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Looking to move from IEM's to over the ear and stay under $200.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Long time reader, first time poster... 

 

I have been in love with my Shure e4's for years now.  As I've gotten older, gotten married, had kids, and changed jobs, I find myself being MUCH less portable so it's time to start looking at a set of cans and I came to the place I knew had all the answers.

 

I used to be a high end home theater installer, so I tend to feel I have a better ear than the average listener, but I wouldn't quite go to audiophile status mostly due to lack of exposure.  As far as headphones/IEM's are concerned I've always leaned more towards the in ear, so that's where most of my knowledge lies, which leads me to a few general questions before I get to asking for suggestions based on what I've been looking at.

 

Closed vs open?  I always assumed that closed would have a much better sound reproduction, staging, etc than an open design would give... what am I missing?

 

Most of my current listening comes via iPhone or my desktop computer at work or my laptop at home.  Would a DAC/AMP benefit me in cleaning up the source audio?  I'm not currently using lossless mp3's however if I end up with a set of headphones that deem it necessary, then I can see myself going that route.

 

So after a little bit of testing and listening to models such as Klipsch ONE's, Bose QC15's, Beats (blah), all other best buy models, Sennheiser 219's, Sennheiser BT210's and a couple cheap Koss circumaurals, I am able to tell you more of what I don't like than what I do.  The ONE's and the QC15's are definitely the best sounding, but both leave me wanting more...  The others aren't even worth mentioning (other than I've certainly become impressed with Sennheiser even at such low price points...).

 

I find myself continuously going back and looking at the Sennheiser HD380's but I just can't seem to pull the trigger, hence the registering and coming on here to get some opinions.  I'm open to anything (even beyond over the ear and beyond the $200 price range), I just don't know what's worth it considering I can't get my hands on headphones like this to physically try out.  I see that the Sennheiser Momentum on ears are like $229, but how much am I losing on those compared to the $349 Momentums?  Are the AKG701's worth the bump up to almost $300?  At that point what else is out there?  These are the circles I find myself going through, so please help a guy out! Lol

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

post #2 of 7

Hi,

 

Quote:

Closed vs open?  I always assumed that closed would have a much better sound reproduction, staging, etc than an open design would give... what am I missing?

 

Open headphones have better sound reproduction most of the times because engineers don't have to deal with stationary waves, neither unwanted strong reflections inside the cups.

 

 

Quote: From Shure Blog
Open back headphones have ports that allow sound to enter and exit through the earcups. Audiophiles and engineers choose them because the sound can be more natural, open, and accurate (than closed back headphones); offering a wide stereo image and increased depth of field. For mixing and mastering, the sound produced by open back headphones more closely approximates monitor speakers.

 

Not everything is black or white as you might know, there are some amazing closed back headphones like Beyerdynamic T5p or Mr Speakers Alpha Dogs than can have amazing fidelity, but most of the times this headphones are quite expensive.

In my opinion, closed headphones are the go to option if you are looking for isolation and great sub-bass reproduction. Otherwise, open back headphones are a better pick. You must be quite careful if you want powerful bass because many open back headphones tend to be a little bit weak on the bass.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Fiio E07K and E17 are great budget DAC/Amps that can give you some extra clarity and can properly drive most headphones in your price range.

 

What kind of music do you normally listen to? Do you prefer powerful bass?
I think a good thing to decide is if you want soft sounding headphones to just sit and relax or ones with a more engaging presentation of sound and focused on details.


Edited by Me x3 - 11/25/13 at 8:24am
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for the explanation of closed/open.  Definitely makes more sense now... I guess I never really thought about the engineering side of it fighting against reflection...

 

As far as what music I listen to, I know it sounds cliche but I listen to everything.  Classical/instrumental, Enya, mid-90's alt rock (Incubus), Country (modern and old), Classic rock, Beatles, electronic/techno, top 40, bluegrass, acoustic, etc.

 

When you say powerful bass all I can seem to think of is Beats.... and NO, that is not the type of bass I want. Powerful is definitely not something I'm looking for.... I just want it to be full, not overpowering.

 

Do you think I'm in the right ball park with the 380's?  Do you have any open design models that you would suggest I take a look at?

post #4 of 7

Sennheiser HD380 seem to be quite dark sounding to my tastes.

 

 

If you want Closed headphones you should consider:

 

Shure Srh-840

Great detail, natural sounding, extra pads and good confort.

 

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 Ohm

Detailed headphones with very good bass response. (Need extra amplification Fiio E11 for example)

 

Soundmagic HP100

I've read good things about this headphones, but I've never tried them.

 

 

If you prefer Open Back:

 

Sennheiser HD558/598:

Soft sounding headphones, some people call them boring, some others love them. This are quite weak on the bass but for sure very neutral headphones with great sound quality. Great headphones to just sit and relax while and orchestra plays for you. Also very good soundstage and don't need extra amplification.

 

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250 Ohm

Really detailed but unforgiving headphones that sound amazing with high quality recordings and pretty terrible with most modern/over bright/ ultra-compressed music. Great bass and soundstage. (Need extra amplification Fiio E11 for example)

 

Yamaha HPH-200:

Maybe not the most confortable headphones (On-Ear) but probably one of the best all rounders out there. This little headphones sound very good not matter if you are playing high quality recordings and files or not. Overall warm sounding headphones with good timbres and detail. Lively sound singature and compact design.

 

AKG K701 are very good headphones, with wide soundstage and pretty neutral sound signature (on the bright side of neutral). This are more expensive and also need extra amplification.

 

 

Best Luck!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the choices to take a look at....

 

Do you or anybody else have any experience with the Klipsch M40 Noise Cancelling Headphones?  They retail for $350 but I can pick up a pair for like $140.  I know there's been some reviews on the M40's that say they aren't necessarily an amazing set of headphones, but at $140 would they be a good buy?  A great buy?

 

Just looking for more opinions.  

 

Thanks!

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ended up ordering the Audio Technica M50S's. $100 on amazon. I'll come back and let you all know how they are when I get them Wednesday.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawby View Post

Ended up ordering the Audio Technica M50S's. $100 on amazon. I'll come back and let you all know how they are when I get them Wednesday.

ahhh... you could have gotten the AKG K545 on sale at razerdogaudio for $200. the ATH-M50 are tried & true classics though, so I'm sure you'll be happy w/ em :)

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