Need help: Upgrading from ATH M50
Sep 20, 2015 at 6:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

wingliger

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Hey, made an account 5 years and ended up getting the M50S thanks to many recommendations. Many did say they were overhyped but I like them a lot. I planning on giving these away to my sister and want an upgrade. I want neutral headphones that can be used to listen to almost anything. I'm still mainly just a lurker and don't know many terms for music so please bear with me.
 
Price range Up to $300
I listen to many genres  but I don't usually listen to Jazz and Metal.
I listen to a lot of RnB, Rock, JPop, JRock, Kpop, Alt Rock, EDM, A lot of Instrumentals (Not often classicals though, I like Piano songs a lot though like Yiruma but thats not classical.)
 
The bass of the M50s might be a little too much for me but I still liked it but just want it a tiny bit weaker.
 
I do not use an amp but I don't mind buying one. This is mainly for home use and I want to try out open headphones. 
 
Some of types of music I listen to: (But headphones that play everything well is fine)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d10_sLHZNhA
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WezUl0Ln4Fo
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRq9mtu4v20
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OftjdvQRlRU
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOJ91H4mraU
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIOMRiQaB-U
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEValZuFYRU
 
I listen to many genres but I would prefer to hear the vocals well. Clear Mids and Highs, but like I said I don't mind too much as long as it can play most most genres well and have a noticable difference to the M50s in quality.
 
Sep 20, 2015 at 10:09 AM Post #2 of 15

cel4145

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I think the Soundmagic HP150 are an upgrade over the M50. Little less bass emphasis, but better overall bass, mids, and treble quality with better soundstage.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 4:16 AM Post #3 of 15

wingliger

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I've read a couple reviews and what you say seems reliable but these are closed but one review I read says these feel like open even though they're closed back. Would you agree? I want try out opens as I have never had open back headphones.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 8:19 AM Post #4 of 15

obobskivich

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What are you plugging these into? You mention open headphones aren't a problem, so I'm assuming this is for at-home use, correct?

Given your budget, I'd say Sennheiser HD 600 should absolutely be a consideration. They will handle a berth of genres very well, are very comfortable, and are a good improvement from the M50. :)

I'd also look at the Grado SR-225 or SR-325 (especially for rock and pop), but given that you said EDM, I'd probably lean towards the HD 600. If you can find them on sale, the Ultrasone PRO2900 are also good all-rounders. Their "little brothers" the HFI-2400 are no slouches either, but they're somewhat darker.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 3:17 PM Post #5 of 15

wingliger

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What are you plugging these into? You mention open headphones aren't a problem, so I'm assuming this is for at-home use, correct?

Given your budget, I'd say Sennheiser HD 600 should absolutely be a consideration. They will handle a berth of genres very well, are very comfortable, and are a good improvement from the M50. :)

I'd also look at the Grado SR-225 or SR-325 (especially for rock and pop), but given that you said EDM, I'd probably lean towards the HD 600. If you can find them on sale, the Ultrasone PRO2900 are also good all-rounders. Their "little brothers" the HFI-2400 are no slouches either, but they're somewhat darker.


Thabks a lot for the info. Read very good reviews about the HD600s. Can you give me more info on what type of music the Grados and Ultrasone Pro2900 are suited for? You said the Grados SR-325 are suited more for pop and rock than edm as compared to HD600s. I do listen to EDM but not as much as rock and pop so that type of info helps a lot. Thanks again!
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 11:47 PM Post #6 of 15

obobskivich

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Thabks a lot for the info. Read very good reviews about the HD600s. Can you give me more info on what type of music the Grados and Ultrasone Pro2900 are suited for? You said the Grados SR-325 are suited more for pop and rock than edm as compared to HD600s. I do listen to EDM but not as much as rock and pop so that type of info helps a lot. Thanks again!


