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Buying 300$ range over ear headphones

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


I'm looking for a pair of  over ear headphones for around 300$ (I'll be buying in € but whatever). This will be my first pair of headphones so I can't tell you what characteristics I like.

After reading similar threads and reviews I've narrowed it down to these:

  • AKG K550 (160€)
  • Mr Speakers Mad Dogs, with whatever mods (420€ -- because of shipping to europe)
  • Beyer DT880, 600 Ohm (300€)
  • Shure SRH940 (250€)
  • Sennheiser Momentum (300€)
  • V-Moda M100 (300€)
  • [add a HP that you think is better]


Music: rock, electronic, pop, music by Hans Zimmer

Source: Fiio E17 with Galaxy S, PC, laptop, Playstation 3

Headphone type: over ear (I dislike on ear); prefer closed-back

Usage: at home, public transports, road trips


Honestly I'm leaning towards  AKG K550 and Mad Dogs, despite the following problems. My problem with K550 is that they're only 185€ and it makes me feel like I could get better headphones since i still have 115€ to spend, plus a lot of people say they have problems with seal. And with Mad Dogs I don't know how I'd get them and they seem to benefit from modifications, which I'd feel weird doing (but would do if it's not risky or the difference is significant).


Thank you!

Edited by Ignoxio - 3/4/13 at 6:51am
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

So Mad Dogs > K550 > others

Is Fiio e17 enough to drive Mad Dogs?

And any idea where to buy them in Europe?

post #3 of 27

beyerdynamic dt 880/990 would be good. i'd get 32 or 250 ohm version unless you have a decent amp for the 600 ohms.


i personally enjoyed my 990, it has more bass and a funner sound than the dt 880, which is more neutral

Edited by Dubstep Girl - 3/2/13 at 1:52pm
post #4 of 27

"Usage: at home, public transports, road trips"

This means anything open (ie beyer 880, 990) are out of the equation.

From what i gather the "Mad Dogs" need serious amplification, so that might also be out.

I'd suggest looking at the the senn amperior or beyer dt1350, but since you want circumaural i think your best options are the senn momentum, akg k550 or dt 770(though i'm not sure they're on the same sonic level).

If you have the chance (a nearby audio store) you should go and listen to them yourself, preferably bringing your own gear and music you're familiar with.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

The total price of Mad Dogs is out of my budged.

I've read some comparisons between AKG k550 and Senn Momentum in which AKG came up on top, which is favourable since they're more than 100€ cheaper.

Now for the amp -- do you guys think Fiio E17 is overkill for K550, as they're easy to drive.. as mentioned I'll be using them on PC, laptop, mobile phone and playstation 3.

post #6 of 27

Regarding amplification on the Mad Dogs, I think your E17 would do fine, but they do scale with amplification, so if you do decide to take the plunge and upgrade amplification, you'll see returns on the Mad Dogs.


The Mad Dogs are a bit clunky, but unlike alot of members here, I had no real problem taking them on public transport with me (I think of em as earmuffs!) with ONE CAVEAT: if you want to put them away, they can be a little awkward in that they're large, and you either need a case or backpack in that case. In this case, YMMV. I've been spoiled by the asgard 2 and bifrost on these bad boys that I've stopped using them in public, taking into account how awkward they can be to put away + ergonomics of IEMs. For home use and car trips assuming you'll just be in the back seat lounging about, they're great.

Edited by vaed - 3/2/13 at 4:06pm
post #7 of 27

The AKG K550 is actually available for about 150 euros! (check amazon.de and a few other sites) but I would also suggest the soundmagic HP100,(180 euros). It seems to be pretty close or the same as the K550 (haven't heard the HP100, just read impressions here). The AKG K550 is a great headphone but there is always the chance of you having "fit" problems..it seems very good for large heads, for the rest is just hit and miss! 

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yeah the price for K550 on amazon.de went down today. Soundmagic HP100 is supposed to be weak on bass and is pretty bright. And yes, the fit worries me. =/  None of the stores near by have them so I could try for myself.


