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New pair of headphones.....where art though

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm in the market for a new pair of headphones, and frankly, i know next to nothing about headphones. 

 

I'm looking to spend (at most) $300 (preferably around $150 or less). I would like a really good pair that can produce solid sound (especially lows). Also, portability is a bit of an issue, albeit not a deciding factor since i can always manage...So, maybe a few headphones that are portable and some that aren't and i'll try and work something out...

 

What i want: (list form)

  • Budget: $300 (preferable around $150)
  • Preferably portable (not critical, so a few portable/non-portable choices)
  • Solid performance especially in the lows. 
  • Close-Back. 
  • Over-Ear.
  • Main purpose: Music (pretty much everything--Mainly Rock, a little Rap, Acoustic, Hip Hop)
  • Headband
  • Comfortable to wear for long stretches (up to 20 hours)

 

Personally i like to figure things out on my own, compare, search, and truly understand whatever it is that i'm researching, headphones, however are one of the few things i just can't figure out (unfortunately). So what I've come up with so far (with the bit of research i've done), is that i should probably be looking at the following brands: Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Shure, AKG, (V Moda, a friend said they were good, although everywhere i looked tended to say they were like Beats--overpriced "designer" headphones).

 

Current List: (I didn't do any actual pricing yet, just grabbed the prices off the manufacturers website to get a general idea)

  • VModa M100--$300
  • Beyerdynamic DT1350--$230 (On-Ear)
  • Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 ohm)--$230
  • Sony MDR7506--$80
  • M-Audio Studiophile Q40--$130
  • Bowers and Wilkins P5--$300
  • Bowers and Wilkins P3--$200
  • Sennheiser HD25-1ii--$200
  • ATH-ES10--$130
  • ATH-WS99--$250
  • ATH-PRO700Mk2--$230
  • ATH-ANC27/x--$100
  • ATH-M50--$200
  • ATH-M35--$140 
  • SRH440--$100
  • SRH840--$150

 

 

Ultimately i'll try to go to a local store to try out the pair/s before making a purchase, but as of now, my list consists of 20~ headphones, which is just too many to try on, so i'd like to narrow it down to like 5 and go from there. 

 

--Thanks. 


Edited by djd97 - 7/1/13 at 10:24am
post #2 of 21

Personally, if you are concerned with portability, get rid of all the Audio Technica's with the wing system. They just don't have the support that would be required for walking around nor would you want to put them in a backpack. The M-100's are my favorite for portability because they have great sound and come in a teeny tiny package. However, I think you should look into the M-Audio Q40's. At $100, they are the best headphones I've tried for the money. Hands down. They fold up and are extremely durable. They also have a very tight clamping pressure (some hate it, I love it) which takes pressure off the top of your head and keeps them from moving. The best part is, they have a great sound with huge bass.

post #3 of 21

Oh, and V-Moda is NOT anything like Beats. They are a phenomenal headphone company. Great sound, extreme durability, and awesome comfort while still having the aesthetics.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

I ended up updating the list, not sure if you saw the updated version before you posted though. 

 

Either way, i got rid of all the wing systems, and the hd429s since they seem to be too bulky. So, of all the ones up there (or better yet, of all the headphones around), you'd go with the M100's or Q40's? 

 

P.s. I didn't mean V moda was like Beats sound-quality-wise, i was focusing more on the fact (or question) that they're overpriced/you're paying for the design. (Which isn't really a bad thing since from what i've read they seem to be quite rugged). 

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by djd97 View Post

I ended up updating the list, not sure if you saw the updated version before you posted though. 

 

Either way, i got rid of all the wing systems, and the hd429s since they seem to be too bulky. So, of all the ones up there (or better yet, of all the headphones around), you'd go with the M100's or Q40's? 

 

P.s. I didn't mean V moda was like Beats sound-quality-wise, i was focusing more on the fact (or question) that they're overpriced/you're paying for the design. (Which isn't really a bad thing since from what i've read they seem to be quite rugged). 

V-Moda does tensile tests on their cables, drop tests on their headphones, and flattening tests on their headbands. They are built to last, unlike Beats. Yes, some of your money is going to this aspect instead of all of it going into the sound quality, but this is huge for portability. Still, I would recommend the Q40's over the M-100's. If you feel you want to upgrade from the Q40's, you still have $200 in your pocket to do so.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

V-Moda does tensile tests on their cables, drop tests on their headphones, and flattening tests on their headbands. They are built to last, unlike Beats. Yes, some of your money is going to this aspect instead of all of it going into the sound quality, but this is huge for portability. Still, I would recommend the Q40's over the M-100's. If you feel you want to upgrade from the Q40's, you still have $200 in your pocket to do so.

Aight, well as soon as i get the chance i'll go have a look at the Q40s and M100s, any other good choices in case i don't find either comfortable/opt to not spend $300 on the M100s and want another choice against the Q40s?

post #7 of 21

Plenty of people would recommend the ATH-M50's but I haven't listened to them myself to know. You may also like the Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 ohm version).

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

Plenty of people would recommend the ATH-M50's but I haven't listened to them myself to know. You may also like the Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 ohm version).
Any insight on Sony mdr 7506? I've been looking through other threads and they also seem to be a good option.
post #9 of 21

The Sony 7506 is very much like the V6 but perhaps a bit brighter due its slightly stronger magnet. It is a reference headphone, so it sounds very natural and neutral. I have had the V6 for 25 years.

