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Best Headphones for the buck

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I recently just went in store to try out a pair of Sennheiser 380 Pro's and Beyerdynamic DT 770 150 Ohm.  I was hoping the store had the Senneheiser 598's so I'm stuck in a rut.  I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to audio but I do understand the basics of everything.  First off I plan on getting the ASUS Zonar Essence STX for my computer and a portable amp for my smaller devices.  Does anyone have an opinions on the quality of the following:

 

-Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm---I can't distinguish the difference of these there seems to be several Pro/Premium 250 Ohm on Amazon.  I have heard that these are one of the most popular.

-Senneheiser 598's- Not sure how the openback design compares to a closed back design like the 380's...which I liked.

-Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm-  I heard the 150 versions in store which were very Bassy compared to the Senneheiser's

-Beyrdynamic DT 880 Pro/Premium 250 Ohm-- research shows that these are a semi open and are a favorable middle ground, however I'm liking the reviews of the DT 990's a little bit more.

 

Also, I do know that open backs provide more of a sound stage but are they really that much better than closed back designs?

 

Overall I think I like a headphone with a little more bass and that extra punch, however I enjoyed the clear high's and mids from the 380's.  It's a tough decision and I obviously can't test a bunch of them because there is nowhere around here that has wide variety of headphones.  I don't really want to spend more than $250 but may stretch this as i am liking the overall reviews of the DT 990 Premiums, though the pros are about $100 cheaper...hmmm.  Any reasonable opinions are much appreciated as this is a very serious buy for me.  I want these to last me a long time. The guy at the store said he's had his DT 990's for almost 18 years now and he said they work fabulous, and has only had to change the ear cups. If anyone has any other suggestions other than what I offered here as a good set of headphones, my ears are open. 

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by californiadrm - 9/10/12 at 9:40pm
post #2 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

 

Also, I do know that open backs provide more of a sound stage but are they really that much better than closed back designs?

Yeah, if you don't require isolation and don't mind leakage, then I think open is the way to go. As far as the Beyers, I'd recommend the DT880 600ohm over both the DT770 & DT990. Do you have an amp that can drive 600ohm headphones? The STX is nice but it ties your setup to a computer whereas a stand along amp can be mixed into various different configurations.

 

Before people can really cut loose with recommendations we need to know how much $$$ you want to spend. That will put us in the ballpark.

 

Best Regards

post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

I recently just went in store to try out a pair of Sennheiser 380 Pro's and Beyerdynamic DT 770 150 Ohm.  I was hoping the store had the Senneheiser 598's so I'm stuck in a rut.  I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to audio but I do understand the basics of everything.  First off I plan on getting the ASUS Zonar Essence STX for my computer and a portable amp for my smaller devices.  Does anyone have an opinions on the quality of the following:

 

-Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm---I can't distinguish the difference of these there seems to be several Pro/Premium 250 Ohm on Amazon.

-Senneheiser 598's- Not sure how the openback design compares to a closed back design like the 380's...which I liked.

-Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm-  I heard the 150 versions in store which were very Bassy compared to the Senneheiser's

 

Also, I do know that open backs provide more of a sound stage but are they really that much better than closed back designs?

 

Overall I think I like a headphone with a little more bass and that extra punch, however I enjoyed the clear high's and mids from the 380's.  It's a tough decision and I obviously can't test a bunch of them because there is nowhere around here that has wide variety of headphones.  I don't really want to spend more than $250.  Any reasonable opinions are much appreciated as this is a very serious buy for me.  I want these to last me a long time. The guy at the store said he's had his DT 990's for almost 18 years now and he said they work fabulous, and has only had to change the ear cups. If anyone has any other suggestions other than what I offered here as a good set of headphones, my ears are open. 

 

Thanks in advance.

When did DT770s come in a 150-Ohm version?

The only ones I know of is the 32-Ohm, 80-Ohm, 250-ohm, 600-Ohm (the 32-Ohm & 600-Ohm are very rare).

I personally would take the DT990 Pro 250-Ohm over the HD598 & DT770.

First off I prefer to use open headphones, I only use a closed headphone when there is to much noise around.

The vocals on the DT990 are a little over shadowed by the bass & treble, but the vocals are clear.

