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Need help choosing a headphone for desktop

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi :ksc75smile:


First let me introduce myself a little bit. I'm not an enthusiast. I just want affordable great sound and comfort. I have a Sony X1060 with a Senn IE7. That's all my stuff. I use this combo for Pop and New Age. Most files are wav format, some MP3.


Now, I need a headphone to use in office, maybe other scenarios someday. But right now, I just want one to use on my desktop. I have jug ears. Long time ago, I tried some small headphones which don't cover ears entirely. They all made my ears painful. So I want the headphone to cover my ears entirely while doesn't push or squeeze my ears. I think it's impossible for the headphone not to squeeze or touch my ears at all, but the least the better. My ears' width is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) at it's widest. Another thing I would like to have is to remain or surpass the quality of my current earphone IE7 in sound quality. I won't use the headphone on my Sony X1060 as I doubt the Sony X1060 can drive it without an AMP. Price wise, I'm not sure for now. As I said, I'm not an enthusiast, just a normal user. Better under $300.


So, these are all I need. Please share your advice. Appreciated.





post #2 of 8

Hi James,


Welcome to Head-Fi!  :smile:  Sorry about your wallet.  :o


I have NOT heard the following, but going purely on the size of the ear cups, you might want to research the following:


Closed-Back:  Spider Moonlight Studio Monitor (http://www.head-fi.org/a/2013-head-fi-winter-gift-guide-over-ear-headphones#user_spider_powerforce_moonlight-studio-monitor)

Open-Backed:  Sony MA900 (http://www.head-fi.org/a/2013-head-fi-winter-gift-guide-over-ear-headphones#user_sony_mdr-ma900)




P.S. - You almost had me fooled with that "not an enthusiast" bit, until I read this:  "Most files are wav format"

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi @Warren,

Thank you for the suggestions. You're the first one who replied my post. I had a look at the headphones. I dont know about the moonlight brand. I prefer famous brands like Senn, SONY, AKG, DENON. Is the spider moonlight company as good as the above big guys? I'm based in Shanghai, China. I can only find these famous brands here. The SONY A990 looks interesting. I'll have a look at it. Again, thank you for your suggestions.

post #4 of 8

Hey James,


Everyone seems to be off celebrating the holidays, so it's been a little slow around here lately.  :o  This is usually a very busy place!


Spider has been around for a few years now.  And while they are a reputable company, they are not in the same league as top tier brands.  That Moonlight Studio Monitor is pretty big though, so I just wanted to point it out as an option.


But while I've got you here, I wanted to ask if you needed this to be a closed-back or open-backed headphone?  Closed-back headphones would be more suitable for public usage as they isolate you against outside sounds and don't leak as much.  Open-backed headphones - in my opinion - generally sound more spacious and natural.  Also, what is your budget?


I haven't tried the A990 (it appears to be a camera?) so I can't say anything about that.  But if you let me know what you would prefer in terms of closed/open backing, and give me a target budget, I would be happy to list some options from Sennheiser, AKG, Denon and the like.


Thanks James!  :smile:

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi Warren,

Sorry for teh typo, I was typing on my phone. I meant MA900, the one you suggested.

I would like to have it closed-back as I dont want to disturbe my pals nearby. Open-backed seems interesting, and you say the sound is natual. I like natual. But I have to go closed here.

post #6 of 8

LOL, okay I gotcha.  :smile:  Well, keeping in mind the requirement that the ear cups must fairly spacious, I would suggest taking a look at the following:


AKG:  K 550 or K 551


These have a relatively neutral sound signature.  They have a somewhat lean, but very analytical and fast, bass response with very good texture.  The mids are perhaps a bit on the dry side, but are not recessed at all.  The highs can be a little bright for some.  The soundstage is good for a pair of closed headphones.


Denon:  AH-D600


This headphone is very comfortable.  It tends to have a v-shaped signature, which means that it will have emphasis in the bass and the highs, and recessed mids.  However, the sound is still quite pleasing and enjoyable if you're not looking for a pair of neutral reference headphones.


Sennheiser:  HD 215


These are actually similar to the AKG K 550 & K 551 in terms of sound signature, but have larger ear cups.  I actually have a pretty detailed review of them here on Head-Fi, so I'll refer you to that review to get a better idea of what it sounds like:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/622696/review-the-sennheiser-hd-215-the-hd-205s-bigger-brother




P.S. - Please don't let anyone talk you into a Sennheiser Momentum.  While I have one, and enjoy the sound very much, the ear pads are among the smallest I've come across for a pair of full-sized circumaurals.  There is no way it will fit around your ear, and frankly will just piss you off in that regard.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Warren. I'll take a look and do some research on your suggestions. My budget is $300. While I don't dislike cheap headphones, I would like to have it durable. I don't know what will be the listening experience like when using a headphone on a desktop (PC or laptop) for Pop and New Age. I assume it will beat my current set (Sony X1060 + Senn IE7) if the files are the same, am I right? For comfort and ergo, I think I'll have to go out to the stores to try them out instead of just reading on the net. And I'll leave the sound quality to you guys here. I'll come back after some homework. I'll check back regularly. Thanks a lot Warren for your warm welcome! You made here like home for me. :D 

post #8 of 8

You're quite welcome!  :smile:  Head-Fi is a great place for those of us who enjoy this hobby.  Stick around, don't be afraid to jump into a few threads, and have fun!


As for beating your X1060 + IE7 pairing, I honestly couldn't say.  :(  I personally have not heard either of those.  But all of the ones I mentioned should sound great with Pop and New Age from your computer.  If you like having a certain amount of heft and weight with regards to bass response, I'd opt for the D600.  But otherwise, both the K 550/551 and HD 215 should be good for a wide range of genres (rap and hip hop excepted).


And yes, if you're able to try out any of these (or others) that would be great!  I'd love to know which ones you like (not just out of these, but in general).

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