Take the Monster Inspiration (specificially), how does a total audio noob know that these are worth the extra dosh in comparison to for example $100 Audio-Technica MX40's?

Websites report on both that 'mids are good, audio is nice'.

How to make a sound decision?

closed as off-topic by Tetsujin, Arnoud Traa Apr 6 '15 at 11:49

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  • "Questions that are related to consumer audio consumption (such as audiophile or home theater) are off-topic. For more information, see the meta post on Non-Production Questions." – Tetsujin, Arnoud Traa
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  • 'sound' decision - get it? – Mastermind Apr 2 '15 at 19:44
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    Go listen to them. If you like the pricey ones more than the cheap ones, buy them. If you can't tell the difference, get the cheap ones. – Tetsujin Apr 3 '15 at 7:54
  • Listening to headphones usually isn't an option in the stores around here. All are packaged and none are out on display. I live in the metropolitan area, plenty of shops, but generally the same all over. – Mastermind Apr 3 '15 at 17:57
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    I can't imagine buying anything at that kind of price based on other people's opinions solely. No demo, no deal, in my book. – Tetsujin Apr 3 '15 at 18:14

If it's impossible to listen, my general advice would be to go to pro audio companies that are trusted by legions of audio professionals - i can't think of any that is not offering a decent 60-100$ pair, most widespread probably sony, audio-technica, sennheiser, you can't go wrong on sound quality with any of those. The only issue is if they are a good fit - some of them save the more comfortable models for the 200-300$ range. My personal recommendation is Grados for total comfort and that blissful warm open sound - read: broad soundstage, responsive midrange, slightly breathy highs, exceptional sound blending, etc. But they don't cancel noise or protect the people next to you from what you're listening to too well.


Cheap headphones crackle a lot and generally give you a crappy sound.

Expensive ones emit such a quality sound that you would think you're listening to it on a stereo system.

BTW, for home and personal use, never spend more than like $100 max. $60 at the least. Headphones in this price range are more than enough for the home listener. If you're planning on DJing or mixing and mastering your own original stuff do a little more research to find something suitable.

  • Well, I bough Monster Inspirations today, they're $299. ANC seemed nice for in the office. Although all reviews said they have amazing sound, just like when I bought my SteelSeries Apex, I was horrendously disappointed. The Apex sounds better than the Inspiration, although the right cup already broke twice. But even now that I dropped some dosh, still no 'oh wow' feeling when I put them on and spin that first tune. My 2.1 speaker set sounds better! Price != quality it seems, and reviews can't be trusted. Advice? – Mastermind Apr 3 '15 at 17:59
  • Advice is "listen before purchase." There is absolutely no substitute. Price != quality, you're right. – Tetsujin Apr 3 '15 at 18:16
  • Sennheisers, the $99 pair are phenomenal. I use them for my private listening sessions. Dunno what to tell you if you already spent the monies. – Daniel Apr 4 '15 at 13:02

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