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A little help whittling down my closed headphone list

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
If you would please. First let me say that I have hours logged in researching candidates. Reading reviews, specs, forum posts, etc. every time I think I have a winner picked, I come across some tidbit of data the steers me in another direction. I don't have the option to listen to each and every model I'm curious about, at least I don't think I do.

Here's a little background. I really enjoy listening to music with headphones, even to a nice sounding system. I like the isolation and personal experience they provide. I have had headphones I have enjoyed, although nothing high end, and I'm really not looking for high end now.. Just something that meets my requirements. I had a pair of Grado SR60 that I liked, except for the ear cups. But to me they sounded great. The problem is my wife:). I like to listen to music in bed when I go to sleep, and boy did she hate those. I guess she doesn't like being fully immersed in the majesty that is Slayer when she's trying to sleep. Anyway, I got some Bose on ear phones from her mother for Christmas, and I have been using them since. I say "using", but I really don't like them much. So I have really not listened much at all for a couple of years now. I look back fondly on drifting to sleep to my tunes, and I want a replacement for the Bose.

My personality is such that I tend to want to make the most informed purchase, based on what I feel like will satisfy my needs. Unfortunately when this gets mixed with volumes of data at my fingertips through the interweb, I can find myself paralyzed Unable to make a decision due to all of the wonderful information available on sites such as this. I guess I'm just weak in that regard. Anyway, here's the list of what I think are my requirements:

Closed back
Over ear
As little leakage as possible
Excellent isolation
Not overly bass heavy, although I do enjoy a little thump
Not to exceed 300ish dollars

I tend to listen to rock, metal, blues, bluegrass, punk, and a little rap every now and then. The potential candidates I have come up with are (in no order at the moment):

AKG K271
AKG K550
Shure SRH840
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80

Based on my research, there is something to like about all of these guys. I have what is probably a larger noggin, if that means much. Oh, and most of my listening will be an iPod. The candidate does not need to be portable at all, in fact I think I want full size. I would appreciate impressions from those who own any of these, and I hoping to get some comparative impressions if anyone happens to own or have owned multiples from the list. Although it may send me into a research induced tailspin, I'm also open to other suggestions that those more experienced than I might offer given the desired traits.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Sorry for yet another what should I buy thread, but I'm hopeful that your thought will crown a winner.
post #2 of 8

SoundMAGIC HP100 with FiiO E9K or E07K (portable).


Check out some reviews.

post #3 of 8

+1 on the Soundmagic HP100

AKG K550

Shure 840 is a good value IMO.



I think the AKG 271 will have too little bass for your music,

and the DT770 will have too much.


There's also the new(ish) Sony MDR R1,

but it also has a ramped up bass.  Not as much as the DT770, though.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Right out of the chute, an option I hadn't even heard of. A quick read of a couple of posts on the Soundmagic seem really spot on with what I'm looking for. I'll check them out a little more.
post #5 of 8
I have the the Shure SRH440's and I absolutely love them as far as closed backs. For mine for $100. They are my primary headphones for work. The isolation is good, bass is good (not over powering though), and overall personal enjoyment is great. The only other high end headphones I have to compare to are my Grado SR325is cans. My Grado's win in overall sound quality, but since they are open backs (poor isolation) Shure cans win in overall practical use.
post #6 of 8

I have experience with the K550's and DT770's. The K550's are very detailed and airy, and have a lot of sparkle to them and a very comfortable and sturdy design. But I don't think they would work well for you if you want bass thump. They're fairly bass-light, and don't produce the low frequency sounds as well as some other headphones. The DT770's, on the other hand, have a healthy amount of bass without being excessive, and are just as comfy and durable. I'd recommend you pair an amp with them to get the most of them, but they work alright without one too.

post #7 of 8

I had an SRH440 too, and while it sounded good, I ended up selling it because of comfort issues. My ears got pretty warm and sweaty as with most closed headphone with pleather pads, but the bigger issue was that the headband tends to press on a small spot on top of my head. YMMV of course, but it would be a good idea to trying them on for at least 30 minutes before buying one.


If you find them comfortable, it'll tick most of your requirements. I wouldn't call the isolation excellent, certainly nowhere near IEM territory, but it's not bad.

post #8 of 8
I love my 840's, and I listen to a lot of different types of music. The treble is great, and the bass is accurate (not too much, but by no means not too little). They'd benefit from amping (I used to use a fiio e11 with then) however they are still good unamped.

I also am an owner of a sizeable head. And I find them pretty comfortable.
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