Headphone recommendations for under $600?
Oct 8, 2014 at 8:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

jordannn15

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I don't care if they are open or closed but I want to be able to drive them relatively easy. I listen to mostly hip-hop/rap so I want very good and powerful bass but don't want it to overpower the mids and highs. Other genres I listen to would be rock, r&b, and some pop I guess.

I am also looking into high resolution DAP's such as the ibasso dx50 but not sure which would be the best to pair with whichever headphones I get. My budget for the DAP is $300 or less.

List of most important things in no order:
1. Able to be driven off of whatever high res DAP you guys recommend without needing an external dac/amp
2. Bass impact and quality without losing quality of mids and highs
3. Comfortable pads (velour preferrably)
4. Looks don't matter just so long as they don't look like the vmoda headphones which are appalling IMO

Anything I left out or just any questions just ask, thanks in advance!
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM Post #2 of 30

jordannn15

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I figure instead of giving you a budget for each I'll just give a total budget of $800 maybe a bit more. Some of the cans I am looking at right now are the hifiman he-400i ($425) and he-500 ($520).
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 11:43 AM Post #3 of 30

SteveHiFi

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For your genres you will definitely want a planar headphone if it's open backed to get that bass still - I have yet to try the HE-400i but have the original HE-400, they make rap sound really def.
wink_face.gif

 
Closed back will be bassier generally, the Pioneer SE-MX9 range is very good in my opinion - http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/pioneer-se-mx9/
 
And the Sennheiser Urbanite is very good for that genre - I've tried them and they were made for rap music. They sound like Beats should have sounded all along.
 
As for a DAP, a Fiio X3 or X5 will be great - they have a slightly warm sound which will be good for rap too.
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM Post #4 of 30

jordannn15

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For your genres you will definitely want a planar headphone if it's open backed to get that bass still - I have yet to try the HE-400i but have the original HE-400, they make rap sound really def. :wink_face:

Closed back will be bassier generally, the Pioneer SE-MX9 range is very good in my opinion - http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/pioneer-se-mx9/

And the Sennheiser Urbanite is very good for that genre - I've tried them and they were made for rap music. They sound like Beats should have sounded all along.

As for a DAP, a Fiio X3 or X5 will be great - they have a slightly warm sound which will be good for rap too.


Thanks for the recommendations! One thing I forgot to mention is it needs to be over ear, I just can't stand on ear cans. Also how is the soundstage, mids, and highs on your he-400's? Reviews on the he-400i say that the mids and highs are better than the he-400 but the bass isn't as impactful and heavy. I was looking into the X3 and X5 too, the only thing I don't like about them is there isn't any internal storage, forcing me to buy an sd card increasing the price. But I guess I haven't found anything better at the same price as either of those.
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM Post #5 of 30

q2klepto

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I'm looking to upgrade from HE-400s to either 400i or 560s - but i do enjoy bass for modern songs, so i might add a few db on those cans.
 
Fidelio X1 i heard is good and produces good bass.  Other than that 400/400i would be my recommendation for anything under $500. 
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 1:49 PM Post #6 of 30

jordannn15

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I'm looking to upgrade from HE-400s to either 400i or 560s - but i do enjoy bass for modern songs, so i might add a few db on those cans.

Fidelio X1 i heard is good and produces good bass.  Other than that 400/400i would be my recommendation for anything under $500. 


I have tried the Fidelio X1 and enjoyed the sound signature they have. The Fidelio X2's are out and are the same price as the he-400's. So those are going to be my main 3 as of right now it seems. Which would you guys recommend out of the Fidelio X2, he-400, and he-400i? Oh and I have decided to go with the Fiio X5 for my DAP if that helps.
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 8:00 PM Post #7 of 30

jordannn15

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I have done some research and looked at reviews for the he-400i and have decided against it. So now basically it's between the he-400, fidelio x1, and fidelio x2, which ever one has the best overall sound and soundstage with good impactful bass. Unless someone has another suggestion for a different open or closed headphone?
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 9:10 PM Post #8 of 30

BobG55

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Sennheiser HD600
 
Shure SRH1540
 


Both excellent for the price & for many audiophiles, just as good or even better than many high priced so called "elite" headphones.
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 9:30 PM Post #9 of 30

jordannn15

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Sennheiser HD600


 


Shure SRH1540


 







Both excellent for the price & for many audiophiles, just as good or even better than many high priced so called "elite" headphones.

