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Best Portables for under $300 Senn HD25-1 vs ATH-M50 vs B&W P5 vs DT1350

Poll Results: Which headphone would you buy?

 
  • 47% (8)
    Sennheiser HD25-1 II
  • 11% (2)
    Audio Technica ATH-M50
  • 41% (7)
    Bowers & Wilkins P5
17 Total Votes  
post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Alright now I am pretty new to Head-Fi and after doing some research it seems like I am not the only one with this problem. Basically all of the other reviews I have read are either dated or vague so I figured I'd start this. Please base your reviews on if you were to use these portably, with only a small amp (if any), and a portable MP3 player.

 

Sennheiser HD25-1 IIhd251ii.jpg

The Powerhouse

$199.95

 

These headphones have been out for a while now and are loved by many for their tight bass and are said to be the best for fast paced music. Hard rock, heavy metal, and head banger type music is what is said to be the best for these headphones. Complaints state that the bass is too quick and not very deep, range lacks, is like "wearing a vice", and not too crisp of highs.

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50audio-technica-ath-m50~1438551.jpg

The All-Rounder

$159.00

These headphones are known for their massive range for their size of 15-27,000 Hz. Described as the best all-rounder by many these headphones fit the bill for most users, audiophiles, and sound mixers alike. Complaints are that the "mid-range is a little cloudy," they are fragile, and users are unable to listen to them for more than 45 minutes due to their hard ear pads and tight fit.

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5200_c811dcb0ee3c3d8c5138d2f2e300955f.jpg

The Stylish One

$293.69

Designed by a world-renowned British stereo company there is no doubt that these stylish headphones catch the eye of both the young and the old. Fitted with leather and stainless steel throughout the construction quality is far from fragile. The stylish look comes with a pair of odd drivers. Everyone agrees that the P5s are stylish and easy to drive as they are made for the iPhone (with controls on the cable). Complaints say that they lack on the low end and have odd distorted highs, gaps at around 18k Hz and heavily distorted around 2k. The P5s have been stirring a lot of commotion with many saying they are the best headphone they have heard for this price and others saying they are barely worth a Benjamin. These headphones are stirring up a lot of contraversy but everyone agrees they have their unique, warm, and dark sound.

 

Beyerdynamic DT1350electronics-headphones_200.jpg

The Challenger

$299.00

Said to Beyerdynamic direct answer to the HD25-1 II and trying to dip in on the success of this type of headphone. They have a smaller ear cup than that of its competitors but makes it more portable and comes with a very nice case. The sound quality is said to be not as boomy as the Sennheisers but has a more flat and rich sound better for all genres of music.

 


Edited by Pwn3r4Life - 6/5/11 at 11:10am
post #2 of 12

For me personally, you've put them in the right order.

 

Although I think there are a lot of portables that can be bought under 300 bucks with better sound then P5, HD-25 is the best I could find for my taste, up until now.

 

ES-10 comes as a close second, but is only 300 usd when bought used.

 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I understand that the P5s will not be the best sounding phones of the bunch, however they are the most stylish (IMO), said to be the most comfortable, and comes with a really nice case. Where as the M50, is just a leather sack.
They all have their pros and cons and all Head-Fiers will put sound quality first. But the reason I started this thread is so that people could weigh the pros and cons because personally, I don't want to wear a vice on my head for hours because I bought the wrong one...

Is there any stores I could go to so I could demo these?
post #4 of 12

If you're prepared to pay $300 it might be worth considering the new Beyerdynamic DT 1350. Beyer's answer to the HD 25-1 II. Here is a video comparing the two.

post #5 of 12

Look at the sensitivity specs.:-

 

HD 25-1 II = 120dB

 

ATH-M50 = 99dB

 

P5 = 115dB

 

 

That would eliminate the ATH-M50 immediately as being rather insensitive.  I wouldn't use these on a small battery portable with a headphone amp. designed to maximise battery life.

 

So that leaves the choice between the HD 25-1 II and the P5.  The HD 25 are more efficient, but the P5 is still pretty good.

 

The HD 25 are extremely tough and also very comfortable if you use the velour earpads option.  My own HD 25-1 are nearly 22 years old and still going strong.

