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Need help in deciding on a pair of headphones

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!

This is my first post here. (And yeah, I'm already asking for help xD)

Anyway, I would like some assistance in deciding what pair of headphones I'm going to buy next.

I'm looking for a pair of over ear headphones, don't care if they're foldable, portable, come with a bag or whatnot. I just want them to look, sound and feel good and hopefully be affordable and durable. (Wow, I'm sure nobody else has these expectations, huh?)

I want them to sound good for... Pretty much anything. Mostly music, but gaming and watching movies are welcome too :)

I'm going to be using them on my PC, which has a Creative Sound Blaster Z card (Retail version) with my Pioneer SE-A1000. Not sure if that means anything, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

After countless hours of surfing on the interwebz, I've picked out a few candidates:

Philips Fidelio X1 - Look great, supposedly sound great, but are a bit expensive
Audio Technica ATH-M50 - Look kind of bland, but they're a bit of legend in terms of audio quality, so they're a top candidate. Plus they're quite affordable
Grado SR80i - A friend recommended these to me. I'll be honest, I don't like the way they look, but I'm not shallow enough to dismiss them based on that. If they sound good and look decent, that's good enough for me.
Beyerdynamic DT series - Again, don't really know too much about these, just heard about them from a friend. The 250 Ohm scare me, my sound card isn't that great, it can supposedly handle them, but I assume you guys know better

Please keep in mind that I'm welcome to other suggestions, well :)

Sooo that's about what went through my mind. My budget caps at about 250 Euros. So recommendations within this range or only a bit higher than this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and help, have an awesome day!
 


Edited by Giupy - 8/9/14 at 12:15pm
post #2 of 19
I would say the philips would be the best out of what you mentioned. I haven't heard them myself but they are pretty widely praised, plus could be powered just fine off your soundcard. You didn't say whether you prefer open or closed back cans, but open will sound better for almost all types of music and give you better positional cues for gaming. I have the m50's and am happy with them but I use them mainly just for travel. They don't have the best sound stage for gaming though and their bass is emphasized which could drown out some detail. The grados are hit or miss with a lot of people, they are generally recommended for rock music and sound great for that. They definitely lack in the comfort department so if you are planning to wear them more than a couple hours they will start to be uncomfortable though. There are so many good options it's a bit hard to narrow down off what you said. Some other ones to look at might be beyerdynamic dt 880, akg 701, sennheiser 558 or 598 or even the senn pc 360 headset if gaming will be more of the priority. Hope this helps some.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, from what I understand open back have a better sound quality, but I don't mind either one.
My top priority is music, I don't really care that much about the gaming aspect.

Thank you for your suggestions. I may go with the Fidelio X1, but I'm just not sure yet... That and I can get the ATH-M50s for a third of the price. Think it's worth the compromise? smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 19
Well, I guess I'll put it this way. For $120 on amazon the m50's are pretty hard to beat. I haven't heard the x1 myself but as for the m50's they are fairly neutral sounding with a bit of an emphasis on the bass. For me personally I like them best for electronic music but I listen to everything on them when I'm traveling and I'm happy with them. Sure there are better options out there but not in the same price range as the m50 (in my opinion) I suppose it comes down to how much you want to spend. And the fact that the m50's can be powered without an amp makes them a even better budget option.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

So, I had a bit of spare time this week and I've checked out some headphones:

Sennheiser HD 598 - The sound was pretty cool, quite nice. They were quite comfortable and they look nice, but I don't think they're exactly what I'm looking for.
AKG Q701 - They look nice, sound pretty good, but not as comfortable as I expected them to be. Maybe I'm just not used to wearing them, but after about 15 min my ears were a bit sore.

I got a few more recommendations while I was at the store:

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X
AKG K 272HD
AKG K 550HD
Bose Quiet Comfort 15


Not all of these are within my price range, but if they're really worth it I may go with either of them... My top candidate still stands: Philips Fidelio X1

Any thoughts?

Also thanks for all the input so far :)
 

post #6 of 19

I think the philips will be superior in just about all aspects (except noise isolation, and leakage) compared to the others. They are great all around and will not only be great for music but movies and games too. They have a good soundstage and also have great bass, which is a hard combination to pull off. If you plan on using them in loud environments or traveling with them, then something like the akg 550, m50, or bose would be better though, otherwise X1 definitely. If you listen to a lot of rock I would also check out grados if you get the chance, i love mine

post #7 of 19

Stay away from the audio technica AD series. They are great headphones but judging by your post you're going to dislike the looks in person, hate how they easily fall off your head and for overall music they are bass light.

