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Cheap (£70) 'open' sounding headphone/earbud/IEM recommendations needed!

marX

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I created a thread in HeadFi for the same but I value the opinion of you guys more.

So, here is my use case: PC Gaming and music listening (Spotify - PC and mobile phone). I have a Topping NX 4 DSD dac/amp which is decent in my opinion.
I want a balanced (flat) frequency response and a good soundstage. So, would an open-back headphone/earbud/IEM be the best for me?

The current headphone on my target list is the AKG K612 Pro but that's a bit outside of my budget range. But, is it worth it?
Is there any wireless option like that of the 1more SonoFlow that would work?

Thanks for reading!
 

markanini

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Moondrop Lan is the closest to a AKG K612 I've heard in a IEM. It's harder to find an over-ear of comparable quality in your budget unless you hunt for used deals.
 

Berwhale

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Personally, I think open backs are best for gaming as they're generally more comfortable and sound more 'natural' (unless you have to deal with a lot of ambient noise). I used a pair of AKG K712 Pro's before I gave up playing seriously a few years ago.

Wireless can bring challenges from a latency perspective, how this affects you will depend on the types of game you play and the wireless technology and codecs you use.

Given your price constraint, you may want to check out some of the cloned (allegedly!) designs from likes of Superlux. I bought a pair of HD681's for my son and they are surprisingly good (if a bit 'plasticky')...


@solderdude review and suggested modifications of the HD681 is here: https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/brand-superlux/hd681/
 

Joe Smith

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If you are willing to entertain cup-type (closed back) lightweight headphones, my personal favorite is the AKG K361. Very natural curve, good wide soundstage.
 
OP
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marX

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Sorry for NOT mentioning this in my first post! What I want is a bookshelf speaker like sound.

What I mean is I was about to get a Revel M16 and a Hypex or Sabaj A30a amp but since I'm house hunting, its difficult to commit to a rather high amount of money. So I was like an open-back headphone or an earbud would be similar to a bookshelf speaker like sound, that would be a good option, at least temporarily or if I like it, may be even a permanent solution!

I'll go through each of your post and do some research and get back to you.
Thanks for the replies!
 
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marX

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Personally, I think open backs are best for gaming as they're generally more comfortable and sound more 'natural' (unless you have to deal with a lot of ambient noise). I used a pair of AKG K712 Pro's before I gave up playing seriously a few years ago.

Wireless can bring challenges from a latency perspective, how this affects you will depend on the types of game you play and the wireless technology and codecs you use.

Given your price constraint, you may want to check out some of the cloned (allegedly!) designs from likes of Superlux. I bought a pair of HD681's for my son and they are surprisingly good (if a bit 'plasticky')...


@solderdude review and suggested modifications of the HD681 is here: https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/brand-superlux/hd681/
What an interesting suggestion. Seems like its a very well-reviewed product!
 
OP
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marX

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I would recommend staying away from wireless headphones or iem's for gaming, due to latency.
Yes, but I play mostly RPG and FPS games (offline). It's not a huge deal (Aptx should be a minimum though - I would be getting an aptex compatible transmitter if I do get a wireless headphone).
 

markanini

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What I want is a bookshelf speaker like sound.
 
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marX

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Moondrop Lan is the closest to a AKG K612 I've heard in a IEM. It's harder to find an over-ear of comparable quality in your budget unless you hunt for used deals.
Does it have that 'open' feel?
 
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marX

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Regarding the Truthear x crinacle red, same question as above, does it have that 'open' feel?
 

markanini

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Regarding the Truthear x crinacle red, same question as above, does it have that 'open' feel?
No, Red is more grounded in a speaker style presentation, with a frontal staging. Lan is more airy and expansive.
 
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marX

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Moondrop Lan is the closest to a AKG K612 I've heard in a IEM. It's harder to find an over-ear of comparable quality in your budget unless you hunt for used deals.
If I increase the budget, can I get 'better' versions which are objectively better than Moondrop Lan?
 

markanini

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If I increase the budget, can I get 'better' versions which are objectively better than Moondrop Lan?
Maybe OG Truthear Zero, but I haven't heard it. Some find the OG Zero shouty, which may cause undesired ear fatigue for long sessions. Lan is hard to upsell honestly because it was priced as a budget set while using some premium internals.
 
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marX

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If you are willing to entertain cup-type (closed back) lightweight headphones, my personal favorite is the AKG K361. Very natural curve, good wide soundstage.
Thanks. I thought that closed cup designs would be taking a hit on the 'airyness' and sound stage. Thanks for the recommendation.

But that Superlux headphone pricing is too good to ignore lol :D
 

Berwhale

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Thanks. I thought that closed cup designs would be taking a hit on the 'airyness' and sound stage. Thanks for the recommendation.

But that Superlux headphone pricing is too good to ignore lol :D

I'd be quite happy to game with my K371, or my HD660S for that matter. I EQ both to Harman slightly adjusted to my own preference. The HD 660S would easily win from a comfort perspective in extended sessions.

I also own both TruthEar Zeros and I think the differences between them are overblown. I don't find the blue ones shouty, however I do EQ them both to Harman + my own preference. I have little doubt that I would be unable to distinguish between them if I was blindfolded and someone stuck them in my ears (certainly not for casual listening or gamming).
 

hussien-11

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Philips SHP9500 ticks all these. Its an open headphone with large earcups/driver (leading to wide soundstage) and very good imaging. Its also very cheap in terms of cost, though it is durable and will last for many years.

It has a very neutral sound signature, slightly bright, and imaging + wide stereo image make it excellent for video games. It is better than Sennheiser's HD6x0 series for that purpose. It is also very comfortable to wear for a long time, though a bit loose.
 

Berwhale

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Philips SHP9500 ticks all these. Its an open headphone with large earcups/driver (leading to wide soundstage) and very good imaging. Its also very cheap in terms of cost, though it is durable and will last for many years.

It has a very neutral sound signature, slightly bright, and imaging + wide stereo image make it excellent for video games. It is better than Sennheiser's HD6x0 series for that purpose. It is also very comfortable to wear for a long time, though a bit loose.

The SHP9500 are around £90 in the UK at the moment, although they have been as low as £60 on Amazon UK according to CamelCamelCamel.
 
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