Help choosing headphones
Feb 9, 2013 at 5:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Feb 9, 2013
Hey all, I am a hope-to-be audiophile in the market for a set of good quality headphones around $300-400 (maybe $500 for the right set). I’ve been looking a lot into headphones over the last few days in an effort to find a pair that will best suit me; however I have very little actual experience with quality headphones. Currently I own Beats Studio headphones (yes, I know) and a pair of Ultrasone HFI 550’s, and aside from a few other models owned by friends/family have not heard anything else. If I could get feedback on the models I’m looking into or references to personal favorites, it would be greatly appreciated.
Some things in general I’m looking for:
1. No on-ear headphones: there is nothing I hate more in regard to headphone ergonomics than having something pressed against my ears, small cups on over-ear headphones also tend to be a deal breaker for me.
2. I have a VERY large head (XXL-XXXL) so a smaller headband or flimsy build quality would have me constantly worried about breaking it.
3. I would like to keep impedance down to reasonable levels so that I have the option of listening un-amped on my phone, iPod, etc.
4. I’m not a fan of too much treble or tinny sounding audio, so I’d like to find a headphone with more pronounced mids and lows just to err on the safe side.
5. While not extremely important, a high range of motion and articulation is always a plus, would love to be able to fold them for travel like my 550’s.
6. I would prefer closed headphones for less sound leakage, though I am willing to try open backed.
A few models I am looking at right now as prospective buys include:
Audio Technica ATH M50S
My “safe” choice, since these seem to come very highly recommended for their price range, that said, I am willing to spend more on headphones than these would cost and if I could get a better pair for a higher price I would prefer to.
Beyerdynamic DT 880
The set I like the most so far. Their frequency response graph on =963&graphID[1]=&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&graphType=0&buttonSelection=Compare+Headphones] looked promising and the cups are nice and large, the only big problem for me is impedance. The reviewer in this video said that the 32 OHM versions did not sound that great for what you pay for. They also said that the 250 OHM versions were decent on mobile devices, but nevertheless 250 OHM sounds pretty high to me for an un-amped mobile device. Also out of curiosity, is it possible to get the DT 880 PRO with a straight cable?
Denon AHD2000
This seems to be a very well-liked headphone. I have only heard good things about the Dx000 series, and this is definitely backed up by what I saw on On the negative side, the build style and general structure of the headphones looks, in a word, unorthodox. I do not want to be stuck with an awkward pair of headphones which I do not enjoy wearing. Additionally, I have been made aware that they were discontinued, and I’m not sure how long I want to spend hunting down a pair.
Sennheiser HD 650
I will start by saying that I should not like these headphones. The band looks pretty small and tight which has me worried, it looks like it would have a lot of leakage even compared to other open-backed headphones, and while Sennheiser lists its OHM at 300, it’s graphed as rising past 400 around the low-mids. Despite this, I keep coming back to the 650’s as an option. They look like a very good pair of headphones, and I’ve heard a lot of good things concerning the sound both from friends and around the net. To top it all off, it’s listed as the #1 pair of headphones on this site, which has to be worth something, right?
Thank you to all who read through my entire spiel. I might be overthinking this, but I really want to make a purchase I can enjoy and be proud of. If at any point I sounded like I don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s because I probably don’t, please be nice about it XD
Anyways, I can’t wait to see what you all have to say, and I look forward to a long future of high fidelity and audiophilia :)
Regards, Foxtrot
Feb 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM Post #2 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jan 20, 2013
Out of what you have there so far, I would say the denons, though not very portable, they are absolutely fantastic. Maybe take a look at the V-Moda M-100, a bit more portable.

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