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First nice set for $500 or less (looking for good bang for the buck):

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I've been around for years, mostly lurking and listening.  You've helped me greatly in the past so now I call on you again.  I am ready to get into the world of the big boy cans, and can swing about 500 USD for my first set of serious cans...  still torn on open or closed, though I do like the open sound best.  I would love to be able to listen in bed without disturbing my wife (consider that a bonus, and not my highest priority).  Sound quality is paramount.  I want it all... or at least 95% of it.  I know it would cost a lot more to get everything, but... clean, tight, impactful and deep bass; warm, lush mids; and a crystal clear and airy top end that is not fatiguing is what I am looking for.

 

Hifi-man HE-500 are on my short list (though they cost more than I should spend), which brings me to the HE-400... also, Senns HD-650s, and Momentums are on my radar...  and to top off my short list, I've wanted a pair of Denon AHD-2000's for years.  Any other suggestions are welcome as well, I've read a fair amount about what I have mentioned but have no personal ear time on any of the above.  Ability to be driven fairly well without an amp would be a bonus as well.

 

Music I like is across the board: Jazz, Electronic, Trip-Hop, Hip-Hop, Funk, Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Grunge, Reggae, R&B, Lounge...  

 

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.  Cheers and thanks.


Edited by Funkmonkey - 8/1/13 at 8:42pm
post #2 of 39

$500 on cans alone or include the rest of the equipment chain (DAC/amp)? If cans alone, what's your current amp situation? HE500 pretty much hits every point you mentioned that you wanted, but does take a lot of power to drive properly.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Current "headphone" amp is none... cans will help determine the amp.  

Ideally I will be using my MW Transporter as a source (balanced outs are available to feed a HP amp).

The 5 bills are for phones only.

post #4 of 39

then a used he500 would be the best for your budget given your preferences IMO

post #5 of 39

i agree as well but i feel like its not easy to come across $550 used HE-500 on the sales forum these days

post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkmonkey View Post

I would love to be able to listen in bed without disturbing my wife (certainly not my highest priority, though). 

 

You sure that shouldn't be a priority? You won't be able to listen in bed if she kicks you out of it, just sayin' rolleyes.gif

 

The Hifimans are literally as loud on the outside as in. Not exactly friendly airspace when you're lying next to somebody. Open cans like the Senn HD6xx or Beyer DT880 are much more forgiving in this respect. If you don't want to drop extra coin on an amp, the HD598 is a good choice as well. 

post #7 of 39

Currently demoing the HE-400 and HD600. Have had both just under a week and so far I am liking the musicality of the HE-400. The mids and treble just come to life a bit better than the Senns, but that might change.

 

IF you can swing it, perhaps get as many hps you are considering, demo them and return the one(s) you dont like. Both Amazon and Head Direct have good return policies.

post #8 of 39

If you're going closed, I'd go with the Mad Dog 3.2 or the Paradox at that price range.

 

The MD 3.2 in particular might fit the described sound signature you wanted. I have not heard the LCD-2, but from some I trust, it's been described as having a similar sound signature that is less shelved in the upper mids and treble. I'd best describe it as fairly neutral and smooth but with a slightly dark/warm tone. Bass is strong if the music calls for it without becoming muddy/bloated. The mids are good (kind of the highlight of the T50RP). Treble is detailed yet smooth and easy to listen to. They sound surprisingly open and airy for being open cans. They'd also save you some cash, which you could consider spending on additional amplification or a DAC if need be.

 

If you're going for open, I'd go with either the HD600, HD650, or HE-500 at that price range.

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

 

You sure that shouldn't be a priority? You won't be able to listen in bed if she kicks you out of it, just sayin' rolleyes.gif

 

 

ha-ha... it is a priority, just not top priority.tongue.gif I have lesser phones that I've been using to fall asleep that could still suffice.

 

Thanks for the responses.  So far you are confirming my own conclusions.  

 

The MadDogs are an interesting option...

 

epyon415- are you posting impressions anywhere?  If you are, please post a link i would like to read more.

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

Are the HE-400 similar enough to the HE-500 or a totally different animal?  Are the 500's worth the price difference?

 

Also any comparisons on comfort level between the Senns and HiFi-Mans?

post #11 of 39

I haven't heard the HE-400, but pretty much all reports show them to be very different headphones. The HE-500 are fairly similar to the HE-6 (both of which I've heard). Comfort of the Senns is far far better than the Hifimans. 

 

Seriously, the Hifimans should not be on your list for this. They are loud and will disturb the wife, they do not stay on the head very well and are very large making reclining or any sort of non-upright-seated position awkward, and they require a lot of power so you'll have to invest in an amp as well.

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thnx Armaegis for confirming my gut...  I edited the title of this thread to reflect the most important thing in my search.

 

I should also mention that portability (and easy to drive) would be a plus [not mandatory], as there are occasions that I would like to use this set to listen when an amp may not be available...  

...again I have a couple of pairs of headphones (and IEMs) that I use during these times that would be fine to continue, but it would be great if my new set fit the bill for portable use as well.

post #13 of 39

HE-500s seem like they would do the trick. Plenty of comparisons with the HD-650 in a thread somewhere that may help you decide either way.

 

Otherwise a used HE-500 can be easily found here on head-fi if you've made up your mind:

 

I'm sure you can get it for a bit lower than asking price. Good luck.

 

 

nk77

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links nk77 cool.gif

 

 

 

 

 

so... is there any real competition for the HE-500 (used) in the $500 range?  

 

Seems pretty heavily weighted in their favor based responses so far.

post #15 of 39

An uneducated guess would say the HD650?? I'm sure others can chime in better here.

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