What is the Best Non-IEM Portable Headphone

Not an IEM person so what is the best portable headphone (closed or open) I should consider under 1k.


Koss Porta Pro. No lie.


How much are you against anything in your ear at all? The reason I ask is because the isine/lcd-i4 series are incredible sounding and only slightly molest your inner ear. They rest right on the outside of your ear canal and are very comfortable. I have a zmf Eikon, QDC Anole VX and an lcd-i4. The i4 wins over all of them for me. If you have patience, you can have them for 1-1.1k (if you don’t mind used).

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I just cannot stand anything in my ear. So no IEM. Actually after research I ordered the Beyerdynamic Avento Headphones.


I just ordered a set of (Mass)Drop version of these as I had a $20 voucher that expired yesterday.

To be honest, I am not keen on the looks at all (it reminds me of my walkman days in the 80’s) but have heard so many praises about them that I am very curious to hear them.

I’m interested to see what you think of these, I am always on the lookout for closed backs.


If you can find one used Oppo PM-3 might work well for you. Lightweight, easy to drive and 26 Ohms impedance. They come in a nice zippered case for traveling. I don’t use mine daily but keep around for trips. I bought mine initially because Tyll recommended them, paid $400 and they hold their value as the last ones I saw sold on HF classifieds were $300.


I really enjoy the Mobius as a portable wireless headphone. If you can get it in the Carbon version it’s also a fairly normal looking headphone.


Audeze Mobius
Focal Elegia
CA Cascade

That isn’t in any type of order…

But these three are my three favorites…

Mostly the Elegia and Cascade though, due to my aversion to charging things… I already carry around too many things dependent on the almighty battery…

The Elegia is the most “normal” of the three. But the Mobius is pretty much right there, especially if you get the carbon model. My copper model is definitely in the "gamer’ motif.

But, I’m thinking I might have to pick up a pair of Sony XM3 NC here in the future…these would be probably the best “true” portable solution, won’t sound as good as the other three, but only marginally less.

Might have to give an a/b with the Mobius and the Sony just to make sure I’m not buying redundancy lol


for me it´s my new Focal Elegia of course
the Cascades for isolation and fun would be a nice second

in between is the Mr Speakers AEON Flow closed - isolation beats Elegia and the design is best of all … comfort is top


For a budget closed back portable set, the new AKG K371 isnt bad at all! It’s not the most resolving thing ever, but it’s tuned to the Harman target with mostly success. Not bad sounding at all for $149, and it’s comfortable and folds down small.

@pwjazz posted some measurements recently too.


and the 3PIN mini XLR connection for the cable is quite common- no problems with cheap backup cables

bought a short “AKG” 1.2m cable for my 1990s on Amazon

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Me too! I like the single sided entry for when I’m active, keeps the cable out of my hands’ way.

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Here you go. MiniDSP E.A.R.S., HEQ compensation.

Bonus CSD:

Not bad out of the box, especially for a closed back. They are somewhat sensitive to seal, so if you wear thick framed glasses YMMV.

not the most resolving thing ever

I think that’s largely because of the big dip at 6KHz. When I fill that in with EQ these things actually sound quite detailed. I had one of those moments yesterday where I had to take them off because I thought I heard someone in the other room, but it turns out it was in the recording!


iill try bumping it later. im currently annoyed EARS and rather not use it than use it now. lol

But, I may pull it out again to mess with this headphone


Here’s my current EQ (highly zoomed in). Note that 6KHz doesn’t need a ton, but a little boost seems to help especially with keeping cymbals from getting too splashy.


If you’re interested in Elegia. Pm me. I’m selling my pair.

Funny, I just ordered a pair of Koss Porta Pros today for phone calls and the gym!


Elegia and Porta Pros are now my portable cans as I can’t stand having things in my ears. I have been using the porta pro for many years now and have gone through 3 pairs. The cable is what always breaks but you can send them to Koss with a cheque for $9 and they will send you a new pair. There are many mods for the prota pro that you can find online including the addition of MMCX connectors so that you can replace the cable quite easily when it does break. There are also cable replacement kits on Amazon but they are more expensive than the cost of sending the headphones to Koss in exchange for a new pair.


I also recently picked up a set of Porta Pros x drop version… I honestly am surprised at how good they are for the price…plus sound isolation is way better than I expected, still leaks but not a lot.

I also ordered a couple sets of Yaxi pads…a little peeved they didn’t answer my request for a purple version… :thinking: :imp: