Opinions Needed: Solid Headphones < $200
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kronicx

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Alright, I need people's opinions for a solid choice of headphones under $200. I'm not partial to any one brand or style of headphone.

The headphones will be used in a variety of applications (in order of importance):

1. Video/Audio editing (don't want to buy expensive studio speakers yet)
2. Music (styles vary anywhere from Classical to Punk to Hip Hop, and everything inbetween)
3. PC Gaming
4. Movies

I'm always listening to music and it comes from varying sources: Laptop, Portable CD Player, iPod, Receiver

I won't be wearing them for hours and hours on end without taking a break from them, but I definately want something comfortable.

I don't know much about headphones except they vary greatly in price. I realize for this price range I will have to give some things up, but as long as they sound really good, I'll be happy. I'm not an audiophile...yet
.

Any help on this would be appreciated.
 
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andrzejpw

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The main question is: will you be using a headphone amplifier in the future? $200 is really a point where you can really get some great headphones, but to get the most out of them, you really need a headphone amplifier. Personally, if you can't afford the amp now, but see yourself getting into this hobby, I'd get a good pair, and grin and bear it until you get an amp.

Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet.
 
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kronicx

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I will not be buying an amplifier right now, but I will in the near future if I feel the need for one.

Right now, I just want to settle on a good affordable set of headphones.

So what are some solid models to check out?
 
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LobsterSan

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If you're doing audio/video editing, do you need a fairly flat response from your headphones (little coloration)? For example, are you using them for monitoring-like tasks, where you need to hear how the sound will really sound? If so, that opens a few suggestions... the Sennheiser HD-280, the Sony MDR-V6 or MDR-7506 (basically the same), and the AKG-240M.

If you do not need a particularly flat response, there are a wealth of options. You should probably audition to see what suits you. Some quality headphones to look into are the Sennheiser HD580/600, the Grado line of headphones (brighter presentation), the Beyer Dynamic DT-770 or others, the Audio Technica ATH-W100 or others, etc. Do a search for some of these, read some reviews, and that will be a good starting point.

Another thing to consider is if you need open or closed headphones. Open headphones will allow you to hear the outside world (and often, the outside world can then hear your music). Open phones in general have a more transparent sound, which makes them more appealing (there are always exceptions to the rule, though). Closed phones will isolate you and the rest of the world from your music.

Also, consider andrej's words. Ask yourself if you will be purchasing an amp in the near future, and how much you want to get into the headphone world. Certain headphones are more easily driven than others. The MDR-V6 is very suitable for listening without an amplifier, while the AKG-240M requires a considerable amount to be driven properly.
 
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akar

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Beyerdynamic 250-80

There is a pair on eBay right now.
 
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andrzejpw

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In that case, I'll back akar's suggestion. Beyer 250-80s would be perfect for your needs.
 
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kronicx

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Thanks for all the help.

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of being able to go out and test these things out firsthand. There are no places anywhere close that would have these kinds of products. Therefore, I'm relying on other people's opinions and the fact that I can return the headphones if I don't like them.

So, what's the difference between the Beyerdynamic 250-80 and the 250-50? At headroom's website, the 80s are $50 cheaper, but are the 50s better?
 
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akar

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The 250-250s will probably sound better (I don't have them).
But the 250-80s will be able to driven better from all of your sources.(I do have these)

Beyer 250-80s on eBay

"Buy it Now" is $99.95 and shipping is $15

In my opinion, if these phones are in very good to excellent condition, then this is a fair price.
 
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Apoptygma

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If you don't mind used phones, maybe look for "like new" Grado SR325, at around $2.000.

There's a wealth of reviews and opinions on these phones at this forum. Some love them, and some just don't find them enjoyable or even listenable; the latter wich I can only understand if they only heard new 325's.
"Like new" 325's only means they're better than they were when spanking new. Not as good as really "used" ones though


I haven't got my own 325's yet, but I seriously auditioned them on several occassions, doing extensive A/B with other brands and every other Grado. With and without amps; new and broken in.

