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Headphones ~250 or under for all-around use

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a pair of headphones for ~250 or under for all-around use (music/movies/gaming). I listen to mostly pop and rock (random sample of last four songs: Natasha Bedingfield, Train, Eminem, Kelly Clarkson). I don't listen to dubstep, trance, or most rap (with the exception of a few songs).

I've recently purchased and returned the Beyer DT990 Pros. While they sounded nice for a lot of the music I listen to, the highs were unbearable for most pop music to me. Also, TV sounded strangely distant and FPS gaming sounded a little hollow (primarily concerning gunshots and such).

I'm thinking now that what I'm looking for is a mostly neutral pair without a deficient bass. I don't want bass to be too overpowering, but a weak bass (I've heard the AKG K701 suffer from this) would be a deal-breaker.

Still, I'm not mixing or monitoring so I don't want a signature so flat that it's boring; I just don't want the bass or highs to overpower the mids (or vice-versa).

Also, a wide soundstage would be preferable for positional audio in gaming.

The DT990s felt a little "far off" sometimes. I think I prefer a more "up front" sound.

My A500s have served me well in the past, but I don't think I want a completely closed pair this time unless it fits all of the above criteria. I want the fidelity of an open pair or a semi-open pair.

So to sum up:

~$250
Used for TV/Music/Gaming/Movies
Wide soundstage
Up-front sound (not distant or far off sounding)
Great (fun?) sound signature without throwing away fidelity (not totally flat, but without accentuated highs as in the DT990s)
Open or semi-open (maybe closed if it fits what I'm looking for)
Comfortable
Circumaural
Good build quality


I am currently considering the Denon D2000s, but unsure whether I should just go ahead and pick them up. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 14

Denon D2000 isn't a bad option, the only thing where it might not totally satisfy you is the "up-front" sound, it's not a headphone with particularly up-front sound.

 

I have a very similar taste in sound signature like you, prefering an engaging/fun up-front sound but that doesn't necessary point towards a strong bass response to me but rather forward mids and "in-your-face" sound. On the cheap I'd point you towards Denon DN-HP700, it has significantly more forward mids (therefore more "in-your-face" sounding) than Denon D2000. Grados also comes to my mind but they might be too aggressive sounding for you though in the highs possibly. Denon DN-HP700 sounds like a good bet, EXCELLENT soundstage for closed/semi-closed design (just a couple of very tiny openings so it won't leak much and it also provides very decent isolation), fun/forward engaging and detailed midrange with a quite mild boosted bass response that has decent impact and very snappy and textured. The highs are very gently boosted, nowhere DT990 levels, very close to "neutral".

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. It does seem like we prefer the same sound signature. I had the same reservations concerning Grados as well. I'll look into the DN-HP700; I was prepared to spend more, but if they seem like a good fit I'm fine with saving a few hundred dollars smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any other opinions?
post #6 of 14

is portability something that you plan to consider?

post #7 of 14
The Beyer DT880 is about $250 on Amazon and are good all-arounders.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't need portability at all; set will be connected to my Auzentech Forte/PC 24/7.
post #9 of 14

Sennheiser HD598.  Apart from maybe being a bit laid back they fit all your needs rather well.  With a bit of amping the bass will come out wonderfully. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reign1 View Post

I'm looking for a pair of headphones for ~250 or under for all-around use (music/movies/gaming). I listen to mostly pop and rock (random sample of last four songs: Natasha Bedingfield, Train, Eminem, Kelly Clarkson). I don't listen to dubstep, trance, or most rap (with the exception of a few songs).
I've recently purchased and returned the Beyer DT990 Pros. While they sounded nice for a lot of the music I listen to, the highs were unbearable for most pop music to me. Also, TV sounded strangely distant and FPS gaming sounded a little hollow (primarily concerning gunshots and such).
I'm thinking now that what I'm looking for is a mostly neutral pair without a deficient bass. I don't want bass to be too overpowering, but a weak bass (I've heard the AKG K701 suffer from this) would be a deal-breaker.
Still, I'm not mixing or monitoring so I don't want a signature so flat that it's boring; I just don't want the bass or highs to overpower the mids (or vice-versa).
Also, a wide soundstage would be preferable for positional audio in gaming.
The DT990s felt a little "far off" sometimes. I think I prefer a more "up front" sound.
My A500s have served me well in the past, but I don't think I want a completely closed pair this time unless it fits all of the above criteria. I want the fidelity of an open pair or a semi-open pair.
So to sum up:
~$250
Used for TV/Music/Gaming/Movies
Wide soundstage
Up-front sound (not distant or far off sounding)
Great (fun?) sound signature without throwing away fidelity (not totally flat, but without accentuated highs as in the DT990s)
Open or semi-open (maybe closed if it fits what I'm looking for)
Comfortable
Circumaural
Good build quality
I am currently considering the Denon D2000s, but unsure whether I should just go ahead and pick them up. Thanks in advance.

 

Honestly, I'd consider the Q701 ($260 ish new right now). I didn't care much for the K701s when I owned them a few years ago, but the Q701s improved the shortcomings of their predecessors (namely much better bass and upper mids/treble).

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reign1 View Post

I've recently purchased and returned the Beyer DT990 Pros. While they sounded nice for a lot of the music I listen to, the highs were unbearable for most pop music to me. Also, TV sounded strangely distant and FPS gaming sounded a little hollow (primarily concerning gunshots and such).
The DT990s felt a little "far off" sometimes. I think I prefer a more "up front" sound.
(not totally flat, but without accentuated highs as in the DT990s)
 

What gain setting (or whatever the Forte control panel calls it) were you using to drive the DT990?

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

What gain setting (or whatever the Forte control panel calls it) were you using to drive the DT990?

I didn't know there was one; I remember there was a setting on the STX when I had one, but I couldn't find a way to attenuate the amp on the Forte.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reign1 View Post


I didn't know there was one; I remember there was a setting on the STX when I had one, but I couldn't find a way to attenuate the amp on the Forte.

I"ve never used the Forte and I can't find any info on any gain settings.

Wondering if the DT990 was getting the correct gain from the Forte?

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I"ve never used the Forte and I can't find any info on any gain settings.
Wondering if the DT990 was getting the correct gain from the Forte?

Apparently it doesn't have any from what I've read, so it makes driving low impedance sets problematic since even one or two steps at low volumes make considerable difference in the output level. But I had mine at around 30-50 volume and it didn't seem like it was having problems driving them at all. The forte is rated up to 600ohms.
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