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Open backed headphones recommendation - Would prefer no amp.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to buy a pair of open backed cans probably around 150 with a bit of leeway for price.  I'd like to be able to use them on a laptop so preferably no amp necessary.  I also would like them to be pretty comfortable ( I have the Brainwavz HM5 and I can wear them for hours).  Any suggestions, please let me know.  I've already taken a look at some of the big names like the K701/702 and some AT phones but they don't necessarily work as well with the music I like (Trance/electro mainly but also indie/rock/metal). 

post #2 of 7

The Grado SR80i will be head and shoulders above anything else you try at that price range, IMHO.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I hear good things about sound quality from those.  Are they comfortable?

post #4 of 7

To me they are about 7/10 for comfort, but 10/10 for sound (at the price). The pads are replaceable, so you can customize it if you want. Senn HD414 pads are comfy with Grados but they're bright yellow :)


The comfiest cans I've heard for under $200 are Beyerdynamics, but you'll need an amp for those (unless you get the 32ohm version, which I can't speak for). 

post #5 of 7

I would also throw in a recommendation for the AKG K240 Studio. Something else to take a look at. They are easily driven from a laptop, and are the most comfortable headphones I've worn to date. I was able to wear them for hours at a time with not one bit of discomfort. They are priced a bit under what you listed, they're closer in price to the SR-80i that was mentioned earlier.


As for your music, honestly, I enjoyed them with everything, but I can see where some might have issues recommending them for trance or electronic music, although with the bit I listen to I enjoyed them thoroughly. As for rock/metal/those genres, they easily fit the bill, in my opinion. I love those headphones for those genres.


As always, these are just my observations and experiences, and yours may differ.

post #6 of 7

For just slightly more, you can get the Sony MDR MA900's.


They've been receiving top reviews for their sound and their comfort,

justifiably.  They're the "star of the show" for open headphones in

that price range, IMO. 


The Audio Technica ATH AD900's are priced similarly and are

also quite good - though I think the Sony's are better.


Bear in mind, though, that open headphones may not give you

all the slam and depth in the bass that you get from closed headphones.

But, of course, open headphones do have other advantages.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been doing some reading lately and figure that if my HM5 are going to hold me over for closed, I might as well take a step up for open cans.  Specifically I've had my eye on the HE-300 and HE-400.  Anybody have any input as far as how those are?

I read that they're "dark" but I don't know how much of a concern that would be.  I do like my HM5 though and I feel they sound quite neutral.  Any input is welcome and appreciated.

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