Which headphones should I get? Gaming, music, digital piano!

lucasdepalma

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Apr 5, 2014
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Hi everyone! First of all, I'm from Argentina, so take this into account: $1 dollar = $8.20 pesos argentinos.
So, I'm here bothering you because I need help: I don't know what headphones I should buy.

I play the piano (I have a digital piano, Takami PDP-300), I love gaming (action-adventure, graphic adventure, FPS such as Bioshock I, II, Infinite, etc.) and I love listening to music (classical music; Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, etc. In general, I listen to piano pieces, but I oftenly listen to symphonies and concertos. Rock; Coldplay, Aerosmith, Brian Setzer, etc. Jazz; Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, etc. That'll give you an idea).
I have a headset, which I mainly use for gaming: Sony Pulse Elite Edition 7.1 (the one with the BassImpact, it's GREAT for gaming). But I'm not a basshead, so for music... huh, it's not that good.

I'm between these two: Audio Technica ATH M50 ($2816 pesos = $343 dollars - I know, stuff is so freaking expensive here!) OR Sennheiser HD 558 ($3023 pesos = $368 dollars).

I know M50 are closed-back and HD 558 are open-back (Sony Pulse are closed-back, you can't hear a thing from the outside world!). But the thing is that I have a big family, we're 7 and I'm the oldest of 4 brothers. Why am I telling you this? It's a rather noisy place! lol.
I've heard Sennheiser will sound better than M50 because they're open-back, but there's gonna be a lot of noise coming out and coming in! By the way, I have an ASUS M5a99x EVO R2.0 (and I might buy an ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 sound card, so take that into account).

To sum up: Will the M50 be a waste of money? I mean, since I already have a bassy headset... Again, I use the Pulse's for gaming, so I'm looking for a music/digital piano headphones. What would you recommend? The brands I can get here are: Audio Technica, Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sony, Beyerdynamic... Beats... LOL!

Sorry about the LONG testament, but I'll really appreciate any help and I thank you in advance! :)
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
first off i wouldnt say that the sennheisers would necessarily "sound better" because they are open back. what you gain from being open back is a wider soundstage however in your case there is too much noise to enjoy an open back set of headphones.

the m50's are definitely a great pair of headphones (i own a pair, you can see them in my signature photos) but you might be a bit better served by the beyerdynamic dt770 since they have a bit wider soundstage despite being a closed pair of headphones.

you can hear the difference between them here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pK7QbLNjno

in general sennheisers are good but do not put out alot of bass. for your particular needs closed back sennheiser headphones may also work out for you. i wouldnt suggest open backed ones though.

as for the costs...

how are import charges to argentina? you can get m50's brand new for as low as $120 and dt770's for $150 usd. you could perhaps use a forwarding service from the usa to argentina and still come out way below your price as long as you wont be hit up for crazy high import charges.

i shipped some stuff back airmail from japan (i was on vacation) to the usa (where i live) for $30 (5-7 day airmail) so prices *can* be reasonable depending on how things get shipped. i wasnt charged import fees either since i was below my yearly limit
 

lucasdepalma

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Apr 5, 2014
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First of all, thanks a lot for reading and replying! Really, thank you!
So, getting into it. I guess you're right, open back headphones wouldn't be the most suitable pair of headphones for me. My house is really noisy, even though it's not small, the TV is near the PC, and there's too much people! So, closed back headphones then.

Yeah, I'm studying music so soundstage is kind of important for me right now. I want a pair of headphones with good soundstage, without being open back... kind of hoping water won't get you wet, right?

Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO are $2.592 pesos ($316 dollars). Are those better than the M50's? I don't want really bassy headphones, I want a pair of headphones which I can use to listen to classical pieces, and hear every single instrument with detail (of course, spending that kind of money, I guess Sennheiser HD 800 would sound better, but they cost $20.000 pesos = $2500 dollars!).

Sadly enough, importing stuff is impossible here. This government put a lot of restrictions, and if I want to buy something from the USA, I will have to pay 35% "por compra en el exterior" (35% only because I bought something from another country) and then 50% in the "aduana", the place where you go to get your product. 85%! And it's really complicated with "technology", it's not easy to buy that kind of stuff. It's a screwed up country "economically speaking".I guess I'll take your piece of advice and I may buy the DT770 if they have wider soundstage than the M50's, I don't know.

