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Replace my Audio-Technica ATH-AD700s (Open, Budget, Soundstage)

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I bought my pair of Audio-Technica ATH-AD700s about a year ago.  They were my first pair of "good" headphones, and I love them.  With one small, frivilous exception.  They mess my hair up.  I don't know if it's because of the length or type of my hair, or if other people have this problem, but it bothers me.  Now, that sounds like the girliest, most insubstantial, least important objection.  But hear me out.

 

If you take a look at a pair of these headphones, you will notice that the band does not go all the way across the head.  This provides a unique little spot where my hair can collect and erect itself perpendicular to my head.  This makes me look a little weird while I'm wearing the headphones, but I can deal with that.  The problem is, the new hairdo stays when I take them off.  Daily use of these headphones provides me with a daily hump of hair in the middle of my head.  As a teenage guy, I'm not overly cosmetically obsessed with my hair, but at the same time, I'm not willing to look like a bimbo to this degree for the sake of a pair of headphones.  Therefore, despite being completely satisfied with the sound quality of these headphones, I have decided to look into buying a new pair of headphones.

 

I listen to a great variety of music, but my favourites are electro-pop (maybe I'm misnaming the subgenre... think Foster the People or Mother Mother) and orchestral music.  I don't use an amp.  It's also important to me that the headphones are reasonably neutral; I don't want them to "colour" my songs.  The headphones will be used for regular computer use, and a significant amount of computer gaming (TF2).  I would like to plug them in to my digital piano for private music practice as well.  I'm interested in eventually dabbling in music production as a hobby, but that's not on the immediate horizon.  Given these uses, and the amount of time I would wear these headphones in a day in balance with my budget, I have decided on a price range of $100 to $170.

 

So, I am looking for candidates for a new pair of headphones.  If there were a version of my old Audio-Technicas that had a normal headband, that would be my first choice.  I'm certainly looking for a pair of open headphones.  In my small experience, these sound much better than the closed variety.  The sound leakage of open headphones does not bother me (my old Audio-Technicas leaked so badly that the experience was more like putting speakers close to my ears than wearing headphones).  Most of my headphone-listening takes place in relative private, where the out leakage doesn't bother others, and the in-leakage makes it easier to hear the doorbell.  This next characteristic is a bit out of my depth, but I believe you audiophiles call it, "soundstage".  I really enjoyed that aspect of my old headphones in both listening to music, watching movies, and playing video games. So I'm pretty well set on open headphones.  

 

Anyway, I was hoping that you fine folks reading would be able to provide me with some suggestions.  Any favourites for open headphones in this price range?

post #2 of 2

Senn HD558 (and the HD598 if you can find it cheap enough) seems to fit most of your criteria I think, though the soundstage isn't as expansive as your AD700.  Will probably sound better with an amp though..maybe you can get away with a Fiio E6 ($25-30) or something.

 

There's also the Takstar HI2050/Technical Pro HPT990 as a possibility, and while I think it colors the sound, the soundstage is supposedly pretty impressive.

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