In the past couple of months, my headphones have failed. The ear pads on my fifteen year-old Sony MDR-V2 headphones began to deteriorate. The wiring connections at the jack and drivers became intermittent. I soldered on a new jack, but it was difficult to get the insulation off the fine gauge wire. I got tired of fixing them and figured I got my money’s worth. My earbuds started having an intermittent connection too.
It was time for new headphones. I’ve been in a few recording studios in the past 30 years, and I often saw Sony MDR-V6 Studio Monitor Series Headphones being used. These fit my budget (~$70 USD) and all those recording studios can’t be wrong. There’s even a Wikipedia entry for the MDR-V6. The headphones are circumaural – they go over your ears. The sound reproduction is accurate.
When I ride my bike, I use earbuds, but only in one ear, so I’ll be able to hear the SUV, driven by a person talking on the phone, nearly kill me.
I chose a lower price point for earbuds, since I’m mostly listening to podcasts and the whizzing wind isn’t really conducive to high fidelity. Most of my music is ripped at 192 kbps VBR anyway.