Best Headphones for the Audiophile under 200$

Andriokz

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Aug 13, 2012
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I'm having a bit of issues with deciding on a pair of headphones.

I play PC games a bit, but mostly I have the music playing during gaming and during work. I don't think a headset would pay off as much as something meant for pure sound quality

basically I'm stuck between these headphones:

Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250

Audio-Techna ATH-M50x

Not sure if anyone has any experience with these headphones... I'm upgrading from a Turtle Beach PX22 sooooo anything would sound better.

Thank you for the help in advance :)
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i do believe you meant the dt770 not the 990 (the latter is $379ish not under 200)

the m50 and 770 are very comparible headphones. both have good audio quality. the 770 has a wider soundstage than the m50 however the m50 folds while the 770 does not so they are pretty equal. the 770 also is more expensive than the m50 if you go by the cheapest

i personally own a pair of m50s which are used mostly for music (on ipod & phone) but i've used them for some gaming (on the laptop) and they are great, expecially if you get them for cheap. on ebay you can get a pair of m50s open box but brand new for $99 or bnib sealed for about $110-120. the 770s are a good $140-150 at minimum and you dont see them on ebay for cheap. the m50x isnt found as cheap as the m50s.

the difference between m50x and m50s is that the prior comes with 3 removeable cables (coiled, short straight, long straight) and might have a few other small improvements but otherwise are very similar.

the 38ohm m50s/m50x or the 32ohm 770pro can be easily driven by practically anything. the 80ohm 770 model might need an amp if you have a weak soundcard. the 250ohm model definitely needs either a soundcard meant for high end headphones and has a good amp integrated though a better choice is an external DAC+AMP unit.

from a past consumer review i read (he went and listened to all 3 at a guitar center) he noted that the 250 sounded much better. generally he said the 250 sounded better than the 80 than the 32 model. the 32 model he said was good but if you can deal with needing an amp its worthwhile to get the 250.

the m50s are comparable to the 32 or 80ohm 770. comparing to the 250ohm would be a bit unfair.

if you want to use them without an amp at work or with portable devices you only want the 38ohm or 32ohm headphones.

video comparision of sound on ath-m50 vs dt770
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pK7QbLNjno

 

audioranger

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Jan 17, 2013
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yeah if you're more varied in your listening, I'd definitely recommend studio monitor headphones over 'gaming' headsets. they'll typically have a broader soundstage and a more balanced sound that works in music, cinema too..not just gaming

honestly both of those headphones are great, and will be a noticeable step up from any turtle beach model. i own the m50 and have only briefly tested the dt990, but both offer excellent sound quality. i also have the MMX 300 though too, so i know how good beyer is

the 990s are a bit bassier than the m50s in my experience. m50s are bit more balanced. design wise, m50s are closed while the 990s are semi open back, so they will bleed a tad at higher volumes, if that is a concern at all

the ath-m50 was one of my first GOOD set of cans, so i'm prob a bit impartial to them. however, i've got a friend in broadcast journalism who has dt990s and swears by em. this is against his akgs and grados mind you

if price is at all factor, then the M50 is currently $50 cheaper if you go with the straight cable, which may be worth considering. otherwise, if you're committed to spending $150 or more, go with beyerdynamic

my two cents. happy listening :)

 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i do believe you meant the dt770 not the 990 (the latter is $379ish not under 200)

the m50 and 770 are very comparible headphones. both have good audio quality. the 770 has a wider soundstage than the m50 however the m50 folds while the 770 does not so they are pretty equal. the 770 also is more expensive than the m50 if you go by the cheapest

i personally own a pair of m50s which are used mostly for music (on ipod & phone) but i've used them for some gaming (on the laptop) and they are great, expecially if you get them for cheap. on ebay you can get a pair of m50s open box but brand new for $99 or bnib sealed for about $110-120. the 770s are a good $140-150 at minimum and you dont see them on ebay for cheap. the m50x isnt found as cheap as the m50s.

the difference between m50x and m50s is that the prior comes with 3 removeable cables (coiled, short straight, long straight) and might have a few other small improvements but otherwise are very similar.

the 38ohm m50s/m50x or the 32ohm 770pro can be easily driven by practically anything. the 80ohm 770 model might need an amp if you have a weak soundcard. the 250ohm model definitely needs either a soundcard meant for high end headphones and has a good amp integrated though a better choice is an external DAC+AMP unit.

from a past consumer review i read (he went and listened to all 3 at a guitar center) he noted that the 250 sounded much better. generally he said the 250 sounded better than the 80 than the 32 model. the 32 model he said was good but if you can deal with needing an amp its worthwhile to get the 250.

the m50s are comparable to the 32 or 80ohm 770. comparing to the 250ohm would be a bit unfair.

if you want to use them without an amp at work or with portable devices you only want the 38ohm or 32ohm headphones.

video comparision of sound on ath-m50 vs dt770
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pK7QbLNjno

 

thdarkshadow

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If you don't mind on ear take a look at the v-moda m80. They are good looking and have great sound. I game and listen to music with them and it does both very well. The headfi forum also seems to really like it.
 

audioranger

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Sorry should have clarified - I was talking about the dt 990, but specifically the pro version, not the more expensive premium one.

The 990 premium at any impedance is much pricier, but the 990 pro the OP linked to is currently at $169 so it's relatively close in price to the m50.
 

Andriokz

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thanks for all the help Audioranger and ssdx, that was the exact answer I was looking for. Well... seems the 32 ohm department would be the m50s, but if I do have a dac + amp then the DT 990s 250 ohm looks really nice. Question now is to get a DAC + Amp or stick with the m50s, lol thanks guys :)
 

Andriokz

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Well yea, but I only found the 600 ohm version of the DT 990s to be at a much higher price point. This was what I was going for on the DT 990 250 ohm bundle

http://www.sonicsense.com/beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-headphones-with-fiio-e11-bundle.html

I know the DT 990 has like 5 different versions with the 600 ohm normal and then there's a premium version but that was the one I was going with.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
another thing to keep in mind is that the dt990 are open while teh dt770 (and ath-m50) are closed design.

open designs leak sound so people around you will hear what you are listening to and likewise you can hear everything around you. with closed designs people around you wont be able to hear much of anything and you will be more isolated from the sounds around you.

something to think about if you work in an office or around people.
 

Andriokz

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nah this is mainly for use at my own house which is why now I'm having trouble deciding if the e11 is good enough or if the e09 is needed

 
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