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Best Over-Ear Headphone and Amp Combo for a budget.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

How's it going?

 

I have been trying to figure this question out on my own, but there are so many different options and even more opinions about each of those options.

 

I am looking for a set of Over-the-Ear phones for mobile and home use. Since they are going to be used around others I would like them to emit as little noise as possible (quiet enough that ppl sitting next to me on a plane will not have an issue), and be reasonably noise isolating (don't want to hear them).  

 

I generally listen to Top 40, Hip Hop, some Alternative, and R&B... My musical tastes are pretty mainstream, I don't really listen to classical symphonies or genres like that. I'm not 100% sure since I haven't sampled a lot of high-end headphones, but I think I would appreciate some phones that are not flat sounding... I think...

 

I was originally looking at the ATH M50's, but figured I would come over and ask for some recommendations specific to my wants. I am willing to go for a set of phones and an amp if that will be the best sounding solution.

 

I'm looking to spend around $150, but can flex a bit if there is something that is a 'must-have' at a slightly higher price.

 

I know that these threads are probably brought up 10x a week but I want to make the best decision I can considering what I buy is what I'm stuck with for a good while.

 

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

post #2 of 15
Try the philips citiscape uptown. Great isolation, easy to drive, and a warm sound sig. Currently $119 on amazon.
post #3 of 15
And welcome to head-fi, sorry for your wallet!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Nice looking set... Let me do some research on them.

 

Thanks

 

Still open for more suggestions

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Newyear View Post

Try the philips citiscape uptown. Great isolation, easy to drive, and a warm sound sig. Currently $119 on amazon.

Excuse the double post but does anybody have a recommendation for a portable amp for this set of phones? They seem like a really solid set of phones, not sure if they would benefit much from an amp or not...

post #6 of 15

At $150, you'd be fine with just a low impedance, high sensitivity portable pair of headphones that don't really need amping. I think the Uptown falls into that category. You can get a portable amp like the Fiio E11 to add a little extra headroom if you find that you need it.

 

The next big step is spending around $200 to get something like a K701 or DT 880 for a home rig. Those are definitely better than the portable closed headphones, but need a dedicated amp and dac to really sing. A Fiio E11 can get your foot in the door here, but it's recommended that you have something like the Fiio E10 or step up to Audio GD NFB-12, Audinst HUX MX1, or Yulong U100.

post #7 of 15
You probably won't need an amp with the uptowns, but since they are only $119 on amazon, you could also get the fiio e11 as recommended above, and stay under your $200 budget.
post #8 of 15

Hey HiFi Chimp,

I'm also new to the head-fi community, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. But my price range was close to yours, as were my music tastes. I recently decided on Ultrasone HFI-580, and I'm waiting on them to arrive in the mail (cost about $140 after all was said and done). Anyways, check out my thread I posted, it might give you some good info on a few pairs. (and not trying to spam! :) just helping out a fellow noob haha). but yeah no amp needed for these (32 ohm), and they supposedly sound great

post #9 of 15

+1 for Uptowns

 

+1 for Ultrasones :)

post #10 of 15

At this price point/budget, you're not gonna really need an amp, or at least you won't benefit much from it. Like for example the Sennheiser HD 518's run for around $130 and have an impedence of 50 ohms; my Superlux HD668B has an impedence of 56 ohms, and it runs just fine from my phone or computer, no amp used. My friend also has a pair of the Sennheiser HD 598, and he drives them from his phone, they sound just fine.

 

I'd say once you get past the $200 mark, that's where an amp starts to become a requirement. There are always exceptions though.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headup View Post

Hey HiFi Chimp,

I'm also new to the head-fi community, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. But my price range was close to yours, as were my music tastes. I recently decided on Ultrasone HFI-580, and I'm waiting on them to arrive in the mail (cost about $140 after all was said and done). Anyways, check out my thread I posted, it might give you some good info on a few pairs. (and not trying to spam! :) just helping out a fellow noob haha). but yeah no amp needed for these (32 ohm), and they supposedly sound great

I'll take a look for your thread and see what was recommended for you, and go from there...

 

I appreciate the feedback from everyone. I'll try to keep this thread updated with my choice, and my impression of my first quality set of phones. 

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Anybody know a shop in maryland that has headphones available to "test drive"? I'd love to take a listen to them or other similar ones before making the purchase.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
I listened to the uptowns at best buy and I Don't think they were the ones for me.

What are the opinions on the srh 840s vs the ath m50?
post #14 of 15

ATH-M50 is an excellent choice for an all-rounder. It was my first foray into headphones as well. It has a nice, tight bass punch which I think would go well with your mainstream tastes. You do not need an amp for these.

 

Another recommendation I think goes really well with mainstream tastes is the V-Moda Crossfade M-80 (~$170 on Amazon). Stylish and lightweight and as durable as a rock, you can take them out for portable use and not have to worry about scratching and banging them up. Accessories and packaging are a huge plus, and the cables are great - you won't have to worry about tangling or tear. It also helps that the sound that comes from the 80s is "fun" while staying faithful to the music track you're listening to.

 

Indeed, I love everything about the M-80s except the fit. I have a rather large head, and even when fully extended the headphones feel a bit tight and restricted. If you do not have this problem, then the M-80s are a very strong candidate. 


Edited by HideousPride - 8/10/12 at 3:33pm
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post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HideousPride View Post

ATH-M50 is an excellent choice for an all-rounder. It was my first foray into headphones as well. It has a nice, tight bass punch which I think would go well with your mainstream tastes. You do not need an amp for these.

 

Another recommendation I think goes really well with mainstream tastes is the V-Moda Crossfade M-80 (~$170 on Amazon). Stylish and lightweight and as durable as a rock, you can take them out for portable use and not have to worry about scratching and banging them up. Accessories and packaging are a huge plus, and the cables are great - you won't have to worry about tangling or tear. It also helps that the sound that comes from the 80s is "fun" while staying faithful to the music track you're listening to.

 

Indeed, I love everything about the M-80s except the fit. I have a rather large head, and even when fully extended the headphones feel a bit tight and restricted. If you do not have this problem, then the M-80s are a very strong candidate. 

Thanks for the recommendation, I listened to the M80s today, as well. I didn't realize they are on-ear phones, and I'm looking for full-size phones, so I had to rule them out. Thanks though.

 

I ended up ordering the ath m50, since I did get to hear a couple of the phones that it's been compared to. Using what I heard from the other phones, then reading what they sound like in comparison to the m50s I was able to confirm that they are going to suit me well. 

 

I'll update this thread when I end up getting the m50s, and let you guys know how I like them.

 

Thank you.

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