Honestly I don't like the "this headphone for this genre" kind of thing as some sort of fixed rule - it belies the complexity of the issue. The Grados are brighter, leaner, and punchier - a lot of people preference that with rock and pop, but they're servicable with many genres. The HD 600 is darker, bassier, etc so if you want more bass with EDM it will probably be more satisfying. PRO2900 is colder, more v-shaped, and very detailed - again you may preference it more with EDM, but ultimately any of these would be good candidates for any music, depending on your preference.
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 12:59 AM Post #7 of 15

cel4145

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Honestly I don't like the "this headphone for this genre" kind of thing as some sort of fixed rule - it belies the complexity of the issue. The Grados are brighter, leaner, and punchier - a lot of people preference that with rock and pop, but they're servicable with many genres. The HD 600 is darker, bassier, etc so if you want more bass with EDM it will probably be more satisfying. PRO2900 is colder, more v-shaped, and very detailed - again you may preference it more with EDM, but ultimately any of these would be good candidates for any music, depending on your preference.


I agree.

Personal preference is a bigger factor, IMO, over genre. Although the Grados sound signature and fast transient response do tend to emphasize guitar more than some more demure headphones--which some people will like for rock. So sort of similar to how more bass is popular with EDM for people where that is important.
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 4:07 AM Post #8 of 15

wingliger

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Thanks a lot for the info. I kinda understand what you mean. Different sounds come from differnt instruments and such but you can define those into genres. The're put into different frequencies making lows, mids , and highs. I researched and I feel I want good mids and highs. Good treble and mids, of course good bass too but ones that dont over power the other two. So thanks to you right now I feel the Grados SR325E are what I want. I will still do some reseach and find out some more. What is the difference between the SR-325 and SR-225?
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 5:09 AM Post #9 of 15

rfan8312

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I own the sr225 and i love them. But yesterday I heard the 325e and couldnt believe how crisp and sparkly and clear tbey sound wuth bass that is tight and controlled.

The 325e cost almost 300USD but they are worth it. Wow. I liked them better than some 700USD headphones.

I'll try to give some info I have noticed about the 225i since I've owned it for close to a month.

Amazing sound from a headphobe that is very light, nearly weightless. This is a combination of attributes I never knew existed until I started using Grado headphones. But the ear cups are made from a sort of hard foam, so you need time to get used to them abd they will get softer. Or, you can buy the comfy pads on amazin for 7 dollars and replacw them. All Grado earpads are very easily removable and interchangeable.

Also, regarding the 225, you will not get this kind of open crystal clear sound from a closed back headphone. And it's hard to find this kind of treble and mids clarity from anything besides Grado in this price range.

I would definitley recommebd the sr225, if you dont mind letting them burn - in for a little while becayse at first they sound a bit thin. But soon they sound great.

Bur if you can spend 300USD for the 325e, its really worth it. They sound amazing.

I can PM you the list of songs I have made on Spotify especially for Grado headphones.

Imo some songs, especially electric guitar sections, sound the best with Grados. There is a sort of forward mid-centric crunchy texture to guitars with Grados that has alot of energy and sounds like it is bursting out of the speaker
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 5:27 AM Post #10 of 15

obobskivich

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I agree.

Personal preference is a bigger factor, IMO, over genre. Although the Grados sound signature and fast transient response do tend to emphasize guitar more than some more demure headphones--which some people will like for rock. So sort of similar to how more bass is popular with EDM for people where that is important.


+1. Very well said.


Thanks a lot for the info. I kinda understand what you mean. Different sounds come from differnt instruments and such but you can define those into genres. The're put into different frequencies making lows, mids , and highs. I researched and I feel I want good mids and highs. Good treble and mids, of course good bass too but ones that dont over power the other two. So thanks to you right now I feel the Grados SR325E are what I want. I will still do some reseach and find out some more. What is the difference between the SR-325 and SR-225?


I think Grado would be a good choice if you're primarily focused on mids and treble; as far as 225 vs 325 I haven't heard the newest "e" revision but from the SR-225 vs SR-325i (or was it is?) the 325 was brighter (probably the brightest Grado has to offer), somewhat more detailed, and somewhat more refined. 225 was more balanced out (at least by Grado standards), physically lighter, and also a good listen. I think either is a good choice, and if your budget only accommodates the 225, I don't think you should feel "left out" or anything of the sort, as the 225 are a bona fide hi-fi headphone in their own right.

The 325e cost almost 300USD but they are worth it. Wow. I liked them better than some 700USD headphones.


