Deciding on getting a new headphone, and I'd like your help!

Griffrez

Honorable
Jan 2, 2013
4
0
10,510
0
Hello, community of Tom's Hardware.

As you can see by the title, I'd be very grateful with any help in deciding what headphone or headset to get.

My current headset (ROCCAT Kave; Not that great buy, I feel.) is pretty much dying. It has been having a few problems (missing channels), that I've fixed but returned, and it's getting tiresome.

Anyway, to help me decide, I think it's best to explain what my style of PC user is.

Mostly, I am a gamer. But, sometimes I also listen to music, and I am a very... perfectionist person, I guess, I always want to have that feeling that I am getting the best out of everything, so I've always thought a bit about "audiophilic" headphones. So, I go in that margin between a headphone for gaming or music.

Now the option I am currently considering, the Audio Technica ATH-M50.
I have seen how most reviewers praise this headset as the best "under 200$ headphones" (for the record, I'm European). So, I was quite intrigued.

Very interested, but, one major flaw, no incorporated microphone. I have thought about like a desk mic, or a thing called ModMic, but the second choice isn't yet widely available and it's kinda pricey, I think, so, I got that problem.

So, feel free to suggest me another headphone or headset, or an idea to overcome the down side of the lack of microphone on the M50s.

I thank you guys, in advance, for your most precious help.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i have an ath-m50s (s = straight cable, no s = coiled cable version)

its not meant to have a microphone. they are studio headphones (stereo 2.0) so not having a mic isnt a flaw.

they really are great headphones. they are low resistance (35ohm i believe) so you can power them with a phone, mp3 player, your pc, laptop or just about any device without requiring an amp unlike some other high end (and higher impedence) headphones.

some people say that the m50's lack good mids however i personally havent had any issues. i've listened to everything from dubstep (which really hits low) to vocals (which hits the highs) as well as rock (hits most tones) and electronica (which hits all across the board) and i've never noticed any distortion in the sound even on a flat eq. i've also played games with the set when i travel without any issue.

sound is going to be better than any headset you buy thats labeled gaming however it doesnt have 5.1. keep in mind that to give you a product for the same price the headsets are giving you inferior components.

as far as build quality is concerned they are built of plastic but very heavy and with a thick cable. i cant immagine them breaking without some serious abuse. as with all leather or pleather headphones the earcups may start to deteriorate after a few years but you can buy replacements.

they dont have a mic so you would need a clip on or desk mic.

the ath-m50 while not top end are likely where you would begin to see audiophile headphones start at. of course when talking high end headphones its easy to get quite rediculous but luckily the m50's are good sounding for a good price.
 

Griffrez

Honorable
Jan 2, 2013
4
0
10,510
0


Well, the part of the microphone, I was just saying. That, for my style, it was missing. That is all. I understand your point, though.

Well, I really hope for the build quality part. As I said, I got a ROCCAT Kave, and it already have its signs of age... and I don't want that to happen with a pair of 150€ headphones.

That fancydandy conversation about high, mids and lows, even though I understand it... I really don't know what to think when applied to my expectations. But thanks for the more in-depth opinion.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
mine are several years old... and were carried in a bookbag too and from work and used just about every day. the earcups are just starting to harden a little bit (again you can replace them and its common for many headphones) but other than this they are doing fine.

we all appreciate sound in a different way. basically i've heard that they have some flaws but really i didnt notice anything myself. of course you could be different but i would still recommend them as a good headset especially for the money.

150eur? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50s-Professional-Studio-Monitor-Headphones-Straight-Cable-/251332674661?pt=UK_AudioVisualElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Headphones&hash=item3a84984465

only 104eur! (89gbp) listed on ebay.co.uk

 

Griffrez

Honorable
Jan 2, 2013
4
0
10,510
0


But is that trustworthy, though? I never used ebay, really.

Also, I hear that SteelSeries is updating their Siberia series with a new headset, called Siberia Elite. They look pretty hyped, so I think SS has great trust in them. And if the sound quality is great on these, they pretty much fix the problem here. Some sources say they'll have a initial price of 199,99$, which is about 150€, so, it's the same as my previous thought price of the M50. (But now, with your new input, that's quite different.)

 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i've used ebay a multitude of times without any issue. in general ebay tends to be on the side of buyers not sellers so if there is a problem typically they side with the buyer. just read the whole post details and all and printscreen it for record. look at the sellers feedback as well.

there are other websites around as well however free shipping for that price isnt a bad deal. as i said... look the seller up to see what their rating is.

104eur is $137usd given the price i wouldnt say they are fake as this is between both the high and low prices i've seen around.

i've seen them on ebay for $100 to $120 which would be 76ur to 91eur on the .com domain but i paid $180 or 136eur

in general dont believe hype. believe actual reviews and customer comments. even better believe what you hear with your own ears if possible. people believe in the hype of the beats audio headphones yet they are junk. case in point.

not saying the SS is bad... just look into it if you are interested dont go by just what is said :)
 

Griffrez

Honorable
Jan 2, 2013
4
0
10,510
0


Well, I'll keep that in mind, the ebay thing. But as I said, I'm thinking about the Elite.

And obviously I'm going to wait for reviewers, and also going to wait for a couple of hardware revisions (Manufacturers, especially gaming peripheral manufacturers, tend to have REALLY BAD first revision products. Razer, especially. At least a few years back.). I am a quite skeptical consumer. Because I want the best, and and it lasts long. For example. The Siberia V2 are quite old, but it was always said to be good. But, I want the best, so I dislike getting old stuff. I want to get stuff that will last the longest to stay the best.

I do the same with Smartphones... and since they have stuff like "There's never a good time to buy a smartphone.", I'm stuck with the same for a while now.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
in general never buy a new product. always wait at least a month.

just because something is an old model doesnt make it bad either. in the case of headphones the basic tech has been around for quite a long time so new models do not necessarily mean new tech.

take the m50s for example were released in 2009. come december it will be a 5 year old design. i've had them for about 2-3.

there is a good time to buy a smartphone. about a month after if you are a normal user or about 3-4 months after if you are a user who roots and roms. i'm still on my droid incredible 1. honestly there hasnt been much that came out that is worthwhile that is on my network...
 
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