Recommend headphones under $300

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by bandit390, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. bandit390

    bandit390 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The wife and I have gone through many headphones and all of them have been too tight(squeezing our head when they are on) on both of our heads. I finally found the ATH 900x open that is great for a big head like mine, but they are too big for my wife. What else is there for her to try? Also, I'd rather try to stay under $200, but $200-$300 would be okay if it's worth it.

    Here is a list of all the headsets that we have tried that are too tight:
    - Sennheiser PC 363 D
    - Sennheiser Game Zero
    - Logitech G933
    - Beyerdynamic DT-990
    - AKG K702
    - Sennheiser 598

    I already have on my new list to try out:
    - HyperX Cloud Revolver S
     
  2. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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  3. st4rk

    st4rk Gawd

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    Definitely the Beyerdynamic DT-990. I was close to buying them but they were too loose on my small, fragile, head. They had great highs/mids, but pathetic bass. Not sure if an amp would help with that or not.

    I went with Audio Technica ATH-M50x and they fit snug on my head, I actually had to kinda stretch the band. Not sure if you were looking at those but they would probably way too tight for you, but they sound great at their price.
     
  4. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    990 has more bass than M50x. I used to have M50x and traded them to a friend because they were not comfortable for my big ears.
     
  5. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

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    HE-400i, Fidelio X2.

    I'm surprised the 702 is too tight? Is it the same clamping mechanism as the Massdrop K7XX (i.e., basically no clamp at all?) If not try the K7XX also. I find it just sort of hangs on my head.
     
  6. jiminator

    jiminator Capt Obvious

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    The philips above are great. I have had mine a couple of years and been very happy with them.
     
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  7. bandit390

    bandit390 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the input.

    We bought:
    - HyperX Cloud Revolver S <-- Heavy and too tight.
    - Logitech G430 <-- Feels cheap and uncomfortable.
    - HyperX Cloud II <-- Comfortable, not too tight, and feels great on a small head.

    We might order the M50x and choose between the cloud II and M50x.
     
  8. 123Lanoix

    123Lanoix 2[H]4U

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    for gaming headset i got the HyperX cloud Alpha's i recommend these because the mic and the cord are detachable the sound is similar to the hyper x cloud 2 with out the surround sound dac thing. for studio headphones i recommend the AKG 7xx massdrop headphones they are cheap at $199 and sound really good somewhere between the 702 and 712 pro
     
  9. celwin

    celwin Gawd

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    Add B&O H6 2nd generation to your list to audition. Very comfortable and you would be hard pressed to find better sounding head phones. They go for $300
     
  10. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Open-Back headphones with cloth ear cups. Amp wouldn't really help.
     
  11. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    VMODA M100 if you like a durable headset with detachable cables and excellent bass.
     
  12. fenixv

    fenixv Gawd

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    I used to use M50's but also found they were too tight during long gaming stretches. I purchased a Philips Fidelio x2 and couldn't be happier. Better fit, better sound, and overall much higher quality feel. They're at the top of your budget, but definitely worth checking out.
     
  13. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just for other people following along, the M50 and M100 headsets are from different companies:

    Audio Technica M50 (there are a lot of variants) https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR86

    VMODA M100 https://www.amazon.com/V-MODA-Crossfade-Over-Ear-Noise-Isolating-Headphone/dp/B00A39PPI0/
     
  14. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    I just received a pair of these on Friday and so far I am very impressed. And ordered the XL earpads this morning from Amazon, which are a highly recommended upgrade.
     
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  15. Icy006

    Icy006 [H]Lite

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    It's hard to beat the Massdrop Sennheiser HD-6XX. I don't own it, but I have a HD-650 (that I paid WAY more for), which is pretty much identical. Be sure to get some decent amplification though, it makes a big difference.
     
  16. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    Out of all my headphones the DT990 have the most bass so your comment that they have "pathetic" bass I find is misleading to other people because it is just not true. They are known as having decent bass and if you go read comments on head-fi you will find what I am saying is true.
     
  17. Icy006

    Icy006 [H]Lite

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    I have a vintage DT-880. It really needs amplification to open up, I'm sure the DT-990 is the same. No juice == no bass. :)
     
  18. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    DT880 and DT990 both have weak bass even with strong amp.
     
  19. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dt990-transparent-bass.276027/

    "I notice the bass is very deep & has very good extension.. It has a nice slam, but doesn't feel solid or 'physical'.. It has slam & impact, but no weight in a sense, it's like you can see right through it, if that makes sense? Anyone come to this conclusion? I do feel the 880's are the better cans.. More refined & 'mature'.."

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dissapointed-by-dt990-bass-can-you-help.243148/

    "The 990 are bass heavy phones and I don't think this is only my opinion."

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/huge-disappointment-dt990-pro-250-are-bass-cannons.417725/

    "BOOM,BOOM,BOOM. i was like is this the dt990 that is highly praised on headfi? talk about heavy bass. forget the mids and the highs as far as i am concern they are drowned by the overpowering bass. will this mellow down? should i just return them? probably a defective model? i mean how can someone enjoy this amount of bass. they are TOO MUCH even for hiphop.......that is definitely saying something."
     
  20. chrcoluk

    chrcoluk [H]ard|Gawd

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    HD518 is decent.
     
  21. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah. In the headphone world it's all subjective. It blows my mind when people say any open headphone has too much bass or a lot of bass. Even closed headphones that are touted as bass kings don't have hardcore bass in my opinion. Proper eq tuning with a good dac/amp can fix that though of course. For normal listeners they might be ok. But when anyone is actively seeking a headphone with good bass they are at least then a partial basshead, for which they will be underwhelmed.

