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Recommendations for first awesome pair of inexpensive headphones?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

 

Super new to the world of headphones and looking to buy my first awesome pair. My boyfriend introduced me to his Sennheiser HD 555, and they wowed me. I have been looking at headphones for less than $150, and I'm all, "Which ones? The choices!" I would like to be able to wear them for a long period of time, and it's important that they look really nice (or else the other creatives will laugh at me). I've been looking at the top over-ear headphones list here, and I would appreciate any insight.

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50S are the current favorite as they are gorgeous, but not sure if closed and pleather are good for long periods of time. 

 

Audio Technica ATH-AD700 were the previous favorite until I realized they are gold and purple. I just couldn't do it.

 

Audio Technica ATH-A700 might be black or deep blue? I have no idea if these are necessarily better or worse than the AD700 as I couldn't find a good comparison. 

 

Sennheiser HD 555 are familiar and probably the safe bet. Reviewers seem to prefer the AD700 over these, though.  

 

Oh, I can add that I would use them for music, games, and movies... probably in that order. I listen to classical, electronic, and alternative music. Mmmmm!

 

What do you think? 

post #2 of 12

Your picks are all over the place.

 

You said you're not sure about closed headphones--does that mean that you are planning to not use them on the go?  The AD700 are famous for being very bass-light, which would make them not ideal for many of your planned uses.

 

What's important to you?  Do you want incredible detail?  Accurate reproduction?  Thumping bass?  An awesomely expansive sound stage?

 

Most of all, what is it that you really like about the 555, and what do you wish it did better?

post #3 of 12
post #4 of 12

HD555's mod make it a 595. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

My order of priorities: detail, soundstage, accurate reproduction, and bass. They will be for home use, no plans to use them on the go. 

 

The 555 are really, really comfortable. Classical music sounds kinda flat to me on them, like there is some depth or richness missing. Does expansive mean it sounds like the music is happening all around you, or is that a narrow soundstage? 

post #6 of 12

I am wearing my Audio Technica ATH-M50S headphones as I type this. My ears are warm but happy.

post #7 of 12

Competitive/serious gaming, or just single player? If it's the former, you will want to discount the M50. They're far from the best for that.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am definitely not a serious player whatsoever. I've been looking up threads on all these headphones, and I can't decide, because this will be my first serious pair. I don't really have a solid idea of what I might like in terms of bass, soundstage, highs, etc. I'll be primarily using them for a variety of music: electronic, alternative, jazz, classical, pop...

 

I'm thinking the best bet is something balanced and neutral, yeah? Most well-rounded? Then again, I think, hell, they're all good, might as well just pick one so I can start somewhere and go from there. 

 

Maybe it's time I head up to some stores around here (in Seattle) to go test out comfort and sound. Never been, but there's a good listing floating around here. 

 

(Also, thank you all for your patience in helping out a serious nooblet.)

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalavalse View Post
Then again, I think, hell, they're all good, might as well just pick one so I can start somewhere and go from there. 

 

Maybe it's time I head up to some stores around here (in Seattle) to go test out comfort and sound. 


Best. Newcomer. Post.

 

Ok but seriously, give the M50 a miss for gaming. Since the headphones are for home use, stay with open; IMO, they give a more natural performance and are better bang-for-buck. Comfy options include Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser and AKG (K2xx series).

post #10 of 12

If you like the HD555 already why not buy them?

 

By looking at what you want in headphones though, I would say the Ad700s are your best option. They have the absolute best soundstage for the price, and arguably the best clarity, the bass is rather lacking though. Right now they are $90 on Amazon, which is a good price for them. Remember though, the bass is rather lacking, especially for someone who's ears aren't tuned to more "balanced" headphones.

 

Edit: Also who cares about looks when only used at home?! =P

post #11 of 12

You have a $150 budget right now. I would recommend saving for a little longer and going with the Audio Technica AD900's if you think the ad700's are ugly.  They are going for $200 on amazon right now.  

post #12 of 12

The Ad900 also have better bass/clarity/etc.

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