Best headphones upto 150

  • gamingdave 26 Feb 2013 16:58:27 4,701 posts
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    Looking for a new set of headphones for at work and longer train journeys. I currently have a pair of Sennheiser HD 595 which I use at home for late night music and films when the wife is in bed and they are sublime, but being open backed they are no use anywhere else. Also have a pair of Eytomic Research HF2 which I use with my phone. They have a really nice clear sound, but can be a little heavy going on long listening sessions and so I am after a good pair of closed back cans. I'll still use the HF2s for short trips out and about, but when sat at my desk I want something I can happily use all day.

    I think I have narrowed the list down to one of the following: Sennheiser HD-25, Audio Technica ATH M50, Beyerdynamic DT770 or AKG K550. They are all available for 150, though the AKGs have an RRP of 200 and were over 250 when released.

    The dilemma is they all have pros and cons.

    The Senns appear to be the most rugged and serviceable, but have the smallest sound stage. They also have the smallest cups which could cause an issue with all day listening. People talk of the sound not being overly accurate but a lot of fun.

    The M50s apparently sound great, have bigger padded cups but still have a limited sound stage and whilst they do fold and are apparently well built don't have easily user replaced parts. Good for travelling but not as bomb proof as the Senns.

    The Beyerdynamic DT770 get mixed reviews though are generally well liked. Less portable than the M50s but similar size when wearing them. Appear to have more bass, but some report it being a bit 1 dimensional and boomy.

    The AKGs apparently sound amazing and more like open backed phones, they have massive pads but are clearly the biggest and not as easily portable. The least powerful bass of all but possibly the most accurate sound.

    I'm not to concerned about how easy they are to drive as I am almost certainly getting a Fiio E07k to use as an external DAC for the PC (has a pretty poor quality) and portable headphone amp. I would take this to work and use it on the train also. this would also be able to boost bass or treble to balance the headphones a bit more.

    I listen to a wide range of music from country to drum and bass through rock, funk, soul and blues with a little bit of classical. Pretty much everything except jazz.

    Has anyone compared 2 or even all 3 of them or used either as all day phones and could compare them to the HF2s or HD 595s?
  • Deleted user 26 February 2013 17:00:22
    Grado SR80i
  • Deleted user 26 February 2013 17:03:33
    Got a pair of Grado's which I find are great for on the bus. Open backed though.

    It's Techno grandma, fookin deal with it.
  • Cannon_Fodder 26 Feb 2013 17:12:01 225 posts
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    @gamingdave I have the Sennheiser HD-25's. Possibly the best set of headphones I've ever owned. I bought them when I used to DJ around 2006 and they are still working as good as they did back when they were new in the box.

    I too was worried about the small cups. The headset feels a bit tight at first but after a couple of hours should begin to give a little slack and they become much more comfortable. I can wear them for hours sometimes forgetting they are even there. Like you've already said, very versatile and it's very easy to replace parts. The one main con I can think of is they sometimes leave your ears feeling a bit warm after prolonged use. The cable on mine is also pretty short, but I did buy them nearly 7 years ago so I don't know if this has changed yet.

    Personally for gaming I use the Sennheiser PC-360's simply because I need the boom mic, but for everyday listening (music, TV shows, movies) I like swapping back to the HD-25's. Brilliant all round stereo headset. Really cope with a beating.

    Edited by Cannon_Fodder at 17:13:17 26-02-2013
  • gamingdave 26 Feb 2013 17:16:32 4,701 posts
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    As mentioned I want closed back as they are for travelling and office use mainly. I already have the open backed HD 595 for at home. I have tried Grado in the past though and do rate them and if I was looking for some more open backed cans to try they would be on the list.
  • specialgamer 26 Feb 2013 17:19:03 684 posts
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    Grado's hands down, nothing else comes close IMHO. I started with the SR60s many years back, just sounded warmer and nicer than anything else I tried. The bass-end especially, which is fantastic, warm, rich and sounds so much more musical than anything else I've heard. Upgraded to the SR325i a couple of years back and I've not heard music sound better on anything, not even high end hi-fi.

    Edited by specialgamer at 17:22:35 26-02-2013
  • specialgamer 26 Feb 2013 17:21:45 684 posts
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    Grado's are open back, but should be fine for work or train, unless you listen REALLY LOUD. I have no problems using them in an office, no complaints.
  • Deleted user 26 February 2013 17:23:59
    Those hd 25s look a good bet. 150 on Amazon.
  • superdelphinus 26 Feb 2013 17:24:25 9,781 posts
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    Maturin wrote:
    Grado SR80i
    I just go pd these and they are exceptional. Probably can get the 125i for up to 150 though?
  • THFourteen 26 Feb 2013 17:32:14 47,892 posts
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    noooo not open backs

    you dont want people to know you're listening to the spice girls in public
  • THFourteen 26 Feb 2013 17:32:52 47,892 posts
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    slightly above budget, but how about these
  • gamingdave 26 Feb 2013 17:36:02 4,701 posts
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    125i can be had for 150, but I still think they are too open and I really do want something more isolated. I know they are highly regarded though.

    A lot rave about the sound, and I tried some a few years ago and thought they were great for some things, but I also found them a little shrill especially at higher volumes. I also didn't find them the most comfortable (though they were older models and I see the cups are now bigger) and the construction was a tad delicate for the amount of portability I need.
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