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Out to buy my first set of real headphones...looking for some open ear choices under $300

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello all!

 

Thank you for taking interest in my post, it is greatly appreciated.

 

I am not extremely experienced in hi end audio equipment, especially headphones. My basement consists of a Bowers and Wilkins home theatres which includes some Rotel stuff, and upstairs for a stereo is an old Rotel cd player, an old amp and a pair of old celestions. I also own a set of Etymotic HF5s for isolation and portable use. I would say I know more than the average joe.

 

What I am looking to buy is a quality set of Open ear headphones under $300 that will last me.

 

I usually listen to genres such as rock, classic rock, blues, indies, hip hop, rap...kind of all over the map. That being said I am not a huge bass-head, so headphones with slightly anemic bass will probably be ok, especially since I will be buying a Fiio E7, E11 or E17 in the future (A headphone and amp combo coming in at around $300 would be nice too!).

 

I definitely do not need isolation, as this is for home mostly so open is probably the way to go, since I would like a nice soundstage and instrument separation/detail.

 

I have done a fair bit of research over the last week, and have narrowed it down to somewhat of a small list.

 

Grado Sr125s...however is there a noticeable difference to upgrade to the Sr 225s or even 325s? I am willing to if it makes a big difference!

 

Sennheiser HD518

 

Sennheiser HD558

 

Sennheiser HD800 (just  kidding)

 

AKG 702

 

Beyerdynamic Dt 770 Pro

 

Shure Sr840

 

I am always open to anything that you experts may suggest, thank you very much!


Edited by Vendetta - 6/27/12 at 12:48pm
post #2 of 19

Get a used pair of HD650 and HD600? I found my pair for $300 and works flawlessly. 

post #3 of 19

I would go for a used 598's in your case. Could be driven without an amp nicely.  A little light on the bass.

post #4 of 19

im not sure to grado's but i hered that the low end grados are good for the money,while the high ends one seem to be less actractive of a deal, grado cans are nearly identical in shape between model to model. 

if you so plan to get grado, you can expect quite a bright sound signature, decent good bass, and good details, and good mids, but the soundstage is rather narrow and confined. (in short, neutral bright, on exciting side, and in your face soundstage)

if you do plan to get the sennheiser, get the HD558, you can to the foam mod on it to improve performance. the sennheiser has good bass, good mids, but a rather soft treble, however their soundstage is very wide. the HD558 is a siginificant improvement over the HD518 too imo. (in short, the sennheiser provides a neutral dark, relaxing, and laidback wide soundstage)

do you plan to use an amp too? and these canse you listed here cost about 150-250$ so its still lower than your budget by quite a bit

build quality wise, the grado is a simpler machine than the sennheiser, (since sennheiser has removable cables) the sennheiser feels more solid than the grado imo, but the sennheiser feels like it might a little break more easily than the grado due to its more complicated plastic build...
comfort wise i prefer sennheiser's large over the ear valour pads over the grado's on ear foam pads, the sr225i and sr 325i on ear bowl pad though, maybe those will be more comfortable than the normal flat foam earpad

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleDappleman View Post

Get a used pair of HD650 and HD600? I found my pair for $300 and works flawlessly. 

Nah man I don't think I'm at that level yet.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

im not sure to grado's but i hered that the low end grados are good for the money,while the high ends one seem to be less actractive of a deal, grado cans are nearly identical in shape between model to model. 

if you so plan to get grado, you can expect quite a bright sound signature, decent good bass, and good details, and good mids, but the soundstage is rather narrow and confined. (in short, neutral bright, on exciting side, and in your face soundstage)

if you do plan to get the sennheiser, get the HD558, you can to the foam mod on it to improve performance. the sennheiser has good bass, good mids, but a rather soft treble, however their soundstage is very wide. the HD558 is a siginificant improvement over the HD518 too imo. (in short, the sennheiser provides a neutral dark, relaxing, and laidback wide soundstage)

do you plan to use an amp too? and these canse you listed here cost about 150-250$ so its still lower than your budget by quite a bit

build quality wise, the grado is a simpler machine than the sennheiser, (since sennheiser has removable cables) the sennheiser feels more solid than the grado imo, but the sennheiser feels like it might a little break more easily than the grado due to its more complicated plastic build...
comfort wise i prefer sennheiser's large over the ear valour pads over the grado's on ear foam pads, the sr225i and sr 325i on ear bowl pad though, maybe those will be more comfortable than the normal flat foam earpad


Thank you for the great feedback, I am leaning towards those because I really like the idea of a good soundstage and that they are cheaper than the Sr225is I believe.

 

I am also looking used, but what would the 598's give me over the 558s?\

 

Thanks

post #7 of 19
The sr225 is the sweet spot in the Grado lineup and a huge improvement to the 125. The soundstage isn't huge, but it makes up for that with really fast, engaging sound.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vendetta View Post


Thank you for the great feedback, I am leaning towards those because I really like the idea of a good soundstage and that they are cheaper than the Sr225is I believe.

 

I am also looking used, but what would the 598's give me over the 558s?\

 

Thanks

if assuming you mod your HD558, it will sound 90% like the HD598, just the HD598 are a little brighter and maaaaaybe slightly better soundstage, not sure. but if you didnt mod your HD558 the treble on it will not be as crisp, the bass will be more controlled, the soundsatge will be more narrow than the HD598, overall sound signature is similar since its the same driver unit in both of them, bot for the $80 $70 difference at retail price.... unless you can easily afford the HD598 (and love the luxury car styling on it, i know i do) get the HD558


Edited by streetdragon - 6/26/12 at 11:12pm
post #9 of 19

wanted the 598, but couldn't afford it, so got the 558 instead

anyway,
grado = exciting on ears
sennheiser = relaxing on ears
(is this accurate?)

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am thinking it might be a good idea to get the 558 and the foam mod, but I also like the Grados being exciting and up front.

 

Since I live in a place with no headphone stores it might be difficult to try them on.

 

It's more of a gamble here.
 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post

The sr225 is the sweet spot in the Grado lineup and a huge improvement to the 125. The soundstage isn't huge, but it makes up for that with really fast, engaging sound.

 

Sorry for raiding the thread but does this mean that the sr325i aren't worth it? I'm considering getting it as my second grados.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjacq View Post

 

Sorry for raiding the thread but does this mean that the sr325i aren't worth it? I'm considering getting it as my second grados.

There are those who like the 325, but I will suggest that more people have been disappointed with that than any other Grado phone out there. It's a slight departure from the Grado sound, and are a little too bright for most folks. It's not as fast or aggressive and, again, most believe the 225 to be the "sweet spot."

 

But, there are still plenty of people who love the 325. There should be a ton of comparisons here on Head-Fi for you to check out.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Also I forgot to add the AKG K702s. What do you think of those compared to the SR225is and the Senns?

 

Thanks

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Also added beyerdynamic DT770

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vendetta View Post

Also added beyerdynamic DT770

DT770s, Closed and bassy

I'm a Senn HD558 (modded) owner that's being temped to upgrade to the AKG Q701.

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