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Closed-back Headphones for Gaming, Music & Movies

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

*I already posted this thread but it was in the wrong forum. Forgive the double post.

 

  • Budget - £300
  • Uses - 45% music - 35% gaming - 20% movies
  • Source - Desktop, Mp3 Player, Smartphone, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Requirements for Isolation - I need isolation from the noise of my 8 year-old sister and to make sure she doesn't hear what I'm listening to
  • Preferred Type of Headphone - I would like something portable but also full-sized, if that's possible
  • Preferred tonal balance - Neutral, warm, clear, as little sibilance as possible
  • Past headphones - No experience with high quality headphones. I've always used in-earphones
  • Preferred Music - Heavy Metal, Rock, Folk, Hip-Hop, Alternative
  • Location - Ireland (EU/UK)
  • Other information - I don't mind paying £150-ish for the headphones and then another £150-ish for a portable desktop amp/DAC
  • Headsets in mind (Headphones) - Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, PSB M4U1, NAD VISO HP50, AKG K545, Audio Technica ATH-A700X/900X
  • Headsets in mind (Gaming Headsets) - Beyerdynamic MMX300, Logitech G930, Astro A40/50, Steelseries H Wireless, Sennheiser PC 363D, Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510

 

I'm relatively new to audio, specifically headphones, and I can't for the life of me find the ideal pair. I need a set for gaming on my PC, 360 and PS3; listening to music, both on the go and at home; and watching movies. I have a budget of around £300. My computer does not have a dedicated sound card, but it does have a decent inbuilt sound chip and software.

 

I would like something relatively portable, reliable, comfortable, sound isolating, neutral and clear in its sonic signature, surround sound, and versatile for a variety of different applications. I am limited, however, because I have larger than average ears. All the units I've been looking at, including the NAD VISO HP50's, all have small earcups.

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 22

Did you look into Mad Lust Envy's thread?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-3-12-2014-monster-dna-on-ear-added

 

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post
 

Did you look into Mad Lust Envy's thread?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-3-12-2014-monster-dna-on-ear-added

 

 

Good luck!

 

I did, yeah, but all the top-tiered 'phones were open-back designs. And when I asked about alternatives, no one replied. Maybe my idea of headphones simply do not exist.

 

 

Comfortable for people with tall 'Spock' ears

Long cable (or at least a detachable option)

Neutral sound signature that blends analytical and immersion for both music and movies

Decently wide sound stage and accuracy for gaming

Closed-back for isolation

$300 budget

Adequately ran without dedicated amp or DAC

post #4 of 22

This is the exact criterion I have, but I am too lazy to do all that typing. :tongue_smile: 


Edited by H6916 - 3/14/14 at 10:39am
post #5 of 22

I think you'd probably do good with some of the few you already mentioned:

 

NAD VISO HP50

Sony MDR-1R

PSB M4U1

AKG K551

M-Audio Q40 (with diff pads such as Beyers/Alpha Dogs)

 

If  you have a bit more $$$, Shure SRH1540s.

 

All of these are comfortable for long period usage (haven't tried the HP50s though) and all of them have roomy earpads and comfortable fit. Sound vary between all of them and I don't think any of them are what YOU probably call "neutral" but their signatures are pleasant enough. Most have good imaging, Ok Bass performance and decent highs and mids with good transitions.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post

Comfortable for people with tall 'Spock' ears
Long cable (or at least a detachable option)
Neutral sound signature that blends analytical and immersion for both music and movies
Decently wide sound stage and accuracy for gaming
Closed-back for isolation
$300 budget
Adequately ran without dedicated amp or DAC

AKG K550! One of the largest soundstages for a closed headphone. And if you are in the US, you can get reconditioned ones for $130 from Harman.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post
 

I think you'd probably do good with some of the few you already mentioned:

 

NAD VISO HP50

Sony MDR-1R

PSB M4U1

AKG K551

M-Audio Q40 (with diff pads such as Beyers/Alpha Dogs)

 

If  you have a bit more $$$, Shure SRH1540s.

