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Newbie needs help selecting a closed, over-ear headphone, preferably <$200

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi all, my first post, so here goes:

 

I own a Sennheiser HD 202 and really enjoyed my Sennheiser CX 485s before they broke after some fairly light usage. This would be my first set of nicer, audiophile-level headphones. I've always wanted to get a nicer set of headphones, and after using Apple earbuds and cheap $10 Skullcandy in-ears for years, I think now's the time.

 

I read through the recommendation threads here, and I've got a handful of potential headphones I wanted some help whittling down, though I'm certainly open to other suggestions as well: I figure it'd be better to ask the experts to get a better feel for what fits well. The Shure HD840, Shure HD940, Audio Technica ATH-M50, Sony MDR-1R, and Sennheiser HD380 are what I'm looking at right now. I also like the Sennheiser HD 598, but the fact that it's open slightly concerns me. All of them are in my price range, though obviously the cheaper, the better. I picked these out by scouring some sound and comfort descriptions, but again, I'm very open to suggestions. I don't own an amp (it sounds like I might want to pick one up at some point, but that's for another time, I guess), and I predict I'll be using this mostly in my dorm room, and occasionally out and about, hence my preference for closed. I don't have any sound card other than the default on my laptop (Sound Blaster X-FI MB 3), though I would plan to switch over to my desktop eventually (also doesn't have a sound card; probably will purchase one at some point).

 

As for what I listen to to give you an idea of what might be a good sound fit, I listen mostly to metal (progressive, death, metalcore, experimental) and rock (alternative, progressive), though I'm trying to get into jazz and classical, and have found myself listening to a lot of Asian pop (Korean, Japanese, Chinese) recently. A lot of distorted/downtuned, guitar-heavy stuff, and most of it is in the more experimental/proggy vein (DIR EN GREY, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Kayo Dot, King Crimson, Karnivool). Pretty much all my music is v0 mp3.

I like being able to hear my bass (especially in rock/metal and electronic), and I prefer sharp, snappy, tight sounding drums, and a fairly balanced sound overall (I think), where no instrument is really overwhelming, though perhaps with guitars a bit at the forefront. I guess that means I like distinguishable bass, clean mids, and not too squeaky treble? Unfortunately, I don't know what this really translates to what I should be looking for in a pair of headphones, so that's why I'm here to ask you experts!

 

I'd be really grateful for any help at all you can give. I'm excited to finally be buying my first pair of good headphones!

 

Thanks!


Edited by 5thEagle - 10/10/13 at 11:03am
post #2 of 24

You mentioned that you do not have and for now will not be buying an amp.  I didn't see where you mentioned what will be driving these cans.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

You are certainly correct.

 

I'm not 100% sure what you mean, but I would assume the stock Sound Blaster X-FI MB 3 sound card in my laptop, or whatever an iPhone comes equipped with. I think a good amp + a good headphone is probably out of my budget for now.


Edited by 5thEagle - 10/10/13 at 11:03am
post #4 of 24
Since you are into rock and metal, I suggest trying Grados. They are well known for those genres.
post #5 of 24
I have only used the HD 380 pros of the ones that you mentioned but I absolutely loved them. I don't like them as much as my Q701's but those are open and for metal the 380s are far superior in my opinion. They definitely benefited from use with my e17 but its not necessary for them to be amped in my opinion.
post #6 of 24
Just realized you wanted closed. That rules out Grados.

Look into the Soundmagic HP100s. Getting lotta love on head-fi at the moment.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Since you are into rock and metal, I suggest trying Grados. They are well known for those genres.


But they leak sound more than the Senns he mentioned.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


But they leak sound more than the Senns he mentioned.

You are off your game today. . . I corrected myself 2 minutes before you posted wink.gif
smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


But they leak sound more than the Senns he mentioned.

You are off your game today. . . I corrected myself 2 minutes before you posted wink.gif
smily_headphones1.gif


Couldn't have been too far off, as my post captured your original text.

 

The most important thing is that we did not lead the OP down the wrong trail.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


Couldn't have been too far off, as my post captured your original text.

The most important thing is that we did not lead the OP down the wrong trail.

LOL

You missed what I meant. Read the post right before yours smily_headphones1.gif
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Just realized you wanted closed. That rules out Grados.

Look into the Soundmagic HP100s. Getting lotta love on head-fi at the moment.

Foolishness aside

 

the Sound Magics or the SHure 840 are both great headphones for rock, I owned both and enjoyed them very much for rock

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 


Couldn't have been too far off, as my post captured your original text.

 

The most important thing is that we did not lead the OP down the wrong trail.

That you did not, thanks. I appreciate the recommendation though :) Maybe I'll look at some Grados's down the road if I ever need an open headset.