 

So it will come down to what you personally prefer after listening to them.

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwn3r4Life View Post

I understand that the P5s will not be the best sounding phones of the bunch, however they are the most stylish (IMO), said to be the most comfortable, and comes with a really nice case. Where as the M50, is just a leather sack.
They all have their pros and cons and all Head-Fiers will put sound quality first. But the reason I started this thread is so that people could weigh the pros and cons because personally, I don't want to wear a vice on my head for hours because I bought the wrong one...

Is there any stores I could go to so I could demo these?



You are right yes

 

HD-25's are not really comfortable, acceptable in that department at best (on my opinion, for my head and ears). They also aren't very beautiful.

 

P5 are one of the most beautiful small headphones I've ever seen in my hands, they're pretty comfortable too and have a above average nice case.

 

DT1350's are known to be pretty comfortable, at least much more then HD-25's. There's a case included (same as T50's) that's nicer then p5's case on my opinion.

 

ES-10's are comfortable, beautiful, have a very usable pouch included, have for my a very nice in between sound, between detail and fun.

 

post #7 of 12

I don't agree that the HD 25 are not comfortable - I find them very comfortable.  But you do need to swap over the ear cushions to the velour ones supplied in the pack (the velour ones last longer, as well).

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

The HD 25-1 was, from the start, designed as a professional monitoring set of headphones for critical listening in the field.  That they do perfectly.  They are extremely rugged, everything is replaceable, and they go on working day in, day out for over 20 years.


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

 

HD-25's are not really comfortable, acceptable in that department at best (on my opinion, for my head and ears). They also aren't very beautiful.


Edited by John Willett - 6/2/11 at 6:07am
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

DT1350 added

post #9 of 12

pls add T50P as I would like to see the difference between DT1350 and T50P. My source is ipod + E7 or Sony X1060. struggling sometimes I won't use AMP and personally prefer T50P, anyone support?

 

post #10 of 12

I use the velour pads on the HD25 as well and while they are more comfortable I still notice ear pain after around 90 minutes or so. Also, by doing so you lose some isolation and in my opinion some bass punch and tightness. Just offering a counterpoint for those that are researching. I do think for the price and build quality the HD25 is one of the best portables you can get.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post

I don't agree that the HD 25 are not comfortable - I find them very comfortable.  But you do need to swap over the ear cushions to the velour ones supplied in the pack (the velour ones last longer, as well).

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

The HD 25-1 was, from the start, designed as a professional monitoring set of headphones for critical listening in the field.  That they do perfectly.  They are extremely rugged, everything is replaceable, and they go on working day in, day out for over 20 years.


 



 

post #11 of 12



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post

I don't agree that the HD 25 are not comfortable - I find them very comfortable.  But you do need to swap over the ear cushions to the velour ones supplied in the pack (the velour ones last longer, as well).

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

The HD 25-1 was, from the start, designed as a professional monitoring set of headphones for critical listening in the field.  That they do perfectly.  They are extremely rugged, everything is replaceable, and they go on working day in, day out for over 20 years.



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocswing View Post

I use the velour pads on the HD25 as well and while they are more comfortable I still notice ear pain after around 90 minutes or so. Also, by doing so you lose some isolation and in my opinion some bass punch and tightness. Just offering a counterpoint for those that are researching. I do think for the price and build quality the HD25 is one of the best portables you can get.
 



 



Although I absolutely love HD-25's sound, my problem is that even after 10-20 minutes, my ears become hot and it tickles, very annoying. That is with both (clean and new) velour and pleather pads. I can stand the clamping force for a while, but it's too hot and tickly. (and it's not really hot weather here)

 

I don't have this with ES-10 pleather, strong clampage Ed.8's f.e.

 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauchar View Post

pls add T50P as I would like to see the difference between DT1350 and T50P. My source is ipod + E7 or Sony X1060. struggling sometimes I won't use AMP and personally prefer T50P, anyone support?

 

Well the DT1350 is literally an upgraded version of the T50P. The T50P has more bass and treble and the DT1350 is more balanced and has all around richer sound. Therefore I will not add the T50P as they don't compete.
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