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Need help getting portable, closed-back headphones for small head

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi there!


I'm new on this board and trying to decide which headphones to get. I'm looking for something portable, closed-back, with a good overall sound quality (tight bass, clarity), decent soundstage and good comfort since I'll be using it for long hours both for casual listening and mixing (maybe mastering). I'm a tiny girl under 4'11" and have got a proportionately small head, so there's that too. (: 


I listen to rock, classical, acapella, jazz, pop, folk and a lot of film soundtracks which probably cover a somewhat wide range.


I have got a pair of Klipsch Image X10's and am very happy with them for their value (got them at ~$100 maybe?) - I like the warm sound, but for the pair of headphones I'm going to get I'd appreciate a better soundstage (obviously) and hopefully better clarity/more details as well.


I'm currently looking at mostly over-ear headphones, and I've tried the Audio-Technica ATH-M50's, which were pretty pleasant but definitely just a tad too big for my head at its smallest setting, and a little congested. I would have gone with those if they fit well since they're a lot cheaper than the options I'm looking at right now, but since they were too big and weren't spectacular I thought I may as well reconsider my budget. 


I've also tried Beyerdynamic DT880's which were very much too big and hence I couldn't really appreciate its sound. And also Kefs M500's, which although are apparently really good (and fit yay), and were indeed pleasant when I tried them, somehow didn't exactly impress me a whole lot, possibly partly because of the soundstage, I'm not sure.


(Tried all three without amps, and am planning to use headphones without amps for the most part.)


I've lurked around quite a bit and am looking at Sennheiser Amperior, Sennheiser Momentum and Focal Spirit One right now. I'm definitely leaning towards the Momentum, but it is rather pricey and although I'd love to be able to try them (and I'm going to do my best to somehow get a hold of them to try)... I'd like some advice from you guys on whether it's worth it, and if it'll be suited to my needs.


I'm willing to spend up to around $250 if it's worth that amount!


Please feel free to ask for more information if I've missed out anything essential/helpful! And also please feel free to suggest other headphones too.


Thanks a bunch!

post #2 of 8



Look into:


AudioTechnica ESW9A

AudioTechnica ES700


Very best,

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot!


I checked them out and am quite interested in both of them, but I can't seem to find very much on head-fi that compares the two, or either of them with the others that I mentioned that I'm interested in. Would you happen to be able to help me out on that? I feel like it would be easier for me to make a decision if I had a point of reference of sorts. (:

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 


post #5 of 8

As you know, finding the right headphones is an exercise in compromise. Could you help us help you by possibly ranking your needs?

Comfort, looks, portability, closed, warm sound, soundstage, clarity, etc?

What are the must haves?

Off the top of my head, a used pair of Denon AH-D2000 or Philips Fidelio L2 may work.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Absolutely! I'd say in order of most important to least,


Fit (it just needs to stay on my head!)





Warm sound



Must-have's are just the top three, and I'd like for it to have good clarity for its price (something better than the ATH-M50's in terms of clarity), and a decent soundstage for closed headphones. The rest are just good-to-have, although if there's something that'd fulfill all of them to satisfactory I wouldn't be opposed to paying more for it (assuming I can still afford it).


Portability-wise I'd just need it to sound good unamped, foldability isn't an issue at all! I'm looking at both of the headphones you suggested - I'd just like to make sure that they'd both fit on my (relatively small) head?


Many thanks!

post #7 of 8
Please note that fit and comfort will be hard for us to analyze for you.

"Closed" severely limits the choices of quality headphones at that price. In addition to the Denon and Philips, I would suggest you audition the PSB M4U 1. All 3 should destroy the M50 in terms of clarity and soundstage, as well as sound slightly better than the Senn Momentum. All 3 are iphone friendly but can benefit from amplification. Good luck, Purrs.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Alrighty, thanks a bunch!

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