Best Closed Over-Ear Headphones for under $100

105 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA
Best Closed Over-Ear Headphones for under $100

I did a bunch of research on head-fi.org, looking for the best closed over-ear headphones for under $100.

These are the best three I could find:

 

BossHiFi B8

bosshifi_b8

 

Takstar Pro 82

takstar_pro_82

 

NVX XPT100/Brainwavz HM5

nvx_xpt100

 

The BossHiFi B8 can be found cheapest on Aliexpress, for under $65.

I bought mine from the following link, but the sale is over.

So don't follow this link; do an Aliexpress search.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-PC-BOSSHIFI-B8-Stereo-Wooden-Over-ear-Black-Mahogany-Earphone-Headphone-Headset/32896456840.html

The best photos can be found on their Amazon listing:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HZ7QDBK

 

The Takstar Pro 82 can be bought from the manufacturer on Aliexpress for $63.89, in silver or black:

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Original-Takstar-PRO82-pro-82-Professional-monitor-headphones-for-Computer-recording-K-song-game-stereo-headset/314156_32808454492.html

It's available elsewhere on Aliexpress and on eBay a little cheaper, but it might be best to get it from the manufacturer so that you get the latest version.

 

The NVX XPT100 and Brainwavz HM5 are clones of each other.

The NVX XPT100 can be bought at Amazon for $79.99:

https://www.amazon.com/NVX-Over-Ear-Headphones-ComfortMax-XPT100/dp/B0093PVTPS

It's unavailable outside the U.S. and Canada.

The Brainwavz HM5 can be bought on Amazon for $109.50

https://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-HM5-Studio-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B006MA9XXM

It should be available in more countries, though I'm not sure which ones.

 

All of these headphones are supposed to sound amazing and be comfortable.

I chose the BossHiFi B8 because it's simple to change the earpads, while it is not so simple with the other headphones listed above.

The BossHiFi B8 is not good for people with small noggins; it's made for people with large or perhaps medium sized noggins.

 

Reviews of the BossHiFi B8 can be found here:

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/bosshifi-b8.22425/reviews

 

Reviews of the Takstar Pro 82 can be found here:

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/takstar-pro-82.22388/reviews

Here's a massive thread about the Takstar Pro 82:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/takstar-pro-82-review-impressions-and-discussion-thread.849965/

 

Reviews of the NVX XPT100 can be found here:

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/nvx-audio-xpt100-studio-over-ear-headphones-w-comfortmax-earpad-cushions-and-extra-pair-of-angled-earpads.15063/reviews

 

Once I receive my new headphones, I'll report on how good they are.

In the meantime, if you have experience with these headphones, I'd like to hear it.

 

Or perhaps you think another pair of headphones are one of the best closed over-ear headphones for under $100?

Edited by: raccoon city on 09/20/2018 - 17:37
lightknot
lightknot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 06/07/2012 - 14:55
Posts: 63
Location: Sonoran Desert , USA

Great info. I may pick up new set of cans. Thanks!

Carpe Diem

Andrew_Debbie
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 11/18/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 723
Location: Isle Of Anglesey

Headphones I’ve listened to:

I like the DT 880 but they are semi-open. The DT 770 Pro is the closed version. In a quiet room, they sound almost as good at the 880. Other groups here at work use them for critical listening and experimental psychology. I can get them for £102 on Amazon including our 20% tax. Looks like they are ~$150 on Amazon US. I’m used to things being less expensive in America. Perhaps they are cheaper elsewhere?

Beyerdynamic sell factory custom builds. I don’t know if you can get that in the US.
https://europe.beyerdynamic.com/catalog/product/view/id/19/s/dt-880-manu...

I know you want closed but I need to mention a few open back over the ear headphones.

My everyday headphones are the discontinued Sennheiser HD-580. I got the HD-580s at a huge discount ($99 ??) about 14 years ago. A couple of moderately priced part swaps turned them into stealth flagship clones. Sennheiser still sell repair parts. I bought new HD-650 ear pads just last year. The HD-580, 600 and 650 Lego. There are some bargains coming out of China but can you get parts?

Sennheiser still have the parts and tooling to make HD-600 and 650s at their factory in Ireland. Massdrop has them sometimes as “Massdrop Editions” at good prices. IMHO there isn’t a better headphone at this price point. I’m considering sound quality, comfort, durability and availability of repair parts.

When lookup up Sennheiser on Massdrop, I spotted another bargain.

