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After M50, what next?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've been using M50s for the past year or so, but unfortunately they were stolen! So now I need a new pair of closed, over-ear headphones. I liked the M50s, but I think it's time for an upgrade.

 

What I liked about the M50s: comfortable, decent isolation, nice highs

What I disliked about the M50s: weak lows/bass, meh mids

 

I listen mostly to dance, house, trance, electro, dubstep, pop and hip hop (think Avicii, Deadmau5, Kanye West, Rihanna...). Driving the cans will be either my iPhone or my MacBook Pro (no upgraded soundcard, no amp). Most tracks I listen to will be .mp3 format in the 192kbps - 320kbps range. Also very important to me is isolation (the M50s were decent in this department, but the more iso the better): when I put these these on, I don't want to be able to hear anything else going on around me (I don't care about sound leakage, I care solely about keeping the outside sound out; even if I'm not playing music, I'd want the cans to block outside sound such as they were glorified earplugs, lol). 

 

Looking for something under $200, though I'm flexible. 

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwaGGeReR View Post

What I liked about the M50s: comfortable, decent isolation, nice highs

What I disliked about the M50s: weak lows/bass, meh mids

 

The M50 driven from a buffered DAC sound like high-quality to me. I have not tried them directly on a computer or portable device since those sources are typically compromised in some way.  The M50 at 38ohm is relatively low-z and should have an amp and the amp should be driven by a line output, not some headphone jack.

post #3 of 17

Maybe try out some Ultrasones? My brother has the HFI-780's and I really enjoy them for closed cans.

post #4 of 17

I don't think you're going to get a noticeable upgrade for under $200, just more of a side step. Try the Ultrasone PRO 750 if you want something better.

post #5 of 17

Sennheiser hd 25 1 ii

 

Way better then m50s.

post #6 of 17

except at comfort and isolation. and I think the OP mentioned lack of bass (quantity?) if so HD25 is not a fix for that 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcasey25raptor View Post

Sennheiser hd 25 1 ii

 

Way better then m50s.



 

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by alv4426 View Post

except at comfort and isolation. and I think the OP mentioned lack of bass (quantity?) if so HD25 is not a fix for that 
 



 



Hd 25 1 ii has more bass then m50s.

post #8 of 17

Denon D2000, is what's next. Aaaaah, whaddupp D2K?

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwaGGeReR View Post

I've been using M50s for the past year or so, but unfortunately they were stolen! So now I need a new pair of closed, over-ear headphones. I liked the M50s, but I think it's time for an upgrade.

 

What I liked about the M50s: comfortable, decent isolation, nice highs

What I disliked about the M50s: weak lows/bass, meh mids

 

 

 

 

 

I really find it interesting that you find the M50s to have weak bass. They are well known around there to be rather quite bassy, I agree from my personal experience with them. Thus, the fact that you find them not bassy leaves us to possibilities:

1) You're a basshead (which is fine. afterall, it's just a preference)

2) your gear isn't up to par

 

I am going with 2) as you mentioned you're using just the headphone out jack on your laptop. Laptops, even expensive ones, have crappy DACs on them, their output leaves much to be desired. I have a feeling that your macbook, even though it does a competent job of pushing out sound, isn't enough to take your music to the next level - hence, you're here looking for an upgrade. 

 

Before you buy new headphones, I'd first recommend trying out something like a USB DAC/amp (the uDAC comes to mind since that's what I use, but there are other great ones you'll find recommended in the appropriate subforums). It's a relatively smaller investment (~$100) and it'll help you get better sound from your M50s, which are already very nice headphones in the sub-$200 range.

 

Like someone else mentioned, in this price range, you'll be hardpressed to find an "upgrade". You'll probably have to look in the $300-$400 range if you want a significant upgrade, and most of the popular headphones in that range will require you to purchase additional components such as DACs and amplifiers. 

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamanSleeve View Post

Maybe try out some Ultrasones? My brother has the HFI-780's and I really enjoy them for closed cans.


