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Closed back portable(ish) headphones $300-500

  1. Koei
    I'm kinda looking into a replacement for my Oppo PM-3. They have to closed with good isolation (my other daily driver is an HD-25), have a replaceable cable, and not be too big. Preferable leather pads and headband. The pads and headband on my PM-3 are completely ****ed because its not real leather. So I'd prefer real leather, but if replacement parts are easy to get I'm ok with pleather also.

    I am really struggling to find something that ticks all the boxes, so second hand is also an option.
  2. Mhog55
    Being you have both the pm-3 and hd 25, I have little idea as to what your sound preferences may be. I loved the hd 25, but sold it as it's on ear. If you're after something closer to that, and not the pm-3, I'd highly recommend the 99 Noir with the smaller pads. If you want something more portable, the Denon ah-mm400 comes to mind. The Beoplay H6 is a great can as well. As far as real leather goes, have no idea.
  3. Koei
    Yeah they sound quite different, but in terms of sound I guess I prefer a good midrange. The Oppo can be a little soft in the high and could use some spice. The low end extension isn't very important for me, the quality of it more so. Not a v-shape person.
  4. blackdragon87
    Would second the recommendation of the noirs
  5. Koei
    To add I guess want in a headphone that has a wider soundstage and is more breathy (is that a thing?). I know I am looking for closed headphones, but both I own aren't known for a good soundstage.
  6. PopZeus
    Yeah, the Noirs with the smaller pads have pretty great soundstage for a closed back. Plenty of bass also, but better soundstage than the PM-3s for sure. Not real leather, but when the parts are as easy to replace as they can be with any Meze 99 series headphones, that’s ultimately a bigger deal to me, Fwiw, I think the Beoplay H6 uses real lamb skin, but I prefer the Noir’s sound quality. And I don’t know if it’s parts are as user-replaceable either.
  7. Mhog55
    H6 has an impressive out of your head experience for a closed back. More so than my 99 Classics imo. More airy as well. More alive and energetic than the pm-3, but not on the level of the hd 25. Subjective opinion, but the 99 is the best of the bunch for rock and metal. I'd describe the H6 as smooth with body and character. I own both cans, have tried far too many portable closed backs, and these are the two that remain on my rack.
  8. Koei
    I tried some headphones today:

    H9: Just to try a B&O. Didn't like the headband, rest seemed to be okay.
    Denon AH-D5200: not my cup of tea.
    B&W P9: pretty good, I'd say the general sound signature is pretty close to my PM-3. Didn't have much time so only tested it with 2 tracks. But they are a bit too expensive and the fit wasn't great.
  9. bcaulf17
    Portable wired closed headphones are in a strange niche spot right now with wireless becoming a priority. The best one available right now might be the 99 Noir. I owned it briefly but sold it so I could preorder the DT 177X. I also own the H6 and I think I preferred it slightly to the 99 (slightly better resolution and detail, better clarity). If mids are your thing though the 99 might be for you. The H6 mids are pretty good but nothing special. The 99 is cheaper and might be easier to obtain since the H6 is technically discontinued.

    FWIW, I think B&W is selling P7’s on their site, recertified for $179...
  10. PopZeus
    Yes, the mids on the 99 Noir rule. They hook me everytime I put the 99 on my head. Also, running them balanced is a must-have feature for me. But like you said, the H6 isn't a bad alternative when it comes to closed backs in this price range. B&O has always been a brand I liked before I knew what audiophile gear was.
  11. Koei
    Ugh, so there is a portable version of the DT1770. Europeans getting boned again. I dislike massdrop so much.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  12. bcaulf17
    If you are patient I’d wager used ones would pop up. I also think Massdrop is currently testing European shipping with a few products, which means they might start international support.

    That being said, I’m still not sure I’d actually consider this “portable” version portable. The only thing that makes it portable is the lower impedance, and the cable might be slightly shorter, but it still looks a little too long for a portable. And it’s still a big Beyer headphone lol. It doesn’t even come with a case.
  13. Koei
    Size and case don't matter. I wear it around my neck to work and home. The cable can also be replaced. I just drive it using my phone + zuperdac-s. That little dac probably can't handle the 250ohm version.

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