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Best headphones under $200 ?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I need help with new headphones.

My budget is $ 200 or Rs 12000 (can extend it up to $ 250 or Rs 15000).

I have never used good quality headphones before (mostly used in ear earphones).

I'm new to headphone world.

Please excuse me if i use wrong technical terms.

I need it for movies, music and gaming.

I listen wide variety of genres. I'm not much of a basshead though. So it will be fine if bass is not too much. But it should be present significantly along with treble.

I play fps games where footsteps and directional sense must be good.They Must be Comfortable enough for prolonged usage.

The surround sound with movies should be good.

I will be using them at my home mostly. So i do not care if they are open or closed.

 

i did a bit of research and made a shortlist

 

Here are the options i'm looking at:-

1. Sennheiser HD 598

2. Audio Technica ATH-M50x

3. AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Reference-Class Premium Headphones (Only if they are available for less than $ 200 in                 india. Current Price is  $ 300 here)

4. Sennheiser HD 558

 

I'm open to any other suggestions.

 

Some Queries:-

1. How good are HD 598 compared to HD 558. Are they worth the price difference ?

2. Can i use the above mentioned headphones with my samsung phone or other portable devices ?

3. If i can use them with portable devices, will they sound good enough without amp ?

post #2 of 19

The 558 is usually the better value.  There is a simple tape removal mod to make it sound very close to the 598.

 

However, I can't tell you is there a significant between the 558 ( stock or modded) and the 598 for gamers.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I do not really want to open up my new headphones for the mod. So i was inclined towards buying hd 598.

which headphones would you suggest for my price range ?

and which among those mentioned above are the best ?

post #4 of 19

There is no surround sound with any of these stereo cans.  That will have to created by your software or by others means.  Of course, we can't know what that sounds like in any can without hearing it.

 

The Q701 is best for movies, but needs an amp and won't work well directly from your phone.  It also won't work well from your computer unless you have a sound card with an amp or an external amp.

 

That leaves you with the two Senns.  Only you can decide if the larger sound stage and slightly improved sound of the 598 is worth the price difference from the 558.

post #5 of 19
The Q701 can be used from a phone, but it will sound much better with an amp.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you KG and billy for replying.

So Senns are the best from the above mentioned headphones ?

I need headphones which i can use for everything.

Would u like to suggest any other headphones in my price range($ 200- $ 250) better than those mentioned ?

I read somewhere that the pins of hd 558 and 598 do not fit in phones and other portable devices. Is it true ?

 

I'm sorry for asking so many questions. I'm new to headphone world.

Please clarify my doubts so that i can finally decide.

post #7 of 19
Correct, the HD558 & HD598 cable have 6.25mm plugs, however they also come with a 6.25->3.5mm adapter so they can be use with a phone or your computer headphone jack. However, the adapter is more awkward than just having a cable with a 3.5mm plug. It's not a problem when at home. If you find it to be awkward when mobile, then you could get a different adapter, like this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1063702-REG/sennheiser_561035_adapter_plug_for_hd.html

BTW, I also think the HD598 & HD558 can be used directly out of a phone, but they will be better with a modest amp to give them a bit more power. You can always get that later.
post #8 of 19
I am new user here, but I had used HD 558 with my iPhone 5 and I always found, 558 very hard to drive from a phone. I use a MacBook Pro as the computer, and Mac used to drive them better, but nowhere closed to my integrated amp's headphone out. These are meant for home, and must be running from an amp.


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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunal555 View Post
 

Thank you KG and billy for replying.

So Senns are the best from the above mentioned headphones ?

I need headphones which i can use for everything.

Would u like to suggest any other headphones in my price range($ 200- $ 250) better than those mentioned ?

I read somewhere that the pins of hd 558 and 598 do not fit in phones and other portable devices. Is it true ?

 

I'm sorry for asking so many questions. I'm new to headphone world.

Please clarify my doubts so that i can finally decide.

 

The HD 598 come with an adapter to use with phone and other 1/8" jacks.  If your phone has a case, there could be some fit problems.

 

More to the point, full sized open cans are not a good fit for on the go use with your phone--or a DAP.  In addition 50 Ohm cans--even those with high sensitivity ratings like the HD 558 & 598--are not optimal from many low powered portable devices.

 

So if you want only one can, it will have to be closed one, which means a smaller sound stage.  In that regard I would look beyond the M50 family.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

As i said before,i will be using it at home.

So it doesn't matter if the headphone is closed or open. Also it does not need to be portable.

I just want it to work with all my sources even if the sound is mediocre with portable devices.

 

So finally,

should i go with HD 598 which im getting for $ 200 ?

Or is there any better headphone available for $ 250 or less ?

post #11 of 19

There is no guarantee that the HD 558 or 598 (they have the same Ohm and efficiency ratings) will work with your low powered devices.  They might; they might not; or they might work but at a reduced level of audio quality and/or volume.  Given that, there is no way to give you a definitive answer.

 

The Sony MDR-MA900 can currently be found at Amazon for under $200.  That's what I would get in your place.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

I will be using the headphones mostly with my computer and laptop. Both have good sound cards.

So driving power won't be a problem.

 

Sadly these sony headphones are not available in my country as they are discontinued.

Please suggest other headphones under $ 250.

If not, give me the best option among those i mentioned.

post #13 of 19

Do each of your sound cards include an internal amp?  If so, what are its specs?  If not, you still may have a low power issue.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

one of them is creative sound blaster x-fi hd and other one is some nvidia sound card.

I'm sorry i could not get technical specs for nvidia sound card.

but i got the link for creative sound card here on headfi.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/creative-sound-blaster-x-fi-hd-usb-audio-system-with-thx-sb1240

 

power is not an issue.

as billy said, i can get an amp anytime in future.

i just need best possible headphone in my budget.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I think HD 598 will be my new headphones.

Sony MDR-MA900 which KG mentioned are not available in my country.

And there are no other suggestions.

 

Also

hd 598 are available for $ 160.

so it's a bargain i guess.

I will go with them :)

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