Honestly the point of diminishing returns "kicks in" around that $300-400 mark IME; even if you take Grado's TOTL like RS-1 or GS-1000 the "amount of improvement" over something like the SR-325 is not as dramatic as the SR-325 or 225 vs something genuinely cheap (e.g. Koss KPH-7). I'm not saying the TOTL isn't "good" just that it isn't a linear price/performance scale. It sounds reasonable to me to take something like the SR-325 as the "peak" of price/performance; higher-end cans may sound better but the price goes up substantially for that last 10%. :xf_eek:

Amazing sound from a headphobe that is very light, nearly weightless. This is a combination of attributes I never knew existed until I started using Grado headphones. But the ear cups are made from a sort of hard foam, so you need time to get used to them abd they will get softer. Or, you can buy the comfy pads on amazin for 7 dollars and replacw them. All Grado earpads are very easily removable and interchangeable.


Changing the pads on Grado headphones is indeed easy, but it also has an impact on the sound, especially changing from bowls to comfys or similar. I'm not saying there's a single right or wrong answer here, just that it isn't only changing how they fit, but also how they sound. There's *lots* of options due to how easily modified (and quite frankly, inexpensive) the pads for Grado headphones are. There's some articles on IF about pad modding and pad swapping, afaik they include measurements as well.

Also, regarding the 225, you will not get this kind of open crystal clear sound from a closed back headphone.


At least not for anything approaching their price you won't. :xf_eek:

And it's hard to find this kind of treble and mids clarity from anything besides Grado in this price range.

I would definitley recommebd the sr225, if you dont mind letting them burn - in for a little while becayse at first they sound a bit thin. But soon they sound great.

Bur if you can spend 300USD for the 325e, its really worth it. They sound amazing.
Imo some songs, especially electric guitar sections, sound the best with Grados. There is a sort of forward mid-centric crunchy texture to guitars with Grados that has alot of energy and sounds like it is bursting out of the speaker


+1 to all of this. They also do really well with some synth and other electro music that makes use of similar "crunchy" sounds, and are no slouches when it comes to jazz, swing, or traditional pop either. :)
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 5:44 AM Post #11 of 15

wingliger

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So I feel almost set to go with the Grado SR-325 but last thing I want to know is since that do well with poppy and energetic sounds, will peaceful and relaxing music sound good too while being able to feel relaxed and calm. Might be hard question since it really is based on the person. 
 
I guess what I'm asking is can it still play non-jumpy energetic, slow songs fine. Something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szw8r6CDi8k
 
And of course the main point is, is it truly a good upgrade from the ATH M50s.
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 7:18 AM Post #12 of 15

rfan8312

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Thanks to obobskivich his points made a sense.

1. Please remember, the 325i is very bright, while the 325e, which I loved, imo sounds perfect.

2. Imo the grado handles slow songs very well as well because of its clarity and forward mids.

An example of a slow song that I really like on the sr225i:

Erik Truffaz - Arroyo
https://youtu.be/CpXC9B1Xp7o
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 10:42 PM Post #14 of 15

wingliger

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Thanks to obobskivich his points made a sense.

1. Please remember, the 325i is very bright, while the 325e, which I loved, imo sounds perfect.

2. Imo the grado handles slow songs very well as well because of its clarity and forward mids.

An example of a slow song that I really like on the sr225i:

Erik Truffaz - Arroyo
https://youtu.be/CpXC9B1Xp7o

 Thanks a lot. That song was perfect. I it can play that well then I'm sold. Now I just wait for a sale. I have the money but I'm a bit of a cheapskate and always prefer things on sale. =[
Any other recommendations are welcome'd and thanks everyone for helping. 
 
I have my mind set on SR-325Es for now but I can always change my mind to other recommendations if it fits my preferences.
 
Sep 23, 2015 at 5:16 AM Post #15 of 15

rfan8312

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Like I said before Grados sound best with rock and anything with guitar but I've recently discovered 2 more different kinds of songs that sound great on my Grado sr225i.

https://youtu.be/hh95NTaQCjw

https://youtu.be/ndERzNhyZfE

Also:

Jazz Pistols - Special Treament
Jazz Pistols - Bugs

Oz Noy - Get Down
Oz Noy - Schizophrenic
 

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