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Best closed-back portable headphone under $150 for college.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm sorry if this is a lot like another thread but I have had a hard time deciding between good headphones to replace my Bose AE2 headphones (cue anti-Bose comments). I'll try to keep this short and to the point so here goes, what I am looking for:

 

- Priced at or bellow $150 (willing to fork over a little more cash up to $175 or so).

- Must be closed-back headphones.

- As little sound leakage as possible since I will be listening to them in the dorms and library so I don't want to bother others.

- COMFORT!!!! This could be a deal-breaker for me even if the sound is good.

- Low ohm impedance. I will be playing them mostly using my Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic using the Poweramp app, but also on my HP EliteBook 8560w laptop. However when I am home I have a receiver that to my knowledge should be able to drive about anything so a 1/4" adapter would be fun, but not needed. I have to stress again that the headphones must be able to work well with a phone and laptop.

- I DON'T GIVE A RATS FOOT ABOUT LOOKS!!! I have never, and will never, buy headphones based on looks. Sound quality and comfort trumps looks, so ef off Beats!!

- Decent build quality so they can withstand being put in a backpack and tossed around a little.

- Good portability.

- Want as close to flat sound my price range allows, but willing to have some base.

 

Music I listen to......

 

- Mostly all types of Rock from Elvis to Five Finger Death Punch

- Some pop

- A little dubstep

- Disney soundtracks (Admit it, you love them too!!)

- Classical (for studying)

 

Headphones I have owned so far........ (and think I could do better)

- Klipsh Image ONE - comfort was main reason for selling them and had too much base

- Bose AE2 - I feel like I can do better for that price and something in the sound doesn't feel right

 

If it isn't obvious already this is my first post ever and I am just beginning to explore the vast world of headphones so I apologize if something is missing that would help point me in the right direction. Just ask and I will answer!

 

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!!!!!

post #2 of 18

Check out my thread from a month ago. I ended up with a pair of UE6000 and love them. They are comfortable, slim, and they do well with noise isolating. 

 

Would also add to the list: Momentum and MDR-1 after some more reading. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/688682/what-to-choose-out-of-my-list-closed-over-ear-headphones-under-150-used-best-bang-for-price

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks a bunch! Those UE6000's seem like a nice pair of headphones. Good price too. I recently tried on the ATH-M50 that a friend in the dorm had and I thought they sounded nice, but only tested them out for about a minute and have heard mixed reviews about sound stage, comfort, and sound quality. Any take on that? Oh and I forgot to mention I would like an around/over ear headphone for maximum comfort.

post #4 of 18

M50's are one of the most recommended headphones. I can't really speak more it or compare it to others. Maybe other's can help you with that. What I did was get to that list of headphones then just Google and read around.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am looking further into the UE6000's and I have a couple questions maybe you can answer. Do they sound better with noise canceling off? and what is your take on the sound stage and overall reproduction of lows, mids, and highs? Last thing, im no expert but could my little phone (un-amped) power a 52 ohm can well?

post #6 of 18
I think they're better with noise canceling off. Noise canceling is essentially a "bass booster", which makes it nice for bassier songs too.

Highs are decent, mids are better. Can't go too much into detail for you, sorry.
But for the price, they are fantastic.

Not sure on your phone. But I'm using these mainly on an iPhone/Zune.
post #7 of 18

From the brief time I heard the UE6000 in stores like bestbuy I would pick them over the ATH M50s I had for 2-3 years. ATH M50s are getting a bit outdated imo. If your not completely against modifying a phone you could buy a pair of Mr.speakers Alpha pads, and mod a pair of T50RPs, you may not get the same SQ as Paradox or Mr.Speakers. You would have the potential to make a very nice pair of phones for around $150. There is a good chance that you would need an amp of some sort though, as the driver themselves are not very efficient. I think there is a pair of senns around that price range (not sure which model). 

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am heavily considering a headphone amp. Any recommendations for a relatively flat amplification? I think i've heard some small portable amps boost wonky. But I have much to learn so i could be wrong. Also any other recommended headphones that match what I'm looking for?

post #9 of 18

Good sounding closed models are not so common, and it's not obvious than one can do much better for more than $100-200 anyway. I haven't heard any, regardless of price, that are as good as very good mid-priced open models.

 

My favorite so far is Shure SRH840, which does everything adequately and sounds warm and inviting. Being decent at everything shouldn't be underestimated that in a closed model because one generally isn't carrying round an alternative. Its comfort on the ears is fine, but you might need to mod the headband. Another I could live with is Sennheiser HD25-1 II, but it's more expensive, on ear (very good isolation though), and maybe just a little shrill.

