I did have a blog before, but that got deleted, then I had it linked to a "outside source", but that was "illegal", so here's this... Comment if you'd like, critique, or whatever, but please don't comment if you don't know what you're talking about and you've only owned HD 555s, thanks pLuhhmm headphone blog: dirty grammar edition
** Haven't used any Ultrasone HP before, but they get a lot of praise in both soundstage and bass. So I must add a note to look at them in here.
** Added: Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones ** 11/16/11
** Added: FiiO E10 amp/DAC/external soundcard ** 11/7/11
** Added: Replacement for D1001; AH-D1100 ** 11/7/11
** Added: Superlux HD 681s ** 7/21/11
Headphones I own or have used: Audio Technica ATH-A700 & M50, Grado SR60i, Sennheiser HD 201, 280, & 595, & Sony MDR-V6.
Hi everyone, here's a list I made for a different forum that I think some people may find useful.
This isnt a very detailed post because its more of a listing of the best overall headphones for their price range w/ small details. Its not very professional in terms of writing as it was done in a short time. As you can see below "are going to be" is used like four times because it was easier. I'll go through and edit it for a bit every now and then.
The list was made for gaming and music listening. The headphones listed won't generally give you the best competitive edge b/c some are listed for their "fun for gaming" traits, such as bass. If you want the competitive edge, the AD700 or A700s are what you might want, but they won't be very fun if you like realistic explosions or lots of bass. There are obviously better headphones, but this is made for the majority, not someone dropping $300+ on their first headphone. Plus, I can't exactly recommend something I've never used. I also think in terms of gaming, there really isn't much point beyond any of these listed headphones.
Before I get started, I'll just list the best of each price point, strictly aimed at the soundstage. These will be the ones you want to gain the most advantages possible.
Questions? PM ME.$20: HD 201
$40: JVC HA RX700 (Possibly Superlux HD 681)
$70 - 90: AD700
$100 - $150: A700
Bonus set: DT770, 880, & 990
~$10-49 range - Sennheiser HD 201, 202s, 205s, JVC HA RX700, and Superlux HD 681
The HD 201s are going to be your cheapest headphones for around $15-20. They have a pretty decent soundstage for the price.
The HD 202s are going to be a tad bit more by around $5, but they have a better bass overall.
The JVC HA RX700 are going to be your best low range price headphones. Many consider them an excellent bargain and comfortable. You can find them for around $35.
The Superlux HD 681 is a recent addition to this list, but they seem to come highly recommended; http://bit.ly/n2XRsC
I really hope to try these out eventually, as
they seem to be a clone (at least externally) of the AKG k240. They seem to have a pretty good bass, as well as an excellent soundstage. So to me, they sound like a very close 2nd to the AD700s for gaming. Quite possibly, if everything holds true, a very good entry headphone for gaming. They can be found on Amazon for under $40.
Overall, the HD 201s are going to be for people wanting the cheapest quality, then HD 202s looking for the cheapest, but with a bit more bass. Both the HD 201 and 202 are fashion acceptable as well. Finally the RX700s are the most expensive of the entry level. They have a well respected sound stage. Most people say it's pretty wide and great for gaming. The RX700s are pretty big tho, so portability is out the window and they're not fashionable. For the best gaming experience, go with the RX700s. For pretty decent gaming abilities, cheapness, and looks, go for the HD 201 or HD 202 depending if you like a more bass oriented sound.~$50-79 range - Shure SRH240 & Sony MDR-V6 (Probably the weakest of the ranges)
The SRH240s are going to be your $50-55 range headphones, these don't have much bass in them. These are also going to be the only one of the two that can provide any noise isolation, the Sony's really don't for the most part, as the fairly light and don't block out much. They're decent headphones, anyone looking for bass is out of luck for the most part. However, they do look good. People sometimes compare to them Dre Beats, which are commonly accepted to look cool and acceptable to wear in public. A big plus is the soundstage, most users say they're pretty good, not the best, but it's something considering what they bring to the table.
