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Performance Headphones (up to 100$) for Music/Gaming

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September 12, 2007 5:27:57 AM

I already have a Z-5300e Logitech 5.1 sound system, plus a X-Fi ExtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro I got last week - I'm thinking of getting headphones for music/gaming - my budget is 75$-100$.....as long as I stay around 100$, I'm fine.


I primarily listen to Trailer/Soundtrack Music, of movies and games, and also high-end trailer studios such as Immediate Music and Future World Music, with a moderate amount of classical music, and a light bit of alternative rock, pop, and trance/techno/new age thrown in. I also do some FPS gaming (Quake4,HL2, CS:S, Bioshock).


There are 3 models which seem to fit into my budget - these links are just for reference, not pricing

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 (can be found for ~$100)

HD280 PRO (can be found ~80$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106328

HD555 (can be found ~90$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106392&Tpk=hd555



I will be mostly using these at home, in a quiet environment, but would like somewhat good passive noise cancellation when I'm traveling on a bus or a plane...also at rowdy parties...

As you can see, these are mostly for music, and some gaming with audio-intensive games.
Any suggestions that fit my music/gaming criteria tastes? -
September 12, 2007 5:52:49 AM

I'm not sure about the ones you suggested, but if you're alright with earphones, I would recommend a set of Shure E2C 'noise isolation' earphones. I personally own one, and I think they're really nice, and they're less than 100 bucks. Again, if you're looking for headphones instead, just ignore my ramblings :p .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 12, 2007 5:58:05 AM

Yup - I already have decent earphones for my iPod - Sennheiser CX300 ~ $60-70..

Looking for headphones. thanks anyway!
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September 12, 2007 6:28:39 AM

I have the hd555 and they are excellent. They will pair nicely with your xfi. Their durable feel and sound quality make them a good pair for more than just careful listening in the sanctity of your own room but also for the demands of a lan party. I specifically wanted open ear phones so that i could wear them and still know what people around me were saying (or trashtalking). I can't tell you what makes the hd555 more expensive than the 485's, however i prefer the style of the 555's.

One last thing, the 555's are incredibly comfortable. They fit over your ear so you dont get a sore ear after a few hours.
September 18, 2007 11:54:47 PM

Bump....or is it that toms doesn't have a big headphone audiophile group?
September 19, 2007 12:50:05 AM

I use a pair of Bose Tri-port headphones. I really like them but they cost a little over 100 bucks. I'm not an audio expert or anything but these headphones along with my X-fi sound card sure sound better than my last pair of generic headphones and onboard sound...

You made it clear you are on a budget but if you can find away to spend an extra 30 bucks or so you won't regret it.
September 19, 2007 1:49:22 AM

I'm not sure what to make of your requirements. There's a number of conflicting directions.

For FPS gaming, I really need a mic for communicating with teammates.

For on the road, durability is the most important.

The best seat of headphones in that range on my desk now, are a set of sony mdr-v600, which is in the low end for you.

I favor comfort for long wearing over even audio properties, and the bass is comparatively weak. Fortunately I don't listen to much booty base at work.
September 19, 2007 4:37:35 AM

I also use the HD-555's they are awesome best pair of headphones ive ever owned. They plug-in direct into the front IO on my Fatal1ty.

I shyed away from the HD-280Pros as they are closed headphones and that meaning they are good for monitoring but there bass will suffer a little because of this. Which i wanted more bass for music listening.

The HD-555's sit nice on the head and leave them on for hours without that uncomfortable feeling. As soon as i saw your thread name i though he needs HD-555's and i go into the topic and see you have already been looking at them ;)  good work get them i garentee youll be happy with them
September 19, 2007 5:03:57 AM

I have a set of Speed Link 5.1 surround cans, a great addition to my gaming x-fi. I to have the speakers listed, but after the bride and kiddies are in bed, I need a "quiet" solution to game with, and these sound fabulous.
October 1, 2007 2:25:51 PM

since u're looking for some passive noise cancellation i'de suggest you to get an closed headphone instead of a open one, cause since you're going to travelling with then, "they let outside noise in and inside noise out (so they're not suitable for use in noisy environments, or near people who don't want to hear a tinnier version of what you're hearing" just got this from a review =p . i own an audio technica ath a500 head (they're closed ^^) , it's pretty good for its price its just over $80.
if u're looking for a small one, more "portable" you can try the Bose Tri-port.
October 1, 2007 11:21:12 PM

How bad is the sound leakage/noise blocking on opens, such as hd555? - is it really that bad?

I heard more goods for hd555 than hd280pro...

I'm not going to travel a lot, just the rare vacation/bus/party..so a constant sound cancellation isn't neccesay.

