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Best all-round headphones, £300/$500~ budget

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi

 

I currently have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm headphones. I really rather like them, but wonder if there was any way to significantly improve on them if you're willing to pay well over £200. I previously had the AKG K551's which I wasn't a big fan of as they sounded a bit 'flat', but weren't too bad, I just felt the 770's were better for the same money.

 

I'm able to get the Beyer T70's for £250 ($400), which seems fairly cheap as most places have them up for at least £100 or so more. I think these look great but I'm a bit concerned by the mixed reviews, people say they have close to no bass, which is odd, and others say it's not too bad. I assume that bass aside, they sound rather good. They have Tesla technology, which sounds cool, but I'm not too sure what it does.

 

They'll be connected to my PC, which has an ASUS Xonar Xense sound card, the specifications of which can be found here: http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_Xense/#specifications

 

I mostly listen to metal, all kinds of it, so I assume bass is fairly important here...? I do listen to all kinds of music though, nothing too specific. I'll be using them for:

 

  • Music
  • Gaming
  • Movies/TV shows

 

Taking the above into account, what would you folks recommend? The budget can be raised and indeed lowered, I'm not a crazy audiohead or anything like that, but I do appreciate a great pair of headphones as I use them for many hours a day. I've no brand preference and am willing to look at whatever you suggest - can the DT770's be beaten?

post #2 of 18

In my experience, bass means a lot more to gaming and movies (explosions, artificial sounds for gunshots, cars, etc) than it does to metal/rock.  That's not to say that the bass isn't important in music, but most of your lyrics and guitars are going to fall in the midrange.

 

I get as much or more enjoyment listening to my Grado headphones with metal (though metal is a wide-encompassing term) than I do with my DT770s, though the DT770s offer more impact to the bass and the noise isolation I want/need when I'm working.

 

Have you listened to the DT880 or 990s?  Those might be just the change you're looking for in overall signature without sacrificing too much in the way of bass.  I know in the US (where I live anyway) the 990 (pro, not sure what the difference is between the pro and premium models other than looks) is about the same price as the DT770.  You will sacrifice the closed nature of the 770 as the 880s are semi-open and the 990s are open (or maybe it's the other way around), but that will also expand the perceived soundstage.

 

Also, you might want to look into a headphone amplifier even for your 770s.  That Xonar model doesn't appear to have one built in (unless I missed it), but the much cheaper DGX does (as does the Essense STX).


Edited by liquidzoo - 10/31/13 at 10:58am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

The 880's and 990's have caught my eye, they're also a lot cheaper than the T70. I've not tried them but I'm certainly intrigued.

 

My sound card has a - so I'm told - 600ohm rated amp on it, it definitely has an amp of some sort, it's pretty good. :)

post #4 of 18

Fair enough.  I didn't see it explicitly called out in the specs like it is on the Xonar DGX and Xonar Essence STX

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

I've spotted the Senn HD 600's for £250/$400, what do you make of them (compared to the others mentioned)?

post #6 of 18

Very well liked and well respected.  I have no personal experience with them, though.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Any views on the Sony MDR-1R or Sennheiser Momentum, for my use they might be better than these more specialised headphones it appears?

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
 

The 880's and 990's have caught my eye, they're also a lot cheaper than the T70. I've not tried them but I'm certainly intrigued.

 

My sound card has a - so I'm told - 600-Ohm rated amp on it, it definitely has an amp of some sort, it's pretty good. :)


It might be helpful to find out the make and model of the sound card.

Essence STX

Essence ST

Sound Blaster Z

Sound Blaster Zx

Sound Blaster ZxR

Etc.

 

My Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium 600-Ohm do sound nice to my ears.

The DT880 Premium 600-Ohm are also nice.

Best to find a good price for a used pair of DT990 or DT880

 

The Beyerdynamic T70 are more a headphone for clarity, not a bassy headphone, they have some bass, but it's more a clear bass, then a thumping bass.

Where as the DT990 Premium 600-Ohm have stronger bass & treble, DT880 are more a balanced sound.

Mt DT990 Premium 600-Ohm are my preferred action movie headphone.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Given what's available to me at the shops, I've more or less ruled out the Momentum based on the fact it's small - I am going to try some later but I'm not a big fan of very small earcups, and they seem to be fairly small.

 

This leaves me to choose between the Denon AH-D600 and the Beyer T70.

 

I like the look of the Denon, it looks to be extremely comfortable... those earpads...! The sound seems more bass focused which could possibly be better for all-round usage.

 

I won't be able to try the T70 which is the one thing holding me back a bit, I'm pretty sure I'd like it but I'm slightly concerned it might be a bit 'boring'.

 

They both cost pretty much the same price (which to me indicates the T70 as being more for the money).

 

Any thoughts?

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


It might be helpful to find out the make and model of the sound card.

Essence STX

Essence ST

Sound Blaster Z

Sound Blaster Zx

Sound Blaster ZxR

Etc.

 

The link in the first post points to Asus' site on the Xonar Xense.  Not one I've heard of, but it looks like a decent enough card.

 

OP, if you've narrowed it down to those 2, you might want to check out this thread (post 2 specifically).  From the sounds of things, the D600 might be what you're looking for.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

How about the Beyer T90? I've found some for £360 ($570), if they really blow all of my other options out of the water, it would seem daft to miss out for the sake of a few quid...?

 

I know it's open vs closed (I'm not too familiar with open but in theory I should very much like it), but the T90 seems to get way more praise than the T70? Aren't they similar?

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post
 

The link in the first post points to Asus' site on the Xonar Xense.  Not one I've heard of, but it looks like a decent enough card.

 

OP, if you've narrowed it down to those 2, you might want to check out this thread (post 2 specifically).  From the sounds of things, the D600 might be what you're looking for.


Guess if I had done a better job of reading the original post I would have seen what sound card he has.

 

The OP's sound card, the Xence, has a 10-Ohm impedance on it's headphone output, so it may not be the best headphone amplifier to use with the 25-Ohm AH-D600.

post #13 of 18

If the T70 is too bass-light for you then based on what I've read the T90 will be worse.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Guess if I had done a better job of reading the original post I would have seen what sound card he has.

 

The OP's sound card, the Xence, has a 10-Ohm impedance on it's headphone output, so it may not be the best headphone amplifier to use with the 25-Ohm AH-D600.

 

Does this mean 250ohm headphones would be a bit of a waste? I'm sure it at least supports up to 600 ohm, I have a setting for it anyway and that's what I've been previously told. The options look like so: http://i.imgur.com/pj3GAvm.jpg

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post
 

If the T70 is too bass-light for you then based on what I've read the T90 will be worse.

 

Ah ok.


Edited by Robbo - 11/1/13 at 10:13am
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
 

How about the Beyer T90? I've found some for £360 ($570), if they really blow all of my other options out of the water, it would seem daft to miss out for the sake of a few quid...?

 

I know it's open vs closed (I'm not too familiar with open but in theory I should very much like it), but the T90 seems to get way more praise than the T70? Aren't they similar?


I figure the T90 is like the open version of the T70.

Or the T70 is like the closed version of the T90.

Depending on how someone wants to word it.

 

But the headphone amplifier on the Xence should easily drive both headphones.

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