Best Headphones for 500$ or less
Aug 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM Post #16 of 34
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HE-400 - advantages of planar magnetic design (that speaks for itself), good build quality, accurate timbre, etc. 
 
HD 598 - not amp dependent+ sensitive, energetic treble that doesn't fatigue, best soundstage I've heard (good for gaming/ movie), superb midrange. 
 
DT1350 - build quality, comfort, sound quality... all spectacular for a closed portable design. V-Moda M80 gets special mention but it doesn't isolate noise well enough. 
 
 
I was never too impressed with the Grado, Denon, or AKG lines. The D7000 sounded spectacular, a bit colored and unbalanced tonally, but very lush sounding; the D2000 had a far noticeable recessed midrange which just kills vocals for me. 
 
I think it's hard to determine what the "best" headphones are because people listen to different genres. Obviously the AKGs would be pretty decent for acoustics music and the Denons for dubstep, trance, electronica,etc. I listen to almost everything but even then, I have different "priorities" when I listen to the music. 
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 1:33 AM Post #17 of 34

SnEaK

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hey nimble turtle i dont know if u read my first post but i listen to rock/metal and country. so im lookin for something with good bass that dosent overpower acoustic or electric guitar.
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 1:50 AM Post #18 of 34

Eric_C

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Another vote for the DT1350; they sound excellent and are comfortable (despite being on ear), and they also block out a LOT of external noise (again, despite being on ear). I'd be surprised if they don't impress you straight out of an iPod or iPhone.
 
Please note that my impressions are from demo-ing the headphone, not owning them. 
 
You should be able to buy a relatively slim zip-up hard case for them.
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 2:10 AM Post #19 of 34

SnEaK

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k thanks everyone! if i find a pair of 1350's ill demo them and see how they are. how do they compare to any of the sennheisers (600, 650, ect.) Ultrasone pro 900, Audio-Technica ATH-M50s, bose qc 15, v-moda lp2s/m80s.
o2smile.gif

 
Aug 7, 2012 at 2:22 AM Post #20 of 34

Eric_C

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Uhhh, very different from HD600. DT1350 has a "cleaner" sound to it, whereas the 600 sounds "warmer"--kind of like vinyl vs CD. But only kind of. Neither is bad, but the 600 isn't portable so you might as well put it out of mind.
 
M50 is pathetic next to the 1350. Not even worthy of comparison.
 
QC 15 only exceeds the 1350 in noise cancellation--and I would argue the only reason to get a Bose is for noise cancellation. NC won't be much help for people talking on those bus rides, though; good ol' isolation works best.
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 4:35 AM Post #21 of 34
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Quote:
hey nimble turtle i dont know if u read my first post but i listen to rock/metal and country. so im lookin for something with good bass that dosent overpower acoustic or electric guitar.

HD 598 is great for country and acoustics music. Has the best soundstage I've heard BUT at the expense of thumping bass. Typically the wider the soundstage, the weaker the bass. I find that the 598 has a good balance of both, and isn't bass anemic like some other headphones (Q701, AD700, etc.) with a similar soundstage size. However, I can't fully recommend it for metal. I love AC/DC and Megadeth with it but it is a bit slow compared to other headphones. It has that laidback Sennheiser signature, although it's worth mentioning that the 598 is the most energetic Senn I've heard (though HD800 is probably faster). 
 
LCD-2 sounds perfect for those genres. Unfortunately, it's beyond your price range :frowning2:. Ultrasone and Beyerdynamics have a good deal of bass at the expense of fatiguing treble. For a guy like me, treble is important. I guess that's one reason why I love the 598's. Denons have a good bass but if you care about vocals, I find them to be a bit withdrawn in that area (midrange). But they do have that lush sound to them that you might like. Unfortunately they're really expensive. A little too expensive for my tastes. 
 
I think you should go audition headphones somewhere. That's what I do. It's good to get a perspective of multiple headphones yourself, instead of simply going by what others say. 
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 4:37 AM Post #22 of 34
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Quote:
Uhhh, very different from HD600. DT1350 has a "cleaner" sound to it, whereas the 600 sounds "warmer"--kind of like vinyl vs CD. But only kind of. Neither is bad, but the 600 isn't portable so you might as well put it out of mind.
 
M50 is pathetic next to the 1350. Not even worthy of comparison.
 
QC 15 only exceeds the 1350 in noise cancellation--and I would argue the only reason to get a Bose is for noise cancellation. NC won't be much help for people talking on those bus rides, though; good ol' isolation works best.

The Bose headphone that I tried, the most expensive model, had a phenomenal noise cancellation. You gotta give them props for that. Don't know how I did it but they were surprisingly comfortable as well. Great headphones if you travel a lot. 
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 4:54 AM Post #23 of 34

Eric_C

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Quote:
The Bose headphone that I tried, the most expensive model, had a phenomenal noise cancellation. You gotta give them props for that. Don't know how I did it but they were surprisingly comfortable as well. Great headphones if you travel a lot. 

 
And I do give them props for that. They have the best NC, and acceptable sound quality. Comfort's there by virtue of the around-ear design and light weight; there isn't anything else going for them.
 
Btw OP needs headphones for traveling ("bus & car rides", see pg 1), so you probably shouldn't recommend him/her any more open headphones.
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM Post #25 of 34
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Quote:
 
And I do give them props for that. They have the best NC, and acceptable sound quality. Comfort's there by virtue of the around-ear design and light weight; there isn't anything else going for them.
 
Btw OP needs headphones for traveling ("bus & car rides", see pg 1), so you probably shouldn't recommend him/her any more open headphones.

Wow I just noticed my previous post has tons of spelling errors/ word errors. Anyways, if he needs closed headphones:
 
DT1350 or Sennheiser HD-25i 
 
V-Moda M80 is an excellent closed headphone but has mediocre noise isolation, which will make listening to music in noisy environments a pain. 
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM Post #29 of 34

Mr Newyear

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I wouldn't recommend ANC phones unless you absolutely need them as they interfere with the sound quality. Check out the Sennheiser hd25 1ii as they are great portables with good isolation. The Beyerdynamic dt1350s are very similarly designed aesthetically, though the sennheisers sport a plastic construction while the beyers are mostly metal.
 
Aug 7, 2012 at 10:24 PM Post #30 of 34

roker

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alright roker thanks, what do u recommend for around ear, closed headphones?

 
I like the Denon 1100 a lot.  It may be a bit bassy but it still sounds great and feels great on your head, while being pretty good at blocking noise.  I have to say, they have to be one of the most comfortable headphones I've ever owned.  I know a lot of people here will recommend the Sennheiser hd 25.  I think they sounds great, but it's so uncomfortable on your head that you'll find yourself taking them off more often than not.  
 
I'm not saying to base your purchase on comfort (believe me the Denon's are far ahead the Bose in sound quality), but I'm saying definitely factor it in.  Just a heads up, the HD25, 1350 and V-Moda are all on ear.  But there are plenty of options for the over the ear.  Another good one that's more versatile but often forgotten are the Sony MDR V6.  Quite a performer but not so portable headphone (the coil cord is pretty hefty).
 

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