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Looking to upgrade from HD 280s

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I'm looking into finally upgrading my HD 280s, which has served me faithfully for some time now. They represent, along with the HD 497s, my first foray into headphones. I'm pretty happy with my set of earphones, but I need a good home 'phone to listen to, since I live in an apartment complex and a full on speaker system just won't do. Things to consider:


1. I have a budget of roughly $500, give or take about $100. It's a bit flexible, especially if spending the money would be worth it.

2. Ideally, I would be able to simply hook it up to my computer's hp port; however, I understand that doing it that way limits my options somewhat. Therefore, I would consider an external DAC/amp, but it would have to be included in my budget [I could probably stretch an extra $100 or so]. Either way, it would have to be able to hook up to my computer.

3. Usage would be mainly for music & movies/TV shows, split about halfway if not leaning towards movies/TV shows. Music listening choices include everything, but skew mainly towards hip-hop & rock [anywhere from Marilyn Manson to A Perfect Circle to Green Day to Linkin Park to Metallica...mostly mainstream stuff]...and yes, a bit of country.

4. I did enjoy the 497s while they lasted, though to be fair those were my first step into decent headphones. The 280s are okay, but were lacking in bass save the really low stuff. They, in particular, leave me wanting more.

5. I'm somewhat partial to full-size, closed 'phones, though I'm pretty open-minded. I don't want to disturb or be disturbed.


As an FYI, my current earphone rotation is:

Panasonic RP-HJE900
VSonic GR07
MEElectronics A151


My initial thought was the Ultrasone Pro 900, but given my general lack of experience in the area, I more than welcome the opinions of more knowledgeable people.


Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

post #2 of 5








post #3 of 5

Beyerdynamic DT770 80 ohm + Fiio E17 would be my suggestion - if you're more than 50% watching films/TV (not necessarily well recorded or compressed) then anything too costly or accurate might be fatiguing. You could always get 2 pairs of headphones though of course ;)

post #4 of 5
The Sennheiser HD600's are fantastic. I only listened to the 650's for a short time, and I really couldn't tell the difference between them and the 600's, which are $100 cheaper, but both still sounded really good and fit into your budget. These are open headphones, so you might disturb people in your apartment, but you certainly won't disturb anyone in the next apartment.

I do think that they sound better with an amp, though, just to make sure you're driving them properly. While my Schiit Valhalla is excellent, my Magni was still really good, and that little amp is only $99, and if you wanted a DAC, another $99 will get you his brother Modi (optical or USB). If you want a tube sound, you could sub Magni for Vali, which runs $119.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

The DT770-80 + Fiio E17 combo sounds interesting. Maybe taking baby steps instead of giant leaps would be better for me. Just looking into the world of amps & DACs means I could easily see myself dropping a few grand on a headphone setup, and I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet. It might benefit me, anyway, to eventually have two different headphone setups....

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