They’ve got the Koss Electrostatics for $499. Active drop. If I had $$$ sitting around I’d jump on this one.
We have a specially modified set of the Koss headphones for use in our MRI scanner. Dynamic headphones will burn up in an MRI scanner if it doesn’t smash them first Smile The 4000€ MRI set are closed back but that ruins the bottom end.
NNL – Koss MRI Safe headphones.

Massdrop Edition Koss.

My Frankenstein Sennheisers

I use the old PPA v1 headphone amplifier driven by an Alien DAC. Both are ancient but work very well. I started building a σ22 / β22 but haven’t finished it yet. The σ22 is waiting for me to finish designing a chassis and panel. Until I have the power supply done there isn’t much point in starting on the amp.

Unfinished σ22.

Andrew_Debbie
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 11/18/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 723
Location: Isle Of Anglesey

In July, I bought a pair of RHA in-ear MA-650s to use with my phone. I wouldn’t have except I left my 1/4” adapter at home. Couldn’t stand the thought of a transatlantic trip with airline headphones.

For £40 at the airport they were surprising good.
Jtm94
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/22/2017 - 05:08
Posts: 400
Location: Pennsylvania

Interested in your findings as I’m in the market for a decent pair of closed headphones.

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 6834
Location: Holland

How about ~$100 headphones with noise canceling?

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

ChibiM wrote:

How about ~$100 headphones with noise canceling?

For me, I like noise isolation not noise canceling.

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 6834
Location: Holland

raccoon city wrote:

ChibiM wrote:

How about ~$100 headphones with noise canceling?

For me, I like noise isolation not noise canceling.

Interesting.. what's the difference? 

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA
tatasal
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 02/15/2012 - 08:40
Posts: 5666
Location: Far East
Noise isolation means the cup is usually designed to cover the whole ears as to prevent exterior/ambient noise or sounds from entering and mixing with the signal.

Noise cancelling usually has a mic in the cup that ‘listens’ to the noise entering it, then introduces another sound that is out-of-phase with the noise thereby cancelling it, leaving just the music to sound cleaner.

atbglenn
atbglenn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 07/29/2011 - 12:04
Posts: 5766
Location: Long Island, New York

Andrew_Debbie wrote:
Headphones I’ve listened to:

I like the DT 880 but they are semi-open. The DT 770 Pro is the closed version. In a quiet room, they sound almost as good at the 880. Other groups here at work use them for critical listening and experimental psychology. I can get them for £102 on Amazon including our 20% tax. Looks like they are ~$150 on Amazon US. I’m used to things being less expensive in America. Perhaps they are cheaper elsewhere?

Beyerdynamic sell factory custom builds. I don’t know if you can get that in the US.
https://europe.beyerdynamic.com/catalog/product/view/id/19/s/dt-880-manu...

I know you want closed but I need to mention a few open back over the ear headphones.

My everyday headphones are the discontinued Sennheiser HD-580. I got the HD-580s at a huge discount ($99 ??) about 14 years ago. A couple of moderately priced part swaps turned them into stealth flagship clones. Sennheiser still sell repair parts. I bought new HD-650 ear pads just last year. The HD-580, 600 and 650 Lego. There are some bargains coming out of China but can you get parts?

Sennheiser still have the parts and tooling to make HD-600 and 650s at their factory in Ireland. Massdrop has them sometimes as “Massdrop Editions” at good prices. IMHO there isn’t a better headphone at this price point. I’m considering sound quality, comfort, durability and availability of repair parts.

When lookup up Sennheiser on Massdrop, I spotted another bargain.

They’ve got the Koss Electrostatics for $499. Active drop. If I had $$$ sitting around I’d jump on this one.
We have a specially modified set of the Koss headphones for use in our MRI scanner. Dynamic headphones will burn up in an MRI scanner if it doesn’t smash them first Smile The 4000€ MRI set are closed back but that ruins the bottom end.
NNL – Koss MRI Safe headphones.

Massdrop Edition Koss.

My Frankenstein Sennheisers

I use the old PPA v1 headphone amplifier driven by an Alien DAC. Both are ancient but work very well. I started building a σ22 / β22 but haven’t finished it yet. The σ22 is waiting for me to finish designing a chassis and panel. Until I have the power supply done there isn’t much point in starting on the amp.

Unfinished σ22.
!{width:40%}https://i.imgur.com/GResIDs.jpg!

I have several sets of headphones including the 250 ohm DT770 pro’s. I drive those with my WooAudio WA6 and a Cambridge Audio 550C CD player, or the Schiit Audio Asgard (first gen) through my Mac Mini with a Schiit Audio Modi Dac. The DT770 Pro’s are my favorite. I even like them better than my Sennheiser HD 650’s which I sold a few years ago.

