Beats Studio Wireless Seriesstars
It may seem overpriced at $380, but the Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear is an excellent...
Bose QuietComfort 25stars
The creator of the first industry-standard noise-canceling headphones returns with an...
V-Moda Crossfade M-100stars
An Editors' Choice winner in all respects, V-Moda's flagship headphones hit hard with...
While the words "audiophile" and "budget" are usually mutually exclusive, this is an area we're keen to explore here at CNET, especially in the Audiophiliac blog. Products like the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers and the demonstrate that good hi-fi can be had for a little more than pocket change.
As far as the enthusiast community is concerned, the Superlux HD681 headphones belong in this list, and there are several sites dedicated to these incredibly cheap headphones. There is even a page detailing how to mod them (PDF) to squeeze even more performance out of your roughly $30 investment.
There are several versions of these headphones available overseas, the HD681F and HD681B with slightly different frequency responses and designs, but only the HD681 model is available in the U.S.
The headphones are surprisingly well-built for the small amount of money paid, with a sturdy plastic frame and vinyl earcups that encircle your ears comfortably. The only issue is that these headphones can only be described as "terrifyingly ugly." They look like a sewing machine accident. Too many red knobs and strange mechanical gears. These are the steampunk soundtrack to an afternoon of stitching together a sweater.
Further reinforcing the "Dear God, stay at home!" aesthetic is the long 8-foot cable, which should snake across most living rooms to your stereo.
While you probably won't need it, the headphones also include a vinyl bag for transporting them -- presumably from room to room.