Despite the ubiquity of earbuds, canalphones and IEMs, some of us still prefer a pair of good old-fashioned over-the-ear cans. This remains a busy sector of the headphones market, and one where your choice of brand and style says a lot about you and your taste in music. Maybe you like the skate-punk style of WeSC, or the in-your-face designs of Skullcandy. Perhaps you prefer the big sounds and vintage appeal of the classic Koss PortaPro, or the audiophile gravitas of cans from Audio-Technica, AKG, Grado or Sennheiser. Either way, there are plenty of choices out there.
One thing we've noticed in the last few months, however, is an influx of headphones aimed squarely at a particular set of users; lovers of dance, techno, electronic, hip-hop and heavy rock who just can't get enough bass. Some audiophiles - including most of us here at TR - will tell you that this is not necessarily a good thing. After all, if a set of cans focuses too much on bass, then there's a danger that the mid-range and high-end frequencies get lost in a nasty, booming mess.
All the same, there are undoubtedly styles of music where a deep dose of the low-end stuff can get you closer to the authentic club atmosphere, or give you metal that slams you with the full mosh-pit intensity. This sort of thing is easy with a pair of full-sized, closed-back cans (and BeyerDynamic's Dt770 Pros will do a lovely job if you have the cash), but not so easy with a pair of headphones you can wear on the bus.
This is where the three sets we're looking at today come in. All claim to combine strong bass response with comfortable, portable design, and without necessarily forcing you to compromise on the higher frequencies. What's more, all come in around or under the affordable £50 price point. Can any cut it as a heavyweight alternative to the iGrados or Sennheiser PX100s? Read on to find out.