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Newbie, looking for over-ear phones with great bass and soundstage. $200-300 with portable amp....

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all! I'm Dreeb. I've been to this forum several times, just for researching purposes. Up until more recently, I've usually just googled things and one of the first options would be a thread on here. Now I peruse the forums constantly for information.

 

I'm a newbie to the audiophile world. I've been doing a great deal of research on headphones for my first set, but there's some many opinions and random reviews contradicting each other and ratings span from 3-5 with 3's being "good, but several problems". I love all the thorough reviews and input here, but being a newbie, it doesn't make it easy to narrow it down, haha.

 

I'm looking for over-ear headphones. I primarily listen to Rap, Dubstep, Trance, and then the rest just kind of trails. I love classical music, rock, folk, indie, some metal, and other sorts of stuff. Really just hate Country music. My price range is up to $300, with a little bit of wiggle room. I'm hoping to get some around that price with a portable amp like an E7, but I'm also having problems choosing the right amp with the correct phones. I know once I lock down the phones, it should make it easier to pick the right amp.

 

I'm primarily getting it portable in case I want to use them at the gym (which probably won't happen since getting sweat on my phones sounds terrible) and also because a majority of my listening will be at work, I don't want anything too big/expensive amp wise that it would get stolen. I rather have the portability to take the headphones and amp with me when I leave.

 

They'll also be my phones for flying (not common), road trips (semi-common), and listening to music once I get my gaming laptop in a couple of months. So comfort-ability over several hours is a huge plus.

 

These are the phones I've looked up extensively so far:

 

Beyerdynamic DT-990 250 Ohm Pro

 

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro Closed Studio (80 or 250, probably 80 since the bass is supposed to be better on them)

 

Sony MDR XB700

 

AKG K701

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000

 

Ultrasone JFI 780

 

Ultrasone Pro 900 (probably too much, but worth consideration)

 

 

Side notes: I also love high quality merchandise. Not a huge fan of a ton of plastic or a "cheap" feel. I understand I'm not going to get the quality I would with top-notch Ultrasone, AKG, or some Denon's, but some attention to detail would be nice. I also have a fairly large head (7 3/4'' cap size) so anything that fits a bit tight probably won't work.

 

Edit: Also, I'd prefer a closed set or really good isolation. I don't work in the call center portion of the office, so it's fairly quiet where I sit. I don't really want the women sitting near me hearing about the thug life and how they're going to get shot (sarcasm).

 

Any help is much appreciated! I'm hoping to get into the scene more and hopefully one day I'll be able to write some legit reviews about some of these phones. :)

 

Thank you,

 

Dreeb


Edited by Dreeb - 9/27/13 at 4:19pm
post #2 of 19
Alright, first of all, just cross all open headphones off of your list. They let in all outside noise and let out all inside noise. Id recommend the M100 and ath ws99. The m100 however suits you well.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the recommendations, Trunks159! And that's true, I shouldn't have added the open phones, since I wouldn't be able to listen to music that loud at work if it was leaking through.

 

I should clarify that I don't need the headphones to be portable. Being able to fold would be nice, but definitely not required. I just need a case or something to put them in. My reference to portability in the OP was mainly aimed at the amp I'd get for it.

 

With that said, however, I did look at the V-MODA M-100's and the ATH-WS99's. Other than 3 reviews comparing them to Beats headphones (AHHHHH), the m100's do seem like a good fit. Looks don't really matter to me, but build and sound quality are crucial. I like the Audio-Technica's as well, but they seem very portable-oriented. Maybe the pictures I've been looking at don't do them justice, they just seem small.

 

I've read a lot of good things about the DT-770's and I've read the Ultrasone phones are great for bassheads. Are either of the Ultrasone's above considered closed? I guess I haven't seen anything stating one way or the other.

 

Out of the options provided though, I'll heavily consider the M-100's. Thanks again.

 

Anyone else?


Edited by Dreeb - 9/27/13 at 5:10pm
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
After reading several more reviews, I think the M-100's will fit my tastes the best. Thank you so much for the recommendations and I'll post here once I have them!
post #5 of 19

I prefer the M100 to the DT770 (a lot lol).  The ws99 is kind of similar to the M100, it has slightly quicker/tighter bass (talking about the WS99 right now), more mids, and less highs.  The m100 is I think the better headphone overall.

 

Both the HFI 780 and 900 are both closed but I'd stay away from the Pro 900, unless all you care about is bass.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you Trunks. When I first was looking around at reviews, I saw quite a few people wanting to stay clear of the M-100's. But I guess there was some assumption prior to release that the 100's would be more accurate and transparent compared to the M-80's and not just a rehash of the LP's. I haven't tried any of them haha, so I can't really be a judge on that. But, the build quality looks astounding on the 100's which is important to me and I'd probably categorize myself as a basshead, so I don't mind the higher db's at all.

Even though I wasn't really going for looks, I do really love the idea of the customized shields to really put that personal touch onto your cans. And the ability to buy a boom mic for it is also pretty amazing for me, so I won't have to get a separate gaming headset or a separate mic to chat in Ventrilo or Mumble.

Overall, for what I listen to, care about build wise, what I will use them for, and my price range, I'm confident these will be a great first pair of cans for my virgin ears.

Just for my knowledge, what did you like more about the M-100's over the DT770? Or what didn't you like about the 770's?
post #7 of 19
Ultrasone HFI-580s are great basshead phones. See this discussion thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/534029/fight-the-beats-hype-ultrasone-hfi-580-hfi-580-appreciation-thread

The E11 is a popular amp among bassheads in the <$100 range. Very good bass boost if you want more.

