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Yet another recommendation thread!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I'm new to the forum and I am in need of advice. I am about to buy new headphones soon before I'm off to college and I need your guys' help so I could get some decent phones. I've been using the earphones that come with iPods for a while now, so I'm pretty sure any headphones would blow me away. The only time I had decent cans was a couple of years ago when my dad bought me a Triport which ended up in my dog's mouth. So after that, I just settled with cheapo earphones since my dog would end up chewing them anyways. Now I'm off to college and I need some decent phones that cost no more than $200 since I can't really use speakers. My roommates might kill me, haha. I've been looking at Grados/Alessandros at the moment and am liking what I'm seeing, but now I don't know what to get after looking at the DT770.


Here is the criteria

  • Budget: $200 for the phones themselves unamped or $200 for amp and phones altogether
  • I listen to mainly Alternative rock and pop punk, such as paramore, boys like girls, etc. etc. I also listen to mainstream music as well (from the radio) and sometimes I listen to classical, opera(I know right), etc.
  • I also watch a lot of Youtube videos.
  • I have a desktop computer I built that has an onboard soundcard [will upgrade later(christmas probably)]
  • Will use in my room 99% of the time, maybe when traveling as well.
  • Sources: Desktop, Droid X, Macbook (old) [mp3 @320kbps]


Cans and amps I'm looking at right now are Grado SR 80, Grado SR 225, Alessandro MS1i, and Beyerdynamic DT770(read they need to be amped to get the most of it), CMOY, pa2v2, Headroom TotalAirhead, and the Fiio lineup.


Well, that's all for now, and I got a few follow up questions after that.


Thanks for reading!

Edited by Tinola - 8/21/10 at 1:33am
post #2 of 10

The Grados aren't a bad choice for the music that you listen to, but they don't always do really well with mainstream radio music, since it tends to be highly compressed, and I wouldn't exactly call Grados forgiving.  The other thing you need to know about Grado before jumping in is that they are really, REALLY open.  If you are going to have a roommate, the Grados will drive them crazy.  If you're using them around campus, everyone will hear what you're listening to.


If it's not going to be an issue, Grab the 225 or the MS1, and enjoy them.


The DT770/Pro 80 doesn't need an amp quite as much as the other models, but you have to realize that you're getting what's essentially a bass and treble machine.  Some people love the sound signature, but others really don't.  They would benefit from an amp, of course, but those portable amps won't really grow well with you.


If you do need closed headphones, there are several good options in your price range.  You could grab the ATH-M50, ES7 or ES9, Fischer's Fa-004/003, Easy-to-drive Ultrasones...

post #3 of 10

You don't want the Grado for a dorm room situation.  Get something closed-back.  DT880 32 ohm works well.  Creative Aurvana Live is the same thing as Denon d1001, but with a different-looking earcup.  AKG K171/K271 (same headphone, but one is over-ear, and one is on-ear) are pretty solid, although some laptops won't turn up enough for you to get full volume out of them.  As the above poster mentioned, audio technica and ultrasone make great offerings as well.  If your budget is $200, get something mentioned by me or the poster above, and fore-go the amp.  From my experience, you still get solid sound out of headphones without an amp, unless it's hard enough to drive that you can't turn volume up to reasonable listening levels.

post #4 of 10

The Denon AH D1001 leak a surprising amount of sound for closed backed cans. The AKG K271s won the group test I read for least amount of sound leak.


Bear in mind that if you amp a noisy source, you get more noise.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the responses!

The thing is, I am going to be living in an apartment style dorm so I'm getting my own room. So it really wouldn't matter.


The DT880/ 32 ohm is a little over budget for me :( but I am really interested. The DT 770 32 ohm is also overbudget. So right now, I'm stuck between a few headphones: DT 770/80, MS1i, used MS2i, SR225, SR125, SR80, Goldring DR150. Anyone want to help me pick the final phones? I'll go unamped for now, but am planning on upgrading later down the road.


Question about Alessandros ordering: How long do orders get shipped out? I read they take forever to ship their items.




EDIT: These are my choices as of now. MS1i + pa2v2/qingpu q1, SR225 unamped, or DT770/80 or 32 unamped. Please help me decide! :)

Edited by Tinola - 8/21/10 at 1:02pm
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

What are some easy to drive ultrasones?
Edited by Tinola - 8/21/10 at 6:15pm
post #7 of 10



 I can't really use speakers. My roommates might kill me.


Audio Technica ATH-M50 closed back. Under budget and could probably squeeze a nice portable amp in.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

With an ATH-M50, what amp would be a nice compliment to it? Right now I'm stuck between a DT770+pa2v2, MS1i+pa2v2, or the M50's.


I got until first week of september to decide since I have to get them before I move in.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Bump, any other recommendations for a 200-$220 budget w/ or w/o an amp?

post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Tinola View Post



EDIT: These are my choices as of now. MS1i + pa2v2/qingpu q1, SR225 unamped, or DT770/80 or 32 unamped. Please help me decide! :)

The first two would be a safe bet (owned and loved SR225), the DT770/80 sound awful without an amp (shrill, sloppy bass, missing mids) and merely bad with an amp.  If you really need a closed headphone consider SRH840, but I still prefer Grados by a mile.

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