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Need help choosing a closed headphone with a balanced sound signature...>$600

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased XBA-30s (IEMs) imported from Japan and they were my first mid-high end iem. I enjoyed their sound a lot (minus slightly metallic highs). Unfortunately, a wire came loose inside the right earpiece after just about a week, and I am looking for a new on the go solution (note, I don't mind if it is a bigger headphone, just as long as it is closed back; for exercising I use cheap on ears). At the moment, I pretty much only have my he-500s I use for home listening and want a solution asap because I am away from home for very long periods of time during the week, but have time to listen to music while studying. Before the xba-30as, I solely used my ath-m50s for portable use, but I sold them to a friend after buying the iems. Also, the m50s sound signature did not quite do it for me; the xbas more or less out shined them in all sonic aspects.

 

Anyway, I am done with iems... I didn't even put them in pockets without a case and was very careful with them, but they still broke. I feel safer just having a pair of headphones that are not liable to break as easily as iems. Headphones I've been looking into include:

 

-Audio Technica ATH-ES700

-Mad/Alpha Dog

-Sennheiser Momentum

-Obviously open to suggestions

 

I just generally like a balanced, clear, and smooth sound. For reference, the HE-500s to my ears are more or less perfect, I can't think of anything negative to say about them after the ~1800 hours of head time in the past year (I use velour pads). On the other hand, the M50s bass was not controlled enough for me and I did not like the slightly scratchy frequencies some of the highs had, but for the most part were good, especially with female vocals. Really deep and controlled, but neutral bass extension is important to me for listening to genres of music like Hardstyle, and was something the XBA-30s did amazingly well. Despite the fact that I like the traits that the HE-500s have as an open back high end headphone, I don't expect more portable, closed back headphones to replicate this, and thus spaciousness/soundstage is not a very big concern to me. One last thing to note is that i strongly prefer the more forward mids of the HE-500 to the slightly recessed mids of both the m50s and xba-30s.

 

Another requirement for the headphones is to be able to be driven sufficiently using only an iphone 4s (rather powerful for a phone), and possibly a very small portable amp such an a fiio e6(the only portable amp I have right now).

 

My price limit is right around 600$; however I do not expect to spend that much and if I can be fine with a 150-200$ set of headphones, I am more than happy to do so.

 

Thanks for reading and any feedback I get!

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

bump

 

Edit: just realized you are supposed to only bump after 24 hours, sorry


Edited by Magdumper - 10/4/13 at 9:20pm
post #3 of 6

Your options are limited even before you placed your (essentially) no amp requirements on top.  My recommendations are the Sony MDR 7520 or the Senn Amperior.  Both can be had for well below $600.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I should probably have put that before. I guess I would not be totally against buying a more powerful portable amp, but I like to not have my pockets stuffed with things. I've looked for cheap Amperiors but I can't find them anymore because clearance prices seem to be gone... for a time they were going for around $160.

 

The more I look at the ATH-ES700s, the more promising they seem... their biggest flaw people have with them seems to be comfort, and that is one thing I am not really picky about, unless it is downright painful to wear. They are very reasonably priced too.

 

The Sony MDR 7520 look really amazing too, I will seriously consider them... looking into them atm. Have you personally listened to any of these headphones?

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdumper View Post
 

Yeah, I should probably have put that before. I guess I would not be totally against buying a more powerful portable amp, but I like to not have my pockets stuffed with things. I've looked for cheap Amperiors but I can't find them anymore because clearance prices seem to be gone... for a time they were going for around $160.

 

The more I look at the ATH-ES700s, the more promising they seem... their biggest flaw people have with them seems to be comfort, and that is one thing I am not really picky about, unless it is downright painful to wear. They are very reasonably priced too.

 

The Sony MDR 7520 look really amazing too, I will seriously consider them... looking into them atm. Have you personally listened to any of these headphones?

 

I own the two I mentioned and the Audio Technica ATHESW9A, which is good but not made to be knocked around unless you don't mind scuffing its wooden ear cups.

 

I've heard the Momentum and the Mad Dogs (which is a semi open can--a modded Fostex).

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Btw, I went with the mad dogs, and ended up buying a fiio e12... and becides the size of the headphones (getting looks in public smily_headphones1.gif ), they fit my bill perfectly and am happy with my purchase, incase you wanted some closure. The mad dogs can be driven very well with just an iphone 4s too , but there is an audible differnce using old iphone 4 -> lod out to fiio e12 double sided taped together, and it is easily pocketable. I think i may have been fine with just an es700 though tbh haha.
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