Recommendation for High-End Movie Headphones
Apr 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


New Head-Fier
Apr 17, 2013
Hi all! I am looking to purchase a pair of mid/high-end headphones purely for late movie watching.
I have a couple questions and was hoping I could get some answers and recommendations.
1. I have a Denon 2310 A/V receiver that receives audio & video via HDMI from an HTPC. Do I need to purchase a headphone amp or would the Denon's headphone output suffice?
2. Is it some how possible to be able to listen to the movie through the headphones but still have the sub active as well?
3. Any recommendations for pure movie headphones. Around the $350-$500 range. I was looking at HiFiMan HE-400 but I'm not sure these are movie headphones. I also saw recommendations for Beyer DT-990s but I'm a little confused by the customization.
Basically, what I would like out of headphones is to be lost/engulfed in the movie soundtrack, whether it be dialog or action scene. I understand the bass won't rumble my chest like speaker-listening (hence the subwoofer question #2) so I'm willing to sacrifice some bass to get that engulfed sensation.
Thanks for any help!
Apr 18, 2013 at 4:58 AM Post #2 of 16
Not the HE-400 for movies... Maybe you should rather get a closed headphone with a deep sound stage and some decent bass. But I don't know...
Apr 18, 2013 at 7:01 AM Post #3 of 16
Any recommendations on what model to look at?
I also saw lots of recommendations for Beyerdynamics DT 990-600 Ohm. Those are also open cans no? And would those be OK to run through my Denon receiver?
Apr 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM Post #4 of 16
^The dt-990 is open, yes. I think you should look at Mad Lust Envy's gaming thread and look a bit at his immersive score for the headphone and read a bit around there.
I don't know about you denon receiver. I do know the headphones will be plenty loud, but you must know that the quality of jacks on receivers varies greatly. It might be fairly good or it might be pretty bad. As you probably know volumes isn't exactly the only thing. You can get an external headphone amp and go line-out from the receiver or something.
Apr 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM Post #5 of 16
Thanks for the suggestion on Mad Lust Envy's thread. Good info!
My toss up seems to be between the Beyer DT-990 and the Ultrasone Pro 2900. Both which seem to be recommended for movie watching.
My biggest issue seems to be how (or if) people are using these headphones to watch movies in a home theater environment with an A/V receiver. It seems headphone jacks aren't adequate enough and it seems most Denons don't allow analog line-out from a digital source. Since I'm feeding everything from HDMI from my HTPC, am I out of luck?
Apr 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM Post #6 of 16
No line-out 

An external soundcard would be a kinda expensive solution, but would possibly work. Will you use the headphone for listening to music also?
You could consider the HE-400 off of speaker taps, but that would also cost a bit... Besides I don't htink the HE-400 would be the best choice anyway for movies.
Still, the receiver jack might still be a solution, and it is not necessarily poor. If you choose to do it that way, I think you should get the dt-990 250 ohm, since it is probably driveable from the receiver jack, and due to the fairly high impedance it will probably not be affected as much by the (possibly) high output impedance of the receiver jack. If you could find some specs for the headphone-out it would be good.
Apr 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM Post #7 of 16
Well I have line-out but Denon won't output if I'm using a digital source, like HDMI, which I am. So I can't see a way of using line-out/Zone2 for my needs.
I may just buy the Beyer DT-990 and see how they sound off the headphone jack. I called Denon but unfortunately they don't know that info (or didn't want to share). Question regarding the 250 vs 600Ohm DT-990. If I'm to assume the headphone jack on the Denon is high impedance, would I be better off going for the 600Ohm version instead?
Thanks again for all your help!
Apr 18, 2013 at 4:34 PM Post #8 of 16
^you would, but the question is if the amplification is sufficient to deal with the 600 ohm. Also if you plan to get another amp 600 ohm might be a hard to drive
Apr 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM Post #10 of 16
It depends on where you live... But of course there are stores. Stores that sells studio equipment/instruments usually also sell headphones.
Apr 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM Post #12 of 16
try and find a pair of d2000's, they where the best movie headphones at their price imo
Apr 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM Post #13 of 16
I guess I should have asked this from the get-go but why do you not recommend the HE-400 for movies? You own a pair I take it?

Because it's heavy and only semi-comfortable. Also the bass is, from what I have heard, not really suited for movies and such. I think it is because the bass is very clean and textured, but I don't really know... I have just heard that explosions don't sound right.
I own a HE-500.
Apr 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM Post #14 of 16
Dubstep Girl - Thanks for the recommendation. I know those are supposed to be good headphones but I feel kinda "eh" about used headphones. Who knows how well they were taking care of etc. I'd rather not press my luck.
Davidsh - I think this is the first time I've heard about the HE-400s and bass/explosion issues. I'll keep searching around for more info. Didn't think about the heavy issue though. Good point!
Apr 24, 2013 at 5:11 PM Post #15 of 16
Jazzman I have a lower model Denon and I'll say the headphone out will not push 600ohm headphones good at all. Denon's head out is VERY weak on all models.
Lucky for me I have line out and just feed my M-Stage.  Depending on your set up it might be most price effective to buy a use Denon, I know it's sounds crazy but my 5.1 set up you can get refurb/new for $130 or so.  I can't understand the Denon line up, the higher you move up the chain the less features you get.  Makes no sense to me!!
Bedroom 5.1 set up, Denon Avr-591 and Polk T15's


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