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Best headphones for $100 - $200 for MP3s

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


I'm looking for a set of headphones mainly to listen to music before I go to sleep. I want the music to be as if I were actually there and sound as rich as possible. I listen to solely to mp3s (160-320kbps) and I listen to all types of music: Light, Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Classical etc. I know studio monitors are very good but are they good for compressed music? Equally important is comfort - I want something that I can wear for an hour and not feel that its there. I am 6 feet tall and have an average to large sized head. And lastly I would like it to last more than 5 years. 


I've owned Sennheiser  PX100's, HD150's and Shure E2Cs and so far the Senns seem to have the best sound quality. The senns have also lasted me the longest, each lasting up to 3 years. I dont care about noise isolation as I am using these in my room.


Here are the ones that I am considering: 



- Audio-Technica ATHM50 Studio Monitor Headphones $160

- AKG Acoustics K-240 $100


- AKG K271MKII $150



- Sennheiser HD595 $160


- Sennheiser HD 598 $240 (is this worth the extra 60 bucks?)


thanks in advance



post #2 of 5

If you don't need isolation I would go with open-ear headphones (like your PX100's). Going by your musical tastes, you'd probably like the HD595/98 the best. I haven't heard the 598 so I'm not sure what has improved, but I've read that they have more treble.

post #3 of 5

I suggest you go for the HD558 or the HD555, which are in my estimation a good 95% the same as their older brothers the HD598 and HD595, and a good deal cheaper.


I also moved up from the PX100 and found the HD555 to be a very nice transition, like hearing a more refined version of the PX100.  It has a similar warmth and a distinctively amazing soundstage that you will probably miss even if you spend more money on more expensive cans.  They are comfortable, too.  My recommendation goes to these.


The AKG K240 is also very nice from what I've heard, and they're well-built, although if you kept a PX100 alive for 3 years (I handled mine roughly and tore the plug off in 3 months) I think all the headphones you mentioned are fine.


Really, all of the phones you mentioned are great.  My preference lies with the 555/558.


So my recommendation is the HD555 or HD558.  It's all about the soundstage and warmth, man.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 


what do you mean by soundstage? are you referring to sound channel?

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks. i ended up buying the hd 598's but now i need an amp. thinking about getting the E5. althogh vocals like andrea bocelli sounds warm and superb, the bass crackles in the avatar soundtrack.

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