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$300 headphones + Amp

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, another 300$ headphones thread from a newbie :L3000:


TL,DR: 300$ closed circumaural headphones with good passive noise isolation, built quality/design, portability & obviously sound quality.


I am looking for a closed back circumaural headphone around 300$, I can budget for more (4-500$) but around 300$ is what I am comfortable spending. I am a music enthusiast so I will be using these mostly for music. I also watch a lot of tv shows and movies on my computer so once in a while I'd like to use my headphone for it as well. I am not a "bass-head" or at least I don't think I am.


I currently own a AT AHD-700 open ear and I love it, it's very comfortable and the sound quality is great for what I paid (100$ Oct 2010). The reason I want to buy a closed back is better noise isolation, better sound quality and portability (atm I use and prefer earphones when i am out but I might start using headphone if I have it).

Build quality and design are also important as I will possibly use them on the go.


I have spent a fair amount of time doing research as I don't know a store in Sydney where I can audition headphones.

This is the list that I came up with:

Sennheiser Momentum $289 AUD (grey imports)

PSB M4U-1 $289-299 AUD (AU stock)

Sony MDR 1R $270 AUD (AU stock)

NAD VISO HP50 $349 AUD (AU stock)

BW P7 $424 AUD (AU stock)


These are the bands/singers that I listen to the most in the last 12 months. 

Coldplay (BritPop)

Lorde (Indie Pop)

Birdy (Indie Pop)


Linkin Park (Rock)

Paramore (Pop/Rock)

Muse (Alternative Rock)

Arctic Monkeys (Indie Rock)


M83 (Electronic)

Daft Punk (Electronic)

Zedd (Electronic/House)

Aviici (House/Electronic)


Mogwai (Post-Rock)

Ludovico Einaudi (Classical/Piano)

As you can see, I listen to a lot of Rock, Pop and Electronic (only recently though, mainly because this genre has gained popularity recently) BUT generally speaking, I am not very picky about my music and I listen to a variety of genres.
Will I need an amp (desktop or portable) for such headphones?
I understand that HeadFi-ers like the brand Fiio so what's the differences between ANDESE07, ALPENE17 and E12 Mont Blanc?
Thanks you for your time gents!!





Edited by NeoWilson - 12/23/13 at 9:04pm
post #2 of 5

I'm going to recommend the Schiit Vali and a Mad Dog by Mrspeakers. Or, for a more portable setup, one that I have not heard personally, just have heard it highly recommended from trusted sources of mine, is the KEF M500. 


Hope this helped! :D

post #3 of 5

Of the ones on your list, I have heard only Momentum and M4U-1. Momentum is one of the very best closed models. It's like a junior version of HD650, which is quite an accomplishment in a closed model. The M4U-1 I tried had some reverberations, maybe because of the extra technology inside.


Of the others, I can only base my opinion on reviews and my previous experience with other models by the same firms. I am dubious of the MDR-1R because most of the reviewers who like them like warmer models and they describe them as warm, which makes me wonder just how warm. I have similar concerns about HP50, but that one still has me curious because of the "Room Feel" technology.


I wouldn't bother with P7, because I tried P5 and . . . yuck. I have rarely had to take off a pair headphones because they sounded bad (though I don't look for bargains too much, so most of what I head ends being pretty good). P5 was colored and sloppily warm. It's a real fashion piece. P7 is a member of that family. 

Edited by Claritas - 12/28/13 at 7:29pm
post #4 of 5

hey dude,


I would recommend the Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ears as your first pick. It has great sound quality, very portable (most light-weight over-ears I have ever tried), very sleek design & great build quality with real leather & stainless steel. I just want to note that real world usage, they are really more like on-ears than over-ears. For that price of $260ish USD, they are an absolute steal as the lowest I've seen em for over here is $300usd.


The Sony MDR-1R is quite nice & really the most comfortable pair of closed, portable headphones I've tried. However, for that price, the MDR-1Rs may not be worth it as I've seen em as low as $180USD and they commonly go for $200usd nowadays. Have not heard the HP50, but I personally would be uncomfortable spending any extra money when there are already such great sub-$300 options. I demoed the P7 and I personally did not think it sounded $100usd better than the momentums.


for all the headphone options you listed, they all do NOT need a dac/amp. however, some members here do note an improvement in sound quality using dac/amp with those headphones. from my personal experience, I have no found a significant improvement in sound w/ dac/amps for mid-fi portable closed headphones that would justify $100+. (personal opinion). The e12 is an amp only. the E70k has the same WM8740 dac chip as the E17. The E17 has a slightly more powerful amp (which you wouldn't really need for those headphones) and additional coax output. the e70k has a better battery life and x2 headphone out jacks rather than the coax.


think of a dac as an external sound card & an amp as additional power for your headphones. I personally wouldn't buy a portable dac/amp for mid-fi closed portable headphones as I haven't noticed that much of a sonic improvement when using it, but YMMV. if you were to get something, I personally would pick the e70k out of your options.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guy. I ended up getting Logitech UE6000 for only 99aud and save that 200$ towards my next open ear :)

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