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Need help choosing 100~150USD over-ear headphones good for J-Pop/Rock (ie Supercell).

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok guys, I've been researching headphones for my tastes for the past 2 weeks. I've read the headphone buyer's guide, and looked at lots of reviews. I have sort of an idea of what I'm looking for, but new headphones keep coming into view that seem like they would be good for what I'm into. I feel like there is such a huge selection that I finally just need to give a good summary of myself (in a musical sense), and hope that a few good people in the community stumble across this thread.

 

Musical tastes: I really enjoy J-Rock, J-Pop, and a bit of J-Rap, the majority of my music archives are filled with Supercell, Anime OSTs, and Random Vocaloid singles. I do listen to a variety of western music, but only in short bursts. I'll give the top 40 a listen now and again, maybe throw a song I enjoyed on the radio to my player. A lot of female vocals here, folks.

 

Headphone History: As a teen I owned a few pairs of headphones, including a pair of Beats... (don't freak out, they were a gift).

 

I also had a relatively well off friend in high school that let me borrow quite a few pairs of Sennheiser and Audio-Technica headphones (there were a few other brand names I don't remember, it's been 6 years), I don't know what models, but early in the borrowing he did tell me a ball park price (I assume to guarantee their safe return) it was usually around 600~900USD. He would sell the old (after a few weeks), and get a new pair, all along the way letting me use them just as long as he had. At the time, I just thought he was a really cool friend, now I see him as... well he sparked my love of Japanese music, made me appreciate good sounding audio, I don't mean to get sappy, I just can't write this without giving him the proper respect. Done. 

 

Sound signature: I have since then formed a list of "sound features" that I really like. I really like good instrument separation, it's pretty high on my list of loves in a pair of headphones. I also like decent bass, I like it to be 'tight' and 'punchy', I prefer that it has a solid presence but doesn't muddy up my mids and highs too much. I like my mids slightly forward, again a lot of female vocals. I like my highs pretty clear, but slightly relaxed, as I'm very sensitive to sibilance, so harsh 'S' sounds and symbols hurt a lot on the wrong set of headphones, as reference, I own a pair of Vsonic VC02 IEMs and the sibilance on some of my songs is almost enough to make me vomit, leading me to make a special playlist just for them.

 

Type and Pricing: I'm looking for a pair of 'over the ear' headphones (could be on-ear, if comfort is good), in the 100~150USD price range. Portability is a plus. I don't mind getting them second hand, so sales and bargains will be hunted (if amazon or a good ebay seller has a pair of 300 'new' headphones, available 'used' within my range, I'll go for it). So if you have a recommendation that is a little out of my range but could be found somewhere within it, I appreciate the suggestion. Also, the closer I can stay to 100USD the better.

 

On my radar so far:

Audio-Technica ATH-A700x

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700x

Audio-Technica ATH-ES700

Sennheiser HD 558

Grado SR80i (a little bit afraid of possible sibilance)

 

Setup: FLAC, 320k MP3s > Sansa Clip Zip > Headphones. (I know that I might get some flack for that, but I like the way it sounds, even with high end cans.) I do have an amp if necessary.

 

Thank you for stopping by, any help is greatly appreciated. I'll be checking back often, so I'll likely respond and engage with anyone with an idea in a prompt manner. If you need any more information don't hesitate to ask. 

post #2 of 13

UE4000 on amazon is 40bucks now...greaat for pops on sansa

post #3 of 13

558 would probably sound the best. Don't really listen to "J" genres but if they are sort of similar to there counterparts then the 558 should provide a nice sound.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post
 

UE4000 on amazon is 40bucks now...greaat for pops on sansa

 

I've actually tried them, they were pretty great, but the UE sound signature didn't really sit well with me. It was a little 'messy' when it came to busy tracks, though I might give them another chance. Thanks for reminding me, I had totally over looked Logitech.

post #5 of 13

Hey, I think that the Sennheiser HD 558 are a good deal... Though those are the only ones in that list I've ever tried.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiVLTAGE View Post
 

558 would probably sound the best. Don't really listen to "J" genres but if they are sort of similar to there counterparts then the 558 should provide a nice sound.

