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Been trying to make up for the mistake of buying the Studio Beats a year ago...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

And would like the help from people that are knowledgeable in this department. Basically I got sucked in to the "Ooo, they look so dope & pretty! Must have ASAP! Surely the price point means they're gonna sound like Jesus himself is singing the songs to me through the speakers." hype of them.


Anyways, I gave them away to some poor unfortunate soul in desperate need of them awhile ago and basically have been mulling around my options trying to see what I should buy next. This time making sure to get something that will actually be accurate with different sounds, not just bass heavy music, and since my library is very expansive in the types and sounds I need something that will fit that. Don't get me wrong tho, I do need my bass still! Just not overpowered & more so how it was meant to be heard. I need the most accurate sound headphones can provide in which the maker of the song meant for you to hear it!


Here are the options I've come up with along the time in between me giving away my Beats and really researching within my budget range:


These are the options I've seen most people talk about on forums and through my own research that I THINK would fit what I'm looking for:



Aiaiai TMA-1 Studio

AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Engineered by Young Guru

AKG K 272 HD

AKG K550

Audio-Technica ATH-M30

Audio-Technica ATH-M50/Audio-Technica ATH-M50WH

Audio-Technica ATH-WS99

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250ohms

Bowers & Wilkins P3

Harman Kardon CL

Sennheiser HD 380 Pro

Sennheiser HD 558

Sennheiser HD 598

Shure SRH840

Sony MDRMA900

Sony MDR-V6

Sony MDR7506

Ultrasone HFI-580


If you see any on this list I should definitely eliminate and not even consider, please tell me! And if you know of any I should be looking at that I'm missing from this list (within that $100-200, maybe $250 tops price range) then tell me as well and I'll look into them.


Also, if you can recommend any amplifiers/DAC, portable (can they be portable?) or not (like the Aune T1 6992 & the Fiio E10).


Basically though, if I wanted right now I could go ahead and just get the Bowers & Wilkins P7's that just came out (or will come out soon right?) since they basically fit everything I need. But I don't want to do that same thing I did with the Beats and go where the hype is at, just to throw money away. I mean, I could do it all I want but that doesn't benefit me in the long run when it comes to my music listening. And trust me, I listen to a lot of music and want it to be the most enjoyable sound I can get!

Edited by Omanko - 11/25/13 at 11:42am
post #2 of 7



Beyer DT770 PRO 80ohm

AKG K167

AudioTechnica WS99 or A900X

Ultrasone HFI 580 or PRO 750


No real need for portable amps, but if you want, the Fiio E11 would be a good way to start on a budget.

If you just listen at home, the Fiio E10 would be a very good way to start on a budget.

If you want both home and portability, look into the Fiio E17.


And used/refurb is always a great way to go on a budget.


Very best,

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Beyer DT770 PRO 80ohm


Why are those priced at $230, compared to the $174 for the 250ohm? Can you explain that a bit to me?


And the amps look awesome but honestly I am clueless as to what they'll actually enhance and provide for me while listening to music with them. But the set up some people have in the Amazon user submitted sections of the reviews look quite messy and like a lot of cables to deal with! I'd be willing to do it if it was actually something worthwhile. Can you expand on amps for me a little bit?


Also, where would I be able to find any of those headphones (or any at all) refurbished? I don't know about going the used route though, since I wouldn't trust their hygienic status. And with refurbished products I'm sure they go through some disinfectant process. LOL!


Thanks for your reply though, it's greatly appreciated!

post #4 of 7



No good reason. Market just fluctuates a lot, as more people by the 80ohm because it is easier to drive for most consumers who are not into having more gear than the headphone itself. The 250ohm needs an amplifier. It's not hard to drive mind, but it definitely needs a little voltage to do what it's intended to do performance wise. Most people aren't looking for high impedance headphones for no reason (except unfortunate mislead consumers who think higher impedance equates to higher quality or better sound--which is most certainly does not). They're virtually the same. So if you have simple means to drive the 250ohm version, by all means, save yourself some cash and go for it instead.


You can certainly find used/refurb deals on Amazon's warehouse deals. Just take a peak. Great way to save some cash there too.


Amplifiers serve two purposes really (to simplify greatly): 1) raise voltage to match work load (this is where impedance of the voice coil comes into play); 2) increase current throughput to overcome sensitivity to generate sound pressure (mW/dB). If a headphone has higher impedance, it needs more voltage to overcome that so the amplifier has to increase voltage, and this decreases current throughput. If a headphone has lower impedance, but has lower sensitivity (ie, less sound pressure for the energy supplied), it will have the amplifier not raise voltage as much but increase current throughput much more. So amps behave differently based on the work load presented to them. Some amps are better at different work load levels due to design, and that's where impedance matching comes into play more. If you just get solid state amplifiers (not tube amplifiers) this is pretty much not an issue. Why do headphones even have impedance values? It's due to the technology behind amplifiers from the past. Today's audio equipment, you'll find, has next to no impedance (or very low impedance values) and can be driven from a cellphone's power output, because power handling has improved tremendously over the years. Doesn't stop most of us from getting clunky older tech equipment still, which dominates the niche market, the mass consumer market has nothing to do with amps and impedance values, etc, the majority of the market is actually cellphones and IEMs these days.


Very best,

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Amazing, amazing, AMAZING reply there sir!


Very informative and has definitely made me realize I'm leaning more so towards the mass consumer market, rather than the niche market that still uses older and clunkier equipment. Doesn't mean I'll never attempt to visit that side of things down the line though!


But now, knowing that, what headphones do you absolutely recommend? Even though you already gave me a list but maybe there are some additional ones that come to mind, now that I said I lean more towards what they're churning up for the mass consumer market.

post #6 of 7



On the consumer end to limit extra equipment, if you want a closed headphone, the following come to mind:


Beyer DT770 PRO LE 32ohm

Audio Technica A900X

AKG K167 & K267


Those will function without big expensive amplifiers and will sound great from any device from a cellphone to a minor USB dac/amp setup when at home.


Very best,

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 



Please, I need more advice. I went and listened to a few headphones at Best Buy today and came back even more confused!


I listened to these:


Polk Bulke On Ear Headphones: Which were so so, better than Beats with more of a natural sounding bass.


Sony MRD10R: Which were so forgettable!


Sennheiser HD-203: Which were ok but nowhere near as good as the ones I heard next.


Sennheiser HD-380 Pro: Which were the crispest and clearest of them all but IDK, kind of felt flat to me? I think that's sort of the point of them tho and would need messing with the EQ? I'm not sure, which is why I need more guidance.


Zound Indu Marshall Monitor: Which out of all of them I heard tonight were my favorite! I'm not sure about their rating or anything yet, I'm about to go look them up online, but they sounded and looked great.



So slick & hefty! Anyone have any experience with them and have any comments to say about them?

Edited by Omanko - 11/25/13 at 10:42pm
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