by Mike Shea on 18 December 2007
Not an hour ago I realized my Shure E-210s have a tinny warble in the right ear. Of course, I can't find the receipt and the cost to have them repaired is $50. Serves me right for spending that kind of money on a set of headphones that weren't all that comfortable to begin with.
So, in my post-consumer anger, I dug out a bunch of my headphones including my monster Sennheiser 580s and my Sennheiser PX 100 fold up headphones. After listening to them all I have come to a simple conclusion:
The Sennheiser PX 100 headphones are the best headphones for the money and as good as anyone needs to enjoy portable audio.
These amazing headphones sound full and rich and wonderful with my iPhone and my wife has used her pair for about a year now without complaint. They are durable, fold up nicely to fit in a pocket or a briefcase, and sacrifice not a single note in quality. They can also be purchased from Amazon for about $35 in either black or white.
One of the tricks to a really good audiophile system is to realize that the best sound you can get comes from headphones. Any in-room system will suffer with room acoustics. There's no worry at all about room acoustics with headphones.
As much as I like Headphone.com, I have to wonder how over the top it is to have a huge set of headphones and a dedicated headphone amplifier. The drivers really aren't so big as to need any external amplifiers. iPods are also known to pack a little bit more power than standard portable devices.
As I type this I'm listening to the Fountain soundtrack, a wonderful orchestral album composed by Clint Mansell. Every note sounds smooth and wonderful. Tori Amos's "Cornflake Girl" hammers away without any complaint. Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down" from his Live at Massey Hall album makes me want to cry it sounds so good.
Paired with Shure's Music Phone adapter, and with the cable wrapped up just past the neck split, the Sennheiser PX 100s make a perfect iPhone headset.
Even if these get crushed under a school bus, I won't be nearly as upset as I am about my stupid Shures. Another $35 and I have a brand new set of the best headphones available under $150.