I currently have the razer carcharias and while it's one of the most comfortable headset i've ever had, i'd like to upgrade to some "real" music headphones and not a new gaming one. My budget is up to 100 but i'll go a bit above if it is truly worth it. I also want the headphones to be comfortable because i wear them for a lot of hours.I mainly listen to metal music. Thanks in advance :)
- productCreative Aurvana Live! Headphonestagged by nightmancometh, 6/23/14
- productJVC HARX900 High-Grade Full-Size Headphonetagged by nightmancometh, 6/23/14
- productPhilips Fidelio S1tagged by nightmancometh, 6/23/14
- productSony MDR-V6 Monitor Series Headphonestagged by nightmancometh, 6/23/14
- productSuperlux HD-668 Btagged by nightmancometh, 6/23/14
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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Last edited: 1/18/16
- Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones) 3Last edited: 11/25/15
Background: I am not an audiophile, I just like to enjoy music in good quality. This writing is more like a collection of subjective experience and impressions rather than a professional review....
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- Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones) 3
Recommendation for headphones under 100 for metal music
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Let me be the first to congratulate you on this decision. Audio is subjective, but I personally cringe when I see people using Razer products for music. I'm not predisposed to hating headsets like a lot of people might, but Razer - in my opinion - does not know audio. At all. At least not when it comes to hardware.
For metal, I would generally recommend a v-shaped sound signature (i.e. emphasis on bass and treble), but if you want forward vocals, you may simply prefer bright treble. It will bring out the cymbal banging and the higher guitar riffs. If you want a neutral sound signature (nothing really emphasized), there's no shame in that. Treble doesn't necessarily have to be bright, but I would favor some forwardness.
With that in mind, here's my suggestions under $100:
- Creative Aurvana Live!
- Philips Fidelio S1 (these are IEMs)
- JVC HARX900
- Superlux HD 668B
- Sony MDR-V6/7506 (both the same, really)
Each headphone has its own advantages and disadvantages. The list was a little difficult to populate at first because there's not a massive amount of options you can pick from the sound signature I described under or around $100 - especially if you also want them to be comfortable. For example, Shure SRH440s and Grado anything have been omitted because of that (not that I even like Grado headphones, they're overrated IMO).
If IEMs don't do much for you in terms of comfort, don't bother with the Fidelio S1s. I included them for the sake of covering all bases and they happened to come to mind. They don't isolate as well as other IEMs (not that they won't), but they also have a wider soundstage than most.
The Creative Aurvana Live! are very comfortable and have a v-shaped sound signature. They use the same drivers as an older Denon model. Don't bother with the Creative Aurvana Live! 2, though. They're not an upgrade at all (although they aren't really a downgrade). The CAL! have very poor isolation, too, to the point that they might as well be open headphones. If you use them at home or in low-noise environments, not a big deal.
JVC HARX900 are the super-saver option, at only $61 on Amazon at the time of writing. They're fairly heavy, but I haven't heard of any comfort issues besides that. The mids on them are recessed, and the treble sparkles. If you have sensitive ears, don't buy them.
The same can pretty much be said about the Superlux HD 668B, only far more dramatic: the highs are very sparkly. They're also the cheapest option on the list (under $40 at time of writing). Some would even describe them as "treble cannons," but if you don't mind treble, here's your headphone.
The MDR-V6s are really the only headphone on the list I've listened to, but I can whole-heartedly recommend them for anyone who has a budget at around $100. If you want a headphone that's good at everything - and not just in terms of sound, but comfort and isolation - then you can't go wrong with this at all. Some people think that they sound somewhat artificial, but the reality is that $100 will only buy you so much. Besides, I can't think of many other headphones that beat its neutral sound signature in this price bracket while providing great comfort and isolation - especially out of headphones I've actually tried.
I would like to mention that Beyerdynamic headphones are very good for metal (particularly DT880/DT990), but they're outside of your price range (and might need an amp to drive). I can also point out the Audio Technica AD700X, but on all accounts, the bass is lacking. Plus, it's $40 more than your budget. However, the highs aren't fatiguing and they sound detailed and have probably the widest soundstage of any headphone south of $200. Some headphones described as "DJ headphones" such as those from the likes of Koss and Denon might also work (but do note that the ATH-M50s are technically a DJ headphone and I don't recommend them at all for you).
If headphones are something that you plan to use regularly, and you have the money to spare, I urge you to increase your budget. That said, I can stand pretty confidently behind the options I suggested.
Edited by Dragonzeanse - 5/12/14 at 8:17am
If you don't need isolation you should consider Sennheiser HD558. You could find them a bit light in the bass, but in terms of comfort and SQ they are definitely a top pick under 150.
If you need some isolation you could read about Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) and Logitech UE6000.
AKG K240s in 55 ohms would be my recommendation. Great all-rounder, that does very well with metal too. The pleather earpads are a bit sweaty though for long sessions. I'm just not really a fan of leather/pleather.
I don't think they absolutely need one. Do they benefit from one?.... maybe, depending on the quality levels of your un-amped source. A decently well made $50 Cmoy is plenty though... IMHO. I plug mine into my iPhone and macbook pro all the time. fwiw.
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