The MDR-V6 are going to be in the area of $65-75 range. These are known for their quality and being monitoring headphones. The soundstage is decent in these I
suppose. They have a great reputation in the recording industry for their sound. These also have a coiled cord. They're really on in this list because there aren't
many headphones in this price range. You'll most likely see the higher priced versions on music videos or some where were they show voice recording. They also fold up and are pretty portable. When I use them, I get a flat response? Maybe clear is a better term. I do like the headphone, but I don't think I'd ever use it over any of
the bottom ones. There's also a problem with the ear cushions ripping, but it's only a cosmetic problem. They don't really noise isolate either, but they do some what. Another upside to them, is that they are fairly light and comfortable.~$80-99 range - Shure SRH440, Sennheiser HD280, & Audio Technica ATH-AD700(Open)
The SRH440s cans are the higher end model of the SRH240s. The SRH440s has a extended frequency response and a much more balanced response. It also has removable cable, this enables you to replace the cord if broken. It's also a very good LAN feature. The Shure line up will deliver in quality, but I'm unsure of the soundstage compared to the 280s, but they are known to look the best and easily wearable in public.
The HD280 is another popular set of headphones. I personally own these, but I got them for $10. They have a very subtle bass, not enough to overwhelm other noises,
but enough for someone who likes some bass. Another feature is everything is replaceable on the headphone. The soundstage is iffy. It's on the border of being good
enough for gaming, but sometimes you might wonder about it sometimes. I've come to think the soundstage is pretty small. They are definitely not designed for a wide soundstage or gaming w/ one. These have a coiled cord on them, which I love, as they dont get tangled. I think they're more of a monitor type with extra bass thrown in, especially when EQed and amped. The upside to them, is that the cord is coiled and they're pretty comfortable for long uses, as well as being pretty good for music outside classical.
The ATH-AD700 are the only open pair of headphones on my list for one reason; They have an amazing soundstage. They out due the HD555s and even higher priced
headphones, such as the HD 595 IMO. The HD 555/595s are not even worth the price. I'd only get the HD 595s for $60 if offered. I dont usually recommend open headphones for gaming, as theres problems with outside noise and noise leaking from the headphones. But since these headphones have one of the best soundstages around and for the price, they had to be on this list. They also have the same 3D wing design of the A700s, which I own. I believe the padding is considered better, so they are deffinatly great for long periods of gaming. I'd imagine sweat is cut down to due to it being an open design. So if you dont have any problems with outside noise or with noise being leaked, these might just be for you.~$100-130 range - Audio Technica ATH-A700 & Denon AH-D1100 (Honorable mention: Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones)
The ATH-A700s are just awesome headphones. They have an excellent soundstage, one that rivals the AD700s, but since they are closed, they arent as good in terms of soundstage that is, but extremely close. Very little bass, but when the bass is present you will enjoy it. These headphones are very comfortable, the wing design on them also on the AD700s, basically make the cans float on your head. These are price for about $115-120. Ill also add, these things are big ;o, Im talking, I cant find anything to describe them big, so look at a video for reference. As an added bonus, the cable is braided with cloth or some type of material; It feels high quality. I find them great for music like The Beatles or classical music. If you like bass in your gaming, music or sound, these next two may be for you.
The Denon AH-D1100 supposedly have a very large soundstage and well worth considering. The majority also seem to feel they are very good at bass, with quantity
and quality. The D1100 is very comparable to the Beyerdynamic DT770s, however a lot of people who own both say the D1100 has a very unnatural sound to it; kind of synthetic feel to it. The upside, is that it's much more portable than the DT770s and the bass is more punchy. Well worth a look in this price range.
Overall, if you're looking for a nice classical music type sound, you'll want the A700s, if you want a bass background, the D1100s. The A700s will probably be more
comfortable as well. The downside to the A700 comfort is that unlike the D1100, it's not very portable; so you give and take. If you like bass type music, i.e. rap or
techno, the D110 is probably a good bet in terms of duality for gaming and music. I really want to get my hands on them and maybe own them in the future.-Honorable mention: Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones
The Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones, are suppose to be similar to the old Denon 1001 headphones, but a cheaper version kind of. In fact, it's been shown they' seem to be almost clones. Search "Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones innerFidelity" on Youtube for a review of them.
Suppose to have a good soundstage, a decent enough one to do competitive gaming and enough quantity of bass to enjoy movies. They can be found new for $70 - 100. I'm adding it to my list of wants, along with the XB500, Superlux HD 681s, and Denon 1100. So don't be afraid to grab one of these!Bonus: $170-200 range - Beyerdynamic DT 770/880/990 32, 80, 250, and 600 ohm.