 

You mention that you want solid bass performance, but don't specifically mention if you want an extra bass headphone which exaggerates the bass, or something like a reference headphone that gives deep bass, but presents it naturally, and not exaggerated. The Sony V6 and 7506 can produce deep bass, but it is not exaggerated at all. This leads bass heads to say it is bass deficient. The ATH-M50 is said to have somewhat boosted bass, however I have never heard it personally. Then there are extra bass headphones like the Sony XB series that give plenty of extra bass. You need to listen to some of these to decide what you want. I have extra bass earphones(JVC HA-FX101) that I listen to occasionally when I want a strong bass boost, but listening to this for a long time can be tiring. I most of the time avoid the extra bass headphones and earphones. it you want to experiment with an extra bass earphone, the JVC HA-FX101 is only around $13 on Amazon.

 

 

For only around $25 the JVC HAS400 headphone is a superb value. It has great detail as well as excellent bass and nice highs. I suggest that you listen to this. You might even like it better than some $200+ headphones. It feels very solidly built. It is probably the best value in headphones. It needs to be broken in for quite a while though to be at its best. Some people let it play overnight at a slightly loud volume for a few days before even listening to it.


Edited by JK1 - 7/1/13 at 10:01am
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

The Sony 7506 is very much like the V6 but perhaps a bit brighter due its slightly stronger magnet. It is a reference headphone, so it sounds very natural and neutral. I have had the V6 for 25 years.

You mention that you want solid bass performance, but don't specifically mention if you want an extra bass headphone which exaggerates the bass, or something like a reference headphone that gives deep bass, but presents it naturally, and not exaggerated. The Sony V6 and 7506 can produce deep bass, but it is not exaggerated at all. This leads bass heads to say it is bass deficient. The ATH-M50 is said to have somewhat boosted bass, however I have never heard it personally. Then there are extra bass headphones like the Sony XB series that give plenty of extra bass. You need to listen to some of these to decide what you want. I have extra bass earphones(JVC HA-FX101) that I listen to occasionally when I want a strong bass boost, but listening to this for a long time can be tiring. I most of the time avoid the extra bass headphones and earphones. it you want to experiment with an extra bass earphone, the JVC HA-FX101 is only around $13 on Amazon.


For only around $25 the JVC HAS400 headphone is a superb value. It has great detail as well as excellent bass and nice highs. I suggest that you listen to this. You might even like it better than some $200+ headphones. It feels very solidly built. It is probably the best value in headphones. It needs to be broken in for quite a while though to be at its best. Some people let it play overnight at a slightly loud volume for a few days before even listening to it.
I want headphones that can produce a nice bass, but not destroy the song (most times especially with crapy headphones, the speakers try to produce a deep bass but end up destroying the song and makes it sound very noisy (static–y).

Your opinion on the q40/m100s? Are the other options better, on par, worse?
Edited by djd97 - 7/1/13 at 10:21am
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by djd97 View Post


I want headphones that can produce a nice bass, but not destroy the song (most times especially with crapy headphones, the speakers try to produce a deep bass but end up destroying the song and makes it sound very noisy (static–y).

Your opinion on the q40/m100s? Are the other options better, on par, worse?

I haven't heard those so I can't say. Try the JVC HAS400 though. You will be very surprised at how great it is. Don't let the low price fool you.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

I haven't heard those so I can't say. Try the JVC HAS400 though. You will be very surprised at how great it is. Don't let the low price fool you.

My only problem with them is that they're on-ear, really looking for over-ear, as i'd rather have the better sound isolation, plus on-ear can get uncomfortable after a while. 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by djd97 View Post

My only problem with them is that they're on-ear, really looking for over-ear, as i'd rather have the better sound isolation, plus on-ear can get uncomfortable after a while. 

Actually I find isolating over the ear headphones even more uncomfortable than on the ear ones, as the larger closed headphones make my ears overheat even quicker. I do like open headphones that surround the ear(circumaural) the best for home use, however these don't block noise and they are quite large, so they aren't good for portable use.

 

The Sony V6 for example made my ears really overheat. Switching the earpads for velour ones helped, but it cut down on the bass and also decreased the isolation.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

Actually I find isolating over the ear headphones even more uncomfortable than on the ear ones, as the larger closed headphones make my ears overheat even quicker. I do like open headphones that surround the ear(circumaural) the best for home use, however these don't block noise and they are quite large, so they aren't good for portable use.

 

The Sony V6 for example made my ears really overheat. Switching the earpads for velour ones helped, but it cut down on the bass and also decreased the isolation.

I can definitely see your point, however i currently have beats solos that i got as a gift one year, and i find them very uncomfortable after a while. So, at least with full size headphones you get a better sound quality/better isolation. Since theres a trade-off either way, although, not all headphones are the same, so some won't be as uncomfortable and some won't get as hot, but still, since i can't try any headphone on for hours, i have to make the assumption theirs a trade off either way, and i'd rather it get too hot then just be painful to wear. Worst case scenario, i take them off and put ice on my ears for a couple minutes, and they'll be nice and cold again. 

 

Also, is there a way to compare headphones via just a spec sheet (i'm used to camera/computer/phones/not highly opinion based stuff), which is pretty much why headphones are the only thing i've ever actually had to ask for advice on. 

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by djd97 View Post

 

Also, is there a way to compare headphones via just a spec sheet (i'm used to camera/computer/phones/not highly opinion based stuff), which is pretty much why headphones are the only thing i've ever actually had to ask for advice on. 

Frequency response, transient response and dB sensitivity or drivability. FR will be a graph showing you what frequencies are emphasized on a particular pair of headphone (aka Beats are waaaay bass heavy), TR will be a measurement of the speed of the driver (how fast the driver responds to the audio signal), and dB sensitivity will help determine whether or not you'll need an amplifier to power them (goes hand in hand with impedance). These are really generic descriptions, however.

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