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Help finding headphones around $100-$150 for variety of uses

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I'm quite new to the audio scene. I've done research to help myself find a good pair, but am still mainly new to it all. After seeing many people find help here, I decided that it would be a good idea to also see if I could also receive some of your guys collective knowledge.

 

I used to have a list of about 10 different headphones, but got rid of that when I thought I had decided on the ATH-M50's, So all I can remember are the M50's and the Fischer Audio FA-003's. After debating for a while longer, I decided that I couldn't be sure if that headset would be best for me, as there is no best headset, only best head"SETS". 

 

The kinds of things I listen to are J-pop (Shut it, anime openings can be very addictive!), almost any song that mainly consists of piano/violin/vocal/acoustics, or orchestrals. However this doesn't mean I can't highly enjoy electric guitars or computer generated sound. Really I'll listen to just about anything. Another thing to note is that while I'm not a huge bass-head, I do love a good strong bass.

 

This pair of headphones will also be used for watching anime, reviews, podcats, gameplay videos, video calls, and gaming.

 

The setup it will be used on is a desktop with that has a motherboard built-in soundcard (VIA VT1828S), an HP Pavillion DV9000, and soon a high-end Android smartphone. I have no amp of any kind, so if you suggest a pair that needs an amp, remember that the amp's cost with the headphone will have to stay around my budget.

 

If you wish for any additional info, feel free to ask ,as I may have forgotten something, or skimped on certain details.

post #2 of 25

How are you planning on using these?  At home alone or out and about?

 

Do you want on-ear, over ear, or in-ear?

 

Does isolation matter (ie do you want open headphones where sound can leak out and in)?

 

What did you like and dislike about the M50s?

 

There are a lot in your price range that should be pretty good.  I will caution, though, that built in sound cards, especially those on laptops, can really have a negative impact on sound and you might be better off getting even a cheap dedicated sound card (like the Asus Xonar DG or DGX) for your desktop, or save up and get headphones and a portable DAC/AMP like the FiiO E07K or E17 to use on both the desktop and laptop via USB (you can use it on the Android phone as well via the L7 connector, though I've not tried that).

 

I have a few suggestions in mind, but I'd really like to hear your answers to the questions I posed first as that will impact my suggestions.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

At home, if the headset that I get is good enough for outside use, I may use it outside, but I would prefer the best I can get for indoors.

 

I would prefer over-the-ear, as I live with someone, and I like listening to stuff at pretty high volumes.

 

Like the answer to last question, the more isolation, the better.

 

I like how it supposedly can listen to most things without much of a problem. I didn't however, like that it had a bad soundstage, as that would be nice not only for music, but when I do some gaming. I also liked how it had a decently long cord, as I like to pace about my room a bit when listening to music.

 

Please feel free to ask more questions!

post #4 of 25
Well, open headphones will generally give you the biggest soundstage over closed headphones. People generally like open headphones for gaming for that reason. On the other hand, open headphones often don't have a lot of bass emphasis (bass impact is higher when the driver is sealed in with your ear). An exception is something like the DT990 Pro 250 ohm, which has very good bass in an open headphone, but those need an amp.

So you might want to think about which way you want to go with that.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

The bass is more important to me than the sound stage. I only need a decent sound stage to be satisfied, while lacking bass would leave me incredibly unhappy with my purchase. Now, this isn't to say I want my bass over-powering everything, but I do want a nice oomph to it.

post #6 of 25

The DT990 is a good choice, but you would need an amp for them (Xonar DG should power them, though it won't give them their full power potential).

 

The DT770 is also a good choice that could be powered by the cards, though they would definitely benefit from an amp.  

 

Both are slightly above your price range, if you shop smart, but are definitely worth the price.  Both are sold at Guitar Center (If you're in the US, and who should price match any online price) and they may let you demo them, depending on who you talk to (they have for me in the past, which is the reason I have the DT770s now).

 

In your price range would be Grado SR80i or SR125i, though they are open and on-ear rather than over.  Some love the sound while others hate it and they may have some comfort issues for you.  If you can, find a dealer in your area and have a listen to them.

