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Choosing over ear headphones under $200

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am new to the world of headphones and audio equipment and I need some help choosing the best over-ear headphones under $200 that are right for me. I listen to all kinds of music like Electronic/Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Some Jazz, and other misc music (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Michael Buble). I listen to my music just loud enough to get me immersed in it, so pretty loud but not loud enough to blow out my ear drums. I want some headphones with excellent sound quality, a good amount of bass and good mids and highs. I am primarily listening on an Ipod and my computer so preferably some headphones that sound great without an amp, and if somebody could recommend me a portable and affordable good quality amp if necessary. I was looking at the Sony MDR XB700s or the ATH-M50s, but my mind is open to any other that are in my price range. Any help and recommendations would be appreciated.

post #2 of 21
Heya,

Denon D2000 (used or refurb sale)
Ultrasone Pro 750 or HFI580
Beyer DT770 and DT990

Very best,
post #3 of 21

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607256/best-headphones-under-200-for-the-highs-of-trance-and-the-lows-of-dubstep-cant-find-thread-on-this-plz-help

 

I and a few others were in this thread, your needs are extremely similar.

 

I posted this today as well so here:

 

Basically it's like this, I have the HFI 580 and have demo'd the Beyer DT770 80.

 

You know those games that let you start out with three fighter plane or variant choices? Some excels at strength, one at endurance and one that has a balance of the two or three options it gives you? The Beyer in this case would be the balance, not excelling in anything specific but doing a good job at everything, plus they are light and comfortable

 

However when it comes to hard electronic music(I listen to it) and EDM, that's the HFI 580's specifialty

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607256/best-headphones-under-200-for-the-highs-of-trance-and-the-lows-of-dubstep-cant-find-thread-on-this-plz-help

 

Read this thread, it has EVERYTHING you probably would ask about the HFI 580, 770 and DT 770 pro 80 ohm.

 

Hey! I just met you! And this is crazy, but heres my opinions so call me maybe, yes there are other ones, but try to read mine, so here's my advice, so read it maybe!?

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

The HIFI 580s look nice, and they are on sale on Amazon for $122 so that's a plus also. So what your saying is that they excel at electronic music? How is the bass on them? How are the mids and highs? And what about the 580s compared to the HIFI 780s? are they much different and which one do you recommend? They are both on sale into my price range so either one works. And could you recommend me an amp to go with the headphones and an ipod, I read a little bit about the FiiO E11 and the amp with the 580s would add up to about $200 so price is perfect.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

The HIFI 580s look nice, and they are on sale on Amazon for $122 so that's a plus also. So what your saying is that they excel at electronic music? How is the bass on them? How are the mids and highs? And what about the 580s compared to the HIFI 780s? are they much different and which one do you recommend? They are both on sale into my price range so either one works. And could you recommend me an amp to go with the headphones and an ipod, I read a little bit about the FiiO E11 and the amp with the 580s would add up to about $200 so price is perfect.

They excel at it but the HFI 580's are a bit fatiguing to use. The bass on them is good, nice bass punch and tightness with decent bass extension, not too much sub bass but a palpable enough amount. The mids are forward but at the same time make you feel as if they are far away, courtesy of S logic. They vocals follow the ever famous V shape pattern taking a slight dip right before the vocal range. The highs are metallic and were initially harsh but after some burn in and getting used to it, they have subdued.

 

Never used HFI 780, but the thread I added up there does have them in it, it seems 780's aren't for electronic music.

 

If you just like electronic music as a first thing, don't mind the more fatigue of the HFI 580's, the Slogic, the weight, cable length(you can braid it) and discomfort, then the HFI 580's are for you. The DT770's 80 ohms are lighter, good cable length, very comfortable but are a bit overly warm than I would personallylike, and aren't energetic enough and unlike the HFI 580's the DT770's 80 ohms need an amp, getting to a good volume brings you to 90% of the volume slider on the iPod.

 

The DT770's are easier for newbies as they have a more easier and noob friendly or forgiving sound, while the metallic HFI 580's give you full out EDM rocking. The HFI 580's bass quantity aren't as much as the DT770's right off the bat, but with the E11, I doubt you would need more, I used the HFI 580s with the E17 and they were excellent.

 

I like both headphones, but for Electronica,and EDM, the HFI 580's on a pure enjoyment and sonic basis win.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your fast reply. Discomfort isn't really an issue as I have had plenty of overwhelmingly discomfortable cheap headphones that I have gotten used to and tailored over time.I am probably going to pick up the 580s later this week. So what about the amp, the E11 looks great and the price is right. I would like to get the best sound i can out of the headphones and my ipod, so would you recommend the E11 or another amp, if any at all.
 