 


I used to own and have listened to the HD650's combined with a Schiit Vali and I just didn't like the sound signature of them. Not bassy enough for me and I have heard the 600's are even more neutral than the 650's. As for the Shure's, I was looking at those a while back and nobody seemed to recommend them to me even after I mentioned them. So, how do they compare with the he-400's and fidelio x1's?
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 9:42 PM Post #10 of 30

BobG55

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Well Jordannn15 I can't help you with the comparison you asked about mainly because I've never owned nor have I ever listened to those two headphones.  But, I suggest you read the following review about the SRH1540 by Tyll Hertsens, a highly respected headphone analyst who writes on the Innerfidelity site :
 
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/cool-comfy-and-competent-shure-srh1540
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 10:11 PM Post #11 of 30

jordannn15

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Firstly, I just want to say that I love his reviews! Whenever I look for a review on a headphone I always hope he has done one on whichever headphone I am looking at. After I have thought about this a little bit more I guess I am going to be biased toward open-back headphones, mainly because of the soundstage I have experienced on the Fidelio X1's and HD650's. So I am sorry and thank you for the Shure SRH1540 suggestion but do you know any other open-back cans that are bassy other than he-400 and Fidelio X1's that are in this price bracket? The longer I think about these, the more I lean towards the X1's because they were the first pair of open headphones I tried and I don't know but I just really liked the sound I guess.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 12:12 AM Post #12 of 30

BobG55

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Firstly, I just want to say that I love his reviews! Whenever I look for a review on a headphone I always hope he has done one on whichever headphone I am looking at. After I have thought about this a little bit more I guess I am going to be biased toward open-back headphones, mainly because of the soundstage I have experienced on the Fidelio X1's and HD650's. So I am sorry and thank you for the Shure SRH1540 suggestion but do you know any other open-back cans that are bassy other than he-400 and Fidelio X1's that are in this price bracket? The longer I think about these, the more I lean towards the X1's because they were the first pair of open headphones I tried and I don't know but I just really liked the sound I guess.


You're welcome.  I don't know about any other ​bassy open back HPs in this price range apart from the HD650.  The reason being that I own both HD6x0 and with the amplifiers I use I personally find them quite bassy.  But then we'd be getting into an amp discussion & that's a whole other can of worms.  The only HPs considered bassy that I've read/heard about lately are Mr Speakers Alpha Dogs sold at $599.00 ..... but .... they're closed back.  I suppose you'll have to do a bit more research or you can go with the ones you mentioned at first, the hifiman he-400i ($425) and he-500 ($520).  Good luck, hope you find what you're looking for.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 4:08 AM Post #13 of 30

SteveHiFi

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..The longer I think about these, the more I lean towards the X1's because they were the first pair of open headphones I tried and I don't know but I just really liked the sound I guess.

 
Well there's your answer, although there will be a few changes in the sound if you're using them with a different source/player.
 
By the way the Fiio X3 has an internal memory if you want to save on SD cards, but it's only 8Gb (more like 7 in reality).
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM Post #14 of 30

jordannn15

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Well there's your answer, although there will be a few changes in the sound if you're using them with a different source/player.

By the way the Fiio X3 has an internal memory if you want to save on SD cards, but it's only 8Gb (more like 7 in reality).


I think you're right, I don't know what it is about them that I like so much. But it should be a better overall sound seeing as I listened to them directly from my iPhone 5c through the 3.5mm jack which obviously isn't too good. Yeah I'm just going to try to get this X5 on ebay for $300 and then get a 128gb sd card for it. That should last a while and I always have the option to add another 128gb or more once they update the firmware :)
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM Post #15 of 30

Alphanewb

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Because the 400i ( a Planar ) was mentioned earlier but removed from contention I thought I'd suggest you look at Mr. Speakers.
 

I just bought a set of Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs which I love. List is $599 USD but with the Alpha Prime just announced ($999) many AD owners are selling as its unclear at this point whether the AD's can be upgraded to Alpha Prime's (as Mr. Speakers has done in the past). The AD's have been out for little over a year so it should not be hard to find lightly used versions for a great price. They are not the easiest to drive but with your $800 budget you do have some options. You could also look into the Mad Dogs with Alpha Pads which are considerably less expensive and have more bass than the ADs.
 

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