Best closed back headphones
Jul 22, 2010 at 10:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

ayrnee

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I'm going away to college soon and I have been trolling around the internet looking for a super pair of headphones since dorms are not very speaker friendly environments. I'm looking for the best headphones I can possibly find (price maxing out at about $300). While they don't have to be noise canceling they should be at leased closed back so that there isn't a lot of sound leakage and it does do a decent job of keeping the outside world outside.


I'm totally out of my element here so if I said something stupid or that doesn't make sense just bear with me. Also I came across these portable amps which I have to decide If i need but that's gonna be in a post on the proper forum all the way over in the portable amp area.

 
 
Jul 22, 2010 at 11:18 PM Post #3 of 14

11amaberry

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If your budget is $300, make sure you have enough left over after you buy headphones to get an amp (if they need one) or you'll be dissapointed. You could (just an example) do something like this: Ath-m50 ($115) + Nuforce Udac ($99) / another amp if you want ($100+). The udac will give you better sound than computer headphone out and it also has an amp (weaker than some, but I've heard of good results with m50 + udac).
 
Jul 22, 2010 at 11:31 PM Post #4 of 14

ayrnee

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Hmm. So I was thinking of budgeting it something like this. I was gonna allow up to $250 ($300 with tax/shipping) for the headphones and then up to $100 for the portable amp (if needed). I have some graduation gifts its time to cash in on :)
But my decision for buying an amp will obviously be based around my choice of headphone.
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 12:13 AM Post #5 of 14

vicktnguyen

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I think you should spend less money on your first headphones and invest in DAC/Amp. Since $250 range headphones usually require more power to drive properly (DT770 comes to mind). Portable amp just doesn't cut it IMO, and you won't have to buy a new amp if you want to upgrade to a better cans, of course you will if you keep reading this forum
wink_face.gif
. So i suggest you should invest in entry-fi headphones first (ATH-M50, SRH840, ultrasone 780) and go from there.   
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 1:11 AM Post #7 of 14

darkswordsman17

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Of the headphones I've personally heard, I'd recommend the Audio-Technica A900 or Denon D2000. The main reason is that they offer a bridge between typical audiophile and mass appeal sound that most people want initially. The latter is typically more bass impact oriented, and both offer pretty good bass, but also are decent at other aspects.
 
I know some don't find the A900 to sound all that good, and I'd admit its getting long in the tooth but, to me, its a great all around headphone. I'd actually say the Denon is mostly similar but a bit better, its slightly more comfy, and has better bass. Both can be pretty easily modded a bit (and you can buy better earpads for both as well). The only issue is price, where I'd say $150-180 for the A900s and $170-200 for the D2000s, but I don't know that you'd be able to get them new for that price. There's someone selling A900s in the For Sale forum for $150, and you could buy some replacement earpads from AudioCubes.
 
I've read some people say the M50 is better than the A900, but I haven't heard it myself so I can't give offer an opinion, I do know its a pretty well regarded and often recommended headphone though.
 
Two other headphones that fall close the D2000 and A900 are the Ultrasone HFI-780 and the Beyerdynamic DT-770. I've only heard the HFI-700, and Ultrasone tends to be polarizing for most people so I don't know that I'd recommend it, but the sound and price is fairly similar (but also has its own uniqueness) to the others though, and it's more portable. The DT-770, I have only heard the Pro version of, and it, to me was too strong in bass, but I've read that the normal version is more balanced.
 
There's also the Ultrasone Pro900 but you would have to get used to get it in your price and again, Ultrasone isn't for everyone. The W1000 is similar (probably only in your range if used), and I wouldn't recommend it because it has a pretty unique sound that I'm not sure most people would like (I didn't).
 
Another option, and since you'll be going to classes might be a bonus is looking into high end IEM, or maybe if nab someone's customs from the For Sale forum and get them remolded for you.
 
That or you could maybe go for a portable like the ESW9.
 
Quote:
If your budget is $300, make sure you have enough left over after you buy headphones to get an amp (if they need one) or you'll be dissapointed. You could (just an example) do something like this: Ath-m50 ($115) + Nuforce Udac ($99) / another amp if you want ($100+). The udac will give you better sound than computer headphone out and it also has an amp (weaker than some, but I've heard of good results with m50 + udac).


That's not a bad recommendation.
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 1:20 AM Post #8 of 14

Olias of Sunhillow

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Were I in your situation, I would grab some Beyer DT770s and a portable amp/dac -- either a Nuforce uDac if your music was all stored on your computer, or an iBasso D2+ if you use an iPod either some or all of the time. I don't know that the D2+ is quite as good as the uDac (I have both), but the extra versatility of the AUX input makes the iBasso a great choice if you use a DAP.
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 12:54 PM Post #11 of 14

ayrnee

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Wow what a great response I know I came to exactly the right place.

So basically all this boils down to a few pairs of headphones That I now need to choose from.

What I'm gonna go for at this point mainly is comfort I saw that a fair amount of the suggested models like the Ultrasone pro900 and the DT770 use velvet or velour  pads as opposed to leather or whatever that leatherlike material is. I have no personal experience with any velvet or velour pads but they sound like they dont not seal out sound very well and are generally uncomfortable (if I am wrong please correct me) while I feel that headphones with the leatherlike material can block out noise much more efficiently.

As of now my final choice in headphone would be the Ultrasone HFI-780


In terms of amps, from what iv been told since I'm not getting a super-high end pair and I'm just entering into this world I shouldn't be spending more than say $100 on a portable amp so the two that I'm considering now between the nuforce udac and the fiio e7


Also two things that I did not understand from these posts is

1) "Ultrasone tends to be polarizing for most people so I don't know that I'd recommend it" I am unsure what that means and google searches didn't help me much due to me not knowing exactly what to be searching for  :frowning2:

2) also this "unique sound" that Ultrasone has. Is there any way to describe it?

 
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM Post #12 of 14

joelpearce

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Quote:
Also two things that I did not understand from these posts is

1) "Ultrasone tends to be polarizing for most people so I don't know that I'd recommend it" I am unsure what that means and google searches didn't help me much due to me not knowing exactly what to be searching for  :frowning2:

2) also this "unique sound" that Ultrasone has. Is there any way to describe it?

 


Polarizing means that people tend to have a really strong reaction to them, whether that reaction is positive or negative.  The AT M-50 is not a polarizing headphone: everyone that tries it likes it quite a bit for what it costs.  The Ultrasones are highly polarizing, meaning that people that get used to them tend to never want to listen to another brand, but others absolutely hate them.  It's a bit risky to dive into Ultrasone, because you might be part of the first group, but it's equally possible that you'll be part of the second group.
 
I can only give my impressions from the Pro 750.  They are quite balanced, but really cold sounding with treble that can get unpleasantly bright on poor recordings.  I just wrote a review of them, linked in my signature.  I've heard both the models you are looking at are more bassy, though.
 

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