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Best $300 Headphones

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I received a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770s for Christmas as well as the E7+E9 combo for my birthday recently. I enjoy my headphones quite a bit but I can't help but notice the strong criticism they receive for their "recessed mids" and "overbearing bass". Based on these criticisms, I've decided to invest in another pair of sub-$300 headphones that can be powered by my current amp and laptop. I mostly listen to indie rock and a bit of synth pop so I'd be interested in a pair that suits my musical taste accordingly, as well as a pair of headphones that doesn't leak a ton of sound. They can leak a little bit of sound, but my roomate would certainly not be pleased if I picked up a pair of Grados, if you know what I mean lol. Anyways, thank you guys for your help, it is certainly appreciated.

post #2 of 12

The DT770 are great headphones. The criticism made by the audio aficionado on the recessed mids are justified, but that's simply the characteristics of Beyer phones. The technical specs and audio range should never affect your listening pleasure, especially since you already own it. Give it some love, make sure it's properly burned in, and try out your favourite music to see how they go. Don't start looking for new phones just course some experts criticise on the phones. There simply isn't any perfect phones out there.

 

I have no idea why anyone would criticise "overbearing bass" for DT770. Unless of course what you have is the DT770pro (80Ohm). 

 

However, if you are really hard-up in spending that $300 on the phone, try looking for something darker. Senn signature are usually at polar opposite to Beyer signature, and should definitely be the first phones to look out for. This will give you a good comparison.

post #3 of 12

^ +1 on the above. If you like your headphones, there's no reason anyone in the world should be able to tell you you're wrong. Beyerdynamic makes fine headphones (and microphones), and the Premium DTxx0 line is well loved around here on Head-Fi for good reason. It generally gets categorized as having a "fun" tonal balance, but there's certainly nothing wrong with that.

 

If, however, you would like to experience something from the other side of the tracks, like smashing said, Sennheiser is pretty much the polar opposite of beyerdynamic. Shure and AKG make some nice headphones in your price range as well, and both have models that court that "reference/non-recessed mids" sound that Head-Fi tends to prefer. These two should sit in the middle between the Beyer and Senn sounds.

 

There's lots of choices. Look around here for a while, search for threads on anything that sounds interesting, but don't feel like you're obligated to think lesser of your DT770 just because somebody said it had recessed midrange. Lots of people like the DENON cans, and recessed midrange is the most common complaint about them, too. Never forget that enjoying the music is the most important part--if you get bogged down with the presentation too much, you'll miss out on the fun and soul of the music.

post #4 of 12

Do you even consider the DT770's sound as lacking, and these characteristics as deficiencies? Or is it pure curiosity? Or the worst possible scenario, your curiosity is being guided by peer pressure about the DT770's sound being far from their preference?

 

A lot of threads here were started by people who just want to say, "they said try this, and it sucks; my old headphone was better" then soon a For Sale post that goes along the lines of "I bought it as an upgrade" followed by "but I still like my old headphone" or "I'm gonna try this other headphone instead." Then later they'll reply in other threads, "I should have bought this instead of the other one!"

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

A lot of threads here were started by people who just want to say, "they said try this, and it sucks; my old headphone was better" then soon a For Sale post that goes along the lines of "I bought it as an upgrade" followed by "but I still like my old headphone" or "I'm gonna try this other headphone instead." Then later they'll reply in other threads, "I should have bought this instead of the other one!"

 

It's a learning journey. Some spend more on their education...
 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Do you even consider the DT770's sound as lacking, and these characteristics as deficiencies? Or is it pure curiosity? Or the worst possible scenario, your curiosity is being guided by peer pressure about the DT770's sound being far from their preference?

