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Absolute BEST over-ear headphones for $200 or under.

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

What is the absolute BEST over-ear headphones for exactly $200 or under? I'm looking for a well balanced pair of headphones, that are very crisp, and amazing sounding. NO overpowering bass. I like bass, but not when it's overpowering. As far as I know the best headphones under $200 are the Audio Technica HTM 50's. So, is there anything better than that out there? 

post #2 of 56

What will be powering these cans?

 

How much do you like bass? ...Bassheadlite? Warm? Dark?

post #3 of 56

There's no "absolute best", rather there's a number of very good options under $200 but some will be more to your liking.  So you want more neutral headphones that aren't bass light?  Maybe the Sennheiser HD 558, which you can mod to make it closer to the HD 598.  The Audio Technica ATH-AD900X is another great choice for under $200.

post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 

Ah, I see. Well, are the Audio Technica ATH-AD900X better than the HTM 50's? Like highs, mids, and lows. And I still want an overall well balanced pair of cans. Also, are the ATH-A900x  better than just the ATH-AD900X? Because there both pretty much the same price on amazon. I can also afford to get Audio Technica's ATH-ESW9A. If that's even better than both those. I mean c'mon, one of those has to be better than the M50's. 

post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 

Okay, well, these are the headphones I can afford from Audio Technica. There, ATH-AD900X, ATH-A900x, and the ATH-ESW9A. I mean c'mon, one of those has to be unquestionably better than the M50's. In highs, mids, and lows. Which one of those is the best. I can get anyone of them. 

post #6 of 56

A900X is a closed version of the AD900X.  So the A900X should have more bass impact at the cost of reduced sound stage.  Plus, the closed A900X has good isolation while the AD900X won't isolate at all and other people can easily hear what you're listening to.  

 

The M50X is better for bassheads, and also better for electronic and things like rap, hip-hop, and rock.  The A900X/AD900X is better for acoustic, it's mid-centric unlike the M50X (mids are forward).  You may find them to be bass light though I feel after breaking them in, the A900X has enough bass to satisfy me.  

 

I'm not sure what the most neutral headphone is for under $200.  Maybe the Sennheiser HD 558?  There should be an HD 558 thread in the Headphones (full size) forum section, if you want to ask there. 

post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbecueGamer View Post
 

Ah, I see. Well, are the Audio Technica ATH-AD900X better than the HTM 50's? Like highs, mids, and lows. And I still want an overall well balanced pair of cans. Also, are the ATH-A900x  better than just the ATH-AD900X? Because there both pretty much the same price on amazon. I can also afford to get Audio Technica's ATH-ESW9A. If that's even better than both those. I mean c'mon, one of those has to be better than the M50's. 


The "A" version is closed and the "AD" is open.  Are you OK with open cans that leak sound and don't isolate well, if at all?  However, neither presents the sound with bass boosted above neutral.  Reading between the lines, it appears that is what you like best--with mids and treble at about neutral.

 

Your amp is the well known O2--just say that.  Most everyone knows what it is.  It's a very good and neutral amp.

 

I suggest a used X-1--if you are OK with open cans.


Edited by KG Jag - 7/17/14 at 1:32pm
post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 

Yea, my bad. Wasn't sure how popular it was. And I'm fine with either open or closed headphones. So you're saying that both the Soundmagic HP200 &  AKG K612 Pro will be better than the M50's? 

post #9 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rhamnetin for all the help, I really appreciate it. I don't think I'm going to get the AD900X or the A900X if what you say is true. I want a pair of headphones that is going to undeniably sound better in every aspect than the M50's. So I'll keep searching. 

post #10 of 56

If you want something that amounts to a better version of the M50X, you might have to spend over $200 unless you get used headphones.  

post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 

Haha, yea. So now I know. But yea, I'm okay with cans that leak and don't isolate well. Sound is my number one priority. I'm not sure what headphone you were referring to when you said get a used X1. 

post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbecueGamer View Post
 

Haha, yea. So now I know. But yea, I'm okay with cans that leak and don't isolate well. Sound is my number one priority. I'm not sure what headphone you were referring to when you said get a used X1. 

The Philips Fidelio X1/28 Premium Over-Ear Headphones.

post #13 of 56
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm thinking about getting a pair of $120 Fostex T50RP's. And then having someone mod them for me. I've been told if I do that then they will sound miles ahead of the M50's in every way. But the problem is I can't figure out what mod to do. And I can't be there in person while this guy mods the headphone for me, so he said he's afraid it won't sound how I like it. 

post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbecueGamer View Post
 

Thanks Rhamnetin for all the help, I really appreciate it. I don't think I'm going to get the AD900X or the A900X if what you say is true. I want a pair of headphones that is going to undeniably sound better in every aspect than the M50's. So I'll keep searching. 


I suggest that you read reviews of cans that catch your highest interest, concentrating on sound signature descriptions.  No $200 can is going to deliver everything, although the best ones can poney up a great deal.  It comes down to which flavor of ice cream you like best.  I'm not sure that you--and certainly not we--yet have a handle on that preferred sound signature that is sufficient enough to steer you toward the "absolute best" for you (which may be very different than the "absolute best" for each of us).

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbecueGamer View Post
 

Well, I'm thinking about getting a pair of $120 Fostex T50RP's. And then having someone mod them for me. I've been told if I do that then they will sound miles ahead of the M50's in every way. But the problem is I can't figure out what mod to do. And I can't be there in person while this guy mods the headphone for me, so he said he's afraid it won't sound how I like it. 


Yup--go somewhere and listen to a variety of cans.  You need a useful baseline.

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