 

All of these are comfortable for long period usage (haven't tried the HP50s though) and all of them have roomy earpads and comfortable fit. Sound vary between all of them and I don't think any of them are what YOU probably call "neutral" but their signatures are pleasant enough. Most have good imaging, Ok Bass performance and decent highs and mids with good transitions.

 

I honestly don't know what neutral is any more. I thought I did, but I probably don't have the experience to appreciate it when I see... hear... it. I think of neutral as clear but warm, flat bass but with impact and force. That's what I'm looking for anyway.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


AKG K550! One of the largest soundstages for a closed headphone. And if you are in the US, you can get reconditioned ones for $130 from Harman.

 

Sadly I'm not in the US, but those seem ideal. The inner diameter of the earcup doesn't appear to be very big, but that could be because I'm so used to seeing small earcups on cans like the Momentums and my perspective is skewed.

 

I don't like that they lack bass, but I can always use equalization to boost it a little or use an amp that is known to boost depth and impact in the bass frequencies.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post

Sadly I'm not in the US, but those seem ideal. The inner diameter of the earcup doesn't appear to be very big, but that could be because I'm so used to seeing small earcups on cans like the Momentums and my perspective is skewed.

They are pretty big. I have a big head. Do a google image search of people wearing them, and you'll see the cups are very big in diameter.

The other headphone you might consider is the ATH-A900X. Also big cups smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

The A900X's were on my shortlist as well, but there seems to be HUGE differences in price. On Amazon I can import them from Japan for roughly £140, or I can buy them from the music store Thomann for €400. That's an enormous price difference, even when you factor in taxes, shipping and import duties, which really puts me off.

 

What made me think the inner earcup diameter was small on the K550 was the size of the cushions. But again, it's probably still bigger than everything else.

 

post #10 of 22
Definitely need to import them from Japan. You might check Ebay.

I've owned the ATH-A900X as well. I'd say they are equivalent in class to the K550. I just prefered the K550 more. More immersive soundstage to me.
post #11 of 22

Cel, you keep answering all of my woes. I'm staring at the K550 in my shopping cart right now. I need something for my hour long commute that doesn't suck and these seem perfect, especially since I have a massive head and listen to death metal primarliy, so I don't seek huge bass like most people. Thanks again!!!!

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Definitely need to import them from Japan. You might check Ebay.

I've owned the ATH-A900X as well. I'd say they are equivalent in class to the K550. I just prefered the K550 more. More immersive soundstage to me.

 

Why import them from Japan? Are there counterfeits out there?

 

I prefer the looks of the K550. I know aesthetics with my kind of requirements should be the last to consider, but I do quite like the look of the 'K' range. The K545's look stunning, but those earcups are small.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post

Why import them from Japan? Are there counterfeits out there?

Because €400 is way too much. They were selling here in the US for well under $200 for a while. £140 could very well be the Japanese price.

I have no idea if there are counterfeits.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

I getcha.

 

I'm not sure why the prices are so diverging. No idea. I don't really want to import from Japan if I can avoid it. I'll keep my eye out for a better 'local' deal.

 

So far I'm most keen on the AKG K550 for home use and the HP50's for out and about. Neither seem to require an amp, but of course might improve with one. I'll work out that later. No doubt with more research on both I'll find issues that hold me back, like cable length or something rudimentary like that. I'm not looking for the best sounding headphone for the money, I'm just looking for one that will fit my feckin' ears and won't be a pain in the ass to use in my entertainment setup. I'm a very particular and high-maintenance guitarist, but I'm not an audiophile in the sense others are here.


Edited by AngryGoldfish - 3/14/14 at 1:39pm
post #15 of 22
The AKG K500s sound very good on my Sansa Clip+. Of course a much better DAC/amp can give you a little more detail and clarity, but I don't miss my desktop setup with the AKG K550s with my Sansa Clip like with some other headphones I have used. They are that easy to drive.
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