The most effective $one hundred fifty over-ear headphones

The best $150 over-ear headphones

By Lauren Dragan

This submit was executed in partnership with The Wirecutter, a purchaser’s information to the most effective know-how. Learn the complete article right here.

If I needed to spend $one hundred fifty or much less on a pair of over-ear headphones, the Sony MDR-7506, for the third yr operating, is the mannequin I might purchase. After we researched all the over-ears on this worth vary which might be at present out there (round one hundred ten models in complete), learn numerous skilled and consumer critiques, and carried out three separate listening panels of audio professionals, the Sony MDR-7506 emerged because the clear winner.

Who can purchase this

Over-ear headphones on this worth vary are made for individuals looking for a primary critical pair to immerse themselves within the listening expertise. They need to supply a transparent, balanced sound that precisely represents what the recording artist (be it musician, film composer, or recreation sound designer) meant. Closed-again headphones on this worth vary, that are what we targeted on on this information, also needs to seal within the listening materials and shut out ambient noise.

These are nice headphones for college kids, workplace staff trying to block distractions, musicians, DJs, or anybody who needs the most effective sound attainable at an inexpensive “entry-degree” worth.

In case you need assistance deciding on the perfect headphones in your meant use, take a look at our Which Headphones Ought to I Get? information for determination-making help.

How we selected what to check

The best $150 over-ear headphones

We listened to headphones utilizing iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, and a receiver.

First, I learn a lot of evaluations, together with these from CNET, InnerFidelity, Sound & Imaginative and prescient, What Hello-Fi, fanatic discussion board websites, consumer evaluations on Amazon and Crutchfield, and extra. I additionally maintain a bachelor’s in each music efficiency and audio manufacturing from Ithaca School, and I spent a number of years in terrestrial radio earlier than shifting on to turn out to be knowledgeable voice actor in Los Angeles. Moreover, I have been in command of the headphones part at The Wirecutter for over two years, which has given me the chance to take heed to and check lots of and tons of of headphones.

After our analysis, we introduced in all the prime and latest headphones priced from $70 to $one hundred ninety in order that our testing panel might hear all of them again-to-again. In complete, we have examined over one hundred ten pairs, together with 15 in our most up-to-date replace. Our 4-listener panel has many years of expertise with sound and headphones, in addition to numerous sonic preferences, head shapes, and ear shapes, so you’ll be able to make certain that if all of us like one thing, it is fairly darn incredible. For a full rationalization of our testing strategies, take a look at the complete article.

Our decide

The best $150 over-ear headphones

Each audio skilled we interviewed spoke extremely of the Sony MDR-7506.

The Sony MDR-7506 has been our prime decide 3 times in a row for a lot of causes. To start out, this mannequin has nice evaluations. CNET and Head-Fi customers gush over it, and so do Amazon customers, who at present give it four out of 5 stars with properly over 2,000 evaluations. Each audio skilled I interviewed spoke extremely of the MDR-7506.

The MDR-7506 headphones sound implausible and stay very snug, and each considered one of our panelists ranked this pair because the best choice. The design has been round endlessly, and these headphones final endlessly. They’ve nice construct high quality, replaceable earcups, and a one-yr guarantee on elements. Some reviewers on Head-Fi and Amazon declare to have pairs over 10 years previous and going robust. Lastly (and maybe most essential), they’re an unimaginable worth: Whereas they’ve an MSRP of $one hundred thirty, they sometimes promote on Amazon for about $ninety. You’ll be able to really feel very assured in your buy.

Though we love nearly every thing concerning the Sony MDR-7506, we want the cable have been detachable and replaceable. With the ability to swap it out for a shorter twine with a distant and a mic for cellular-system utilization can be good. And let’s be trustworthy: The MDR-7506 will not win any magnificence contests. That stated, many headphones that look twice as fancy additionally value twice as a lot and sound half nearly as good because the MDR-7506.

Runner-up

The best $150 over-ear headphones

The Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphones are fairly properly balanced for his or her $one hundred price ticket.

Second place goes to Audio-Technica’s ATH-M40x. We appreciated this set higher than its costlier sibling, the M50x. The 40x pair provides a dynamic, clear sound in addition to a light-weight really feel and cozy match. The cords are detachable and replaceable, too. And though this mannequin has an MSRP of $one hundred forty, it at present retails on Amazon for about $one hundred. Individuals who take heed to loads of rock, digital music, hip-hop, and pop may actually benefit from the prime- and backside-boosted sound. Nevertheless, we appreciated the Sony pair’s extra impartial sound profile higher.

Our different choices

The best $150 over-ear headphones

15 of the one hundred ten pairs of headphones that we have examined in complete.

Third place went to the $200 Onkyo ES-CTI300, which has lots to supply, together with an inline three-button Apple-suitable distant and microphone. Our panelists have been combined in how a lot they favored the marginally non-impartial sound, and the match is not unbelievable. Undoubtedly attempt these headphones before you purchase, if attainable. Should you’re on a price range, we advocate the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x, which is a reasonably good purchase for $70 on Amazon. Then again, our improve decide is the $four hundred OPPO PM-three, which is our favourite set of headphones priced lower than $1,000.

Wrapping it up

For those who’re on the lookout for an introduction to studio-degree audio and also you need to get it with out breaking the financial institution, Sony’s MDR-7506 is your greatest guess. Terrific evaluations, nice sound, a powerful monitor document, and a pleasant worth—no marvel this pair reigns as our three-time champion. You possibly can’t go flawed.

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