Best Headphones under £200 for Rock/Vocals in 2015?
Apr 27, 2015 at 4:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

levidos

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I'm looking to get my first serious set of cans that I'm going to use practically all day long: at work, on the underground and sometimes at home. Therefore, noise isolation (and cancelling(?)) is important, and I will probably buy a FiiO DAC to get the maximum out of them.

Mainly I to listen to rock and pop music: Pink Floyd, The Doors, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead are some of my favourites.

Today I took my time at Currys to try on a couple of headphones and the Sennheiser Momentum Black was the only one that sounded interesting (there were only a couple of units exposed) but this pair is a bit expensive, costs £200 and no noise cancelling. Not sure about the isolation. The detail seemed quite allright despite the reviews. I could hear how ****ty spotify "extreme" quality is - I didn't had any better quality source at the moment. The sound was very spacious and they were comfortable as well for the time being.

Before, I owned a Brainwavz B2 which I really liked and got disappointed when I got my Shure SE215. That thing is dull.

Please let me know what kind of headphones do you recommend. Does the Momentum worth the money?

TL;DR: looking for a pair of cans around £200 that has very good detail, soundstage, comfy and noise isolation for office and possible noise cancelling for the subway.

Edit: I wonder how the SRH840 sound compared to the Momentums; based on the reviews they seem to fit my taste and are much cheaper.
 
Apr 27, 2015 at 7:59 PM Post #2 of 18

KG Jag

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You seem to like a can with a mid bass hump and at least somewhat rolled off treble.  The only reliable way to pick between the Shure and the Senn is to listen to each.
 
The Momentum is easier to drive.  The 840, which I prefer between the two, can be "iffy" with some low powered devices.
 
The best $200 can I have heard to date is the semi-open AKG K 7XX, which may not ye be easily available to you in the UK.  However, it is more neutral than the two cans above and needs a modest amp.
 
Apr 27, 2015 at 8:48 PM Post #3 of 18

Beyakusenn

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The best $200 can I have heard to date is the semi-open AKG K 7XX, which may not ye be easily available to you in the UK.  However, it is more neutral than the two cans above and needs a modest amp.

I wouldn't recommend any (semi-)open headphones when sound isolation is important. The K7XX is no option here.
 
I think the Momentum is a very good option at it's price point, it has a better build than the SRH840 and if your ears fit into the cups, they are more comfortable as well. The SRH840 is less detailed, but has a better tonality in my opinion. I think it would suit your tastes.
 
Another headphone that I used to own and enjoy is the Sennheiser PXC350. It's a noise cancelling headphone that uses AAA batteries (which last for quite a while) and it has a similar sound to the momentums, but with a bit more lively treble (not bright by the way). It folds flat and comes with a handy, relatively thin carrying case. I believe the PXC350 is still available in some places, but it is discontinued so it won't be easy to find them. The PXC450 are still in production, but those are quite a bit more expensive.
 
Apr 27, 2015 at 9:53 PM Post #4 of 18

KG Jag

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The best $200 can I have heard to date is the semi-open AKG K 7XX, which may not ye be easily available to you in the UK.  However, it is more neutral than the two cans above and needs a modest amp.

I wouldn't recommend any (semi-)open headphones when sound isolation is important. The K7XX is no option here.
 
I think the Momentum is a very good option at it's price point, it has a better build than the SRH840 and if your ears fit into the cups, they are more comfortable as well. The SRH840 is less detailed, but has a better tonality in my opinion. I think it would suit your tastes.
 
Another headphone that I used to own and enjoy is the Sennheiser PXC350. It's a noise cancelling headphone that uses AAA batteries (which last for quite a while) and it has a similar sound to the momentums, but with a bit more lively treble (not bright by the way). It folds flat and comes with a handy, relatively thin carrying case. I believe the PXC350 is still available in some places, but it is discontinued so it won't be easy to find them. The PXC450 are still in production, but those are quite a bit more expensive.

 
Agreed--is not a recommendation for OP's stated uses and needs.  It is however a benchmark in this price class.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 10:45 AM Post #5 of 18

taffy2207

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OP Budget is £200, that's $307 USD.
 
Just a heads up, fellas 
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Apr 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM Post #6 of 18

levidos

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Thank you for all the replies.
 
