Recommend me some open or semi open-back headphones...

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by petrus61, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. ....that are comfortable, voiced fairly flat (but with good bass response), and with plenty of headroom, for $100 or less.

    Is there such a thing? These will be strictly for home use with 4, 5, and 6 string bass guitar.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  2. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    i was going to recommend Grados but not sure if they currently retail over your limit. worth a look if you can find a good deal.

    the sound is generally flat and detailed. they are not "bassy" by any definition but have a balanced and clear low end.
    petrus61 likes this.
  3. Thanks, I’ll take a look.

    I just edited my budget to $100 or under.
  4. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    +1 for the Grados (I think I have the SR80, but will have to look to make sure).

    Why do you want open back? These are usually better for hearing playbacks. For live you'll typically want closed
    knumbskull likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member


    reference cans will get you there, but: flat is flat --- and doesn't really have anything to do with "good bass response."

    sounds like AKG K-240's are your huckleberry. great phones. good luck with your choice(s)! :thumbsup:
  6. I suppose what I meant was I’m not interested in exaggerated bass response, nor do I want the drivers whimpering under an open, uncompressed or hi passed low B at moderate volume.

    I checked out the K-240’s as they were at the top of my list for a while, but the reviews of late seem mixed. Apparently they modified the design recently for enhanced low end and changed the ohmage on the newer ones. Not having any experience with the older ones which seemed to be a lot of folks favorite for relatively flat for years, I have no base of reference to compare.

    Edit: Conversely, there are just as many reviews stating the newer k240’s are mid heavy and anemic on the low end...which basically means ignore reviews lol.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    JRA likes this.
  7. I own a few closed backs and frankly I don’t need the isolation they provide as much these days. I experience less fatigue over longer stretches with semi/open.
    ProfFrink likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member


    there are other 'flat' reference phones out there, but none as affordable as the K-240's (your criteria)...which remain a go-to choice for recording/mixing. i like other phones for casual listening, but for critical listening: they won't let you down.

    they've been around so long: AKG has made several changes over the years, but with the same 'reference' quality aspects --- IMO: they are better now than ever! the idea that "they changed some things" shouldn't be a surprise (or a bummer) if they continue to deliver the goods as advertised, which they do. and, you can get them all day long for $65 USD.

    whatever you go with: good luck with your recording/listening/practicing! :thumbsup:
    petrus61 likes this.
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I see that my favorite headphones are discontinued - AKG K401. I have had them since the early '90s IIRC. Now I have to look for something to replace them if they break, but right now they have no problems. Probably, the K612 Pro will suffice.

    It doesn't pay to skimp on headphones.
  10. Bboopbennie


    Jun 16, 2019
    AKG 240's come from China. I replaced my old ones recently and thought i lost my hearing. Then found out they are sub quality and cheaper too. They are no longer studio grade, but the most comfortable phones to have on for long periods. Too bad !
  11. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Sony 7506. Comfortable, lightweight, reasonably flat.

    Guitar Center has a good selection of cans, hooked up and ready to demo/compare.
    Bboopbennie likes this.
  12. Robf

    Robf Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Sony 7506’s are my favorite for monitoring and most sound needs. It’s not a flat sound, slightly enhanced bass and treble but it’s a good mix. Try to find them $80 or less, if you want something more upscale Shure makes a good pair. Audio-Technics makes the M50’s but they are heavy and way more v sounding. Only pay $120 or less, IMHO 7506 are better for the buck.

    If you want open back headphones, HD600 are a good standard. But these need a headphone amp to really sound powerful, dac like a o2 even better.

    JDS Labs - Objective2+ODAC Combo Rev B - Amps + DACs
    andronik likes this.
  13. spufman

    spufman Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    Another vote for Grados. I have the awesome SR225s, but the 80s are great too.