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Final decision. (Sony MDR-V6, Audio-Technica ATH-M30, Superlux HD668B, Sony XB-500)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey, I've been visiting these forums occasionally for over a year now, but have never really had any gear that would allow me to experience very good sound quality. I'm hoping to change that now.


I'm looking for closed, circumaural headphones, below 70$, and I'm of course, speaking of online prices. Unfortunately, 70$ is kinda pushing it, and I'll only consider that much if the Sony MDR-V6s are waaaaay better than the rest. I'm considering these:


Sony MDR-V6                                   Impedance: 63 Ω         Sensitivity: 106 dB SPL/1mW

Audio-Technica ATH M30                   Impedance: 65 Ω         Sensitivity:100 dB SPL/1mW

Superlux 668B                                  Impedance: 56 Ω          Sensitivity: 98 dB SPL/1mW

Sony XB-500                                    Impedance: 40 Ω          Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL/1mW



Probably the most important consideration is that I'm only going to be using these headphones unamped, with an iPod Touch, and occasionally with the PC (no sound card). Hence the presence of the Sony XB-500s which have the lowest impedance and the highest sensitivity of the lot, I'm afraid the other three won't be suitable for unamped use, but since I really don't know much about this, I was hoping you guys could help. Also, I know the Superlux 668B is semi-open, which is fine, if the sound quality really is as good as most of the reviews on and off these forums say it is.


I live in India, which is important, because once I get the headphones, I'm never going to be able to avail of any warranty, or send the headphones back if I'm not satisfied, etc. So durability is quite important. 

I'm really new to high quality audio, the best headphones I've listened to for over 5 minutes are the MDR-V6s. Apart from that, I've used Sennheiser HD 203s, HD 202 IIs, but never anything better.


I know these headphones are all very different, but with the somewhat extensive research I've done, these stood out the most! 


The generally favourable things I've read about the MDR-V6s make me lean towards them, but the price and the fact that they have a coiled cord (and I will probably be traveling with these) make me reconsider.


The Audio-Technica ATH-M30s seem like the best bet right now, what with price, reviews of sound quality, and portability taken into consideration. 


I'm afraid Superlux is an unfamiliar name to me, and I prefer closed headphones, (though a review by ljokerl said they still offer decent isolation) and unlike with the latter two choices, I haven't read anything too good (or, for that matter, bad) about the durability. So I'm really not too sure about it.


I've listened to the XB-300s before and liked them quite a bit, but I've never had a chance with the XB-500s. I'd love to just get these and be done with it, but I'm trying to shake off my preference for extra bass, and learn to appreciate more neutral sound.


Apart from these, should I be considering the Sennheiser HD 203s? 

I know this is a poorly written post, but it's the best I can do with my thoughts so muddled! Thank you for your time, and help would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 12

what do you like? mountains of bass? or clear sound? what music do you like to listen to? do you need to be protected from outside noise?


cause the xb500 hax mountains of decent quality bass while superlux has a super clear sound compared to the rest

Edited by streetdragon - 8/26/12 at 1:28am
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, if they're not too bulky, which I'm hoping for, I will be traveling with them, and then i will require noise isolation...

I've always preferred extra bass, but off late, I have been feeling like I'm missing out on some details that way. Will the XB 500s be so bassy that I'll lose too much detail? Or is it an acceptable amount of loss of detail? I listen to everything, rock, metal, acoustic, drum and bass, many kinds of EDM, ambient and down-tempo. If there's too little bass, I will be disappointed, but I don't like to be overwhelmed by it to the point where there's too much bass bleed, either.

Thank you for your reply!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 


post #6 of 12
Go for the Sony MDR-V6.

The XB500 are fart cannons full of mid-bass, not much else going for them in mids and highs. Once you listen to XB500 for five minutes and the initial pounding of exaggerated mid bass wears off you'll be much happier you went for V6. Better quality bass anyway by far. V6 are monsters as far as SQ is concerned.

Take it from soneone that's owned both.. Guess which one has permission to stay.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 10/30/12 at 11:22pm
post #7 of 12

I have tried the V6 and the ATH-M30, and I also own the 668B, and I like the Superlux better than the others. It has not much sub-bass extension and the sound signature is kind of V-shaped (which bothers some people), but the clarity is superb (as Street Dragon mentioned, they have the best clarity among the models you mentioned), they have punchy and non-bleeding mid-bass, crystal-clear highs and their soundstage is above average. I love listening to rock and electronic music with them.


Regarding build quality, they sure look cheap-built, but they are actually very tough. I have even accidentally dropped them from one floor to another in my house and they are still working like the first day.


My 2 cents.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
It seems like the 668B would indeed be the best of the lot for sound quality, but like I have mentioned I'm just a little worried regarding lack of bass compared to the V6s, whether my iPod touch will be able to drive it to a sufficient volume and isolation, both from outside sound, and keeping the music from spilling outside (for the office) also durability...right now, if any of you can tell me how these aspects of the 668B compare with the V6 I'll appreciate it beyond measure! I have used the V6 a lot, and unless the Superlux is good at a few more of these things, I'm going to have to go for the V6 because I have listened to them and I know what to expect. I really appreciate all this input, thanks, guys!
Edited by zokster - 10/30/12 at 12:15pm
post #9 of 12

I would go with the MDR-V6. Tried and true. I've dropped mine a couple of times and it rolls around on the dashboard of my car a lot and it's still perfectly fine. The only scratches I have on it are the tool marks from when I did the detachable cable mod (which makes it an excellent portable without the bulky cable). They're also light and extremely comfortable, which I couldn't really say for the XB500 (they're comfortable but I got sweaty with those big pillow pads).

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I finally got to listen to the XB 500s yesterday, and those are definitely out, though I will miss their comfortable, and far more isolating pads, when compared with those of the V6s. And, though I know that for sheer sound quality, the 668Bs would be my best bet....the portability, (assured) durability, isolation, and presence of just enough bass emphasis to satisfy me in the V6s would seem to make the V6s the winner, in my case. Thank you, everyone, your opinions and insights have made this pretty easy for me. Now I just need to wait for them to arrive! :) I'll reply back here as soon as they get here (which will take a while, because a friend flying down from Seattle to Bombay in December will be getting them with him.) Thank you, again!

post #11 of 12

Between those, I'd go with the V6. I owned all of them and after awhile I couldn't the shrill of the 666B's highs, eventually I gave them away.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, there certainly seem to be a lot of V6 fans on Head-Fi. I hope to join y'all soon! Thanks, guys.

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