DT770s have good extra bass emphasis, but less impact to me than the HFI-580s. However, I would avoid the DT770s since you plan on using them in the gym. They have velour (cloth) pads. Can't imagine what those would be like after a few months of sweating in them. LOL
post #8 of 19

Excluding gym use I would recommend the DT770's 80 Ohm version. I was shopping for a new pair of headphones just last week and spent a lot of time listening to the DT770 80ohm versions and the sound seems right up your alley in terms of what you listen to. Being 80ohms my tablet and phone both had no problem driving them either. I ultimately went with the DT990 pro 250 Ohm version simply because I prefer open headphones and don't care about isolation and as a result could get a much wider and deeper soundstage. I do need to run those with an amp however to achieve decent volumes so I have a Project Sunfire II tube amp on the way. The beyerdynamic DT series are ultracomfortable as well but as mentioned have velour pads so unless you plan on switching the pads out for something else (which can alter sound) the gym would not be a good idea.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreeb View Post

Thank you Trunks. When I first was looking around at reviews, I saw quite a few people wanting to stay clear of the M-100's. But I guess there was some assumption prior to release that the 100's would be more accurate and transparent compared to the M-80's and not just a rehash of the LP's. I haven't tried any of them haha, so I can't really be a judge on that. But, the build quality looks astounding on the 100's which is important to me and I'd probably categorize myself as a basshead, so I don't mind the higher db's at all.

Even though I wasn't really going for looks, I do really love the idea of the customized shields to really put that personal touch onto your cans. And the ability to buy a boom mic for it is also pretty amazing for me, so I won't have to get a separate gaming headset or a separate mic to chat in Ventrilo or Mumble.

Overall, for what I listen to, care about build wise, what I will use them for, and my price range, I'm confident these will be a great first pair of cans for my virgin ears.

Just for my knowledge, what did you like more about the M-100's over the DT770? Or what didn't you like about the 770's?

It's very hard for me to get a good seal with the dt770. The headphone is good but it's bass just doesn't really stand up to the m100's magnificent bass. The mids on the m100 are more naturally recessed , leaving the vocals sounding natural while the DT770 recesses more so the lower mids/mids and leaves slightly shouty upper mids. They are comfortable, just a little too big for me.
post #10 of 19

Go for the M-100. Comfortwise: V-Moda is now selling XL earpads.

 

So now the M-100 has the combo: Huge durability, Comfort, Great SQ (good bass clear highs, but the mids are a little recessed), Great Soundtage, Closed Back and Looks Nice

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I actually just saw the XL earpads on their site, which is another huge plus. These are looking to be some headphones that were built for me!

Thank you everyone for your input, it has been incredibly useful. I'll be ordering the M-100's next Friday once I get paid. Like I said earlier, I'll post up what I think about them on initial use! Super excited to get my first pair of decent headphones.

Does anyone have any knowledge on the custom shields? If I buy the phones from their site directly, do I get one pair of customs included and then an additional 25 for any after? Or will they be tacking on $25 from the get-go? Their options upfront show the ability to pick an image to use when choosing the color of the shields and what color for the phones I'd be choosing. I'll probably also get the boom mic, XL earpads, and the audio only cable.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreeb View Post

I actually just saw the XL earpads on their site, which is another huge plus. These are looking to be some headphones that were built for me!

Thank you everyone for your input, it has been incredibly useful. I'll be ordering the M-100's next Friday once I get paid. Like I said earlier, I'll post up what I think about them on initial use! Super excited to get my first pair of decent headphones.

Does anyone have any knowledge on the custom shields? If I buy the phones from their site directly, do I get one pair of customs included and then an additional 25 for any after? Or will they be tacking on $25 from the get-go? Their options upfront show the ability to pick an image to use when choosing the color of the shields and what color for the phones I'd be choosing. I'll probably also get the boom mic, XL earpads, and the audio only cable.

If you buy from their site you get the shields for free.

 

I love my shadow M-100, but if you are picking custom shields I would go with the white ones

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Do you think the customs would show up better with the white cans? I guess if I chose a blue background for the shields, that may look worse on the shadow or matte black.
post #14 of 19

Honestly... if you want bass and EPIC sound stage you can not go wrong with the Dt 990 Pro, and lucky for you I'm selling mine. I love'd my DT 990, the bass was kicking and the sound stage and instrumental seperation was top notch! It's going to have a much cleaner sound than ANY closed headphone, with just as much Mid Bass as them, still open cans lack a little in Sub Bass, but nothing a amp can't help with [like a DigiZoid maybe] Not to mention I'm selling my Dt 990 for $135

 

But take my word, it took a $500 headphone to replace and upgrade to the Dt 990. Which cost me like $170 new q.q they are an excellent bass heavy can with wonderful sound stage! 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the offer, Mshenay. But I'll have to politely decline.

As much as I do love a good soundstage, I've since listened to a couple of open cans and I don't think I'll be able to swing that at work. If they were strictly for personal use, I'd definitely consider them. I wish I had more to work with so I could buy yours too!

The bass and build quality of the M-100's is perfect for my tastes. Also being able to get a boom mic for gaming is awesome and unfortunately, I'm pretty excited to get some custom shields for the cans as well. Saving money would be nice, but not essential and not having adequate isolation would make my listening extremely low while working.
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