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Advice/recommendation for audiophile headphones

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all. I am 24 and from Australia. I am just beginning to get into the world of audiophile headphones. I don't even really know what to expect from "audiophile headphones". So I am writing this post to ask for any advice or recommendations for choosing a solid pair of headphones that is good for a person like me.

Just to give a bit more info on what I am looking for:
- I listen to any genre (a capella, classical, electronica, indie, rap, rock, R&B - almost anything under the sun really). Therefore the headphones should be able to handle a wide variety of music well AND accurately (e.g. preferably nothing that has overpowering bass). The overall sound has to as balanced as possible
- When listening to music, I am particularly drawn to the vocals. It will be good if headphones can clearly reproduce vocals as clearly as possible, although I am aware the how the music production also inherently affect this.
- My budget is around $200 ($250 max).
- Portability is not a big issue but it would be nice if the headphones were not very bulky. I would be mainly be using these headphones mainly for leisure, but sometimes also for stage sound checks. 

Just one more thing. I have read many reviews and heard talk about various types of headphones that might fit the bill: Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Sennheiser Momentum (over ear), AKG K240 (both the studio and the MKII) and AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio. Any input from you guys about these (good stuff or not really worth it?), and are there any others that I should be looking out for?

Really appreciate anything help from you all, so thanks in advance! :)

Edited by HQ27 - 1/19/14 at 4:43am
post #2 of 12

MA 900

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendation. Just curious, any particular reason why you suggested the MA 900?

post #4 of 12
post #5 of 12

Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm


You may have to hunt for a $200 price tag but this is a versatile entry level audiophile headphone that sounds great with all types of music. 


You will need a headphone amp to drive them though as 600 ohm cans require a decent amount of power.


The price is right too, they are good value at even $300USD.


The downside though is these are not for wearing outside or in public.  They are open design and they are not designed to look "cool", looks are second to sound quality, so portability may be a concern.

post #6 of 12

You might consider the Martin Logan Mikros 90 closed portables.

Truly reference class and bona fide audiophile in my book.  

And selling in many places for less than $100 USD right now.  An insane bargain!

Having personally owned and lived a good while with the DT880/600 (I had them recabled with the UPOCC Nucleotide cable), knowing what I know now and given the choice between them and the Mikros 90.  For me it would be the Mikros 90.  No doubt or hesitation at all in my mind.

Edited by pataburd - 1/17/14 at 8:54pm
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice so far guys - will definitely check them out!

So far: MA 900, DT880, Mikros 90.

Any one else with other recs?

post #8 of 12

Maybe Ultrasone HFI-780 or Ultrasone HFI-580.  So many though at that price range, good luck and welcome to the club!

post #9 of 12

For your asking price I'd go with the Sony MA 900 on the basis that it's only 22 ohms you won't need an amp and it just fits your budget. The Beyer DT 880  80 Ohms you'll struggle to find one in good condition for that price but worth the effort if you find one.


Best thing mate is to make friends here on headfi who are also in your local area so you can try out their gear.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice and recs mate! I'll try to ask around.

post #11 of 12

If you've never listened to many good headphones find somewhere to try some out. Different people have different preferences. You may THINK you want something with a relatively flat frequency response curve, but what you actually like may be something quite different. Some good lower price / entry level headphones to listen to to get an idea of what a relatively flat response sounds like are the Sony MDR7506, Sennheiser HD280Pro, Audiotechnica ATH-M50s, and Beyerdynamic DT-660s. All are low ohm and don't need an amp.

post #12 of 12

Yea the only real reason I recommended what I did is because I have a friend who recently has been raving about both of those in particular.  Ultrasone isn't the best of the best and can sometimes be a little too bassy, but I loved my pro 900's as a fun "bassy" headphone.  If you are literally talking about "audiophile" grade headphones then it gets a little more serious and you can't really have a budget when you are talking about audiophile grade, because that really just sounds like high end to my ears.  The terminology may be a little off, but if you want good sound quality without spending thousands of dollars - Then take the advice some of these guys have been giving -> Get a good product for the dollar that doesn't require an amp.  Maybe even Sennheiser momentum? 

I don't really wanna name anything specific, because its just too hard and everyones ears are different and its all very situational and subjective.  If I were you I would try to test out different things and READ READ READ.  Researching online, while isn't as good as having tons of products right in front of you to test (like maybe an audio show or local headphone store), still is a great way to get started.  I have learned a lot and picked out great products I have never tested.. just from the hours and hours I spent reading and talking about it.  


Again.. Good luck! 

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