Recommendations for an all rounder kinda bassy headphones?
Apr 21, 2020 at 1:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

m477430

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Hi, I'm new to these forums so kinda just learning about em. Anyways, I just recently bought a SBx G6 because I thought it was like the battery-less version of the e5 that almost blew up on me but no mic unfortunately lol. Anyways, I've had a pair of AKG M220s for a while I like them a lot but I find they lack in bass for my liking a lot, I listen to A LOT of everything mostly EDM or 90s dance music, or old school hip-hop and a lot of 70s 80s rock, but I also find myself dabbling in a lot of instrumental violin or even classical. So I'd like to find a pair of headphones that do it all really well but i can still use my AKG's for the classical and stuff that doesn't require the bass. I am a bit of a bass head coming from car audio where you slap 2 12" subs throw 1200 watts to it and call it a day, but I do concern myself with powerful mids and highs, but I can't exactly do that with a pair of headphones lol. So I guess what I'm trying to ask is for some moderately priced over ear headphones lets say $250 CAN max that can hit lows really well but not be unable to do clear mids and highs (probably looking at multi drivers but hopefully not too expensive), must have 3.5mm jack or at least 1/4" (I do have an old receiver that I can hook my SB to), and it's gotta be pretty comfortable for long use like 4 hours plus, I spend almost too much time listening to music sometimes, and a little louder than my m220's (I got that receiver when I was a kid and blew out my ears with IEM's before I knew what clipping was so a little hearing impaired lol). Now to be clear I don't exactly want these headphones to be shaking off my head but just a clear vibration or something. And lastly any recommendations for a kind of upbeat or soothing classical would be super appreciated. I also posted this in the LTT forums just so I get a broader opinion range.
Thanks in advance guys :)
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 2:11 PM Post #2 of 22

pjones5

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I almost feel like this is heresy to recommend on a largely audiophile website, but the Skullcandy Crusher might be what you're looking for. They've got a base model ($120) and an ANC model (~$300). Tried these out in BestBuy. Sound quality is decent enough (better than the average Skullcandy headphone), but it's got a bass adjustment slider that'll blow your socks off. If you put the bass to max on it, it feels like you've got a pair of sub woofers on your head. Maybe worth checking out? Not sure if they're wired or not.

Aside from that off-the-wall recommendation, are you looking specifically at closed back or open back? Closed back wise, not a whole lot is coming to mind for me. Open back (and I feel like I'm excessively recommending these to people, maybe I'm a fanboy...?), I really like the Sennheiser HD6XX. They've got pretty good bass extension and they're a real pleasure to listen to specifically for things like classical - they're my go to for that genre.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 2:31 PM Post #3 of 22

m477430

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I almost feel like this is heresy to recommend on a largely audiophile website, but the Skullcandy Crusher might be what you're looking for. They've got a base model ($120) and an ANC model (~$300). Tried these out in BestBuy. Sound quality is decent enough (better than the average Skullcandy headphone), but it's got a bass adjustment slider that'll blow your socks off. If you put the bass to max on it, it feels like you've got a pair of sub woofers on your head. Maybe worth checking out? Not sure if they're wired or not.

Aside from that off-the-wall recommendation, are you looking specifically at closed back or open back? Closed back wise, not a whole lot is coming to mind for me. Open back (and I feel like I'm excessively recommending these to people, maybe I'm a fanboy...?), I really like the Sennheiser HD6XX. They've got pretty good bass extension and they're a real pleasure to listen to specifically for things like classical - they're my go to for that genre.
Thanks for the response, I don't think I will go for the skull candies, I looked em up and they are wireless, so extra weight might make em a bit uncomfortable for long usage but maybe that's not the case idk I can't test them with this pandemic thing going around, and I'm uncertain if they have a wired option, but I did look into those Sennheisers on massdrop, from their frequency response graph they look like they'd be a pretty good match as they have a decently flat frequency response for an all range, I noticed thir THD does go up a fair bit in the lower range so I might have to mess around with some EQs maybe, idk for certain, too bad I can't test these things out. I'll withhold from buying atm for more suggestions.
Again thank you so much for the reply :)
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 2:48 PM Post #4 of 22

