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Which headphones would be best for me in the $150 range? - Page 2

post #11 of 21
Just wanted to saytthat open does not equal lack of bass. In fact, my favorite headphones for bass are open design (Grado RS1i & GS1000/PS1000).The less expensive SR125's are phenomenal all around headphones, and I have never once felt that they are lacking in bass.


However, my ears are "trained" more for audio editing/mixing than anything else, so to me, good bass = clear with distinct note separation, and not overpowering the mids. Grado are, in my experience/opinion, the best at achieving this "ideal balance", but everyone's ears are different.


Beyerdynamics are good headphones, but to me they (DT990's) are too "constrained" in terms of sound stage. They have a lot of bass and are fairly well balanced, but I just don't get the sense of space that I do from Grado or Audio Technica headphones. Don't get me wrong, the sound quality is excellent (although not monitor level), I just don't feel like they work well for gaming or films, but instead are very musical.
Sennheiser headphones, until you get to the HD8xx series, overemphasize the highs too much for my tastes (and too much to be used for monitors), to the point that they have a very noticeable amount of sibilance especially with female vocalists, violins, etc. They have more bass than most open headphones, but I simply find them to be fatiguing to use for more than an hour.

Aside from the Grados, I would recommend the Audio Technica ATH-A900X's. They're closed but offer a very strong sound stage, and have a very good amount of bass without losing the tonal separation of each note. Gaming with them is extremely nice.
   
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post #12 of 21
OP already said he doesn't want open headphones.

Otherwise I'd have recommended say HD598 or DT990. To my ears the 990's sound stage and separation pwn anything Grado until the RS1i. Still the DT880 is the most neutral and balanced out of the DT line, but they also go for a lot more money.

You cannot use Grado for gaming period. Sound aside, unless you're used to Medieval torturing devices there is simply no way you can wear an on-ear Grado for more than one hour without feeling discomfort. Pretty much every single Grado owner I've talked to say the same thing. They love the Grado sound so much that they can go ahead and call Senn/Beyer garbage, but they all agree that Grado isn't well known for comfort. A pair of G-cush pads sets you back another ~$45 which is basically a rip off.

The only Grados that would fit OP's budget are the SR80i and SR125i, the whole SR line are known to have mediocre sound stage and terrible comfort at stock configurations, not something a sane person would use for gaming.

The A900X is a good recommendation, they have been going for pretty cheap now compared to their open-back twin.
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post #13 of 21
I know that the OP said he preferred "not open designed headphones", but I was offering my experience (as a sound engineer), explaining MY OPINIONS on how different open/dynamic headphones sound, and that just because one or two specific sets of open cans don't work for you, doesn't mean that the entire design is flawed.

Also, I use my Grado's almost exclusively for editing/mixing, and I have never had an issue with comfort... Granted, the RS1i's, GS1000's, and PS1000's ARE more comfortable than the SR series (and for $600-$2000, they better be), but my original SR225's (not SR225i's) are still one of my favorite headphones of all time for general listening.

Finally, I am not a Grado fanatic who is bashing either Sennheiser or BD, I simply am relaying my experience with the most commonly recommended brands/models on here...
   
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post #14 of 21
Maybe the fact that I wear glasses have something to do with the comfort problems, I can't deal with most on-ear cans in general, not just Grado. I understand that you don't have problems with them comfort wise, however for what they cost you can get other full-size headphones which can easily outlast them on anyone's head. And I'm not the only one whining about Grado's design. I'd easily hand over $700 to Grado if they could make the RS1i as comfortable as the D7000 while keeping the same sound sign.
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post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

Just wanted to saytthat open does not equal lack of bass. In fact, my favorite headphones for bass are open design (Grado RS1i & GS1000/PS1000).The less expensive SR125's are phenomenal all around headphones, and I have never once felt that they are lacking in bass.


