£400 budget need headphones for wide range of tasks, can anyone advise please? Really struggling with the amount of options

Hi,

Everyone I am currently searching for or some headphones which I need for the following uses:

1) Movies and TV (I have a Denon x1600 they can be plugged into)
2) Xbox series X. Ideally want something I can plug into the controller and add a microphone
3) Music on my laptop (no amp might buy one in the future but rather avoid it if I can)
4) Music and podcasts on my phone
5 ) Electric guitar (I am a complete beginner at this but have a big Marshall amp they can be plugged into)
6) Bonus would be teams calls on laptop but it really is last on the list. I will just use my crappy work headset if it causes issues having this requirement.

I am not sure on sounds signature as I have not had any high end headphones before. I would like to hear a lot of detail and clarity though , although I have not got a professional ear to probably pick up on a lot of it.

Music wise I listen to a massive range: rap , rock , EDM , jazz , r&b , pop

I was wondering if the Sennhesier HD660 would be a good fit?

Do I need to be spending so much is my other question? My budget is £400 but that is really an absolute max. Compared to £200 headphones am I only getting an extra 5% out of them for a few hundred pound more?

Comfort is also a massive factor if they give me any pain at all I will not enjoy them. I am looking for overhead headphones, not sure on closed or open back. They are going to be used around the house 99% of the time.

I currently have the Bose nc700 which I am trying but even with the NC off they sound a bit muffled to me.



Would really appreciate any help and guidance

Thank you
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Without buying an external amp for the laptop spending 400 is pointless. Even a £30-£50 dac is better then anything a laptop can offer.

Open back or closed?
 
Without buying an external amp for the laptop spending 400 is pointless. Even a £30-£50 dac is better then anything a laptop can offer.

Open back or closed?

Open back please.

Is there a way to make some of the wired options wireless with a DAC?

Would a commoner like me notice between DAC and no DAC?

If I need one that is fine guessing the guitar amp , and Denon X1600 will mean I won't need one for those. I will just loose a little bit on my phone and Xbox controller?

Thanks for getting back so quickly
 
Forgot to mention I can be a bit of a bass head when the moment takes me 😂

But really do not want that to cause any muddy sound in anything else I listen to
 

eastsoutheast

Well-known Member
I would avoid the Sennheiser HD660 unless you are going to add a high quality dac and headphone amplifier as will sound thin. I have quite a few pairs of headphones and can wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Airpod max's for your needs albeit you cant connect via cable to your Xbox controller.
 
I would avoid the Sennheiser HD660 unless you are going to add a high quality dac and headphone amplifier as will sound thin. I have quite a few pairs of headphones and can wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Airpod max's for your needs albeit you cant connect via cable to your Xbox controller.
Thank you for the help much appreciated.

Will they sound massively better than the nc700s as they are a lot more expensive..

Got the nc700 for £170 on a deal
 

robcat101

Well-known Member
Thank you for the help much appreciated.

Will they sound massively better than the nc700s as they are a lot more expensive..

Got the nc700 for £170 on a deal
I agree with eastsoutheast re the Senn HD660s. Had these (with a DAC), and wasn’t particularly impressed. Admittedly, the detail was very good, but the soundstage wasn’t particularly expansive, they lacked oomph, and being open-backed you have to be in a very quiet room not to hear background sound. As I said in the other thread I also agree that the AirPods Max probably are the best all rounders. Sound quality us very subjective though, and I think headphones doubly so.
 

ostewart

Well-known Member
Open back that can handle good bass and not need an amp?

Check out the Sivga Phoenix - really nice little headphones
 

WhiteHartMart

Distinguished Member
If you like bass - could probably look in the direction of the Phillips Fidelio X2 (or X2 HR). Easy to drive - lots of bass for an open back and good for gaming. Can plug in a VModa Boom Pro when you need voice chat and use a standard cable at other times without having a mic permanently attached.

If the bass side isn't quite as important but a better overall sound is - then maybe the Sennheiser HD560 - can add a mic also (either directly or with a £20 adaptor). A better sounding headphone than the X2 but verging on the need for an amp with this one. I find its still decent via PS% or Xbox controller though.

Both of these would save a fair bit over the 660.
 
If you like bass - could probably look in the direction of the Phillips Fidelio X2 (or X2 HR). Easy to drive - lots of bass for an open back and good for gaming. Can plug in a VModa Boom Pro when you need voice chat and use a standard cable at other times without having a mic permanently attached.

If the bass side isn't quite as important but a better overall sound is - then maybe the Sennheiser HD560 - can add a mic also (either directly or with a £20 adaptor). A better sounding headphone than the X2 but verging on the need for an amp with this one. I find its still decent via PS% or Xbox controller though.

