500 USD closed back high sensitivity option
Oct 6, 2021 at 9:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

zzffnn

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Thank you for checking in.

I am looking for a pair of ~500 USD (used is fine), closed back full sized (over-ears) headphones, that have sensitivity (as in db/mw) and can be driven well straight from smartphones.

I have a giant 2XL sized head and big ears. So true over-ear headphones are required. 3.5mm short (portable) cable is required.

Removable microphone cable is appreciated but not required.

I cannot decide if I really want wireless capability. It is not required, thought nice to have; but I don't want to sacrifice that much sound quality to trade for wireless connectivity. 5 years ago wireless headphones, even those AptX ones, were neither reliable nor great sounding. Has anything changed (I have not followed up on headphone gears for at least 5 years).

I prefer headphones that follow the Harman Cueve, though not looking for headphones for critical listening this time.

I used to but no longer do real "critical listing". My serious (and casual) listening needs are well met by my LCD-2s, Beyers and custom in-ears. Yes, I have amps but listen from my phone (without amp) a lot more often.

About the only headphones I don't particularly enjoy are the Grados.

Some sound stage, speed and bass response is appreciated.

Thank you very much.
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 9:23 PM Post #2 of 16

HipHopScribe

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I'd take a look at the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless. Personally I don't find the Bluetooth to be a significant sound quality trade-off at all. Can be run wired too of course
 
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Oct 6, 2021 at 10:27 PM Post #6 of 16

Shane D

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My favourite closed backs currently are the Beyer T5 (3rd gens) and CFA Cascades.

The T5's are Very easy to drive, have great isolation and a pretty balanced sound. I think they fit in the used category.

The Cascades are a TON of fun! I found them cartoonishly boomy at first, but they made me giggle. Months later I find them to be a great headphone with strong bass.
The only downside to me is the headband, but if you have a huge head, these might be just what you are looking for.

I don't find the bass too strong, but then I don't find the bass on the Grado's missing much. But they are a nice combo. :L3000:
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 12:34 AM Post #8 of 16

equalspeace

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I really like my Sony MDR-M1ST. They're light and sensitive enough. You'll probably want to change the pads though, as the stock ones are really small and shallow. Also they are made in and can only be purchased in Japan. I used eBay to get them shipped to the USA
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 1:00 AM Post #9 of 16

descloud

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I prefer headphones that follow the Harman Cueve, though not looking for headphones for critical listening this time.
I believe either the AKG K371 or Shure SRH440 would fit that bill, though they're on the more budget side of the $500 price point you're aiming for. Not sure of any other headphones that would fit the high sensitivity requirement that is close to the Harman Curve.
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 5:18 AM Post #10 of 16

Steven31

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Thank you for checking in.

I am looking for a pair of ~500 USD (used is fine), closed back full sized (over-ears) headphones, that have sensitivity (as in db/mw) and can be driven well straight from smartphones.

I have a giant 2XL sized head and big ears. So true over-ear headphones are required. 3.5mm short (portable) cable is required.

Removable microphone cable is appreciated but not required.

I cannot decide if I really want wireless capability. It is not required, thought nice to have; but I don't want to sacrifice that much sound quality to trade for wireless connectivity. 5 years ago wireless headphones, even those AptX ones, were neither reliable nor great sounding. Has anything changed (I have not followed up on headphone gears for at least 5 years).

I prefer headphones that follow the Harman Cueve, though not looking for headphones for critical listening this time.

I used to but no longer do real "critical listing". My serious (and casual) listening needs are well met by my LCD-2s, Beyers and custom in-ears. Yes, I have amps but listen from my phone (without amp) a lot more often.

About the only headphones I don't particularly enjoy are the Grados.

Some sound stage, speed and bass response is appreciated.

Thank you very much.
The following headphone is not wireless but based on everything else you've said I think it's worth a try. I would recommend the Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature, if you can find one for a reduced price or a used one. The B&W P9 Signature comes with 3 cables, the shortest of which is an MFI certified lightning connector, complete with mic/volume buttons. Additionally, the P9 Signature has high sensitivity (111db/50Mw) (one of the loudest most powerful headphones i've ever heard - it's like standing just a few feet away from the biggest speakers at a disco) and is specifically designed to be used with portable devices. The B&W P9 Signature has a warm, natural sound but with no lack of detail in the high frequencies and very powerful bass. They are not for everyone but based on your post I thought they where worth recommending. The only thing you might find an issue with is comfort, the earpads are quite narrow.
I have no experience with wireless headphones (i'm a purist when it comes to audio reproduction, I can't really listen to a headphone unless it has a non-detachable cable or XLR-pin input, I always move on from them) as someone else said- you might want to take a look at the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home Wireless, but you might also want to check out the following;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bowers-Wilkins-Bluetooth-Headphones-Cancelling-Space-Grey/dp/B07574TYWW/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1VEWMNLQHIWWT&dchild=1&keywords=b&w+wireless+headphones&qid=1633598123&sprefix=b&w+wireless,aps,237&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Master-Dynamic-MH40-Wireless-Over-Gunmetal-Coated-Canvas/dp/B082BJLS2B/ref=sr_1_23_sspa?crid=3BOVUN3S1L6RV&dchild=1&keywords=sony+surround+sound+headphones&qid=1633597795&sprefix=sony+surround+sound+headphones,aps,232&sr=8-23-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRzJaWEY3TjdISk9VJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUExMDM4NDU1MlI2NkNXUTVFMDJRQiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDg0NjYzMkkxMFcwNjJJUlRJTyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX210ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-MOMENTUM-Cancelling-Headphones-Functionality-Black/dp/B07W5PQ3V9/ref=sr_1_6?crid=4JYD6SPNTNF&dchild=1&keywords=sennheiser+wireless+headphones&qid=1633598192&sprefix=sennheiser+wireless+headphones,aps,250&sr=8-6
 
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Oct 7, 2021 at 12:03 PM Post #12 of 16

silent-circuit

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Denon AH-D7200 would fit the bill (used) but you'd have to get a shorter aftermarket cable as the one they come with is quite long.
 
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Oct 7, 2021 at 2:46 PM Post #13 of 16

Deolum

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I think at the moment there's not much that speaks against the newest mainstream bluetooth overears. Most of those hifi closed backs suck hard in tuning and are not really better than todays best wireless ones. While i'm not experienced in this area i think i'd get something like the WH-1000XM4 or Airpods Pro + Sennheiser HD25.
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 2:52 PM Post #14 of 16

SilverEars

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I think at the moment there's not much that speaks against the newest mainstream bluetooth overears. Most of those hifi closed backs suck hard in tuning and are not really better than todays best wireless ones. While i'm not experienced in this area i think i'd get something like the WH-1000XM4 or Airpods Pro + Sennheiser HD25.
+1 I recommend saving the money and go convenient. I would push for XM3 over 4 however. Save the money for somsthing that's worthwhile.
 
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Oct 7, 2021 at 2:57 PM Post #15 of 16

raymanh

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I'm in the same situation as you, looking for a M40X upgrade, except my budget is about half of yours.

So far I've found:

AKG K553 Pro (0.05mW)
AKG K371 (0.05mW)
Beyerdynamic DT 177X GO (0.8mW)

The number in brackets is some calculation from an online headphone power calculator that takes the ohms and sensitivity and then tells you how much power is required for a certain dB level. I think the ones above are for 70dB. For reference, my M40X's are 1.65mW, and sound fine to me on my non-LG phone.
 
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