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Airpods Pro 2 vs cheap(?) Wired Headphones

CommanderBrot

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Nov 16, 2023
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Hi,
I've been using Bose NC700 at home and Google Pixel Buds A when I'm out for some time now but as I bought an iPhone I'll sell both and switch over to Airpods pro 2 soon.
Before the Bose I had an old AKG 271 that I bought sometime in the early 2000s that I really liked (and also preferred to the Bose, don't know if it was the headphones itself or maybe wired is always superior to bluetooth?), but It had no ANC and was getting old, so I sold it. On my old AKG I liked the detailing, the soundstage and that the bass wasn't overemphasized.

I just had a look at headphone prices and realized, that something like an AKG 240 is really cheap. And then fell down the rabbit hole that is the current state of AKG... As far as I understand, AKGs of today aren't what I came to love 20 years ago...

I don't really need an additional set of headphones, but it would be nice to have a set for my PC (gaming, music, movies) and maybe also for enjoying music in a 'real' oldfashioned stereo way. But I also don't want to invest much... I'd use them on my iPad, iPhone and PC, so no amplifier.

So my question would be: would lower budget headphones (say, about or even under 100 EUR) be superior to something like the Airpods pro 2? Maybe because size an a wired connection would win out high-tech trickery? Or should I postpone that and buy a better headset after I saved up some money?

I listen mainly to classical music, film music, classic rock, jazz, some electro. As they're complementing ANC Airpods, I thought about open headphones as they're supposed to be better and I don't need the isolation at home. That's why I had a look at the AKG 240, but reviews are all over the place...
 

paudio

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Sep 18, 2021
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Cheap, comfortable and open I would recommend Koss KPH40. They ended up being my main headphones except for when I need isolation. I also have KPH30i, Sennheiser PX100-II and I just ordered a pair of vintage Sony MDR-20. KPH30i has too much clamp but I like the silicone band and sound. PX100 sounds darker but also has way more clamp than the KPH40.

Maybe someone else with more experience with lower priced open over ears will have some other suggestions.
 
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CommanderBrot

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Nov 16, 2023
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So, an update:
Got the AirPods 2 and I'm really impressed with them so far.

Looked at Koss (they're a bit expensive here in germany) and nearly pulled the trigger, but saw a Beyerdynamic DT990 Edition 250 Ohm for 120 EUR on the Beyerdynamic HP and bought that ( friend of mine is a real beyerdynamic fan, so I tried them out - of course, now they're discounted even more on Amazon... :D ).
I always thought they'd be too much on the treble side for me, but either I just like it that way or at 43 my hearing has gone downhill in the upper range, but I really like them. They're comfortable, have a wide open soundstage and sound just very clear and detailed to me.

I listen to them on my iPad and Macbook mostly and although I have to crank the volume quite a bit, it's loud enough for me and sounds very good.
Only on my iPhone with the Apple Lightning 3.5 dongle I wished there was more Oomph.

I saw some cheap, portable headphone amplifiers on Amazon and Aliexpress for about 20 EUR. Are these OK or do they destroy the listening experience? Or should I buy another DAC/Dongle?
 
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