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Low budget headphones quest, Sony MDR MA300/ZX300, AKG K404
vladan
post Sep 15 2013, 20:06
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Hi,

I'm in a quest to replace my weary MDR V150 with a new pair of low budget headphones.
I browsed a catalogue from a store near me, and filtered 3 models:



Sony MDR MA-300


Sony MDR ZX-300


AKG K-404


I will try them on first, all right, but I also wanted to hear opinions from audio enthusiasts regarding the specs posted or personal experience.

I listen mostly ambient and while I want bass texture I don't want too pronounced bass. My initial thoughts were these:

From these 3 designs I would prefer K404, but they seem to lack treble and they pronounce bass. That is something I'm not after.
MA300 specs seem best from the 3, but they are opened and seem huge
ZX300 look smaller, but specs seem worse and they are cheapest from all 3, but a friend recommended it as a better V150 replacement (with which I already wasn't satisfied).


Thanks for your input in advance

This post has been edited by vladan: Sep 15 2013, 20:09
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gib
post Sep 16 2013, 00:37
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I have no personal experience with those headphones so I can't comment on them. But if you're open to other options, you might consider something by Grado. Based strictly on the measurements at goldenears, I'd argue the Grado SR60i would be a better choice than the three you're looking at (and I think the "reviewer's opinion" there agrees). I also own some Grados and absolutely love them, so there's that too. heh
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TomasPin
post Sep 16 2013, 02:11
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Yes, Grados are a really good choice if you don't mind sound isolation/leakage (as they are open-back). Good bang for buck. wink.gif

Of those you mentioned, I have tried many times the -quite popular in my country- ZX-100 and they are garbage IMHO. And looking at graphs on that same site, the ZX-300 seems to be quite the same deal. Would avoid at all costs. The same may apply for the MA-300, but I haven't tried them so I can't really comment on them.

In any case, if you can find stores that let you try them before buying, do so. In the end, they need to sound right and be comfortable for you, not for us. smile.gif

This post has been edited by TomasPin: Sep 16 2013, 02:11


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binaryhermit
post Sep 16 2013, 21:59
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Another consideration about Grados is that they tend to be rather expensive outside the US.
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halb27
post Sep 17 2013, 10:25
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Another vote for Grados.
In Germany at least the SR60i and SR80i are available with a moderate price tag with the SR80i having the best price/quality relation IMO (at least at the time when I bought my SR80i).


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marc2003
post Sep 17 2013, 11:06
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i have no idea where the OP is but here in the UK, these grados being mentioned are at least 6 times more expensive than the zx300. (16 vs 95). i guess we all have our own definitions of "low budget"... tongue.gif

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dhromed
post Sep 17 2013, 12:08
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On measurements: how much do these graphs vary between tests and testers? It would be odd if one website provided one such graph for headphone X, and another site a completely different graph for the same phones.

I ask because if all people everywhere give the same measurements, you can clearly buy based on graphs, rather than having to trundle off to ye musick shoppe on a rainy day.

This post has been edited by dhromed: Sep 17 2013, 12:10
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TomasPin
post Sep 17 2013, 16:03
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QUOTE (marc2003 @ Sep 17 2013, 07:06) *
i have no idea where the OP is but here in the UK, these grados being mentioned are at least 6 times more expensive than the zx300. (16 vs 95). i guess we all have our own definitions of "low budget"... tongue.gif

Well, true. The ZX-300 are a really cheap model though, and for that price I'm afraid you won't find much better. For about that same price I can recommend the JVC HAS-160 which at the very least have a flatter frequency response. But the OP really ought to go try them himself, as I already pointed out on my previous post.


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TomasPin
post Sep 17 2013, 16:12
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(sorry for double posting)

QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 17 2013, 08:08) *
If all people everywhere give the same measurements, you can clearly buy based on graphs, rather than having to trundle off to ye musick shoppe on a rainy day.

IME it's hard to find websites with graphs for (really) low-budget headphones, goldenears being the only one I could find which covers a wide range of prices on their reviews. Headphone.com does list some cheap models, but those are only a few and still quite over what the OP is looking for. But I agree with you.


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