 

If you're just looking for punchy bass, while keeping a fairly decent overall sound, JVC makes the HA-R55X (I think, it's sold at Walmart of all places) that is pretty decent.  I was honestly shocked at the bass in them; and they're pretty cheap.

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

One quick reminder, is that this will be a headset that is worn for hours upon hours, so comfort is very important. Also, would the open/on the ears give good noise cancellation, as that is also quite important, as I live with people?


Edited by Dehaha1 - 8/23/13 at 12:48pm
post #8 of 25
Open will give you zero isolation, and people will be able to hear what you are listening to. Stick to closed smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Please remember that if the headphones need an amp to sound good, that the amps price needs to be included into the budget.

 

Also, I wont be able to do open/on the ear, as they don't give noise cancellation, and that is a must for my headset.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Just to re-iterate (sorry), and also to bump this thread, I would like pretty good bass, I need noise cancellation, noise from the inside going out mainly, as I listen to things pretty loud, and I live with people who find it annoying. I would also prefer a long cord, as I like to pace around while listening to music. This will be used with a PC without a dedicated soundcard, just a built-in one, a laptop (HP Pavillion DV9000), and soon a high-end android smartphone.

 

It probably will not be used outside.

 

If it needs an amp, make sure that the amps price is included in the budget.

 

Also, about the DT 770's, I have read that on multiple occasions that after about 5-10 months, the left ear-piece starts rattling. If I had a lot of money to throw around, I wouldn't care, but I'm going to need these to last a while.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Dehaha1 - 8/25/13 at 3:38pm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dehaha1 View Post

Just to re-iterate (sorry), and also to bump this thread, I would like pretty good bass, I need noise cancellation, noise from the inside going out mainly, as I listen to things pretty loud, and I live with people who find it annoying. I would also prefer a long cord, as I like to pace around while listening to music. This will be used with a PC without a dedicated soundcard, just a built-in one, a laptop (HP Pavillion DV9000), and soon a high-end android smartphone.

 

It probably will not be used outside.

 

If it needs an amp, make sure that the amps price is included in the budget.

 

Also, about the DT 770's, I have read that on multiple occasions that after about 5-10 months, the left ear-piece starts rattling. If I had a lot of money to throw around, I wouldn't care, but I'm going to need these to last a while.

 

Thanks!

Has not happened to mine, even with the complete recable I did.  They're worth it, and have a warranty so if that did happen you could always send them in for repair.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have a quick question, how loud do these get, as I sometimes put my music REALLY loud, only occasionally though, as prolonged exposure would definitely damage my ears?

post #13 of 25

Prolonged exposure to any loud noises will definitely damage your hearing.

 

That said, I have never turned them up past 50% through my Xonar DG soundcard/amp, or past about 40% in my external DAC/AMP.  They're plenty loud if you want them to be, but the isolation they provide is better than the volume (blocking out more outside sound = can listen to them at a much lower volume and still get the impact).

 

All of this is through an amplifier, though (even when taking them out on the road, I have a FiiO E17 that I use with my iPhone).  The E17 I have makes them loud enough to drown out airplane sounds (from inside, naturally) at a relatively low volume. (~20 out of a max of 60)

 

What you really want, along with the bass you're looking for, is good noise isolation (not noise cancellation, which very negatively impacts the sound).  The better the isolation you have, the lower overall you will feel you need to have the volume; which in the end will be much better for your hearing.

 

One possibly negative point about them, though, is that they have a long cord that you have to find something to do with if you take them anywhere.  I solved this with a cable mod, but that's not for everyone.


Edited by liquidzoo - 8/27/13 at 11:39am
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

I actually wanted a long cord, as I like walking around the room I have my computer in while listening to music.

post #15 of 25

The cable that was on my DT770s was about 11 ft long or so.  Not incredibly long but also quite cumbersome if you wanted to take them out.

 

So, depending on your room layout, you may still want an extension cord, no matter which headphones you end up with.

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