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Choosing First Headphones: Full Sized, Comfortable, Under $100, Office/General Usage/Electronic/Metal/Rock

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, so basically this is a gift for my girlfriend. I'm 5'10" 150, she's 5'6" 140, she's a small girl (packing on a lot of muscle recently...) with a small head. I guess my head is average, my point is that I need a headphone that can accomodate both our heads. I don't even know if this would be an issue.


This is a gift for her, but it's also kind of a way for me to get my feet wet with better sound (I can always return what we get, if she doesn't like it I'll keep it and buy her another and then decide if I want to return or buy the new one, that kind of thing). 


She would be using it primarily for office usage, general usage, and mostly electronic music and metal/indie music. I would be using it for that, + gaming (not even gaming, more like Starcraft 2 only). Both of us would be using it for long periods of time, so comfort is a must-have. Both of us work alone so Open sounds awesome to me. It seems to me that just Open is better, just that people might hear it and you might hear people through it, but that's totally okay (she has only one person in her office area, I have none).


I'm sure there are tons of good headphones, but I want the best value possible under $100. I could really go under $80, that'd be nice, $100 is kinda pushing it and would have to be like just a way awesome deal, $50-70 is where I would prefer to be. I know there are tons of people asking this question, but I just wanted to emphasize her small head, and comfort.


Currently eyeing the Sony MDR V60 for $60, I hear they were like the best but not so anymore, but this is a new sale so I wonder if the lower price changes things. Andd... that's really it because I dont know anything about headphones :X

post #2 of 22

Hey there,


I'm a newbie in this forum myself, but I've been taking a look around for good headphones to complement my current set too. And I think the most commonly recommended "audiophile" open headphones in that price range would be Grado. Check out the SR60 and SR80 reviews on this site, they're pretty much consistently glowing reviews, and most people cite them as the best open back headphones under $100.


Hope this helps :)

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, it's not like they need to be open. I'm only stating open, based on my limited understanding from you guys, you know, as being better. I'm down with closed if that's what's recommendable.


Those headsets seem awfully old, from 2008? Are you sure they aren't outdated?

That's kinda my issue right now, I see lots of stuff saying this or that headphone is good, but it's hard to trust because, as is very true with computer components, what's most recommended is not always the best, it's just what's been around long enough to get established, and by the time it's highly recommended, it's already outdated and old. I just wanted to avoid that when buying headphones, so when I see headpones from 2008 being recommended, alarm bells go off in my head.


An example is that AS-5 is a thermal paste that is highly recommended. it was good when it came out in 2003, but now it's really, really bad compared to modern offerings. The problem is that not enough people have tried CLU or PK-3 yet for them to be well known and recommended, but I'm sure in 5 years we'll hear all about PK-3, once it's outdated. Does that make sense?


edit: found the grado sr60i (is that same thing?) for $49. 

Sony V6 $59

Creative Aurvana Live! $70


seem to be the most recommended. Leaning towards Grado SR60i because it can be modded, and I mod everything to extremes (I replaced the tubing on an H110 just to change the color, i love modding). To me having to modify something is a plus, not a con, so if any headphone is 'perfect but you need to just...' please, let me know!

Edited by Belial88 - 1/24/14 at 1:54am
post #4 of 22

Haha, take a quick look at Head-Fi's winter buying guide. There are a whole bunch of headphones there that are at least 10 years old, if not more. Fortunately, headphone technology does not advance quite as quickly as our silicon does. I get what you're getting at, as I'm also a keen builder of my own gaming PCs, but trust me, headphones age gracefully. 


Open headphones are generally recommended cause they have a wider soundstage, that is to say, you will be able to hear instruments discretely, separated from one another, as opposed to a jumble of instruments that seem to coming from one direction. That's putting it simply, it of course gets way more complicated than that. Some closed headphones can still have a very good soundstage, while some open headphones can have poor ones.


Will you be using these headphones in public, like while travelling? Or exclusively in the office?


Btw, those Sony V6s you pointed out? 1985 :)


edit: oh and yes, its the SR60i. 

Edited by PhantomThief - 1/24/14 at 1:56am
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

The headphones will be used exclusively in private, in office. They will not be used while traveling (even if I did travel, i would rather a headphone that was better the other 99% of the time. there's more then enough ways to occupy your time in a once a year flight or in another city or w/e and i dont ride the train/bus). 


Someone recommended the Samson SR850. I see a few extremely negative reports on it (maybe just draw of the search), but it seems to be a new, highly regarded headphone. 


I'm currently thinking of the SR850, MTH-50, and the CAL! as my shortlist.


edit: what about the Takstar Hi2050?

Edited by Belial88 - 1/24/14 at 7:40am
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, so my list right now:

SR850 (conflicting reports on comfort or not, to be clear, I have no problem changing the pads, i want comparisons of headphone potential, ie modded vs modded or whatever is the most optimal set up of a head phone)


CAL2s (a few people really recommending this)


 Ultrasone HFI-15Gs (one guy said he liked these more then his sr850sj, particularly for comfort, which only are better for fps/soundstage)


I think that's the shortlist for now....