Boycott Nike

Andrew_Debbie
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 11/18/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 723
Location: Isle Of Anglesey

atbglenn wrote:

I have several sets of headphones including the 250 ohm DT770 pro’s. I drive those with my WooAudio WA6 and a Cambridge Audio 550C CD player, or the Schiit Audio Asgard (first gen) through my Mac Mini with a Schiit Audio Modi Dac.

Nice setup!

I agree the 770 pro is a very good headphone. The small differences between the 770, 880 and Sen. HD-6xx are more personal preference than a fault with any of them.

The 770 certainly is my recommendation for a closed back over the ear headphone at that price point or anything close to it.

abhinit90
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 05/07/2017 - 10:31
Posts: 129

You might want to wait for BlackFriday Wink

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

I updated the original post.

The sale on the BossHiFi B8 is over...

Now you can find it for under $65 on Aliexpress; just do a search.  :THUMBS-UP:

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

I'm not sure why they sent it to New York, but shipping is coming along nicely...

shipping

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

I got the BossHiFi B8 today.

The stock earpads are surprisingly comfortable.

The left and right audio channels are not switched, so that's good.

I'm going to burn-in for at least 100 hours, then I'll report on sound quality.

So far, it seems very nice in all respects.

Ronin42
Ronin42's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 12/17/2014 - 22:17
Posts: 1760
Location: Alameda, CA

I’m an AKG fan and also love the Schiit equipment (they know so much more then i ever will)

Hard to beat a mass drop a 7xx

Mass drop for Every day still have the 712 in the box for when they get worn out.

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

I've used the BossHiFi B8 for several hours today, after burning them in for 100 hours.

The sound quality is really good.

And the stock earpads are amazingly comfortable.

Before I received the headphones, I complained that the earpads were pleather and I don't like pleather...

Well, there are at least two different types of pleather.

There's cheap polyurethane, which I don't care for.

And then there's really nice protein leather, and that's what the BossHiFi B8 has.

A lot of manufacturers/marketers lie about using protein leather, but the BossHiFi B8 actually has it.

My only complaint so far, and it is a minor one, is that the headphone wire is two meters long.

That's over six feet, and in my opinion, it's too long.

The wire is very nice, but it keeps on getting stuck in my recliner.

I am very happy with this purchase.  :-)

Danglerb
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 10/07/2012 - 04:39
Posts: 600
Location: SoCal

I have Sennheiser 650’s, but most of the time I use MUCH cheaper Sennheiser earbuds or canal phones. Many of the over ear types benefit from a good head phone amp.

Still a bit dim

Macka17
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 05/08/2017 - 02:31
Posts: 1026
Location: Queensland Australia

When I was into “Hi-Fi” back in the ’60’s to ’90’s Stax were the best avail in Electrostats.
(for the normal wage packet.) Germans were closing though. I had custom KEF Column speakers in lounge.2 x B139, 2 x B110 and T 27 tweeters. Hand tuned crossovers. 1812th or Tubular Bells made you shiver.
Lead lined Reflex units on concrete bases. You Felt the bass through the walls (solid brick)
I was put onto a pr of Yamaha Electrostats in mid ’70’s. Still use them today, through an original LEEK 30. AMP/Pre.
The Yamaha’s were a cheaper copy of the Stax but ohhh soooo close. Both Japanese.
Around 195 UK Pounds in those days from memory
Though it took them decades to catch up with speakers. Mike’s, and styli were Screechy things
These modern Speakers are too clinical. NO soul in music.
Enjoy.

tatasal
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 02/15/2012 - 08:40
Posts: 5666
Location: Far East

I was into music since I was in high school, then into car stereos during college (the Pioneer KP500 and the Sony TCD-30 (IIRC) auto-reverse was the ‘in’ thing then).

Eventually after some jobs in the construction industry I started my own Hi-Fi store, selling almost everything at that time, from Laser-Disc players, ‘audiophile’ CD players, dynamic and electrostatic speakers and vacuum tube pre/power amps, etc. even carried pro-audio equipment like 32-channel audio mixers, etc.

Though I had few headphones displayed at that time, actually we were not into it really, and sorry to say this in this thread, headphones are considered an ‘unnatural’ way to listen to sound and specifically, Hi-Fi music!

On the other, whatever floats your boat, why not!

Andrew_Debbie
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 11/18/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 723
Location: Isle Of Anglesey

Stax are still around and still very expensive. Ownership has changed hands a couple of times.

https://stax.co.jp

https://stax-international.com

Pete7874
Pete7874's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 16:47
Posts: 3496
Location: USA

A few years ago, Audio Technica ATH-M50 could be had for under $100. I really like them in this price range, especially if you enjoy plentiful bass.

