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Moving to a new level of headphone

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I've been researching headphones for the past hour or two, trying to find which I'd like to get. I currently have the Studio Beats, and have always been pretty unimpressed. They have quite a bit of bass, which used to satisfy me, but whenever I turn on The Smiths or classical music I feel unsatisfied.

Every time I'd search something about headphones tonight, threads on this site kept popping up, so I thought I'd join and ask what you guys think. Luckily, I have to go deposit money before I can buy headphones, else I might've already splurged on a pair.

The headphones I'm looking into right now are the Grado SR 225i Prestige Series, AKG 240MKII, and the ATH-M50s. I was leaning toward the M50s, but overall I'm not sure enough. I'd like headphones that are pretty comfortable (I'm pretty tolerant, but if a pair is terribly uncomfortable then nah), a good range, of course (probably fairly strong on the low end), and durability. I also don't really have the option of getting more than one pair for now, and I'm looking at $200 at most (college student, you know).

 

One reason I came here was to share the bands and types of music I listen to and see what you guys think. A set of bands that defines my taste right now pretty well is: Death (death metal), Rush, The Smiths, Neutral Milk Hotel, Slayer, Megadeth, Alice in Chains, Tool, Pink Floyd, (early) Weezer, My Bloody Valentine, and Agalloch (folk/black metal). I'm also getting into classical, like Beethoven, Brahms, and a few others. I mostly listen to metal and rock, so I'm a pretty big fan of bass. But I don't want headphones like the Beats that ruin my experience with music that isn't bass-heavy, and I'm willing to sacrifice some bass in order to achieve that.

Let me know what you guys think, thanks a lot in advance.

post #2 of 30

For a good number of your tastes I'd actually recommend the HD598.  Not exactly bass monsters, but they have the extension as far as I can hear.  Search around and you should be able to find them for a bit over 200.  Cable is a decent length, and they are fantastic in terms of comfort.  One other thing to note.  They don't need an amp out of the gate, but will sound a bit better with one.  For bands such as Tool, Pink Floyd, Megadeath I've found the sound stage of the Sennheisers to be a nice pro.  Once again though.  They aren't bass monsters, but they've never left me wanting.  Especially in the genres you have listed.  If you want electronica... Try Ultrasone.

 

Grados from what I understand tend to be bass light in most cases.  (I have a SR-60)  So in this case you'll likely be disappointed.  They also are very polarizing in terms of comfort.  They'll tend to dig in after a few hours of listening.  On the other hand they are one of the more modder friendly headphones.

 

I have no comment on the AKGs... I've heard nice things about em though.

 

Overall I don't think these come with the ipod volume dongle.  The M50 has been described as having a rather narrow soundstage, and I have heard it be described as neutral by a few people here.  One thing to keep in mind is the hype the M50 has received.  I think it's become a knee jerk recommendation for some as much as the 598 has for me.  Still... The AKG and M50s should disappoint in terms of bass. 

 

EDIT: Welcome to Head-fi.  Sorry about your wallet. 


Edited by MegaMushroom - 1/18/13 at 2:15am
post #3 of 30
Yea! HD598 is the way to go. You will totally surprised smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 30

AKG K240 has good bass and extension, but there's not a lot of it, which is good for any acoustic music and hours of comfortable easy-listening, but isn't so great for heavy rock/metal or electronic music.

 

Grado's are the best for electric guitars, and it helps to have small flat ears to increase comfort. I think they're also really good for any acoustic music. They are more coloured than the AKG, but I like it - very natural sound presence and decay. 

 

I also like the HD598, but I think they benefit from amping. Also the K240 benefits from amping. 

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagrish View Post

I've been researching headphones for the past hour or two, trying to find which I'd like to get. I currently have the Studio Beats, and have always been pretty unimpressed. They have quite a bit of bass, which used to satisfy me, but whenever I turn on The Smiths or classical music I feel unsatisfied.

Every time I'd search something about headphones tonight, threads on this site kept popping up, so I thought I'd join and ask what you guys think. Luckily, I have to go deposit money before I can buy headphones, else I might've already splurged on a pair.

The headphones I'm looking into right now are the Grado SR 225i Prestige Series, AKG 240MKII, and the ATH-M50s. I was leaning toward the M50s, but overall I'm not sure enough. I'd like headphones that are pretty comfortable (I'm pretty tolerant, but if a pair is terribly uncomfortable then nah), a good range, of course (probably fairly strong on the low end), and durability. I also don't really have the option of getting more than one pair for now, and I'm looking at $200 at most (college student, you know).