pjones5

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Thanks for the response, I don't think I will go for the skull candies, I looked em up and they are wireless, so extra weight might make em a bit uncomfortable for long usage but maybe that's not the case idk I can't test them with this pandemic thing going around, and I'm uncertain if they have a wired option, but I did look into those Sennheisers on massdrop, from their frequency response graph they look like they'd be a pretty good match as they have a decently flat frequency response for an all range, I noticed thir THD does go up a fair bit in the lower range so I might have to mess around with some EQs maybe, idk for certain, too bad I can't test these things out. I'll withhold from buying atm for more suggestions.
Again thank you so much for the reply :)

Of course!
It does really put a damper on the whole audio-buying experience. On the one hand, I have way too much time on my hands so I spend more time than I care to admit looking at headphones, but rarely do I pull the trigger because I can't actually try them out. You could check out the AKG K553s as well. They aren't my all time favorite headphone; yet, I find that I listen to them more than anything (isn't it weird how that happens?). I'm waiting for new ear pads from Brainwavz (is been like a month and a half now) for them that are a few mm thicker and have a denser foam. I'm hoping it'll create a better seal and the bass will really begin to shine. Listening to them with the stock pads, you can tell the bass is there but the whole time, I'm thinking, "If only I could get a better seal, then it'd be really good".
Aside from those (I'm kind of just bombarding you with suggestions now), I'd look at the HIFIMAN HE4XX (maybe even the Sundara if you can find them in your budget). They're planar magnetic, but reviews seem to suggest that they might be what you're looking for. Again, I haven't tried these personally because all of the items I've ordered are traveling around the mail system.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 3:29 PM Post #5 of 22

m477430

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Of course!
It does really put a damper on the whole audio-buying experience. On the one hand, I have way too much time on my hands so I spend more time than I care to admit looking at headphones, but rarely do I pull the trigger because I can't actually try them out. You could check out the AKG K553s as well. They aren't my all time favorite headphone; yet, I find that I listen to them more than anything (isn't it weird how that happens?). I'm waiting for new ear pads from Brainwavz (is been like a month and a half now) for them that are a few mm thicker and have a denser foam. I'm hoping it'll create a better seal and the bass will really begin to shine. Listening to them with the stock pads, you can tell the bass is there but the whole time, I'm thinking, "If only I could get a better seal, then it'd be really good".
Aside from those (I'm kind of just bombarding you with suggestions now), I'd look at the HIFIMAN HE4XX (maybe even the Sundara if you can find them in your budget). They're planar magnetic, but reviews seem to suggest that they might be what you're looking for. Again, I haven't tried these personally because all of the items I've ordered are traveling around the mail system.
Yeah, it really sucks how the mailing system has been lately but I guess it's kinda to be expected, but I noticed the HiFiman's r pretty underpowered in bass on the frequency response chart compared to the Sennheiser's you recommended earlier, the AKG 553 frequency response chart I found looked pretty impressive on the lower end, but i noticed lows are somewhat higher than the mids and highs, do you find they get drowned out by the lower frequencies? And unfortunately the Sundaras are a fair bit out of my budget unless you think they're worth saving up for. Also could you give me a dumbed down version of Planar Magnetic?
 
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Apr 21, 2020 at 4:18 PM Post #6 of 22

pjones5

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Yeah, it really sucks how the mailing system has been lately but I guess it's kinda to be expected, but I noticed the HiFiman's r pretty underpowered in bass on the frequency response chart compared to the Sennheiser's you recommended earlier, the AKG 553 frequency response chart I found looked pretty impressive on the lower end, but i noticed lows are somewhat higher than the mids and highs, do you find they get drowned out by the lower frequencies? And unfortunately the Sundaras are a fair bit out of my budget unless you think they're worth saving up for. Also could you give me a dumbed down version of Planar Magnetic?

Here's a great article that describes the science behind planar magnetic headphones (and how they're different from standard dynamic): https://www.howtogeek.com/327846/what-are-planar-magnetic-headphones/

I couldn't say whether the Sundara's are worth saving up for or not. I have not personally tried a planar magnetic yet. I have ordered the HE4XX and they should be here any day now - I'm really excited to see what all the hype is with them.

