My two year old shitty Creative headset finally gave in, after going through a “mono period” (yes, I had to rewire it following breakage of the right driver, and it came out nice, but mono). It was a mic-headphones combo one would use for instant messaging and some gaming, but would be ashamed to admit to actually listening to music through it. May it RIP.
The audiophile and amateur musician within myself organized a subsequent inner insurrection, demanding that I buy them a pair o decent headsets, once in this lifetime, for God’s sake! Naturally, I set my mind on a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50 studio monitors, thinking they would be great for my mini-studio, also. Well, they most certainly would. Just two things: they can barely be called portable, and they’re rather expensive (over £130).
As I needed something soon, to listen to some damned music already, on my laptop, I almost accidentally bought the Sony MDR V150 from the nearest store, thinking it would sound better than the deceased Creative headset anyway, but not getting my hopes high.
However, plugging them into the laptop produced a most pleasant surprise, especially after a few hours “burn-out”: pretty good bass, luminous highs, no distortion at high volume. Well built and sturdy, snug fit over the ears, decent noise-cancelling. Since they are a closed headset, the people near you will hear nothing at a normal volume. Another plus is the size, these headphones can be easily worn around all day long with your iPod, or transported in a backpack.
Sony actually dubs these as “Studio Monitor”, and they’re also intended for DJs, having been endowed with rotating ear pieces. I’ve tried them with my own Sonar tracks and I can say this: they are no Audio Technica ATH-M50, but they can be used by an amateur/home musician to monitor his work. No mixing or mastering with these, though.
With a price tag of around £15 (yes, fifteen), the Sony MDR V150 headset is most definitely a bargain. Upon which I stumbled randomly, and I’m glad I did.