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looking to buy: Audio Headphones / Home Theater System


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#1 foreverjoe20

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

So I'm looking to buy two things: over-the-head headphones and a Home Theater System.



Over-the-head headphones, Budget Range = $30-$125

Last Black Friday (2012) I bought two sets of Beats headphones (one for my brother, one for myself). My brother being in High School, got his stolen within a week and me being a gracious older brother gave him mine (had some MW3 headphones that I enjoyed better than those anyways).

Fast-forward almost a year and those Beats broke so I bought my brother a pair of the MW3 headphones. But we both miss having a set of over-the-head headphones.

So I was looking for a solid pair of over-the-head headphones. Was looking for spend around $50 for them (not really looking to buy another $100+ set of headphones). There was a forum here a couple of months ago about this very thing but I couldn't find it. I'm not a very picky audio person but I just need the audio to sound crisp and loud. Noise-cancellation is a plus and preferred (don't want everyone around me to know what I'm listening to).

I've tried looking around for some but unless they're big names like Beats or Bose, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. A lot of these headphones have all these specs to them that I have no idea what they mean. Just want a cheap-ish, crisp-sounding, noise-cancelling set of headphones.





Home Theater System, Budget Range = $100 - $300

Parents have had the same home theater system for the past 10 years. It finally broke down a couple of days ago so they're in the market for one.

They have a 60in LG LED tv and a LG bluray player so I'm probably gonna want to buy them a LG home theater system (they love the fact that when you turn on the bluray player, the tv turns on too).

Just looking for a simple Home Theater System that sounds amazing for them (they love watching movies that way).



**BLACK FRIDAY**
I know it's BF a couple of weeks so that's why I made this forum. I was hoping someone knew of some amazing BF deals for either item (I regularly check the forums so I've seen the video game/movie BF forums). I'm just reaching out for some help.

Thank you for viewing/posting comments :)

Edited by foreverjoe20, 14 November 2012 - 09:02 PM.
added budget ranges


#2 SpeedyG

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

It would really help if we had a budget range to work with.

#3 foreverjoe20

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

updated with budget ranges. Thanks for that!

#4 SpeedyG

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

Well here is a Yamaha HTIB that's pretty decent in that range. It's 399 now but fairly regularly goes on sale for 299 on newegg. It's good for most people and uses an actual receiver so if they ever want to upgrade or replace individual items.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882115378

As for headphones, drop the Bose and the Beats. Try the Audio Technica ATHM50. Right in your price range and light years better than either of your previous models.

#5 eLefAdEr

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

I'll probably catch hell for this but Sony MDR-V6 or V600. Both can be found for under $100 new.

I've used both extensively. The V6s are a little more comfortable and fit better while 600s are more suited for 'rugged' applications. I once stepped on mine and broke one of the arms but a little bit of superglue and duct tape and they continue to work just fine. That was more than six years ago. I still use them.

Both have that fake leather attached to the earpads which tends to peel off over time, faster if your ears sweat a lot. The padding underneath still functions great, never had a need to get a replacement.

My 2¢ about active noise-cancelation technology is that it's not worth it. You're better off getting closed-ear or in-ear which will buffet sound in both directions just as effectively as those fancy overpriced ones. The only scenario where it would be worth it is in high-volume settings, such as sitting near a jet engine on an airplane or as a drummer in a music studio.

edit: I'll vouch for those Audio Technicas mentioned by SpeedyG. Excellent brand.

#6 SpeedyG

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:42 PM

And I'll vouch that the Sony's are a good buy as well. But I do think the AT's win pretty handily at that range. I really like some of Sony's higher end models but that's out of the range he set. Either way, can't go wrong with these.

#7 SpeedyG

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:54 PM

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Fostex T50RP. They're very good out of the box but amazing if you don't mind putting in a little time and effort into DIY modding. Check out headfi.org for more on that.
http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B0002MT6RY

EDIT: Hmmm... I should ask what kind of a source are you going to be using for these headphones? Given you mention of Beats and Bose, I'm thinking a standard MP3 player or computer. This will matter very much in recommendations as no one will want to tell you to buy high impedance headphones for use with an iPhone...

Edited by SpeedyG, 14 November 2012 - 10:16 PM.


#8 AFRO insomniac

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

If you want something crisp and accurate I second the ATH-M50s.
http://www.amazon.co...trasone hfi-580

Another headphone I've heard great things about (but havn't tried myself) is the Ultrasone HFI-580
http://www.amazon.co...rasone hifi-580

I highly recommend avoiding Beats and Bose if you are looking to get quality sound for your money.


