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A newbie's first pair of Real headphones, any recommendations? <$150 shipped

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


I'm new to the headphone scene and the amount of info out there is really overwhelming, I've got a pair of 683 B&W speakers along with an HSU sub that I love to listen to, but since I live in an apartment I must find a good alternative for listening to music at night.


At first I was set on getting a pair of Grado RS80i, but then I read some mixed reviews about how they're not accurate and they mostly just fit rock music which kind of put me off. Then I saw the amazing 50+ top headphones thread and saw these two being within my price range:








Since I always like to hear as much input about something from different people as possible before going ahead and make the purchase, mainly because I live in a place with hardly any real headphones to try out myself so your input is extra valuable to me, I'd appreciate it if you guys would share your thoughts about those headphones or suggest others that I should consider.



Some more info:


- I'll be using the headphones with my RX-V663 Yamaha receiver, based on what I read the headphone amp section is pretty decent. My friend will get the same headphone I will though but he only has his PC's soundcard to use for now, we'll both consider purchasing a headphone amp in the future for sure specially if it's highly recommended.


- DAC isn't an important factor to me for now since so far I can't hear a real difference between different types of DACs.


- I listen to most music genres, except a few such as rap, here's what I listen to the most:

* Rock

* Heavy metal

* Progressive Metal

* Movie and video game sound tracks by people like Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, Nobuo uematsu..etc I LOVE those. Lots of violin, piano, electronic music, orchestral pieces..etc in those.


- Comfort is very important to me and willing to buy separate ear pads of different materials if they're not hard to come by to add some extra comfort.


- The headphone being good for gaming & movies would be a + but that's not essential, music gets the priority over those.


Any help would be appreciated!

post #2 of 3



I would put you on:


Ultrasone HFI 780

Beyer DT770 PRO

AudioTechnica A700X

Brainwavz HM5


Sony MDRZX700

Sennheiser HD380 PRO


Very best,

post #3 of 3

I wouldn't give up on Grados that fast, especially with your music selection. Grados are more colored than most headphones, true, but they are honestly more exciting than most headphones as well. Seriously, a Grado SR60i or SR80i with a pair of L-Cush pads is going to rock your socks for the genres you primarily listen to.


I love Grados for Rock, Metal, Progressive Rock, or literally anything guitar-driven. They'll get your head bobbin' and your feet tappin' faster than any other can. So in this regard, you should consider if you want a headphone that can get you groovin' and movin' or if you want a headphone that is more accurate in its presentation of the music. Grados will make you feel like a participant in the music. Others will make you observe the music. What do you prefer? I prefer the former most of the time.

As for being a one-hit-wonder genre-wise, I think that's way blown out of proportion here on Headfi. I enjoy Grados with literally everything, but yes they excel at the mentioned genres and you can get more out of genres like Classical with other headphones in a similar price range. I even really enjoy Trance and various EDM on them, because they're super punchy, the forward mids bring forth the melodies, and the forward highs are a lot of fun (to me).

All that said, consider whether you need isolation in a headphone or not. Grados won't offer any. So if that's important, go the route of closed-back. Open-back will generally sound better, though.

Also, comfort on Grados is hit or miss. Some people find them comfortable, others can't seem to stand them. So that might be a risk for you. When I first got into headphones, I held comfort as a very important factor in my decision, until I heard Grados. I find the L-Cush pads to be uncomfortable after about an hour, but frequent adjustment and frequent use will alleviate this, or at least it did in my case. Plus, you can easily switch pads back to stock pads (S-Cush) which are actually very comfortable to me but doesn't sound as good as L-Cush pads do on Grados. But in the end, the sound was too addictive that I find I can deal with the comfort issues.

One thing I also want to mention, because I think this is often not talked about with Grados, is the fact that I think your enjoyment of them will depend upon your preferred listening volume. Grados have forward mids and highs and have peaks at certain frequencies which really make guitars pop but can also make the listening experience difficult at high volumes. If you listen to your music at moderate volumes I think you'll have no problems! Or, if you often enjoy listening to music as fairly low volumes, I almost think you can't go better than with Grado! They are seriously some of the most fun headphones for low-volume listening. I'll listen to music quietly while gaming with some friends over Skype, and I often am surprised by how involving the music can be even at very quiet volumes! It's just a trait Grados have!

All that said, definitely consider the headphones MalVeauX mentioned. He knows what he's talking about and has heard and owned many more headphones than I have, so keep that in mind. I had to be the Grado advocate though! I love 'em.

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