Help finding versatile cans with good performance on laptops, portables, and hifi
Mar 26, 2013 at 4:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jul 18, 2012
I've read a lot of direct comparison forum topics, but haven't been able to track down any good suggestions/information for versatile headphones that perform well both on laptop listening and when connected to my hifi system. So here I go.
I've been looking for some decent upgrade headphones to the Sennheiser HD 280s I've had forever now. I'm finding it pretty difficult to find something that suits my needs. As far as headphone listening goes, I do a lot of headphone listening with my laptop and occasionally with my iPod, however, I'd also like the headphone to perform well when connected to my system via my headphone amp.
Most of the headphones I've come across are either for portable/laptop use, or not at all, and it's difficult to find some that will perform well for both applications. I'm not looking for anything top of the line or incredible, and I do not want to get a separate headphone amp for my laptop because it's difficult to have all of that connected when laying in bed (unless any of you have a practical solution).
I'm looking for over-ear headphones since they generally are more comfortable to me and also usually provide some level of noise isolation (though not a huge requirement).
The few I've looked at are:
AKG K550
AKG K271 (I've heard these can be slightly clinical and lack proper bass response)
Sennheiser Momentum (though these seem a little too designer, I've read good things about their sound)
Beyerdynamic t70P (on the expensive side of what I'm looking at)
I realize that I won't get life-changing sound out of any of these options, but I'm willing to sacrifice some for versatility. Since these will be primarily used for listening on my laptop, I decided my main focus should be on finding the best headphone options in my budget with low enough impedance to work well on that.
Feel free to suggest any current production models I haven't listed above, and please please give any and all input you can. Also my budget is about $500 max.
As far as my music taste goes, it varies wildly, though I do not listen to rap/hip-hop much at all, and generally stay away from harder rock. Jazz, indie rock, 'chillwave,' ambient, etc. are more my style.
My complaints with my current headphones (Senn HD280) are that they are a bit too bass-heavy and sound muddy. They lack clarity have not much of a soundstage at all. They are okay for their price, but after really focusing on my hifi system for the past few years, they just do not cut it at all anymore.
Thanks for any replies!
Mar 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM Post #2 of 2


1000+ Head-Fier
Jun 19, 2009
I have the K550's and would recommend them for your use. They are not bass heavy at all, and have excellent clarity and soundstage for the price and type of headphone. The comfort is also superb and I quite like the modern styling. The seal can be a little finicky sometimes, though, so you might have to play with it to get the best results. My head's on the smaller side, though, and I was still able to get the K550's to work well for me. The Momentums have a little bit of a bass boost, so they might not fit your needs well. The t70p's are a little disappointing from what I've heard.

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