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Best mids over-the-ear open headphone for less than USD 300?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am looking for:

best mids for under $300, Open, over-the-ear full size headphone - to use at basement home office. Looking for soundstage and separation.

 

I have not yet experienced bass detail, nor airiness - curious about these characteristics.

 

I thought I had wanted treble detail, but the KRK 8400's hurt (even after burn-in)

 

> many years ago, I owned Grado 125, and enjoyed them.... but, that was before I got into portable amps, I forget their sound..

 

> AKG's seem interesting, I recall thinking they had refined power, maybe less raw punch, maybe less of a monitor than I have been accustomed to, I don't know enough...

 

> Classic rock, (Zep), Jazz, Zappa, Steely Dan, Vocalists (Lambert Hendricks Ross, Ella, Tony Bennet) and some stupid disco.  I like separation and soundstage.

 

 

 

 

I own:

DT 770 Pro 80s - recessed mids

KRK KNS 8400 - treble is piercing, hurts my ears, harsh monitor.

ATH-50m - out at Jay's to be re-cabled for the past month...so, I kinda forget what they sound like.

JVC-S500 - my portable commuter cans.

 

At home I use either:

 

MBP > Schiit BiFrost > Denon CD Receiver UD-M31 > headphone

or

iPhone or iPad or iTouch  > HRT iStreamer > iBasso Warbler P4 > Headphone 

 

(I did not receive any suggestions in the recommendations thread for less than USD 300)

 

-Mo

post #2 of 14

you pretty much described everything great about the HD598 ... I've had D2000 and M50, was looking for something with stronger mids. I've been completely impressed with the 598, especially with voices and soundstage (which I always conflate with separation) ... there is SO much space between instruments, yet everything is very clear. Bass is the weak point I suppose, though I never find myself wishing for more. People describe these as bright but I don't really agree. To me they sound balanced and super refined. If you want mids and soundstage I really think you should check these out. Really really comfortable, too.

post #3 of 14

plus you can find them used for under $200!

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

franklyshankly, thank you for the reply.

 

I had been concerned about Sennheiser having ear-piercing treble.

 

Hope to receive additional suggestions.

 

(I had expected to receive suggestions on one of several AKG, there are so many.)

post #5 of 14

Heya,

 

There will be no best for you, but there may be a few contenders for a sound that you may like (based on what you have).

 

Beyer DT880 PRO

AKG Q701

Sony MA900

Sennheiser HD598

Ultrasone HFI 2400

AudioTechnica AD900

Hifiman HE-300 revision 2

 

Some others to consider (price range is higher):

 

Hifiman HE-400 (used/deal)

Sennheiser HD600 (used/deal)

AudioTechnica A2000 (used/deal)

 

Some closed possibilities (range is variable):

 

Shure SRH940

Beyer DT70 (used/deal)

AKG K550 (used/deal)

AKG K271 MKII & K272 HD

Ultrasone PRO 650

AudioTechnica A700X

 

Note; remember that you can get something a little warmer than you're looking for that has great mids presentation and simply equalize the midbass down if it's too warm. Easier and better than trying to find a flagship level neutral headphone in your price range.

 

Also at this price range, you're pretty close to being able to actually go flagship on a used Hifiman HE-500 (usually $500~600 used). Maybe something to consider if you want to get what you're after and not need any other headphone at home.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/11/12 at 12:49pm
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Mr MalVeaux, thank you for taking the time to look at what I have for the suggestion list !  Gives me something to research...all part of the fun for me.

post #7 of 14
Seriously consider the new Soundmagic HP200, you will experience bass clarity, great soundstage and imaging with a real sense of air, crystal clear mids and highs... I think they are excellent cans for the price, and super comfortable.

Good luck
Regards
Edited by ostewart - 11/11/12 at 1:22pm
post #8 of 14

Not to be too insistent but I am listening to the 598's right now and the treble is LESS piercing than the D2000. I dont think anyone could describe them as having piercing treble (they ARE made by Senn!!) ... they are "bright" -ish because they have less mid-bass than the typical house-sound, very mid-forward, but the treble is somewhat warm. I dunno, I think you'd be missing out if you didnt at least try them. I'll rest my case. Good luck!

post #9 of 14

Q701 gets my vote.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post

Q701 gets my vote.

Mr jasonb, would it be a correct inference to conclude from your recommendation that the AKG 701 or 702 would be equally recommended by you?  I  understand (and may be mistaken) that the Q701 are equivalent to these with the exception of the Quincy Jones branding and color detail, and the 702 have a detachable cable.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

Seriously consider the new Soundmagic HP200, you will experience bass clarity, great soundstage and imaging with a real sense of air, crystal clear mids and highs... I think they are excellent cans for the price, and super comfortable.
Good luck
Regards

Mr randomkid,  I both read the review and watched the video.  These are under-represented among this community, I believe... makes them interesting to me.  After the ATH-m50s, I am not so keen on smooth pleather pads.

 

The HP200s seem to me to have better build quality than the Sennheiser HD 598, with more metal...though, as a purely stay-in-my-home-office purpose, that may not be totally relevant. 

post #12 of 14

Never heard the K701 or K702, but some people have said that the Q701 is a bit warmer sounding. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angular Mo View Post

Mr jasonb, would it be a correct inference to conclude from your recommendation that the AKG 701 or 702 would be equally recommended by you?  I  understand (and may be mistaken) that the Q701 are equivalent to these with the exception of the Quincy Jones branding and color detail, and the 702 have a detachable cable.

post #13 of 14
The pleather pads are really soft, nothing like the M50 (which I really did not like), they are as comfy if not more than the beyerdynamic models I've tried (DT990 and 770) they also sound better.

Also only outer half is pleather, on the inside it's fabric to let your ears breathe.

Yes they are under represented which is a real shame as they deserve more exposure. And build quality next to the sennheiser, the soundmagic are much better (didn't get to hear the HD598, but got to see build quality) the sennheiser models have been know to develop cracks in the headband too.

Hope I could help.

Also them being under represented had made it difficult for me to sell the HP200.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

The pleather pads are really soft, nothing like the M50 (which I really did not like), they are as comfy if not more than the beyerdynamic models I've tried (DT990 and 770) they also sound better.
Also only outer half is pleather, on the inside it's fabric to let your ears breathe.
Yes they are under represented which is a real shame as they deserve more exposure. And build quality next to the sennheiser, the soundmagic are much better (didn't get to hear the HD598, but got to see build quality) the sennheiser models have been know to develop cracks in the headband too.
Hope I could help.
Also them being under represented had made it difficult for me to sell the HP200.

Headband crack was fixed ages ago 

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