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#17 Grado Prestige SR60e headphone

About  $79.00

The Grado Prestige SR60e home/studio-style headphones have an open-air on-ear design. These headphones have a 80-inch audio cord with a stereo mini-plug. The Prestige SR60e has earcups that swivel, comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:This home/studio-style on-ear model has an open-air design that doesn't muffle outside sounds, so you'll be able to hear external sounds, such as a doorbell or car horn, when you are wearing the headphones. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels even when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. This model has earcups that swivel for storage or single ear monitoring, and it comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter.

Sound quality: The Prestige SR60e delivers very good overall sound, with a warm character. Bass has good impact and goes fairly deep, but is slightly pronounced and is slightly boomy. Midrange is very slightly grainy and the bass somewhat crowds the lower midrange. Treble has good detail, but there is a slight treble roll off. The overall sound is somewhat open, with good dynamics. Compared to the Prestige SR60i that it replaces, the SR60e sounds very similar but is a bit cleaner and warmer--it's a very musical, easy-to-listen-to headphone.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure on the ears. The earpads might feel hot after prolonged use.

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#18 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphone

About  $149.00

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x home/studio-style headphones have a closed over-ear design. These headphones have earcups that swivel and fold for ease of storage/transport and for single-ear monitoring. The ATH-M50x comes with a detachable 47-inch audio cable for use with portable devices, a detachable 119-inch audio cable and a detachable coiled audio cable that stretched from 62 to over 107 inches for home/studio use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and a storage pouch. It is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:Although this home/studio-style over-ear model lacks active noise reduction, the closed design helps to reduce both outside noise and sound leaking out into your environment. The headphones have medium sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with home audio equipment and all but the lowest-powered portable audio devices. This model has earcups that swivel and fold for ease of storage/transport and for single-ear monitoring, and comes with a detachable 47-inch audio cable for use with portable devices, a detachable 119-inch audio cable and detachable 62-to-107+-inch coiled audio cable for home/studio use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and a storage pouch.

Sound quality: We found the ATH-M50x delivers very good overall sound with a warmish to neutral character. Bass has good impact and goes fairly deep, but lacks a bit of definition and the lower bass is a bit prominent. Midrange is slightly recessed and a bit lean. Treble is a bit sizzly, and upper treble is somewhat rolled off. Somewhat open sounding with decent dynamics.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure around the ears. The ear pads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use.

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#19 Blue Microphones Mo-Fi headphone

About  $279.00

The Blue Microphones MoFi home/studio-style headphones have a closed, over-ear design. These headphones--intended for use with iPods, iPads, some other cell phones, as well as standard audio devices--have a built-in amplifier powered by a rechargeable battery; they'll work in both powered and un-powered modes. The amplifier has an automatic shutoff feature when the earcups are returned to a rest position, and the headband has an adjustment wheel that can be used to increase or lessen the clamping pressure. The MoFi comes with a 119-inch detachable standard audio cable, a 47-inch detachable audio cable with built-in mic and answer/player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad and smartphone use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, a mini-plug-to-airplane-jack adapter, a USB charging cable, an AC adapter, and a carrying pouch. It is covered by a 24-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:Although this home/studio-style over-ear model lacks active noise reduction, the closed design helps to reduce both outside noise and sound leaking out into your environment. The headphones have very high sensitivity in active (battery-powered) mode, so they can easily provide satisfying volume levels when used even with lower-powered portable audio devices. But the amplification produces high levels of background hiss and/or hum when used with home audio and studio equipment. When in passive (non-battery) mode the headphones have medium-high sensitivity, so they're able to provide satisfying volume levels even with lower-powered portable audio devices. The built-in rechargeable battery-powered amplifier has a bass-boost option, and automatically turns on when the earcups are separated; it shuts off when earcups are returned to a rest position. This model has a headband clamping pressure adjustment and comes with a 119-inch detachable standard audio cable, a 47-inch detachable audio cable with built-in mic and answer/player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad and smartphone use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, a mini-plug-to-airplane-jack adapter, a USB charging cable, an AC adapter, and a carrying pouch.

Sound quality: The MoFi delivers very good overall sound, with a warm character. There is no significant difference in sound quality between the unpowered ("Off") and powered ("On") modes, though the powered mode plays much louder, especially when used with home/studio electronics. Bass has good impact, with decent definition, and goes deep. Midrange is a bit muted and hazy, and treble is somewhat recessed. The overall sound is a bit closed-in, with decent dynamics. Using the "On+" (bass boost) powered setting provides a mild bass boost that probably would not be offensive to critical listeners. The amplified settings are usable with mobile devices, but not with home audio or studio equipment that uses AC power, as the amp produces high levels off hiss and/or hum that can be heard even when music is playing. This wasn't an issue when the headphone amplifier was turned off.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a moderate to moderately high sense of pressure around the ears, depending on how the headband is adjusted. (Users with larger heads might experience more pressure at the various settings.) The earpads may feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use. The MoFi is fairly heavy in general, and some users may find them noticeably top-heavy. The powered mode plays much louder than unpowered mode, especially when used with home/studio electronics; care should be taken to make sure that the volume level on the equipment it is connected to is turned way down, or that the headphones are not worn while the switching from the unpowered to the powered mode.

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#20 NAD Electronics VISO HP50 headphone

About  $179.00

The NAD Electronics VISO HP50 home/studio-style headphones have a closed over-ear design. These headphones are intended for use with iPods, iPads, some other cell phones, as well as standard audio devices. The VISO HP50 comes with a detachable 46-inch long audio cable with built-in mic and answer/player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad, and smartphone use, a detachable 45-inch standard audio cable, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, a mini-plug-to-airplane-jack adapter, and a carrying pouch. It is covered by a 24-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:Although this home/studio-style over-ear model lacks active noise reduction, the closed design helps to reduce both outside noise and sound leaking out into your environment. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels even when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. The VISO HP50 features "Room Feel" technology, which the manufacturer claims makes headphone listening sound more like a live performance. This model comes with a detachable 46-inch long audio cable with built-in mic and answer/player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad, and smartphone use, a detachable 45-inch standard audio cable, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, a mini-plug-to-airplane-jack adapter, and a carrying pouch.

Sound quality: The Viso HP50 delivers very good overall sound, with a neutral character. Bass is a bit recessed, has so-so impact, and doesn't seem to go deep. Midrange is fairly even but a bit hazy and constricted. Treble is extended, but upper treble is rolled off. The overall sound is somewhat open, with decent dynamics. Even though these headphones have decent dynamics and are fairly even tonally, the overall sound is a bit anemic.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure on the ears. The earpads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use.

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