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Somewhat amazing headphones for $200 for a headphone noob

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been searching through threads and through review sites for several hours and find myself going in circles on what headphones I should be looking at buying. I have never spent more than $20 on a pair of headphones before and I am willing to put down $100-$300 for a nice pair. I have been looking at Sennheiser, Shure, Beyerdynamic, AKG, and Audio-Technica although I have no preference on brand other than not being Sony, Beats, or Bose (people keep telling me to get these). The major problem is that to use them for multiple things and have them still sound good and clear for all of these things:

 

1. Listening to Metal/Thrash/Hard Rock (I've heard lower costing headphones are better due to sound compression but would love a pair that makes metal sound good)

2. Listening to Psy Trance [Infected Mushroom] and classical/solo piano and guitar

3. Playing electric guitar with headphones on (through my amp)

4. Watching movies/playing video games

 

I'm probably over thinking the whole buying process but that is my priority list. It is unlikely that I will be disappointed with a $200 pair of headphones after living off of $10-20 cheap in-ear and over-the-ear headphones. I have found a lot of what I want to listen to contradicts itself. Any suggestions on what set I should buy will be much appreciated (I'm not an audiophile but do love my music).

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMustaine View Post

I have been searching through threads and through review sites for several hours and find myself going in circles on what headphones I should be looking at buying. I have never spent more than $20 on a pair of headphones before and I am willing to put down $100-$300 for a nice pair. I have been looking at Sennheiser, Shure, Beyerdynamic, AKG, and Audio-Technica although I have no preference on brand other than not being Sony, Beats, or Bose (people keep telling me to get these). The major problem is that to use them for multiple things and have them still sound good and clear for all of these things:

 

1. Listening to Metal/Thrash/Hard Rock (I've heard lower costing headphones are better due to sound compression but would love a pair that makes metal sound good)

2. Listening to Psy Trance [Infected Mushroom] and classical/solo piano and guitar

3. Playing electric guitar with headphones on (through my amp)

4. Watching movies/playing video games

 

I'm probably over thinking the whole buying process but that is my priority list. It is unlikely that I will be disappointed with a $200 pair of headphones after living off of $10-20 cheap in-ear and over-the-ear headphones. I have found a lot of what I want to listen to contradicts itself. Any suggestions on what set I should buy will be much appreciated (I'm not an audiophile but do love my music).

 

What's wrong with Sony? They make some amazing headphones. MDR-1R, MA900, V6's are all frequently recommended here.

 

What is your source? Just your PC/mac and phone/mp3 player?

post #3 of 13
I've got the Beyerdynamic DT770 LE and love them. They do benefit by an amp, and burn in. You might like the Beyerdynamic COP as they're a little more "bassy" for a like of a better term
post #4 of 13

I'd suggest a Beyerdynamic in that price range. The DT770 80 Ohms if you want closed headphones with a little extra bass, or the DT880 Pros if you want something completely neutral (neutral can sound harsh to beginners, though). You could still get a decent amp to go with them and not go over budget. Also, don't expect them to blow you away immediately (although there's a very high chance that they will), because a lot of nuances in good headphones aren't immediately obvious to newcomers. Over time you'll grow to appreciate them more.

 

And Sony is very hit and miss. Some of their headphones (probably the ones tons of people have been recommending) are dismal, while some are quite good. Actually, the same goes for Sennheiser. Both companies have product lines that span the market from being intended for the uneducated consumer to being made for customers who really care about sound.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes. My source would be my laptop and Desktop as well as droid/ipod but I am not concerned about how mobile the headphones are. I also wear glasses so that factors into the comfort as well. I have been reading a lot of suggestions on the DT 770s. My current headphones are like a $25 pair of "Stagg" audio headphones that sound very tunnelly and my laptop produces better sound.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMustaine View Post

Yes. My source would be my laptop and Desktop as well as droid/ipod but I am not concerned about how mobile the headphones are. I also wear glasses so that factors into the comfort as well. I have been reading a lot of suggestions on the DT 770s. My current headphones are like a $25 pair of "Stagg" audio headphones that sound very tunnelly and my laptop produces better sound.

 

For your genres (maybe except for solo piano, which is a very picky genre to begin with), I think the HFI-2400 was among the best I've heard in its price range.

 

But glasses can make or break some headphones. I do remember the HFI's having a bit of clamping pressure which didn't bother me at all but might be painful for you. A safe bet would be to go with the already mentioned Beyer's as they are some of the most comfortable headphones around. Don't forget about the DT990's. If you can get over its hot treble, it is a very fun headphone to listen to.

post #7 of 13

Grado SR-225i

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMustaine View Post

I have been searching through threads and through review sites for several hours and find myself going in circles on what headphones I should be looking at buying. I have never spent more than $20 on a pair of headphones before and I am willing to put down $100-$300 for a nice pair. I have been looking at Sennheiser, Shure, Beyerdynamic, AKG, and Audio-Technica although I have no preference on brand other than not being Sony, Beats, or Bose (people keep telling me to get these). The major problem is that to use them for multiple things and have them still sound good and clear for all of these things:

 

1. Listening to Metal/Thrash/Hard Rock (I've heard lower costing headphones are better due to sound compression but would love a pair that makes metal sound good)

2. Listening to Psy Trance [Infected Mushroom] and classical/solo piano and guitar

3. Playing electric guitar with headphones on (through my amp)

4. Watching movies/playing video games

 

I'm probably over thinking the whole buying process but that is my priority list. It is unlikely that I will be disappointed with a $200 pair of headphones after living off of $10-20 cheap in-ear and over-the-ear headphones. I have found a lot of what I want to listen to contradicts itself. Any suggestions on what set I should buy will be much appreciated (I'm not an audiophile but do love my music).

 

Heya,

 

Maybe look into:

 

Beyer DT770 LE 32ohm

Beyer DT880 Premium 32ohm

Ultrasone PRO 750

Ultrasone HFI 2400

Hifiman HE-300

Sony MA900

SoundMAGIC HP100

NuForce HP 800

AKG K167

AKG K271 MK II

AKG Q701

Brainwavz HM5

 

Very best,

post #9 of 13

I see no one has recommended Audio Technica here. Are they not as good / worth it in this price range?

I'm not trying to hijack the thread (I am curious myself) and the answer still applies to OP.

 

Would the AD900X / A900X (depending on his open/closed preference) not be a high choice?

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the suggestions so far. Are any of these headphones going to have problems with metal? I've heard that more expensive headphones can actually ruin metal because of the "loudness wars" recordings and compression.
post #11 of 13
From what I've read it sounds like you need the a900x from Audio Technica. They happen to be on sale right now too. (See link below) They sound great with rock and solo guitar, have very nice accurate bass that goes very low but doesn't drown out the rest of the sound, and the wing system is very awkward at first but will work very well with your glasses. Wide sound stage very natural with little to nothing being forced through with zero clamp so wearing glasses won't be a problem at all.

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=ATHA900X

Good luck!!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Going to look at best buy atm
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Best buy had awful choices :/ guess I have to pick based on gut instinct over the internet.

EDIT
I was liking the ADH a900x descriptions but the cable is not removable < kind of kills it for me.
Edited by DaveMustaine - 3/15/13 at 6:46pm
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