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Any recommendations for all-purpose headphones?

Avatar of Justice

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And what I mean by "all-purpose" is that I'd like to use them for music listening at work and home, gaming, and TV watching. Online gaming is fairly rare for me so I don't really care about that use case.

Must haves

-Bluetooth capability

-Good battery life (at least 10 hours would be nice)

-Wired capability

-Noise cancelling

-Covers the entire ear

-Durability. I'd like to get at least 5 years of life out of these puppies


-Cannot look l337 (i.e. this stuff http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/psyko-51-gaming-headphones_1.jpg)

-No mic stuck to the side of it.

Would be nice

-If it used standard rechargeable batteries (AAA's, AA's, etc.)

So, does anyone have experience with any headphones that are mostly what I'm looking for? My maximum price range is the $300's. Also, I'm not an audiophile so as long as it sounds great to a typical person, it'll probably sound great to me.

Edited by Avatar of Justice
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Well, personally I don't use headphones for bluetooth, but the Grado SR-60i is cheap but fantastic. First pair of headphones that allowed me to hear clear bass, crisp treble, and uncluttered midrange. Looks oldskool. Will last probably 5+ years if you don't be a jogging listener and drop them everywhere 'accidentally'. :lol:

Otherwise the Beyerdynamic DT-880 is a beast. They don't need batteries. :| They're not noise cancelling, but they're magical headphones. I'm being figuratively (not rhetorically) serious. :<

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It doesn't have Bluetooth but Sennheiser RS is affordable, wireless, has a recharge cradle, and I've been using mine for years. Mine were RS60 I think, which doesn't seem to be available anymore, maybe these are better (RS110)

Dropped mine countless times, they fall off my head while I'm doing stuff, even knocked something loose, but they always come back and work fine.

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There's signal degradation with bluetooth, so I wouldn't be able to justify spending more than a hundred bucks on headphones, if even fifty. I think you'd be much happier getting two sets: a nice wired set for home and a passable wireless one for work/travel.

If you decide to go that route, you might find this Headphone Buying Guide article at Head-Fi.org to be a good starting point for a home set. You'll see the SR-60i and DT-880 that timaeus mentioned (although the Grados are on-ear, not around-ear). I've been eyeing the ATH-AD700s for myself. Those are all open phones, with the Grados and Audio-Technicas at an excellent performance/price ratio for a first set (where, I think, $100 is the sweet spot), but they'd be ill-suited for noisy environments or anywhere you wouldn't want others to hear sound from your headphones (also note that the Sennheiser RS line is open, not closed). None of the closed phones on that list seem to have bluetooth capability, and certainly none under $150 do, since I did an amazon search for each one.

That doesn't help you for your work set, and that doesn't help at all if you insist on getting one multipurpose set, but I think that's the best advice if you're interested in quality (as a $300 price ceiling indicates you are).

For the bluetooth side, I searched Head-Fi forums for "bluetooth" and "wireless", and that turned up a few recommendation threads, so those could be worth a shot. Alternately, you can get a good set of wired, closed headphones that has a removable cord, affix a bluetooth receiver (such as the receiver portion of this headset [out of stock on amazon]), plug the receiver into the phone, and have a quick, diy, bluetooth-capable headphone of assured quality (minus bluetooth signal issues, of course). You could even do a more advanced mod, if you're up for that.

Edited by K.B.
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