Anyway, that's it I think. If you have anything else to add, please, you are more than welcome. I can easily tell you know this stuff, so any help is more than welcomed!
Again, I can't thank you enough ssddx!
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
if you are able... give that youtube link a try. it will give you some comparisons between the two headphones.

also.... i would highly suggest checking out this link and listening to the audio samples of different headphones provided in the list as this can lt you sample out many different headphones to see which has a sound you like. http://www.sonicsense.com/blog/category/open-back-headphones/

sadly they dont have every headphone you can buy but it has a fair amount of models.

as far as what gets recommended for "classical" music.... i had a look over at headfi to see what was recommended by some of the audiophiles there. generally the advice they give there gives a good starting point towards any search for headphones as the entire forum is pretty much devoted to such things.

-beyerdynamic dt880... its an semi-open design so somewhere between open&closed in performance. there isnt a sound comparison on the site available but its less bassy and a bit better for non bass type music than the dt990 which is available as a preview.

-akg q701... its an open design though so sound isolation is an issue. there is a preview available.

-sennheiser hd600... closed back design which gets compared to the hd800 but without the super-wide soundstage. sorry no preview that i saw on sonic sense however there is an amatuer youtube video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OybRZSaoYP0

while i was listening to a few tracks on sonicsense audio... the akg k167 sounded really good to me on the classical music track

sorry to hear about your import charges. sadly it looks like importing would cost you more. for the dt770 it would be 385 to import instead of 316 for you to buy them local despite the 209usd price we have over here for the 80ohm version.

i really wouldnt consider myself a complete expert as i dont have a huge amount of personal experience besides my ath-m50s but i've done quite a bit of research as to what other users like/dislike and for what reasons and i know where to look for good information like comparisons which really helps.
 

lucasdepalma

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Apr 5, 2014
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Awesome. I don't care if you are not an expert, you've made a great argument there, and I really really appreciate it.

Sorry I didn't mention it! I've checked that youtube link, sounds like DT 770 are better than M50's? You can't even compare any of those with Beats, I mean, come on... But anyhow, I don't know, it's a video, it's not the same if you test them, I think.

I'll check that sonicsense web and compare more headphones! I've been also skimming headfi and reading reviews and everything, I think I'll go with DT770, mainly because of the "decent soundstage", sound quality, and price. I mean, they're cheaper than the M50's here. It's a weird country, I know, haha. You live in a paradise country economically speaking (at least in this kind of stuff!).

Again, I thank you a lot. I'll follow your replies closely ssddx. Thanks for your time :)

*BTW, the DT770 I can get here are "Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO", are those the one you recommended? With the "PRO" included?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the sonicsense headphone test clips (including the video test clip) are only for comparisions sake.

remember you are still playing through whatever headphones or speakers your pc currently has connected so the real thing will not sound exactly like the clip.

the comparisons are only so you can get a feel to how the headphones sound in comparison to eachother. the sonicsense website also has the original clip (not played through headphones) so you can see how your headphones/speakers you have now sound so you can better compare the differences.

---

i agree, i wouldnt recommend any of the beats as they are junk for the price.

i wouldnt say that the dt770 is better than the m50. i personally own the m50s and am very pleased with them. both are comparable. for you however the dt770 is likely a better choice since it has a bit wider soundstage and is a bit more focused on highs and mids. for me the m50s are a really nice fit since i like my bass (i listen to alot of electronica, rock, etc) however the m50s also have clear highs and mids unlike other headphones with half decent bass response. they arent totally centered on bass. they also have a "warmer" feel to them than some headphones which can be too "bright" (sharp sounds). they also are foldable (the dt770 is not) and since i take them with me on the go this is required. as for the soundstage... i never really noticed before i heard about soundstages. if anything the m50s just feel closer and more intimate with sound to me.

again... for you i'd say the dt770 is probably better suited but the m50s is also a great pair and fits my own needs better.

--

the beyerdynamic dt770 pro is what i suggested, yes.

however, remember there are 3 different models: 32ohm, 80ohm and 250ohm.

generally the listing above in that order is acurate for pricing low to high and also for how good they sound worst to best. the 32ohm version can be driven by practically any device including mp3, phone, laptop, etc. i am not sure about the 80ohm but chances are it can also be driven by most devices given its sensitivity. if you went with the 250ohm you may have trouble driving it from portable devices however if you have a decent soundcard (with decent amplifier inside) or if you use an external DAC it would work fine.

if you have the cash for the 250ohm and dont mind maybe needing a soundcard or using an external dac+amp device then this would be the one i'd go with. otherwise... take your pick between the 32 and 80, whichever fits your budget.
 
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