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Getting someone special an audioquest black. I need headphones to go with that gift. She watches Netflixs and youtube on her laptop. My thoughts were Grado SR60e Headphones. Anyone care to suggest something under $100.00 that would match her needs?
Open back headphones often have a better sound stage and are more neutral. However, they will be very audible to anyone near the listener. If the idea is to watch movies and there may be someone in bed with them, they would not want to use an open backed headphone. Also, open back headphones do nothing to attenuate environmental noises. For example, you would not want to use open back headphones on a bus or an air plane. If she lives alone and does not use them while commuting or in some noise environment then there is little concern.
You could pick up a used AKG $550 for about $100. These are closed but sound like they are open. Really amazing! I think they go for $150 new.
Another thing to think about is In Ear Monitors (IEM). The IEM market has exploded in the past few years and there are some great options out there that rival even the highest quality full sized headphones. Follow the link below for a rather extensive review, its a little dated at this point but certainly a good place to start. The Etymotic HF series (2,3, or 5 - depending on iPhone, android or no microphone option) are wonderful. They are a tad lacking in base but make up for it everywhere else. The 3 and 5 have an in line microphone and remote control features for a phone. The 3 and 5 are for either iPhone or android. They work on either but the remote features will suffer.
You can't cheat an honest man, never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump -- W.C. Fields
The Grados are a fine choice for someone who wants open-back phones.
If you want closed back, and can stretch your budget just a tad, you can find a pair of Sennheiser Momentum M2 for around $130. I have them in the brown color, and my wife thinks they look very handsome.
"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno
Sony MDR 1-A.
I was really impressed with these earlier in the year when I had the opportunity to compare them with others from Sennheiser ( including Momentem and Urbanite), Bowers & Wilkins, etc. Very musical and natural sound and particularly good for closed cans.
I would have bought a pair except they are quite large (I wanted something which fold and can be pocketed). Very impresssed otherwise.
I have seen them priced as low as 90 GBP so I expect you may find street prices at around $100. Note that there is a Blue Tooth version and one with a built in DAC with similar model numbers. More expensive so don't get confused.
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