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Best unamped open capsule headphone below $300? DT880? HD598?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sennheiser HD598's seem to sound better than DT880s *without* an amp, pretty passable IMO.

 

Even at low impedence, Beyer headphones just seem to need a lot of juice.

 

Anyone else have experience driving medium-range open capsules in this range? Words of wisdom? Suggestions?

post #2 of 12
I would say you should buy an amp if you're looking at headphones in that price range.
Edited by Shazb0t - 2/26/13 at 1:23pm
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindex View Post

Sennheiser HD598's seem to sound better than DT880s *without* an amp, pretty passable IMO.

 

Even at low impedence, Beyer headphones just seem to need a lot of juice.

 

Anyone else have experience driving medium-range open capsules in this range? Words of wisdom? Suggestions?

i have the HD558 modded, and it drives pretty well unamped. you gotta spend some real money to get an amp to notice a significant quality difference though (like as much as the headphones themselves or more) what's your source? macbook? lappie? phone? desktop with bad/badass soundcard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazb0t View Post

I would say you should by an amp if you're looking to headphones in that price range.

true that, but he probably wants to reduce clutter or maybe for portable reasons

post #4 of 12

Without an amp, ath-ad900x beat them all

post #5 of 12
Better is highly subjective (there's no "1-10 scale" at play here) - what you like may not be what I like, and vice versa. smily_headphones1.gif

Anyways, I like the Grado SR-225 and Ultrasone HFI-2400, which are both around $200. If you have an extra hundred bucks, either spend it on music/food/etc or consider the SR-325. They aren't similar though, and which one is better for you is really dependent on you. I think the Ultrasone are more likely to appeal to a wider audience though, just because of their fit (I personally don't have any comfort issues with Grado headphones, but some people do - and that should be considered).

Depending on what you mean by "unamped," the AKG K701 should also be considered. They're usually around $250, at least last I looked they were. I haven't heard the ATH-AD900 or 900X, but if the ATH-A900X is any indication, they're probably also a very good candidate in this price range.
post #6 of 12

I think it really depends on your preference of music when talking about the 'best headphones'.

 

For headphones in this range, which are mostly 'serious' headphones, not being amped is a great disadvantage. So there are less choices and you might to do more give-and-take - this is when your music preference kicks in.

 

HD598 are universally good, but they are not the best on all genres, e.g. if your are a dedicated classical music listener, a pair of German Maestro gmp435s are very likely to be a much better choice; for some jazz, bossa nova or folk music, the cheaper SR125i could be a strong rival. 


Edited by NicoCat - 2/18/13 at 1:04pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoCat View Post

I think it really depends on your preference of music when talking about the 'best headphones'.

 

For headphones in this range, which are mostly 'serious' headphones, not being amped is a great disadvantage. So there are less choices and you might to do more give-and-take - this is when your music preference kicks in.

 

HD598 are universally good, but they are not the best on all genres, e.g. if your are a dedicated classical music listener, a pair of German Maestro gmp435s are very likely to be a much better choice; for some jazz, bossa nova or folk music, the cheaper SR125i could be a strong rival. 

and for rock the grados/alessandros would give the senns a serious whippingph34r.gif
(though the senns are more immersive than the grados/allesandros in slower genres like maybe classical)


Edited by streetdragon - 2/18/13 at 1:42pm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

and for rock the grados/alessandros would give the senns a serious whippingph34r.gif
(though the senns are more immersive than the grados/allesandros in slower genres like maybe classical)

and your ears will get a whipping too (ear fatigue alert) basshead.gif lol

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxDobermanxX View Post

and your ears will get a whipping too (ear fatigue alert) basshead.gif lol

depends on how loud you play the music tootongue.gif

post #10 of 12

german maestro gmp 435s. no amp needed, over ear, open back, very different experience than Senn's and Grado's and Beyer's. Give it a try, you would like it.

post #11 of 12

I said gmp 4.35s already but also new philips fidelio x1 is really dominating, I heard people compare it with hd600. Also no amp needed. Consider this seriously.

post #12 of 12
My vote is for the SR325i/225i's. I love my SR80i's to death, I prefer them over my more expensive HD518's, for everything except classical. Grado's also run extremely well unamped, although it seems like they'd scale to your amp. For $300 id either get SR225i's with a FiiO E7/E07K amp or plain SR325i's.
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