Short heads-up. On my quest for small headphones for out and about I came across the JVC has160.
A tenner from Amazon and they have no right to sound that good. Ignore the raving reviews some made, they are not going to replace your Sennheiser 6 series or whatever other multi hundred pound phones you have but they really are very, very musical. Their strength lies in eveness rather than being outstanding in any particular area. A rare enough trait at any price, never mind for ten quid. Add small form factor and voila.
A joy to wear, a joy to listen to and you dont have to make any excuses for the price.
Sony used to make really nice small headphones back in the late 80's to mid 90's, then their low-cost headphones starting sounding muffled, like some of the fashion brands. So that's good news for other mfrs. like JVC.
AKG K812, Beyer T90/COP/DT1350, v-moda M100/LP2, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/Decware Zen Head/PA2V2 amps.
They are very slightly midcentric but without shouting when the volume is turned up. Bass is mostly there and doesnt boom or intrude into the lower midrange to any extend which is annoying*. Treble is very decent if curtailed a little but again, its mostly there . Spoken voice (BBC Radio 4) seems uncoloured and clear and rythms are foot tapping and reasonably fast. Separation is ok for the size of headphone and ear pads (they really are very small) and sound is quite airy for a closed back. Dynamics are acceptable considering the small driver and plastic housing.
I use a modified (semi open) Creative Aurvana Live at home and whilst they are better (and subjectively better than many more expensive headphones I've tried), they are also much larger.
*A little cotton wool damping in the housing (or a foam plug connecting the back of the magnet with the rear of the housing) and a very small accoustic lens (felt sticker) is probably all thats needed to make the HAS 160 even more balanced. It would cost pennies and probably take five minutes.
Would be interested in what you Headphone experts think about the little JVC's.