The cheap AF headphones/earphones thread

While people are buying dacs and amps to pair with 500 to 1000$ headphones…

I just got Panasonic HJE-120s in-ears. For 10$. They’re impressive. No, you won’t hear much detail with these. They’re 10$. But they come with 3 rubber tips (or whatever they’re called), and for 10$, you have a lot of choice!

Big one = bass cannons, beats replacements. All the mids and highs are still there… suffocating.
Stock one (medium) = Bass boost, but all the frequencies are there!
Small one = Neutral! (…well, neutral-ish, obviously). And above all, the graph is correct. All the frequencies are there. Yeah, I said it 3 times. It’s either rare or unique, for this price, to hear everything. They don’t sound like a telephone. They don’t even sound like KSC75s, which have impressive clarity, but no bass at all . Here’s the graph:

I also bought Koss KSC75s a while ago (yes, after Zeos reviewed them). For 15$, maybe? But did not like them. Sound is clear, really clear, without being overly bright or sibilance (…like my Grado SR60s…), but there’s no bass, and they’re, well, weird, with their over-ear clips. Still, they’re really, really enjoyable at low volume + excellent clarity.

And since they lack bass, and I don’t appreciate in-ears much (so the HJE 120s won’t be my endgame – lol), I’ll buy Koss PortaPros soon.

So, what gems have you found for cheap? I guess everything here should be under 50$ USD, preferably under 25$USD. Enjoy! :slight_smile:

Venture Electronics Monk Plus Exclusive Blue.
$5

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Porta Pros. One of my favorites.

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Tin T2 is still my go to pick. I’ve bought several on Mass Drop at $35 so I can give them out as gifts.

Not too much highs? Every graph I see has a mountain at 10khz which is right where the esses are (sibilance).

(And T2 Pro is worse, T3 is 2 times worse.)

It’s a bit sibilant in comparison to something like the HD650, but not enough to bother me at all. I avoided the pro version because the treble peak was a very common complaint.

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Ordered 120s, received HJE-125s, same thing apparently. I just tried them, and they’re impressive. No, you won’t hear much detail with these. They’re 10$. But I was right about the 3 rubber tips.

Big one = bass cannons, beats replacements. All the mids and highs are still there… suffocating.
Stock one (medium) = Bass boost, but all the frequencies are there!
Small one = Neutral! (…well, neutral-ish, obviously). And above all, the graph is correct. All the frequencies are there. Yeah, I said it 3 times. It’s either rare or unique, for this price, to hear everything. They don’t sound like a telephone. They don’t even sound like KSC75s, which have impressive clarity, but no bass at all.

P.S.: 120 vs 125 are the same thing? Maybe not. I was expecting “kicky” (…accentuated drum kicks) and they’re “bassy” instead. Maybe this graph is correct and you should pick 120s instead. But with the 3 little rubber tips to choose anyway, this graph is not worth much, obviously.

Panasonic RP-HJE120 (red), RP-TCM125 (green), RP-HJE125 (blue)​

Hell. Someone tell Zeos to spend 10$ on Panasonic HJE-125s. They’re impressive!

Or, well, that’s what I’d say, but he already reviewed them, apparently… “too bassy with the big rubber tips” :

…But the rubber tips change the sound, and with the smallest they’re perfect for me: Neutral sounding, clear AF highs, decent mids and a decent bass boost too (and I don’t like boosted bass!).

I’m basically just having fun listening to a ton of different music I already know right now on my smartphone, and nothing sounds bad.

Hah. A friend wanted to buy Beats in-ears for 80$CAD (60$USD). I gave her a pair of Panasonic HJE-125s today.

Her: Yes, they sound really good!
Me: They’re better than Beats?
Her: Yes.

There you go. :wink:

Had to mod my PortaPros with a cheap band replacement. Too much ear pressure, even with the pads adjusted for relief.

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Superlux HD-662 Evo with Solderdude’s mod (but I used some AliExpress perforated hybrids instead of the included velours because I didn’t want to give up on any of the isolation if possible). Best bass out of anything I’ve owned so far, and pretty neutral overall, even without a personalized EQ (all I’m doing is a +6 dB at 250 Hz, to cover the bass-mids gap). If these were open-back on top of everything they’re already doing I might have to get a second pair so I can enjoy that sound at home too and not just at the office (or if I hadn’t already ordered Verum Ones).

I ordered the Yaxi ear pads that someone mentioned on the Porta Pro thread. I’m supposed to receive them in a few weeks. I’ll update with my opinion on them.

YAXI EARPADS for Koss PORTAPRO (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQVHX84/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_wYzdDbTGXF48T

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Xiaomi QTEJ02JY Pro HD In-ear Hybrid
Usually around $20 or cheaper on Aliexpress. I stand by these.

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Looking nice indeed, wow!

Eastern Europe here, aliexpress is my best option for audio as massdrop and amazon ask way too much for shipping. I do recommend TRN V20, though I have some comfort issues with them, even after swaping the stock tips for memory foam. They are quite bassy but the imaging is decent, but sound stage is better on my HD669 (which are closed back). Best thing is I got them for 8€ so (shipping included). I have TIN T2 on the way from aliexpress (they are currently on sale for 25€) so cant wait to compare the two.

**KZ wireless bluetooth cable ** Is quite disappointing, the cheap DAC makes a lot of background noise, and the bluetooth connection falls apart quite easily. Good enough for outdoor activities though

I just want to give sony some credit for their Sony MDREX15LP/B which are everywhere and come in clutch for when I forget my IEMs at home and I need music and I need something quick

An interesting graph. Koss KPH30i, Koss KSC75s and Koss PortaPros, compared.
I can’t find a graph for the Koss UR40s that Zeos just reviewed, unfortunately.

And here’s a fun one. Sennheiser HD650s compared to Koss KSC75s.
The treble on Koss KSC75s is impressive, I knew it.

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But if they are a bit like KSC75 drivers, in open-back form, they’re like, poor man’s HD600s.

thats just a sound signature though while it tells us how they sound interms of dynaics they dont tell us things like imaging sound stage and detail retention. but I’d agree for the price all the koss headphones are rather impressive.

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I own the ksc 75’s myself and are my go to cooking and grilling headphones.