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Open Headphones under $300 compared to SR225i

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Hey guys,

 

I may need your help for some feedback.  I started getting into the HiFi headphone scene a few months ago and am really enjoying my Audio Technica M50s.  They sound great for most genres that I listen to (Electronica, Progressive Rock, Chill, Acoustic and Ambient.  I don’t think the M50s I have are the basshead recessed mids model that get bashed around here.  Compared to my Klipsch S4, they seem more neutral and flat yet fun sounding. 

 

I’ll probably be able to add another pair ($300 budget) for my birthday so I want something that sounds different than what I already have.  I prefer them to be open since mine are closed.  If they work well with rock, then that would be best case scenario since the M50s lacks punch with some rock songs. 

 

I’ve been doing lots of reviews and the Grado SR225i seem to be the obvious and popular choice but they are either loved or hated.  They do appear to be totally different than the M50s which would be good but I want to make sure they are something that I like. 

 

These cans will be for home use averaging 1-2 hrs. per session.  My source is Spotify 320 stream, no amp (yet).

 

No local stores here to try out many different pairs so I’m hoping you guys will throw out some proven cans that I can look into and compare with the 225s.  Thanks

 

Los

post #2 of 26

Heya,

 

The SR225i would be a nice change. If you can wear it. Grado sound is superb. Their flaw is comfort. Some can take it, some cannot. I can do it in small doses. Long sessions though are pain (due to being on-ear, not due to fatigue from sound, at least for me). Other headphones perhaps to consider: Beyer DT880, Sennheiser HD600, Sennheiser HD598, AKG Q701, Ultrasone HFI 2400.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, I did hear that the Sennheiser tend to be laid back and I'm really looking for some headphones that are lively for rock.  Again, I've never heard them so I'm going off of what the main consensus is around here.  I did hear good things about the Beyers, although I don't know nothing about their sound.  I got my work cut out, hopefully I'll get some more replies.  

 

Los

post #4 of 26

I'd go with the grados but there's also the dt990

post #5 of 26

Closest thing I can come up with is the AKG K601, but it needs an amp.

Sort of has an upper mids peak like the SR-225i, but slightly less treble and more bass.

SR-225i doesn't have much bass and it's mostly just mid-bass.

 

I'd say the K601 is MUCH warmer and fuller sounding than the 225i (and Q701/K702).

It's mids are much more up-front and it has a smaller soundstage than the K702.

K601 is far better for vocals than the K702. Not sure about the Q701..yet.

 

What's sad is they're so under-appreciated that you can list a used pair for $120 and nobody would bite.

 

It's a pain in the butt to drive though...needs maybe 10% more volume than the old K702.

 

post #6 of 26

Definitely the 225i's. They are my next headphones on my buy list. 

post #7 of 26

Ive had my 225i for almost a week and its been great, definitely my favorite of the cans I have left. Its gonna be a pretty huge change from the M50. Comfort is acceptable and its not as bright as a lot of people say; I think ultrasones are brighter. And build quality is not that great, they don't look or feel like $200 cans.
 

 

 

 

post #8 of 26

SR225 is pretty much going to be your best bet. The SR-225 can compare with the HD600, and even the HD650 if you don't like laid-back headphones. (I like all headphones, so it's doubly expensive for me)

 

The other alternative that is a strong performer for the money is an HD580 if you can find one. They're usually under $200 and they're basically an HD600 sans cable (it does make a difference switching between cables) and different grills.

 

I use Spotify Premium too, even at my level of rig. I can't really tell the difference between it and FLAC anyway unless it's very specific tracks.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

SR225 is pretty much going to be your best bet. The SR-225 can compare with the HD600, and even the HD650 if you don't like laid-back headphones. (I like all headphones, so it's doubly expensive for me)

 

The other alternative that is a strong performer for the money is an HD580 if you can find one. They're usually under $200 and they're basically an HD600 sans cable (it does make a difference switching between cables) and different grills.

 

I use Spotify Premium too, even at my level of rig. I can't really tell the difference between it and FLAC anyway unless it's very specific tracks.



I'd agree, take a look at the HD650's

 

They're much darker: more bass, low mid emphasis than the grados which will be pretty bright. Don't worry about amping them yet, they sound great just plugged into a laptop, even better with an amp though ;)

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunyunBreath View Post

they sound great just plugged into a laptop


Wow.

