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Looking for flat open headphone $75-150

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm new here but have been doing a lot of searching on the forums and haven't been able to find anything quite like what I'm looking for. I'm a long time musician who is finally deciding to really make the jump into being more of an audiophile. I have a nice set of studio monitors that I love at home but I need a set of headphones at the office.


I'd really like something thats going to be really flat so as to compliment my KRK V6 monitors that I use when at home. I bought a pair of KRK KNS 8400s and love them but they are a closed can and too isolating at the office. I need to be able to hear whats going on around me. 


I like a really clear bass and clean bass not super boomy.



Open Can - to hear people talking to me

Flat sound - as similar to studio monitors as I can get

Comfort - I'm looking for something I can wear 6+ hours a day

Microphone not necessary but is a plus

available on amazon.com (I have a gift card)

I think I like stuff with a big soundstage



What I listen to:

VOIP phone calls (I'm in an office on the phone a lot, already have a mic)



Jazz Fusion (Chic Corea, Brecker Bros, etc.)

some classical

STS9, Ulrich Snauss, Solar Fields, light electronic - not thumpy dance music / dubstep


Other Headphones I have used:

PC360's - really liked these for the day that I borrowed them from a friend, but a bit out of my price range

KRK 8400s - LOVE EM, just a bit hot and too closed for my purpose

Grado s80i / 125 - going to audition these this week


I live in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles and would love to find places to go try out some headphones if anybody has recommendations.


Thanks for any help :)

Edited by skap - 5/22/12 at 11:04am
post #2 of 7

After some digging finding a neutral sounding headphone for under $150 is quite a challenge.  What I found is the Creative Aurvana Live! is probably your best bet.  Of course it is not open, but the isolation is low enough you will be able to hear people around you just fine.  The Creative Aurvana Live! has virtually no isolation to 1khz so much of the human voice will be quite audible.


Here are the charts for the KNS 8400 and CAL!:


Creative Aurvana Live!



KNS 8400



Both the Grado SR-80i and Audio Technica ATH-AD700 are both really great sounding neutral headphones, but the low bass is really lacking.

Here are their charts:




The Grados have a +4dB at 100 - 120Hz giving them some perceived bass extension, but as you can see by the measurements this is not true bass reproduction.


I say give the CAL! a try.


They can often be found on sale at your requested vendor for $65 new.



post #3 of 7

AKG Q 701, Senn HD 598 or 600/650, Beyer DT880 Pro

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions guys. 


@KG - all those are about $100 higher than I'm looking to spend right now


@NA Blur - Thanks for the details! I'm not really sure what the graphs mean. I definitely see the differences but I'm not sure how they translate into sound. It looks like the KNS 8400 has a bit more roll off on the highs while the CAL are going to have a bit more bass? Sorry I'm a newb and going to need to spend some more time looking at those later this evening

post #5 of 7

Sennheiser HD555 is another option (if you can find them for a reasonable price - not the current Amazon price). Their soundstage isn't the best stock but you can do an easy mod and improve it. They're very comfortable and quite enjoyable with pop/jazz and even alternative music.

post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by skap View Post

Thanks for the suggestions guys. 


@KG - all those are about $100 higher than I'm looking to spend right now




Pick up the Senn HD 558 or considering buying used/open box.

post #7 of 7

there is a lightly used DT880 250ohm that I'm trying to keep myself from buying right now on the for sale section............only $160!!  


I bought mine new for $215.......and they're the perfect headphone and fits your description.    looks like someone else recommended it already.  DT880 Pro = DT880 250ohm

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