Mar 2, 2019104 views

Entry level audiophile headphones for music/production/gaming

Hello, I've been following the audiophile community for quite a while now, watching and reading thorough reviews on several headphones. At the moment I only have a pair of Audio Technica Quietpoint 50's ( ATH-ANC50iS) which have been worn to death. They were purchased for $50 on clearance at Wal-Mart because I had little money. I still don't have much money, but I do have more ways to earn some now. I really enjoyed these headphones myself, although the noise cancellation could have been much better, but they were the best headphones I've owned to this point (Not hard to beat, I've had $10 Sentry headphones and a Skullcandy Hesh that was bought at a yard sale). Through reading and watch the views (as well as listening to the headphone displays at stores and wishing I could afford headphones T.T) I think I'll like a slightly warm headphone with relatively forward but detailed mids though a little less predominant than the Sony WH1000MX3's. Anything sibilant sounding would be a deal-breaker for me (as a tubist I'm used to a lot of bass 😅). However, as a first investment into the audiophile community, sound signature is a little less important to me than detail. I would like a pair of headphones that can pick up quite a bit of detail. I have read a few reviews about the Onkyo A800's that seemed to point me towards it, but I'm too broke for those, my budget is more so around $250 as a hard cap (preferably under $175 though). My preference for ear style is Over-Ear>On-Ear>In-Ear (though I did recently purchase the Tin Audio T2's here on Massdrop). I also don't have access to any kind of amp, which is something I plan to invest in later. This will also be my first time talking with anyone in the Audiophile community (there aren't very many of us where I am, much less any place I can meet a local who's an audiophile!). Anyway, any suggestions (or commentary) is definitely welcome! Thanks much for reading!
(Edited)
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FlyingDisc and Flufflicious
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Can you say a bit more about what your listening environment is like (so we know whether open backs will work), whether you're stationary or mobile, preferred genres, and your source device (phone, PC, etc.)? That will help you get better recommendations.
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Alright, that's helpful. Based on the sound profile in your first post and the details you provided here, I'd steer you toward a good all-arounder with a solid, but not overly boosted bass profile to let you enjoy the detail in that electro-swing and EDM without it becoming overwhelming and muddy. But we have to stay away from sibilance and harsh treble. Also, you want at least a bit of cool for college (I added that part, but I know I would have been thinking of that - at least a bit). Here are four that come right to mind that are great entry level audiophile headphones and will help you stay closer to your desired range than your cap: Sennheiser 58X (Well-reviewed, comfortable, good all arounder at a great price) Sennheiser 598/599/578/579 (all very similar headphones, very comfortable, a bit pricier, with a nice soundstage for gaming, in a classic design) Sennheiser HD1 Over-ear (closed back, a bit of portability for the library or other out of dorm experiences, and some retro-cool to go with that electro-swing) AKG 553 (Closed back, even performer, better sound-stage than most closed backs, and better bass than most AKGs) The HiFiMan 4XX is close, but in my experience it really needs an amp to do its best, plus it's gigantic and kind of goofy, so we'll rule that one out. The low-impedance versions of the Beyers (770, 880, & 990) are also close, but a lot of younger people seem sensitive to their treble (I think because you haven't lost your hearing above 15khz like us older types). I hope that gives you a good place to start.
GunsOfBrixton
Definitely! Thank you very much!
Note that music productions monitor needs are often differnt that easy listening needs.
FlyingDisc
Oh definitely! I do have a set of speakers that I am gaming on and producing music more often than I do my headphones, I'll just use it as a means to a different perspective.
I forgot to mention my uses! It will largely used to listen to music, however I will also use them to produce music and game! ^.^