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Advice needed with selecting the right pair of headphones

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I need a pair of headphones, and thought I could carry out the purchase during a trip to the US. In a week, I will travel to the US for two weeks. I will be staying in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Usually, the cheapest method of acquiring electronics around here is through the web, but I'm fairly certain it's quite a bit cheaper in the US, even if it's in a retail store.

My roof is $150, but if I am presented with a very good reason, I can extend that roof up to an additional $50.

Main usage area is music, with movie watching and gaming being variable in level of activity. Gaming is at a casual level, so I don't want much emphasis on that part, but I don't want the headphones to butcher my gaming experience either. Music taste is all around; mostly power metal, classical, and scores from films, TV series and games, but also rock, acoustic, and so forth. The vast majority of the time used at home, but can be used on the occasional bus and train ride. Would be nice if the headphones don't leak too much sound and if they're quite forgiving to the source, as I do spend some time watching videos on the web, for instance.

Are there any retailers worth checking out in LA or San Francisco?
post #2 of 19
audio technia ath-m50's (or new ath-m50x) would be a good choice built like tanks and good SQ and easy to drive with just about any source really, reasonably comfortable and good isolation.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Any more input from anyone?
post #4 of 19
ATH-M50X's are a good option if you need small/light headphones that you will use out and about.

If not then the beyerdynamic DT770's are considerably better in my opinion. I also recommend you buy a sound card (Asus Xonar DG).
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post #5 of 19
if you are going to be in LA ... I'm sure there are more places but a couple ideas of places you can check some stuff out.

Guitar Center (they are generally pretty kewl there and will let you try the headphones out and can price match internet prices for auth dealers i think, and they have in stock generally a number of options to consider)

ATH-M50X and DT770s (I actually own both of these and the DT770s are awesome but somewhat harder to drive vs the M50s and considerabley less portable ..rather big and don't fold at all..but at home the DT770s are what I use almost all the time. the DT770s tend to sell for the top end your budget the 80ohm version at least $200ish but the 250ohm version sells for near your budget but you may need to get a headphone amp for those.)

They also have Sony MDR-7506's and Shure 440, 840 and KRK 6400 and 8400's


Also Bestbuy (with magnolia store in the store) and Fry's ... I am north of LA and only have lived here (Ventura County) for a few months so sorry not sure what else is local really..
post #6 of 19
For a portable can, i'd suggest the Denon AH-D340.
I remember people were hating them because they sounded bad for the 300+ price tag.

http://www.amazon.com/AH-D340-Music-Maniac-On-Ear-Headphones/dp/B00AMAJF0Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397815420&sr=8-1&keywords=denon+d+340

Now you can get them for about 150 bucks.
The biggest plus over the m50s is the better comfort.

According to reviews they do not leak.
Edited by Amperial - 4/18/14 at 3:16am
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
The suggestions and information are appreciated, everyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by twerk View Post

ATH-M50X's are a good option if you need small/light headphones that you will use out and about.

If not then the beyerdynamic DT770's are considerably better in my opinion. I also recommend you buy a sound card (Asus Xonar DG).
I'm not really that much out and about. At least not in a way that would let me use headphones. I just would consider it a bonus if the headphones were good on that area, as the few times I am in such a situation it would be handy to have.

Won't the DT770's most times require an amplifier? Also, when I got my computer a few years ago, I got a sound card with it, but I don't remember what it was. I don't have the computer nearby at the moment, so checking is somewhat difficult. The Asus Xonar DG is most likely better than the one I have, but is it that much of an upgrade when I already have a sound card?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artenuis View Post

The suggestions and information are appreciated, everyone.
I'm not really that much out and about. At least not in a way that would let me use headphones. I just would consider it a bonus if the headphones were good on that area, as the few times I am in such a situation it would be handy to have.

Won't the DT770's most times require an amplifier? Also, when I got my computer a few years ago, I got a sound card with it, but I don't remember what it was. I don't have the computer nearby at the moment, so checking is somewhat difficult. The Asus Xonar DG is most likely better than the one I have, but is it that much of an upgrade when I already have a sound card?
Sorry for the late reply.

If you get the 250 ohm version then yeah, you should really get a dedicated amp. However I recommend getting the 80 ohm version, I don't know what it is but it just sounds better than the rest. The Xonar DG can sufficiently drive them too so it's win win. smile.gif

It would be good if you could find out what sound card you currently have. I can't really say if the DG would be better/worse without knowing.
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post #9 of 19
I recommend the Alessandro MS-1's, very good for music, require no amplification, light and portable. Check them out: http://headphones.com.au/psingle?productID=19
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twerk View Post

Sorry for the late reply.

If you get the 250 ohm version then yeah, you should really get a dedicated amp. However I recommend getting the 80 ohm version, I don't know what it is but it just sounds better than the rest. The Xonar DG can sufficiently drive them too so it's win win. smile.gif

It would be good if you could find out what sound card you currently have. I can't really say if the DG would be better/worse without knowing.
If I were to get the 250 ohm version, I'd need to spend at least an additional $100 on an amp. The 80 ohm version is more than $100 more than the 250 ohm version, so the price will be around the same no matter what. I don't know if I have that much money to throw around, considering we're closing in on $300 and my budget is $150 + $50. That being said, I know that the DT770s are supposedly incredibly good, and they are tempting me more than should be allowed, those devils.

Also, I found a 32 ohm version of the DT770s, but the description makes me question whether their usage is optimal for what I intend to use them for.

Regarding the sound card, I found the order information, but there appears to be no sound card in it, rendering me uncertain whether or not there actually is a sound card in my computer. The only way to truly be certain would be to check physically. I might be able to do so tomorrow. If not then, I will at least on Monday.


Further on, I have been looking around a little and have gathered a little list of potential candidates that fit my budget:
- Audio-Technica ATH-AD700x
- Shure SRH840
- Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9A
- Audio-Technica ATH-A900x

And some bass-heavy ones:
- Denon AH-D1100
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (and M50x, although I don't know if it is as bass-heavy as the M50)
- Creative Aurvana Live! 2 (is this a headset?)

I am somewhat skeptical towards bass-heavy headphones, as I am under the impression that they are a no-go for things like movie-watching, which I do quite a bit of. Either way, any objections to any of these?

One last thing. I have also got the impression that full-size, over-ear headphones are generally better than on-ear headphones. Is this true? Or is it just nonsense?
Edited by Artenuis - 4/19/14 at 4:58pm
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