Lower cost competition for Beats headphones

Headphone manufacturers may finally realize that imitating the thumping bass sound of Beats headphones does not automatically lead to Beats-size success.

Look no further than Sennheiser's Momentum on-ear headphones, and Voxx 808 Duo headphones. Both offer truer sound than the Beats imitators, at lower prices than many.

Sennheiser's new Momentum model borrows aesthetics from old-timey radio headphones, blending exposed metal and colorful ear cups. I found them comfortable, with lots of room for adjustment.

These are not neutral-sounding audiophile headphones. There is an extra dollop of bass, but it is tight and well-defined. The cost of that precision is a considerable $230.

At less than half that price, the $100 808 Duo headphones are a reasonable alternative to the hip-hop fashion kind.

As with the Sennheisers, the bass is pumped up more than you will find on colorless audiophile headphones. And they do reasonably well on a variety of music, although the sound is a little muddy on intricate orchestral pieces, like those in opera and on movie soundtracks.

Although I would prefer either of these to a $300 pair of thudding fashion headphones, I still like the truer, more balanced sound of the $100 Grado SR80i or the $90 Sony MDR7506 headphones.

Lower cost competition for Beats headphones 12/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 6:07pm]

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