Looking for a decent closed headphone for around 200 bucks
Mar 29, 2013 at 9:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

Anewills

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I've been doing some research for a while and have barely narrowed it down.  I'm looking to buy a decent over ear closed headphone to upgrade from my sennheiser hd428.  I enjoy the 428's a lot but I'm looking for something that jumps out at me a little more and because I'm getting into the hobby more.  My music consists of mostly classic and prog rock, fusion, and a bunch of solo guitarists.  In general i like a fairly neutral sound, has to be an accurate representation of the music.  I like a little extra bass but nothing too crazy that the rest of the music feels like it's lacking.  Ideally I want something that has very good noise isolation because I can't stand when other people can hear my headphones.  A large soundstage is a huge plus too.  I'm open to pretty much all suggestions. But here are a few that have caught my interest so far.  I'd say 250 is probably my max budget, but if something is slightly more expensive I have a little more wiggle room. My sources are pretty much either my computer or my Iphone. I'd prefer something that doesn't need an amp.

Some that I have been looking at are the audio-technica m50, a900x, beyerdynamic dt770, and akg k550

Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated 

 
 
Mar 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM Post #3 of 25

obobskivich

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I'd scratch the M50. Boomy bass, no soundstage, and they aren't comfortable (that's the "quick'n'dirty" version). A900X and K550 would probably be fine (either of them); try both before you buy (or shop somewhere with a good return policy) as fit on both of them can be temperamental (the K550 can be hard to get a seal with, and the A900X can just be awkward to wear).

Other cans that come to mind based on your wants:

- Koss MV1 or PRO4/AA - if you can deal with the weight/size, and if you have a device that'll handle 250 ohms and <100 dB/mW (they aren't "easy" to drive, but they aren't dragons either), I think either would be a good candidate. The MV1 are considerably more comfortable.

- Bose AE2 - much more laid-back than the ATs, AKGs, etc, a fairly warm and relaxed sound, good sound-stage, very easily driven, lots of isolation. These would be kind of the opposite direction of the A900X/K550/MV1/PRO4 sound, but still might be worth looking at - you might find that you like the more laid-back sound.
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM Post #4 of 25

Anewills

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Quote:
I'd scratch the M50. Boomy bass, no soundstage, and they aren't comfortable (that's the "quick'n'dirty" version). A900X and K550 would probably be fine (either of them); try both before you buy (or shop somewhere with a good return policy) as fit on both of them can be temperamental (the K550 can be hard to get a seal with, and the A900X can just be awkward to wear).

Other cans that come to mind based on your wants:

- Koss MV1 or PRO4/AA - if you can deal with the weight/size, and if you have a device that'll handle 250 ohms and <100 dB/mW (they aren't "easy" to drive, but they aren't dragons either), I think either would be a good candidate. The MV1 are considerably more comfortable.

- Bose AE2 - much more laid-back than the ATs, AKGs, etc, a fairly warm and relaxed sound, good sound-stage, very easily driven, lots of isolation. These would be kind of the opposite direction of the A900X/K550/MV1/PRO4 sound, but still might be worth looking at - you might find that you like the more laid-back sound.


Would you consider the hd428's to be pretty laid back? I think I tried out the AE2's at best buy and was fairly impressed by them at the time.  I should take another look at them now that i have a little bit more knowledge about sound.
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 12:49 AM Post #5 of 25

Anewills

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I never finished that last post... I read a few non-flattering reviews on the koss mv1's.  From what I hear they require 100+ hours of break-in to even be "bearable" to listen to.  Also hear complaints about colored mids and I'm really trying to stick to something with an accurate representation.  Do you own a pair of the MV1's and if so what's your opinion on the sound? 
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM Post #6 of 25

obobskivich

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Haven't heard the HD 428.

I never finished that last post... I read a few non-flattering reviews on the koss mv1's.  From what I hear they require 100+ hours of break-in to even be "bearable" to listen to.  Also hear complaints about colored mids and I'm really trying to stick to something with an accurate representation.  Do you own a pair of the MV1's and if so what's your opinion on the sound? 


Yes, I own a pair of MV1s (I own the MV1 and AE2, have owned the PRO4/AA (and 4/A) and have demo'd the A900X and K550 at the same time), and I would not agree with those claims at all. :xf_eek:


They're a very good closed headphone overall. They have a relatively bright and punchy sound, with good bass extension (impact is appropriate, but it isn't the primary focus of their presentation, and a very clear midrange (they do a very nice job with vocals, strings, keys, that sort of thing). They excel with acoustic genres, but are fast and balanced enough to tackle pretty much anything with relative ease. I'd rank them ahead of the AE2 in most ways.

I'd also put the whole "accurate presentation" thing out of your mind; you're chasing dragons. :deadhorse: (The broader point here is that everything is going to be colored, and you're better off figuring out what you like, and going after that, as opposed to taking an absolutist approach and going after "ruler flat" or similar pipe dreams).
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 1:38 AM Post #7 of 25

KetchupNinja

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Quote:
 
Some that I have been looking at are the audio-technica m50, a900x, beyerdynamic dt770, and akg k550
 

 
I currently own all of these headphones except for the m50.  I have auditioned them though and didn't like them very much.  Out of the ones you've listed, I would have to say it's between the K550 and the A900x just as obobskivich had suggested.  They both have their fit issues but I do enjoy these two more for general music listening.  I feel that the K550 has great isolation if you can a proper seal.  I really like the sound of the A900x's, but the fit is very akward and it leaks out more sound than any other closed headphone than I own.
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM Post #8 of 25

nbohaychuk

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I'd scratch the M50. Boomy bass, no soundstage, and they aren't comfortable (that's the "quick'n'dirty" version). A900X and K550 would probably be fine (either of them); try both before you buy (or shop somewhere with a good return policy) as fit on both of them can be temperamental (the K550 can be hard to get a seal with, and the A900X can just be awkward to wear).

