The Comfy & Unusual Suspects at $300 and Less Suggestions?
Jun 2, 2012 at 5:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

phamtasm

Head-Fier
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
55
Likes
10
I’ve been spending all my waking hours “researching” for a perfect set of comfortable plush headphones it’s becoming a little bit of an addiction. I’ve scoured the net and there are so many “What headphones should I get?” posts that I feel lost. I just want a COMFORTABLE set that sounds good, darn it!
 
I’ve been looking at over-ear closed headphones. I have a Sennheiser HD380 Pro now, and it’s clamping my head pretty hard (and I have a small head but big ears). The sound is bass-heavy/full and sometimes a little grainy. It sounds OK to me (I’m not an audiophile, just appreciate clear detailed sounds/music). As such, I’m now on the lookout again. I mainly listen to Pop/Rock 50% of the time. The rest are split to Classical, Hiphop, Reggae, and movies. I’m not using an amp right now, just through a laptop at home.
 
Here are the unusual suspects I’ve been eyeing based on comfort and would love some feedback on your ears-on experience with them. Other suggestions are also welcomed.
 
  1. AKG K550 – I tried these on and the comfort level was amazing. However, I’m concerned about the seal and if it will get loose later on. Sound was “fun” but had hoped the cable was detachable or coiled.
  2. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 32 OHM – May be a blind buy, I’ve heard how amazingly comfy they are and the sound quality seems to be up there too. After some research, the 32 Ohm is an issue that'll affect sound quality
  3. Audio Technica A900X – Tried these and they seem comfortable I’m just not too sure about those support wings. Do they actually support well?
  4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 80-OhmsIt was these or the SRH840. They are amazingly comfortable, but was somewhat turned-off by the cables and harder to drive without an AMP. I may pick them later up if the SRH840 don't work out and I upgrade. 
  5. Ultrasone HFI-780 - Newly added. How are these in terms of comfort? 
  6. Ultrasone HFI-580 - Same deal as the 780. What do you think?
  7. Shure SRH840 - The Shure SRH840 won! The $130 sale was too hard to pass on and they're easier to drive. But I may go to the DT770 if these don't cut it.
 
 
I’m looking more into the Beyers but their over-ear full size line is so confusing. I don’t know which way is up or down. They have like 3 different Ohm versions for each model that I don’t know where to start.
 
I've noticed there is a huge tendency for people on forums to suggest the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Denon D2000, and Sony MDR-V6. But I’m not really into those usual suspects as it seem like a mob mentality that those gets suggested. There’s a theory that the M50 has changed since its original version (color box). The D2000 leaks and I’m not a fan of the 2 wires. I actually owned the V6, and while it sounded good, it was too uncomfortable to wear for an extended time.  
 
So can you help this newbie out? My Sennheiser 380s are crushing my head at this moment.  Thank you.  
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM Post #3 of 25
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Posts
4,157
Likes
60
Quote:
I’m looking more into the Beyers but their over-ear full size line is so confusing. I don’t know which way is up or down. They have like 3 different Ohm versions for each model that I don’t know where to start.
 

 
You can't go wrong with a Beyer, they have something for every genre. In a nutshell the higher the Ohm the harder they are to drive, 600Ohm would require a decent OTL tube amp while the 32Ohm will run just fine off a soundcard. Typically the higher Ohm variants sound better but cost a lot more because of the amp requirements.
 
DT770 is closed and bass-heavy.
DT880 is open and close to neutral.
DT990 is open but not quite as balanced as the 880 but a touch more bass.
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM Post #4 of 25

phamtasm

Head-Fier
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
55
Likes
10
Quote:
Out of the list I have tried the DT770 and have the AKG Q701's. The Beyers and the AKG's (don't know about K550) don't clamp but SIT on your head. They aren't pillows as much as they are soft and just rest on your head. Hope that helps in describing them.

 
When you say SIT, is it easy to slide off if I'm moving around? I don't mean head banging, just normal head turns and moving on about? 
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 6:59 PM Post #5 of 25

bowei006

Panda Man
Reviewer at Headphone.Guru
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Posts
38,488
Likes
1,155
Quote:
 
When you say SIT, is it easy to slide off if I'm moving around? I don't mean head banging, just normal head turns and moving on about? 

If you head bang a lot it will slide a bit. The beyer and my AKG Q701 do have a bit of clamping but they wont' slide too easily. It depends on how hard you bang but....generally it won't come off. It will slide. Howver depending on head size and how you bang it may come off. I recommend you go demo...unless you can't
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM Post #6 of 25

phamtasm

Head-Fier
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
55
Likes
10
Quote:
 
You can't go wrong with a Beyer, they have something for every genre. In a nutshell the higher the Ohm the harder they are to drive, 600Ohm would require a decent OTL tube amp while the 32Ohm will run just fine off a soundcard. Typically the higher Ohm variants sound better but cost a lot more because of the amp requirements.
 
DT770 is closed and bass-heavy.
DT880 is open and close to neutral.
DT990 is open but not quite as balanced as the 880 but a touch more bass.

 
I'm reading about the DT880 and they say its a Semi-Open design. Would that help in reducing the pressurized feeling you sometimes get with closed headphones (which I'm not really a fan of)? 
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 8:16 PM Post #7 of 25
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Posts
4,157
Likes
60
Quote:
 
I'm reading about the DT880 and they say its a Semi-Open design. Would that help in reducing the pressurized feeling you sometimes get with closed headphones (which I'm not really a fan of)? 

