Best over-ear headphones for music under $300 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > ZOOTV > Restart and Reboot Yourself
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-13-2017, 02:13 AM   #1
Refugee
 
youarenotimmune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 1,762
Local Time: 10:59 AM
Best over-ear headphones for music under $300

What would be the best pair of over-ear headphones I can get under 300 USD for music listening? I'm not a bass-head; other than U2 I listen to classical music and bands like Radiohead and Animal Collective, so I'm interested in something which can provide a good listening experience for rich, highly textured music.

Would love to get some suggestions. Thanks!
__________________

__________________
youarenotimmune is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2017, 10:06 PM   #2
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,151
Local Time: 12:59 AM
Grado SR-225 is $200 and is a fantastic headphone - very revealing (you will definitely hear more detail in your music than you ever have before, and it does particularly well with voices and guitars), with great balance and fantastic bass (and by that I mean very detailed and deep without being boomy or boosted like a lot of cheaper headphones). It's probably my favorite headphone for rock and pop (though because of the balance and detail it's also great for classical). The only ding I can think of is that they're not the most comfortable headphones out there, especially if you wear glasses, and even if you don't after about an hour.

My go-to jack of all trades/master of none headphone is the Sennheiser HD-598 at $250. It doesn't sound quite as nice as the Grado (though it is still well balanced and detailed, and does have a wider soundstage than the Grado), but it is suuuuuuper comfy, and that's not insignificant if you like to listen for extended periods.
__________________

__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 02:30 AM   #3
War Child
 
kiwilad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 725
Local Time: 06:59 PM
I had the same query and that is a great answer! Re the Sennheiser, how big a step down is it tonally? I can handle some discomfort if the sound is worth it...

Sent from my SM-G920I using U2 Interference mobile app
__________________
kiwilad is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 09:53 AM   #4
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,151
Local Time: 12:59 AM
The Sennheiser still sounds really nice, and if you're moving from Beats or similar consumer headphones to the Sennheisers, then they'll blow you away. And you can listen to them for hours without any comfort issues. The Grados sound like you're closer to the music though - more impact, more detail and realism, but they can be a little more fatiguing because of that (and that's before getting to comfort).

If I got a new cd that I was excited to listen to, and really wanted to take it in, I'd grab the Grados first, no question. If I was going to be listening to music for a few hours, I'd grab the Senns.

Hope that helps a little.
__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
Refugee
 
youarenotimmune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 1,762
Local Time: 10:59 AM
Thanks for the detailed response, Diemen. I'd actually shortlisted the Senns and Grados you mentioned based on perfunctory online research. The Audio Technica ATH m50x are also quite good apparently.

The Senns 598, Grado 225 and Audio Technica m50x are all really popular, each with a multitude of detailed online reviews. They're all quite a few years old, so that got me thinking that perhaps I should look into the latest incarnations of these models. The current models are the Senns 599, Grado 325 and Audio Technica m70x. So I'm wondering if I should get one of these instead, since surely they would be better, improved versions of their legendary predecessors. Or would they?

The other, and bigger, conundrum I'm facing is whether or not to get a headphones amp with these, since I will mostly use my headphones with my phone and Sansa Clip + music player. The World Wide Web has not been helpful in this area. Some claim it's a necessity, while other's say you only need one with really powerful headphones (impedance over 100 ohms) which generally cost over $500.

Do you use a headphones amp, Diemen?
__________________
youarenotimmune is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 02:34 PM   #6
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,151
Local Time: 12:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by youarenotimmune View Post
Do you use a headphones amp, Diemen?
I used to use one, but I don't now (mainly because I rarely have the time to sit down and just listen to music on headphones anymore). The Grados are very easy to drive, and while they benefit from a dedicated headphone amp, the improvement is relatively subtle (unless you want to spend a ton of money on an amp), and just about any decent headphone jack will drive them with ease. The Sennheisers are a little more power hungry, and seem to benefit more from a headphone amp, but are still pretty easy to drive. I might question whether the headphone jack on a Sansa Clip would be enough to drive the Senns well.
__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 02:38 PM   #7
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,151
Local Time: 12:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by youarenotimmune View Post
The Senns 598, Grado 225 and Audio Technica m50x are all really popular, each with a multitude of detailed online reviews. They're all quite a few years old, so that got me thinking that perhaps I should look into the latest incarnations of these models. The current models are the Senns 599, Grado 325 and Audio Technica m70x. So I'm wondering if I should get one of these instead, since surely they would be better, improved versions of their legendary predecessors. Or would they?
Missed this part. The 325 is a different model entirely than the 225, not really an update (and both have been out for a long time). I haven't heard the 325, but it seems like the consensus is that it's better than the 225, but maybe not enough better to justify the price increase. As to the Senn 599 or Audio Technica, it's probably a safe bet to go for the newer model there.

