Good Headphones for pop/lightrock music?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Rayzee, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Rayzee

    Rayzee New Member

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    I need some help, I've been through many of websites and threads and they mostly talk about headphones for Electrical or Heavy rock, but there is little said about what head phones compliment well with pop/light rock music.

    So, what headphones would you suggest for myself that can bring out the best of pop/light rock?

    Budget is £100-150, and if it needs a DAC/AMP to bring it out then I can't really spend much on that, probably a Fiio E7 then later add an E9. If those 2 can't bring the headphone to life then it's a waste of money for me.

    Needs to be comfortable for hours of use, I've heard a few bad things regarding that for some headphones, e.g the GradoS80i not being comfortable.

    Currently I only have the AKG K701 as a possibility. And the GradoS80i but a concern about its comfort.

    I've also read the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 recommended as a jack of all trades type, but I've read it is quite heavy on the bass?

    Yeah I need help ;D
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I think the best course of action here, would be to focus your budget squarely on a good quality set of lower impedance headphones. The K702 are a nice headphone but they much better when coupled with a good quality amp. Unfortunately something like the Fiio E7 isn’t really a powerful enough, meaning you would need to invest a fair bit more in a more powerful amp to get the benefit.

    As you are looking at open and closed back headphones, what is your primary usage for your headphones? Are they simply for listening at home or are you looking for something with a portable aspect? Also let me know if you are using them for making music.
     
  3. Rayzee

    Rayzee New Member

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    It can be open or closed, it doesn't really matter since I'm just going to be using them at home to listen to music / gaming on the laptop. Portable isn't really a concern but it is a bonus.

    Edit: I can go to 200 if no AMP/DAC is required to use the headphones on my laptop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  4. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

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    The ATH M50's are certainly a contender for your needs. They are a good all round headphone without being crazy money. As you point out, they pretty much tick the main boxes you are looking for and they sound good without the need to use an amp unit.

    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/audiotechnica-athm50-closed-monitor-headphones-coiled-cable-prodid-2495.html

    The ATH ES 7 might also be worth a look. These are an On-Ear headphone as opposed to an over-ear fitting, good sound quality from digital format music and a fat bass end which gamers love on these. They are also portable which might be a bonus.

    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/audio-technica-athes7-headphones-in-white-prodid-301.html

    The German Maestro 8.35 are also well worth a look. Robin, here at the office, jumped on a pair to prove just how indestructible they are. Really well made, and very comfy. Good bottom end, and another decent all rounder.

    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/germanmaestro-gmp-835-monitor-closed-headphones-prodid-3851.html

    Another contender might be the Ultrasone HFI-780. These headphones are fitted with Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic technology which creates a very natural sense of space. Well made and comfy.

    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/ultrasone-hfi780-closedback-foldable-headphones-hfi-780-prodid-2167.html

    Finally, check out the ATH AD 700. I personally love these. Open backed and popular with gamers, and for watching movies. As they are open backed you get a great sense of space, almost like a home cinema sound. You mentioned a pair of Grado SR80i’s in your initial post. Great quality headphones but the SR series are not as comfy to wear as Grado’s higher end headphones. The ATH AD 700 headphone is comparable in sound and price to the Grado SR80i , however, the 700’s are a far more comfy if you are wearing them for any length of time.

    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/audiotechnica-athad700-open-back-hifi-headphones-ad-700-prodid-214.html
     
  5. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Open v Closed

    Yes, as Ian has shown there is a big selection of both open and closed headphones that would be suitable.

    Check out our guide to different headphone types, as there are quite big differences in how they will sound.
     
  6. Rayzee

    Rayzee New Member

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    I think I will go for the German Maestro 8.35 and order on Thursday morning for Friday delivery.

    Would a DAC be necessary for my laptop to use them?

    Edit: Couldn't resist when I saw a deal, so I picked up a cheap used FIIO7/FIIO9 combo, a DAC won't be an issue anymore.

    Also do you think the price extra for a Beyerdynamic DT 880 is worth it? Will they be better then the German Maestro?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  7. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

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    The German Maestro 8.35s are an impedance of 35 ohms so they will drive nice enough off your laptop without a DAC/Amp. However, using a DAC/Amp will definitely give you some more weight and range to your sound.

    Some laptops can be a little noisy so adding a DAC/Amp, regardless, often reduces any distortion or interference you might otherwise get without one.

    The Beyerdynamic DT 880's are a different headphone altogether. They are semi-open back so you will get some spill to the outside and some ambient sound leaking in. They are a very accurate pair of headphones with a fantastic sound stage, but it does all depend on how you intend to use them.

    Both the pairs you have listed are quality headphones but with slightly different characteristics. However, the German Maestros are a headphone you can pretty much use anywhere, as opposed to the DT 880's which are a bit more limited to home use.
     
  8. Rayzee

    Rayzee New Member

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    I've really leaning into the Bayer's 880. If I purchase them, at what Ω should it be that is sensible for the FIIO E7/E9 combo?
     
  9. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

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    All the BeyerDynamic 880's have several variant models. They run at 32 ohms, 80 ohms, 250 ohms, and 600 ohms.

    If your sound source in a typical battery driven portable device, such as a phone, mp3 player or laptop, only the 32 ohm headphones will comfortably run without the use of an amp. The 80's, 250's and 600's will struggle to gain enough drive from the majority of these devices, without the aid of an external amp. The consensus in the office is to pass on the 600's

    However, regardless of the impedance, a Fiio E7 will vastly improve your listening quality, not just in terms of power, but the DAC will help iron out any background noise.
     
  10. Rayzee

    Rayzee New Member

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    Just to offer some closure, in the end I went with something completely different and I spent more then I had planned for those who read this thread.

    Instead of the Beyer 880, I choose the Audio Technica's AD1000PRM and a CEtrance DACport.

    You hifihead guys offered some very good advice here, unfortunately I had to purchase what I want elsewhere because you don't stock them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
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