 
I would think so. The only headphones I've felt that with have been the Sony XBs. The (semi) open design is predominantly there to allow the music depth, the downside however is they leak a little sound out.
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM Post #8 of 25

Posam

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Posts
387
Likes
12
The New V-MODA m-100s might be up your alley and i would recommend looking into them. Bad news, almost nobody has heard them and those that have only heard preproduction models. Depending on what you listen to they might have a tad more bass than you need.
 
One more thing, if comfort is your thing avoid Grado lol.
On a side note I have always wanted to try some Beyer 990s.
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 11:52 PM Post #9 of 25

phamtasm

Head-Fier
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
55
Likes
10
Quote:
The New V-MODA m-100s might be up your alley and i would recommend looking into them. Bad news, almost nobody has heard them and those that have only heard preproduction models. Depending on what you listen to they might have a tad more bass than you need.
 
One more thing, if comfort is your thing avoid Grado lol.
On a side note I have always wanted to try some Beyer 990s.

 
I had to remove the Beyer 880 32 Ohms after reading some reviews on how that low impedance affects sound quality. That probably would knock the 990s off too. I'll try my best to avoid the Grados, thanks!
basshead.gif

 
I think so far my top 2 are the K550 and Beyer DT 770, but I'll look into the V-MODA m-100s. 
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM Post #10 of 25

Posam

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Posts
387
Likes
12
Quote:
 
I had to remove the Beyer 880 32 Ohms after reading some reviews on how that low impedance affects sound quality. That probably would knock the 990s off too. I'll try my best to avoid the Grados, thanks!
basshead.gif

 
I think so far my top 2 are the K550 and Beyer DT 770, but I'll look into the V-MODA m-100s. 

They aren't out quite yet but are supposed to have slightly more bass quantity as well as more treble extension than my M-80s (which are great for shorter listening before the clamp pressure hurts my antihelix). 
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 4:03 AM Post #11 of 25

reddragon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Posts
1,898
Likes
26
Quote:
 
I had to remove the Beyer 880 32 Ohms after reading some reviews on how that low impedance affects sound quality. That probably would knock the 990s off too. I'll try my best to avoid the Grados, thanks!
basshead.gif

 
I think so far my top 2 are the K550 and Beyer DT 770, but I'll look into the V-MODA m-100s. 

 
 
if you really dont want 32 ohms then get the 250 ohms version or 80 ohms if they have it. i have the dt990 250 ohms and it sounds good. my amp is e17 and i recommend you getting an amp if you are going to get a 250 ohms dt whatever. and its comfortable on the head, my dt990 does leak and doesnt isolate well so i can only use it at home.
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 7:45 AM Post #12 of 25

stv014

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Posts
3,493
Likes
269
Quote:
In a nutshell the higher the Ohm the harder they are to drive, 600Ohm would require a decent OTL tube amp while the 32Ohm will run just fine off a soundcard.

 
It may sound surprising, but I have yet to find a sound card that can drive 32 Ohm headphones without any sound quality issues. The difficulty of driving the higher impedance versions is also overhyped; a tube amplifier is not required for the 600 Ohm models, unless you want it to get a colored "tube" sound (rolled off treble, high distortion, etc.). Except for using it specifically with portable players that are really optimized for low impedance headphones, I would get a 250 Ohm version over a 32 Ohm one, and add amplification if necessary. If a computer (especially onboard) source has problems driving 250 Ohm headphones, chances are that it will not do the 32 Ohm version justice either.
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 8:05 AM Post #13 of 25

MattTCG

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Posts
15,557
Likes
3,370
I think that the dt770's would be a good fit for you. Also, Beyer has released some new hp's that you should take a look at. I don't know much about them but you can take a look on their website. I think that the dt770 has been replaced.
 
gL!!
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM Post #14 of 25

skyline315

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Posts
1,148
Likes
327
Yes, the DT880 250 ohms ended up being the sweet spot for me.  They are playable out of portable sources, but do much better with a good dac/amp, of course.  They're out if you're dead set on closed phones, though, obviously.
 
Have you considered the SRH940s?  They definitely have a divisive sound signature (people either love or hate them), but they served me well for quite a while.  The 840s are also quite popular with a lot of people, although I haven't had a chance to hear them myself.  A friend of mine just got some, so I plan to do a little listening with them tonight.
 
As for portable, I like the HD25 suggestion, and I plan on looking into the Beyer DT1350s myself.
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM Post #15 of 25

phamtasm

Head-Fier
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
55
Likes
10
Quote:
Yes, the DT880 250 ohms ended up being the sweet spot for me.  They are playable out of portable sources, but do much better with a good dac/amp, of course.  They're out if you're dead set on closed phones, though, obviously.
 
Have you considered the SRH940s?  They definitely have a divisive sound signature (people either love or hate them), but they served me well for quite a while.  The 840s are also quite popular with a lot of people, although I haven't had a chance to hear them myself.  A friend of mine just got some, so I plan to do a little listening with them tonight.
 
As for portable, I like the HD25 suggestion, and I plan on looking into the Beyer DT1350s myself.

 
I added the SRH840/940 to the list too. Since the real thing for me is comfort, that was why I had the Beyers on there. I'm fine with the open DT880 and will see if I can try them (all of these) at a store. Right now my search is for only full-sized cans - I only use IEMs outside.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top