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Need help choosing a pair of full size $400 home-use headphones, mostly for alternative/indie rock

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Budget: Up to $400

 

Size: Full size, over-ear

 

Acoustic design: I'm unsure, and I need some info on exactly how much sound a semi-open headphone will leak. Something to put it in perspective, you know? The only non-closed headphone I've heard (from the outside) is the AKG K141 studio. It didn't leak a lot of sound, and I wouldn't mind a headphone with an amount of sound leakage similar to them. I don't mind sound getting in.

 

Area of use: Everything imaginable, but take only music into consideration. Will only be used at home

 

Sound source: I got a Sound Blaster ZX for Christmas. I am still considering whether to return it for a FiiO E10 or E7. I need help with that as well, should I find an external DAC/amp in stead?

 

Additional information: I listen most of all to indie/alternative rock, sometimes also slightly heavier variants of rock. Lots of guitar, drums, and vocals :) Some sample tracks:

Coldplay, Viva la vida
Breaking Benjamin, Breath

The White Stripes, There is no home for you here

10 years, Fix me

Radiohead, Creep

Nirvana, Come as you are

Weezer, Say it ain't so

Led Zeppelin, Whole lotta love

The Killers, Read my mind

 

I wish for a sound signature where the bass is not very dominant, as in the likes of Beats and Souls by Dr. Luda. I don't mind minor "enhancements" of the bass, mids or treble, but I think I want some farily neutral headphones. I can always use an equalizer if I get bored, right?

 

I am not in a position to go out and test headphones (The only shop that allows this where I live, only has Bose QC on display.) I will be ordering the headphones online, which means I can try them and send them back if I don't like them.

 

I think I want an open headphone (someone help me decide?), so I've looked at the AKG K242, Beyerdynamic DT880. These both seem like nice options, but I'm not sure they suit my type of music. I've also considered some closed cans, namely AKG K550 and Beyerdynamic DT770. K550 seems pretty neat

 

I already own Monster Turbines, ATH-ES7, Logitech G930, and AKG K518. I like the ES7. It's fine for portable use, but too uncomfortable for long sessions in front of the computer :)

G930 is alright, quite comfortable. I hear distortions in the bass sometimes, and they aren't exactly audiophile phones.. The K518 is too bassy, mids and highs feel "distant" from what I can recall. They're also very uncomfortable.


Edited by alexw - 12/26/13 at 11:01am
post #2 of 7

AKG K550.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_k550.htm

Audio quality will improve with FiiO E10.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

AKG K550.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_k550.htm

Audio quality will improve with FiiO E10.

Seems like I may have found my headphones, then. I'll see if I can try them in a shop somewhere. 

I'll look for a used pair, actually. Sound improves with time, right?


Edited by alexw - 11/11/13 at 11:27am
post #4 of 7

You can try K551 at both Elkjøp and Expert, but they want the crazy price of $410 for them so do not buy them there. I think K550 will be harder to find on display, but you could check out Soundgarden.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phileas Fogg View Post
 

You can try K551 at both Elkjøp and Expert, but they want the crazy price of $410 for them so do not buy them there. I think K550 will be harder to find on display, but you could check out Soundgarden.

They sound the same though, don't they? I always use prisjakt.no to find prices (and products) :)

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've read some reviews on the K550 here on Head-Fi, and they're not particularly positive.

 

How is the Shure SRH-940-E in comparison? It's pretty much the same price as K550 here in Norway. Should I get that one in stead if I find it comfortable? If I think it's too lacking in bass, can't I just use the bass boost function that is present in most amps or an equalizer?

 

I appreciate all the answers, by the way :) This forum is great


Edited by alexw - 11/13/13 at 8:32am
post #7 of 7

I share similar taste in music and I have a Shure SRH940. I love it. Vocals sound natural and intimate, and that is their strongest point in my opinion. I find the bass a bit lacking however. I'd say they hit the low notes, but lack the oomph, or punch. Soundstage is another thing I would prefer to be better, but thats really hard because they're closed cans. Weigh in the pros and cons, you will be very happy with how the Shure sound, I am certain, but I would not recommend you the SRH940 because the build quality is horrendous. The plastic is cheap and it creaks. Most people get cracks in less than two years and some people even have had their headbands snap. Too bad, cause I'm sure whatever SRH940 lacked could be solved with a proper set up.

So instead, I would recommend ath-a900x or akg k240 or akg k550. A Grado might suit you, but some people don't find it comfortable. Maybe even the Koss Pro DJ 100? tdockweiler reviewed it here http://www.head-fi.org/t/571216/koss-pro-dj-100-the-budget-king

I'm not an experienced audiophile though, so take my advice with a pinch of salt :)

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