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Headphones around $200. What to buy?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

I know there are plenty of threads here on this topic and hopefully I'm not repeating any previous threads. I apologize in advance if I am but I have read many many different threads on this site before posting.

 

What I'm Looking for: 

 

  • I listen to primarily indie (Broken Bells, Arcade Fire, etc) and classical (Bach, Beethoven, etc). I do have some electronica/dance music so I would prefer a little extra bass. However I don't want it to overpower the mids/highs and I prefer it to be clear. I like a warmer sound texture but I'm not too picky as long as they aren't bright to the extent of annoyance. Due to my preferences of classical pieces and such Grados type headphones aren't for me. I prefer a little more soundstage.
  • I do not listen to hip hop, rap, metal, screamo, dubstep, etc. 
  • I also like clarity and separation of various musical instruments and sounds, but it isn't a huge deal of the character of the headphone blends the sounds together a little. 
  • There isn't much of a need for portability, I usually carry around crappy sub $10 Sonys outside of home. 
  • I also want the best quality/durability/material that my budget can afford. I want these to last because they might be my only headphone purchase for a long time. 
  • I will NOT be amping these headphones. I'm not quite there yet in terms of audiophileness so headphones like the AKG K701s tend to be out of the question. 

 

My source: 

 

No dedicated amp or soundcard. Regular desktop/laptop computer and my Zune. 

 

What I'm considering: 

 

Beyers (good clarity, music is what is heard, and very durable/material qualtiy) 

  • DT770 - Decent but I've seen conflicting reviews on sound quality 
  • DT880 - Considered balanced. Good for many different types of music. 
  • DT990 - Might give me the extra bass that I want. In terms of sound it will provide the "Beyer" sound so its close to the DT880s

 

Shure SRH840s - Good overall balance. I already own a pair of SRH750s so I hope to decide on something besides the "shure" sound. Also comfort might be an issue here. 

 

Ultrasones - I'm pretty much lost for this brand. HiFi, Pros, etc whats the difference? It also might not suit me as well since I do not have as much hip hop etc type music. I've also read about the bad quality bands that crack. 

 

Dennons - Have not looked at this that much. I've read that the unamped D2000s are lower in quality than the rest listed above.

 

If you've made it this far down the thread I really appreciate it. I've put a lot of thought into this but I'm unable to arrive at a conclusion of what I want/need. Hopefully the awsome Head-fi community can help me out a little smily_headphones1.gif

 

If you have other suggestions for headphones I'm completely open to new brands or headphones that I haven't yet heard of XD 

 

EDIT: I am planning on selling my SRH750s and go on for an upgrade, so again no amping. It may seem as an odd choice and I can understand but I often use my Zune so having to amp would just be an inconvenience to me. I might consider getting one later in life but just not now. Thanks! 

 

EDIT: I also value comfort a lot. I need to use these for hours at a time. Also open and closed doesn't really matter. 

 

EDIT: A lot of people suggesting an amp. I'll probably get into amps when I graduate from college. Right now my budget is for replacing the SRH750s that I've sold for something more balanced/classically oriented. Due to me being a student amping is extremely impractical so I'm not going to be going that route just yet. Thanks!


Edited by hudamanium - 10/21/10 at 2:31pm
post #2 of 56

You already own the SRH750DJ (which reportedly has tons of bass), and you want more bass but no amp. I suggest considering a ~$200 USB DAC / amp to go with your Shures - post in the computer forum if interested. Of course you could always sell your SRH750DJ and combine your budget to buy different headphones and a USB DAC / amp. 


Edited by 1Time - 10/20/10 at 7:44pm
post #3 of 56

Im no expert but, I heard that the Grado Labs make pretty good headphones, do a little research on them they have good reviews.  Maybe some one else thats more an expert can give you a few choices on which ones to purchase.  

 

 

Edit -After re-reading your post im sorry I didn't notice you said Grados aren't for you.


Edited by christos03 - 10/20/10 at 7:59pm
post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by christos03 View Post

Im no expert but, I heard that the Grado Labs make pretty good headphones, do a little research on them they have good reviews.  Maybe some one else thats more an expert can give you a few choices on which ones to purchase.  



