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Looking to upgrade, need advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been itching to upgrade to some nicer headphones lately, and after some research today, I decided it would be best to make an account on this site and ask for some advice.

First off, some background info:

In terms of headphones, I used whatever was the cheapest for years, until I decided that it would be worth investing in some decent headphones. My first worthwhile pair were AKG K-77's, which I still have. I like them because the EQ seems pretty flat and they respond well to EQ settings, making them versatile, but they just seem to be missing something. I still use them, but until recently, they hadn't seen much use in a while. The reason for that is that I mostly stuck to my second pair of decent headphones, which are Turtle Beach X12's that I originally bought for use with my Xbox and PC for gaming, but soon found myself using for pretty much everything.

Other than those, I have sampled many other pairs of headphones, but none of them have really wowed me.

I wouldn't consider myself a true audiophile, but I am a guitarist for the past 16 years now, so audio quality is something I appreciate and am acustomed to. I have ears trained for guitar, so I base my EQ preferences and knowledge off of that experience.

Now for the new headphones:

I'm not really looking to spend more than $100, although the pair I'm eyeballing the most are a tad over this price

I want closed, over-ear headphones. No open or on-ear, and definitely not in-ear. Preferably something that doesn't leak a lot of sound

My main listening source will be my phone, a Galaxy SIII. I don't deal in lossless files, mostly high quality .mp3's, with my bitrate limit being 192kbps, although the majority of my library is 320. I will also be using these to play guitar into for silent practicing, but that isn't that important. I might watch a movie with these on or play a game every now and then, and it's likely I use them for recording my guitar at some point. The main thing will be listening to music.

As far as music choice, I listen mostly to Metal, but I also listen to plenty of rock, punk, blues and alternative, while also listening to some classical, electronic, hip-hop, rap, and country on occasion.

I hate boomy or muddy bass, and hate muddy sounding music in general. I like a crisp sound, with plenty of articulation, clarity, and definition. I like to have plenty of bass in my music, although I don't want it to be overpowering or too prominent. I despise Beats and Skullcandy. One thing I like about my X12's is the adjustable bass boost, but I have never had it above about 40% at any point, usually keeping it around 30%. In terms of midrange, clarity is a must, and I like my lower-mids, although I enjoy the crispness that upper-mids bring to the table. Treble must not be piercing or fatiguing, but also not recessed.

So far, it seems to me that the Audio Technica ATH-M50 may be perfect for me, but I want to consider my options and get outside opinions before deciding.

I have also looked at:
Sure SRH440
AKG K240
AKG K142HD
Sennheiser HD280
Audio Technica ATH-AD700
Grado SR60i
Grado SR80i

Some of those were eliminated due to not being closed or not being over-ear, the rest just don't quite seem to measure up to the M50's in terms of reviews or hype, but I like to ask before I buy.

Sorry for the novel of information, but I try to be thorough. Thanks ahead of time for any help you can give smily_headphones1.gif
post #2 of 13

You say you want closed... that crosses out the Grado's, AKG's, and the AD700 from your list.

 

If you can still find them, refurb A900X's used to sell for $125. Such a good bargain, I wonder if they're still available.

 

If not:

 

Citiscape Uptown

Creative Aurvana Live!

K272HD / K271Mkii (you can definitely find them for $100 on eBay)

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll look into those!

I mentioned in the OP that some of the headphones on that list got the boot simply because they werent closed or weren't over-ear
post #4 of 13

The shures would be a possibility still, but you might find them boring.

 

I suspect the perfect headphone would be the dt-770, but it is over your budget

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah, some of. Those are way over budget. I should have mentioned that I'll be buying them new from Amazon.
post #6 of 13

I can vouch for the Shure 440s. Crystal clear sound, comfortable, and pretty flat yet still engaging.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderNhan View Post

I can vouch for the Shure 440s. Crystal clear sound, comfortable, and pretty flat yet still engaging.

 

They are not the most comfortable headphone, but you can buy SRH840 pads for it. 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Since nobody has addressed it, how would the M50's perform for what I'm asking? So far, they seem the most appealing, but I have heard that they don't excel at Rock, although nobody usually mentions whether or not they are good for Metal, which is my main concern
post #9 of 13

The general consensus is that the M50 is overrated. It will perform decent, but probably not that good.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blktiger0 View Post

Since nobody has addressed it, how would the M50's perform for what I'm asking? So far, they seem the most appealing, but I have heard that they don't excel at Rock, although nobody usually mentions whether or not they are good for Metal, which is my main concern

 

Not recommended for such genres, they are on the bassy side. If you like pop, rap or you are into DJ'ing they do well. 

post #11 of 13

Don't take this as a troll attempt, but the Marshall Major is a better headphone than both the SRH 440 and the ATH M50 out of a portable or smartphone. It's also the perfect midpoint between both those headphones' sound signatures.

 

The Shure's would be the best ~100$ headphone if only it did not drop off so quickly in the bass. It's mids and highs are very crisp and linear. The m50's are a lot warmer, and to me; kind of boomy. I am not a fan of bloomy bass; especially after having owned the LCD3's. 

 

No joke, go out and try the marshalls, shouldn't be too hard to demo; they're actually quite balanced with no veil (clear upper mids) and a bit of low end warmth.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry guys, I ended up buying them before anyone responded. Honestly, though, I'm very pleased with them. I wouldn't really consider them boomy or over. bassy, though. They certaily have a punchy bass, and are on the warmer side, but I would rather they sound warm than sterile or too bright. For the price I paid ($110) I'm satisfied. A good number of people said that they were one of the best headphones they had heard when it came to being un-amped, at least compared to what they sound like amped.

Compared to Beats, these aren't boomy or overly bassy in the least, and compared to my K77s, they have a satisfying amount of bass. Again, though, this is coming from the ears of a Metal guitarist. I'm used to hearing bass guitar and kick drum live at gig volumes (with ear protection, of course) which makes these seem lacking in comparison.

Thanks to everyone for the help. I know it probably seems like I just disregarded everyone's advice, but I really did look extensively into every pair recommended. I read as much about each one as possible, and after comparison, the M50's just kept sticking out to me. However, I was fully prepared to return them and get the Sure set if I was anything less than satisfied.

To me, the Marshall Major is a 200w guitar amp that was a terrible idea and a fire hazard, but I can look into those still, in case I decide to buy a second pair of phones any time soon.

I will say that I didn't get a chance to go demo these phones side-by-side with other suggestions, due to not really living near anywhere that I know that would carry them.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
For clarification, I meant before anyone responded to post #8

Again, thanks for the replies and input smily_headphones1.gif
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