Please Suggest: closed back budget (200) audiophile headphones for 50/50 gaming and music

Feb 5, 2019
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Hey folks,

My luggage got stolen the other day (yay!), and with it went my headphones. I'm looking to pick up another set (for $100-200). I mostly use them at home, about 50/50 between gaming and music (lots of EDM/trap when I do work, but not only). Unfortunately, I also have a monstrous 6-8 hour train commute several times a week. This means the cans have to be closed-back with minimal bleed so as not to bother others, and have a detachable cable. Seems like a minor thing, but the cable on my last set not detaching got so irritating while traveling, and was the only reason they were in my luggage in the first place.

Previously, I had the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro. I really enjoyed them - they were comfortable, great for gaming and put out pronounced bass for my music. Aesthetics left something to be desired, but /shrug. Although, to be fair, I found them to be a little boring(?) for some music. My brother had the DT990s, which sound freakin' great for both music and gaming, but it's not like I could take those on the train with me. Plus the cable thing. Also, I've heard that Beyer line has issues with sibilance (though it seemed fine with the 80ohm 770's)? Though the bass being pronounced it might not have been as noticeable.

Summary of characteristics I'm hoping for:
- closed back
- equally for gaming and music
- comfortable: wearable for at least 6-8 hours straight
- bassy enough for EDM/trap
- detachable cable

Budget: ~$100-$200 USD

I've done a decent amount of research, but am having difficulty finding something that is closed back and fits both my needs adequately. If it wasn't for that damn cable I would go in on another pair of 770s and not look back. And ya I know I could theoretically mod them with a cable ... but damned if I don't have enough worries without burning myself with a soldering iron.

Would really appreciate any suggestions (or resource that may help me figure this out).
 

anort3

Distinguished
Moderator
I'm not sure you're going to find something 'better' than the DT 770 in that price range that's closed back. Going different would be the HD598C but if you found the DT 770s boring you're going to think the 598s are worse. The 598s are more neutral than the 770s.

The Sony MDR1A is warm and bassy but unless you find them used they're probably going to be over budget.

The Audio-Technica ATH-WS1100iS might fit your needs but it's not going to be 'better' than the 770s, only different.

The AKG K553 MKII is worth looking at.

And last but not least the Meze 99 Neo. Or if you can wait on Massdrop to get the 99 Noir back at some point it's a 99 Classic with a different finish for $199 and a great value.

I can't think of much else in that price range that even competes with the DT 770.
 
Feb 5, 2019
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Hey, thanks a lot for your suggestions - I looked into them all. I usually do my own research and I think you can see why I'm having trouble here. You're right - the 598's were the first thing I tried and, for my needs at least, the 770s are most definitely superior. The Sony cans are unfortunately quite a bit out of my budget. The AT's are unfortunately essentially semi-open due to those bass vents, and people report sound leakage, which would be pretty bad for someone whose head is 1 foot away from mine on the train. The biggest, most common complaint about the AKGs is comfort; the mediocre pads I could change out, but the headband is apparently also quite straining.

Really the fact that Beyer didn't manufacture the 770s/derivative line with a detachable cable is driving me nuts, as they seem to be top tier all around for their price otherwise.

That said, I would have loved to pick up a pair of 99 Classics at a reasonable price... and I wasn't aware of the 99 Noir. Were you aware of their production run ETA (if such info was available, my googling skills were found wanting)? How long would I have to suffer with IEMs...
 
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