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Best Open-Back Headphones Under $300

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Looking to upgrade from my Grado SR80i. What would be the best cans $300 or under for home use? Looking for something that's immersive and responsive.

post #2 of 20

HD600 used out of the Head-fi classifieds.

post #3 of 20

There isn't "the best" but there's the best for your taste.

If you like a warm-sounding, fullbodied headphone not lacking details, my go-to choice would be the Philips Fidelio X1.

post #4 of 20
AKG Q701will fit your bill and if a bit yo lean sounding for you can be easily modded to have a bit more bass and added warmth and body.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cCasper TFG View Post
 

HD600 used out of the Head-fi classifieds.

The HD600 is 200ohms, will I need an amp to run one off my macbook pro or iphone? I really dont want to fiddle with an amp.

post #6 of 20

No you don't need an amp.

post #7 of 20
I would say the HD600 will need an amp. It might be OK from you Mac book but the iPod will not drive them well enough the same for the Q701 but to a bit lesser degree. A small amp will suffice though so you don't have spend a lot.

Personally I am using an Audioengine D1 right now which give you a better sound source plus it has enough juice for both amps mentioned. But you can also just get a straight amp as well.

For a headphone that does not require an amp you could look at the Shure 1440 used or the AD900/X used, or go Fidelio L1 or L2 when released in the next month or so.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

I would say the HD600 will need an amp. It might be OK from you Mac book but the iPod will not drive them well enough the same for the Q701 but to a bit lesser degree. A small amp will suffice though so you don't have spend a lot.

Personally I am using an Audioengine D1 right now which give you a better sound source plus it has enough juice for both amps mentioned. But you can also just get a straight amp as well.

For a headphone that does not require an amp you could look at the Shure 1440 used or the AD900/X used, or go Fidelio L1 or L2 when released in the next month or so.

Thanks for the reply. I looked into the Fidelios per your recommendation and came across the X1 which are very tempting. Any idea how the X1 compares to the Shure 1440? They both are said to have a "fun" sound signature like the Grados which is what I'd like to really bring my music alive.

post #9 of 20
I have not heard the X1 so can't comment on it. The 1440 has what I would call an aggressive signature. The bass is tight and not overly heavy (some might say it's bass light) with mids that are forward and treble that is equally forward and detailed. The aggressive upper range does make it fatiguing if you turn up the volume to get more bass impact.

I have a feeling the X1 might be the better headphone but have read it needs an amp to sound it's best.
post #10 of 20

So let me make sure I understand your question:

 

1. sounds something like a Grado (Note: Grados don't have a "fun" sound. They generally are bass-light with several treble spikes.)
2. open
3. over ear
4. no amp needed

 

If so, you're really "What's an over ear Grado?"

 

Maybe there's a way to mod a Grado into an over ear; ask on the Grado mods thread.

 

You might be happy with Beyerdynamic DT880 32 ohm version, but it's about $350 new. It's very good, though not so aggressive as Grados. I'm not entirely happy with the recommendation, but you might like it, especially if you use an equalizer.


Edited by Claritas - 12/15/13 at 1:03pm
post #11 of 20
The 1440 is actually a bit Grado like because if its upper mids and treble so it might fit the bill if he can find a used pair.
post #12 of 20

what kind of sound are you looking for?

 

since i dont know yet, i suggest a used pair of hifiman he-400's

post #13 of 20

Beyerdynamic DT 990 32 Ohm.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy205100 View Post
 

Beyerdynamic DT 990 32 Ohm.

 

Insofar as any open Beyer can be said to sound Grado-like, I think 880 will sound more Grado-like than 990 because 990's increase in bass and lower mids will lessen whatever Grado-like sound the treble spike provides.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

I would say the HD600 will need an amp. It might be OK from you Mac book but the iPod will not drive them well enough the same for the Q701 but to a bit lesser degree. A small amp will suffice though so you don't have spend a lot.

Personally I am using an Audioengine D1 right now which give you a better sound source plus it has enough juice for both amps mentioned. But you can also just get a straight amp as well.

For a headphone that does not require an amp you could look at the Shure 1440 used or the AD900/X used, or go Fidelio L1 or L2 when released in the next month or so.

 

It's not really about needing more power as it's about having a better quality and sounding source to plug your headphones in, in other words the scalability factor of the headphone. The need for excessive amounts of power is one of the most overblown myths on head-fi.

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