Agree. The HFI-780 are geared towards electronica with there more than ample bass presence and will work well from a laptop or portable player.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingtz View Post

 

Like someone else mentioned, in this price range, you'll be hardpressed to find an "upgrade". You'll probably have to look in the $300-$400 range if you want a significant upgrade, and most of the popular headphones in that range will require you to purchase additional components such as DACs and amplifiers. 


 

well the thing is, maybe he doesnt want to buy an amp or a dac and just wants a basshead headphone (not recommended but whatevs)

if you decided to splurge on a dac or amp and you still want to maintain minimalism, i would probably recommend getting something that does both like the Fiio E10 or Audinst HUD-MX1 but these require a power source so true portability is out. are there any dac/amp combos that can be run from an ipod? idk....

 

but you still need headphones (DUH!!)

bassiers headphones would be something like hd 25-1 ii but lacks in isolation so on-ears are out. so that leads to Audio Technica ATH-A700, Audio Technica Pro700 Mk2, Sennheiser Hd-280pro, beyerdynamic dt-770 and such. apparently the denon ah-d2000 have great bass but i didnt know they were sub $200....

 

check

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585238/poll-best-basshead-cans-200-and-below

and do some searching of your own.

 

or why not get the m50 again? :p but that would be boring~

 

if i were you (definitely not), i would probably splurge and get $200-$400 dollar headphones. this seems like the logical "what next" step since you dont have headphones, or an amp or a dac and you want to take the next step but not downgrade on sound quality.  then depending on which headphone you get, either get an amp or dac second, then whichever third.

actually just get the denons.

 

===edit===

oooh shure has some nice closed headphones out but idk if theyre better than the m50, maybe the 940 though.

check out the ultrasones too since they seem to be getting some praise. 

===edit===

http://www.head-fi.org/t/573826/the-basshead-club#post_7788870

 


Edited by johnman1116 - 12/16/11 at 3:34am
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnman1116 View Post


 

well the thing is, maybe he doesnt want to buy an amp or a dac and just wants a basshead headphone (not recommended but whatevs)

if you decided to splurge on a dac or amp and you still want to maintain minimalism, i would probably recommend getting something that does both like the Fiio E10 or Audinst HUD-MX1 but these require a power source so true portability is out. are there any dac/amp combos that can be run from an ipod? idk....

 

but you still need headphones (DUH!!)

bassiers headphones would be something like hd 25-1 ii but lacks in isolation so on-ears are out. so that leads to Audio Technica ATH-A700, Audio Technica Pro700 Mk2, Sennheiser Hd-280pro, beyerdynamic dt-770 and such. apparently the denon ah-d2000 have great bass but i didnt know they were sub $200....

 

check

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585238/poll-best-basshead-cans-200-and-below

and do some searching of your own.

 

or why not get the m50 again? :p but that would be boring~

 

if i were you (definitely not), i would probably splurge and get $200-$400 dollar headphones. this seems like the logical "what next" step since you dont have headphones, or an amp or a dac and you want to take the next step but not downgrade on sound quality.  then depending on which headphone you get, either get an amp or dac second, then whichever third.

actually just get the denons.

 

===edit===

oooh shure has some nice closed headphones out but idk if theyre better than the m50, maybe the 940 though.

check out the ultrasones too since they seem to be getting some praise. 

===edit===

http://www.head-fi.org/t/573826/the-basshead-club#post_7788870

 



Shure srh headphones are excellent. Even the srh840 kills the m50s. But they are not bass monsters except for the srh750dj which again kills the m50s. I really think the m50s are sub par by comparison. I don't get their praise. The srh940 is excellent but to many people (not me) they have a bass hole (to me the bass is neutral and exactly how i want it).

 

If you want a good headphone better then the m50s for $100 get the srh750dj but be warned they are not very durable.

post #13 of 17

For $200 and under, and you don't want to use a dac/amp, I'd just get another pair of M50's

post #14 of 17

I was also of the opinion that the M50 had anything but weak bass. blink.gif Perhaps the Denon AH-D2000 would be a excellent next step as it appears to be frequently recommended upgrade path. Should also not be too heavy on the amplifier requirements. From my limited experience with the M50s, loves clean power, but it doesn't change all that much with amplification.

post #15 of 17

M50 weak bass?

 

Try HFi 580, more bass than HFi 780.

 

 

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