Closed Back Headphone Recommendations

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Rancid Badger, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Rancid Badger

    Rancid Badger New Member

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    Jul 8, 2011
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    Sorry to bore you all - I'm sure that this has probably been done to death elsewhere...

    I'm looking for two things, both to be driven from my Walkman / Fiio E7 DAC. My musical tastes are a bit eclectic but mainly rock & heavy house/dance (I've realised that 90% of my playlist is Prodigy & AC/DC):

    A pair of closed back headphones (so I don't annoy the wife any more than I already do) for use at home. I've looked at the Audio-Technica ATH- PRO5MK2 & ATH-A500, AKG K 271 MK II, Beyerdynamic DT 250 & DT770 PRO & would appreciate any recommendations / suggestions. Looking to spend in the £80-£110 range, but might stretch slightly further if it gave a marked improvement. I'm also concerned whether the E7 has enough power to successfully drive a pair of full size cans?

    Secondly, fed-up with earbuds falling out when ever I put my helmet on (Arai RX7-GP), I bought a pair of helment speakers which I wired into it - the cabling system is good, but the speakers pitiful! So I need a pair of (bare) speakers which I can solder onto the existing loom. Ideally something around 40-45mm diameter & as shallow as a very shallow thing (I need to be able to tuck them up inside the lining). They need to be able to be driven hard in order to overcome wind noise - I drive the existing ones at full volume from the Fiio E7 & I don't get either the desired clarity or volume.

    Any thoughts / recommendations / suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    John
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi John

    I have some ideas -

    Firstly your Fiio E7 will power the vast majority of full size headphones brilliantly. 250ohms is probably about the limit, above this it will start to struggle.

    With your tastes (and you seem to be concentrating on closed backs) I would have a look at these as well as what you have looked at -


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

    Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Closed Monitor Headphones Coiled Cable
    £124.96

    GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.300 D Professional Closed Headphones
    £129.00

    Shure SRH840 Professional Closed-Back Headphones (SRH 840)
    £149.95

    The Shure SRH 840 and the Audio Technica M50 are the two obvious ones for your tastes, the SRH 840 being a little sturdier with a tiny bit more bass. The near indestructible GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.3 is really interesting, someone from this company told me to stamp on these. After some encouragement I tried it and they do seem to be remarkably tough :D - Their sound is great powerful and chunky, they remind me of the DT770 or the DT250. The Denons are just there as you didn't mention them, if a budget tops out at £100 with your requirements these are great but if you can find a little more cash the other three outperform these.
     
  3. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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  4. Rancid Badger

    Rancid Badger New Member

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    Jul 8, 2011
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    Hi Robin,

    many thanks for your reply.

    On a combination of specs & aethetics, I've narrowed my choice down to one of three:

    AKG K-271 mkII
    Audio Technica ATH-M50
    Shure SRH840

    Aestheically, I like the look of the AKG's, but I'm concerned about the "auto-mute" facility - I can see it being a potential point of failure.

    Obviously there is a fiscal difference between them, but for exmple are the SRH840s £40 (40%-ish) better than the K-271s? If it were your money, which would you buy?

    Cheers

    John
     
  5. Jon @ HiFi

    Jon @ HiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Hi John, thought I'd pitch in on this thread as Robin is away from the office today. For me, the Audio Technica ATH-M50 is great for price v quality so if it was my cash I would probably look at those.

    When paying more for Headphones, unfortunately you don't get a linear quality upgrade - one has to pay more to get that little extra quality, so although the 840's are really lovely Headphones (and one of my favourites), they're not 40% better than the K271 (although they are better sounding in my opinion).

    I'm sure Robin will throw in some opinion to this when he's back in the office but count me for a vote for the M50's!!

    Cheers

    Jon
     
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