I've read a lot of reviews for the AKG K553's (mk 2) and a lot of people love them. I'll rave about my HD6XX and even the K371s for a while, but I've never been like "Man, I need to tell someone about these headphones" for the K553s. That said, they're good headphones. Like I said before, they are the closed-back I use the most; at least until I get my Meze 99 Noir (which, I hope, will blow them out of the water). There's never been a point where I thought they sound dark or muddy, where the bass over-powered the mids or highs. The bass is very present, better than a lot of other headphones I've tried, but it's exceptionally tight. I like to say, "There's no thump and bump to it". I had a pair of Sony WH-H900N (which are like the cheaper brother of the WH-1000XM3) and they clearly had some sort of bass boost where the bass was not only amplified but also slightly reverbed/delayed. So, a kick from the bass drum would sound louder than it needed to be, and it would resonate in the headphones excessively long. That sort of thing bleeds into the mids very easily. Not the case with the K553s though.

The soundstage is decent. The K553s are not balanced compatible so imaging is good enough, but not much room for improvement. It's so difficult for me to describe the sound quality and tuning, because I feel like it varies from song to song - which is probably actually a good sign. I almost feel like I want to talk you out of getting them, but they've become like my "old faithful". Reasonably good sound for the price, rarely do I feel fatigued, fairly comfortable, great build quality, and they're super easy to power. Bass never really bleeds into the mids, but there are times that I feel like mids are a tad recessed. It's a toss up - I'd watch some youtube reviews on them.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 4:40 PM Post #7 of 22

pjones5

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I almost want to recommend the AKG K371s. They are worth taking a look at, especially considering their price.

I've talked a bit about them on other threads, but I almost have a love/hate relationship with my K371s. Sometimes, I listen to them and their warm, musical, with such accurate reproduction and detail and I'm like "I can't believe I got these $150". Other times I listen and I'm just like "Oww, what is happening??" It's the most bizarre thing, Zeos at Z Reviews describes it like that as well.

Not everybody feels that way though, a lot of people have hailed them as the, like, the next great low-cost audiophile headphone. It's a headphone that'll dethrone all others because of the very specific and accurate tuning to the Harman Curve. Not to mention, the build quality is great, their comfortable, their stylish, they fold up and go portable, and they can powered by literally everything. I'm pretty sure I could plug these into a salted potato and they would produce sound. There's a lot of things going for these headphones. I tell people that I would hate myself if these we're the only headphones I could ever listen to. Since they're not, I love them about 90% of the time because I can pull them off the rack and listen to the stuff that I know sounds good on them. That's largely small band jazz, chill acoustic stuff, and soloist classical (violin, piano, etc.). You start listening to larger, more complex things and they become very fatiguing headphones. I think here's why... The sound stage and imaging is almost nonexistent. With the HD6XXs, even with the K553s (to a degree), you can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a room and begin to place the sounds around you. If I listen to a basic, soft rock song with a relatively small band I can go - okay, vocals are right here in front me, the guitar is a little farther back and to the right, you got the drums back there but they're still filling in the gaps, you got the bass pluck and then the nice warm tone, etc. It can be a cool experience if you've got the right file-type and DAC/amp. The K371 doesn't do that. As (I think) Zeos described it, its like having all of the instruments right there sitting in your lap. The advantage of that is you'll pick up on details that you've noticed. The disadvantage is that you'll get ear fatigue from the more aggressive sounding tracks.