 

Beyerdynamic 880's are boring.. flat out boring.

Beyerdynamic 990's are the funnest headphones I've used for games and pretty good all around. Will make your ears sore, but after a week of listening goes away.

Beyerdynamic 770's Very heavy on bass, fun headphones. Might need to take them off every hour due to heat.

 

Try and list what you want in a headphone.

 

Open or Closed?

Leather/pleather or Velour?

Bass heavy or absolute clarity ?

What % for gaming and what % for music? What type of music?

Is the weight of the headphones an issue?

Willing to buy an amp ?

Single sided cable, dual entry or no pref ?

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey!

I'd go for the following:

Open
No material preference
Clarity
90% music, 10% gaming
Weight is not an issue as long as they're comfortable on the ears (Clamp force. I'm looking at you, DT series)
My sound card supposedly has a built-in amp and DAC(Creative Sound Blaster Z)
No preference on the cable, but please do explain the pros and cons of each, if willing. I do know a bit about each, but I would like to have a wider perspective.

Thanks! :)

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giupy View Post
 

Hey!

I'd go for the following:

Open
No material preference
Clarity
90% music, 10% gaming
Weight is not an issue as long as they're comfortable on the ears (Clamp force. I'm looking at you, DT series)
My sound card supposedly has a built-in amp and DAC(Creative Sound Blaster Z)
No preference on the cable, but please do explain the pros and cons of each, if willing. I do know a bit about each, but I would like to have a wider perspective.

Thanks! :)

 

The cable is purely preference. Some people like single sided, others want dual entry.

 

Is an example of a single sided cable. This is desirable I think for mobility and it doesn't get tangled as much

 

 

Example of a dual entry cable. I personally like this due to my OCD. Some say they sounds slightly better but I don't think if there is a difference its noticeable. 

 

 

 

Beyerdynamics 990 - Open, strong clamping force, very fun powerful sound but does need an amp. $145 new

 

 

Sennheiser 600 - Open, Insanely comfortable, good clamping force, kind of close to the 701 and also needs an amp. $399 new

 

 

 

Grado SR80 - Open, On ear, very clear sound and good clamping force. I couldn't deal with the fatigue but a lot of people can. $99 new

 

 

Those are the only ones I have experience with. So I can only suggest what I've used. 

 

Edit: I have an abomination of a headphone in the works. Audio technica ad2000 drivers, sennheiser cable, takstar housing and brainwavz hm5 pads. I hope to be the ultimate headphones for around $200. 


Edited by Folex - 8/13/14 at 3:48pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Yeah, I was hoping (don't know why) that the cable type (single or dual-sided) would make a difference in sound quality.

I'll try and find all of these on a showroom/store in my city... By the way it's ridiculous that all of these are considerably more expensive in Europe.

That project you have there actually sounds really nice. Hope it works out :D

Thank you, once again! :)

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giupy View Post
 

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Yeah, I was hoping (don't know why) that the cable type (single or dual-sided) would make a difference in sound quality.

I'll try and find all of these on a showroom/store in my city... By the way it's ridiculous that all of these are considerably more expensive in Europe.

That project you have there actually sounds really nice. Hope it works out :D

Thank you, once again! :)

 

 

Depending on the price it may be worth sending money to someone in USA and then having them send the headphones to you. I dpn't know how much more the headphones are where you are but just a thought.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, adding up the immense taxes, import charges, delivery, yatta, yatta. I kind of get pretty much the same result. Take ATH-M50, for example. They're 120$ on Amazon. Getting them from a store here would be roughly the equivalent of 200-220. If I were to import them I'd get a 40$ delivery fee on standard shipping, and another 24% of the item's total value (yes, they include the delivery charges here) and another 2$ for picking them up at the post office.

So I'd basically be landing on the same price and I would have a solid chance of getting my headphones thrown around every few minutes by frustrated postal employees. No joke. They actually throw the packages around. Like literally toss the boxes around. They don't care about "This side up" or "FRAGILE".

Bottom line: I would love an authorized seller on Amazon with free worldwide shipping. That would be great :)

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

So after this time I've tried tried as many headphones as I could and my priorities or preferences have changed quite a bit.

