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New Headphone Decision

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Peter Wagstaff, Oct 26, 2020.


  1. Sony

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  2. AKG

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Audio Technica

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  4. Sennheiser

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. Beyerdynamic

    4 vote(s)
    14.3%
  6. Shure

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  1. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    I've been using the same headphones (Sony DR-9) since I was a kid, and sadly the wire connection up next to the cup has finally started to break up, probably from the stretch from use and the weight of the coiled wire. I think it's time for a new pair rather than trying to fix them (maybe in the future for sentimental value).

    I intend on using them for personal listening, home recording, practice (via amp or interface), and maybe mixing. I'm not really interested in any bluetooth models, and most pairs seem to have an adapter for 1/4 or 1/8 plugs. Some models even have detachable cables to avoid the issue that brought me here. I'm used to ear buds and closed back models, but I've never really tried open back drivers. I'm interested in a nice quality and comfortable pair that will last as long as my first pair. My price range is probably under $100, but maybe I'd push it to around $150 if it's worth it.

    I've narrowed it down to a handful of models that seem like all around solid budget headphones:

    Sony MDR7506 (classic) - $90
    AKG K240 STUDIO (older model not Mk II) - $70
    AKG K92 - $60
    AKG K361 - $100
    Audio Technica ATH-M50x (over budget) - $150
    Audio Technica ATH-M40x - $100
    Sennheiser HD280PRO - $100
    Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO - $70
    Shure SRH440 - $100

    I know there are a lot of specs to consider, and I will continue to research and compare these models. Also I know it's a long list and it comes down to personal preference. I'm more interested in hearing your experiences since we are all bass players and use them for the same things. Thanks for reading!
     
  2. I highly recommend the
    Audio Technica ATH-M40x.
    Wide frequency response. Not overly bass-y. Durable. Comfortable. Best in your price range.
     
  3. CatchaCuda

    CatchaCuda Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2018
    Transfer, PA
    My Grado SR60's are great, IMHO.
    IMAG1212.jpg
     
    Low Crow likes this.
  4. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    Thanks for your input! I saw most people recommending the M50x, but after a quick comparison of the two the only small differences are in the driver size, impedance, and frequency range along with a couple cosmetic features. I'd be likely to keep in my budget and save $50.
     
  5. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    I haven't heard of those! I'll look into them, thanks.
     
    CatchaCuda likes this.
  6. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I own the Audio Technica ATH-M50x BT version. I absolutely love them specifically for practicing bass, but also for mixing and casual listening. Having a detachable 3.5mm cable is a plus. I'm very impressed with the clarity and low end.
     
    SlingBlader and Peter Wagstaff like this.
  7. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    I'm curious if you use the bluetooth often. I assume if you practice bass with them then you would just use the cable. It would be interesting to have some sort of bluetooth adapter to plug into an interface or an amp. It's definitely cool to have the bluetooth option though! I just already have some bluetooth sony earbuds that were gifted to me.
     
  8. ShawnG

    ShawnG Supporting Member

    May 2, 2020
    Ft Worth, TX
    I seldom see Sennheiser HD-25s come up in any headphone discussions, but I LOVE mine. Neutral, with no color, sounds like your bass.
     
  9. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    Thanks for the suggestion! I have more experience with Sennheiser microphones than headphones. The HD-25 models seem a little over budget for me, and they are on-ear instead of over-ear. Might be more comfortable that way though.
     
  10. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I never use the BT option for practice. BT latency is always unbearable for me. Sweetwater was out of stock of the regular version so I went bluetooth. I only really use that feature when mowing the lawn or something. I always use a cable when practicing.
     
    BeefPie84 likes this.
  11. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I have a pair of AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Reference Studio Headphones. At $225 they are over your budget, but they are pretty decent.

    One concern is that they are great for listening, practicing, and mixing, but since they are open-back, they leak when recording. I probably should have gone with closed-back for more versatility.
     
  12. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    I see a number of votes for AKG, so thanks for posting yours! I know they have a great reputation for their higher end models. I had a teacher who loved to show off his K701 pair. One thing I want to consider is lower impedance because I don't want to buy a headphone amp and add to the cost. My Sony DR-9's are so old they are only 8 ohms!

    I've come across the AKG K275's for $70. I think the K275 may be more entry level and my speed. I like how the construction is more metal than plastic, but the ear cans may be a little smaller than most of their over-ear models. I guess I am just concerned they might be too bass-y, and they look a little wiry and flimsy.
     
  13. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I plug mine straight into my computer, DAW, interface, etc. I do not use a headphone amp. What you planning on plugging into that you need a separate amp?
     
    Peter Wagstaff likes this.
  14. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    Thanks for clearing that up! I guess I've just been reading so many reviews and specs that it starts to get confusing. I know using my interface or a headphone jack on a bass amp would be fine with any studio headphones. I was just concerned if mobile devices like my laptop or phone would work well with headphones with impedance 50+ ohms.
     
  15. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I guess I see what you mean. Everything I listen to with these phones have an internal headphone out / amp. I have not experienced any volume problems or quality problems. Maybe I will get an amp and see if there is a difference noticeable to me.
     
  16. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    My aging ears can probably not really notice a difference. I should have my 11 year old test it.:laugh:
     
    Peter Wagstaff likes this.
  17. Peter Wagstaff

    Peter Wagstaff

    Jun 10, 2019
    I guess it's just partly the audiophiles and companies recommending headphone amps to get the best sound while making more money. I do recall my audio teacher talking about how some high-end models should use a headphone amp maybe similar to how some high-end microphones require a separate power supply. It's all gear I will probably never be in the market for though.
     
    Basslice likes this.
  18. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Not as stark as trying to use a fancy condenser mic without the 48v power, but these headphones are 62 ohm. Probably worth seeing how they sound with an amp. Like I said, I have had no problems but it could be interesting. I can always order an amp through Amazon and return it if I see no results. Thanks for helping educate me on something I had neglected!
     
    Peter Wagstaff likes this.
  19. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I noticed a bump in headphone audio quality after buying a Schitt Magni Heresy headphone amp for about $100. Even though my ATH M50x's are only 32 ohms. More headroom, less noise, cleaner and punchier audio than my audio interface headphone amp.
     
    Peter Wagstaff and Basslice like this.
  20. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I checked the specs for the Focusrite and Personus gear that I use. They all have strong enough headphone amps for my AKGs.
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 27, 2021

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