I'm looking for some headphones. They will be primarily used for making music at home, as well as occasionally being used for live music. They will also be used quite a bit for just general home use. (listening to music, playing games, watching movies, etc.) I have been using a friend's Bose qc-15's for a while, and I only have two major complaints with them.

  1. They don't feel super durable. I wouldn't call them flimsy, but the don't seem super rugged either. I have broken plenty of cheap earbuds in the past, and I want to make sure my next purchase lasts me a long time. There are small children in my house that don't have the same respect for expensive electronics as I do, so the more rugged the better.

  2. Mandatory noise-cancelling. I can't use them without using the noise-cancelling, so the require batteries. I'm on my computer listening to music a lot, so I feel like I'm constantly shoving new batteries into this pair of headphones.

So now I'm looking to get my own pair.


  • Over-ear, not earbuds.

  • Durable. I don't really even care if they look nice, I just want to know that they will last several years or longer.

  • No batteries required. Optional use of batteries would also be OK, (For example, optional noise-cancelling) but I don't really care if they're noise cancelling or not.

  • Noise reducing, not cancelling.

  • This should go without saying, but must support stereo, and have 1/8 in. audio plugin.

  • In the 80-120 USD range.


  • High-quality sound. I realize that I'm not going to get studio-quality for only $100, but I'd like the highest quality possible while still staying on budget.

  • Comfortable.

Not necessary, but would be nice

  • A case.

  • Replaceable parts. This goes back to the whole durability thing, because it would be nice to just replace the part that breaks if something were to happen to them. I'm sure that I wouldn't be able to replace all of it, so if it was just the auxiliary cable that was replaceable, that would still be awesome.

  • Might note that "in-ear headphones" are earphones; earphones sit in the ear, headphones sit on or around the ear.
    – AStopher
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 21:39
  • @bob true, but a lot of people use the two interchangeably.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 21:41

4 Answers 4


I've been using a pair of Sennheiser HD215 headphones for a good few years now, and they're great! They are in your price range ($69, as of 02/03/2016) and meet all your requirements. They are over-ear headphones and are padded. They provide an extremely good fit and are adjustable:

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The Cable

Admittedly the cable supplied is great, but it is very long (3 metres). If you want to, you can replace the cable (the cable itself is detachable) with a standard 3.5" (1/8) audio cable. It's like an old-style landline phone cable, and I've found that it can often get tangled if you aren't careful.

It's also fairly thick, and can be quite stiff to begin with.

Build Quality

The overall build quality of the headphones is excellent, but however is quite flimsy around the headband to the point that if you wanted to snap them in half, it would be an easy task to complete. I've not had other headphones of this quality before so I don't know how this compares to similar headphones.

Apart from this, other parts of the headphones are very sturdy. It's unlikely that I'll be having to buy a new pair for a long while yet.

Sound Quality

The HD215s produce very high-quality sound, and the reviews for them prove that (see the link at the top of my answer). I've found them very good for classical music, but also dance & electronic genres. The bass output is quite soft, but I find that it outputs just the right amount of bass for the sound output (so, a good thing).

Volume & Distortion

No distortion whatsoever at any volume level, and these headphones are very loud. Obviously, the volume does not impact on sound quality. The cable does not have any type of remote/volume control on it, although you might be able to get hold of a 3.5" passthrough cable that does.

Replacement Parts

The foam padding & the cable are the only replaceable parts of the headphones. I've never had to replace the foam padding on mine, so the foam padding has a fairly long life, the same can be said for the cable. That's almost nine years without having to replace anything on the headphones.


The 215s come with a large synthetic leather pouch (which I lost a while ago so unfortunately I'm unable to give my view on it). It can fit the headphones & cables while disconnected from each other.

No other accessories are included.

  • 1
    Yes, Sennheiser HDs are all very good headphones. I've got the 203s and very good they are.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 7:59

I'm going to recommend something slightly similar to the other answer.

Take a look at the Sennheiser HD 229 headphones (link).

They have great sound quality, and appear to match most of your criteria:

  • Over ear design
  • Durable, I've had them for some time.
  • No batteries needed, no noise cancelling.
  • Insulated against sound
  • Yes, it goes without saying
  • In your price range.

V-Moda Crossfade headphones...

  • circumaural (around-ear)
  • closed-back for some noise isolation
  • durable with replaceable parts (bonus: includes protective hard case)
  • detachable cord in case it gets damaged
  • no batteries
  • stereo (yes, goes without saying)
  • ~$100 ($80 on sale occasionally)
  • decent sound quality (I'm no audiophile but they're definitely better than any sub-$100 sets I've owned, yet fall short of more expensive headphones, obviously)

Thank you all for the answers. In the end, I ended up going with the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x's. I was torn between that and the Sony 7506's, which were recommended to me by a sound engineer friend, and I had also had good experiences with in the past. They both meet all of my requirements without a noticeable difference in sound (or price), but the M40's have a replaceable cable, as well as being a little beefier.

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