$300 Open Back Over Ears for Home Use
May 13, 2015 at 9:49 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

purpledrank

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As the title says, I am looking for a pair of Over Ear, Open headphones. My budget is $300 but it can be stretched if it is really worth it. I am looking for a headphone that is really a jack of all trades. I don't want a master of a certain genre. That also does not mean I want a neutral headphone.
 
I'm sure some people enjoy AKG and other neutral headphones but I still enjoy my bass although I sort of am moving away from bass heavy headphones. I went from having Audio-Technica Solid Bass earbuds to the Shure SE215LTD. My music sounds a lot better with the Shure's and my Koss Portapros are getting really lonely because they can't compete.
 
So far I've looked at the Hifiman HE-400 and Sennheiser HD-650 in depth. I've read multiple reviews on them and I've visited their discussion forums on head-fi. While similar the HD-650s seem to be darker with a lot less treble. This does not bother me because I have tinnitus and certain frequencies do bother me. I don't know which and it usually just means turning the volume down for a certain song. I've heard the HE-400s have a treble problem but it can be EQed. I've glanced at the Shure SRH1440. I currently own the SE215s so I'm familiar with the brand and trust them. The Philips Fidelio X2 was recommended on reddit and the Audio Technica AD-900X look like a nice choice as well. 
 
I really do want a nice all-rounder because I listen to Rap, Metal, Alternative Pop, Rock (Punk/Classic/Alternative), Indie, Dvorak and more. I'll never say no to extra bass until it becomes muddy and ruins the midrange. Thanks for the help in advance. 
 
May 13, 2015 at 10:15 PM Post #2 of 12

cel4145

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What kind of dac/amp will you be using?

I have tinnitus and the HE-400 don't bother me. But other headphones with treble emphasis do. I think it's a particular frequency thing, and probably different per person.
 
May 13, 2015 at 10:30 PM Post #3 of 12

purpledrank

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I plan to get an Electric Avenue PA2V2. I will be using it at home but I move around frequently enough that portable would be better. Headphone weight doesn't matter
 
May 13, 2015 at 10:35 PM Post #4 of 12

cel4145

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Best to verify that the PA2V2 does well with the HE-400s if you like to listen at louder volumes. They are a bit difficult to drive.
 
May 14, 2015 at 7:08 AM Post #5 of 12

purpledrank

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Best to verify that the PA2V2 does well with the HE-400s if you like to listen at louder volumes. They are a bit difficult to drive.

I did verify with Gary. He said the HE-500 is harder to drive.
 
May 14, 2015 at 10:59 AM Post #6 of 12

cel4145

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I did verify with Gary. He said the HE-500 is harder to drive.


Yes. The HE-500 is harder to drive. I don't understand what that has to do with the PA2V2?

Electric Avenue doesn't seem to provide good specs about the power output that I can find. The closest thing to a power spec was this on their old website

" The PA2V2 can output up to 200 mW of RMS power." Is that at 16 ohm? 32 ohm?

On their new website page, nothing about the power output. That's kind of squirrely that a headphone amp manufacturer wouldn't provide any good power specs.

Then note that it didn't do so well in ClieOS's $100 portable amp shootout (rankings follow the review). The original Fiio E11 did better, and now it has been updated to the E11K version, which would be my choice for the money. So I'd verify with PA2V2 owners that it does well with the HE-400s before putting my money into the PA2V2.
 
May 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM Post #7 of 12

Me x3

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Hey, the Fidelio X2 seems like a very good pick for your intended use. It's also a very solid headphone.
 
Best Luck!
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:12 PM Post #8 of 12

purpledrank

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  Hey, the Fidelio X2 seems like a very good pick for your intended use. It's also a very solid headphone.
 
Best Luck!