 

One reason I came here was to share the bands and types of music I listen to and see what you guys think. A set of bands that defines my taste right now pretty well is: Death (death metal), Rush, The Smiths, Neutral Milk Hotel, Slayer, Megadeth, Alice in Chains, Tool, Pink Floyd, (early) Weezer, My Bloody Valentine, and Agalloch (folk/black metal). I'm also getting into classical, like Beethoven, Brahms, and a few others. I mostly listen to metal and rock, so I'm a pretty big fan of bass. But I don't want headphones like the Beats that ruin my experience with music that isn't bass-heavy, and I'm willing to sacrifice some bass in order to achieve that.

Let me know what you guys think, thanks a lot in advance.

 

Heya,

 

Look into:

 

Sony MA900

AKG K240 MKII

Ultrasone HFI 2400

Hifiman HE-300 r2 (used/sale)

Beyer DT880 PRO (used/sale)

 

Beyer DT770 PRO 80ohm

AKG K167

AKG K271 MKII

Ultrasone PRO 750

Ultrasone HFI 780

AudioTechnica A900X

AudioTechnica A700X

Logitech UE 6000

 

Very best,

post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

Awesome, thanks for the replies. I could probably just find this online, but what exactly is 'extension'? Also, would an amp be very necessary for someone who isn't much of an audiophile at this point? Would I notice much of a difference? I mean, I'm getting better at recognizing differences in sound quality (e.g. between lossless and MP3 320) and other things, but at this point I pretty much download/rip everything at MP3 320 (largely due to the huge memory investment that comes with FLAC) and that's fine with me. Thoughts?

post #7 of 30

When talking about bass 'extension' that refers to how low the bass goes, or how far down it extends. In a  lot of  headphones the bass 'rolls off' which means gets quieter and quieter the lower the frequency. 

Good extension means that the bass rolls off less or is solid all the way down.

 

You probably won't notice a huge difference if any between modern 320Kbps MP3 files and flac. Most people don't, even the 'audiophiles'.

I would say amping is largely dependant on the headphones you use. Some headphones literally sound twice as good with an amp, and some only improve by around 5%.

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: extension, okay that makes sense. And as for the amp, let's use the HD598s as a point of reference. Would an amp be a significant advantage for those? And how much would an amp that would be worth getting run me? Oh, and with these headphones, apparently the end of the cable that goes into your output device is a 1/4" jack and the set comes with an adapter for 1/8". But apparently using the adapter affects the quality? I guess this problem is correct with an amp, though, which should include a 1/4" input?

Edit: Maybe, to have a bit more options, I'll say $300 max. That'll include headphones and possibly an amp and whatever else I may need.


Edited by dagrish - 1/18/13 at 1:55pm
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagrish View Post

Re: extension, okay that makes sense. And as for the amp, let's use the HD598s as a point of reference. Would an amp be a significant advantage for those? And how much would an amp that would be worth getting run me? Oh, and with these headphones, apparently the end of the cable that goes into your output device is a 1/4" jack and the set comes with an adapter for 1/8". But apparently using the adapter affects the quality? I guess this problem is correct with an amp, though, which should include a 1/4" input?

Edit: Maybe, to have a bit more options, I'll say $300 max. That'll include headphones and possibly an amp and whatever else I may need.


I haven't heard a fiio myself so I couldn't really recommend them from personal experience. However, based on popular opinion, it would be a good fit with the HD598 (which I do own and think is very good).

post #10 of 30

Whether you need an amp depends on the headphones and your source. Some headphones are easier/harder to drive than others, and the amount of power sources deliver varies. The HD 598, for example, can be driven by pretty much any source. It's very sensitive and it has a low impedance.

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

So since the HD598 can be easily driven, an amp isn't as crucial? I'll mainly be using my laptop and iPod (which I should probably replace soon, it's going to ****) as the sources.

Edit: Stumbled upon these, does anyone have thoughts on them? http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-770-PRO-80-ohms/dp/B0016MNAAI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358545096&sr=8-3&keywords=beyer+dt700

From what I've read, lower impedance is generally better, and is also related to the settings you want for your amplifier. So I guess I'd go with the 80 Ohms if I got these.


Edited by dagrish - 1/18/13 at 5:22pm
post #12 of 30

How will you be using these 'phones? At home or as portables?

The beyers will really benfit more from an amp. 

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

Quite a bit at home, but I listen to music when I walk to school and sometimes between classes too. But the at home experience is probably the more important one for me. I was considering getting a 'closed'/isolated pair because my roommates can often hear my music, but I read that open headphones are generally better. Which is fine, it's not that big of a deal if they sometimes hear my music.

post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 

Well, I guess that brings up another question. Are closed phones going to generally sound significantly 'worse' than open ones? Now that I think about it, closed would be nice if they don't diminish the quality significantly.

post #15 of 30

I don't think closed will reduce the sound quality significantly.  At this point I can recommend the Sennheiser Amperior.  While they are 300 dollars they do not need an amp.  I've had no issues driving them out of my Nokia Lumia 810 and my old Creative Zen Vision:M.  If you want to save some money I'd look into the HD-25ii. 

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