Looking for closed-back, comfortable, balanced and relatively colorless headphones for around $150.
May 16, 2015 at 4:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Vulgarism

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Hello all!
 
So, I've recently started a new job where I spend around ten hours a day at a computer and have been searching for the best fit for myself. Because I am in an open office and in close proximity to many co-workers, I'm looking for a closed-back pair of headphone. Since they're going to be on so often, I definitely want something that has a high comfort factor. 90 degree swivel in is also huge, as we have to have contact with each other quite often and I need to be able to drop them down onto my chest and have some mobility in my neck.
 
With sound, I want something that sounds decently pure, but I'm not looking for perfection. In general, the genres I listen to the most are Doom, Black Metal, Grindcore, more '80s and '90s Pop that I would like to admit, and some Hip Hop. I cannot say my ears are perfect, by any means, as I spent too many years playing drums as loud as possible and may have done some damage (hindsight, being a teenager, etc...) I find that oftentimes there is no low-end, or the highs are completely disguised by an abundance of low-end and mids.
 
For sound, I have/have tried these:

Logitech F540 - I've had this gaming headset for maybe three years now, and I find it has pretty decent sound. The lows may be a bit more accentuated since it is a gaming headset, but I find the audio quality to be at least a 7 or so for gaming and movies, music it's a bit more touchy.
 
Kingston HyperX Cloud - By far, the most comfortable of the bunch. The audio quality is pretty solid again, but more often than not, I refer to these for how nice they feel on.
 
Sony MDR-V6 - These are my go-to pair right now. Comfortable, pretty light, but the sound is damned nice. I swapped with a co-worker for a few moments, trying his Sennheiser HD8 DJ, and he found the MDRs to be too... Bland for his liking. I found that pair of Sennheiser to quite muddy in all honesty, lacking clear highs and focusing too much on the lows and mids. The biggest issue for me is the lack of swiveling earcups, which make it difficult for me to drop down and have a quick one-on-one session with a co-worker, instead having to take them off completely.
 
Audio-Technica ATH-M40X - I decided to give these a go over the M50Xs as these were supposed to have a purer sound and an easier price-point. I find them to have pretty decent audio again, but they feel a bit too stiff and rigid on my head. I've got a pretty small skull, so it's not like I have trouble finding something that is comfortable. The outward swivel and lack of inward swivel is a bit of a letdown as well. I feel like I could do better in the $100-$150 range.
 
So, a quick recap, here is what I'm looking at:
 
- $150 (we can go up to $160 or $170 if need be) price-point
- Closed back
- Nice, punchy lows, smooth mids, and clear highs are great (I'm not going to be itching for a large soundstage, but if a set has it, even better)
- Swiveling ear cups are very very necessary, but if I can get an angelic-sounding pair of headphones for $150, I can leave that off the checklist
- Comfortable for long periods of time
- Amazon prime/shipped and sold by Amazon pretty necessary (I have a lot of Amazon credit from trades)
 
 
Anything I may be leaving off, please let me know. I think this community is definitely the place to ask, and I hope I narrowed it down enough.
 
 
Also, I've had my eye on the AKG 550s, Shure SRH750DJ, and Sennheiser HD380s lately, but those may not be even close to what I'm looking for. 
 
May 16, 2015 at 4:51 PM Post #3 of 10

Vulgarism

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I would typically use them just straight in the computer. Maybe my phone once in awhile and maybe I'd get an amp down the road, but something that doesn't need a ton of power is probably the best.
 
May 16, 2015 at 5:46 PM Post #5 of 10

Vulgarism

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I saw that they were ~$70 on Amazon yesterday I believe as part of a one day sale, and I skipped over those. Can anybody else comment on the sound quality and comfort factor of that specific pair?
 
May 16, 2015 at 5:56 PM Post #6 of 10

Beyakusenn

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The comfort for the long term is an issue with almost all on-ears. Only the extremely soft KEF M500 doesn't start to hurt after hours of listening. I do not recommend any on-ears.
 
The older version of the Momentum over-ears (the ones that are cheaper now) have a clear mid-bass emphasis. Also some people complain that the ear cups are too small and that the parts of the ear that touch the cups start to hurt after a while.
 
A more neutral option might be the AKG K550, but those don't have much punch in the bass. They are fairly neutral, but lack a bit of impact. On the other hand: they have by far the largest soundstage for closed headphones at their price point.
 
May 16, 2015 at 6:10 PM Post #7 of 10

Vulgarism

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The K550s have definitely been ones I've had my eye on. I was looking into the K545s, and more recently the K553s (which I seem to have missed the drop for.) 
 
I don't necessarily need bass that kicks my brain with every beat, and I think my desire for something a little more natural would definitely be higher on the list. It sounds like the K550s may be one of the better choices for my wishlist?
 
May 16, 2015 at 6:16 PM Post #8 of 10

Beyakusenn

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It sounds to me like the K550 would please you. I used to own them, but sold them for my upgraditis. Luckily I was just in time for the drop of the K553 :)
 
The ear cups swivel the 'wrong' way, so you might want to switch the right and left channels so the ear cups fold flat on your chest.
 
May 16, 2015 at 6:24 PM Post #9 of 10

Vulgarism

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I did see that in a review video. Out of curiosity, since the ATH-M40X are the same way (90 degrees out, 15 degrees in,) what is the benefit to have them swivel out?

Regardless, I think those were the ones I was heavily leaning towards as is, so it looks like they are at the top of my list.
 
May 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM Post #10 of 10

Beyakusenn

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When they swivel outwards you can lay them safely and easily on a flat surface in front of you (like a desk). If you have a headphone stand the swivelling outwards doesn't make much sense to me any more.
 

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