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?

  • '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.

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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.

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  • 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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