The DT990 give movies a "movie theater' like sound.

post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

I recently just went in store to try out a pair of Sennheiser 380 Pro's and Beyerdynamic DT 770 150 Ohm.  I was hoping the store had the Senneheiser 598's so I'm stuck in a rut.  I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to audio but I do understand the basics of everything.  First off I plan on getting the ASUS Zonar Essence STX for my computer and a portable amp for my smaller devices.  Does anyone have an opinions on the quality of the following:

 

-Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm---I can't distinguish the difference of these there seems to be several Pro/Premium 250 Ohm on Amazon.  I have heard that these are one of the most popular.

-Senneheiser 598's- Not sure how the openback design compares to a closed back design like the 380's...which I liked.

-Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm-  I heard the 150 versions in store which were very Bassy compared to the Senneheiser's

-Beyrdynamic DT 880 Pro/Premium 250 Ohm-- research shows that these are a semi open and are a favorable middle ground, however I'm liking the reviews of the DT 990's a little bit more.

 

Also, I do know that open backs provide more of a sound stage but are they really that much better than closed back designs?

 

Overall I think I like a headphone with a little more bass and that extra punch, however I enjoyed the clear high's and mids from the 380's.  It's a tough decision and I obviously can't test a bunch of them because there is nowhere around here that has wide variety of headphones.  I don't really want to spend more than $250 but may stretch this as i am liking the overall reviews of the DT 990 Premiums, though the pros are about $100 cheaper...hmmm.  Any reasonable opinions are much appreciated as this is a very serious buy for me.  I want these to last me a long time. The guy at the store said he's had his DT 990's for almost 18 years now and he said they work fabulous, and has only had to change the ear cups. If anyone has any other suggestions other than what I offered here as a good set of headphones, my ears are open. 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Heya,

 

Denon D2000 seems to be what you're looking for. Snag a used one in the for sale forum.

 

Also, why get the STX sound card? If you're not heavily into gaming, I would avoid a sound card and get a dedicated external device like a USB DAC/AMP.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

I haven't looked at the Denon's at all to be honest but I will check them out.  In reply to the 770's being a 150Ohm version I'm pretty sure that's what it said on the back of the package unless that was just an optimal rating.  I'm not quite sure.  I actually am quite heavily into gaming hence the reason for the STX sound card just for the pure fixed purpose, I am looking to get either the Fiio e11 or e17 possibly.  I'm looking to spend in the $250 range if that helps. I'm not quite sure if the DT880 600 Ohm are worth the extra dollar unless they are a significantly better compared to the others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

When did DT770s come in a 150-Ohm version?

The only ones I know of is the 32-Ohm, 80-Ohm, 250-ohm, 600-Ohm (the 32-Ohm & 600-Ohm are very rare).

I personally would take the DT990 Pro 250-Ohm over the HD598 & DT770.

First off I prefer to use open headphones, I only use a closed headphone when there is to much noise around.

The vocals on the DT990 are a little over shadowed by the bass & treble, but the vocals are clear.

The DT990 give movies a "movie theater' like sound.

 

 PurpleAngel I like where you are heading with this.  My tastes whenever I use a customized EQ for any music I tend to put the treble fairly equal with the bass and the mid's being a little less prominent.  This just puts the DT 990's a little higher in my book at the moment.  Though I do appreciate everyone's comments.  I liked the "bassiness" of the DT770's compared to the HD380's in store that I listened to, but then again they are also both closed backs.  How do the 990's compare? have you had any experience with either model?  It would be reasonable to assume the 990's are a higher quality though being a better model.  Are 600 Ohm models really worth the money?  They tend to create a better response, correct?  Are they really a significant difference compared to 250 Ohm models though?

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Denon D2000 seems to be what you're looking for. Snag a used one in the for sale forum.

 

Also, why get the STX sound card? If you're not heavily into gaming, I would avoid a sound card and get a dedicated external device like a USB DAC/AMP.

 

Very best,

I did some searching and I see what you are talking about with the D2000's.  They seem to be the "new" best all-around headphone.  Very punchy bass and most reviewers have said with great overall clarity and quality.  They are quite expensive so I see why you recommend looking in the used for sale forum.  I am definitely going to do some more research in this department.  I find the specs to be very pleasing for my tastes.  I did see that they are only 25 Ohm headsets though...does this have an effect on the overall quality?  Seems kind of a high price tag for a set of headphones with such low impedance compared to others.