I was checking ebay for Mad Dogs, as expected without luck, but I did find Fostex t50rp for around 150€, or a bit less. Is there a huge difference between the two? I know Mad Dogs are modded t50rp, but like how? New speakers or just new pads..? Is fostex t50rp better than AKG K550? Can I mod t50rp to make it like (or at least closer to) Mad Dog -- like buy different pads, insert cotton in speakers, etc.



post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

Could somebody answer? Buying really soon.

post #10 of 27
IMO Its Mad Dogs all the way. Heard all but the 550 and their not even close
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

I can't get Mad Dogs, only Fostex T50RP and I don't know how that compares to Mad Dogs or K550. I asked about it two posts above yours.

post #12 of 27

I would say Sennheiser Momentum, Sony MDR-1R, or V-Moda M100 as the best closed portable headphones you can get in the $300 range. They are definitely the most highly reviewed ones at least. Since you don't know what sound signature you are looking for and you can't demo it for comfort, just buy whatever you think looks better lol.


I think electronica and music by Hans Zimmer, the M100 would give you a lot of legit bass impact without adversely affecting the mids/trebles. M100 has a bass emphasis (the bass is very well-done) so it will excel for that kind of thing. I personally would say at least try the M100 as vmoda & amazon both have great return policies. If it is too bassy for you, then you will have a better idea of what sound signature you want. I really think you should try these first, because I really loved the sound signature of them personally.


The MDR-1R & Momentum are more mid-centric so audiophiles like TheReem who appears to like more flat sound would probably recommend those. I would imagine Shure SRH940 is even flatter. MDR-1r is supposed to be mid-centric with warm bass and the Momentum is often described as technical and balanced throughout. Slightly more bass than normal sennheiser sound though, but less than many competitors.


I wouldn't get the AKG K550 for portable use as it is pretty big and the wires are non-detachable. AKG K551 is basically the same thing but detachable cables. AKG K550 also has a very weak bass compared to what an average consumer would want. For producing/mix, the less-emphasized bass is great as you can hear the treble detail better, but for portables you probably want more bass to help isolate noise & you need it emphasized to hear it over road noise. In my personal opinion, Mad Dogs won't be very portable (bigger than others) and they sound best with a amp, which would be annoying to carry around. Beyer DT880 will also look really crazy big on your head & probably won't be comfy to wear around your neck.


I personally think the M100s would be the best choice for you as the extra tight bass impact might not be great for TheReem as he wants really flat sound, for most average people, u-shaped sound signature is sounds really nice for their music. You will legit feel like you are watching the movie again listening to Hans Zimmer on the M100s :)


Happy Headphone Hunting & I hope you find what you are looking for.

Edited by money4me247 - 3/3/13 at 2:01pm
post #13 of 27
I have heard the fostex T50RP unmodded and was rather disappointed. Very mid-centric and bass-shy. Haven't heard the AKG 550 or the Mad Dogs so can't compare. I use the Sennheiser Momentums for my commute and am really happy with them. They are robust, light, easy to drive and sound quite balanced with maybe a little bass-emphasis. However they are not very big so if you have big ears there might be a comfort issue.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 



This guy compared AKG K550, Momentum, MDR-1R and some others, and sound-wise the K550 was supposably on top.

And I never said I'm going to commute 24/7, I will still use them mostly at home. And I think the K550 is a pretty safe pick, since it's a 300$ headphone that I can buy it from amazon.de for 160€, which is not that much. Given that they don't differ by that much and that one is half the price of others, I'm pretty much decided.


Thank you guys for your effort.

post #15 of 27
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post

IMO Its Mad Dogs all the way. Heard all but the 550 and their not even close

Originally Posted by Ignoxio View Post

I can't get Mad Dogs, only Fostex T50RP and I don't know how that compares to Mad Dogs or K550. I asked about it two posts above yours.
Why can't you get Mad Dogs?
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