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Recommendations for headphones with better bass response at under $200

farhad

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Hello, I am currently looking at upgrading complementing my current headphone with another one to have a slightly more neutral sound and better bass response. Since this is also my first post I thought it would be useful to detail my current gear and listening habits. I currently use a Grado SR80x connected to a jds atom+ dac and matching headphone amp. Most of my listening is done through that stacked pair on my desktop computer, though I also listen to vinyl music through a phono amp with its own headphone output too about 10% of the time. I do not mind the Grado sound and have gotten used to it, but I do desire a bit more from it, in particular the substantial lack of bass (side note, I seem to boost the bass +3 to +5dB to compensate for my current headphones lack of sound there ... and so I can EQ). However I do not know if any headphone will really give me that desired bass, and I doubt I can really feel the bass sensation as I would from my main speakers. So I am not fully sure what possible contenders even are. I also listen often enough at nighttime that closed back headphones might be a good complement to my current open back headphones.

Looking through this forums and various headphones graphs, I was considering getting the AKG K371 or the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. These nicely land at the budget I want of under $200. I partially picked this budget target since my usual instinct would be to go up to the next "up" the Grado model line and that would be the Grado SR125x. However I thought since I was looking for a different sound I would intetionally not pick that and go for another brand. I also looked at splurging a bit (or buying used) and getting a Sennheiser HD600 or HD6XX model, but they did not seem as good in the bass region, and I am not sure among the various models and years which to buy used.

Anything else I should be considering at this price point? I have yet to in person try the K371 or ATH-M50X but am looking to find a place to try both out and compare them if possible. Hopefully some store will have it.

Thanks
 

DVDdoug

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The AKG K371 (review) has bass slightly boosted above the Harmon preference curve.


I think most Grado's have "similar" sound characteristics so a different/better Grado is probably not what you want. And I think they known for their weak bass.
 

kemmler3D

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Welcome to ASR! You are looking at some good options, but you should definitely look through some of the headphone reviews to get a better idea.

$200 is a reasonable budget to upgrade from the SR80x. The Sennheiser HD598 or Beyerdynamic DT990 would also be reasonable options.

In general you will never get bass you can feel from headphones. It's not like a pair of headphones can vibrate your entire body. You can get an adequate sound, though.

EQ is a good thing to use to make the bass match your preference. Keep in mind you will want to find a headphone with low distortion (especially in bass) if you intend to boost it with EQ.

If you are willing to go for IEMs, the fan-favorite around here, the Truthear Zero Red has some pretty healthy bass and all-around good sound for about $50.

Lots of headphones have better bass than the Grados, though. So you should end up happy in that department.
 

Dunring

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The Beyerdynamic DT770 250 ohm is a great way to go. It's got bass extension all the way down, and when you EQ it up, you'll really feel it as well as hear it. Closed back, comfortable, and you've got enough power for them. I just had a pair in last week and forgot how much fun they are with hip hop or EDM.
 
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farhad

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Thanks for the replies. Yeah the Grado's have their distinct sound so I was planning to not go that route this time and pick up a different brand's headphones. I will look at the HD598 and DT990/DT770 too. I do not see the DT770 reviewed here, can I make any inferences to how similar it is to their DT 880 and DT990 which are measured here?

Also is there raw data for these charts available somewhere? It would be convenient to have a way to sort/filter by some of the frequency response numbers since I specifically want to see better bass response in headphones, but the advanced search only has ability to search by sensitivity and not some of the other measured attributes.
 

Sal1950

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Thanks for the replies. Yeah the Grado's have their distinct sound so I was planning to not go that route this time and pick up a different brand's headphones. I will look at the HD598 and DT990/DT770 too. I do not see the DT770 reviewed here, can I make any inferences to how similar it is to their DT 880 and DT990 which are measured here?

