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Best entry level audiophile fullsize headphones?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well to begin i am new to audiophile headphones and to this community so sorry for any noobness ahead of time. First off i've done a fair amount of research on what makes or breaks a good pair of headphones, read and watched plenty of reviews etc etc. but any guidance and constructive criticism would be very much appreciated. I am looking for a good pair of entry level headphones to get me started as an audiophile.

So far i've narrowed it down to the Shure SRH440, Sennheiser HD280, and Sony MDR-V6. I realize after many reviews that the mdr v6 probably wont measure up to the other two but they are also cheaper and were reccomended to me by a good friend and i very much trust his opinion. I'm just looking for good quality in all frequency ranges, something comfortable, reliable, and that isnt too ugly although quality is more important to me than looks. Anything around the $100 price range is good but cheaper is better. Also i heard the Audio Techinica ATH M50 was very good and i was wondering if it would be worth to just save up some extra cash and get those instead?

Also any amp's you can reccomend for these headphones would be nice. I will probably be using these headphones with just my iphone for a while until i can afford a better setup, so keep that in mind and also i dont care about portability. I am willing to put up with bigger headphones and a long cable as long as the quality and price are right.
post #2 of 13

You've only mentioned closed headphones, so far. Is sound isolation important to you? 


If not, you should consider the Sennheiser 555/558, which is only slightly above your budget (but less than the ATH M50). They are great all around headphones, can be easily modded to open up the sound further, are well built (with user replaceable cables, pads, etc.), comfortable, and sound great. 

post #3 of 13

The differences between open and close are not only limited to isolation. There's leakage, bass response, tonality, soundstage, etc.

post #4 of 13

Agreed. Just using that as a starting point, as isolation and leakage (which are related, just opposite sides of the headphone) are often concerns of people just getting started (e.g. don't want to disturb or hear my roomate/wife/office mates). 

post #5 of 13

As already stated, you will need to first know if you would prefer open to closed headphones.  Once you've made that decision then factors such as your music preference and sound signature wants come into play.  Are you a bass-head, or are you looking for an audiophile, non-coloured and more neutral sound signature?  Have you actually tried out different headphones and brands to see what you may like. Do consider going to a couple of headphone meets in your area where you can get to hear a wide range of headphones, amplification, sources etc and have a chance to talk with others of similar ilk.  You mentioned Shure, Sony and Sennheiser...have you tried Grados or Denons or AKG for a start.

Welcome to Head-Fi - you're sure to get tons of help from not only the many threads and forums, but from a fantastic community of music and headphone affectionados.

Oh, and 'sorry about your wallet'. happy_face1.gif

post #6 of 13

HD 280 Pro's are magnificent from what I have heard, but the bass is non existent. SRH840 is what I would recommend for you it's better than the SRH440 and they are very neutral costing around 129.99 on Amazon. 

post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Jlox1 View Post

HD 280 Pro's are magnificent from what I have heard, but the bass is non existent. SRH840 is what I would recommend for you it's better than the SRH440 and they are very neutral costing around 129.99 on Amazon. 

Don't bother posting if you haven't heard the phone in question. The HD280Pro is quite simply the most painful headphone to wear and the sound is totally meh.
post #8 of 13

Ultrasone DJ1's are pretty good, and you can find em on Amazon for a decent price.  Over the 100 dollar limit, but I found the sound to be worth it.  The HFI-580 ought to be the same headphone from what I hear... if so you might be able to find one for cheaper.  Best of luck, and sorry about your wallet. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yea isolation is pretty important to me because i will probably use these headphones outside quite a bit and i generally do not like having other people hear my music
I listen to all kinds of music ranging from heavy death metal to soft hip hop and hardstyle, dubstep, trance, classical, blues etc etc.
Thanks for the comment i will check out the 555/558 smily_headphones1.gif
Also i am interested in a good soundstage, although i have the feeling that getting good soundstage quality for this price would be nearly impossible....is soundstage better with open or closed headphones?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Lol thanks for the warm welcome and yes for now my wallet is small but since i am just starting out into the audiophile world i would rather not spend a lot of cash on one product only to find out a couple of weeks/months later that its a total piece of crap haha
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks i will definitely try to attend some headphone meets
You wouldnt happen to know of any in the NY/NJ area?

And yea you are the second person to reccomend HFI 580 so i will definitely check those out and the dj1 too thanks a lot
post #12 of 13

The sound stage tends to be better with an open headphone... usually.  And you'll find your headphone is crap only when you want it to be.  In other words... be happy with what you buy, and don't look back.  Regretting a purchase is usually not a good thing.  There will always be a better headphone around the corner.  Just be happy with the fact that you chose a decent headphone for the price and roll with it. 

post #13 of 13

You know if you buy a popular or well-received headphone on head-fi, chances are if you don't like it you can put it in the for sale forum for people who appreciate that sound signature. The same thing can't be said about other headphones like Beats or something that's too cheap.

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