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suggestions for budget closed/sealed headphones with metal music in mind

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, I've been looking around for a pair of budget headphones with a max price of about ~$150. I will be using them in noisy places, so they must have a closed/sealed design and have passive sound isolation. They need to be reasonably sturdy, and not prone to breaking under moderate stress, since i take my headphones with me practically everywhere I go. I listen to a lot of power/progressive metal, as well as some rock and classical/orchestral music. As I am on a budget, I cannot afford a portable amp. I need something with relatively low impedance (used daily with ipad/ipod and PC).

What do you think? My first choice would have been the Grado SR-80i or SR-125i, if not for the complete lack of sound isolation, and extreme sound leakage. I found quite a few good reviews about the Audio Technica ATH-M50. However after doing some research on the forums, there seems to be a general consensus that they are overrated and easily outperformed by the competition. Is that correct? What headphones do you think are best suited to my specific needs?

Thanks
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by arconreef View Post

Hi, I've been looking around for a pair of budget headphones with a max price of about ~$150. I will be using them in noisy places, so they must have a closed/sealed design and have passive sound isolation. They need to be reasonably sturdy, and not prone to breaking under moderate stress, since i take my headphones with me practically everywhere I go. I listen to a lot of power/progressive metal, as well as some rock and classical/orchestral music. As I am on a budget, I cannot afford a portable amp. I need something with relatively low impedance (used daily with ipad/ipod and PC).

What do you think? My first choice would have been the Grado SR-80i or SR-125i, if not for the complete lack of sound isolation, and extreme sound leakage. I found quite a few good reviews about the Audio Technica ATH-M50. However after doing some research on the forums, there seems to be a general consensus that they are overrated and easily outperformed by the competition. Is that correct? What headphones do you think are best suited to my specific needs?

Thanks

 

I would still stick with the ATH-M50.

 

There are better closed options for $150, definitely. Some would argue far cheaper models, like the CAL! or Citiscape Uptowns are superior. The UE6000, HD25-1 ii, K167, A900X, SRH840, SRH750DJ are all headphones that IMO sound better that can also be found in that price range.

 

However, most of the above headphones (I've heard everything except the SRH840) also fail in some areas other than sound in comparison to the M50s. The CAL/UE6000/K167 aren't as durable. The A900X are bulky. The HD25-1 ii has comfort issues, and are a bit pricy ($200). Uptowns depend too much on a seal and don't isolate noise very well. The Shures make you look like teletubbies.

 

The M50s, especially if you can find them for ~$120 are still very good. Go for the coiled cable version if you're planning to take them around.

post #3 of 5

if you dont mind on-ear, i would look into the v-moda m80. durable and they sound great.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply viralcow. Based on your recommendation, I will buy the ATH-M50. Unfortunately, I think this decision will haunt me. I desperately want the increased sound stage and (supposedly) higher audio quality of the SR-80i, but I NEED sound isolation. I have seen many people say that Grados are exceptional for rock/metal oriented music. How large is the gap in sound quality between the M50 and SR80i? I could find room in my budget for a second set of headphones sometime next year to supplement my M50, if it would be worth the improved sound quality. I would use the SR80i at home, in the car, and anywhere else that ambient noise is not an issue.

To summarize: if I could purchase the SR80i to supplement my M50, is the difference in sound quality/enjoyment for a metal music listener enough to justify the purchase, or should I hold off even longer and get a more expensive model of Grados headphones? Would you describe the SR80i's sound as better than the M50, or just different?
Edited by arconreef - 4/8/13 at 11:11am
post #5 of 5
I haven't heard the M50, but I think you'd do well to consider the HD25 given your requirements. I listen to considerably more metal than any other genre, and I think the HD25 is pretty great for it overall. They isolate extremely well and are durable as hell, but that isolation does come at the cost of a bit of comfort (they clamp pretty hard). Anyway, let us know what you end up doing!! Good luck, man!!
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