Basic/mid fi headphone advice.


I do not like ear buds of any sort. Looking for good bang-for-the-buck over the ear headphones for previewing and researching music when I'm away from my system. This will be mostly through iTunes or other low res streaming. iPhone or laptop as source. Almost never for serious listening. I do not need noise cancelling. Not looking for BlueTooth units as BlueTooth never sounds good to me. Not sure if there are other wireless options but not a major need; wired is fine.

Would like to spend less than $100.

Is there such a thing? Thanks for any assistance.
n80
I've nothing for you at that price.  Have you visited Head-Fi.org?
Post removed 
Thanks Geoff, I will look into those. Ghost, I have not gone there, was not aware of it. Will look into it.
Question: Some headphones say something about open or open air. Not sure what this means but even though I do not need noise canceling I do not want to hear background noise through 'open' headphones (if that is what that means).
At a price point that is $49 greater than your preferred budget, you may want to consider the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. It is widely used in pro audio and pro video applications, and you can see the overwhelmingly positive review comments at the link.

I recently purchase a pair, for use in relatively non-critical applications unrelated to my main audio system, and in that context I’ve been extremely pleased with it.

The Sony MDR-7506, at $79.99, has for many years also been a go-to choice in pro applications. I owned one for about a decade, replacing it with the ATH-M50X after its earpads started to disintegrate. While it was also used for relatively non-critical applications I did have occasion to evaluate it in my main audio system. It sounded very nice, but as might be expected its transient response, resolution of detail, and other attributes were not in the same league as those provided by the Stax electrostatic headphones I use in my system.

Both the AT and Sony phones are closed-back designs, as opposed to the "open air" type you referred to. Which means that in comparison with open back designs less sound will escape from them and be heard by others who may be nearby, and less sound from external sources will make it through them to your ears.

Finally, as you can see in some of the photos at the links both phones fold up nicely, and are supplied with convenient carrying pouches, which are nice features if you would be traveling with them. Both also come with removable adapters so that they can be conveniently mated with either 1/8" or 1/4" jacks.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
+1
Grado SR-60's / SR-80's
AKG K175 foldable studio or K182 monitor. 
Great recommendations guys. Thank you. I think the Grados are open so that won't be an option. My wife already doesn't like the noise coming from the ear buds when we're sitting in bed.
Sounds like some ear plugs are in order. Just joking. Or Am I? 😬
n80,

Is SITTING in bed the problem or is it one of not experimenting with
alternate pillow placements?

Or is it that you simply need to move on and keep things
peachy at home?  Something about losing the battle but winning the war?
Geoff, ear plugs would be a very practical solution but like with many simple obvious solutions comes with serious consequences affecting appetites other than music.

sgordon1, with a good imagination one can satisfy more than a few appetites while sitting. Almost all of them, in fact.

But I'd concede the battles and the wars to keep what I've got......
Too much information. 🤗
Maybe you have imagined more than I have said?
+3 Grado h-phones. To be honest if your phones sound too loud someone else can hear, you'd be looking at hearing damage. So many of us have it and tinnitus. Not fun....
BTW Grados sound <much> better with pads and foam removed. Does anyone even test this stuff?
I already have hearing loss and tinnitus (agreed, it sucks) but it doesn't take much volume to hear someone else's ear buds in a quiet room. Regardless, the main reason I would prefer closed headphones is also to keep out any outside noise. I will be using them in places that will not be completely quiet.
@n80, my curiosity having been piqued by this discussion, I’ve just performed an experiment that seems relevant.

First, I listened to some dynamically compressed pop music (i.e., music having relatively little volume variation during the course of the selections) using the closed-back Audio Technica headphones I referred to earlier. I did this from a computer, via an Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB DAC/headphone amplifier. I adjusted the volume to a level that is perhaps slightly higher than most of us would listen at, but that would still be safe and comfortable for most of us.

I then took the phones off of my head and placed the two earpads snuggly against one another. I found that I was able to hear the music VERY faintly within a distance of about three feet. I then separated the earpads, to create what I believe would be a rough approximation of what would be heard by someone in the vicinity of a user of open-back phones, that are being listening to at a similar volume level. I could then easily hear the music at a distance of 15 feet, and I could hear it faintly from another room at a distance of about 20 feet.