However, my ears are "trained" more for audio editing/mixing than anything else, so to me, good bass = clear with distinct note separation, and not overpowering the mids. Grado are, in my experience/opinion, the best at achieving this "ideal balance", but everyone's ears are different.


Beyerdynamics are good headphones, but to me they (DT990's) are too "constrained" in terms of sound stage. They have a lot of bass and are fairly well balanced, but I just don't get the sense of space that I do from Grado or Audio Technica headphones. Don't get me wrong, the sound quality is excellent (although not monitor level), I just don't feel like they work well for gaming or films, but instead are very musical.
Sennheiser headphones, until you get to the HD8xx series, overemphasize the highs too much for my tastes (and too much to be used for monitors), to the point that they have a very noticeable amount of sibilance especially with female vocalists, violins, etc. They have more bass than most open headphones, but I simply find them to be fatiguing to use for more than an hour.

Aside from the Grados, I would recommend the Audio Technica ATH-A900X's. They're closed but offer a very strong sound stage, and have a very good amount of bass without losing the tonal separation of each note. Gaming with them is extremely nice.

Hmmm... I must take your word for it that open cans don't always lack bass, but I have got that impression from all the reviews I've read on open cans in my price range. I've seen quite a few different open cans in my range, and every reviewer says there's no bass...
T
he Grados that are in my price range are most definitely out of the question... Lack of comfort and sound stage are the most common complaints, and those are two of the most necessary traits for gaming! Lol

Now those A900X's... Last time I checked, I swear I saw them for more than $200... Just checked again on Amazon, and they're only $169... The price is attractive, but let me inform you of what I've heard about Audio Technica. So I've heard the AD700's are the absolute best cans on the market in the $100 range for gaming... Amazing sound stage, crystal clear quality... But absolutely no bass. Definitely not considering those. I hear the A700's are just like the AD700's, except slightly smaller sound stage for a bigger bass... But then I heard that the A700's, compared to other bands, still have barely any bass, so that's basically deterred me away from the A700's/A700x's... So about the A900x's. Could you compare it's bass to the DT770's, and the HFi-780's? I am assuming that, because it's Audio Technica, the sound stage is going to be killer compared to the other two, so basically... If you can honestly post that the bass is much better overall in the A900x's, then I think we have a winner! Oh, I'd also like to hear that I don't need an amp to drive the A900x's to get the bass out of them lol tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

OP already said he doesn't want open headphones.

Otherwise I'd have recommended say HD598 or DT990. To my ears the 990's sound stage and separation pwn anything Grado until the RS1i. Still the DT880 is the most neutral and balanced out of the DT line, but they also go for a lot more money.

You cannot use Grado for gaming period. Sound aside, unless you're used to Medieval torturing devices there is simply no way you can wear an on-ear Grado for more than one hour without feeling discomfort. Pretty much every single Grado owner I've talked to say the same thing. They love the Grado sound so much that they can go ahead and call Senn/Beyer garbage, but they all agree that Grado isn't well known for comfort. A pair of G-cush pads sets you back another ~$45 which is basically a rip off.

The only Grados that would fit OP's budget are the SR80i and SR125i, the whole SR line are known to have mediocre sound stage and terrible comfort at stock configurations, not something a sane person would use for gaming.

The A900X is a good recommendation, they have been going for pretty cheap now compared to their open-back twin.

I did say I didn't want open cans... I am glad you paid attention to that smile.gif But I have been under the exact impression that nleksan targeted; the impression that open cans = no bass what so ever. And that's because of what I pointed out a few sentences ago in this post. ^ So if there are open cans that can produce the bass I'm looking for, let me know what they are, but at the price I want, I don't think that can happen lol
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post #16 of 21
The A900X are essentially overhauled and improved A700X's, which are improved A700s. The further up you go in the T lineup, the bbetter the headphones get at balancing sound stage with bass (and without losing their characteristic flat sound, flat being a good thing).

