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ATH-M50, AKG-K451 or something else (under £100)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I currently use a pair of JVC Xtreme Xplosives headphones (HAS4X), which are pretty good, but basic. I'd like to upgrade to a better pair. My son has a pair of Beats (no idea which ones), which sound very good, but I get the feeling Beats are overpriced for what they are, aren't terribly well balanced or natural, and tend to concentrate on bass more than anything else.
I've been reading reviews on the Audio Technica ATH-M50 which are on Amazon UK for around £80, and the AKG K451 which are under £50.
Which would give me the better improvement in quality, and should I be considering any other makes? I need to keep to a budget of £100 or less, so phones like Beyerdynamic are probably out of my league, unless they do a really good sub £100 pair.
I'm loathe to buy Beats, as I think they are more a fashion statement than anything else, and most of the reviews of the two sets I've mentioned seem to suggest both are better in terms of sound and value for money.

I listen to a variety of music, with an emphasis on power metal, stuff like Iron Maiden, right through to more easy listening like Abba, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, so a good all rounder is what I'm after.

Any advice or suggestions gratefully received!

Thanks!
post #2 of 7
AKG K451 all the way pal. Owned a pair for a year and for under £50 you can't touch em. I only upgraded because size was no longer an issue.
Mids & treble are sublime. Bass is good but looses control slightly on the most complex tunes but never becomes boomy or muffled.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
You don't think the Audio Technica are worth paying the extra for? I have heard they have a fairly narrow soundstage, which puts me off slightly, along with the fact they are quite big, but the fact they are monitors indicates they should give a more representative rendition of the original track? The AKG get a lot of good reviews.. Basically, I want something that's going to sound better than the Beats my son has ( they are the £100 ones apparently). If nothing else,it'll show him the folly of buying celebrity endorsed, but above all, I want a good, lively experience, with plenty of bass, without drowning out midrange and able to cope with a lot of transient sounds.

The other priority is that they are a substantial upgrade from the JVC headphones I'm currently using.. They are surprisingly impressive for.a £30 pair, but having heard my sons Beats, I want an upgrade to something with more clarity. While the Beats sound good on a five minute listen, I get the feeling that for prolonged use they might be too bright and bass heavy, and lose out on the midrange.
Edited by MetalOllie - 5/9/14 at 3:24pm
post #4 of 7
The M50's arn't worth the extra $ imho. They are very clinical. As good quality, yes. As pleasurable a listening experience, no.
(Better noise isolation tho). The AKG'll blitz the Beats into the weeds.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalOllie View Post

You don't think the Audio Technica are worth paying the extra for? I have heard they have a fairly narrow soundstage, which puts me off slightly, along with the fact they are quite big, but the fact they are monitors indicates they should give a more representative rendition of the original track? The AKG get a lot of good reviews..

Are you guys all thinking of the 550/551s and getting confused? The 451s get some bad responses on Head-Fi:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k451-high-performance-foldable-mini-headset-black
http://www.head-fi.org/t/622204/new-akg-k-451-have-anyone-tried-em-out

I've never heard the 451s, but they seem very iffy on SQ from what I'm reading.

I own the M50s. They are a very solid headphone for the money. They have their detractors here because newbies buy them as a good all arounder, but then later find a different headphone that better suits their listening tastes, so they think that the M50s are not very good. IF you could listen to a lot of headphones, there is likely one in your price range that you would like better. But the M50 is a pretty solid choice if you are buying blind. Thus, it stays on Tyll's Wall of Fame for best over ear sealed headphones: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-full-size-sealed
post #6 of 7
Here are two headphones I would consider before the K451s that are cheaper than the M50s:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/LINDY-HF-100-Premium-Hi-Fi-Headphones/dp/B0057P09EK/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-51EF0060AA001-Aurvana-Live-Headphones/dp/B000W6Y0JY/

The Creatives are on one of Innerfidelity's Wall of Fame lists.
The Lindys are the same as the Brainwavz HM5 and Fishcer FA-003 (same company makes the drivers and cups for all of those). You can read about them here:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ
http://www.head-fi.org/t/491632/review-fischer-audio-fa-003-a-neutral-champ
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Now I'm even more confused! The AKG definitely seem to get mixed reviews, even on Amazon UK. Another set which have popped up on my radar, about which I know nothing, are Noontech Zoro, or Zoro HD.. Any thoughts on those in comparison to the ones discussed so far?
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