I then played the same music, at what I perceived to be about the same volume level, in my main system using my Stax electrostatic headphones. That was done using the same source material stored on the same computer, communicating it to my main system wirelessly via a Squeezebox. The Stax phones are of course open-back. Also, with those phones it is not possible to place the two earpads together. After removing the phones from my head I found that I could easily hear the music at a distance of about 20 feet.

All of this was in a very quiet environment.

The bottom line: The sound isolation provided by the closed-back design of the AT phones makes a world of difference.

Regards,
-- Al
For years I've used and other professionals in the studio used, for good reason, the tried and true AKG K240. Very comfortable, semi-open over the ear. About $64.
The ATH-M50X  gets a hearty recommendation from myself as well, nice call Al.
I have a pair that I bought on ebay for $119 shipped as an open box item but complete and unused and you do see them on ebay at times for even less new.
I find them light and comfortable and precise enough to enjoy my music at any time.
I also have a pair of Audeze el8 open backs and the wife will come in and complain that I may as well play music through the speakers!
An exaggeration for sure but I get her meaning.
I also have a pair of Klipsch earbuds that I still use for about 50% of my non speaker listening simply because they are the most comfortable buds I have ever tried and I usually hate buds to be honest. The sq is honestly quite something for such a tiny pair of drivers!
Just some thoughts......
The 2 AKG 's I mentioned he K175 and K182 were because they are closed and close to the price which the OP seemed to want or I would have mentioned the K240. I have the K701  semi open and have enjoyed  them for about 10 years. The only piece of equipment I own that's older is a panamax line conditioner/ surge protector. 
Thanks guys. All very helpful thoughts and observations. That's why I keep coming back here with my new-audiophile questions. Will let you know what I finally do. But it seems clear, for my purposes and for my wife I need to go with closed phones.
I settled for the  Sony MDR-7506s. They sound pretty good to me and came with free overnight shipping. For the price I think they fit my needs very well. Thanks for the good advice.
Like I said, you should have went with the modern retros.
I originally said the price was $29.99. I was wrong. They are $24.99.
So far I'm happy with the SQ in the Sonys. They seem very neutral to me without over-the-top bass. But, I find the ear pieces to be slightly uncomfortable after more than about 20 minutes. The cushion is very shallow and just not quite big enough. (I guess that means my ears are too big and stick out too far.)

I've ordered a larger thicker set of ear cushions that reviewers claim to be much more comfortable. 
The ’open’ question... Yes open means you can hear stuff around you even with phones on. And yes it also means others nearby CAN hear your music more than with a closed phone design.One solution to cut off ANY sound is to use earbuds, and Shooters/Handgun use earmuffs. Those can cut the sound over 33dB from in to out and reverse. I know op said no buds. But.. Maybe some SMALL over the ear can FIT INSIDE the shooter’s earmuffs.Particularly if zero sound is to be allowed.. Possible solution. Also you might be able to carve a bit out of the inner foam inside big muffs... to allow room for somewhat larger over the ear phones. Maybe able to take off headband of phones and attach inside the muffs?
The Sonys that I got block sound out quite well. And my wife says she hears nothing when I’m sitting nearby with them.

I used earbuds with shooting ear muffs (I’m a shooter too) for years when I was mowing on my farm tractor. Works well enough for both purposes. Will try out these Sonys for that as well. Even with small earbuds the muffs start to get uncomfortable after a while.

My main problems with ear bud is they don’t sound good to me unless they are pushed way into my ear canal. Then they sound awesome. I’ve got a decent pair with soft rubber tips (think stethoscope) and they sound great until they start to back out which they always do.

Anyway, new ear pads for the Sony arrive today. If they are comfortable then all problems solved.
The modern retros are ridiculously light and very comfortable. When I first unboxed them I said to myself, you have to be kidding me. They felt like a piece of crap headphone. No weight whatsoever.
The bass blows me away. If you don't want really heavy bass, then these may not be the cans for you. I'm only recommending these headphones to you because they are $24.99. Going by your post, you seem like sound quality isn't too important and you didn't want to spend a lot of money. Less than $100 I think.

Personally, going by your original post, I think you should have taken a chance on these at $24.99 because if your budget is $100 then in the grand scheme of things every headphone will be crap. Might as well save yourself a few bucks.

On second thought, screw the modern retros and screw all the other headphones you considered. I'm listening to my Focal Clears right now and you should just get yourself a pair. You only live once.
I got the replacement ear pads and they are much more comfortable. Overall happy with the purchase and even with the replacement pads it came in at under $100 with free next day shipping.