If you want to get a good source of info on headphones, head-fi is a great website:
http://www.head-fi.o...-by-price-range

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#9 foreverjoe20

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

EDIT: Hmmm... I should ask what kind of a source are you going to be using for these headphones? Given you mention of Beats and Bose, I'm thinking a standard MP3 player or computer. This will matter very much in recommendations as no one will want to tell you to buy high impedance headphones for use with an iPhone...



It's pretty much just for an iPhone/laptop use.



Thanks everyone for the awesome suggestions!

#10 dohdough

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

I'll probably catch hell for this but Sony MDR-V6 or V600. Both can be found for under $100 new.

I've used both extensively. The V6s are a little more comfortable and fit better while 600s are more suited for 'rugged' applications. I once stepped on mine and broke one of the arms but a little bit of superglue and duct tape and they continue to work just fine. That was more than six years ago. I still use them.

Both have that fake leather attached to the earpads which tends to peel off over time, faster if your ears sweat a lot. The padding underneath still functions great, never had a need to get a replacement.

Those cans are tremendously good value for the money. Sony does a great job in tuning their house sound by making it dynamic, accurate, and not overly bloated across their product lines.

I don't have any cans yet, but Sony is on my short list.

Good advice on the pads too.

My 2¢ about active noise-cancelation technology is that it's not worth it. You're better off getting closed-ear or in-ear which will buffet sound in both directions just as effectively as those fancy overpriced ones. The only scenario where it would be worth it is in high-volume settings, such as sitting near a jet engine on an airplane or as a drummer in a music studio.

edit: I'll vouch for those Audio Technicas mentioned by SpeedyG. Excellent brand.

Completely agree. Passive noise reduction is much better than active noice cancellation except in some extreme circumstances.

#11 rushisrighton

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:27 AM

The sony MDR-XB500 headphone is a great casual listening headphone, very comfortable and alot of fun to listen to. I have a set of sennheisers and audio-technica's, but I'd describe those as more of a serious listeners headphone.

Hands down if you just wanna listen to some music or game on your computer Ipod or xbox the sony's will make you smile and you can wear them for extended periods of time because they are comfy.

#12 gsr1379

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:34 AM

Edit: maybe forget this. They are not Noise canceling at all.


Sennheiser HD555 are a little old and a little bit above your range but you should consider them as well.


$145.53

http://www.amazon.co...d=I65U0F71UAJZX

#13 slainviper

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

One thing I think should be mentioned is that when looking to buy headphones (or even home theater too) is that it would be preferable to listen to different headphones, especially the ones you plan to buy, before actually buying them. While different brands sound different, even different headphones from the same brand can sometimes sound different (not counting quality). That being said, I've found that the only headphones (from good brands*) you can try out in my area are Sennheisers, so you still might end up taking a leap of faith.

As for where to try out headphones, Best Buy usually has floor models you can listen to. For other places you'll probably have to google something to the effect of "where to buy headphones in [city]".

But then, that might just be something for serious listeners to do.

#14 rushisrighton

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

Just looked at salinvipers post and thought about my sennheiser HD 595's, I use them mostly for when I'm playing guitar, nice and accurate and I can hear my family when I'm playing because they are open backed, I love them, but they are not overly exciting to listen to, and I'd imagine they would be comparable to the hd 555's.

I would suggest the OP look at a website called headroom.com it's a great source for checking out headphones.

Sennhiesers and Grado are awesome choices for headphones, but they are not necessarily great for everyone, you have to try em out before you buy because they are all so different. That's why I own multiple pairs.

#15 dohdough

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:39 AM

Don't know if the OP got some cans, but the Sony MDR V6 is selling for $50 on Amazon. It was selling for $40 last night, but $50 is still an amazing and unheard of deal.

#16 equest943

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

Yep, that V6 price is unreal. How are those for noise canceling, though? I know they are fantastic headphones, but they don't seem particularly fitting to the head. Also, the AIAIAI TMA-1 are $150 at Best Buy, down from $200. Great pair of headphones for and by DJs. I know that always sounds cheesy, but they are definitely quality.

#17 foreverjoe20

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for everyone giving me excellent headphone advice. Didn't end up getting anything for Black Friday so I'm just going to keep on the lookout during December to see if any other deals pop up.