I have the SR225i's and I must say although they are great I am sure there are better headphones for classical and electronic. They have sub bass but not enough for an ear to ear grin. 

As for the OP I guess I might recommend the D2000's. 

post #5 of 56

I wouldn't recommend you getting the dt880 without an amp. It sounds very weak and unimpressive when used with an mp3 or onboard pc soundcard. You really need powerful amp to drive them. I'm not sure if the dt770 is the same way, but I know the dt990 will be in a similar situation. 

 

I really like the D2000 sound. Its warm/bassy characteristics sounds good with rock and electronic music. Its highs are clear and sharp too, but not as treble oriented as the grados. I can listen to the D2000 all day without listener's fatigue. I still think the D2000 sounds much better with an amp. But it sounds much better than the dt880 without an amp. I'd recommend these headphones from the list that you've mentioned, considering your needs. 

post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thanks. The D2000 seems pretty decent. I've heard that the bass is muddy without an amp though, and I'm not sure if the ~$240 is really justified since I have no amp. 

post #7 of 56

I was having somewhat similar search and would suggest taking a look into German Maestro GMP8.300 D.

For 124 Euro + shipping should be within your budget.

Have the RS2i and agree that Grado is not really for classical.


Edited by Greeni - 10/20/10 at 9:08pm
post #8 of 56

why dont you get an dac/amp combo? that will be the most upgrade for your buck. look at nuforce udac2. it should be 119 or so.

post #9 of 56
Thread Starter 

I'm currently a student so I don't think an amp suits my current situation. I might get one when I graduate but that will be a couple years from now. XD And I'm also in the process of finalizing a deal for selling my SRH750s so an amp would give me no headphones to use. I only saved up this budget for better headphones really and I'll buy an amp later on. 

post #10 of 56

You could get the M-Audio Q40 and a DAC / amp like the uDAC2 for ~$200. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hudamanium View Post

I'm currently a student so I don't think an amp suits my current situation. I might get one when I graduate but that will be a couple years from now. XD And I'm also in the process of finalizing a deal for selling my SRH750s so an amp would give me no headphones to use. I only saved up this budget for better headphones really and I'll buy an amp later on. 

post #11 of 56

If you're not planning on using an amp, the M50 is a good choice. They are around $100 and don't need an amp. They kind of have a more warm/bassy sound like the D2000. Of course the sound is not as refined, but its half the price and you won't need an amp. Only problem is that the soundstage is small, so it might not be suitable with classical music. 

 

You can also try the sennheiser hd555 or hd595. they are also good headphones that will fit your requirements. I heard the hd555 without an amp, and it still sounds good. The soundstage is really good for the price, and the bass is decent. 

post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

You could get the M-Audio Q40 and a DAC / amp like the uDAC2 for ~$200. 
 


 


Hmm. Its tempting but I'm probably going to only go with a headphone for now, then save for an amp. I kind of just want to settle myself into one pair of headphones and not change them for a while then invest in an amp. My budget only allows $200ish right now so I've pretty much decided that I won't buy an amp for now. Maybe in around a year I'll get an amp. XD 

 

My SRH740s were decent and I don't want to downgrade my headphone for an amp. 

post #13 of 56

Being a Grado fan, Grado cans tend to sound pretty good even unamped, and I do like them with indie rock and classical. However, since you mentioned that you aren't into Grado's, you could probably check out the Ultrasone Pro 650 which can be had for under your budget. It doesn't sound so bad unamped.


Edited by dizzyraider - 10/21/10 at 2:36am
post #14 of 56

We're just saying that the amp would be a greater upgrade then anything, since you're using a generic audio car to drive them. So If I were you, I'd get the nuforce udac, or the bitperfect, and a headphone around ~100

post #15 of 56

Right, you may or may not prefer the Q40. And so a better way to go could be to get a USB DAC / amp for your SRH750DJ. But after a little more research, FWIR, I suggest considering the Beyerdynamic DT250 / 80 Ohm, which sells new for ~$200.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hudamanium View Post

My SRH740s were decent and I don't want to downgrade my headphone for an amp. 
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