 

It is curiosity for the most part. I mean, hearing that other headphones have sound signatures that are the "polar opposite" of my current headphones does inspire me to pick up a new set. Anyways, I will look at the current Sennheiser lineup and make a decision soon! Thanks for all your help guys and stay tuned!

post #7 of 12

Sennheiser HD650 would probably an interesting headphone for you to check out if you'd like to hear something "different" or quite the opposite to DT770.

post #8 of 12

I like DT990/600 Ohms.

post #9 of 12

Yeah but some spend too much. My point wasn't just that but whether his upgraditis was founded on a dissatisfaction with his current headphone, and whether he fully understands what he wants out of his system. He should listen to a lot more systems, even speakers in cars or home audio systems, to get an idea about what sound he wants. Such journeys have been romanticized recently since it helps the audiophile economy (more sales for manufacturers, more used gear for bargain hunters) as well as how its paralleled in movies where someone ditches a partner out of generalized, unarticulated boredom, gets into a string of short-term partners, and in feel good movies doesn't end in AIDS. With audio gear, it won't be that drastic, but I don't want to promote "sorry about your wallet" unless he's personally listened to equipment that he preferred better than what he currently has.

 

And while "education" is in the discussion...with more students into headphones than speakers (dorms, parents' house, etc) and the US student loan funds in the crapper as Harvard lost several million in investments back in 2008, while the other funds are not earning enough from people not paying their loans back, shouldn't the point of "education" at this point be "disciplined and better-informed consumption" as opposed to "(huge) consumption is an inevitable part of the game" with "huge" in fine print?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smashing View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

A lot of threads here were started by people who just want to say, "they said try this, and it sucks; my old headphone was better" then soon a For Sale post that goes along the lines of "I bought it as an upgrade" followed by "but I still like my old headphone" or "I'm gonna try this other headphone instead." Then later they'll reply in other threads, "I should have bought this instead of the other one!"

 

It's a learning journey. Some spend more on their education...
 

post #10 of 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

Yeah but some spend too much. My point wasn't just that but whether his upgraditis was founded on a dissatisfaction with his current headphone, and whether he fully understands what he wants out of his system. He should listen to a lot more systems, even speakers in cars or home audio systems, to get an idea about what sound he wants. Such journeys have been romanticized recently since it helps the audiophile economy (more sales for manufacturers, more used gear for bargain hunters) as well as how its paralleled in movies where someone ditches a partner out of generalized, unarticulated boredom, gets into a string of short-term partners, and in feel good movies doesn't end in AIDS. With audio gear, it won't be that drastic, but I don't want to promote "sorry about your wallet" unless he's personally listened to equipment that he preferred better than what he currently has.

 

And while "education" is in the discussion...with more students into headphones than speakers (dorms, parents' house, etc) and the US student loan funds in the crapper as Harvard lost several million in investments back in 2008, while the other funds are not earning enough from people not paying their loans back, shouldn't the point of "education" at this point be "disciplined and better-informed consumption" as opposed to "(huge) consumption is an inevitable part of the game" with "huge" in fine print?

 

 

Wow! I didn't know that head-fi is such serious business. I should count my blessing for not getting into headgears when I was studying. 

 

Having said that, boys will be boys. If the money is not spend on headphone, it will be on something else.that would excite them, be it getting the third guitar in the collection, the fourth digital camera or some branded jeans. At the end of the day it is about self-discipline. You can't stop the industry from aggressive marketing their products. In this day of age, electronic manufacturers need to maintain high profit margin to affirm their position in the industry, to remain relevant and to achieve some kind of longevity in the transient landscape. Wise words, no matter how good the intention is, will likely fall into deaf ears in face of the aggressive marketing. Seriously, how are you going to educate the intangible music appreciation through headphones, when the companies uses charts and scores to show up front how good their audio gears are and skewing perception of the type of the headphone? 

 

 

By the way, the OP replied - 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by headphonenoob View Post

It is curiosity for the most part. I mean, hearing that other headphones have sound signatures that are the "polar opposite" of my current headphones does inspire me to pick up a new set. Anyways, I will look at the current Sennheiser lineup and make a decision soon! Thanks for all your help guys and stay tuned!

