Looking for crisp headphones in the ~100€ range.

  1. Sithem
    Hi everybody,

    I'm looking for help from people more keen about headphones than I am.

    My old 20€ headphones broke and I'm looking for a better sound now. I need something mostly for use with my iPhone, but I want to be able to watch TV with it occasionally as well.

    I tried a few different headphones in the last month:
    -Beyerdynamic DT 770
    -Avantree Audition Pro
    -Marshall Major II

    The Beyerdynamic had the best sound in my opinion, but was way too big for traveling. Generally, I'm not really big on over-ear. The Avantree was pretty big AND I didn't like the sound. The Marshall was perfect in size, but the sound didn't work out as well.

    Turns out that all headphones I tried are too bass-heavy for me and the different instruments felt somehow... compressed, maybe? What I'm looking for is a crisp sound, where I can clearly hear the vocals and distinguish all instruments. I mostly listen to synthetically produced music.

    I have read that the Philips SHP9500/00 is supposed to deliver on that premise, but I'm a bit worried about the "open" design. I don't need noise canceling, but I don't want to disturb everyone else. But maybe I need open headphones for the sound I'm looking for? They also might be too big.

    The best headphones I ever owned where the Sennheiser HD435. The sound was good, the comfort was godlike. I guess they are considered on-ear, but they didn't have a ring like all other headphones, only a soft cushion directly pressing on my ear. Does something like this still exist? There seems to be no real successor.

    This is why I am considering getting a Sennheiser again. The Momentum 2.0 and the HD 25-1 II seem like viable options to me (even though the HD 25-1 II would really stretch my budget).

    So what do you fellas think? Should I check out the Philips SHP9500/00 next? Or do you have other recommendations for traveling headphones with crisp sound in my price range?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Cruelhand Luke
    If you can find a good price on it, the step up from the 9500s is the Fidelio L2. It is easy to drive, sounds amazing and is relatively compact for an over ear. In terms of clarity, they are excellent...in fact, in overall sound, they are better than the Momentum. In terms of sound leakage, they are a relatively closed 'semi open' headphone. They aren't perfectly quiet, but they don't leak a lot.
  3. Sithem
    Thanks for the suggestion. Will check them out!
  4. serman005
    You should check out the SoundMAGIC HP151 and see what you think. The sound quality is in my opinion superior to that of those you list. It is just a really high quality headphone. Reviews rave. It is closed and in your price range. The SHP9500 is likely to annoy those around you. I think you are looking for a closed design.
  5. Sithem
    Thanks for your advice!

    Im testing the Philips SHP9500/00 right now. I must confess, I enjoy the feeling of open headphones, I feel like the sound realy has space and the headphones do have a great clarity. They are also really comfortable. On the other hand, it does lack a bit in bass and power. But the worst part really is that everyone around me listens to it almost at the same volume. I don't think thats practical for me.

    Right now I'm tempted to try out the formerly suggested Fidelio L2 next. I think half-open might a good middleground to me. But if this doesn't work out, I'll the soundMAGIC next. Thus far, all closed heaphones I tried failed regarding clarity and clear voices in particular.
  6. harry501501
    Yeah, you'll need a closed back set for going out in public. The 9500 is a terrible idea (and a terrible headphone). The Soundmagic HP100 would be my recommendation. They're great for going out with as they aren't bulky and overly wide than most other headphones of same nature. They're nice and spacious sounding and def have a crisp sound. Bass is great quality, goes low and doesn't interfere with rest of sound. Highs are clear and crisp. Fab all rounder.

    HD25ii is a wonderful set, but it has a lot of very punchy mid bass dominating and a narrow soundstage.
  7. Cruelhand Luke
    If you liked the 9500s, you'll LOVE the L2s...they do everything the 9500s do in clarity and separation, but the bass is MUCH better, the background is black and rich sounding...it's just better in every way. (Except for soundstage size, the 9500s has a wider more expansive soundstage...so it's better for movies/gaming)
  8. Sithem
    Thanks for the ongoing reccomendations!

    I've returned the 9500s, mostly because of the loud noise for bystanders. As I mentioned, I think I want to try to semi-open heaphones next to see how big of an issue it is with them.

    I'm hestitant with SoundMagic Headphones after having read in a few reviews that they lack in durablity and have terrible customer support for broken devices. Not sure how accurate that is.

    For a lot of recommendations I'm hearing here, I only find B-Ware or used heaphones. Is there any particular reason why buying B-Ware or used headphones might be not a good idea?
  9. Sithem
    Oh, and does anyone have experience with the "Monster DNA"? I have read good things about them on a test site. And they look much more practical for travelling than all the other headphones I have looked at.
  10. harry501501
    You'll find bad reviews for every set on the market in terms of sets breaking or bad CS so wouldn't let that sway you too much. Soundmagic is a very well known brand (well in the UK), and have some excellent sets. The HP100 for me is one of the best built headphones i have in terms of comfort and storage. i got them on eBay UK from HiFiHeadphones who are official re-seller of refurbished Soundmagic goods for £50 over a year ago and still going strong (and I am not the best at keeping my headphones and earphones stored properly lol).

    Beware that semi-opened will also leak sound both ways... just a wee bit less than fully open.

    Go buy some cheap Koss like the KTXPro1. It leaks sound but nowhere near the amount of bigger sets, in fact very minimal leakage. I wear outside all the time when running so as i can still hear the environment a bit.
  11. harry501501
    Jeez they're ugly lol
  12. harry501501
    In fact it's been a while since i had them but the Brainwavz HM5 should be within your budget. They're comfy, balanced sound with good extension either side, with slight upper treble forwardness. Good all round set. I had them for a while but upgraded to Yamaha Mt220

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