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College student confused about headphone choices

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I should start off by saying I currently have a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones (I know what you're going to say). They were a gift from last christmas, and at the time I thought they'd be nice for studying and the sound wasn't bad.

But now I've gotten more into audio equipment, and realize I want something a little more. I currently have a Denon AVR receiver and Rega RP3 turntable that I love listening to. I also listen to music on my computer a lot (custom pc and Macbook). I don't typically listen to bass heavy music, so i'm just wondering what "sound signature" I want. I mostly listen to acoustic, indie, classic rock, and folk music. Would I want something with a little more bass, or more of a neutral headphone? 

I'm really looking for an all around headphone. The only thing I'm not looking to do with them is walking around listening to my iPod with them. I'm also hopefully looking to build a DIY tube headphone amp to listen to them through at home. So, I would like to run my turntable and PC through my receiver, and then listen to that in the headphones through the tube headphone amp. But, I would also like to be able to listen to them simply through my Macbook as well (I understand sound quality will suffer). My budget for the headphones is around $200 but hopefully as low as can be.

Headphones i've currently been looking at are Audio-Technica ATH-M50, D2000's, and beyerdynamic D770's.

With that said, i'd appreciate any advice on headphones and diy tube amp designs and any pairing of the two. Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 28

I've got the Denon AHD5000s. They are wonderful and fairly similar to the D2000s. The bass is present which is something I like. I don't listen to a ton of bass heavy music either however, the D2000s will bring out the bass in classic rock and bring so much life to acoustic music. The M50s are known for being heavier in the bass but still retain great quality. For your taste I would recommend the D2000s over the M50s, but I don't know about the Beyers. D2000s are also fairly easy to drive being a 25Ohm resistor. They will sound great coming directly out of your computer. I use a Fiio E7 and they sound great! I would let some other members talk about DACs and AMPs as I am also a college student just starting out in the audio world. My 2 cents.

post #3 of 28
You should look into the HD600. It's the best all around headphone I have used so far and should work great with a tube amp. You could look into building a bottlehead crack which is suppose to be a great with the HD600.
Edited by Fringe - 7/4/12 at 10:16am
post #4 of 28

I agree with that as well. I've also got the HD598 and the soundstage is unbeatable. They are easier to drive than the HD600s. Take a look at both of them.

post #5 of 28

i just wouldnt be doing the right thing if i didnt swing in here and throw in the grado sr 60s sr80s or sr225s... just saiyan..

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post #6 of 28

I'd rule out the M-50 from your list. I've only had the chance to audition it once, yet from what I heard and from what others said the mids are a bit recessed and I don't believe it is the clearest headphone for sub $200. I hear a lot of good things about the DT770's; be mindful of the impedance level options out there if you decide to buy them. The higher the impedance in ohms the more power it takes to use the headphones. Anything above 80 would require an amplifier and even 80 would benefit from one.

 

I think the Grado sound would work well with your music, but I can't recommend them for 2+ hours of listening at one time due to their discomfort. I love the Sennheiser 598s and prefer them over Grado, but compared to Grado they are definitely more laid back. Without A/B listening the Grado series and these, it's not something you would notice, as the 598s are still engaging and musical for a brand with a typically dark signature. If you want comfort and lush, surrounded-by-music-sound, go with the 598s. If you're ok with shorter listening sessions and energetic, in-your-face, crisp music, go Grado. Maybe someone can comment on where the DT770s fit in the spectrum.

post #7 of 28
The 225i is a great headphone as well but not for everyone. Comfort wasn't the best and the giant cord can get in the way a little but If sound is your only concern it's a good contender for the genres you listed. It's also easy to drive so it will probably sound good right from your receiver.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm really looking for a circumaural headphone that is really comfortable and tolerable for long period of time. Something that you sometimes forget you're even wearing. With that said, I think the HD598's look awesome and really comfortable. It looks like the only dealer around me that has them is BestBuy, so I might drive over there sometime this week to try them out.


