Best all around headphones under $140.00
Apr 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26


New Head-Fier
Apr 16, 2010
I have been doing a ton of research on what headphone would fit me the best. I know this has been asked a lot, but the only problem is there are so many reviews it is overwhelming and actually very difficult to find the best fit for me. I have searched on this forum (and a ton of other websites) to help me find a solution.

I am looking for an all around pair of headphones. They do not have to be amazing because I am no audio expert. However, I would obviously like the best bang for my buck. My usual use is as follow:

50% Music

40% Gaming

10% Movies

I listen to metal, rock, ska, reggae, and a little bit of rap (Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Sublime, Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Disturbed, 36 Mafia, and 2pac for example). I love heavy bass in headphones. Not ugly popping bass like you hear in cheap car or stereo subwoofers, but very deep and clear booms. I generally always listen to my audio in medium - high levels. I live in an apartment so headphones that allow a lot of sound to escape are out of the question.

I currently do not have the money to purchase an Astro Mixamp so please keep this in mind. So far I have boiled it down to these (I am open to suggestions for others, but please provide details as to why they would be better than these suggested.) I have no idea which of the following would fit my daily use the best so please point me in the right direction. Thanks!

1. Sennheiser HD-555 (I have read the bass is weak).

2. Audio Technica ATH-A700 (once again I read the bass is weak).

3. Logitech G35

4. Razer Megalodon

5. Tritton AX 720

6. Sennheiser PC 350 (I have read you have to mod it for good bass. I am not comfortable drilling holes in a rather expensive headset before the warranty runs out.)

Once again, thanks for your help!
Apr 16, 2010 at 7:51 PM Post #3 of 26
AH-D1001, has amazing bass extension and highs plus a little bit of isolation. It's also very comfortable.
Apr 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM Post #5 of 26
I cannot find the Alessandro MS1 (or MS1i). How good is the Denon's AH-D1001 sound stage? A couple of reviews I read on amazon stated it is not for bass heads. I trust your word over a review on amazon, but I am always skeptical before I purchase anything. Thanks for the quick responses, I appreciate it.
Apr 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM Post #6 of 26
Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry for your wallet...

I recommend the JVC HA DX-series. I have the DX3, bought it from a head-fier for about 100 dollars, it's perfect. Note that my first headphone was a Sony MDR V6, ever since well defined (and extended) bass has been a priority regarding headphones. The DX3 for me is perfect. For me it combines the best qualities of the AKG K240 DF with the bass of the V6, only smoother and better.
Apr 16, 2010 at 9:28 PM Post #7 of 26
I think you would hate the AD700 based on your description of what you're looking for. To my ears they're incredibly detailed, but the lack of bass ruins it. They also did not fit right on my head. I could not use them due to the lack of a decent EQ on my Ipod touch and issues with it's bass boost setting.

The best bang for the buck is without a doubt the Shure SRH-840. They're $135 often online and this is stupid cheap for the sound quality you get. I can't find a headphone that sounds better for under $240. Trust me, i've tried. If anyone has suggestions, please tell me! I've tried the D2000 and can't find the 32ohm version of the DT-880 for under $260.

I'm no basshead and I don't like excessive anything. Bass is ok, but I just don't like too much of it. The 840 has enough to where you feel it, but it's not too much at all. They have a lot less then the D2000 for sure, but those are $240 or so.

I heard someone on here say these had slightly recessed midrange. That doesn't make any sense to me since they seem completely opposite to that based on what I could tell from some frequency charts (and my ears). The mid range is perfect. The only instrument that doesn't sound natural on these is cymbals. They're VERY slightly harsh, but it depends on the song. It's such a non issue to me that it's not even worth mentioning.

I always hear people say such and such headphones are "neutral" or "flat". These are definitely not that, but what do I know. To me, these just make music fun to listen to without ruining it with too much of any one thing.

I guess to me, these make the music feel like you're right there. They're the closest thing to the IEM the Triple Fi 10 i've found. That's my #1 favorite, but i've been liking these a lot more lately. I mostly listen to female singers and these are perfect for that. Of course I listen to lots of alternative rock, classic, jpop and lots of other genres. Everything sounds good.

They are not perfect. The design is a complete disaster. Shure must have tested them with one person with a fat head and that's it. There is no reason headphones can't be a decent fit for nearly everyone. What's keeping these from being my perfect headphone is that they fall off my head easily and feel very lose.

I watched a two hour movie with them and they get sweaty on the head and the earcups start to hurt my ears somewhat.

