Good Headphones for less than $50



My Koss Porta-Pro headphones bit the dirt yesterday, and I’m in the market for a new pair. I am going to send the Porta-Pro’s back under warranty and get them repaired/replaced, but I’d still like to see some options in this $50 price range.

One set that has me very interested is the Superlux HD-668B. These have been getting very good reviews around the audiophile forums, but they are hard to find in the US. One shop has them for $39.99 + shipping, but are out of stock till the first week in Oct. Most of the other sources kick the price up over $50 including the shipping.

Here are a couple of reviews for them:

But I’m not entirely set on getting them. I do like the open or semi-open designs, (this Superlux is a semi-open design), as I don’t need perfect isolation from the noise in my room. I don’t intend to use this pair as a portable headphone, which I can do with the Porta-Pro’s. The only downside to using the Porta-Pro’s as a portable headphone is that you look like a complete dork while wearing them. :slight_smile: They sound good, but the design is more than a little funky.

So, on to the question. Do any of you have a suggestion or experience to share with open or semi open designs in this price range?


By the way, during my search for information, I found this thread comparing “portable” headphones. (he has a very loose definition of portables)

There is a heck of a lot of info in that thread if you happen to be searching for this type of headphones.


I thought I found a store with them in stock.

$40, almost qualifies for FS.

Superlux by Avlex HD668B

I mean for the price they’re worth trying, the frequency response looks good.


Yep, that’s the site I found for that price. I’ve found a couple more places that have it in stock for quite a lot more, and there is an ebay seller who has them, but it would be $55-57 from him, shipped, depending on whether you bought directly from his store or through ebay.


I got some skull candy head phones for right around $50 for Father’s Day a few years ago . . .

Kinda like these - Link


I have had several headphones over the years most were Koss & if I was looking for new one I would try some Koss first.
I have two pair that have stood the test of time & still work well.
My old K6LC which have some foam deterioration on the head band pad.
They still sound great for when I want an enclosed headphone.
The other set are portable KPL-3 . These have rare earth magnets . For their size they sound great also .
Both have right & left volume control which I really like.
Of course neither of those models are still available.
I’ve tried other Koss models that were a lot more expensive & didn’t sound as good (to my ears). So I guess the best way is to shop locally & test . Then buy cheaper online.


Good overview here
have a rummage around here

…but I really like my Sennheiser PX200…just sayin :slight_smile:


I suspect my Koss Porta Pros may be one of the very best under the $50 mark, and since I’m getting them back in mint condition or even replaced under warranty, I’m leaning towards something slightly better as a separate pair.

I haven’t seen many knocks against the Superlux headphones at all, other than they aren’t well known, and the build quality may not match that of the well established models like the Sony V6’s or some of the other good sets in the $80 range. Those Sony’s are actually down to $65 now…but I have philosophical problems with buying Sony products.

If I were going to go that high (~$80), I’d almost certainly buy the Grado SR-60i’s and I’m getting very tempted by them.


Amazon had a sale on the Grado SR-60i’s—$69. So I ordered them tonight. :slight_smile: First time I had seen them at that price, with free shipping and couldn’t resist.


Do let us know how they turn out for you. :slight_smile:


I heard good things about Grados


[QUOTE=Kerry56;2604573]Amazon had a sale on the Grado SR-60i’s—$69. So I ordered them tonight. :slight_smile: First time I had seen them at that price, with free shipping and couldn’t resist.[/QUOTE]

I think you’ve done the right thing Kerry. :iagree:

The Grados get really great reviews in the specialist magazines here in the UK and judging by your other comments I think you’re the sort of person that would appreciate the benefits of them.



Now you would be getting the wooden Grados, wouldn´t you?



I’ve seen those wooden mods for the Grado’s. If I was to become one of those insane headphone modders, I’d probably make my own wooden cups though.

I’d be a cheapo, insane modder. :bigsmile:


[QUOTE=Kerry56;2604739]I’d be a cheapo, insane modder. :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]

@ Kerry56 , Just cut a coconut in half . Drink the milk & eat the meat.A little sanding & maybe some foam . There you go . :wink: :bigsmile:


Well Kerry, What are the results of your purchase?

When I went shopping of a pair of headphones, it took a long time for me to find a pair because I am picky. I tried the Grado SR60i but found that they leaked sound and were a bit uncomfortable.

I finally went with KICKER HP541 DJ-Style Headphones $129.00.

The results of my purchase, These are an outstanding pair of headphones for the price. They even preform just as good or even better those over priced $300 and $400 dollar pair headphones.



No results yet. My headphones were shipped pretty quickly to the Albuquerque distribution center for UPS, but from there, I believe they were sent in a small cart pulled by tortoises. :eek: They tell me not to expect them before the 28th.

I don’t really care if the sound leaks a bit…not a problem for me in my home, and I don’t intend to use these Grado’s as a portable headphone.

And I’m used to supra aural headphones (fit on the ear, not over them) with my Koss Porta Pros, so I’m hoping the Grado’s will be similar. The Grado’s won’t be quite as light.


UPS tracking lied. My Grado’s came in today.

I was told to try them out with a guitar heavy song or two, so I fired up [I]Free Bird[/I] as a first test case. Very clear sound, aggressive and immediate.

Next tried a few of my best flac recordings, which sounded just fine. I’ll have to do a direct comparison when the Porta Pro’s come back in, but I think the bass is not quite as prominent in these Grado’s. Which is fine by me, as I’m not really a bass hound. I think clarity of sound is probably the most prominent initial reaction I have to these headphones.

Comfort level is fine so far, but I haven’t had them on but 30 minutes or so now.


@ Kerry56 , Recently tonee1 told me about the ABX comparator in f2k . This let’s you blindly test between two audio files.
I used a .wav & a .FLAC of the same song. I did good at selecting which was which.
I also found f2k could bit compare the two files. It reported no differenve in decoded data found.
This might be a good & somewhat fun test for your new headphones & to compare the two sets of headphones when you get the old ones back.
The files I used were both ripped directly from a commercial Audio CD with EAC . I also used EAC to do the conversion of both. I wanted them as similar as possible. EAC does use a external file to convert to FLAC .


Hey Kerry glad to hear that they are working for ya so far. Everybody is different to what they like in a pair of headphones. I don’t like in the ear, I like a good base response but not over kill and I prefer to not hear any outside noise when listening.