Classy Over Ears Sub-£100

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Honest Rob, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Honest Rob

    Honest Rob New Member

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    Hi,

    My trusty Sennheiser HD-515s have finally started to fall apart after several faithful years, and as a headphone novice, I'm after a bit of advice in regard to what I should replace them with. Can I find anything better within my budget?

    These will be solely for home use, so I'm not completely ruling out open-backs, especially if the sound quality is significantly better. The missus would be a lot happier though if they weren't gonna be real loud. I was considering the Grado SR60s, but was concerned by the sound leakage (Do they leak any more than my HD-515s?)

    I'd be using them mainly on my old 5th gen iPod classic, and occasionally on a Denon DM31. I'd like to get away with not using an amp, but if it was cheap/small enough and improved the sound quality considerably, I'd (maybe) consider one. I'm not particularly bothered with bass, and would prefer a brightish sound with some nice clarity. I generally listen to indie, soul, and electronica stuff.

    And I'm asking for all of this for under £100 smackers! Help!

    PS Love the site, keep up the good work!

    Rob
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Honest Rob

    Something in me really hopes you are a second hand car dealer!:)

    The Grados are particularly loud even for open backs - they would be a little louder than the Sennheisers. The SR60i are almost certainly the best sounding headphone for under £100 - if you want to go open back it might be worth the little bit of grief you may get. There would be no need for an amp so other than bothering your better half a little they should be perfect.

    I would probably go for these closed backs -

    Denon AH-D1100 Closed Back Stereo Headphones (AHD1100)
    £99.95

    They are quite impressive for the price - the build quality is also excellent.


    Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Closed Monitor Headphones Coiled Cable
    £134.95

    If you can find a bit more money it is well worth looking at these. They are superb at this price as they should work in almost any circumstance - at home, commuting, holiday and even making music as well as listening.
     
  3. Honest Rob

    Honest Rob New Member

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    Ha ha, thanks for the suggestions, a couple of nice little runners there!

    So under £100, Grado is king. That rules out the Denons for me I reckon; I'm proritising sound quality over her indoors' ears.

    That said, less sound leakage would be a bonus; how do these closed-back M50s compare sound-wise to the Grados? I might be tempted to raid the piggy bank if they sound as good/better than the SR60is AND save my relationship!
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I really like the M50 - Although closed back is a little bit of a compromise, these headphones are great and are applicable to almost any use. They fold and can be portable, very comfy, well thought out cable, good weight. Soundwise they are accurate with a slightly contemporary slant on a balanced sound. These would be a good compromise that might actually work out better than open backs in the long run. Also it is rare that you can directly justify spending a bit more because of something your lady said!;)
     
  5. Honest Rob

    Honest Rob New Member

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    RESULT!

    After much deliberation, I've decided to go for the m50s. Not only that, but possibly pleased by the promise of a quieter headphone, my good lady has also agreed to buy them for my Christmas pressie!

    So that means a good night's sleep for the missus, and both quality sound and a healthy wallet for me!

    Everyone's a winner baby, that's the truth!

    Only downside is that I'll have to wait till Dec 25th to actually listen to 'em!

    Thanks for the advice

    Rob
     
  6. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Merry Christmas Rob! Enjoy the ATs'!:D
     
  7. Honest Rob

    Honest Rob New Member

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    Just a post to say that I'm absolutely loving the M50s! They're comfy, sound beautiful, and I'm hearing previously-unnoticed layers in albums that I've had for 15 years! A great recommendation, cheers!

    The Chupa Chup was a nice touch too!

    Happy new year!
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I'm really glad to hear that Rob!:D
     
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