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

Thank you so much for your fast reply. Discomfort isn't really an issue as I have had plenty of overwhelmingly discomfortable cheap headphones that I have gotten used to and tailored over time.I am probably going to pick up the 580s later this week. So what about the amp, the E11 looks great and the price is right. I would like to get the best sound i can out of the headphones and my ipod, so would you recommend the E11 or another amp, if any at all.
 

Portable or desktop?

 

The HFI 580's don't really need one as they are sufficent by themselves but an amp does and can give you more bass quantity. The FiiO's bass EQ isn't as tight as you may want it but it does add to enjoyability.

If you do want to get it, try to get it from a store with a good return policty. The metallic nature of the HFI 580's take some getting used to, which is why I keep stressing it, to newbies the DT770's will be more comforting as...they are comfortable and have an easy go signature and what not.

 

Do you have an iPod? What genres and artists do you enjoy? I should have started with this first.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have an Ipod touch and the amp will be primarily for portable use. I listen to all kinds of music Electronic/Dubstep Flux Pavillion, Doctor P, Skrillex, Pendulum, Skream, SkisM, Noisia etc. Hip-Hop/Rap Odd Future, Kanye West, The Game, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa etc. Other artists like Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frank Ocean, Bing Crosby. So my music is mostly spread out across all genres. I need a good amount of bass and acceptable vocals. I want the amp to get the most out of my Ipod and headphones.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

I have an Ipod touch and the amp will be primarily for portable use. I listen to all kinds of music Electronic/Dubstep Flux Pavillion, Doctor P, Skrillex, Pendulum, Skream, SkisM, Noisia etc. Hip-Hop/Rap Odd Future, Kanye West, The Game, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa etc. Other artists like Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frank Ocean, Bing Crosby. So my music is mostly spread out across all genres. I need a good amount of bass and acceptable vocals. I want the amp to get the most out of my Ipod and headphones.

The DT770's will benefit artists like Kanye a bit more and Wiz Khalifia. I tried it with them actually. The bass thump and sonic quality of the HFI 580's actually theoretically should work better with those "mellower" artists but the metallic fatigue does allow the DT770's to surpass the other two at this current level.

 

I actually listen to a fair deal of those artists. And really looking at how spread out your are, demoing both should be done. The HFI 580's wins on some of those and will lose on others. For you, it's unclear who the winner is as what it really comes down to is your own opinion, I would recommend going to demo these if possible. Because both the headphones are on equal footing with the two headphones at this moment, you say you don't care for comfort, but I do like comfort. The DT770's already do well for EDM, and considering they are more universal, and have more quantity bass, but not as quality as the HFI 580's in terms of mid bass quality and extension, the highs on the dT770's 80 have problems at first but burning in should rectify them.

 

Can you dmeo the two? I prefer Frank Sinatra with a warmer less metallic signature and Michael Buble as well when I use my Q701's. If not, I may just say DT770 80 ohms, they are comfortable and universal.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Where I live there is no store that sells either of those headphones so I am unable to demo them. My only option is to purchase them online. I am fine with the lower quality bass as long as it isn't too bad and over powering. The 580s are a little bit easier on the wallet but from what you told me the DT770s look like a better choice now. Do the 580s sound less metallic when you burn them in? Forgive me if anything I say or said sounds dumb as I am inexperienced in the audio world.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

Where I live there is no store that sells either of those headphones so I am unable to demo them. My only option is to purchase them online. I am fine with the lower quality bass as long as it isn't too bad and over powering. The 580s are a little bit easier on the wallet but from what you told me the DT770s look like a better choice now. Do the 580s sound less metallic when you burn them in? Forgive me if anything I say or said sounds dumb as I am inexperienced in the audio world.

They are plainly metallic, and fatiguing. They do well with EDM and excel at it and soncially if we just take it objectively, everything is better, better lows, the vocals on the DT's were sweeter but I like my vocals to be forward, the HFI's have more soundstage, and the highs aren't harsh... however sometimes even I can't take the fatiguing nature of them after a bit. It pumps and everything but it's a bit too metallic sometimes when I want sweet comfort and voice. I think that since you can't demo them the DT770 80's are a safer choice, although the 250ohms from what I hear are more balanced. The 80 ohms bass wasn't loose but it wasn't tight either, it was slightly boomy with some weird mid bass "missfires" (just didn't keep up and felt out of beat at times with very fast EDM) but I heard burn in would fix what I felt that day although the 250 ohms it seems might be better, thing is...the 250 ohms really need an amp, many say E11 is enough for 250 ohms and I have read that many times as well, but how loud somebody wants it changes from person to person, one person with 250 ohm beyers with the E17 said it wasn't enough while another with them said it was plenty.