These headphones are pretty much the best for gaming, in terms of the overall experience, without going into ridiculous priced headphones.
Go to this link for a mega review of all the models, as well as an extensive comparison of them all.
Note: The 250 and 600 ohm (and perhaps the 80) version will need an amp or something with an amp built in, i.e. a stereo receiver or sound card.
Note 2: Different Ohm levels will produce a different version of the sound. Research to find more details; try head-fi.org.Amps: FiiO E5 (for sound control only) E7, E9, E10, & iBasso series.
If you just want in-line volume control, the FiiO E5 @ $20 is a no brainer, but don't expect it to drive anything.
If you want a portable amp that can power, power hungry headphones, the E7 is most likely what you want. You can find it for around $70-90. It also has a DAC,
which can be used as a external sound card (the DAC also slightly increases quality), however, you cannot take the battery out and charging it 24/7 will kill the
battery life. If you're looking for a non portable solution, the next product is ideal.
The E9 is a desktop top amp capable of powering just about any headphone. Unlike the E10 that will be mention below, it is quite big. The E9 also doubles as a mount for the E7. This allows the use of both of them at the same time. Like most FiiO amps, it's very neutral sounding. If you have a great sound card, but it doesn't have an amp this is a great add-on. It's also great if you want the look it provides by being a desktop audio controller.
The latest FiiO product is the FiiO E10. It's a stationary AMP/DAC/external sound card. Reviews have said it's sounds better than the E7, E9, and E7/E9 combo. It
will be my next purchase
It is my latest purchase, or should I say, latest hardware (Emailed the company some questions, days later I get a shipping notice. After several emails explaining I did not order them, they send them anyway). It runs for $76~. Personally, I really like. Great build quality, small size, a nice bass boost switch, low/high gain switch, and the sound dial is a great feature. I like it very much as a desktop audio controller. I can definitely notice the quality in my low ohm headphones when then sound is turned up loud; not so much with lower volumes. It is for the most part a neutral amp/dac. I can't overstate how nice it is to control the volume of my PC outside of software. I also have 2.0 speakers near my bed for late night listening, and it's great to turn the E10 all the way up to increase my speakers output level. This way with lower sound videos (some videos have a very low audio level compared to others) I don't have to get up, get on my PC, and then adjust it. I can just turn up my speakers sound easily. Depending on your headphones ohms, I would for sure take it over the E9, considering the size difference.Note: It cannot be used for console gaming. At least not directly.
The last amp, would be from iBasso. They have a few selections starting around $100+. I would do some independent research on them if you don't want a FiiO amp. Otherwise most people will be good with an E7 or E10. I've read they favor bass, but I'm not entirely sure. They do have some nice features on them tho. When getting an amp, make sure it supports your headphones Ohms. As long as it's not a 600Ohm model, it probably does.
There's probably other amps missing worth noting, but I'm limited in this subject for the most part.
DACs: The DAC is basically the sound input. It's where you put your 3.5mm or w/e size jack into your laptop. Laptops generally have terrible DACs. Majority of aftermarket sound cards are just DACs with surround sound input and custom Windows drivers like EAX. Other than sound cards, I really don't know much about good DACs. It'd be something to look up on head-fi, but generally you can get a good internal sound card for $50~. I however just recommend spending a bit more for something like the FiiO E10, which doubles as an "external sound card".
For more details on these headphones, I recommend reading a few reviews both professionally and from consumers like on youtube. Just for pointing out the obvious
that some may have missed, THESE headphones listed improve in quality the higher the price goes, more specifically, with each new price point and not within the price
point. Ex. A) 1,2,3 B) 1,2,3; A.3 may not be better than A.1 however, B.1 is better than A.1 - 3.
I can guarantee you that these will perform better in every category then any gaming headset.
If you feel I left something out go ahead and say something, but Im pretty positive I havnt . Also, I realize open headphones have better soundstages, but I
pointed out above details on this.
BTW, I kept these reviews short and brief, while trying to point out their main features. So if the review seems lacking in proper English or is low quality
writing, you know why. I may try and spiffy it up every now and then and add details as I use these and other headphones more.
This list is more so you know what headphones to look at, I just provided a very brief background on them that most people can understand.