A few months ago I decided to buy new headphones because my earbuds were uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. The sound was good and they were not cheap earbuds. However like all earbuds they would become loose and only sounded good when they were snug. Plus I had to clean them regularly because they were literally inside my ear all day.
I wanted headphones that were high quality in sound and materials. There was no limit to my budget for new headphones. I had thousands of dollars in my bank account and a thousand or two dollars for headphones is chump change as far as I am concerned.
So I set out looking for the best headphones that can be bought.
I looked at audiophile open ear headphones, closed ear headphones, overhead, behind the head. Everything. Every brand from USA, Japan, China, Germany and so on.
There are crazy headphones out there. You can get gold plated if you want. There are wireless headphones too of course.
But here is the deal: I do not want to have yet another thing that needs to charge. I do not want gold plated headphones because they are heavy.
My one real requirement was that the headphones had to be over ear. Because over ear headphones can be worn for endless hours and not cause discomfort.
Open ear headphones are supposed to be the “best” and cost upwards of $2,000. They claim to have a wide range of audio waves and this and that. They are not special. All the goofy special features adding audio quality is subjective I would have dropped a few thousand on headphones if I was actually paying for something.
It got to a point where I was looking at $2,000 headphones that were just so ridiculously over-engineered it was insane and I began feeling bewildered and depressed.
The more I researched headphones and headphone audio quality I learned a couple things:
Human ears can hear a limited range of sound waves. It does not matter how awesome your headphones are if they are playing sound at a range your ear cannot even detect.
Headphones, because of their size, are limited in how good of an audio quality they can produce. The reason is that headphones have one speaker playing high and low pitch sounds (treble and bass). Larger sound systems divide treble and bass sounds to different speakers. So that each speaker is responsible for a specific range of sound. Meaning that a treble speaker doesn’t have to create big low vibrations and quick high treble vibrations at the same time.
Headphones are not supposed to be about quality. Obviously, you want the best audio quality you can get and the good news is that is not hard. The real deal about find the right headphones is finding headphones with a well rounded set of qualities.
The point being that headphone audio quality can only get so good. There becomes a point where headphone speakers can only be so special. No matter what the marketing material says. There are physical facts of reality that trump marketing claims.
There is also a point where headphone speakers play sound that your ear cannot even hear. So be weary of paying thousands of dollar for headphones claiming to have a wider range of audio that you have never heard before.
After researching hundreds of headphones I decided that it there was just no reason to be spending hundreds of dollars on headphones and even much less of a reason to spend thousands. It simply does not make any more sense than paying a million dollars for a turbine jet engine powered car. When a V12 can already take you faster than you can physically go in a car without dying.
At some point in my research I came across the Sony MDR 7506 headphones. I found that they are the standard for the audio industry. Not only that they are damn good looking headphones.
Sony has been making the 7506 headphones for over a decade. So you can benefit from low cost mass production.
The 7506 headphones also matched all my requirements and then some. Comfort, over ear, closed, long cable, and audio quality.
I am on the computer 15 hours or more a day. I wear them for hours at a time and have never had discomfort other than if its hot my ears get a little sweaty. I work in air conditioning where it is generally pretty chill. So, heat is not a problem.
They have a 9.10ft cord. Its coiled up and I can have them plugged in and work around an office without taking them off.
The plug is gold plated so that the audio going through the plug has very low resistance and does not degrade the sound.
I really wanted a pair of super expensive luxury headphones but I the end I discovered that ultra-expensive headphones would only make me ridiculously foolish. In the end it I learned that price wasn’t that important. It was simply about the best.
To be honest it was sort of a surreal moment learning that price does not equal best. I always thought that getting the best meant buying the most expensive. It never occurred to me that lots of money can’t actually buy everything. However a little bit of money can buy me the best. Mind blowing.
Look, if you are thinking about blowing hundreds or thousands of dollars on headphones consider the Sony MDR 7506‘s because millionaires, audio professionals, and musicians use them and they can buy any headphone in the world without regard to price. Best of all you never have to say, “Wait a minute my headphones’ battery just died.”