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Best all around beginner setup fo under 400

I am a high school senior and only have around 400$ saved and I want to buy my first good quality headphones. I wanted to buy the thx panda or Sony 1000xm3 or m4s but I really don't know. I need a daily pair of workhouses that have great sound and are also reliable ¿ any suggestions

May 6, 2020
I would totally go with the panda. I have the Sony and I don’t hate it but the sound quality isn’t amazing. The panda has the same driver as the Oppo pm3 headphone which is unfortunately discontinued but I own it. The pm3 sounds great. It’s my understanding that the panda has tuned the driver to sound even better. The panda also uses THX technology for its amplification which is a game changer. You can check out Z reviews for his thoughts on the panda. I want it so bad that I’m actually going to list my pm3 on eBay so I can afford the panda.
May 5, 2020
  1. What is your use case? Do you need portable? Wireless? Do you want a system that you sit and relax with?
  2. Do you want open-back headphones, or does your use case necessitate closed-backs? Or do you just have preference? Is noise-cancelling important?
I’d recommend that you invest in a pair of Sennheiser HD6xx’s AND a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770’s. This will fit your budget and will give you great entry points into both open and closed back headphones. Buy the lowest impedance (80 ohm) DT770’s that you can so you won’t need an amp to drive them. The HD6xx’s are good without an amp, but are a real eye opener when matched with even a mediocre amp. After you’ve spent some time exploring these headphones, you’ll make better decisions about how/if you want to invest in amps, DAC’s and/or cables. Remember, it’s all about what you hear and enjoy, not about what you read from others (even me).
May 3, 2020
The Sony 1000xm3 doesn't sound good, theyr best point is the noise canceling, which is the best in its class. I haven't tested the other 2, but for 400$ you could get the hd6xx for 200$ and you can invest the other 200 in a Schiit stack (Schiit Modi3/Schiit Magni 3 or heresy + cables) or in a bluetooth portable device. Also the KOSS electrostatic system from DROP, for which you might need a DAC or a good source, but apparently they sound better than the Sennheiser 600 series. There's the HiFiMAN Sundara, but notice that once you get a costy headphone (they'll seem not so costy for you after a while) you'll want to invest money into a DAC and a headphone amplifier. If you're into portable or wireless headphones: Dali io4 or io6 (the latter is in offer here and there for 300€, originally was 400€, it has a flat response and enjoyable sound, slightly veiled perhaps); Bang & Olufsen might another option. There's BOSE for noise cancelling as well, but in my opinion they don't sound as good to me. From the listed above, I own the schiit stack, which is a pretty good starting point and great value, and I've heard the Dalis, some Sennheisers and the Sonys. And, heh, the usual "take my opinion with a grain of salt" :>
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