[Headphone Help] Looking for a follow-up to the ATH-M50. Preferably $200-$300
May 14, 2015 at 11:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

etb513

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Hi all,
 
I came to this forum back in 2010 asking for advice on headphones and received a lot of great advice and ended up purchasing the Audio Technica ATH-M50 set. It was a great purchase and the phones are still quite functional even five years later, but they're starting to show their age in terms of wear and tear on the cable and headband (I've also replaced the earpads twice). I'm thinking it's about time to look into getting a new pair.
 
I could probably just buy another M50 or M50x set and be content, but I'd like to take the opportunity to explore and perhaps move on to a slightly more expensive mid-range pair, and hopefully one that can address some of my issues with the M50. So, in brief, below is what I'm looking for. I'm flexible on any of these points if there's an exceptional pair that doesn't quite match everything.
 
- Closed circumaural cans. This is purely out of concern for leakage - I'll sometimes use these in public places and I don't want to bother people.
- Relatively flat frequency response. While I mostly will use these for casual music listening, I do record/produce as a hobby, so something a touch flatter than the M50 might be good. That being said...
- Good bass extension. I love the M50 for this and enjoy my bass, provided it's not overwhelming/fatiguing.
- Low-to-mid input impedance. I don't want to have to worry about what's driving them too much.
- Comfortable. This is my biggest issue with the M50. They took forever to loosen up and the pads aren't great; I swapped them out for velour pads.
- Preferably around the $200 to $300 range (or lower, if appropriate).
 
If my music preferences are of any impact, I listen to a little of everything, but mostly rock and electronica. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Also, totally off-topic - anyone know of a good community like Head-Fi where I could get advice on speakers?
 
Thanks,
Ethan
 
May 15, 2015 at 1:14 AM Post #2 of 12

cel4145

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If you have an Apple store nearby, they usually have the B&W P7 on display. Good bass emphasis that I think an M50 fan would like, but not really the bit more neutral sound you are looking for :)
 
May 15, 2015 at 12:02 PM Post #3 of 12

etb513

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Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have to see where the closest Apple store is; I'd definitely be happier being able to try the headphones before buying, especially if it's going to be a $400 investment. Regarding the bass emphasis, I'll just have to do some reading and give them a good listen and see how it feels.
 
Edit: After doing some reading, it does look like they might be a bit too colored compared to what I'm looking for this time around. I'll still give them a listen, though!
 
May 15, 2015 at 12:32 PM Post #4 of 12

inthere

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The quality on sub-300 headphones has greatly improved, just about every store now has a headphone listening rack where you can compare the cans yourself. And Apple store would probably be the worst choice since they're usually Beats-heavy with their display.
 
May 15, 2015 at 1:31 PM Post #6 of 12

liquidzoo

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If you have a Guitar Center near you, they usually have a good selection of headphones.
 
A Best Buy with a Magnolia home theater section might have some too (the one near my office has some Sennheiser, AKG, and Denon headphones).
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:08 PM Post #7 of 12

cel4145

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Edit: After doing some reading, it does look like they might be a bit too colored compared to what I'm looking for this time around. I'll still give them a listen, though!


And even if you find them too colored, it gives you yet another headphone for looking at where people on Head-Fi are giving impressions of headphones and offering comparisons. So it all helps. :)

The quality on sub-300 headphones has greatly improved, just about every store now has a headphone listening rack where you can compare the cans yourself. And Apple store would probably be the worst choice since they're usually Beats-heavy with their display.


Here in the US, that's not true. The headphone racks at stores (when they have them) generally only have the bass heavy consumer headphones that people like. I can't find anywhere locally to me with decent headphones to demo. The Apple store is actually about the best.
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM Post #8 of 12

Darkseth

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You might give the NAD Viso HP 50 a shot :wink: heared only good about that one.
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/i-love-these-headphonesthe-nad-viso-hp50
 
Above 200 bucks, maybe V-Moda Crossfade m-100 ?
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/bassheads-delight-v-moda-crossfade-m-100
 
May 16, 2015 at 6:53 AM Post #9 of 12

inthere

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And even if you find them too colored, it gives you yet another headphone for looking at where people on Head-Fi are giving impressions of headphones and offering comparisons. So it all helps.
smily_headphones1.gif

Here in the US, that's not true. The headphone racks at stores (when they have them) generally only have the bass heavy consumer headphones that people like. I can't find anywhere locally to me with decent headphones to demo. The Apple store is actually about the best.

 Remember, he's looking for upgrades to M50's which is just about every pair of headphones on display, I'm sure he'll hear something he likes better. And stores like Best Buy have way more extensive selections than Apple in my experience. At any rate, go to both stores.
 
May 16, 2015 at 12:38 PM Post #10 of 12

cel4145

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 Remember, he's looking for upgrades to M50's which is just about every pair of headphones on display, I'm sure he'll hear something he likes better. And stores like Best Buy have way more extensive selections than Apple in my experience. At any rate, go to both stores.


Not at my BestBuy or the stores in my area. Now if there is a BestBuy Magnolia store in his area, they will typically have some nicer, higher end headphones. But those are flagship stores, and not available in every locale.
 
May 22, 2015 at 9:06 PM Post #11 of 12

etb513

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Gonna bump this - I appreciate everyone's advice so far, and I'll make the trip to some local stores to try various phones out in person. It'd be great if anyone has more specific models to recommend. Again, although I love the bass extension on the M50, I think I'd like to shoot for something slightly more neutral this time around.
 
May 23, 2015 at 3:36 PM Post #12 of 12

Darkseth

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Then try a Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (if you like it portable), which has a bass slider (so it can be light bass, linear, or strong bass impact. Although, soundquality should be slightly below DT 770 Pro / m50 maybe too.)
 
On 200€, theres the fairly new Beyerdynamic Custom Studio. Its like a DT-model (also from sounding) with bass-slider.
Lowest setting has a similar bass amount like an AKG K701 (or slightly below DT 880), and highest is similar to the m50/sennheiser HD 650~ something like that.
Soundquality wise: Custom Studio > DT 770 > Custom One Pro
 

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