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Newbie looking for advice. Please Help!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hello, this is my first post on Head-fi. I am here because I love music, I listen to it for hours every day on MOG. I am looking for headphone that will offer a "one and done" solution for listening. I currently own Seinnheiser HD202. I must admit they sound OK, but I want something very realistic, with a splash of color.

 

The qualities I am looking foremost is clarity, and then quality bass. I don't want anything with over-hyped treble that would produce sibilance. My favorite songs to test headphones are Digital Bath by Deftones, Spaceship Landing by Kyuss, Son Song by Soulfly, Soul meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie, She Will by Li'l Wayne and I said by Deadmau5.

 

What I want

 

I will exclusively listen to the headphones thru my computer via Asus Xonar DG sound card.

 

These are for music listening primarily, gaming and movies a far second. Not used for creating music in any way.

 

I prefer a full sized closed headphone

 

I want emphasis on clarity and accuracy with some coloring of sound. A happy medium between sterile sound and a V shaped sound

 

I want to be able to hear each instrument and vocal clearly and separately

 

What I listen to

 

Rock/alternative (Deftones, Oasis, Kyuss, Brand New, Weezer, Foo Fighters, White Stripes, Black Keys)

 

Techno (Deadmau5, Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Daft Punk)

 

Pop/Hip Hop (The Roots, Lil Wayne, Top 40)

 

I don't listen to country, jazz, or classical enough to want to include them in my consideration

 

Headphones I have tried

 

Grado 80 - I liked the sound, but I don't think it matches with my mission to find a "one and done" headphone. I would like something closed back and more substantial feeling.

 

AKG - This is a tough one because I don't remember the exact model, it was Q something, about $300. These had amazing detail, but sounded thin for my taste. It's a shame because I would sacrifice some of the neutrality and clarity for a fuller up-front sound. I could take these, but ideally I want a little more "fun" factor. Emphasis on little bit more.

 

V-Moda LP - I really thought I would like these, but they were easily the worst of the high end headphones for my taste. They had a very pronounced, and to me, muddy bass. The treble was also very pronounced and sibilant, which annoyed me more than the bass.

 

Audio Technica ATH-M30 - My brother got a set of these, and to me they are a step up in pretty much every regard to my current Seinnheiser HD 202s. To me they sounded very good, the mids seemed more forward, which I liked. The bass was also better. They sounded all around more forward and clear to me. I really wanted a chance to try the M-50's, but I can't find a retailer that has them within an hour drive.

 

Seinnheiser HD 202 - My current pair of headphones. They are somewhat uncomfortable for extended use, but not so much that I stop using them. For me, they have both good and bad qualities. They are relaxed sounding, smooth. Not a bad thing, but I am looking for something more analytical. The bass is OK but not defined.

 

What I'm willing to pay -

 

I want to come in well under $200 but I am patient, as I am going to ask for these for Christmas from my wife, so factor in Black Friday sales prices, and everything in between. Ideally they would not exceed $170, but if that extra $30 makes a HUGE difference I would be willing to look at $200 absolute maximum sale price.

 

I do have a few hopefuls in mind that I wasn't able to test, but I won't include them yet because I don't want my input to sway the advice.

 

Thanks in advance for the help, and if there is any more information that would help I will be happy to answer.


Edited by morijinal - 9/27/12 at 8:19am
post #2 of 29

While I haven't heard the "fabled" Audio Technica M50, I have heard the big brother: the A900. To me, that would be an excellent candidate for a good, closed all-around headphone that could deal with the genres you describe. There are NUMEROUS reviews of that headphone posted by people who have spent more time with it than I have. 

 

Personally, I own the inferior, much cheaper JVC HA-RX700. I've done an A/B comparison with the this headphone and the A900 and while they sound similar, the A900 was better sonically overall, but only just. I would say that the HA-RX700 was about 80% of the A900. Of course, that was when I had the headphone stock and I have since modded the interior cups with blu-tak and some cotton batting. I doubt, however, that even with the mods it sounds better than the A900.

 

TL;DR : Look at the A900.

post #3 of 29

the akg you have tried is probably a Q701

who do you prefer a closed headphone? do you want to block out sound or do you want to not disturb others with your music?
maybe you would want to try the srh840? it has good detail and instrument seperation, it is closed, it doesnt have too much bass (more than the super detailed srh940), not as thin as the akg Q701, and it is under your budget. 
either this SRH840 or the M50 would do it for you, the M50 has better bass quantity than the SRH840, but the SRH840 has more detail and soundstage than the M50 (M50 has practically no soundstage). both of these are classified as neutral, M50 being slightly fun neutral and srh840 more of slightly sterile neutral

hope this helps^^

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

the akg you have tried is probably a Q701

who do you prefer a closed headphone? do you want to block out sound or do you want to not disturb others with your music?