 

Considering your wide variety choice, my own personal like for comfort, and the need for an amp for the 80 ohm and 250 ohm varient,s I may just say the DT770's are better, if you were strictly an EDM guys like the majority of the people that ask this question(no joke, seriously) then the HFI 580's would work but well you know.

 

If you are unsure...please....READ THROUGH THIS THREAD IN IT'S ENTIRETY:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607256/best-headphones-under-200-for-the-highs-of-trance-and-the-lows-of-dubstep-cant-find-thread-on-this-plz-help

 

It has the DT770, HFI 580 and HFI 780 tested...although the dude has a more EDM affinity, in the end it seems he preferred the HFI 580's, but unlike you, he was more EDM and trance as opposed to you and my wide genre and artist likings

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

You have been very helpful, thank you. So would you recommend the 80 ohm or the 250 ohm version? And is the E11 amp a good choice? Or would you recommend something else? I don't listen to my music that loud, just enough to immerse myself without blowing my ear drums. I have my ipod volume halfway with the normal apple earbuds to give you an idea of how loud I like it. It usually depends on my mood and the environment I am in.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

You have been very helpful, thank you. So would you recommend the 80 ohm or the 250 ohm version? And is the E11 amp a good choice? Or would you recommend something else? I don't listen to my music that loud, just enough to immerse myself without blowing my ear drums. I have my ipod volume halfway with the normal apple earbuds to give you an idea of how loud I like it. It usually depends on my mood and the environment I am in.

I've only tried the 80 ohm, some other head fiers I talked to said that the unbalance problems I heard in the 80 ohm was for the most part fixed in the 250 ohm version, the E11 I guess would be. I demo'd the DT770 80 ohm with my E17. However please do research on if the E11 with the dT770 250 ohm would work well together and also if it has enough power IN THAT HEAD FIERS own opinion.  I recently had a person that didn't think the E17 had enough for the 250 0hm while another with the exact same setup thinking otherwise, so volume is differnet for some people. Halfway is easy on the E11 or E17 of course..but when you really want to jam is when it matters, and then there's overvoltage, and a few others. sometimes you needless press the volume up button and it gets a bit louder, but not as much for some reason. Usually when that happens, distortion and noise start creeping in.

The DT770 were fine with EDM, but I don't know about the DT880, or DT990, they are differnt headphones at approx the same price. However the higher number in this 3 group series doesn't mean better, each one has it's own pro's and con's, but it seems DT770 is the most liked for electronica and regular stuff. I liked the DT770 80 for EDM, if the boomy bass and sparkly highs were fixed with burn in or with the 250 ohm version and with burn in then it would do very well, however your budget would go over, some people have found used DT770 80 for $80 from guitar center..so keep an eye out.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

From what I have read the E11 should be enough to power the 250 ohm version. But I am reading mixed reviews about the 80vs250 ohms. Generally people say that the 80 ohm version has more bass but they generally recommend the 250 ohm version if you already have an amp. The general consensus is that if you have an amp that can power it, the 250 ohm version is much better, but doesn't have quite as much bass. But then again I read about some people that prefer the 80 ohm version because they say it is easier to drive and that they sound exactly the same. So really I am torn between the two and am leaning towards the 80 ohm version just to be safe.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularUser View Post

From what I have read the E11 should be enough to power the 250 ohm version. But I am reading mixed reviews about the 80vs250 ohms. Generally people say that the 80 ohm version has more bass but they generally recommend the 250 ohm version if you already have an amp. The general consensus is that if you have an amp that can power it, the 250 ohm version is much better, but doesn't have quite as much bass. But then again I read about some people that prefer the 80 ohm version because they say it is easier to drive and that they sound exactly the same. So really I am torn between the two and am leaning towards the 80 ohm version just to be safe.

I heard the exact same but I had problems with the bass, and although it wasn't burnt in, the 250 ohm is more like my type of can. I have an amplifer so it doesn't matter to me already. The iPod Touch produces 30mW @ 16 ohms, the FiiO E9 produces 1W(1000mW) @ 16 ohms and my NFB 12.1 produces 3.5W @ 25 Ohms 

Whatever you like, but the DT 770 is a safe choice for many genres.

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