Looking to up my music appreciation. Headphone help (under $200)
May 18, 2015 at 7:15 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

uwaz

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Hello Head-fi friends,
 
I have been considering the purchase of a more respectable pair of headphones for awhile, and recently came across $200 in un-allocated funds. I am not an audiophile, and will be listening mostly though spotify from my computer (stock spotify at that) and my PC games, no amps. I know I do not exactly *NEED* an expensive pair for such uses. However, I do truly enjoy my music, and feel sad without a somewhat decent pair of headphones. Having gone through about 4 different pairs of headphones ($20-$70 gaming sets) over the last few years (all succumbing to their cheap nature (and my abuses)), I wish to change this habit.
 
I am fairly certain I will not really appreciate the highest of sound qualities and the little nuances of individual headphones, so I do not believe I need the best in sound quality. What I do need, however, is extreme durability and strong (or should I say soft) comfort. In regards to this, I feel I have an average sized cranium for a 17 yr old, and average sized ears to fit. Either open back or closed work (will be mostly in my room, but I do have a rather noisy fish tank which might be a bit of a nuisance), but currently leaning towards open. I am absolutely in love with deep atmospheric music, so less emphasis on highs and trebles, more on lows/mids and bass. However to a audio-newb like myself, a fairly balanced headset should be satisfactory as I do listen to other music aswell (rock, alt rock, prog rock, house, some electronica, etc). 
 
Currently I have been considering the following: Sennheiser HD 598, V-Moda Crossfade LP2, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. I am completely open to suggestions however. Lowest price is preferable (doi), and would really like to keep the price under $180. My preference is towards Sennheiser and V-Moda, with V-moda being my "underdog" rooting candidate so to speak.
 
After doing around 5 hours of research tonight, I am fairly tired and am constantly going back and forth between which I think I should buy. Which to me indicates I don't know what I'm thinking and need some more "professional" 
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 help in the matter.
 
Aesthetically, I prefer darker colors and sleek designs, but a nice minimalist design will win me over in a heartbeat. V-moda fits into the former quite nicely, albeit a bit flashy for my tastes. The Sennheiser honestly is a little more colorful than I'd like. The Audio technica is fairly nice. I do not like the Beats style thin head ban or completely circular earpieces. A little ruggedness is appreciated, as is any help offered by you guys :)
 
Little recap: Looking for headphones that: I can appreciate the music quality of (doesn't necessarily need to be the best), will last me a very long time, are fairly comfortable, are NOT Beats :p
 
May 18, 2015 at 7:56 AM Post #2 of 5

Beyakusenn

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Have you considered getting second hand headphones? That way you get the best value for money. For $200 (second hand, in great condition) my recommendation would be the Sennheiser HD600. Here is one I found for you:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/763616/sennheiser-hd600-w-upgrded-hd650-cable
 
May 18, 2015 at 9:43 AM Post #3 of 5

DCofficehack

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I've been doing a lot of research into sub-$200 closed headphones lately.
 
It's clear to me that the best-bang-for buck IF one wants a neutral sound are the Brainwavz HM5/NVX XPT 100 clones (the XPT is the cheapest at about $100, but apparently by no means inferior). They are clones or knockoffs of the FIscher FA-003. Basically, they're all described as superb for the money and quite possibly the best closed cans for under $200, largely because of the great balance and unusually good soundstage. The consensus seems to be that they're good at everything and will only disappoint bass-heads.  The Soundmagic HP 100 is a contender for the next step up, at $180, although I read a few places that it really needs an amp to shine.
 
The ATH-M50 is often described as having too much bass, very little sound stage, and being too "forward" and in your face. Not at all a good choice for gaming. It's the best choice if you want a pair of Beats but don't a pair of Beats, if you know what I mean, for they do what Beats do only better.
 
May 18, 2015 at 7:23 PM Post #4 of 5

uwaz

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I did not strongly consider second hand headphones. Mainly because I want the best lifespan possible (including warranties) so used might void warranty/already be used significantly, getting second hand would seemingly be most beneficial if I wanted to get the highest quality possible for my price. But as stated before I don't think I really need ( or will appreciate) sound quality of more expensive headphones as I will mostly be using it bare via computer/spotify. Due to this I felt I needn't worry about reaching as high up the "tiers" as possibly, but simply find something that will last long and make a headphone newb satisfied. BUT I do think I should consider second hand sets now, as perhaps my perfect headphones are simply slightly pricier but completely worth it at second hand discount.
 
I will look into those suggestions DC and Beyak, thanks for the help :)
 
May 18, 2015 at 8:57 PM Post #5 of 5

manbear

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Anything in the SoundMagic HP series. Brainwavz too. 
 
Beyerdynamics are built like tanks. Consider the DT-990 pro for open and the DT-150 for closed (it's better than the DT-770). 
 

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