 

I am leaning towards closed - normally outside sound interference isn't an issue, nor is my music disturbing others. But, so far I am basing my preference from my experience with the Grado headphones. I like the feeling of being isolated, trapped in a bubble with the music - I can close my eyes and fall into it.
 

post #5 of 29
Soundmagic HP100 sound your looking for, as well as being super comfy and well built
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

Soundmagic HP100 sound your looking for, as well as being super comfy and well built


Very interesting pick do you own a pair? I had never heard of these - a quick search returns sparse, albeit glowing reviews. Basically, the reviews compare these to the Audio Technica ATM-M50 and Shure 840, saying that it blows them both out of the water in bass, clarity, comfort, mids, treble, and staging. I want to believe! Unfortunately, there are only about 3 reviews that I could find of it.

post #7 of 29

Are you set on over the ear, or are you willing to consider IEM?

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamschuetze View Post

Are you set on over the ear, or are you willing to consider IEM?


Over-ear. Sorry, I should have mentioned that I own a pair of Klipsch Image S4 headphones that fill that niche. smile.gif

post #9 of 29
They are my full size cans, everyone that tries them loves them, such natural sound, such comfort.One of the reviews was probably mine.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

They are my full size cans, everyone that tries them loves them, such natural sound, such comfort.One of the reviews was probably min

 

Thank you all so much for the input. I have done so much studying on 2 headphones in particular I feel as though I have a good grasp on what to expect. How would you describe them in contrast to the Audio Technica ATH-M50 or Shure 840? I ask this not because I have made up my mind on only choosing between those two, but because so far I have read probably everything there is to read about them lol.

 

From what I heard the Audio Technica has an under represented mid range, and has a V shaped response. If they sound anything like the V-moda I tried then I will gladly pass.

 

Also, from what I heard the Shure 840 is less bass oriented than the M-50, but not bass shy, with a more neutral sound that favors clarity while remaining warm. I am worried about these though because many reviewers on Amazon say the plastic is creaky, which interferes with listening. They look like tanks in the pictures, and I do like that about them.


Edited by morijinal - 9/27/12 at 11:33am
post #11 of 29
I have only had the SRH440, which are more neutral than the 840, comfort was an issue, and the extender arms are plastic, but well built in my opinion.
post #12 of 29

morijinal - if you like your brother's M30s, you should like the M50s.  I came from Sennheiser HD 202s too, and the difference was night and day - clear bass, midrange and highs, a lot more comfortable than the Sennheisers - and with the coiled cable, a lot less hassle.  Good value for money at $131.

 

Hope this is helpful,

 

Bill

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

morijinal - if you like your brother's M30s, you should like the M50s.  I came from Sennheiser HD 202s too, and the difference was night and day - clear bass, midrange and highs, a lot more comfortable than the Sennheisers - and with the coiled cable, a lot less hassle.  Good value for money at $131.

 

Hope this is helpful,

 

Bill


Thanks Bill. Quick question - how would you rate the highs on the M-50 compared to the HD 202?

post #14 of 29

Morijinal

I was in your boat just a couple of months back - looking around for just the right pair of cans - price / comfort and sound. 

Really in the end I couldn't go past the 840's. I bought the M50's but found parts of my ears would be slightly pinched ( and I don't have massive ears).

They (M50's) have that fun v-shaped sound to them which I really like. Having said that . . .

The 840's have a good size cup on them and the sound is terrific. If you like the Audio Technica sound you will like the Shure 840's just as much and I reckon it will be a purchase you hang onto for a good while. 

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpops View Post

Morijinal

I was in your boat just a couple of months back - looking around for just the right pair of cans - price / comfort and sound. 

Really in the end I couldn't go past the 840's. I bought the M50's but found parts of my ears would be slightly pinched ( and I don't have massive ears).

They (M50's) have that fun v-shaped sound to them which I really like. Having said that . . .

The 840's have a good size cup on them and the sound is terrific. If you like the Audio Technica sound you will like the Shure 840's just as much and I reckon it will be a purchase you hang onto for a good while. 

 



Oh man, I am as lost as ever...I had a conversation with streetdragon about headphones - and now I can't even decide on open or closed!blink.gif

 

Now I am leaning towards 840's and Seinnheiser 558 

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