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Recommendations for indie/alternative rock headphones, high comfort priority

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey there, I'm looking for a pair of good starting headphones. 

 

Music

I primarily listen to indie and alternative rock, but the sound varies from fast paced, guitar driven songs (The Strokes) to acoustic, folksy stuff (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens), to instrumental post rock (Mogwai).

 

Some of the bands I listen to:

The Strokes, The National, Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, Sufjan Stevens, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arcade Fire, Muse, Band of Horses, Angus & Julia Stone

 

Sound

I'm looking for something that handles guitars well, both acoustic and electric. I do enjoy having "thumpy" bass, something that makes the bass drum and bass guitar have resonance and power, but not so much that it overpowers the guitar. I am also looking for something that separates the instruments well, as I enjoy picking out the individual parts.

 

Equipment

I will primarily be using them straight out of my macbook, as I do not currently have the budget for an amp as well. I am open to the idea of purchasing an amp in the future, but this is not certain and I think it's best the run under the assumption that I will not be using these headphones with an amp.

 

I also play guitar, so I will be looking to plug these into my Line 6 Pod, so that i can play at night without making a ruckus. This is not a high priority, and I do not need the headphones to be brilliant at handling the output from the Pod. All I need is that it works.

 

The headphones will primarily be used at home, so portability is not a key issue. They might get some use on long train/plane rides but this isn't a priority.

 

Comfort

Comfort is a high priority for me. I know the Grado SR80i is highly regarded for the type of music i listen to, but I simply cannot take supra-aural headphones. I listen to music for many hours at a stretch so comfort is important. I'm looking for something circum-aural, large, with pads that do not heat up and cause sweating after several hours of use.

 

Open vs Closed

I am fine with both Open and Closed headphones, whichever fits the sound I'm looking for. Many of the cans I've seen at this price point are closed, but if there's something good that's open, that's fine with me

 

What I'm Interested in

I've been snooping around and these are the headphones that I'm interested in.

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 - Seems to fit the bill, but I've read that they're surpassed by newer cans and the leather pads might be a heat issue.

Beyerdynamic DT770 - Leaning towards these personally. I like the velour pads on these, but I am unclear on whether I should get the 80ohm or the limited edition 32ohm, and I'm not sure how they sound.

AKG K550

AKG K271 Mkii - Worry that the sound might be too neutral, and the need for an amp

 

Misc

I live in the UK, so I suspect that German/European made headphones are slightly cheaper here compared to Japanese or American ones, but I might be wrong on that. Regardless, I'm looking for something around the £100-£150 price range.

post #2 of 21

Maybe Sony MA-9000.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

Maybe Sony MA-9000.

Any reason why them in particular? They look a little flimsy - how's the sound for what I'm looking for?

post #4 of 21

I haven't heard them, but I recommended them because they are supposed to have a good midrange performance, good separation with a large soundstage, and can be driven without an amp more effectively than the DT770 or the K271. Just an option to add to your list; I'm not necessarily saying they would be the perfect headphone for your needs. 

post #5 of 21

No amp 

 

well here's what you can do, the Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Pro 250 ohm can b driven to sufficent volume without an amp, so when on your Pc you should be able to get it loud enough, although you won't have much head room

 

how ever while playing guitar you should have more than enough out of ur POD, my roomie has one and he's currently using it to drive my 600 ohm DT 880 

 

But for SUPER comfy rock headphones the DT 880 are great

 

If you can't afford the DT 880, the DT 990 Pro 250 is also a good choice! It has a tad extra bass, which for me was to much for rock. You how ever may enjoy it more so for that genre.

 

Lastly there is the Fiedelio X1, it's been getting rave reviews so it may be another to look for if it's in your price range! 

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

No amp 

well here's what you can do, the Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Pro 250 ohm can b driven to sufficent volume without an amp, so when on your Pc you should be able to get it loud enough, although you won't have much head room

how ever while playing guitar you should have more than enough out of ur POD, my roomie has one and he's currently using it to drive my 600 ohm DT 880 

But for SUPER comfy rock headphones the DT 880 are great

If you can't afford the DT 880, the DT 990 Pro 250 is also a good choice! It has a tad extra bass, which for me was to much for rock. You how ever may enjoy it more so for that genre.

Lastly there is the Fiedelio X1, it's been getting rave reviews so it may be another to look for if it's in your price range! 