Other cans that come to mind based on your wants:

- Koss MV1 or PRO4/AA - if you can deal with the weight/size, and if you have a device that'll handle 250 ohms and <100 dB/mW (they aren't "easy" to drive, but they aren't dragons either), I think either would be a good candidate. The MV1 are considerably more comfortable.

- Bose AE2 - much more laid-back than the ATs, AKGs, etc, a fairly warm and relaxed sound, good sound-stage, very easily driven, lots of isolation. These would be kind of the opposite direction of the A900X/K550/MV1/PRO4 sound, but still might be worth looking at - you might find that you like the more laid-back sound.

I own the M50 and I listen to a lot of classical, jazz, and deadmau5. The soundstage is so good, sometimes I could say the piano, violin, etc. is about 30' in front of me at a 45 degree angle. I find them comfortable other than how they sometimes get warm, and the bass is slightly emphasized, but it doesn't bother me on any of my music, but I suppose I don't have much of a selection to compare them to.
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM Post #9 of 25

Anewills

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Haven't heard the HD 428.
Yes, I own a pair of MV1s (I own the MV1 and AE2, have owned the PRO4/AA (and 4/A) and have demo'd the A900X and K550 at the same time), and I would not agree with those claims at all.
redface.gif



They're a very good closed headphone overall. They have a relatively bright and punchy sound, with good bass extension (impact is appropriate, but it isn't the primary focus of their presentation, and a very clear midrange (they do a very nice job with vocals, strings, keys, that sort of thing). They excel with acoustic genres, but are fast and balanced enough to tackle pretty much anything with relative ease. I'd rank them ahead of the AE2 in most ways.

I'd also put the whole "accurate presentation" thing out of your mind; you're chasing dragons.
deadhorse.gif
(The broader point here is that everything is going to be colored, and you're better off figuring out what you like, and going after that, as opposed to taking an absolutist approach and going after "ruler flat" or similar pipe dreams).


It's not a "ruler flat," or "pipe dream," and I know nothings going to sound like its being played live.  By "accurate representation" I'm more or less talking about something on the neutral side, not necessarily the type of coloring it has.... -.-
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM Post #10 of 25

obsidyen

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I have Sennheiser Momentum and I think they are amazing. Very neutral but also strong bass. I really like electronic music (mainly trance) and I think they're great for that kind of music. They're just great all around cans, electronic, classical, jazz, pop; they can do anything. They are closed back but the soundstage and separation is very very good. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM Post #11 of 25

Anewills

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I have Sennheiser Momentum and I think they are amazing. Very neutral but also strong bass. I really like electronic music (mainly trance) and I think they're great for that kind of music. They're just great all around cans, electronic, classical, jazz, pop; they can do anything. They are closed back but the soundstage and separation is very very good. I recommend them wholeheartedly.


How's the isolation on them?
 
Mar 30, 2013 at 11:44 PM Post #14 of 25

obobskivich

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I own the M50 and I listen to a lot of classical, jazz, and deadmau5. The soundstage is so good, sometimes I could say the piano, violin, etc. is about 30' in front of me at a 45 degree angle. I find them comfortable other than how they sometimes get warm, and the bass is slightly emphasized, but it doesn't bother me on any of my music, but I suppose I don't have much of a selection to compare them to.



Compared to a lot of similar headphones in their price range, they're "average" - they do some things better and some things worse. Soundstaging and fit are my primary complaints wrt the M50 - they present a "wall of sound" compared to many other headphones, and they do heat up (as you mentioned; but *a lot* of sealed headphones are like this). If you have a chance to try one of the S-LOGIC based models from Ultrasone, or one of the consumer hi-fi models from AT (most of which have angled drivers), I'd highly suggest it - just to get an idea of what I'm talking about. For example the A900X will be more spacious sounding, and have an overall more refined sound, but they accordingly cost quite a bit more, and the fit is less universal (I'm still kind of baffled by this one).



It's not a "ruler flat," or "pipe dream," and I know nothings going to sound like its being played live.  By "accurate representation" I'm more or less talking about something on the neutral side, not necessarily the type of coloring it has.... -.-


And I'm going to say that ideas and opinions of neutral are not going to be universally agreed upon or accepted. These things are very subjective.

I was going to suggest the k550 and t70(p) which is just the upgraded/newer version of dt770 and slightly over 250 budget.


I think K550 or A900X are the "winners" here indeed.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM Post #15 of 25

Anewills

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I have the accudio app on my phone and that does a pretty good job getting the headphones it supports to neutral.  Brings a little bit of objectivity into a "neutral" sound
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.  I've been reading amazing reviews on the Soundmagic hp100's and I'm most likely gonna buy them.  Not too many negatives concerning them, especially at their price point.  
 

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