I was thinking that too, they are pretty close to my sound signature, I am a little weary of the "open back" design. I like the sound stage but am worried about bothering others, haha. All of the headphones on my little list have some small thing that I'm trying to grapple. It make's choosing one difficult.

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

I was thinking that too, they are pretty close to my sound signature, I am a little weary of the "open back" design. I like the sound stage but am worried about bothering others, haha. All of the headphones on my little list have some small thing that I'm trying to grapple. It make's choosing one difficult.

 

If you want a large soundstage, but less noise leakage, the A700 is a good choice. It has a pretty great soundstage for a closed can, but i hate the headband. Comfy, but the wing thing is so irritating.

 

Not the biggest fan of Audio Technica, but the A700/A900 have some good reviews for soundstage. If you don't really want open back, it would probably be your best bet at the price range.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiVLTAGE View Post
 

 

If you want a large soundstage, but less noise leakage, the A700 is a good choice. It has a pretty great soundstage for a closed can, but i hate the headband. Comfy, but the wing thing is so irritating.

 

Not the biggest fan of Audio Technica, but the A700/A900 have some good reviews for soundstage. If you don't really want open back, it would probably be your best bet at the price range.

Awesome, so the closed back versions have a good sound stage as well? That's all I really needed to hear. I know that I can get the A700x for less than $100 too... maybe I'll do that.

 

I'm not 'against' open back, but there needs to be some huge, amazing balancing factors if I'm going to tell some fellow patron in a public place to buzz off when they ask me to turn down my music. I am really keen on the modding scene around the Grado SR80i, I just don't know if there's really any way to "mod out" the shrill highs I've been reading about. 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deBoru View Post
 

Awesome, so the closed back versions have a good sound stage as well? That's all I really needed to hear. I know that I can get the A700x for less than $100 too... maybe I'll do that.

 

I'm not 'against' open back, but there needs to be some huge, amazing balancing factors if I'm going to tell some fellow patron in a public place to buzz off when they ask me to turn down my music. I am really keen on the modding scene around the Grado SR80i, I just don't know if there's really any way to "mod out" the shrill highs I've been reading about. 

 

 

I think the Grado SR80i only really fills a niche for some people, i just despise the comfort, but the sound is alright. The higher end stuff is alot better (225i, 325i, etc.)

 

I think you should get the A700x if you can get it under $100, that would be your best choice. Although I must say, the A700x do look a bit goofy if you are going to wear them in public, they are pretty big, nothing annoying, but you might get a couple strange looks :P

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiVLTAGE View Post
 

 

 

I think the Grado SR80i only really fills a niche for some people, i just despise the comfort, but the sound is alright. The higher end stuff is alot better (225i, 325i, etc.)

 

I think you should get the A700x if you can get it under $100, that would be your best choice. Although I must say, the A700x do look a bit goofy if you are going to wear them in public, they are pretty big, nothing annoying, but you might get a couple strange looks :P

I don't mind the weird looks, I'm the type to sport tailed jackets and bright colored scarves... I relish in the odd expressions and inquiries, haha. I think that you're right, I probably would just be wasting my money on something that doesn't match my preferences at stock... Thanks for all your help, by the way.

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

I don't mind the weird looks, I'm the type to sport tailed jackets and bright colored scarves... I relish in the odd expressions and inquiries, haha. I think that you're right, I probably would just be wasting my money on something that doesn't match my preferences at stock... Thanks for all your help, by the way.

 

 

No problem, enjoy the cans! The audiophile hobby is a fun one, but expensive.

post #12 of 13

I had the AD900x side by side with the Q701, the AD is just more grainy... if that doesnt bug u, then ok. 

Not sure if that is true on the AD700x, i guess it should be..? 

i wont wear AD out onto the street :P

 

Grados...the 225i is smoother, less shrill than the 80.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post
 

I had the AD900x side by side with the Q701, the AD is just more grainy... if that doesnt bug u, then ok. 

Not sure if that is true on the AD700x, i guess it should be..? 

i wont wear AD out onto the street :P

 

Grados...the 225i is smoother, less shrill than the 80.

 

I know, unfortunately the Grado 225i is outside of my price range, even used. So is the Q701. 

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