Updated list of candidates:
Mr. Speakers Mad Dog
Philips Fidelio X1
BeyerDynamic DT-990 Pro (250 Ohm) - I'm basically leaning a bit towards these because I can get them for a great price at a local store: Just a bit short of 200$
V-Moda XS - I normally prefer different headphones, but these are actually quite... Well, they're a lot of things, really. Too bad I only got to try them on for a few minutes. They seem comfortable, appeared to sound good and look really, really sturdy. To me at least.

Philips Citiscape Uptown - They were really comfortable, but I didn't actually get to listen to them. To my understanding they're quite decent, but the "signature", if you will, doesn't seem to be quite matching to my usual inclinations. On the other hand neither do the V-Modas, but I'm keeping an open mind.

So the new-ish criteria would be:
Single-sided cable, preferably coiled. At most 3.5m long (Current headphones have a 6m length cable which is not removable and has proven to be quite troublesome at times)
Price - Top end would be somewhere at 350$

Also: Any slightly cheaper alternative for the Philips Fidelio X1 that's also part of the Fidelio family? I say family because they kind of seem like little brothers to each other. I'm asking simply because I can't seem to get them in my country and the delivery fee and taxes are quite a lot, so I'm currently weighing my options.

Thanks again for all the feedback and advices! Hopefully I'm slowly getting a more real feeling as to what I like, what I would prefer to have and what I love about headphones. Too bad I have a ruthless budget limitation :D

Have an awesome day! 

 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giupy View Post
 

So after this time I've tried tried as many headphones as I could and my priorities or preferences have changed quite a bit.

Updated list of candidates:
Mr. Speakers Mad Dog
Philips Fidelio X1
BeyerDynamic DT-990 Pro (250 Ohm) - I'm basically leaning a bit towards these because I can get them for a great price at a local store: Just a bit short of 200$
V-Moda XS - I normally prefer different headphones, but these are actually quite... Well, they're a lot of things, really. Too bad I only got to try them on for a few minutes. They seem comfortable, appeared to sound good and look really, really sturdy. To me at least.

Also: Any slightly cheaper alternative for the Philips Fidelio X1 that's also part of the Fidelio family? 
 

 

Did you mention what kind of music you listen to?

 

The Fidelio L1/L2 don't share the same overall sound as the X1.  The L-series is more laid back.

 

Looking at your list, this seems like it really comes down to the X1 versus dt 990, and I don't have any advice except to inquire about the store's return policy.  If you find the policy favorable, buy the dt 990 and if you like the sound keep them.  Don't look back.  So long as you're not treble sensitive, they should work wonderfully.

 

If, however, you don't like them from the moment you put them on, then run back to the store and get your money.  No point in sticking with a headphone you don't like, and then trying to "fix" them by experimenting with various amps (an expensive road to travel down) or spending hours trying to unsuccessfully eq out the sound.  I don't know how long you plan to keep your headphones, but it does become a little easier to justify spending more if you divide the price differential by number of months you plan to keep them.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by souhikyaku9 View Post
 

 

Did you mention what kind of music you listen to?

 

The Fidelio L1/L2 don't share the same overall sound as the X1.  The L-series is more laid back.

 

Looking at your list, this seems like it really comes down to the X1 versus dt 990, and I don't have any advice except to inquire about the store's return policy.  If you find the policy favorable, buy the dt 990 and if you like the sound keep them.  Don't look back.  So long as you're not treble sensitive, they should work wonderfully.

 

If, however, you don't like them from the moment you put them on, then run back to the store and get your money.  No point in sticking with a headphone you don't like, and then trying to "fix" them by experimenting with various amps (an expensive road to travel down) or spending hours trying to unsuccessfully eq out the sound.  I don't know how long you plan to keep your headphones, but it does become a little easier to justify spending more if you divide the price differential by number of months you plan to keep them.



I listen to pretty much all types of music. I don't really want the type I prefer most to be one of my buying criteria.

I don't intend on trying to "Fix" my headphones in any way. If I don't like them I'll probably just sell them. I generally dawdle in EQ quite a bit, trying to get everything just the way I like it.

I'm kind of hoping to keep my headphones for at least a couple of years.

As you said, my top candidates are the Philips Fidelio X1, the DT 990 Pro and the Mr. Speakers Mad Dog. I'm actually hoping I can get a bit more info on the Mad Dog headphones, they seem quite good judging by reviews, but who's to say I find the same things enjoyable as said reviewers, so I'm trying to get more info on them.

Thanks!

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