How does Audio-Technica lowerends compare to these Senns?
October 2, 2007 1:06:52 AM

What are you plugging the headphones into when traveling? cause youll find on an ipod or something, the port wont drive the headphones all that well (doesnt have sufficient power output) so you wont be able to go as loud as say with an amp or X-fi
October 2, 2007 1:37:56 AM

i d add to the list the akg k81 which can be had for less than 100 for sure
supposedely they are nice for the money
and they are closed
if you absolutely want senns then hd555 seems good to me
may i suggest www.head-fi.org (the reference in headphones on the net)
October 2, 2007 3:01:40 AM

I know these don't really compare with the Senn's and the like but I recently picked up a set of the new Logitech 350's the other day for AUD$50 (retail AUD$80) and they are fantastic for the money, really clear sound and good sound cancellation (breathing etc) across the mic's, and for watching movies or gaming the sound is really quite good. The only problem is that they are usb and as such do not run off your soundcard as they have their own processor in them, however for the price I'm not to fussed. If I want to get really good sound I never use my headphones and just listen to my z2300's on the xtremegamer.

Cheers
Lazarus
October 2, 2007 1:49:13 PM

About external noise and leakage well i really can't say much about it, since all my cans where closed ones, if you listen closed ones on high levels you certainly will have some leak (sure they will be less than open ones).
You might consider try them before buy, since closed and open my have a different sound, each person have it's own taste. What sounds good to me, might not be so good for you.

And about lower end you're talking about ?

might want to take pidesd suggestion and visit at www.head-fi.org a good source for headphones if not the best one ;) .
October 2, 2007 9:08:27 PM

let your ears do the work bro. Never order speakers of any sorts off the net until at least hearing them live in a good listening enironment. Get the bike out...catch a bus...borrow moms car...whatever, take a trip and listen to the headphones/speakers live....
good luck and trust your ears...not your wallet
October 2, 2007 9:58:27 PM

AK Gamer said:
I use a pair of Bose Tri-port headphones. I really like them but they cost a little over 100 bucks. I'm not an audio expert or anything but these headphones along with my X-fi sound card sure sound better than my last pair of generic headphones and onboard sound...

You made it clear you are on a budget but if you can find away to spend an extra 30 bucks or so you won't regret it.


my dad is an audio expert and he LOVESSS his Bose Tri-port headphones. Also I'm a ocd'ish musician and when it comes to audio im pretty picky and I have to say the Tri-port are pretty amazing. So there must be something to them ;) 
October 2, 2007 10:51:16 PM

To expensive for my tastes! (200$?)

Anyway, I'd like to stick with Senn..And yes, I'll plug it into a iPod - heard the ohm level was friendly though...
October 3, 2007 4:49:38 AM

Anyway, I'd like to stick with Senn..And yes, I'll plug it into a iPod - heard the ohm level was friendly though...

@DeusEx

They are ohm friendly but ull find an amp will power the senn's better than an ipod will, the ipod dont have the juice.... like plugging 200w RMS speakers into a 100W RMS Amp.
October 3, 2007 6:05:19 AM

if you want my opinion dont buy a 5.1 headphone setup. its not as versatile as normal heaphones and the sound quality is far from being at the same level. i own the medusa 5.1 and it does a fine job at placing sounds in a 3d context but that is about it. it s just not worth the money IMO. to say the truth i get more enjoyment with my 150$ senns with my x-fi which has a nice 3d reproduction feature than my 200+ bucks medusa (which are considered good in the 5.1 realm). for the things you mentioned doing. a all-around headphone would be better. and i think the senn hd555 should be at the very top of your list. they are supposed to be very good for the money and should be very good for all the things you do if plugged into your mobo. the ath a500 may be worrth looking at also as well as the akg k81. there are a couple more but they dont come up right now.

if you can live with used headphones you can sometimes have pretty good deals on more high end stuff. for instance i see often hd 595(which i own and they are fabulous for the money) for 110$ on www.head-fi.org. sometimes it s wise to invest a little more for something that will last you easily a couple of years (sound dont progress as computer hardware does) and quality climbs up pretty quickly for the price range your looking at. also if you wnat to upgrade your gear down the road(it could be years from now) you ll notice a larger difference from hi-end headphones than low-end ones. just to give you an example, i bought the best akg has to offer (k701) used for 240 us$ and man that was one of the best 240 bucks i ever invested. but i got also a good system to compliment it which is why i would not necessary suggest them for anyone. it s a little bit like the video card market: it gives you nothing to plug a 8800gtx along with a p1 133mhz. well it s not as striking but still.

to judge a headphone though is a very personal matter as stated above. i d try listening to a couple of them before making any purchase. the fit is also very important. i bought once a 200 bucks heaphone pair that i couldn t wear for more than an hour straight. most large floor electronic retailers have a least a couple of senns. note that what what you listen there may not be what you ll listen at home as the equipment used might be different from what you have. but the sound signature stays the same.
October 17, 2007 11:02:21 PM

bup?
October 17, 2007 11:35:47 PM

Alienware sells headphones for a hundred bucks. I havn't researched them or anything but if they have the alienware name associated with them I bet they are worth checking out.
October 19, 2007 12:01:36 AM

Alright...seems like HD555 is the way to go...

Can anyone tell me just how much sound is leaked (is it noticeable at regular volume?), and where I can find it for less than 90$?

Also...the ATH Audiotechnica AD700s...are around 100$....how do those compare?
!