Definitely in my top 3 of choices now. Im stuck between the Audio Technica AD1000X, Sony MDR MA900 and the X2. Youtuber Lachlan likes a thing has got me interested in the first two and Tyll from Inner Fidelity likes the X2 enough to put it on his wall of fame. The first two can be bought for a lot cheaper on amazon japan which makes them a better option than the X2 which is not on sale. I don't live in Japan but even after shipping fees it would be less than $300. 
 
May 15, 2015 at 7:24 PM Post #9 of 12

Me x3

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  Definitely in my top 3 of choices now. Im stuck between the Audio Technica AD1000X, Sony MDR MA900 and the X2. Youtuber Lachlan likes a thing has got me interested in the first two and Tyll from Inner Fidelity likes the X2 enough to put it on his wall of fame. The first two can be bought for a lot cheaper on amazon japan which makes them a better option than the X2 which is not on sale. I don't live in Japan but even after shipping fees it would be less than $300. 

 
Well the Fidelio is much sturdier than both ADs and MA900. You have to be quite careful with the MA900 beyond that it seems to be a good pick.
 
Both MA900 and AD1000x are probably a tad more neutral, while the Fidelios should provide bigger bass and also more extension.
 
These are 3 different sounding headphones, the right pick is down to preference.
 
If you want to save some money: maybe you can get the Fidelio X1 instead, it's very much like the X2 but just a tad darker, closer to the MA900.
 
May 15, 2015 at 8:00 PM Post #10 of 12

purpledrank

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Well the Fidelio is much sturdier than both ADs and MA900. You have to be quite careful with the MA900 beyond that it seems to be a good pick.
 
Both MA900 and AD1000x are probably a tad more neutral, while the Fidelios should provide bigger bass and also more extension.
 
These are 3 different sounding headphones, the right pick is down to preference.
 
If you want to save some money: maybe you can get the Fidelio X1 instead, it's very much like the X2 but just a tad darker, closer to the MA900.

I'm not too concerned about the build since these won't ever leave my home. 
Yes. The HE-500 is harder to drive. I don't understand what that has to do with the PA2V2?

Electric Avenue doesn't seem to provide good specs about the power output that I can find. The closest thing to a power spec was this on their old website

" The PA2V2 can output up to 200 mW of RMS power." Is that at 16 ohm? 32 ohm?

On their new website page, nothing about the power output. That's kind of squirrely that a headphone amp manufacturer wouldn't provide any good power specs.

Then note that it didn't do so well in ClieOS's $100 portable amp shootout (rankings follow the review). The original Fiio E11 did better, and now it has been updated to the E11K version, which would be my choice for the money. So I'd verify with PA2V2 owners that it does well with the HE-400s before putting my money into the PA2V2.

 
Gary told me in an email that they can power headphones with 320 ohm impedance but they really shine with headphones that are 120 ohms or lower. I've decided to eliminate the HE-400 from my pick but I've heard rumors of a HE-400S that would replace the HE-400 for $300 and would be a lot lighter.
 
May 16, 2015 at 10:49 AM Post #11 of 12

theworstguy

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Hmm, so you've checked out the HD650s, but have you had a chance to listen to a pair of HD600s? I listen to a variety of genres like yourself and they are my favorite all-arounder from my collection, even when drivng them from a tiny Fiio E6 (I use a Magni/Modi stack when at the computer).
 
May 16, 2015 at 12:08 PM Post #12 of 12

manbear

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  I'm not too concerned about the build since these won't ever leave my home. 
 
Gary told me in an email that they can power headphones with 320 ohm impedance but they really shine with headphones that are 120 ohms or lower. I've decided to eliminate the HE-400 from my pick but I've heard rumors of a HE-400S that would replace the HE-400 for $300 and would be a lot lighter.



The HE-400 replacement is the HE-400i. It's been out for a while but it's $400. It's a lot lighter than the HE-400 and has a different sound--more midrange, less treble, kind of HD650-like.

It's hard to go wrong with any of the headphones that have been mentioned. Sounds like you want a little more bass. Even "bass-heavy" open headphones in this price range won't be muddy at all. X2 is probably your best bet. 
 

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