I think they may have gone up in price since then.

Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 06/13/2011 - 08:07
Posts: 849
Location: Canada, eh!

I have had a pair of Bose AE2 cans for a few years now and am very happy with them. I know a lot of people have strong opinions on Bose and I am not a Bose fanboy by any means. I am suggesting these mainly because of the comfort level. The sound is decent (a bit lacking in bass), but they shine in how amazingly comfortable they are for a long session (think coast to coast and international flights). I have tried Sennheiser, Shure, Koss and AKG and I can’t keep any of them on for any significant length of time before they are uncomfortable or are giving me a headache.

Just my $0.02

Robowski
Robowski's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/30/2018 - 04:56
Posts: 184
Location: Australia
raccoon city wrote:

My only complaint so far, and it is a minor one, is that the headphone wire is two meters long.


That’s over six feet, and in my opinion, it’s too long.

Raccoon – you are lucky – I’ve had headphones before where the cable is too short – I’ve wrecked a few when the cable jerked and stretched and pulled out of the earpiece. You can always tie a few loops in the cable to shorten it.
I now only buy headphones with plug in jack type cables.

Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 06/13/2011 - 08:07
Posts: 849
Location: Canada, eh!
Robowski wrote:
I now only buy headphones with plug in jack type cables.

+1

100% agree. I have repaired so many pairs of headphones from a fixed cable getting ‘ganked’.

RobertB
RobertB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 5 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2015 - 17:49
Posts: 3783
Location: USA, Michigan

Ford Prefect wrote:
I have had a pair of Bose AE2 cans for a few years now and am very happy with them. I know a lot of people have strong opinions on Bose and I am not a Bose fanboy by any means. I am suggesting these mainly because of the comfort level. The sound is decent (a bit lacking in bass), but they shine in how amazingly comfortable they are for a long session (think coast to coast and international flights). I have tried Sennheiser, Shure, Koss and AKG and I can’t keep any of them on for any significant length of time before they are uncomfortable or are giving me a headache.

Just my $0.02

I bought my Wife a set of the Bose quiet comfort noise canceling headphones. She travels overseas fairly often with work. She says “I don’t know what I’d do without them”. They really are amazing inside a noisy airliner. The music and movie sound comes forward, and all the racket and jet noise moves to the distant background. She finds them extremely comfortable wearing them for long periods of time as well.

disfiguredlabrynth
disfiguredlabrynth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/18/2018 - 15:29
Posts: 1

Hi new user here. I have the Brainwavz HM5 (better built version of XPT100) and have owned them for a few months. If anyone has any questions about them or wants impressions I would be glad to answer Smile

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17626
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

disfiguredlabrynth wrote:

Hi new user here. I have the Brainwavz HM5 (better built version of XPT100) and have owned them for a few months. If anyone has any questions about them or wants impressions I would be glad to answer Smile

I wasn't aware that the HM5 is built better than the XPT100...

That isn't mentioned here:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/takstar-pro-82-review-impressions-and-discussion-thread.849965/page-11#post-13541484

Macka17
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 05/08/2017 - 02:31
Posts: 1026
Location: Queensland Australia

Tatasal.

“” I had few headphones displayed at that time, actually we were not into it really, and sorry to say this in this thread, headphones are considered an ‘unnatural’ way to listen to sound and specifically, Hi-Fi music!”“.

YES. Proper speakers ARE the best. No arguments. My KEF Columns were magnificent.
Pure not clinical.
BUT. When you sitting in lounge with wife and 2-3 kids .
The last thing they want to listen to is Tubular Bells. ANY Mahler or Sibelius, even Stravinsky.
Or Gillespie on half notes. Satch etc.

They are an “acceptable” alternative to “nothing, or else”.

tatasal
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 02/15/2012 - 08:40
Posts: 5666
Location: Far East

Macka17 wrote:
Tatasal.

“” I had few headphones displayed at that time, actually we were not into it really, and sorry to say this in this thread, headphones are considered an ‘unnatural’ way to listen to sound and specifically, Hi-Fi music!”“.

YES. Proper speakers ARE the best. No arguments. My KEF Columns were magnificent.
Pure not clinical.
BUT. When you sitting in lounge with wife and 2-3 kids .
The last thing they want to listen to is Tubular Bells. ANY Mahler or Sibelius, even Stravinsky.
Or Gillespie on half notes. Satch etc.

They are an “acceptable” alternative to “nothing, or else”.

Yeah, I totally agree with you as an “alternative to nothing”, for where I live now, there is no more room for a proper placement of speakers.

Pages