Edited by diiggidy - 7/4/12 at 11:41am
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiggidy View Post

I'm really looking for a circumaural headphone that is really comfortable and tolerable for long period of time. Something that you sometimes forget you're even wearing.


If you can scrape together $50 more dollars (or find them for less somewhere) I'd wholeheartedly recommend the Sennheiser HD-598s. Super comfortable, super sound stage. They're circumaural and open style.

 

Else, DT770. They're closed, but I haven't heard complaints about sweat. I can't give a full recommendation because I've never owned them though.

post #10 of 28

I'm going to recommend you call Best Buy before driving out there, they usually don't have phones like the HD598 on demo. I really can't speak more highly of these phones. In many instances I prefer them over the AHD5000s (starting to realize the 5000s hit pretty hard in the bass). To me, the HD598s feel more neutral (I think the bass is excellently extended) and warm making them incredibly musical and just relaxing to listen to. Not to mention they are probably the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn.


Edited by JmanOfIsrael - 7/4/12 at 5:05pm
post #11 of 28

I would really have to recommend the HD 598's for your particular music choices because thats exactly the music I use mine for. I would say that the HD 598 is a teeny bit warm but not too much and definitely has a smooth, relaxing feel to it. Acoustic guitars sound very natural and lifelike too and they are also great for vocal music. In addition to that, they are also the headphone comfort kings! I can't imagine a headphone more comfortable than the HD 598. Plus it's right there in your price range and you can get em off Amazon for 180 bucks. It's a tough value to beat and I think they go very well for the kind of music you mentioned. For that music I think they would even go toe-to-toe against phones double that price.

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

My only problem with the HD 598's is that they're open. Does this mean that if I were listening to them in a quiet place, everyone around me would also be able to hear my music? Also, what is the noise blocking like? I can get over it, but would like it to take away some small noises like paper scrunching and stuff.

 

I would like to get rid of my BOSE headphones, but need some that i'd be able to listen to in the library. The IEM I have are excellent, but tend to annoy me after awhile.


Edited by diiggidy - 7/4/12 at 8:46pm
post #13 of 28

Sort of, If you turn it up to medium/hi or higher volumes yes.

 

If you set it at a low/medium volume then no one past a feet or two will hear it.

 

I'd say if it is a concern look for closed headphones


Edited by saintyoo - 7/4/12 at 8:51pm
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiggidy View Post
g what "sound signature" I want. I mostly listen to acoustic, indie, classic rock, and folk music. Would I want something with a little more bass, or more of a neutral headphone? 

 The only thing I'm not looking to do with them is walking around listening to my iPod with them.

 

I'm sorry I fugured this meant you would be wanting to listen to them in an already quiet environment. Yes, you are right, in a quiet place everyone around you would hear what you are listening to so they might not be for you if that's your listening environment. I know the FA-003 is pretty noise isolating but they are rather bass heavy from what I understand (although I have never listened to them). Most closed headphones are somewhat bass heavy except for maybe the Beyerdynamics like the DT 770 that TK277 recommended. I have heard that they are somewhat bright but they don't have the over-exxagerated bass that a lot of closed phones have. Maybe that would be something worth looking into?

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

Aw man, those HD 598's are the best looking headphones I think i've ever seen and it sounds like the soundstage is perfect for me as well. I'm thinking of getting these and some crappy closed headphones to take to the library with me. My biggest problem is that i'm a college student and don't have a ton of money laying around. I still need to find a pair of bookshelf speakers on craigslist to take with me to school. If you were in my situation, what would you recommend I buy that will fit my needs right now and make it easy to upgrade later? I'm just really torn between what I should do now, and what I should wait on.

 

My biggest problem is that i've always been more of a speaker guy, and have never really listen to headphones all the much except when needed. However, if I buy a nice pair of headphones like the HD 598's will it turn me into a headphone guy? I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense i'm pretty tired, I can explain anything if its unclear.

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