Also is there raw data for these charts available somewhere? It would be convenient to have a way to sort/filter by some of the frequency response numbers since I specifically want to see better bass response in headphones, but the advanced search only has ability to search by sensitivity and not some of the other measured attributes.
I wouldn't pass by a Senheiser HD650, might cost a little more but it can very likely
end up lasting you the rest of your days. ;)
 
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farhad

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I wouldn't pass by a Senheiser HD650, might cost a little more but it can very likely
end up lasting you the rest of your days. ;)
The HD650 is pricey at almost twice my budget, but I do see a handful of used ones at around $200 on ebay. Are all the years effectively the same, as I do not know if they had different revisions or particular ranges to avoid? Also there appear to potentially be knockoffs that are new when I search around. I assume to avoid those, but it is hard to immediately tell, other than the price seems optimistically low for it being new.
 

Sal1950

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Are all the years effectively the same, as I do not know if they had different revisions or particular ranges to avoid?
There are a few very slight revisions, I don't believe there's much difference to be concerned over if you can get a good price.
The Massdrop HD6xx versions also seem to very similar, you could do a search here on them and come up
with about 6 million opinions. But mostly they are favorable..
IMO the Senn HD 650 types are a classic design with sound quality very close to the best available.
 

sharock

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I have both. If I had to only keep one it'd probably be the HD560s over the HD650. I EQ both and the former sounds a little more spacious. If you prefer intimate then perhaps HD650 is the better option. Although, if price is also a factor then definitely HD560s wins.
 
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farhad

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If you are willing to go for IEMs, the fan-favorite around here, the Truthear Zero Red has some pretty healthy bass and all-around good sound for about $50.

After looking at various reviews on this site, I decided to go with the Truthear Zero Reds. The price was simply too good, and I actually probably have enough budget left over to still look at the AKG K371. I will see how I like the IEM's as this will be my first pair. If the comfort is good enough for me I may forgo getting a larger headphone. But yeah they have been ordered and I await them arrive sometime hopefully soon.
 

kemmler3D

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After looking at various reviews on this site, I decided to go with the Truthear Zero Reds. The price was simply too good, and I actually probably have enough budget left over to still look at the AKG K371. I will see how I like the IEM's as this will be my first pair. If the comfort is good enough for me I may forgo getting a larger headphone. But yeah they have been ordered and I await them arrive sometime hopefully soon.
Cool! As far as IEMs go, I think they are quite impressive for $50. I've heard a lot of IEMs and they're certainly the best I have heard at that price. There is really not much to complain about with them IMO. And as you said it leaves some budget for other options. Let us know what you think when they arrive!
 

Bleib

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K371 is solid on this part, and it doesn't mess up the rest of the audio
It can be quite disappointing to listen to some songs with other headphones or speakers as they will sound a bit thinner
 

ZolaIII

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The HD650 is pricey at almost twice my budget, but I do see a handful of used ones at around $200 on ebay. Are all the years effectively the same, as I do not know if they had different revisions or particular ranges to avoid? Also there appear to potentially be knockoffs that are new when I search around. I assume to avoid those, but it is hard to immediately tell, other than the price seems optimistically low for it being new.
At almost twice the budget take look of Denon AH-D5200 instead.
If you want a closed back there is plethora of models and most in the budget range from Sony, Shure, Beyerdynamic... Tho needing some EQ-ing and/ro modifying (quantity doesn't mean quality but you can shake and shape it) dig in to other sites and start from DIY Audio Heaven.
 

Bernard23

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Apologies for thread resurrecting etc but I'm in a similar ish position. I need some sub £200 closed back over ears for commuting. I've already got zero Reds and dunu EST 112 iems, but I'm struggling with in ears at the moment. I've got some LCD-X but they're wholly unsuitable for commuting, and a pair of yamaha hph-mt5 which are great for the cheap price I paid. I had AT M50x and beyer 770 Pro on my list, anything else to consider?
 

rwortman

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I don’t think anything beats the Shure SRH 840 at or near its price.
 

Bernard23

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I don’t think anything beats the Shure SRH 840 at or near its price.
I've not yet found any objective reviews / tests. I have read that they break easily too, they were / are on my list. I'd pretty much decided on the M50x
 
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