Repost from Mashable
Sennheiser’s Momentum headphones may be more on the pricier side (on sale now for $299), but they offer a more balanced sound and sleeker design than Beats do. While they don’t have as much pumped-up bass as Beats do, these headphones have a more nuanced, balanced sound that is more appropriate for audiophiles who prefer more of a range of sounds rather than just heavy bass.
Additionally, Sennheiser’s model has a sleeker design so your headphones look more like headphones and less like a white, plastic helmet. The fit is also more adjustable, right down to the audio jack, which can rotate to whatever angle you want for ease and portability. The headphones also come with a remote, which only works with iOS.
A bit pricier than Beats’ current average price, Bose’s QuietComfort 15 is a suiting alternative if you want more bang for your buck (currently priced at $269.95). Bose claims that the superior noise-canceling headphones are its quietest yet with mics that sense the sound around you to offer suitable noise-canceling technology.
QuietComfort 15 also have a more snug and comfortable fit than Beats. However, if you prioritize the heavy bass of Beats, Bose’s QuietComfort 15 may not be optimal because sounds tend to be brighter than normal (and overtly so on some tracks).
Nevertheless, if portability is important to you, these Bose headphones are lighter than Beats, fold flat for easy storage, and have an in-line volume control and mic. They also come in an array of colors so choosing one that fits your style won’t be hard.
While these Audio-Technica headphones may have the same sticker price as Beats, you can more easily find them for cheaper than asking price. Among the top-performing headphones for under $200, the ATH-M50 has crisp, balanced sound that is clear and not overbearing.
The ATH-M50 is very durable with a sturdy, padded headband as well as an extended telephone-cord for extra tug. They also offer a more snug fit that’s adjustable and fold flat for portability. They do, however, weigh more than Beats.
Unfortunately, the ATH-M50 does not have noise-canceling technology, but the cups are snug and padded enough that they already passively block out a lot of sound without sacrificing audio quality. There’s also a 1/4-inch adapter included in the package for your home audio system.
Logitech’s UE6000s are the same price as Beats’ current price and offer sound quality that rivals Beats’. The noise-canceling, around-the-ear headphones have clear sound with amped-up bass that isn’t overtly skewed. The UE6000s aren’t the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market (and some songs might actually sound better without noise-cancellation on) but at the price, it does the trick.
It might be worth it to invest in a pair of UE6000s if you prefer a more low-key color scheme, albeit one that still dons some obvious branding. UE6000s are also foldable, have a convenient mic and on-cord controls, and come with a splitter for easy sharing.
One negative is that they are on the heavier end, even more so than the cumbersome Beats.
Possibly the best deal on over-the-ear headphones you’ll find for under $50, the Panasonic RP-HTX7 have been around for a while and still manage to be a great deal for their bargain price. While these headphones may not be comparable to a $300 model, they definitely offer fair quality if you’re on a budget.
The plush cups offer some semblance of passive noise-cancellation, and these headphones definitely reach all frequencies to deliver a fair amount of bass while not compromising the treble range, even if it’s a little bright.
While the fit may not be preferable for some people, if you’re looking for a $30 to $40 pair, there’s really no cause for complaint. The retro design may be somewhat stylish, though it is a clunky design that doesn’t fold flat for portability. Nevertheless, these Panasonic headphones offer great sound for what you’re paying, and you can find them for much less than manufacturer retail price since they’ve been out for a long time.
If you’re really into the bass-enhancement of the Beats headphones, then the Skullcandy Crusher may be your best bet at about half the price. It’s important to note that the Crusher emphasizes vibration over actual amplification of bass. You’ll need to add some battery power to the headphones for the bass amplification to work, otherwise these headphones are just tinny and bright, making a solid song sound like they’re playing from a low-amped radio stereo.
These headphones aren’t noise-canceling, however, and the seal isn’t as tight as some of the other models. Upsides include its portability: The Crusher is foldable and has a detachable cable as well as an inline remote. They also come in an array of colors for personalization.