    I fell into that nonsense of people praising headphones on headfi and tried dozens of high quality headphones with good dac/amps of course and was disappointed in most of them. I don't listen to anyone anymore when they talk about headphones. But I'm also a guy who is used to standard high end audio equipment in real life so I realized one day that I probably expected too much from headphones.

    The best experience from headphones though in my opinion for music are open ones using a good dac/amp and proper eq tuning to bring in the bass that they are missing out of the box so you get a good balanced yet strong sound while having the natural open airy feel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  22. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    There is no proper bass unless you feel it in your body. Headphones by definition cannot produce proper bass.

    A good bass makes you jump in your seat. Like the club scene at Budapest in Red Sparrow, the whole 400 seat movie theater physically vibrated with deep, clean and undistorted bass. I wonder who built the subs there... :D
     
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  23. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hmm ... I will say that headphones and speakers do things somewhat differently; headphones do great in some areas (resolution and transparency), speakers in others (soundstaging, dynamic impact, sonic-assaulting bass). Both are inherently "unnatural" to some degree. There is no "true ideal solution", short of having every musician in the world playing in acoustically designed, perfectly placed areas (all of varying size, of course), and all at your command -- paging Dr. Who, anyone?

    But for big booming bass (if that is your #1 priority for a headphone, with everything else being a distant second), go for one of the JVC XX line headphones; they are known for being bass cannons (or the closest that a headphone can be, anyway) -- and using a term like "hardcore bass" is itself very subjective ;)

    One can even argue that a "true" good bass should make your eardrums bleed ... just ask any artilleryman :p

    IMHO where it really becomes "objective" is your living space -- do you have annoyed spouses/significant others, or neighbors, who will complain about the volume you're listening at (for whatever reason)? That seems to be the deciding factor for many.
     
  24. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nah big booming bass isn't my number 1 priority. It just needs to there and alive with a solid slam. I was just stating that those Beyer headphones do not do that. Those posts are funny when people call them bass canons and say "boom boom boom". I think a lot of those guys who rave at most audiophile headphones as bass canons are either sellers, haven't heard good sound systems outside of headphones, and the rest must be descendants of some bird species with super sensitive ears.

    Yeah I've tried those JVC, they have more bass than most audiophile grade headphones I've tried, but the rest of the spectrum is weak in comparison. Good EQ tuning with proper plugins like sonnox oxford can actually make them sound decent though.

    The HE-500s are good all rounders that can handle a lot of power and strong EQing to make them sound however you want. Use a good dac/amp and drop the preamp on a good 3rd party eq and then have your way with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  25. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    For sure, Beyers are (generally) known for having quite a bit of treble, to the point of being sibilant (not as much as Grados, though!). My Beyerdynamic Amiron Home bucked the trend (unlike it's predecessor, the T1) and is pretty neutral and precise, without being anemically so (as Sennheiser tends to be).

    The JVC are straight-up bass, and not much else, as you mentioned. :) The Sony MDR-1A has a good amount of bass as well, but is reasonably precise. I do like the variable bass option on my Sennheiser HD 630VB.

    Never tried the HE-500s, but I currently have the HE-400i (and used to have the HE-400s) and both of them are pretty nice headphones; I liked the 400i's precision (especially on sub-bass) over the 400s (even when the 400s was modded).

    I still think my current Audeze LCD-2 Classic beats all the previous headphones I've had, though.

    Tyll Hertsens had some good things to say about the HiFiMan Sundara, so I may check 'em out at some point (so far, I've been lucky in avoiding any quality issues from HiFiMan, and the Sundara seems better built than previous HiFiMan headphones).
     
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  26. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    It makes me cringe when someone says 'booming bass'. Booming in my vocabulary means overemphasized bass that has way too much reverb in the room (or a bass box that's tuned too high).
     
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  27. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    HiFiMan HE-400i is going for $120 right now (Open Box): https://hardforum.com/threads/hifiman-he-400i-headphone-120-open-box.1955898/

    Guess the rumors are true; that the recently released HiFiMan Sundara ($499) has dealers clearing out previous HiFiMan 4-- lines (400s/400i/4xx), due to the 4-- line no longer being produced.
     
  28. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    What headphones do you own that you feel have good bass? I know for certain that my DT990 have more bass than any other headphone I own so it is not "weak" but perhaps it is not ideal.
     
  29. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    "Hardcore bass" in a headphone is going to be relative compared to other headphones, IMO. I disagree that a basshead is going to be underwhelmed with some of the bassier headphones, as long as their expectations are realistic. Obviously, no headphone's low frequency output is going to compare to that of a subwoofer but I can see why someone would describe a headphone as having "big booming bass" compared to some of the more anemic offerings out there.
     
  30. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    To be fair, I think that describes the JVC XX line quite well: they definitely aren't "audiophile" headphones in any way -- they were specifically designed to target folks who want a lot of bass at a very affordable price (whether bloated or imprecise was of no concern, apparently, as long as bass was at the forefront of everything).

    Some of the Fostex models have "great bass", but still have decent to good measurements (at least, compared to the JVC XX line).
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  31. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    Love my Denon D600s (2 pairs) and AKG K550s (2 pairs)
     
  32. jeffo911

    jeffo911 n00bie

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    Nice list bro! Id add the audio technica athm50x....solid headphones
     
  33. margrave

    margrave [H]Lite

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    Those Beyers are great. Too tight, you say? I didn't find them so.
    The Senns are great too, but they sound very different than the Beyers.
    Those AKGs are often recommended, but I've never tried them.