Looking for a OPEN HP ~$200 range.. + a couple of q's.
Nov 22, 2008 at 9:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

FinalAura

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Hey all. I'm newbie when it comes to headphones, and only have experience with my JVC HA-RX700 for full size cans, and JVC Marshmallows/KSC75's for portables. However, I think I'm now ready to try some full-fledged midrange headphones, since I don't think I will ever venture (or be able to for that matter) into the high end.

Since my rx700's are closed, I would like to try an open set. This will be for home use only, on my computer. My source is an x-fi xtremegamer soundcard, with 192-320 kbps w/some 128kbps here and there, as well as some flac here and there. I listen to about 75% pop rock/punk (blink 182, new found glory, all time low) and the other 25% consist of jpop, classical, video game soundtracks, pretty much everything else except rap/country. I'm not much of a bass head either, so bass is not a priority.

I've researched for weeks on head-fi, and I swear I've never read so much. The info i'm gathered is crazy, with no definite answers at all, haha, but I know everyone has their own tastes and what not. I am leaning toward some ath-ad700's or alessandro MS-1. Are these good choices, or am I missing any other worthy contenders? I've read that these are easy to drive, so they don't necessarily need an amp, which I can't afford anyways. I was also thinking about some akg 601/701, but as stated, I can't afford an amp to power these. I don't want to get grado sr60/80 because my friends have them already and want something different.

Also, is it worth it to get a set of better cans if the files are listen to aren't high bitrate mp3's or flac/lossless? Is my source even good enough to provide good quality sound to the headphones? If not, what would you suggest I get? I'm just a mere college student with no job, so I don't have much to spare on amps and what not right away. But hey, i'm all ears if I can get an amp for less than $150. I'd probably buy the phones, then the amp later. I'm a bit weary on products from china though... i'd prefer something in the USA.

Thanks for all the help. I'm off to bed, but hope to have some answers the next time i'm on.

And I know, sorry for my wallet! Haha.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 2:54 PM Post #2 of 11

TopPop

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Your title says "closed" headphones, by the way... you might want to change that...

MS-1s are great, but I'd imagine the Grado 225s would be better, and they are within your budget.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 3:22 PM Post #4 of 11

tintin47

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FinalAura /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Also, is it worth it to get a set of better cans if the files are listen to aren't high bitrate mp3's or flac/lossless? Is my source even good enough to provide good quality sound to the headphones? If not, what would you suggest I get? I'm just a mere college student with no job, so I don't have much to spare on amps and what not right away. But hey, i'm all ears if I can get an amp for less than $150. I'd probably buy the phones, then the amp later. I'm a bit weary on products from china though... i'd prefer something in the USA.



I wouldn't worry too much about sound quality. Most of the music you have will still sound much better. I know it is kind of a sacrilege around here but I cant hear any difference between 320kbps and lossless. There are some exceptions, but I just don't have great ears. Strangely enough, I can hear differences in equipment, so I just set myself up to make the music sound as good as it can (to my ears) and I'm just leaving it like this.

The whole 320/FLAC isn't something you should worry too much about, especially in this price range. Everything will sound great. If you're worried, try ripping a couple CDs both ways and compare.

USA will cost a lot, especially for amps. Most of the stuff you use/wear is made in china so I don't think that would be too much of a problem. Also, Little Dot has great customer service. If you're looking for a decent all-purpose amp below 150 i would say to check out the little dot I+ (~$120)

ALSO: Headphone recommendation: Senn HD595. I love mine. Great for everything. (though they're not getting a lot of playing time now that I have the 701s
k701smile.gif
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 5:20 PM Post #5 of 11

FinalAura

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TopPop /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Your title says "closed" headphones, by the way... you might want to change that...

MS-1s are great, but I'd imagine the Grado 225s would be better, and they are within your budget.



WOw.. dumb late night mistake. I changed it to open!
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 5:25 PM Post #6 of 11

FinalAura

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tintin47 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I wouldn't worry too much about sound quality. Most of the music you have will still sound much better. I know it is kind of a sacrilege around here but I cant hear any difference between 320kbps and lossless. There are some exceptions, but I just don't have great ears. Strangely enough, I can hear differences in equipment, so I just set myself up to make the music sound as good as it can (to my ears) and I'm just leaving it like this.

The whole 320/FLAC isn't something you should worry too much about, especially in this price range. Everything will sound great. If you're worried, try ripping a couple CDs both ways and compare.

USA will cost a lot, especially for amps. Most of the stuff you use/wear is made in china so I don't think that would be too much of a problem. Also, Little Dot has great customer service. If you're looking for a decent all-purpose amp below 150 i would say to check out the little dot I+ (~$120)

ALSO: Headphone recommendation: Senn HD595. I love mine. Great for everything. (though they're not getting a lot of playing time now that I have the 701s
k701smile.gif



Thanks, thats good to know about the flac files. I personally don't here much, if any difference from 192kpbs to flac, but I can definitely tell a difference from 128kpbs. But then again, i've never had an good headphones, and I was assuming the differences would be more apparent with better headphones.

If worse comes to worse and I do need an amp, I guess I will be willing to buy from China. I was looking at the lunchbox or mini mullet, and both seem to be within the USA though, but theres probably a better china variant?

Mini Millet DIY Tube Amplifier - Default Store View

Lunch Box

Thanks for the help.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TopPop /img/forum/go_quote.gif
MS-1s are great, but I'd imagine the Grado 225s would be better, and they are within your budget.


Hmmm, i'll look into those grados. But would they give a substantial difference from the MS-1's for the price? They cost 2x more.

Thats also the reason why I decided to go for the ad700 rather than the ad900 because I've read numerous posts saying that the difference is not that very big, yet it costs more than 2x more.

Thanks for the help though.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 5:37 PM Post #7 of 11

Planar_head

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I'd guess that the Grados would fill about 75% of your listening needs, but for classical its a bit lacking.

I'm (as of right now) running my Grado SR225's off my Creative Fatality sound card, and I like it.

But of course, if you can find a place to audition headphones, that would benefit you the most, especially with your wide variety of music.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 5:49 PM Post #8 of 11

FinalAura

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Planar_head /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd guess that the Grados would fill about 75% of your listening needs, but for classical its a bit lacking.

I'm (as of right now) running my Grado SR225's off my Creative Fatality sound card, and I like it.

But of course, if you can find a place to audition headphones, that would benefit you the most, especially with your wide variety of music.



Good to know that the soundcard is a good source. I wish I had a place to audition, but don't have a place unfortunately.

I feel like grados would work well for me, but would disappoint in the other genres of music, which is why I was aiming more toward the alessandro ms-1s. Those are more all around, correct? I also read, that the ath ad700 have somewhat of a grado frontal feel.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 12:27 AM Post #9 of 11

FinalAura

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So are there any other contenders that I should know of?

I read mixed things about the akg k240s studio. Some say it needs an amp, some say it doesn't. I think these could work for me if they don't need an amp
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 3:18 AM Post #11 of 11

Uncle Erik

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You might like the Beyerdynamic DT880 or the Sennheiser HD-600. If I recall, there's a used pair of HD-600s in the For Sale Forum at $200 today. There's nothing better at that price and they'd suit all of your music very well.

If you're open to buying an amp, the Eddie Current Lunchbox is on sale for $199 right now. I've been impressed by it the few times I've listened - if I needed an inexpensive amp, that's the one I'd buy.
 

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