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Upgrade from M50s for all rounder ~$250

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been using my ATH M50s as an all-rounder (and I know they aren't the best for that) and am looking at buying new headphones with a better budget. I mostly listen to Spotify played from my laptop as my source, so I'm not looking for headphones that are  too revealing of the source but still give me details.

 

 

What I am looking for in an upgrade:

 

Must not require an AMP. Again, budget is around $250 for the phones.

 

ATH M50s just don't have the "presence" I am looking for, especially in the treble to make it full and immersive and less like just sound. I'm almost wanting to call the M50s distant sounding. Similarly there isn't a lot of "oomph" in the treble (or in the bass, but I don't want that to be viewed as wanting "thumpier" bass), and dynamics aren't very impactful as a result. The treble of the M50s is slightly to sibilant for me, and hi-hats can sound a little piercing giving headaches.

 

Bass is pretty close to what I want in quantity, but the quality could be improved. The timbre should be smoother and much better. Additionally, it feels like just a mid bass hump rather than extensive. I would like the bass to extend further up to the mids to make them feel more full for classical music, and have more sub-bass for listening to bass heavy genres. Better timbre and more spread out bass is what I am looking for, not less bass or more bass overall. I also don't like thumping bass (thumping kick drum hits can give me a headache), but more tonal bass (though I suspect that recordings are more responsible for that than headphones).

 

I don't care a whole lot about sound stage. Closed headphones are preferred, but I'll settle for open if it improves the sound beyond just positioning ability. Or am I wrong and it is open phones that will make everything sound more lush and have more presence?

 

I do like the clarity, balance and slight V shape of the M50s. Again I want better quality bass that is more extended, NOT more or less of it overall and not to thumpy. And I am looking for a bit more presence of sound to make it more full and immersive as more impactful dynamics.

 

Sound quality is what is really important, but I don't want anything too uncomfortable because I plan on wearing these for extended periods. My M50s are fine, but anything worse might be too much. The clamping is fine after I stretched it out some, and the pads definitely could be softer but are just good enough to be fine with and I don't mind the pleather.

 

Appreciate any suggestions.

post #2 of 13

HiFiman he-300

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Looks like a great choice, but I'm not too sure how much the fact of them being un-amped might detriment them compared to other choices. Do you know of any stores where I might be able to demo the HE300?

post #4 of 13

I don't know where. I got it online @ wwidestereo. They really don't need amp, realtek can drive it easily =]] but decent amp will be better, like schiit magni or vali (i think so, gonna get the VALI to pair with it)

post #5 of 13
Sennheiser Momentum (over ear), unless you have large ears. I think it has the overall tone of HD650, which is what I would recommend but you said no amp.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

Sennheiser Momentum (over ear), unless you have large ears. I think it has the overall tone of HD650, which is what I would recommend but you said no amp.

more than $250

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic2911 View Post

more than $250

Even on FS?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Should have also specified, would like it to be over ear rather than on-ear like the M50s.

 

And I'm not to sure about the Momentums. I haven't heard that great of things about them, such as the price is mostly in design and materials, when I only care about sound.


Edited by adisib - 2/2/14 at 10:11pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post

Should have also specified, would like it to be over ear rather than on-ear like the M50s.

And I'm not to sure about the Momentums. I haven't heard that great of things about them, such as the price is mostly in design and materials, when I only care about sound.

M50 is over ear, so is the original Momentum. If you find M50 too small, you'll find Momentum too small.

Whatever anyone else says, I've heard them myself and I trust my ears. I respect the engineering, even if I prefer a different sound. Tyll probably did a video review; you might get a better sense from that.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

I think i worded that poorly. I don't find the M50 too small, anything that fits like the M50 would be good.

 

I think I'm leaning toward the HE300s rather than the Momentums. I am tempted to just empty my pockets for the 400 for planar magnetic, but it would require an amp. Any other suggestions?

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

I think i worded that poorly. I don't find the M50 too small, anything that fits like the M50 would be good.

 

I think I'm leaning toward the HE300s rather than the Momentums. I am tempted to just empty my pockets for the 400 for planar magnetic, but it would require an amp. Any other suggestions?

 

Momentum's earcups are smaller than M50, but they're soft and pliable--I think they're real leather. The headband is light and comfortable. Several are on FS now at under $250. (The likely reason is that some who own it want to try HP50.)

 

New, easier to drive, Hifimans are coming out soon, but it's reasonable to suppose that they'll still require some amping.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

SoundMAGIC HP100 is around $200, but would it  maybe be a good choice?

post #13 of 13

Hi,

 

You should consider SoundMagic HP-100 and Shure SRH-840.

 

You can't go wrong with any of this headphones. SRH-840s provide punchy mid bass, while HP-100 are more balanced, smooth and probably extends a bit better into the lower tones. Most people tend to agree that Shure's have the edge in terms of isolation and SoundMagic's in terms of comfort, but both are good anyway.

 

If you want something that excels at bass reproduction, you should consider Audio Technica ATH-WS99.
(Probably not on pair with 840s or HP-100 in terms of comfort.)

 

Neither of this headphones needs extra amplification to sound very good.

 

Best Luck!

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