 

Some hopefully helpful links:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-full-size-sealed

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-ear-pad-sealed

 

Good luck in your search.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefafa77 View Post
 

I am heavily considering a headphone amp. Any recommendations for a relatively flat amplification? I think i've heard some small portable amps boost wonky. But I have much to learn so i could be wrong. Also any other recommended headphones that match what I'm looking for?

That is about where my expertise ends at the price range. I do enjoy my modded Grado SR60i, but that is open back and is not a college headphone (I am a student as well). Amp wise it depends on what headphones you are buying and if you want portable or not. If you were modding a set of T50RPs I would undoubtedly buy a E12 for its massive power. Otherwise sound signature wise the fiio is not my favorite, though not terrible for the price range. If it was not portable then go for the objective 2 amp. The FIIO line is too warm sounding with a closed in soundstage. After owning most of the FIIO models I decided to skip slowly upgrading portable stuff and just buy a DX100. A lot of people like the JDS Labs C5 (which is most likely out of your price range), and it does not have enough power to drive power hungry headphones.

 

Personally I am not a huge IEM fan, but after buying a pair of Westone 2s for $100 used (not as gross as it sounds) for running, I like the sound reproduction a lot better than anything in the $100-$150 range that I have listened to. They also require little amping, and with these particular iems I hear little gain from using a nice amp. Iems do lack the impact of a full driver, and it is a different experience. They can be pretty convenient using them around school, but I do like my slighltly clunky DX100/mad dog combo better. I dont mind looking like an dork for the sound.


Edited by gamefreak054 - 12/16/13 at 11:20pm
post #11 of 18

A couple of other suggestions

Shure SRH-840

V-Moda Crossfade LP2

 

Your budget must have dramatically increased if you are giving serious thought to the UE9000.

 

In the case of increased budget, I would also consider:

SoundMAGIC HP100 (very comfortable, more comfortable than anything else in this thread IMO)

V-Moda M100

PSB Speakers M4U2 (if looking for noise cancelling as well, like the UE9000)

 

As a side note, good noise cancelling does a lot more than increase volume/bass. On a windy day, you will prefer to have the noise cancelling turned off (as it will amplify the wind noise inside of your headphones) but for your use case this shouldn't be an issue. The PSB M4U2 is great in that it has a built in headphone amp as well, so you can have all systems off, headphone amp only or amp + noise cancellation.

 

For much less money, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 gets great reviews on both it's sound quality and it's noise cancelling tech. I have not heard them personally however.


Edited by jjcoolaus - 12/16/13 at 11:32pm
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 Your budget must have dramatically increased if you are giving serious thought to the UE9000.

I found them on amazon for around $100, unless I am seeing the wrong model?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-982-000079-UE-6000-Headphones/dp/B0094S36RI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1387257810&sr=8-2&keywords=logitech+ue6000

 

Unfortunately I can mostly go on reviews because there isn't a great place around to listen to a lot of different headphones. However when I go home I can at least look in BestBuy just to listen to a few. So without being able to listen and wear the headphones i really want to test I  must go off of reviews for now and at least according to InnerFidelity, the Ue-6000 sound better than the SRH-840.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-full-size-sealed

 

Being confined to just reading what a headphone sounds like without listening to it is driving me insane!!!

post #13 of 18

My suggestions (in order) are:

Sony MDR7506/V6 (cheap, damn near indestructible and excellent sound through any source),

Shure SRH840 (they sound like a slightly less fun 7506 but are slightly more detailed)

Audio Technica M50 (good but i liked the other two better)

 

JVC and Panasonic make some decent headphones too and House of Marley surprised me with their audio quality but I havent heard a headphone from those brands that held up against my top 3 picks.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

So far I am down to 3 choices (in no particular order):

Audio Technica ATH-M50

Shure SRH840

Logitech UE6000

 

Sorry for more questions, but which has a better soundstage? which is better on a mobile device such as an Ipod or smartphone or do they all work? and lastly, can I possibly find any of these in a store so I can listen to them first?

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefafa77 View Post
 

So far I am down to 3 choices (in no particular order):

Audio Technica ATH-M50

Shure SRH840

Logitech UE6000

 

Sorry for more questions, but which has a better soundstage? which is better on a mobile device such as an Ipod or smartphone or do they all work? and lastly, can I possibly find any of these in a store so I can listen to them first?

Most instrument stores will have an area dedicated to recording, there you will find the "ATH-M50" and "SRH840", I have no idea where you would find the UE6000 though

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