to meet your needs that matters the most, a headphone of 98$ can offer better purpose than some other headphones worth 148$ it all boils down to what you want and how you are willing to manage the headphones.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

We have taken it upon ourselves to painstakingly provide comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions so as to give DJ headphone users the necessary information that will reflect their choice, budget and comfort demand.

QUESTION (1): which DJ headphone is appropriate for beginners?

ANSWER:  They are tons of headphones for beginners, they are classified in terms of price variations, features, brands and availability, and some options of headphones for beginners are: the Behringer HPX2000, Numark HF125, Sony MDR-V150, Sennheiser HD25 pro, Moki ACCHPPOF martin soft cushion, pioneer SE-MJ503 etc.

QUESTION (2): what is the difference between DJ headphones and gaming headphones?

ANSWER: Gaming headphones are slightly different from DJ headphones although they are DJ headphones that can also be worked around to function effectively for gaming. Gaming headphones most times have same level of sound quality with DJ headphones but they are not so flexible like DJ headphones, they are most times designed with mics and can also be wireless.

QUESTION (3): Why is it that most of the DJ headphones I have used always swivel?

ANSWER: most DJ headphones are designed to operate at a high level of flexibility because it is expected that it will be moved about a lot of times, so sometimes the user can decide to wear one, wear both or wear none of the ear cups, if it’s designed to be rigid it could break easily, DJ headphones swivel because sometimes you have to listen first to what is playing on the cue track and at the same time listen to sounds coming from the speakers.

CONCLUSION

The work of a DJ  can’t actually be deemed successful without one having to hear the quality of sounds he or she is producing; however headphones stands out as that vital tool regardless of the kind of sound your re cooking or listening to, but every professional Dj or sound professional knows that in choosing headphones one must have to consider the perfect models that will suit his or her purpose with this decision in place, the next consideration should be getting a within the budget headphones and this piece of research highlights best dj headphones below $100, it gives an insight into the features, pros and cons as well as pictures to effectively satisfy user curiosity, with this piece am quite sure you will in a bid to purchase headphones consider not just budget but also comfort, closed design, purpose, cables, durability etc

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