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Headphones around $300 or so

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've been looking at the Headphone Buying Guide for headphones around $300-350, but there are multiple options for my price range and I frankly don't have enough experience to know what would be the best to get in my situation. I'd prefer closed-backs unless there are fairly quiet open-backs (it has to be so quiet that at a moderate volume a person 10 feet away from you can't hear it). I listen to just about everything. From jazz to rock to hip hop to electronic to folk to metal... anything. I've been looking at the Audio Technica ATH-ES10, Audio Technica ATH-ES10. Can anyone tell me anything about these and what they're like? Headphone amp advice is also appreciated. smile.gif Also I can solder and have experience building circuits so if there are any good headphone amp schematics out there that's possible. Thanks a lot, sorry to post but I really wouldn't be able to decide for myself without a second opinion.

post #2 of 15

I am fairly inexperienced so don't make a purchase based solely on what I say. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 598s which are open backs but completely worth it. They are around $250 which gives you more to spend on an amp. They have a very large dynamic range which makes the trebles and highs sound pristine. The open backs allow for a large soundstage (a well recorded symphony sounds like you are sitting in the concert hall). I also have a wide variety of genres I listen to (excluding country) and I haven't found a genre they don't nail. Even though these aren't marketed for bass, I find them to be very well tuned to handle electronica, dubstep, etc. since the bass is tight and deep while not over extended-you will hear as much bass as the artist intended.  While sound does leak, I'd say that it is not a huge problem at moderate levels (these phones will not attenuate noise-you can hear everything going on around you when no music is playing). I drive mine with a Fiio E7 DAC and it works fine but you may want to look in to other headphone amps.

 

As much as I love my HD 598s I suggest you keep looking around (especially for closed phones-which I have no experience with) and audition as many headphones as you can before making a decision. Keep reading through these kinds of posts. If you haven't, give open back headphones a try--when I first did it was life changing.

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by asfastasdark View Post

I've been looking at the Headphone Buying Guide for headphones around $300-350
That list is by no means extensive. Also consider the following: Shure SRH940, Beyerdynamic DT250, Beyerdynamic T70 (if you can get it for the right price), Denon D2000.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've lately been looking at the Sennheiser HD-25-1 II. I realize this is a whole step down but from what I've been reading it seems to beat out several recommended more expensive headphones. Any thoughts on these in particular?

post #5 of 15

I second the Denons, closed back and isolate well enough but let enough sound in that if at low volume you can hear louder noises round you. Up to fairly loud volumes people 4-5 feet away cant hear anything. Amazing sound for the price.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JmanOfIsrael View Post

I am fairly inexperienced so don't make a purchase based solely on what I say. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 598s which are open backs but completely worth it. They are around $250 which gives you more to spend on an amp. They have a very large dynamic range which makes the trebles and highs sound pristine. The open backs allow for a large soundstage (a well recorded symphony sounds like you are sitting in the concert hall). I also have a wide variety of genres I listen to (excluding country) and I haven't found a genre they don't nail. Even though these aren't marketed for bass, I find them to be very well tuned to handle electronica, dubstep, etc. since the bass is tight and deep while not over extended-you will hear as much bass as the artist intended.  While sound does leak, I'd say that it is not a huge problem at moderate levels (these phones will not attenuate noise-you can hear everything going on around you when no music is playing). I drive mine with a Fiio E7 DAC and it works fine but you may want to look in to other headphone amps.

 

As much as I love my HD 598s I suggest you keep looking around (especially for closed phones-which I have no experience with) and audition as many headphones as you can before making a decision. Keep reading through these kinds of posts. If you haven't, give open back headphones a try--when I first did it was life changing.

Sounds great, but unfortunately closed-backs are really a must for me. Being a college student that likes to listen to music as he studies and stuff like that, I really can't be disturbing others in quiet buildings (and I'm really only looking to get a single pair of headphones for the forseeable future). That being said, the two headphones I'm most considering right now are still the Sennheiser HD-25-1 II as well as the D2000. The small soundstage of the Sennheisers is my primary concern with those, and the Denons seem like they would most likely fix this issue; however I am concerned about amping; would it be unwise to run the Denons without an amp? Not only would the additional $100+ I would put into an amp be slightly inconvenient, I don't realistically see myself carrying a portable amp with me when I want to listen to my iPod on the go, for instance. Finally I'm still not all too sure about the V-Moda M-80, how would it compare to either of the aforementioned headphones? To be honest I think it looks a bit ricer-y and I guess that just makes me somewhat uncertain about them subconciously (having witnessed Skullcandy and Beats by Dre and the likes).

Thanks to all who have replied so far, I wouldn't know where to begin without you. I'm going to Best Buy (or some other stores in the area) to see if I can try a couple of the headphones I've heard good things about out as well.