The other thing I should mention is that both the Grado and the Sennheiser are open backed headphones, which means that sound leaks out and they don't really block out any sound. I tend to prefer open back headphones - they sound more natural to me, but if you want sound isolation or plan on going portable with them, I'd look into sealed back/closed headphones only.
__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 11:02 PM   #8
Refugee
 
youarenotimmune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 1,762
Local Time: 10:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
I used to use one, but I don't now (mainly because I rarely have the time to sit down and just listen to music on headphones anymore). The Grados are very easy to drive, and while they benefit from a dedicated headphone amp, the improvement is relatively subtle (unless you want to spend a ton of money on an amp), and just about any decent headphone jack will drive them with ease. The Sennheisers are a little more power hungry, and seem to benefit more from a headphone amp, but are still pretty easy to drive.
Yeah, I'm not keen on the mobility issues an amp would introduce, so it's good to know the Grados don't really need one (which are the headphones I'm leaning towards now, primarily because sound quality is the most important factor for me).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
I might question whether the headphone jack on a Sansa Clip would be enough to drive the Senns well.
This is what I was worried about as well, but the Sansa Clip is a surprisingly efficient and well built player, apparently: NwAvGuy: Sansa Clip+ Measured

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
Missed this part. The 325 is a different model entirely than the 225, not really an update (and both have been out for a long time).
Ah, thanks for the clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
I haven't heard the 325, but it seems like the consensus is that it's better than the 225, but maybe not enough better to justify the price increase. As to the Senn 599 or Audio Technica, it's probably a safe bet to go for the newer model there.

The other thing I should mention is that both the Grado and the Sennheiser are open backed headphones, which means that sound leaks out and they don't really block out any sound. I tend to prefer open back headphones - they sound more natural to me, but if you want sound isolation or plan on going portable with them, I'd look into sealed back/closed headphones only.
I definitely want to go for open backed headphones, since sound leakage isn't a concern (given how I'll use them at home).

Thanks for all the info Diemen, really appreciate it. Just need to decide between the Grado 225 and 325 now!
__________________
youarenotimmune is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2017, 10:35 PM   #9
Paper Gods
Forum Administrator
 
KhanadaRhodes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: a vampire in the limousine
Posts: 60,528
Local Time: 12:59 AM
forgot to post in here, i too had been looking to buy a decent pair of headphones around this same price bracket so i was glad to see this thread as i was coming to make a thread about it like the day after it was made. i ended up going with the sennheiser ones, simply based off of diemen's report of the grados ones being less comfortable, especially for those wearing glasses. i'm wearing them all day at work so usually a couple hours at a time, plus i wear glasses. i can report that the sennheisers sound awesome. plus, amazon prime now let me be lazy and get them within two hours with free shipping.

the only downside is at work i can't really turn the volume up because i don't wanna be that guy who isn't mindful of their surroundings and blasts everyone out, even though 80% of my coworkers wear headphones too.
__________________
KhanadaRhodes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 07:00 AM   #10
Refugee
 
youarenotimmune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 1,762
Local Time: 10:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhanadaRhodes View Post
forgot to post in here, i too had been looking to buy a decent pair of headphones around this same price bracket so i was glad to see this thread as i was coming to make a thread about it like the day after it was made. i ended up going with the sennheiser ones, simply based off of diemen's report of the grados ones being less comfortable, especially for those wearing glasses. i'm wearing them all day at work so usually a couple hours at a time, plus i wear glasses. i can report that the sennheisers sound awesome. plus, amazon prime now let me be lazy and get them within two hours with free shipping.

the only downside is at work i can't really turn the volume up because i don't wanna be that guy who isn't mindful of their surroundings and blasts everyone out, even though 80% of my coworkers wear headphones too.
Nice! I wear glasses as well, so I'm reconsidering getting the Grados instead of the Senns now.

Did you get the 598 or 599?
__________________
youarenotimmune is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 06:25 PM   #11
Paper Gods
Forum Administrator
 
KhanadaRhodes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: a vampire in the limousine
Posts: 60,528
Local Time: 12:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by youarenotimmune View Post
Nice! I wear glasses as well, so I'm reconsidering getting the Grados instead of the Senns now.

Did you get the 598 or 599?
the 598. they're really comfy.
__________________
KhanadaRhodes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 07:29 PM   #12
45:33
 
cobl04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: East Point to Shaolin
Posts: 54,749
Local Time: 04:59 PM
I've got Sennheiser HD280s I think, and they're awesome. Huge and clunky as hell (they're really only studio headphones) but they're great.
__________________
cobl04 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #13
Refugee
 
youarenotimmune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 1,762
Local Time: 10:59 AM
Nice, glad to see such positive feedback on the Senns. I'll try them at my local Best Buy to check out the sound quality now.
__________________

__________________
youarenotimmune is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com