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Best full size open back headphones for all genres

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am currently looking to buy my first good set of headphones. I want something with good mids and highs, but enough bass to handle the occasional hip hip and rap. My budget is $300 and i would prefer open back to closed back, but closed with a large soundstage is fine also. A couple of the finalists I have are the hifiman he-300, beyerdynamic dt-880 32 ohm, and the audio technica ATH-AD900X one of the closed cans I like the sound signature of is the sony mdr-1r, but I was hoping for open back. I will be running these straight out of a MacBook Pro with no amp. Any advice or other recommendations are greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic7381 View Post

I am currently looking to buy my first good set of headphones. I want something with good mids and highs, but enough bass to handle the occasional hip hip and rap. My budget is $300 and i would prefer open back to closed back, but closed with a large soundstage is fine also. A couple of the finalists I have are the hifiman he-300, beyerdynamic dt-880 32 ohm, and the audio technica ATH-AD900X one of the closed cans I like the sound signature of is the sony mdr-1r, but I was hoping for open back. I will be running these straight out of a MacBook Pro with no amp. Any advice or other recommendations are greatly appreciated!

 

Hi there!

 

You've got a good budget and should have no problem finding a good pair of headphones for that.

 

Large soundstage, driving straight from MacBook and open back leads me straight to the Sennheiser HD598 as the obvious choice. It's a really nice pair of headphones that fun and easy to listen to. Open sound, non-fatiguing and does well with almost any genre.

 

The HD598 are well known here on head-fi and has many fans, it's also my personal favorite in that price range!

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have listened to the hd598 at a store and was not at all impressed. They sounded terrible without an amp and I do not want to use one, as I will occasionally be using these with an iPod, I do not want to need to carry a portable amp. Although, it may have been a faulty pair at the store, or the eq on the computer was messed up.
post #4 of 14

lol. ok. :biggrin:

 

Maybe you should be looking at a pair of in-ears instead?

 

The red shure 535's are nice. As is the Etymotic Research 4's. And the DN-1000's...

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I already have a nice pair of klipsch in ears, but was looking for something less in-head sounding
post #6 of 14

So let me lay it on you....

 

the majority of in-ears don't do soundstage well...

 

and $300 headphones are never going to sound as good as $300 in-ears....

 

If you want something that sounds as good as klipsch in-ears but with soundstage you're looking at a lot of money. And you should be using a dac-amp as well.

 

Have you tried the Foobar mod?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/555263/foobar2000-dolby-headphone-config-comment-discuss

 

It's a dolby surround mod and does wonders with in-ears as well!

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I know, I am not looking for something on the level of the klipsch, just something with a good soundstage and decent sound
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic7381 View Post

I know, I am not looking for something on the level of the klipsch, just something with a good soundstage and decent sound


So try the foobar mod with your klipsch...

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't really want to spend time with that
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic7381 View Post

I don't really want to spend time with that

 

$300 after taxes is at least a full work day for most people... trying the mod I suggested takes all of 2 min....

 

I think I'm going to stop helping people in this section of head-fi....

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I want a pair of headphones because I want a pair of headphones not because I am not satisfied with my klipsch. I want something for at home listening
post #12 of 14

philips x1 but the problem is the sound is a little bit too airy for really engaging listening. The bass is good and the mids and highs are cool it sounds distant. But in that price range there aren't many better options.


Edited by grizzlybeast - 3/2/14 at 7:58pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic7381 View Post

I want a pair of headphones because I want a pair of headphones not because I am not satisfied with my klipsch. I want something for at home listening


What he's saying is you try it with the Klipsch so you can listen through it at home too and get some of the sound out of your head for free, if at least to try out first, before spending $300 on an open headphone that you don't want to get an amp for. Just because the Klipsh are in-ears doesn't mean you shouldn't use them at home; at least at home you might have more control over the temperature, so you won't sweat, ergo making for one less issue you might have with having eartips in your ear canals on the go. And while I myself have one open headphone and one serious (ie, not one of those headsets I bought just to use with my phone on the train) IEM, the thing is I find myself using the latter a lot more. I can hook it up to my laptop and tablet when I'm working and browsing, while my open headphones will distort at the same listening levels on these devices. When I do use them I prefer to just do nothing but listen, sitting in my lounge chair, but to be perfectly honest if I bought the IEM first I probably would not buy the headphone and its amp-DAC anymore and use the IEM with a nicer player on that same listening chair. As much as I appreciate the extra space in the soundstage, if I'm in your shoes and don't want to spend on an amp-DAC to go between the computer and the headphone, I'd rather have a smaller soundstage on an IEM as long as the instrument placement is relatively precise despite that rather than listen to an open $300+ headphone that, even if it was as good as the IEM if not better,* is probably lacking the verve and PRAT that a properly amplified transducer would have.**



*In my case the Aurisoncs ASG-1 sounds a lot like my HD600, if the latter's treble response took a nose dive past 12khz instead of going well over 20khz (on a test tone I can still hear 24khz), so the $300 headphone (if you get a refurbished unit from RazordogAudio) actually can be better than some IEMs in the same price range; of course, the advantage is that the IEM won't need 50mW+ of power on each channel with only 0.01% distortion to sound fantastic.

**Hell even on IEMs my tablet and laptop are still a little bit behind on that aspect compared to the newer dedicated portable players, it's just that the difference isn't enough for me to spend on another dedicated device which I might not use as much on the go considering that I have to use my phone for that, so any (important) calls coming through would interrupt my music automatically

post #14 of 14

DT990 and it should leave you enough left over for a small portable amp to drive it; maybe E17? 

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