After RTFM (/a/headphone-buying-guide) I ended up ordering a used SRH940 which I found for £130 on Amazon. They seem to be a good price considering the RRP here is £250 for them.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 11:26 AM Post #7 of 18

taffy2207

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Apr 28, 2015 at 2:30 PM Post #10 of 18

KG Jag

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  The 940 will need an amp.


I think what you are trying to say is "the 940's could benefit from an amp."
wink_face.gif

At 42 ohms they'll probably work as well without one.
 
Seems like a good price for these headphones; don't forget to let us know what you thought


Nope--what I'm saying--from personal experience--is that from most low powered devices, you will not get nearly what the 940 is designed to offer without an amp.  In fact with these devices the 840 sounds significantly better than the 940 when both are unamped.
 
May 6, 2015 at 5:33 PM Post #13 of 18

levidos

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Well, after a couple of days of use I realized that these phones are not really for me.
 
First of all they are bulky and are very ugly, you look like a UFO with them on. The headphone jack is bigger than my mp3 player. My head starts to hurt only after 2 hours of use.
 
The sound is quite flat and I was expecting more detail. I ordered a FiiO E18 which will probably help with the sound.
 
But in the end I'm considering to return it and to get either a Sennheiser Urbanite XL or top up my budget and get a refurbished Bowers & Wilkins P7 for £240 which will hopefully have more detail, warmer sound and look better. Or just get a Shure SE535 (using SE215 at the moment).
 
Also, I wonder how the PXC450 compares to all these? Somewhere I read that the noise cancelling actually cancels only static noise so it would not be too much of a help on the underground I guess?
 
 
What do you guys think?
 
May 6, 2015 at 5:42 PM Post #14 of 18

KG Jag

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  Well, after a couple of days of use I realized that these phones are not really for me.
 
First of all they are bulky and are very ugly, you look like a UFO with them on. The headphone jack is bigger than my mp3 player. My head starts to hurt only after 2 hours of use.
 
The sound is quite flat and I was expecting more detail. I ordered a FiiO E18 which will probably help with the sound.
 
But in the end I'm considering to return it and to get either a Sennheiser Urbanite XL or top up my budget and get a refurbished Bowers & Wilkins P7 for £240 which will hopefully have more detail, warmer sound and look better. Or just get a Shure SE535 (using SE215 at the moment).
 
Also, I wonder how the PXC450 compares to all these? Somewhere I read that the noise cancelling actually cancels only static noise so it would not be too much of a help on the underground I guess?
 
 
What do you guys think?


If you do have yet used them with an amp, you have not heard them the way they are designed to sound.
 
May 7, 2015 at 2:26 AM Post #15 of 18

Beyakusenn

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  Well, after a couple of days of use I realized that these phones are not really for me.
 
First of all they are bulky and are very ugly, you look like a UFO with them on. The headphone jack is bigger than my mp3 player. My head starts to hurt only after 2 hours of use.
 
The sound is quite flat and I was expecting more detail. I ordered a FiiO E18 which will probably help with the sound.
 
But in the end I'm considering to return it and to get either a Sennheiser Urbanite XL or top up my budget and get a refurbished Bowers & Wilkins P7 for £240 which will hopefully have more detail, warmer sound and look better. Or just get a Shure SE535 (using SE215 at the moment).
 
Also, I wonder how the PXC450 compares to all these? Somewhere I read that the noise cancelling actually cancels only static noise so it would not be too much of a help on the underground I guess?
 
 
What do you guys think?

I was afraid it was going to be like this...
 
If the SRH940 is too large for you, then the Urbanite XL won't be much better. By the way: the Urbanite XL is (again) very different from the SRH940 in terms of sound signature. They are darker than the Momentums and in my experience less detailed. A flat sound doesn't mean more detail by the way.
 
Also the Urbanite XL have round earcups that are likely to touch your auricles and make the headphone less comfortable for longer listening sessions. I think the Momentums would be a better option for you.
 
The P7 is a very good looking headphone compared to the previous two ans it certainly delivers better sound quality with a warm tonality. That being said, there are better alternatives for the price of a P7. Both the OPPO PM-3 (neutral) and the Denon AH-MM400 (warm) are the best portable headphones at their price. It might be hard to find a deal like the one you have for the P7 though.
 
The PXC450, while it's by far the most comfortable headphone from the ones I've mentioned and it has a more sleek design than the SRH940, it's quite large (see pic below). It's true that the noise cancelling is not as good as a Bose, but it does more than just static noise. By the way, there is a lot of 'static' noise on the underground.
 
Compared to Denon:
 

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