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Overwhelmed by Headphone Choice

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello there,

I joined this form for one reason which was to get some advice on what pair of over the ear closed headphones to buy.  I will be listening to mainly techno music but many different types as well (not very helpful there), and I will be listening to music through my iphone 5 and my computer. I would like to find a pair that consists of the best sound quality and comfort for under $200.  I know it is frowned apon to buy headphones for their looks, but I would also like them to look atleast half decent.  I have done a bit of research thus far and have found that one of the best pairs of headphones for sound quality at its price range is the Audio Technica ATH M50.  Although that sounds nice, I have also heard that the comfort can be an issue for some people on these headphones.  So please just let me know what pairs would be the best for sound quality and comfort, for under $200.

post #2 of 15

Must the headphones isolate?

post #3 of 15

I've a pair of M50s, and let me just tell you, the comfort is not an issue at all. I lived with them as my only good pair of cans for 2-3 months, and they sound very good for their price. One thing lacking on the M50 thought is the soundstage, but what can you expect from a close pair of cans. The leakage is also very low, even on 70-80% volume. Great pair of cans, but after listening to the K702, i can tell you the detail and everything else is just leagues apart. (Even when the K702 is unamped) 


But if you won't get an amp, M50 is great. They won't need an amp at all, at most maybe a E11 or something if you want a bit extra.


And forgot to say, if you're a bass head, you'll love these headphones, the bass is very good on it even when unamped. 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

No, they do not need to be but I should mention I have never owned a decent pair of headphones before so i'm not even sure if I would like them to be noise cancelling.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Would you care to explain what soundstage is? And the only thing about the K702 is they are ugly. I would not be able to get myself to walk around wearing those.  But thank you for your input! I will definitely consider it when making my decision.

post #6 of 15

Well, the K702 is a open back, so you won't be walking around in the anyways dude. 


Try to pick up a pair of M50 for around 100$ i guess is the best deal for the price. They won't really need an amp, but a E11 should help a little. They're pretty big, so it won't be as portable as you think, but still pretty portable. 


Maybe step up to the K550 if you have a little big more money for closed back headphones. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

ok so I don't think I will need an amplifier if i'm thinking correctly because I will be using these headphones while I am walking around.  I really don't know much about music quality so i'm not too sure what type of sound i'm looking for in headphones, but would the best headphones for techno music be the M50's?

post #8 of 15

I would say that's a very solid choice because


1. They've a very clear and strong bass.


2. They're very cheap for the SQ they produce. Only like 120$ from when i got it a few months ago new!


3. They're very effecient, so won't require you an amp to drive them. 


Only drawback i can think of is their soundstage. (Which means the wideness of the sound, if that makes sense) With the M50, they sound very narrow, and up front, none of that musical theater feeling. But this is one of the drawbacks of closed backs, so you can't really blame just these phones.


The M50 will sound very muddy and unclear if you compare it to let's say a well driven open back like the K702, but they'll sound amazing if they're your first high end phones. Hehe, you're doing the extact same thing i did a few months ago, this road will be a long one buddy, enjoy it.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks! And yes haha. Basically, I was at Best Buy looking around and I was trying on headphones, realizing how amazing they were. Then I decided I would do a quick search online to see what type I should get. Now i'm here....  Anyways, while I was at Best Buy, I tried on the Sony X series headphones and thought they were amazing. How do those compare to the M50's?

post #10 of 15

If you are looking for a set of headphones for walking around, why are you asking about full-sized headphones?


Big headphones are for use in a single spot. You might be able to use open backed headphones is you don't have other noise to counteract and don't worry about your music bothering others. This is what I use at home, late at night when the other people in my house are asleep.


I use closed back headphones in the library- I still want good sound quality, but I need to keep quiet myself.


For walking around, I use IEMs. There are 100s of options in your price range. browse.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well now that I think about it, I will probably use them more while I am at my house and I might even get into a little bit of music composition myself so I still believe I would like to use full sized headphones. Do you have any specific recommendations? And How loud is the noise that comes out of the open back headphones? 

post #12 of 15

Open back headphones will mean anyone in the room will hear everything you're hearing. It's what they're designed for, and they've amazing soundstage and details. 


I suggest a neutral pair of headphones if you wish to go into music composition, so you won't distort the music by the warm feel of your headphones. I suggest the K702/701 for good pricing, details, and great soundstage.


But it might be worth your time looking at Sennheiser HD600, the He-400, or other headphones. Do note, you'll NEED an amp for headphones like these. Maybe a DAC too if you won't have a good sound card.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

So what headphones would I be able to get that I will not need an amp for? and when I say composing music, I mean it in the most casual of ways. Also, do you know what the comparison between the sony x series and the m50's are?

post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by Domc76 View Post

Also, do you know what the comparison between the sony x series and the m50's are?


Different kinds of bass, the XB has impact.. it goes deep. 

While the M50 have more mid and upper bass, It have quality and quantity. Both work fine unamped. 

Edited by jackwess - 8/27/13 at 8:41pm
post #15 of 15
I dont want to hate on the m50 but they are very uncomfortable. They're very heavy, much heavier than the mdr v6, citiscape uptown, mdr 1r, tons others, and theyre pads are simply not good. They do however sound much better than the xb500. The citiscape uptown IMO is a little bit better than it though, with a much larger sound stage, more mids (not a lot more) and a darker background.

Still, id recommend the Sony mdr ma900. It simply makes all closed cans just sound sad imo. They don't need an amp, they are freackishly comfortable, and are very sturdy believe it or not. Plus they only cost $200. Just wonderful.
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