Due to fit, i've wanted to find another pair of headphones that sound similar. I've tried the AKG 240 MK II, D2000, D1001 and AD700, but they didn't work out well for me. The only pair I would have kept was the D1001. The AD700 had some very good sound quality, but was ruined by two small problems.

For anyone that cares, I actually even like these more then the AKG 701 and Beyer DT-990. That's saying a LOT for a $135 headphone i'd say!

I think next I may try the Beyer DT-880 or Sennheiser HD-650 or 600.

EDIT: Sorry, I meant the Creative Aurvana Live, not the D1001. They're basically the same thing.
Apr 16, 2010 at 9:35 PM Post #8 of 26
I actually have a rather small head, and judging by the design it may not be a suitable option for me. Do you think that would be a major problem for me? Also, I was just looking at the AKG 240 MK II. What exactly did you not like about it? Thanks!
Apr 16, 2010 at 9:59 PM Post #9 of 26
Actually, the issue with the fit of the SRH-840 isn't that bad. It's not bad enough to want me to get rid of them. I guess I should say they are slightly loose on my head. If I lay back while they're on my head to listen to music they fall off. If I move my head around too much they'd fall off. They still fit WAY better then the AD700. Those things were so bad the earcups felt like they were resting on my cheeks!

The AKG 240 MK II just sounded abnormal to me. When I was listening to them I just didn't even feel like I was there and basically they're the most boring headphones to listen to i've ever tried. They're just no fun at all. The main issue I had with them is that the sound is kind of muffled, like someone had placed a cloth over the earcups. I noticed this right after I put them on. With them you feel as if you're sitting very, very far away from where the music is being played. The sound just isn't very engaging to me. All my music felt completely lifeless and different then what I remembered. Stringed instruments also did not sound normal at all. I was listening to the soundtrack of "Into the Wild" and I thought to myself "This doesn't sound right!". They do have a ton of bass and luckily they didn't take away from anything else. You'd think that the extra bass would make the music a bit more fun to listen to, but not really. You still didn't FEEL the music at all. Singing is crystal clear to me though strangely. That doesn't make any sense considering everything else feels so distant.

They also feel and look cheap to me. It's just the high quality plastic look to me, if that makes any sense. I love the design though. The comfort on them is amazing. By far the best design EVER. In terms of sound quality they sound like they should be $75 MAX. They sound much better then the Sony MDR-V6 though by far. To me, the MK IIs are priced higher only due to the extras they include. Seems like it to me!

Also, I almost forgot something. The 240 MK II is rated at 55ohms, but strangely my Ipod Touch 2g barely gave me enough volume out of them. With the 840 it's more then enough. Of course I do use and test all my headphones with an amp, but I always prefer not to use one.
Apr 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM Post #10 of 26
Yeah the SRH840 adds bass that is missing with the 440, but I also felt it to be uncomfortable. As tdockweiler said, they also felt lose on my (big) head and are heavier than many other headphones. And if you don't plan on getting the straight replacement cord (adds some more $$$) I wouldn't buy those, except of course if you love curly cables.

As for the HD555, yes, sounds a bit thin in the bass department if you don't use them with a high Z output (e.g. stereo receiver) and they are completely open.

I haven't heard the Logitech/Razor/Tritton so I cannot comment on those.

About the Denon: Well, it doesn't produce that boosted kickbass you can find in cheaper extra bass headphones, if you know what I mean. But it extends nicely into lower frequencies you'd miss with something like the SRH440's and it's on the bassier side of headphones that are recommended over here.

It's hard to give you a feeling of the tonal balance. All I can say is that I also listen to metal and when I had the Denons they were at the border of "too much bass" for me.

edit: at, on, of .. jeez I need english lessons
Apr 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM Post #11 of 26
Is the bass on the SRH-840 comparable to the AKG 240 MK II? This is my primary concern because of the type of music I listen to. Thanks for your input, it really has helped me narrow down my search!
Apr 16, 2010 at 10:23 PM Post #12 of 26
@tdockweiler: Muddy often just means some kind of mid-emphasis (HD555) or mid bumps with nasty side effects. Guess your experiences hit the nail on the head.
Low volume is a result of the low sensitivity.
Apr 16, 2010 at 10:25 PM Post #14 of 26

Originally Posted by xnor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
AH-D1001, has amazing bass extension and highs plus a little bit of isolation. It's also very comfortable.

Very little - I can hear computer hum and even radiator clicks!
But they do sound very good for the pricepoint - no one's ever said otherwise.

They're are comfortable, but as with any closed-back headphones, expect your ear to become warm after a while.
Apr 16, 2010 at 10:28 PM Post #15 of 26
Yeah well, no headphone is perfect. They didn't get as hot as the Shures, at least on my head.

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