One of the best values for the money in terms of audio performance, ergonomics, and useful life are the Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitor Headphones available from various retailers including Rule and Talamas in the Boston area for a street price around $100.00 or so. You can find many headphones that cost more, but not many that sound as accurate. These headphones fold up and come with a coiled cord and a storage pouch. The connector on the cable is a 1/8″ mini and comes with a 1/4″ adapter that screws onto the 1/8″ mini plug so it’s ready to plug into a wide range of devices. My only gripe is that the storage pouch does not include a pocket to store the adapter, which is easily lost. I’ve fashioned one with gaffer tape on the inside of the pouch, since I switch between different types of devices.
Because these headphones are designed for professional use, replacement parts are available, as the MDR-7506 is a standard among broadcast professionals and rental houses who need to be able to order spare parts to keep their equipment in tip top shape. This is unlike many other headphones in the $100 and up category, these are actually designed to be repaired in the field, all the parts are available in case you need to replace something like the soft ear pads, that eventually get damaged with constant use, true for any brand. I suggest replacing the original ear-pads with the Beyerdynamic velour ear-pads made specifically for these headphones. I also suggest avoiding the ear-pad knock-offs offered by some online retailers, purchase the genuine Beyerdynamic pads and you’ll not be disappointed.
I own a pair of them (two headphones) and have used them for many years. This model has been around for a while (and prior to it Sony sold a very similar V6 coming before it), and remains popular. Now the fact that they are accurate and flat in terms of frequency response is good and bad. They don’t color the sound, so if you’re looking for artificial boost or warmth in your music, these headphones will not provide it. On the other hand, with good audio sources they are a joy to listen to in terms of their accuracy. Especially important is their low frequency response which makes it easier to determine sound problems in the low frequency register like the rumble of a subway or distant truck or the thump from the microphone being loose in it’s mount, etc.
Minor updates were made to this post on June 29, 2013.