 

@Sattelight: The Sennheiser 380s looked really appealing when I was looking around on Amazon and on the web in general, but other than being on the top list, I haven't seen many specific reviews of it on here. I don't also have a very good idea of what kind of sound it delivers. Is there anywhere I can look at to get a comparison to some of the other headphones I listed, or maybe some other popular ones?

 

@cel4145 & @Mshenay: The Soundmagic looks pretty solid, though I'm seeing some concerns about build quality, and some reviews state loss of . I like the Shure 840s a lot, but I'm trying to figure out whether it would be worth the money to upgrade to a 940. Is the price difference worth it? I also heard the 940 has build problems and has a tendency to break at the rotatable hinge. I have an opportunity to buy a very lightly used Shure 840 for ~$80, so I'm very tempted to get that and just call it quits on my search.

 

 

Sorry if I'm being too picky; I really just don't want to order something really expensive that isn't quite what I want then trouble the seller and myself trying to return it. Thanks again for all the help!

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5thEagle View Post
 

That you did not, thanks. I appreciate the recommendation though :) Maybe I'll look at some Grados's down the road if I ever need an open headset.

 

@Sattelight: The Sennheiser 380s looked really appealing when I was looking around on Amazon and on the web in general, but other than being on the top list, I haven't seen many specific reviews of it on here. I don't also have a very good idea of what kind of sound it delivers. Is there anywhere I can look at to get a comparison to some of the other headphones I listed, or maybe some other popular ones?

 

@cel4145 & @Mshenay: The Soundmagic looks pretty solid, though I'm seeing some concerns about build quality, and some reviews state loss of . I like the Shure 840s a lot, but I'm trying to figure out whether it would be worth the money to upgrade to a 940. Is the price difference worth it? I also heard the 940 has build problems and has a tendency to break at the rotatable hinge. I have an opportunity to buy a very lightly used Shure 840 for ~$80, so I'm very tempted to get that and just call it quits on my search.

 

 

Sorry if I'm being too picky; I really just don't want to order something really expensive that isn't quite what I want then trouble the seller and myself trying to return it. Thanks again for all the help!

Grab the 840 for $80 and be happy

 

The 940 is known for it's crappy build, also the 940 is Thin airy and DETAILED [from what I have heard], to the balanced Shure 840. So I've not heard the 940 but it's crummy build and price make me think... the 840 is the only Shure I shall be owning :3 

 

I found the Hp 100 to be built very well, I would ignore the scary pasta. The Sound Magics when they where NEW where well loved for a good reason, know that they are getting more popular, critics will emerage and horror stories along with that. Yea the Sound Magics and Sure 840 are both palstic, so do NOT go throwing it at a wall or dropping it on a daily basis. But if you can take care of a celluar Phone for  more than 3 months you should be fine. As both where, imo, built well. 

 

Still $80 for a LIGHTLY used Shure 840 is a super duper bargin, do confirm that it is in 100% working order, and has VERY minamal signs of use, at that price it's either a RIP off or a good deal. The SHure 840 is about $110 used, so $80 is close enough to be legit, just make sure that it is legit! 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

I found the Hp 100 to be built very well, I would ignore the scary pasta. The Sound Magics when they where NEW where well loved for a good reason, know that they are getting more popular, critics will emerage and horror stories along with that. Yea the Sound Magics and Sure 840 are both palstic, so do NOT go throwing it at a wall or dropping it on a daily basis. But if you can take care of a celluar Phone for  more than 3 months you should be fine. As both where, imo, built well. 

+1

Just try to find a headphone for <$200 that doesn't have quite a bit of plastic in its construction.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


+1

Just try to find a headphone for <$200 that doesn't have quite a bit of plastic in its construction.

well you know there is the Beyer... Just kidding

 

yea don't worry about it. I'm the guy who used to smash $20 sony cans in a week... so SINCE then I've yet to break any of the Mid Fi cans, the Sound Magics and Shure 840 both felt solid to me

 

Although keep in mind the 840 is on the heavy side, where as the Hp 100 is lighter. I... just think of me as a Mule... thick neck and shoulders. I don't... or rather headphone weight does not bother me... at all... I mean dude I used to wear a 2lb pair of vintage panasonics. I will have to DIG in my Storage to find them but here is a refrance pic

 

My old Panasonics where TWICE as big as these :O trust me they where FREAKING huge. They had thier own Bass and Tweeter in each can, with an Amp for the woofer and tweeter respectivly... I mean dude... they where BIG

 

SO that said... yea I don't uinderstand "heavy headphones" like you normal ppl do

 

that said, I did notice the 840 where heavier than the Hp 100. it might not be an issue [as I didn't find it to be a big deal] so again just try em, if they are lightly used and for $80 at the VERY worst... you'll build some neck muscles ;3 [which the ladies like] so again go with the SHure  840, and if you are lucky they will sound good and give you a sexier neck xD 

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