Skull Candy is great, you can get them for like $20-$30 this time of year and the bass i crazy for that price range. I'd suggest finding a liquidation store (idk if you have XS Cargo, Liquidation World, Factory Direct anything like that) of some kind and grabbing a pair there, you will twice the bang for your buck than if you went to an electronics store.
I tried on the extra bass today, actually, they were pretty sweet. I just don't need bass ALL the time, y'know? XD Aaaaand yeah, my budget is like $100... I don't think I'll ever have a reason to spend anywhere near 1k on a pair of headphones, hahaha.
Urbanears Plattan all the way. In my opinion the sounds quality is WAAAAAAY better than skull candy, I'm hearing things in my songs that I never even knew were there before. The noise cancellation on them is superb, I can't hear anyone around me even on fairly low volumes, and they don't leak noise at all. If you blast your music on the highest volume just stick the headphones together and you can hardly hear a thing. PLUS they aren't at all expensive, selling for 60 USD on the website.
Ear buds are easier to take with me and don't break as fast, have less energy usage than headphones. My mp3 player loose all its battery if I use headphones. I know nothing about brand, but earbuds is really better for portable music imo.
That link right there (though you can find them cheaper but I don't know what the most reputable sites for purchase would be) is to the headphones I use for 6-8 consecutive hours daily. It is my bread and butter to have uninterrupted, uncompromised sound, and these bad boys do just that. I'm also in an environment with lots of foot traffic and nearby conversation (...cube forest) and I have zero interruption until someone physically touches my shoulder for my attention.
Oh, and as another point; if you can afford them, go for the more-expensive 'high reputation' brands - my Sennheisers were $150 when I bought them, but they've lasted for four years, which basically runs down to the same price you might end up spending buying a bunch of crappy headphones after they keep breaking (I know some people go through a pair every 6 or so months).
Some might argue they don't mind buying pair after pair for cheap headphones, but no matter how many cheap headphones can last as long as a single pair of high quality ones, you're still listening to cheap sound during that time.
Whatever you do, don't go with Skullcandy; they are fashion statements with frequency responses that put the artists' mixes in a blender and sound nothing like what was intended for your ears to hear.
Sounds a bit strange, but something you can go by that will often help you skip over the utter garbage is to avoid headphones that come in various colors (often times these are just consumer-grade fashion statement headphones for people concerned about what they look like over the quality of the sound) or ones that have 'names' - by that, I mean the headphones worth putting on your head are usually just the company name with some letters/numbers to designate the model (of course, this is by no means a way to find out which ones are good; just something to help expose the ones that probably are not-good).
Bose seem overpriced for the sound quality, but I can't speak for noise canceling - people who know good headphones have said good things about Bose noise canceling, so if I was in the market for that I'd definitely look at them.
I've been using the same Sennheiser HD 595s for about four years now - do love them, but they're open ear design (which is basically the exact opposite of noise canceling, but great if you're in a quiet environment or would like to be able to speak to others without removing them). AKG, Grado, Denon, Audio Technica also have high reputations if you're serious about good sound, but again, heard next to nil regarding any noise canceling technologies from these - however the closed-ear designs may have sufficient noise stopping power, but like what I own, some go over your whole ear but are still acoustically open, so you have to check for that.
Anyway, main drive to write this was just to get you to avoid burning your money away and getting a pair of garbage Skullcandy as there are so many recommending them.
Well, I can't help much in the noise-canceling department, but in terms of earbuds, I've been using the $40 Sonys for years now, and they're awesome. They're not Bose, but they're great for earbuds. Shovin' 'em into your ears helps muffle outside noise, though not as much as actual noise-canceling ones, of course.
Mine are Sony noise-canceling, model MDR-NC6 and they were refurbished. Let me tell you, the factory must have done something ultra awesome when they refurbished them 'cause a brand new MDR-NC6's sound quality just isn't as good as my refurbished pair. I've had them for 3 years and they're a bit worn now, but the sound quality is still amazing.
I have a Pair of regular Sony Headphones I bought from Future shop for 10 bucks, and they've lasted me just about 4 -5 years now soo, and they've been through weathers imaginable! lol Canada! anywho they're just regular ear bud phones, Cheap like 10$ or something. their black and orange, and their great. I dunno if they're all like that, suppose I just lucked out, my mom keeps buying me new ones but I never need em! lol, I used to go through head phones every half year before she bought me these XDD
For me, there's a brand called iFrogz, and their earbuds are called "Radiation" and come in a pretty broad selection of colors. And they're only $10. Generally I have a problem with earbuds, but when these are in, it blocks out almost everything. And I even wear them around inside Walmart, can't hear anything with the music paused.
I use Sennheiser with great satisfaction. I got the PXC 300/350 for a few years, but they had this wonderful habit of the wires shorting out after about a year of use. I downgraded to the 250 series - cheaper, not very noticeable sound difference (still amazing bass and clarity), and they've lasted me much longer, since I think this current set is upwards of 3 years old.
They aren't PERFECTLY noise-cancelling, but I'd say not being able to hear the engines on a small aircraft while music is playing is a pretty good thing. Only difference I really noticed was the cheaper pads on the headphones, and that goes away once your ears aren't spoiled. xD ... Oh, and for the amount of time I use them (a lot), I typically have to replace the batteries every week or so.
Skullcandy has the best sound quality I've ever seen (Well. Heard), but they break way too easily. I'd recommend iFrogz Vertex if you can find them (actually any of the iFrogz over-ear headphones are great, but Vertex are the best so far [link]). They're almost as good as Skullcandy and a lot harder to break, and the best part is that they're less expensive. Not that much less, though :T
For earbuds, though, I'd definitely go for Skullcandy. I have a pair of Skullcandy Ink'd earbuds that have fantastic sound quality and are noise-canceling like you wouldn't believe. They've also lasted me quite a while.
I have a pair of Technics RP-F290,i am very pleased with them,i have them for about a year and a half, gold plated standard 3.5 mm jack and a larger one for the amplituner or stereo deck,they are awesome,i give them 1000 thumbs up
Bose Quietcomfort 15 - the over ear NOT the on ear Audio Technica ATH-ANC7
I've tried both, the Bose is absolutely STUNNING for noise reduction. The Audio Technica wins on price (half the price) still plays if the battery fails, but the noise cancelling isn't as good as the bose. Both have the same audio quality overall - but the Bose definitely won out for me
I have a lovely pair of Sony headphones, myself. They were a bit more expensive, $80 I think it was, but it was worth every penny. Even at a low volume, people usually have to wave to get my attention. lol They're comphy, too.
Join HeadFi forums and get some solid advice from the audiophiles on there.
Loads to consider, inclusding your taste in music, budget and other concerns, e.g. comfort, style, portability etc.
For example, I wanted to spend around £100 for headphones to use mostly at my desk while working. I like all sorts of music but mostly things with a rich a deep sound. There were loads of headphones available but following plenty of personal advice and recommendations on there I got some Denon AD-D1001s for about my target price and they are EXACTLY what I wanted - immensely comfortable, great clarity with a lovely smooth, rounded tone that delivers plenty of bass without being too punchy. They're also miles better than anything I would have bought in a store for the same price.
If your music and listening habits are important to you, get some really good advice
And on the subject of BOSE, mentioned above - they are great, and often easy to find and try out, which makes them very tempting, but you can get better for similar money. For you, BOSE's noise cancelling products are second to none, but their sound quality can easily be outmatched by similarly priced products from brands like Sennheiser, Denon and Audio Technica.