 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashing View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

Yeah but some spend too much. My point wasn't just that but whether his upgraditis was founded on a dissatisfaction with his current headphone, and whether he fully understands what he wants out of his system. He should listen to a lot more systems, even speakers in cars or home audio systems, to get an idea about what sound he wants. Such journeys have been romanticized recently since it helps the audiophile economy (more sales for manufacturers, more used gear for bargain hunters) as well as how its paralleled in movies where someone ditches a partner out of generalized, unarticulated boredom, gets into a string of short-term partners, and in feel good movies doesn't end in AIDS. With audio gear, it won't be that drastic, but I don't want to promote "sorry about your wallet" unless he's personally listened to equipment that he preferred better than what he currently has.

 

And while "education" is in the discussion...with more students into headphones than speakers (dorms, parents' house, etc) and the US student loan funds in the crapper as Harvard lost several million in investments back in 2008, while the other funds are not earning enough from people not paying their loans back, shouldn't the point of "education" at this point be "disciplined and better-informed consumption" as opposed to "(huge) consumption is an inevitable part of the game" with "huge" in fine print?

 

 

Wow! I didn't know that head-fi is such serious business. I should count my blessing for not getting into headgears when I was studying. 

 

Having said that, boys will be boys. If the money is not spend on headphone, it will be on something else.that would excite them, be it getting the third guitar in the collection, the fourth digital camera or some branded jeans. At the end of the day it is about self-discipline. You can't stop the industry from aggressive marketing their products. In this day of age, electronic manufacturers need to maintain high profit margin to affirm their position in the industry, to remain relevant and to achieve some kind of longevity in the transient landscape. Wise words, no matter how good the intention is, will likely fall into deaf ears in face of the aggressive marketing. Seriously, how are you going to educate the intangible music appreciation through headphones, when the companies uses charts and scores to show up front how good their audio gears are and skewing perception of the type of the headphone? 

 

 

By the way, the OP replied - 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by headphonenoob View Post

It is curiosity for the most part. I mean, hearing that other headphones have sound signatures that are the "polar opposite" of my current headphones does inspire me to pick up a new set. Anyways, I will look at the current Sennheiser lineup and make a decision soon! Thanks for all your help guys and stay tuned!

 


Yup, bet let's not stoke some of the bonfires going on. And thanks, I missed that, whoops.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by headphonenoob View Post

It is curiosity for the most part. I mean, hearing that other headphones have sound signatures that are the "polar opposite" of my current headphones does inspire me to pick up a new set. Anyways, I will look at the current Sennheiser lineup and make a decision soon! Thanks for all your help guys and stay tuned!


 

Don't restrict yourself to headphones in learning all about audio, even if your main system will be on headphones. At least get the feel for what sorts of sound are out there. You can go to your local Hi-Fi stores and Pro-Audio shops to listen to other gear. Mot speakers and some headphones - usually Grado and Sennheiser - are available. Pro shops have AKG, some Sennheisers, Beyers and Audio Technicas (in some countries, AT and AKG are usually distributed only through these, and some items through Mac outlets). When I started to shift my resources from guitars and amps and mics to audiophile systems, I listened to as much as I can. I walk into HiFi shops, I attended car audio club meets and competitions, etc. In retrospect, my home audio should have been headphones from the start. I was able to make it sound decent in a condo that served as my dorm despute the irregular shape, but after we moved back in our house after college, I found the shape of my bedroom was better but the sound just sucked. One side was always louder, just because the outer wall is concrete while the interior wall is wood. Orienting it the other way would put the slanted ceiling on one side - worse.  Then I found all the new gear centered on headphones, and learned there's more to just having a spare HD580 and K501* to plug into the integrated amp when other people in the house are asleep. I mean, powerful as those Japanese amps are, and NADs, they still can't drive headphones properly. CMOYs and Little Dots finally put the energy that I was missing from cans compared to speakers. By now we already have portable players whose circuits seem to be miniaturized versions of (mostly British) CDPlayers.

 

*Didn't have them at the time but a lot of audiophiles I met all knew these two, or actually owned them, as back-up for their speaker rigs

post #12 of 12

hello,

 

if you got an amp for 600 ohm, the DT 880 Edition-600 Ohm are the best BD to go for most listeners on head-fi, still in 300$ budget. severall reviews for those cans to find next.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/429371/the-beyerdynamic-dt880-600-ohm-appreciation-discussion-thread

 

wave.

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