Your recommendations for cost-effective and musical sounding headphones?


This is an honest attempt to restart what was a good conversation earlier that for some reason was dismantled.

My votes are, of course, for headphones I own and enjoy, those being (in no particular order):

Sennheiser HD600
Sennheiser Momentum on ear
Grado SR225e
AKG K240

Steve
stevecham
AKG K550
By audiophile standards $700 is not much. I really like Grado RS-1. Grado 225e are 'poor man's' RS-1 - very good.

It seems that Grado, Sennheiser, AKG, Audio Technica and Beyerdynamic are
most often cited.

I listened to my old "dreadnaught" Genesis' A Trick Of The Tail remastered through my recently acquired 225e phones today and, even though I've listened hundreds of times to this recording since it came out in 1976, I heard Hackett's guitar details as never before, plus Collins' melodic percussives. Quite the musical revelation. I've got about a hundred hours of continuous playtime on these by now and they continue to improve.
Yeah, this classic Grado sound is very appealing. But I don't use Grado cartridge with my turntable, need something more neutral.
I have Yamaha HPH-200WH that for some strange reason cost only $59.99 white at Amazon.  Black version is $95 (still a bargain).  It has strong tight bass, clear highs and good imaging.  I also have AKG K271 MKII and used to gave HD-580 (same drivers as HD-600).  Both sounded cold and lifeless in comparison to Yamaha.  It is "on the ear" open air design. They need a week of loud playing for midrange to fully open.  Sound is warm and very musical.  I drive them with Oppo HA-2 (USB to MacMini).
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Professional-Diaphragm-Headphone/dp/B000AJIF4E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF...
inna2,048 posts07-10-2016 5:37pmBy audiophile standards $700 is not much. I really like Grado RS-1. Grado 225e are 'poor man's' RS-1 - very good.

True for audiophile, but for common sense standards it's a-bit too much. For quality standards, for substantially less you can get same or better performance.
second for sony mdr7506,the best buy in my audio quest
I could say that common sense standard is not to spend less than needed. The difference between Grado 225e and RS-1 is big even when just listening to youtube without external dac/amp. $500 is next to nothing these days. But for most people spending more than $100 would be madness or at least weirdness. Or even more than $50.
I've used Grado RS 2, AKG 702's, 240's and Senn 600, as well as many others. IMO, Hifiman 400's kills all of them and have been the biggest and most significant upgrade in sound that I have experienced in a long time.
Great comments here. I need to hear HiFi Man and Audeze to get a sense of what alternate designs contribute to headphone listening. Recently bought a JDS O2 amp for my Senn Momentums and had no idea they could sound this good. Clearly amplification also makes a difference in perceived headphone quality.
This Phillips set compares favorably with the Senn 650 (though I prefer Senn 600 myself)  for about half the price:

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-X2-27-Fidelio-Headphones/dp/B00O2Y2MZG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=146...