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Looking for a ~$150 closed circumaural pair of headphones, good for bass and listening to rock/metal & EDM, comfort is key

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 



I'm a newbie to this site and to high-quality headphones in general. I own a pair of Panasonic RPHJE120K earbuds that I feel are really really good for earbuds (as in, I thoroughly enjoy using them) and the on-ear Meelectronics Air Fi Runaway Bluetooth Stereo Wireless Headphones, which I also thoroughly enjoy. In addition, I have a set of Panasonic RP-HTF600-S Stereo Over-ear Headphones, which have received glowing reviews in general but just haven't "wowed" me. I don't know what it is but I always felt like I wasn't getting as much oomph as I wanted (maybe because the mids feel a little recessed compared to what I'm used to, but I don't know). In addition, the cord was ridiculously long and unwieldy and they tended to leak a lot of noise. This is the pair that I'm trying to replace with something that keeps my music to me and that hopefully has that wow factor I'm desiring.


I purchased a pair of V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones, and they just felt ridiculously uncomfortable for me. It felt like my ears were being squished and were touching too much headphone, and I could never get them to sit just right so that I'd forget they were there. Part of this could have to do with how they're rather tight fitting and small and I wear glasses. So I'm returning those. The sound quality was "meh" too. Just sounded muddy, and I'm sure they would have improved in time but that doesn't matter considering how uncomfortable they were for me. Weird, I never saw any complaints about their comfort.


I've never used an amp and would rather not have to. I listen to my music through Spotify Premium (gasp). I either listen through my ultraportable Vaio laptop or my Galaxy Note 3 phone. Needless to say neither are exceptionally powerful, sound-wise. I'd like a pair of headphones that works well with these criteria. I'd be willing to purchase an amp only if it's cheap and increases quality by a large amount. I wouldn't want to bother with one when I'm on the go, however.


I listen to modern Rock, Metal, Hardcore, Punk (You get the idea there - very guitar and drum-heavy - think Five Finger Death Punch and related bands) and also to a fair amount of electronic music (EDM, Dubstep, House, Industrial-esque stuff). I love bass but not when it makes it sound ridiculously muddy. I've also heard that mid-range is important for rock and guitar based music, but I don't know for sure on my own.


Above all I'd like these headphones to be comfortable. Deep cups like on my Panasonics are nice, since I think that's why they're comfortable and the V-modas aren't. I don't have exceptionally big ears but my head is larger than average. They're mainly meant for in-home use, but I'd like to be able to take them to coffeeshops/libraries/lounges on my campus, or anywhere else I'd be sitting for a long period of time (which is why I have a preference towards closed-back). So nothing with exceptionally high sound leakage, but that shouldn't be a problem since I don't blast my music. I just know that with people next to me can hear my music on my Panasonics even at a reasonable volume.


A pair of headphones that sounds great for my music regardless of the source, that doesn't have to be fiddled with too much regarding modding or replacing stuff or comfort, and that can take very mild commuting/transport (I'm very careful with all of my electronics and wouldn't be careless with these) is what I'm looking for, essentially. I want to pay under $100 but am willing to go up to $200 if the difference is huge. I'm not a professional and I'm not an audiophile.


Here is a list of the headphones I've looked at and considered, it's by no means exhaustive, so feel free to suggest anything.




~~JVC HARX900 High-Grade Full-Size Headphone



Look good all around, but bulky and I've heard they have recessed mids...




~~Monoprice 108323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone, Black



A cheaper option, I don't know too much about them, but their earpads look a little shallow.




~~Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Collapsible High-End Headphone for Professional Monitoring Use



They look really comfortable but the frequency response curve might be a little flat for my tastes.




~~Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones



Good pricing and seem to match my musical tastes but the headband looks uncomfortable.




~~Audio Technica ATHM50RD Pro DJ Headphones - Red



The widely-recommended M50s. Not sure if these Red "DJ" headphones are any different from the regular "professional" M50s. I've heard tons of good things but people have said the mids are recessed.




~~Audio-Technica ATH-PRO700MK2 Professional DJ Monitor Headphones



Like the M50s but with more bass? They look really nice all around but I've heard they're uncomfortable unless I get the M50 earpads on them, which I wouldn't mind doing if it pushes these cans over the edge.




~~Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones Black



I really like these. They look comfortable and stylish and supposedly have very good value for their price. The velour pads look like exactly what I need. There's also a mod I've heard of regarding holes and tape and I wouldn't mind doing it if it's easy enough.




~~Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones



Comfortable and bassy. As long as the rest of the music isn't horrible I'd like them. I'd even consider the bigger, more expensive XB700s. Issue is, I don't know where I could get them for a decent price.




~~Monster DNA On-Ear Headphones (Black)

~~V-MODA Crossfade M-80 On-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone


These are both on-ear and expensive, but if they're amazing and perfect for what I need then I can overlook that. On ear headphones, if done right, can be very comfortable too.




~~Sennheiser HD 518 Headphones

~~Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones


Both open-back headphones, but, like the on-ear headphones, if they're simply amazing for my needs I can overlook that. They have the velour padding too.






So that's all. Thank you for going through all of that, if you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them.

post #2 of 6
Looks like you have done your homework. You probably aren't going to hear anything here that you haven't already read on the forums. I think you should simply stop reading and make a choice - in the end you need to decide!

The good news is that if you continue posting on head-fi and get enough posts to qualify to use the buy/sell forums, then no matter which of those 'phones you buy, you can probably sell them here and try something else!

Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet...
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

But I suck at making decisions and need people that I assume have authority to tell me stuff.

post #4 of 6

Are you going to leave the house with these? If so, you're really not going to want an open pair for mainly on the go use. The Sennheiser HD5xx series are very well known, and are the sort of headphones that those on a budget can't go wrong with. Other than that, I can't admit to have listened to many of the other pairs mentioned. There are probably tons of reviews and threads on the headphones you have listed to help you decide the best choice.

post #5 of 6

Most likely the only type of headphones that are going to have some wow factor for you are open/semi-open at this point or maybe the M50's they have a kind of fun-wow bass and treble and pretty good isolation. 


I would recommend Koss Pro DJ100. They are very clear sounding and have great mids only problem is they're super uncomfortable/not very deep pads although that can be remedied by buying M50 pads.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 



Any other opinions? I'd like to be able to use them for outside the house, so I guess that limits me to closed. 

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