Both of these would save a fair bit over the 660.
Thank you for the great options!

Would the HD660s be a big "wow" difference to the Bose NC700s? Do they have a good soundstage and imagining for gaming? Also is there a microphone you would recommend please?

Appreciate your help :)
 

WhiteHartMart

Distinguished Member
Thank you for the great options!

Would the HD660s be a big "wow" difference to the Bose NC700s? Do they have a good soundstage and imagining for gaming? Also is there a microphone you would recommend please?

Appreciate your help :)
Audio is so subjective - I'd enjoy the 660 more for sure as I much prefer open backed headsets - only your ears can say. Although, whatever you get or try - make sure you give it a few days with the new set before making your mind up.

The 660s have good imaging from memory but not the largest soundstage for gaming. The X2 and 560s are both great for gaming - I find the 560s superb for fps games.

The VModa Boompro mic works easily with the X2. It would also work with the 560s but needs an adaptor or you can get a similar mic on Amazon that has the necessary 2.5mm lokcing jack for the 560s.

If you stick with the 660s you'll have to get a ModMic or similar and deal with the extra cable etc
 
Audio is so subjective - I'd enjoy the 660 more for sure as I much prefer open backed headsets - only your ears can say. Although, whatever you get or try - make sure you give it a few days with the new set before making your mind up.

The 660s have good imaging from memory but not the largest soundstage for gaming. The X2 and 560s are both great for gaming - I find the 560s superb for fps games.

The VModa Boompro mic works easily with the X2. It would also work with the 560s but needs an adaptor or you can get a similar mic on Amazon that has the necessary 2.5mm lokcing jack for the 560s.

If you stick with the 660s you'll have to get a ModMic or similar and deal with the extra cable etc
Sorry I confused my message I was meant to say are HD560s a massive difference to the NC700s? I do not own the HD660s and never have

Good to hear the HD560s have a good sound stage though
 

WhiteHartMart

Distinguished Member
Sorry I confused my message I was meant to say are HD560s a massive difference to the NC700s? I do not own the HD660s and never have

Good to hear the HD560s have a good sound stage though
Haha - the 560s are quite neutral sounding and I guess after some closed back headphones, might sound a little bright/thin to start with but overall they are a great headphone that will be worthy of a dac/amp in the future if you go down that path. The soundstage and imaging are great though and superb for fps gaming.
 

robcat101

Well-known Member
Dare I say, trust your ears, and don’t worry about other peoples’ preferences. As I said, my ears prefer the HD700s over the reviewers’ favourites, but it’s very subjective.
 

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
I have used a pair of Audio techica M50s for years that still sound as good to me as a lot of more modern types that cost a fortune. I certainly wouldn't spend £400 on a new pair that can easily be damaged by accident.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
2) Xbox series X. Ideally want something I can plug into the controller and add a microphone
3) Music on my laptop (no amp might buy one in the future but rather avoid it if I can)

These two statements alone means look at headphones with moderate to high efficiency rating

Adding a mic for gaming to music headphones is easy with something like modmic. Alternatives are available

Is there a way to make some of the wired options wireless with a DAC?

Buy a Bluetooth DAC, such as the iFi Go Blu. Alternatives are available

Would a commoner like me notice between DAC and no DAC?

It is not only a matter of sound quality of conversion (this is a big reason for not using onboard laptop audio) but also power requirements of some full size headphones models. A laptop does not have the voltage or current to drive a headphone with medium to high power needs. Turning up the volume control in Windows will not push the driver sufficiently. That excess energy is transferred to heat and you end up destroying headphone drivers

Years ago I remember reading on head-fi a newbie destroying two vintage Sennheiser HD540 600ohm/300ohm headphones because they were using a laptop 😔 The owner was clearly ignorant this is how you destroy a headphone driver and there was no intention but there you go. Lesson being: pay attention in science at school people. Energy in = energy out ☺️

Do not spend £400 on headphones alone

Do not buy the Sennheiser HD700, a discontinued model (so no warranty) with a dip at 3k and a 6k peak

Follow what @WhiteHartMart advises, a gamer with headphones experience 😎
 

gava

Well-known Member
My recommendation:

Beyerdynamic MMX300 gaming headphone - this meets all your needs for around £200.

For a more pure-audio focus for £400:
HifiMan Sundara £299
FiiO BTR5 2021 £89

The Bluetooth will allow you to use it from a variety of sources, but if you can use a cable then you will get even better quality. It has enough power to drive the Sundara pretty well. You will need a different solution for a mic though.
 

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