Edited by californiadrm - 9/10/12 at 10:22pm
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post
Seems kind of a high price tag for a set of headphones with such low impedance compared to others.

 

Heya,

 

Impedance has nothing to do with price tag.

 

Higher impedance is not  higher quality and not higher-end or better anything.

 

Read a lot more, test things yourself, and listen to headphones on various devices before you buy anything. Otherwise, too little research and too little reality checks will have you spending a lot of money on stuff you don't need, that don't do what you thought they were supposed to do. And be careful what you read. Lots of absolutely false information floats around.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Impedance has nothing to do with price tag.

 

Higher impedance is not  higher quality and not higher-end or better anything.

 

Read a lot more, test things yourself, and listen to headphones on various devices before you buy anything. Otherwise, too little research and too little reality checks will have you spending a lot of money on stuff you don't need, that don't do what you thought they were supposed to do. And be careful what you read. Lots of absolutely false information floats around.

 

Very best,

It's definitely a trend that higher impedance headsets are more on the expensive side I've seen almost all the more expensive headsets around a grand, or even more, with mostly higher Ohm ratings of 250 or more, more frequent than not.  From my understanding any headset with a higher impedance tends to be more durable due to the ability to take more power.  The example I found is that if you try to force more water through a bigger hole in a dam it has a tendency to break, on the other side of that same aspect, force the same amount of water through a smaller hole and the dam has a much better chance of withstanding that pressure and will withstand higher pressures.  I've had headphones that broke for no apparent reason for this very reason and that's just from normal MP3 type devices, my guess is the drivers just blew out.  Though like I said I am no expert so I don't intend to sound condescending, that's just my understanding of how impedance works.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  I will be doing plenty of research as a I am currently, I do feel that I would get better responses here in the forum rather than read review after review of differing headsets.  Like you said there is a lot of false information out there so this is why it makes all this a harder decision for me.  I don't tend to just believe anything I read.  I take everything with a grain of salt and hope that what I read is accurate and true.

post #9 of 36

Did NOT have great results with the 990 600ohm out of my Essense ST. The low end was begging for more power.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

I did some searching and I see what you are talking about with the D2000's.  They seem to be the "new" best all-around headphone.  Very punchy bass and most reviewers have said with great overall clarity and quality.  They are quite expensive so I see why you recommend looking in the used for sale forum.  I am definitely going to do some more research in this department.  I find the specs to be very pleasing for my tastes.  I did see that they are only 25 Ohm headsets though...does this have an effect on the overall quality?  Seems kind of a high price tag for a set of headphones with such low impedance compared to others.

Denon might have spend the cash on R&D and built a modern good quality (really light weight?) headphone diaphragm, so they could get away with good audio quality for only 25-Ohms.

Some headphones manufacturers are still using diaphragms originally based on 25 year old designs.

Portable audio devices are growing market and are better matched with low Ohm headphones, guessing Denon wanted to sell to a lot of iPhone, iPod & iPad users.

 

The Essence STX's headphone jack has an impedance of 10-Ohms, which is a minor negative for headphones under 80-Ohms.

55-Ohm or 60-Ohm headphones are fine for the STX, but when you get down to 25-Ohm headphones, you might not be getting the best out of those low Ohm headphones.

One option is to get the Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) and get an external headphone amplifier like the O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifier ($155 new), come with a very very low impedance.

post #11 of 36

I have Beyerdynamic DT770 (250 Ohm) and had borrowed Sennheiser HD600. HD600 are very airy and easy to listen to, but lack in bass. DT770 are more linear, bass is just fine and warm, but the sound is "compact" and sometimes not really easy to listen to. I prefer DT770 anyway.

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

I haven't looked at the Denon's at all to be honest but I will check them out.  In reply to the 770's being a 150Ohm version I'm pretty sure that's what it said on the back of the package unless that was just an optimal rating.  I'm not quite sure.  I actually am quite heavily into gaming hence the reason for the STX sound card just for the pure fixed purpose, I am looking to get either the Fiio e11 or e17 possibly.  I'm looking to spend in the $250 range if that helps. I'm not quite sure if the DT880 600 Ohm are worth the extra dollar unless they are a significantly better compared to the others.