Edited by asfastasdark - 6/5/12 at 8:53pm
post #7 of 15

I have heard wonderful things about the HD-25-1 II; that they are excellent at attenuating sound and have great bass extension. I don't know much about the Denons but I would definitely keep the HD-25-1 II in mind (I know many head-fiers love them for rock in particular but I'm sure they are good all around--try to audition them, of course). Since I have heard neither I can't comment on the soundstage of either. The Denons only have an impedance of 25 ohms so I don't imagine they need amplification (unless there is some other factor that dictates whether a headphone needs amplification--I don't know so I'd double check with someone else). Actually, the HD 25s actually have an impedance of 70 ohms so they will most likely have to be driven more likely than the Denons will (I usually hear that an impedance of over 60 ohms needs to be driven). I don't know a lot about the V-moda M-80. Lastly, I would definitely suggest the Audiotechnica ATH M50 if you are interested in the above phones; never heard the M50s but everyone seems to be in love with them (no amp required that I know of, great sound, $160ish--I would try them out for sure!)

 

Once again, double check all of my babble since I am basically as experienced as you are! Happy hunting!

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

So Best Buy had an absolutely disappointing selection of headphones you could try out, a couple of SkullCandy cans, various Beats (Studio sounded incredibly sterile, wouldn't get in a million years), some Bose stuff, and some random others including a couple Fisch Audio cans, some no-name "fashion" headphones for little girls that care more about how their headphones look than the sound that comes out of them, and one Sennheiser pair, which they referred to as "Sennheiser over-ear headphones" or something along those lines (that's right, the actual model name was nowhere to be found). I now understand why 95% of American consumers are completely clueless when it comes to sound quality...

 

Anyway, I found several NEW D2000's on eBay for ~$260, whereas I can get HD-25-1 II's for around $200. Since they're so similar in price... which one would most likely be better of the two?

Edit: After searching "D2000 vs HD-25" it seems the general consensus is that the Denons are better in terms of sound quality as well as comfort... and it seems like they'll be fairly easy to drive without an amp. I'm probably ordering them tonight. Stop me before I make a huge mistake and tell me what I should get instead? smile.gif


Edited by asfastasdark - 6/6/12 at 1:22pm
post #9 of 15

I can't image getting the Denon's as a huge mistake unless you want them for portable use.

post #10 of 15

If you're planning on using an amplifier, I'd definitely say HD600 or HD580. I've heard them, the HD25-1 II, and D2000 through the same source/amp and for me the choice is clear... the soundstage you get with open headphones is absolutely worth it.


Edited by compuryan - 6/6/12 at 2:47pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by compuryan View Post

If you're planning on using an amplifier, I'd definitely say HD600 or HD580. I've heard them, the HD25-1 II, and D2000 through the same source/amp and for me the choice is clear... the soundstage you get with open headphones is absolutely worth it.

+1

post #12 of 15

The HD580 and HD600 are very nice; alas I think closed-back is one of the most important factors in this decision.

 

I purchased the Denon D2000s a few weeks ago and am a very, very happer camper.  You're definitely not making a mistake.

 

Though they may leak in a little sound, when they're on your head they do not leak out much so they'd be fine for when you're listening at the library, etc.  They work well with or without an amp.  They're super comfortable so you can use them for long periods of time.  The only drawback for you I'd think is that they are bigger and bulkier to carry around than the Senn HD25-1 II.  I find the build quality quite sturdy so it's not like they'd break, just that you'd have to carry around a much larger set with a longer cable and have to deal with the logistics of that.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbles37 View Post

The HD580 and HD600 are very nice; alas I think closed-back is one of the most important factors in this decision.

 

I purchased the Denon D2000s a few weeks ago and am a very, very happer camper.  You're definitely not making a mistake.

 

Though they may leak in a little sound, when they're on your head they do not leak out much so they'd be fine for when you're listening at the library, etc.  They work well with or without an amp.  They're super comfortable so you can use them for long periods of time.  The only drawback for you I'd think is that they are bigger and bulkier to carry around than the Senn HD25-1 II.  I find the build quality quite sturdy so it's not like they'd break, just that you'd have to carry around a much larger set with a longer cable and have to deal with the logistics of that.

I've decided to go through with it, bought a pair over here for $258.99. I don't know if the $100 drop in price is a good thing but he has a high enough feedback rating so it seems legitimate enough. Thanks all for your help! I would have had no idea what to get without you.

post #14 of 15

If you can bear low quantity bass. K701/Q701 is one of the best among them in terms of quality/money. Seriously. I own lots of headphones myself and so far I found 701 to be the more enjoyble one if not the best (including my beloved ED8). Its tremendous sound stage and really really really beautiful highs will WOW you.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by czqdtc View Post

If you can bear low quantity bass. K701/Q701 is one of the best among them in terms of quality/money. Seriously. I own lots of headphones myself and so far I found 701 to be the more enjoyble one if not the best (including my beloved ED8). Its tremendous sound stage and really really really beautiful highs will WOW you.

If/when I decide to get an open pair in the future, maybe. But I really did need a quality pair of closed-backs. Thanks though, seriously.

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