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Cal2 is $130, yikes.

Im going to get the sr850s for my gf for comfort, general usage, electronic like justice. Portability and sound leak is not an issue for either of us.

My bday is around the corner too, so I need headphones too. However I am interested in a headphone thats a solid step up from the sr850 for under 130, like at least 50% better. Our needs are the same except, I play starcraft 2 and she doesnt. I play a lot of it, so you know, if that changes things.

Anyways, Im currently eyeing the 558s for me. As I understand, they are a solid step up, someone said the only concern may be lack of bass on them though.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
a DrGroove@OCN said this to me:
[/B]NVX Audio XPT100 $80 - these are a brainwavz HM5 clone (uses the same drivers), great for the price. This copy has some nice features, like rotation locking earcups, a detachable cable, and a flexible headband.

Takstar 2050 $70 - loosely a Beyer DT880 copy

ATH-M50 can be found on sale around $90

Sony MDR-7506 $85 - these are the newer version of the V6. They use a more modern material in the drivers, that's the only difference. The V6 at that price are highly likely to be fake, as this is one of the most faked headphones of all time.

for headphone recommendations. Thoughts?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, here's where I'm at:


XPT100/HM5 are closed, so I guess I'm going to pass on lack of soundstage. I hear a lot about HM5 being compared to 558, that they are very comparable but it's darker vs 558 warmer, and Hm5 having less stage being closed, so 558 > HM5. Maybe XPT100 is better then SR850, I dunno, but it's $30 more so that's a turn-off... I really cant find much on the XPT100s. I mean maybe they are better choice then 558? Anyways...


Takstar 2050: Seems to be great headphones, $65. As I understand, it's right neck and neck with the SR850 all around, but has better build quality, and ever so slightly less comfort.. so I'll err on lower price here with the $50 SR850. Could go either way still though.


ATH-M50, all around worse then the 558. M50 is more for people who need closed and portable vs open/soundstage and sound quality of the 558, so it's a bit of 'not for me' and 'worse then 558'. 

7506: Dont know anything about these more-expensive phones.




I think right now the SR850 $50 and 558s $130 are where I'm leaning at the moment. However:


V6 $50: Sounds better then sr850 supposedly, but slightly less comfortable. But can be modded to be more comfortable so... still a contender.


Fostex T50RP $110: Someone said they could be modded heavily and be better then 558s modded. I dunno, still need to look more into this, but definitely a contender.

Those takstars need more research into as well. 


Maybe the XPT100 > 558s, i dunno, especially for the price. 

post #10 of 22
I'm going to save your relationship:

Buy them for yourself and don't mention them to her before you get them - and for God's sake don't tell her you are buying them for her. Let her try them and then *if* she likes them, and *after* she takes them off, hand them back to her and tell her you want her to keep them, because making her happy is all you ever think about... tongue.gif
post #11 of 22
Now, for the headphones, do you seriously believe she wants to be seen with a set of full-size cans on her petite melon? Have you looked at the HM5? They are freaking huge!

Even cans like the Sennheiser HD518 are going to be giant - and more importantly, they are going to mess with her hair, and potentially, her earrings. I think you would be FAR better off looking for very comfortable and good sounding IEMs for her. Something that sits fairly flush in her ear like the Vsonic GR06 or VSD1S or the Shure SE215.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

No, she wants full cover headphones. She doesnt wear earrings, only sometimes the small studs or something like that. She's not worried about her hair, she doesn't do anything particular with it.

it's for her birthday so it's pretty obvious. She knows I'm buying her headphones. Right now I'm not sure whether to go for the V6 or SR850 based on comfort and sound. Isolation is also relevant, though definitely not a deciding factor. Leaning towards 850 but really unsure at the moment. There's no saving needed to be done.

For myself I think I'm going to go with some 558s.  

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, going to go with the SR850 or 668b, the V6 is like $90+. I don't know why I thought they were $50, so that settles that pretty easily.


Is this a legit dealer, best-friend-music@ebay?




Very high positive feedback, but I'm worried it might be fake. I googled SR850 box and can't really find much on them. Every listing on the SR850 shows a different packaging box...


Still leaning towards 558s for the higher end phones.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Right now I'm torn between the 681 Evo ($39) and the Samson SR850 ($49).


I suppose it's a matter of which one sounds better, and/or has a better sound for my tastes, comfort, and price. I think I'm leaning towards the Evo.

post #15 of 22
 XPT100/HM5 are closed, so I guess I'm going to pass on lack of soundstage.

Although the XPT100s/HM5s are closed, their soundstages are great. Just wanted to clear that up. As far as sound goes, indie will sound great but electronic will not.

 Right now I'm torn between the 681 Evo ($39) and the Samson SR850 ($49).

The cups of the Superlux were too small and heavy for my ears. I've never tried the SR850s.

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