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What to look for in good Headphones?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What do I look for in a good pair of headphones? Without being able to try them for myself, I am forced to buy an expensive pair of headphones based on its specifications.

I'm looking for something preferably with lots of bass power, so I would assume I would want to look for something with a frequency response beginning at as low as possible?

Generally, what type of specs do you look for when buying headphones. Does more expensive always mean better quality?

My current headphones are 18-28,000 Hz, but I'm interested in these Sony MDR-XB700 headphones which range from 3-28,000 Hz.

Any advice on those sony headphones?
Edited by TrieBr - 3/6/11 at 10:50pm
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post #2 of 12
Most people will recommend Sennheiser cans for you (myself included), but I can't say which off the top of my head are very bassy.

Try looking around Head-Fi for some great info. It's a superb forum.
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post #3 of 12
only buy what you can try, and choose a pair that sounds good to you. if you start on a quest to find headphones that perfectly match your taste, and only look at headphones you cant hear... thats a dangerous path, my friend.

i would look for audio stores around you, call some to see what cans they have out for demo. also, head-fi might be able to help you find some in your area. they are a great bunch.

"audiophile" headphones arent going to have "lots of bass power" as this does not make a good heaphone. that is a preference that you can satisfy with a lot of different headphones for less than 50 bucks.

more expensive does NOT always mean better quality, as my favorite headphones were 60 dollars, whereas i have owned quite a few pairs in the 150-300 range.
Edited by Skoobs - 3/7/11 at 2:51am
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoobs View Post
only buy what you can try, and choose a pair that sounds good to you.

"audiophile" headphones arent going to have "lots of bass power" as this does not make a good heaphone. that is a preference that you can satisfy with a lot of different headphones for less than 50 bucks.

more expensive does NOT always mean better quality, as my favorite headphones were 60 dollars, whereas i have owned quite a few pairs in the 150-300 range.
I don't think I'd agree here. You won't be able to try out a very broad spectrum of the headphone market. They are hard to find in store and many are sold online only. User review and specifications is the only things you'll have to ride on most likely.

As for what makes a good headphone: Saying bass ISN'T what makes one, well that's bias. A "good headphone" is entirely user preference, and it is your preference that bassy headphones suck. Other's may love them.

As far as price, and particularly with audio, it is an unfortunate truth that the stereotype "you get what you pay for" is followed. If you pay 50 bucks for a set of cans, the bass will most likely sound shaky and distorted. With more money comes a clearer sound, better build quality (you want something long lasting), and comfort, which is huge.
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post #5 of 12
Look into Beyerdynamic headphones.
post #6 of 12
While bass is subjective, you can always find a really nice pair of headphones for a price that won't rip the skirt off your waist.

For instance.. You can get a lot of bass out of RX900s for 60 bucks or AT M50s for 106 bucks. Both are excellent cans, the M50s being really great cans imo.

It's difficult to just look at headphone specs and say, "Oh these are great," but yeah, you mostly want a low FR to about 28,000hz for bassy headphones.

Beyerdynamic are also great for bass, but I'd personally test these myself, since for the price of these headphones, you'd have to like them to toss around 150-300 dollars. Some like them, but some find their sound for music...umm..trashy. Once you get to the DT880s or 990s, you'll want to get an amp for these headphones as well or the bass will be sloppy.

Your Essence should power these all right though.

If you're looking for help, throw us a price range and what kind of music you listen to and we can help or you can check out head-fi.
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post #7 of 12
For music, you want to look at your highs, mids, and low frequencies. As well as the soundstage for certain genres. You can look on youtube for frequency stuff. Usually "bass test" will show you frequency responses. This will give you a rough estimate on what highs, mids, and lows freq. are.

http://www.headphone.com/learning-ce...ld-a-graph.php

Is also a nice place to look at this and more.

Personally, comfort is also a major concern. I wish more headphones had the A700 wings

For gaming, its mostly soundstage (in laymen terms, a surround sound effect) if you're looking for the edge. Otherwise, bass can be thrown into it as well, as some good bass in gaming can be very fun.

If you're looking for bass, the Sony XB series is a good place to start. I would maybe look at the XB500s tho. From what Ive read, people seem to like them more from a bass head perspective and the headphone.com graph seems to back this up according to its lows.
Edited by pLuhhmm - 3/7/11 at 3:50am
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pLuhhmm View Post
For music, you want to look at your highs, mids, and low frequencies. As well as the soundstage for certain genres. You can look on youtube for frequency stuff. Usually "bass test" will show you frequency responses. This will give you a rough estimate on what highs, mids, and lows freq. are.

http://www.headphone.com/learning-ce...ld-a-graph.php

Is also a nice place to look at this and more.

Personally, comfort is also a major concern. I wish more headphones had the A700 wings

For gaming, its mostly soundstage (in laymen terms, a surround sound effect) if you're looking for the edge. Otherwise, bass can be thrown into it as well, as some good bass in gaming can be very fun.

If you're looking for bass, the Sony XB series is a good place to start. I would maybe look at the XB500s tho. From what Ive read, people seem to like them more from a bass head perspective and the headphone.com graph seems to back this up according to its lows.
You brought up a good point. My headphones will be used only for music. I have another headset (with a microphone and 7.1 surround sound) for gaming. The headphones I'm looking for would be for high quality music. Not sure how much that changes things, but hopefully I can decide in the next few days.
Also, the low range of my current headphones is 18hz. Would going down to 10hz for example make a huge difference?
Edited by TrieBr - 3/7/11 at 12:54pm
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post #9 of 12
Always go for reviews tbh. Things like frequency response graphs (different from the stated frequency response in specifications that really mean nothing). As a general rule, more expensive = better quality but it's a very loose rule with many exceptions.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Alright guys, Which of the following would you recommend?

Bose QC 15 (Rated 10 on testfreaks)
Shure SRH750DJ (Rated 9 on testfreaks)

Those the best ones sold at my local retailer.. If you have any other recommendations I would love to hear (and I could buy them online).
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