 

 

 PurpleAngel I like where you are heading with this.  My tastes whenever I use a customized EQ for any music I tend to put the treble fairly equal with the bass and the mid's being a little less prominent.  This just puts the DT 990's a little higher in my book at the moment.  Though I do appreciate everyone's comments.  I liked the "bassiness" of the DT770's compared to the HD380's in store that I listened to, but then again they are also both closed backs.  How do the 990's compare? have you had any experience with either model?  It would be reasonable to assume the 990's are a higher quality though being a better model.  Are 600 Ohm models really worth the money?  They tend to create a better response, correct?  Are they really a significant difference compared to 250 Ohm models though?

I own the Beyer DT770 Pro 80-Ohm & 250-Ohm, DT880 250-Ohm & 600-Ohm, DT990 Pro 250-Ohm, Beyer T70 250-Ohm.

 

I'm 99% sure there are no DT770 150-Ohm headphones, you were either testing the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm or Pro 250-Ohm.

My DT880 600-Ohm headphones are SWEET, I'm right this second using my DT880 600-Ohm with my STX :)

but they are going to eat way into your budget.

If you can buy used for a really really good price, then they are worth it.

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

Did NOT have great results with the 990 600ohm out of my Essense ST. The low end was begging for more power.

This is why I feel I would not like any 600ohm applications.  I wouldn't feel like carrying around a larger portable device to power 600ohm either.  I'm thinking the 250ohm range is a happy medium for my tastes.

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadrm View Post

This is why I feel I would not like any 600ohm applications.  I wouldn't feel like carrying around a larger portable device to power 600ohm either.  I'm thinking the 250-Ohm range is a happy medium for my tastes.

The O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier will decently drive 600-Ohm headphones.

But I say stick to lower Ohm headphones if your on the move.

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I own the Beyer DT770 Pro 80-Ohm & 250-Ohm, DT880 250-Ohm & 600-Ohm, DT990 Pro 250-Ohm, Beyer T70 250-Ohm.

 

I'm 99% sure there are no DT770 150-Ohm headphones, you were either testing the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm or Pro 250-Ohm.

My DT880 600-Ohm headphones are SWEET, I'm right this second using my DT880 600-Ohm with my STX :)

but they are going to eat way into your budget.

If you can buy used for a really really good price, then they are worth it.

Hmmm...I'm not quite so sure now.  I know they were higher than the 380's a tested I could also tell because the volume was lower at full power.  I had just used my phone and popped some pandora..lol.  The price tag for the 880's are a little higher than I'd like to spend but if they are worth it I would totally get them.  Are they going to require a decent amp for it though?  I was looking at the Fiio brand of the E-11 and E-17 as far as portable goes.  I guess the question is....out of all those which are your favorite?  I know you said the 990's rock but it sounds like you are privy to your 880 600Ohms as well. I will definitely shell out a little more cash for something if it is a considerable upgrade in quality.  I found a pair of 880 600Ohms online for $329...which is a little out of my budget....but...we shall see...lol.  Who would have thought buying a pair of headphones would be such a tough decision! Btw...that's a lot of headphones to own...haha.  I wish I had that kind of money to have such a wide variety of listening devices.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Denon might have spend the cash on R&D and built a modern good quality (really light weight?) headphone diaphragm, so they could get away with good audio quality for only 25-Ohms.

Some headphones manufacturers are still using diaphragms originally based on 25 year old designs.

Portable audio devices are growing market and are better matched with low Ohm headphones, guessing Denon wanted to sell to a lot of iPhone, iPod & iPad users.

 

The Essence STX's headphone jack has an impedance of 10-Ohms, which is a minor negative for headphones under 80-Ohms.

55-Ohm or 60-Ohm headphones are fine for the STX, but when you get down to 25-Ohm headphones, you might not be getting the best out of those low Ohm headphones.

One option is to get the Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) and get an external headphone amplifier like the O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifier ($155 new), come with a very very low impedance.

So basically the STX is for higher impedance headphones correct...from my understanding it's good up to 600ohms.  I've read some reviews that at the higher ends it makes headphones sound pretty sweet!  Whatever headphones I get are definitely going to be part of my gaming arsenal.  I felt it was the better choice to get a higher quality stereo headphone and attach a Zalman mic than buy and actual gaming headset, then I have the liberty of enjoying all of my music as well when I'm not at the computer.  With a proper portable amp that is.  

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