What are the best closed headphones that money can buy if you don't want to amp them? Looking for good bass and clarity, with a very natural sound.
Edited by Legion5 - 1/13/14 at 10:30am
hmmm. that's very hard to tell. The info you gave is very broad and kind of impossible to answer perfectly. I do enjoy my vmoda m100 a lot when unamped. The have great impact and are pretty clear. The aren't the most neutral as they focus a lot on sub-bass. they sound like a great fit for you preferences. I am sure that there are many headphones that are great unamped.
Either the V-MODA M-80 / M-100 are good choices in terms of portable headphones that sound good without amps. If you're looking for a more natural sound, I'd say go with the M-80 because the M-100 isn't very accurate sounding. You can also look into the Sennheiser Amperiors too which are very similar in terms of sound to the M-80.
Fostex TH900/TH600 - This one should sound fine without amping due to low impedance and efficiency, but it definitely will benefit a lot from amping.
Bowers & Wilkins P7
I think that probably covers it.
The problem is the fact that even a cheap portable amp is such an increase in flexibility that there is no reason not to get one as opposed to unamping.
OP said closed.T70p is bass light from what I've heard others say. Also not sure if OP intends for portable use on the go. That would probably eliminate the T5p and the Fostexes.
Yes, that would be important to know: On the go or not? Also, phone or computer or other? If mostly phone and "on the go" I would forget the very high end stuff and go straight to a M-80 or M-100, or the often overlooked ATH-ESW9. If mostly computer and at home, I would argue that a Dragonfly or microStreamer or other shouldn't really count against this equation and slightly lesser headphone on one of those is better than the same dollars spent on more expensive headphones straight into a laptop or soundcard in most cases. I would be curious about the T5p and even though they are not "closed", the K812 Pro, since both of these headphones were targeted at the market group not interested in dedicated amps.