If I had to put a number on it, I'd say that the A700s have 25 percent better bass and 15-20pct less soundstage than the AD700s. The AX700s give back maybe half the sound stage and increase the bass another 10pct.
The A900X have similar bass it's just much more focused, with better separation and minimal roll off (I'd guess it's around 55-65hz, vs 80hz for the A700s). The sound stage is the widest I've heard from closed cans. Basically, you get 95 percent of the bass of "regular" closed cans with 95 percent of the soundstage of the AD700s.

Again, I am trying to quantify something that I have not measured with anything but my own ears, so I don't want you to go by my opinion alone. I do think that you will not find a better mix of depth and bass anywhere near your price range than with the A900X, and you really are getting a $400 level set of cans for less than half that price.
   
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post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
One last question about them, do you feel an amp is necessary to get their full performance and full bass?

Other than that, I think I have my first candidate! I think I will pick up the A900x's, and if I am unsatisfied I will return them and purchase the DT770's.. Probably. I greatly appreciate all the help gentlemen biggrin.gif I will post back here in a few weeks with my feelings about the cans. I won't be able to pick them up until after I get my graduation money.
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post #18 of 21
I drive them without issue from my Titanium HD. They're really pretty easy to drive cans, and I have not found them to be as benefited from amplification as many others (Grado, Beyerdynamics, AKG, etc all perform best with an amp). I would say that you are getting 99 percent of what they have to offer without needing an amp.

Rather than buy a separate amp, I would recommend getting a TiHD. It's powerful enough to drive them to their limit, and the increase in sound quality from the TiHD + A900X is more than the sum of its parts.

Just beware, anything less than 320kbs mp3 files will sound as bad as they really are. I use FLAC, APE, and WAV exclusively. Any lossy format will have every flaw amplified.
   
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Z77 Bench-a-lot
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LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W Custom MB-Backside VRM-sinks (Copper) 3x NZXT RF-FX140LB 1-2krpm 98.3CFM Case Fans 2x Corsair SP120-PE Case Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x MCP35X + Heatsinks/80x15mm Fan XSPC EX420 Alphacool NeXXos UT60 240 6x Bgears Blasters 140mm 1800rpm Fans 
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post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the sound card suggestion, but I most definitely can not afford that on top of the cans. I have to begin saving for college, after all tongue.gif

Thanks again for all the help! biggrin.gif
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Stealth Strike
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post #20 of 21
I'll throw in my 2cents.gif in this wall of text, and agree with the DT770 80 ohms, they'd definitely suit your needs here. However, they sound great unamped and amped, I've tried them both ways, and they don't really improve a ton with anything in the range of an E10 or E11 as far as I could tell. Maybe they'd benefit from something like an E9 desktop amp, but thats a big MAYBE.

That being said, if you were still looking at an amp for them, and didn't already have a sound card, the Fiio E10 is a good little amp/DAC combo, and can be found on sale for a bit over 50$. I would not recommend buying an E11 unless you wanted them to be portable, since it's a battery powered amp.
Beyers are comfy, the 770s have some nice punchy bass, and they're pretty balanced all around. They sound like the better version of ATH-M50s to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

Just beware, anything less than 320kbs mp3 files will sound as bad as they really are. I use FLAC, APE, and WAV exclusively. Any lossy format will have every flaw amplified.

Properly encoded files can easily be transparent below 320kbps, sometimes even at 128kbps it can be transparent, but it depends on the file and encoding and such, and MP3 is honestly a horrible, ancient format to begin with. It's still subjective, and some people can pick up artifacts, but the general consensus on transparency for most MP3s tends to be around the low 200kbps range IIRC.

WAV is a pointless format for listening to music. The only use I can think of it being useful for is making music, or mixing and mastering. FLAC or another form of lossless compression will be lossless. You only lose space by keeping your music in WAV vs lossless compression.

Edit- Sorry if that came off as sort of hostile, it ended up sounding a bit so towards the end doh.gif
Edited by lostmage - 6/1/13 at 1:38pm
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Which headphones would be best for me in the $150 range?