Done with all of that now, and saving up.

P.s.
Just like yourself, I'm looking to get an amp as soon as I can - Meta42.
 
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Apoptygma

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That's $200.

Not $2000.

Getting lost in reality or something, waiting for my phones...
 
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r3cc0s

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been a long time since i've been on this board
but I have to say after a long time...

the MDR-V6 have been the most used headphone of mine...

they pack neatly in my bag, they have the beyer 250 velor pads

and I use a TA as an amp

it's a wicked unit.. I plug it into my sound card at work
I plug it into my puter at home

I use it on my cd player on the train/bus/airplane

they don't leak much
they drown out sound

they are tight, deep bass
with pretty good soundstage for closed cans

and for the price you just can't go wrong

get that and a TA and you'll be set for under 200
 
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Guyferd

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Nothing beats the dt250-80 in the applications that you have mentioned.
Fairly flat responseaudio monitor), good sound(music), warm midrange(music), deep and tight bass(music), good isolation(all),good soundstage(for gaming), very comfortable.
Doesn't really require an amp. Can be driven from most portables.
They are one of the most solid phone under $200.the Other I like is Dt770 both pro and normal version(new one).
 
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Magicthyse

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Perhaps the best thing to do is to buy the V6 first, see what you think, then inexorably get sucked into Head-Fiitis.

However you need choices, so here goes...

I'm personally not a fan of the DT250-80's although I do put them on for when I want "background listening", but it looks like they're definitely one to consider for your use. I don't like them that much because there are much cheaper headphones which can equal and (for some music) surpass these units and also be a better 'package'. See the Technics unit mentioned below for such a phone.

The Sennheiser HD25 (not the SP) is also another one to hear. Can't tell you much about this but people here parrot Headroom's opinion that they're overpriced - best to make up your own mind.

Plus my current favourite, the Technics RP-DJ1200A. Although these are DJ phones, their sound quality as near as dammit approaches the DT250-80 (and it's generally better balanced in the range of frequencies it can deliver without being 'shrieky') while being much more versatile and MUCH easier to drive from a portable or laptop, and quite a bit cheaper in the US. The only category IMO in which the DT250 definitively wins against the RP-DJ1200A is long-term wearing comfort.

The Sennheiser HD280 is another closed headphone frequently recommended here but I'll leave others to recommend that as they're always want to do. What I can tell you is that I use them exclusively as monitoring headphones despite having other phones, so that should tell you something about these.

If portability isn't an issue you might like the Audio-Technica ART headphones. I had an ATH-A9X for a while which I bought for portable use (bad idea) but I would have said it would have done pretty well at all of the categories you mentioned. They have some new ones out - I can't tell you anything about them but at least they seem to look better
 
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Apoptygma

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Since you'll be using the phones for some editing, I should also mention that SR325's will probably meet many demands in that respect. The following quotation is from Gradolabs' homepage:



"The SR325's are easily the flattest, most accurate sounding phones tested, for critical monitoring, the Grados are hard to beat. Of all the phones tested, the SR325's were the only headphones I felt trustworthy enough for mixing."
(Pro Audio Review / Vol. 4, No. 6 / Loren Alldrin)

Of course, this small quotation doesn't mention which phones were tested; might be Grados exclusively... *shrug*



Anyway, FWIW, I'll be using the 325's for monitoring my music, just like for most of my listening.

Also, I assume you want raw impact and nice tight bass for gaming. This you definitely get with the 325's. And you get good soundstage.
Anything else - please do a search at this forum, and preferrably an audition, if you can!
 
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Jackangel

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Regarding the DT 250-80 on eBay, I got a response from the seller as to the condition of these headphones:

Quote:

Used but in near mint condition. I bought several pair for my home studio
but no longer need them. They have been treated well.

Rob


In my opinion, the 15 dollar shipping/handling/no insurance fee is definitely too much (unless he's using a premium shipping option), but it may be worth your while anyhow.
 
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