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Best "portable" circumaural headphones under $500

Poll Results: Which headphone would suit my needs?

  • 25% (1)
    Sennheiser HD8 DJ
  • 0% (0)
    Sennheiser Momentum
  • 25% (1)
    Focal Spirit Classic
  • 0% (0)
    B&O BeoPlay H6
  • 25% (1)
    Mr Speakers Mad Dog
  • 0% (0)
    Ultrasone Pro 900
  • 25% (1)
    Sony MDR-7520
  • 0% (0)
    Other (please indicate in the thread)
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



I need a pair of "portable" circumaural headphones for under $500. So far I have narrowed down my search to the Sennheiser HD8 DJ and Momentum, Focal Spirit Classic, B&O BeoPlay H6, Mr Speakers Mad Dog, Ultrasone Pro 900, and Sony MDR-7520. I am open to any other suggestions.


Some might think that these headphones should not be considered portable, but I would really like circumaural headphones. I have tried supraural and IEMs (I own the V-Sonic GR07 BE) but I do not find them comfortable enough. I would like to have impressions of anyone who has tried these headphones on-the-go and tell me if I am really wasting my time. These headphones will replace my Ultrasone HFI-780, so this might give you an idea that I do not mind big headphones for on-the-go use. I use my HiFiMAN HE-400 headphones for home.


Use: on-the-go and in public places (i.e. university library).


Priorities: The 5 main attributes I would be looking for are (ranked in value) comfort > clarity > soundstage > bass > speed. My Ultrasone HFI-780s have great bass and speed, but so-so comfort, clarity and soundstage.

Music Genres: I mainly listen to electronic music (trance, house, electro, drum and bass), but also to rock, classical, and ambient (chillout, post-rock).


Source: iPod touch 4G and iPod Video 5.5G. 320 kbps mp3s.

Amplifier: Fiio E12.


Some notes I have gathered of the above headphones:


Sennheiser HD8 DJ - main use is for DJing but also good for EDM. Metal construction and folds. Good bass but sounds veiled.
Sennheiser Momentum - small footprint. Some consider it to be not truly circumaural. Balanced overall.
Focal Spirit Classic - intended for home use. Solid construction but non-replaceable earpads. Fun sounding.
B&O BeoPlay H6 - folds flat. Small footprint. Some people do not like the sound at all.
Mr Speakers Mad Dog - great value. Maybe the least portable of the bunch. Nice mids.
Ultrasone Pro 900 - Folds into a small package. Amazing bass. Fatiguing treble.
Sony MDR-7520 - Solid construction. Comfort is on a case by case basis. Clear and balanced.
Right now I'm leaning more towards the Sony MDR-7520, but I am still undecided.
Should I be considering any other headphones?

Edited by floeezy - 4/29/14 at 11:20am
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

Added the Sony MDR-7520, which I am now leaning more towards than the Focal Spirit Classic.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Currently really split between the Focal Spirit Classic and the Sony MDR-7520. Is there anyone out there that has tried them for portable use?

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