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Looking for something Smooth/Laid Back/easy to drive - $400 or less

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by zalithian, Feb 5, 2013.
  1. Zalithian
    Posted in the main suggestion thread a couple times, but no responses.
    Looking for something with a laid back sound, smooth top end, non fatiguing. If any frequency is forward, I'd prefer it to be the mids or a little extra midbass for a warm sound. Balanced is still fine though, as long as it's non fatiguing. I'd probably love the HD650, but since I don't have an amp or a powerful source I don't think that's a good idea unless my budget is at least 2x bigger. Recently been listening to a lot of Kpop/Cpop but I really listen to almost anything, including Metal, Classical, etc. The headphone being easy to drive is really important, otherwise I would just buy the HD650 and a decent amp.
    Not too sure where to start. Seems like the Momentum and Amperior aren't bad choices. I do love Sennheiser in general, but maybe the Momentum sound signature is a little preferable. Portability is not super important though - no preference on open, closed, etc. I owned the SR60i and HD25-II. Didn't like either a whole lot, but I liked the Grado less. This will probably be specifically for home use with my laptop, so a relatively cheap amp isn't out of the question if it's within the total budget.
  2. swmtnbiker
    The Momentum might be a good place to start. They sound great out of very low power sources and are extremely comfortable if your ears are small enough for them to fit circumaurally. Razordog.com is currently offering them at $50 off MSRP, and they're an authorized Sennheiser dealer. I was very happy with mine out of an iPod 5th gen and Sansa Clip+. They're not gonna best an HD-650 and a decent amp though... [​IMG]
  3. Jpfe8851
    Well of the Momentum and Amperior, I prefer the former. More comfortable, and while warm sounding it has less boomy bass than Amperior. But both may be a little too laid back if you want those mids. Have you listened to B&W P5s? They are also non-fatiguing, more forward mids without being powerful and a nice warm signature. Bass is good without being punchy. Great travel HP with folding ear pieces and case. You should be able to audition any of these three at an Apple store if there's one handy.

    My 2cents.
  4. Zalithian
    Cool. Thanks so far. Think I should consider the M-80's as well? Much cheaper than the Momentum, or is it worth the extra cash to just get the Momentum?
  5. roma101
    M-80, MDR-1R, and Yamaha Pro 500 are all good choices. I wouldn't call the Amperiors laidback at all - they have a more forward aggressive signature.
  6. Jpfe8851
    You could well be right there. It is a few weeks ago since I heard the Amperiors but I think I found the boomy mid bass too overpowering for me and this has clouded my view of them.

    OP, read the reviews by ljokeri in the portables shoot out for descriptions of the sounds. I think these are mostly accurate. But nothing can beat an audition in my view.
  7. jerg Contributor
    The laid-back king at $400 is HE400. It's not particularly hard to drive, even the FiiO E17 could get it loud like a loudspeaker. It's fidelity is a league ahead of everything suggested in this thread save for HD650, and yet it is not as picky and sings out of almost all entry-level amps.
    It's good because you are specifically having it for home-use. Cans like Momentum would be such a waste for exclusive indoor use because they are designed to be portable and played on-the-go.
  8. ChavaC
    HD600? One of the more laid back phones you will find and runs well enough out of a decent portable amp.
  9. ChavaC
    HD600? One of the more laid back phones you will find and runs well enough out of a decent portable amp.

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