Despite that, I think it might be worth your time to take a look at them. Comparing them toe to toe with the K553, the sound quality feels better on the K371. K553 has better sound stage and build quality. K553s, in my opinion, are your "safe choice". You probably won't be wowed by them, but you probably also won't be super impressed. The K371s are little bit more risky... They'll definitely wow you for some tracks, but you may also hate yourself for others...
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 6:40 PM Post #8 of 22

Mhog55

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Grab the Meze 99 Noir, install the smaller pads and enjoy. You won't a whole lot of better options for 70s and 80s rock, at any price point. Some extra oomph in the bass, mids are a highlight reel, and the treble is slightly rolled off, but still extends well enough. Warm, rich and organic, with a whole lotta bite that never gets harsh or too hot to handle. I have several headphones, and guitar work is presented best on the 99s. Very lively without losing focus. Aside from rock music, these make for an excellent all rounder. For the price, they just kill it imo.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 7:24 PM Post #9 of 22

pjones5

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Grab the Meze 99 Noir, install the smaller pads and enjoy. You won't a whole lot of better options for 70s and 80s rock, at any price point. Some extra oomph in the bass, mids are a highlight reel, and the treble is slightly rolled off, but still extends well enough. Warm, rich and organic, with a whole lotta bite that never gets harsh or too hot to handle. I have several headphones, and guitar work is presented best on the 99s. Very lively without losing focus. Aside from rock music, these make for an excellent all rounder. For the price, they just kill it imo.

That's good - I wanted to recommend the Meze 99 Noirs, but I haven't received mine in the mail yet so haven't tried them. Got something to look forward to!
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 9:24 PM Post #10 of 22

bzippy

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A big +1 on the Meze 99 Classics! Great clarity, audiophile cred, and an overall natural & satisfying balance with the exception of a unmistakable bump on the bottom. I love mine but almost always shave few dB off the lowest bands with EQ. I'm only bummed I didn't get to be first in with this recommendation -- dangit! Anyway, I'll wager the cost of a monoprice cable that you'll love them!
 
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Apr 21, 2020 at 9:37 PM Post #11 of 22

pjones5

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A big +1 on the Meze 99 Classics! Great clarity, audiophile cred, and an overall natural & satisfying balance with the exception of a unmistakable bump on the bottom. I love mine but almost always shave few dB off the lowest bands with EQ. I'm only bummed I didn't get to be first in with this recommendation -- dangit! Anyway, I'll wager the cost of a monoprice cable that you'll love them!

Is there much of a difference between the Meze 99 Classics ($300) and the Drop x Meze 99 Noirs ($200)?
 
Apr 24, 2020 at 2:21 PM Post #13 of 22

m477430

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Thanks for the response guys, sorry its been a while since i've been on but i looked up the meze 99s they look like they have really good bass response, but the mids and highs look like they lack a fair bit, but if u guys are willing to bet on it, i guess they're probably really good lol. I probably won't find a better set of headphones tahn the ones you guys recommend so I guess it'll come down to weighing each and deciding from there .Thanks guys for all your help especially pjones5 for all the recomendations.
 
Apr 24, 2020 at 2:34 PM Post #14 of 22

pauly01

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I will second the recommendation on the K371. I will say this though. I bought mine new. After 3 months, they sounded tinny and boxy. Before, they were very rich and deep. I was thoroughly surprised.
If you don’t mind bluetooth, I highly recommend the N700NC M2 from AKG. They have the very punchy, shaking kind of bass you are looking for. But the bass is very tight, detailed and doesn’t drown out the mods and highs. It’s great for all music styles as well as movies. I use mine every night for that.

I’m with you about having 2x12s in a car and looking for that experience in headphones. The N700NC M2 is spot on. You can find them new on eBay. I got mine for $120. I hope this helps.
 
Apr 24, 2020 at 3:00 PM Post #15 of 22

pjones5

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Thanks for the response guys, sorry its been a while since i've been on but i looked up the meze 99s they look like they have really good bass response, but the mids and highs look like they lack a fair bit, but if u guys are willing to bet on it, i guess they're probably really good lol. I probably won't find a better set of headphones tahn the ones you guys recommend so I guess it'll come down to weighing each and deciding from there .Thanks guys for all your help especially pjones5 for all the recomendations.

Finally got the 99 Noirs! Big fan! There is a hefty amount of bass and they are a very warm headphone. But, its not to the exclusion of mids and highs.
@pauly01, I've experienced a similar thing with my K371s. I don't know if its the actual headphones or my hearing, but there is definitely a difference between the first time and now.
 

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