Interesting, are you sure the 250 ohm 990 can be driven by a laptop? Now that I think about it. Would the line 6 pod function as a headphone amp? I know the line 6 website recommends high impedance headphone be used with it..
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Also, the Fidelio X1s are very interesting, how do they compare with the DT990s?

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekonig View Post
 

Also, the Fidelio X1s are very interesting, how do they compare with the DT990s?

The X1 is warm and a little dark compare to the DT 990, both are equally worth while but it depends on what kind of sound you like. I prefer brighter headphones, you may like darker. 

 

But the X1 is a nice headphone as well! Plus id doesn't need an amp 

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

The X1 is warm and a little dark compare to the DT 990, both are equally worth while but it depends on what kind of sound you like. I prefer brighter headphones, you may like darker. 

 

But the X1 is a nice headphone as well! Plus id doesn't need an amp 

 

I've found these that claim to be 80 ohm DT990s, which i presume would work better for me than the 250ohm since I'm not using an amp? Is this a misprint? I haven't seen much evidence of 80 ohm DT990s on any other site.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekonig View Post

Interesting, are you sure the 250 ohm 990 can be driven by a laptop? Now that I think about it. Would the line 6 pod function as a headphone amp? I know the line 6 website recommends high impedance headphone be used with it..


When I owned the DT-990 250 ohm, I powered it from my laptop before getting an amp. It got as loud as I wanted but I was almost at max volume on my laptop. I was using a cheap Lenovo. 

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekonig View Post
 

 

I've found these that claim to be 80 ohm DT990s, which i presume would work better for me than the 250ohm since I'm not using an amp? Is this a misprint? I haven't seen much evidence of 80 ohm DT990s on any other site.

That's a nasty Typo, there is an 80 ohm dt 770 but not an 80 ohm dt 990

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


When I owned the DT-990 250 ohm, I powered it from my laptop before getting an amp. It got as loud as I wanted but I was almost at max volume on my laptop. I was using a cheap Lenovo. 

Yea, so even if you don't have an amp it should be fine 

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

That's a nasty Typo, there is an 80 ohm dt 770 but not an 80 ohm dt 990

Yea, so even if you don't have an amp it should be fine 
I see. Is it possible though that the 990-250ohm unamped would be outperformed by the 770-32ohm unamped?
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekonig View Post


I see. Is it possible though that the 990-250ohm unamped would be outperformed by the 770-32ohm unamped?

They are two different headphones so they sound differently.

 

It's not wise to compare open headphones to closed ones, but if you find a place that has a nice return policy you can try them both :D

 

Although, I've not heard the X1, I think you would enjoy it. Many of the users who've owned the DT 990, comment on the X1 being very simmilar to a "warm" dt 990. Warm meaning GOOD FOR ROCK imo. I have a Closed Headphone and a Hybrid tube that I use for rock,

 

Still, if you can't get an amp the Sony MA 900 and Fidelio X1 are both very good optionsm how ever neither is as cheap as the DT 990 Pro 250, I do not think the DT 770 32ohm is as cheap as the DT 990 Pro 250, and yes the [I know it's a long name but it's important to spell it right]

 

Here in the US, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm is $150 NEW in box, and for that price it's really one of the best in that price bracket imo! 

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

They are two different headphones so they sound differently.

It's not wise to compare open headphones to closed ones, but if you find a place that has a nice return policy you can try them both biggrin.gif

Although, I've not heard the X1, I think you would enjoy it. Many of the users who've owned the DT 990, comment on the X1 being very simmilar to a "warm" dt 990. Warm meaning GOOD FOR ROCK imo. I have a Closed Headphone and a Hybrid tube that I use for rock,

Still, if you can't get an amp the Sony MA 900 and Fidelio X1 are both very good optionsm how ever neither is as cheap as the DT 990 Pro 250, I do not think the DT 770 32ohm is as cheap as the DT 990 Pro 250, and yes the

Here in the US, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm is $150 NEW in box, and for that price it's really one of the best in that price bracket imo! 
Thanks very much for the help! I think I'll settle on the DT990-250. Would the Fiio E7 be sufficient as a dac+amp to drive it well? (I assume the E7 works as a dac+amp 2-in-1?)
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekonig View Post


Thanks very much for the help! I think I'll settle on the DT990-250. Would the Fiio E7 be sufficient as a dac+amp to drive it well? (I assume the E7 works as a dac+amp 2-in-1?)

It would, but don't get the E7, rather get the E07k. THey should be priced teh same, with the E07k being a updated verision of the E7,

 

but enjoy :D

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