Newbie looking for easy to drive closed headphones
Jun 14, 2009 at 8:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17


Jun 12, 2009
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy some good closed headphones that can be driven by a PC and laptop without an amp. Loud noise from the computer is a bother most of the time so I'm not even buying speakers for my new desktop. I will use these primarily for listening to music while doing my work on the comp. and for playing some games, maybe watch a movie once in a while too. The other use I'll have for the phones will be to plug them into the receiver when I want to watch a movie or hockey for instance while my "better" half is sleeping or doing some work of her own and I need to be quiet.

For musical style I mostly like to listen to electronica like Drum & Bass, House, Techno etc. anything but Trance really. Sometimes I'll also listen to rock. So I will probably prefer phones that aren't "bass shy" but have some punch down low without losing clarity in the mids and highs.

Budget: $250 maybe $300US absolute MAX

I've tried doing research but admittedly after all the reading I'm still a bit lost so need to ask for help. What I've come up with so far for candidates:

Phiaton Ms-400
Audio Technica ATH-A700
AKG K 240 MK II - semi closed/open but seems like a good headphone

I've also considered the ESW9 based on impressions on from this forum but they are "on ear" not around the ear so I'm not sure since I've never used ones like that..

So, what should I buy? I'm also very open to other suggestions
Jun 14, 2009 at 10:12 AM Post #2 of 17
the ESW9 is pretty comfortable for an 'on-ear' so I wouldn't dismiss it just because of that. sound should be great.
Jun 14, 2009 at 1:07 PM Post #5 of 17
I like the Ultrasone HFI-780, however the Ultrasone sound like Grado is not for everyone so I suggest you try them first. Another possibility would be an Equation Eartool RP21 or an used Audio Technica ATH-W1000. Good luck.
Jun 15, 2009 at 1:14 AM Post #9 of 17
You're wants fit the Dr. Dre "Beats" catagory. I'm serious. If you can pick one up for cheaper then retail ($200 if you try @ eBay + cashback might be worth taking a peek at), by all means, do it.

Those Phiaton's look interesting though, and I loved my DT770 pro 80's for Electronic (Daft Punk, The Prodigy).
Jun 15, 2009 at 7:49 PM Post #11 of 17
Well, my short list has grown a little thanks to you guys
. Honestly though every pair I research in the forums here or in reviews elsewhere I can find reasons why a certain phone is worth buying or why it's junk depending on who's listening to them. I think I'll have to just roll the dice on a model and see if I like it, if not at least I'll have a reference point when I come back here.

This is my list now:

Phiaton MS-400
Ultrasone HFI 780
Beyerdynamics DT770 Pro 80
Audio Technica ATH-M50

Some of the models suggested in the thread are either difficult for me to buy here and others are earpad types so I left them off. I guess any one of these should at least be better than the less expensive Sony or Senns at the local Best Buy

Thanks to everyone that tried to help me!
Jun 15, 2009 at 11:03 PM Post #12 of 17
Another vote for the HFI-780.

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