Down the Path of No Return (My First Headphone Search)
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Rivalyn

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[Writer's Note: First part is mainly flavor, feel free to skip to the 2nd post to actually read content]
 
See, I always knew there was more out there... something just around the bend that as you turn the corner you get that "Aha!" moment. In that second you realize that you'll never be quite the same because things are revealed to you and you can't go back. You can't live in your normal blah world knowing that there's more. More clarity, more depth, and more sparkle to this day-to-day life.
 
Putting on my first set of headphones that weren't disposable was just such an event. I'd always known that music didn't sound quite the same when you listened to it over the tinny little earbuds you could buy at Best Buy, but who knew it was this different? It's reminiscent of the first time you listen to fully Dolby Digital in a 3d Movie theatre when you've always listened to your TV speakers. What a revelation!
 
So, on to the beginning. I recently decided that I needed a nice pair of headphones. My in-ears just weren't doing it for me anymore, the girlfriend wanted to watch shows while I was working, and as nice as they can get, chewing with in-ears is annoying (for me) to say the least.
 
Thus I figured I'd get some gaming headphones. Sounds like a good plan. They've got SEVEN POINT ONE SURROUND SOUND headphones out now. With microphones that turn off and on when you move them around. This MUST be the epitome of headset design! How wrong I was. With Best Buy's help I tried out some Logitech G930s. I honestly pondered whether I'd attached small bricks to my head. The comfort left a lot to be desired BUT they did sound much nicer than I was used to. Then I decided I'd try out the (supposed) holy grail of gaming headphones, the Astro A50s. That's some nice packaging right there! Still as nice as they might have sounded, I still wasn't sold on $300 headphones not being as comfortable as I hoped.
 
(Writer's Note: Don't kill me for the next part) So wandering over to the headphone section I tried on various pairs until I managed to rest a pair of Beats Studio on my ears. Now that's the comfort I'm talking about! They felt so cushiony, like little angelic clouds whispering music into my ears. Still I questioned the idea of spending $300 on some headphones so I thought I'd do a little research.
 
(Cue the entrance of Head-Fi)
 
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Rivalyn

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So after perusing the forums and searching "better than beats" a la Google, I decided to test out the ATH-M50 and the V-Moda M100. My initial test using a laptop made me think everyone was nuts recommending the M50. The sound was so clean I'd call it devoid of character. The M100 initially leapt out as an amazing pair of cans.
 
That being said, I'm nothing if not methodically so I took them both home. Whole new ball game! The M100's bass was suddenly overpowering (no amp used atm) to the point that it felt like they were physically pressing into my inner ear. The M50s suddenly demonstrated why everyone loved them so much. That clean sound was now richly resonant. My initial quick listen using Gavin DeGraw saw the M100s bass hit much harder but to the point of muddying things. A deeper drum accompanient in the middle of the song was hardly noticeable; whereas, with the M50 I could clearly distinguish it AND enjoy it!
 
Now the conundrum. Aesthetically I love the V-Moda. However I prefer the sound of the M50s. Where do I go from here (albeit I can just keep the M50s). I'm considering taking a look at the V80s with the idea that I can gauge whether the on-ear thing will do me in. Thoughts or any directions I should go? I appreciate being able to enjoy bass with a clean sound. Listen to everything from jazz, classical, hip hop, pop, and gaming. Appreciate everyone's time and suggestions.
 
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wolfetan44

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Open or closed? Music preferences? Budget? Off the bat, one of the best headphones for $300 is a Beyerdynamic DT880 and the Mad Dog by Mr.Speakers. Now if its $400 you can get a Hifiman HE-400.
 
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blessedangel

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Simple little saying we have here at Head-fi: "Friends dont let friends buy Beats." ...Seriously...dont get them. Waiting for your preferences to recommend a headphone :p
 
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wolfetan44

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Beyerdynamic DT770. Now, you haven't said, [size=13.333333969116211px]Open or closed? Music preferences? Budget?[/size]
 
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MannerPylon

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Sounds like you're off to a good start for your journey into audio.
 
In terms of gaming headphones, I wouldn't recommend many if any of the "gaming" headphones for listening to music. A really nice budget gaming headphone if you can spare without the microphone is the Audio-Technica AD700, it's got a great soundstage that is perfect for gaming.
 
When it comes to your problem, I would keep the cans that you think sound the best. Though as others said, need a few more details like budget and open or closed before we can give good recommendations.
 
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Rivalyn

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Thus far I have been testing closed, but I am open to trying out open (haha) headphones. I will  mainly be wearing this at home and work, so no specific need to block out any loud ambient noise.
 
Honestly if I had to set a budget, I'd say $350 or under. I'd LIKE to spend around the $150-200 mark, but understand that quality costs in all things. Music preferences were above but run the gamut. Definitely prefer harder hitting lows a la the M50 without destroying the individual notes aka the V100 (in my personal and limited experience).
 
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Supertoaster

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Check out the beyerdynamic DT770 Pro/80. It does everything the M50 does but better. However I would get the DT880 if you don't mind losing some bass or isolation.
 
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Rivalyn

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Alright, grabbing some DT770s to test out. Thanks for the suggestions and feel free to add any others.
 
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Mani ATH 87

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The Beyer's are a nice headphone, the bass was a bit much for me though, I also wasn't looking for an open headphone.

Try looking at the Audio Technica a900x, it's 10 times better then the M50's and since the M50's have gone up a lot in price, they don't cost a whole lot more. In my opinion the a900x are some of the best balanced headphones you can get in the 200-250 price range. Great non piercing highs, great mids, and detailed bass that isn't over powering, 
 
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MattTCG

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At the $300 level I have not heard anything better than the maddog by Mr. Speakers. It's an incredible bargain for the sound it is able to reproduce. At the $400 mark, I'd look at the he400 by hifiman. Both great hp's...
 
gL!!
 
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Quote:
At the $300 level I have not heard anything better than the maddog by Mr. Speakers. It's an incredible bargain for the sound it is able to reproduce. At the $400 mark, I'd look at the he400 by hifiman. Both great hp's...
 
gL!!
 
Seconded. I was very impressed with this model, it sounds like a $400+ headphone (when using a proper source)
 
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