Hi everyone, this is the first time that I'm looking for decent quality headphones. I've done a LOT of research the past few days and I'm kind of overwhelmed, so I would like to hear what suggestions and recommendations people can give me.
I'm looking for overall well balanced, fairly neutral headphones. I prefer neutral and not bass-heavy for 2 main reasons: one because I play games competitively and don't really like too much bass, and two I play a lot from my digital piano, and prefer to have neutral sound for piano sounds in general, and also for playing and recording accuracy. I also plan to use them for music in general.
Just some background first: The pair I'm using right now, even though they're cheap (yamaha rh1 $10 headphones), sound really nice when I play piano, and they came originally with my piano. It's crisp and sharp, and I'm not sure if that's because it's cheap and simple that it works so well, or if piano sounds are just simpler in nature, or if it's because I haven't tried actual high quality headphones yet. My computer headset (a cheap plantronics headset) died so that's why I've been using my piano headphones, but it sounded really airy on computer for some reason and I also don't know the reason for that.
Here are the headphones I've been considering: (I don't really know where my budget is but anywhere from $30 to $250)
Audio Technica ATH-AD700x
Audio Technica M50 - I've heard mixed reviews saying it's both bassy and neutral, and I'm not sure what to think since these are listed as studio monitor headphones. I've also heard these are semi-open, is that true?
AKG K240 MKII
AKG K271 MKII
Sony MDR-V6 (or MDR 7506 since I've been told the 7506 replaced the V6?)
My budget is that wide because part of me wants nicer headphones that I know I'll enjoy, and part of me is afraid of getting the wrong ones and maybe get something cheap for now that has a decent quality.
Out of those headphones, the AKG K702 really interests me, but I've heard that it isn't very newbie-friendly, and apparently must have an amp to sound decent. However everything I've heard about it seems like what I want, good quality headphones with a neutral sound signature. I'm a bit intimidated by these headphones though because it's what professionals and mixing studios use. Would it be strange to use them in a more casual setting of listening to music/gaming/digital piano? That leads me to another question, would this be practical if I plugged it into my piano, or would the piano be unable to drive it?
The Superlux HD681 is also something i'm leaning towards since it seems like the best quality headphones you can get under $100, from what I've researched.
Also I haven't included any Sennheisers because I'm still researching those, but I also don't really like the bulky look of the HD series that much. However I don't want to restrict myself that much if they really are great headphones, so if there are ones I should look at please tell me.
Another question I have is whether to get open or closed headphones. I've heard open-backed give a more natural feel overall due to more air being available to use, but that gives me an impression that closed-back are stuffy headphones that won't sound the same. With that said though I'm leaning towards open-backed headphones since I don't really need to restirct my noise that much, and if open-backed provide better sound quality in general then I'd go for that.
I'm planning on going to a store to try some headphones on so maybe a lot of my uncertainty will be gone after that, but for now I'm still overwhelmed at all the choices there are. The ones I've listed are the ones that caught my attention and I still have a bigger list, and I'm still researching other headphones right now, so I'm open to any suggestions people have.
If you can give any suggestions or recommendations, or answer some of my questions, that would be great. Thanks!
Edited by miyu - 1/2/14 at 2:55pm