 

I have good news for you...

 

Very best,

 

post #11 of 26

Let the flaming begin

 

typical head-fi snob response

 

the HD650's are very efficient compared to some other cans like the 250ohm 880's. I DO drive the 650's properly but they are perfectly musical when plugged into a crappy amplifier...

post #12 of 26

OP, some other cans you might want to look into are the 32-ohm DT-880's. My friend has a pair and they sound fantastic. They're a bit brighter than the HD650's so they might be closer to the SR225's if thats the kind of sound you're looking for.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks for all the replies!  Unfortunately some of these models are well over the $300 limit that I want to spend (Sennheiser HD600).  I initially was going to put a $200 limit but I didn’t want you guys to leave out models that were in the $250 -$300 range. 

 

Sounds like I need to look at the Beyer DT880, AKG K601 or the SR225is.  Keep in mind that I'm looking for fun sounding headphone not something that is too analytical. Also remember that these will mainly be for rock.  It wouldn't hurt if they sound great for acoustic, indie chill, ambient, post rock or electronica but I'm completely happy with my M50s for these genres.  

 

Thanks again for the help, it looks like I have to start doing some more research and check out these models.  The Beyer seems to provide too many options for a noob like me.  They have all of these confusing models DT 770, 880, 990 (32 ohm, 250 ohm, 600 ohm), I don’t know where to begin with them, I guess the DT880’s may be the best option to review?

 

Los

post #14 of 26

I really think the SR225i are what you need. The DT880 may be better but also more analytical and most models require an amp and it is already more expensive than the 225i. But what exactly are the qualities of the M50 that you like because both the 225i and dt880 are very different from the M50 sound?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by losshack View Post

 

Thanks for all the replies!  Unfortunately some of these models are well over the $300 limit that I want to spend (Sennheiser HD600).  I initially was going to put a $200 limit but I didn’t want you guys to leave out models that were in the $250 -$300 range. 

 

Sounds like I need to look at the Beyer DT880, AKG K601 or the SR225is.  Keep in mind that I'm looking for fun sounding headphone not something that is too analytical. Also remember that these will mainly be for rock.  It wouldn't hurt if they sound great for acoustic, indie chill, ambient, post rock or electronica but I'm completely happy with my M50s for these genres.  

 

 



 

post #15 of 26

Heya,
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunyunBreath View Post

Let the flaming begin

 

typical head-fi snob response

 

the HD650's are very efficient compared to some other cans like the 250ohm 880's. I DO drive the 650's properly but they are perfectly musical when plugged into a crappy amplifier...

 

You got me all wrong, my good news is that since you're already happy with the HD650 straight out of a laptop, you will actually be extremely happy to find out how great they are when they're actually powered and become dynamic. Though I don't believe they're "perfectly musical" from a laptop. And you say they're powered properly, but, I have no idea what you're using. Maybe they are. Maybe they're not. Again, the good news is, you can do nothing but improve here since you already have a great set of headphones.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by losshack View Post

 

Thanks for all the replies!  Unfortunately some of these models are well over the $300 limit that I want to spend (Sennheiser HD600).  I initially was going to put a $200 limit but I didn’t want you guys to leave out models that were in the $250 -$300 range. 

 

Sounds like I need to look at the Beyer DT880, AKG K601 or the SR225is.  Keep in mind that I'm looking for fun sounding headphone not something that is too analytical. Also remember that these will mainly be for rock.  It wouldn't hurt if they sound great for acoustic, indie chill, ambient, post rock or electronica but I'm completely happy with my M50s for these genres.  

 

Thanks again for the help, it looks like I have to start doing some more research and check out these models.  The Beyer seems to provide too many options for a noob like me.  They have all of these confusing models DT 770, 880, 990 (32 ohm, 250 ohm, 600 ohm), I don’t know where to begin with them, I guess the DT880’s may be the best option to review?

 

Los


You should probably just try the SR225i's out. I think you'll like them better than the DT880. You just said you don't want analytical and dry basically, and the DT880 is that. It's a great headphone, but you seem to want something all about having fun, and Grado is all about having fun. It'll give you a mids-bath that you're not used to with the M50.

 

Very best,

 

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