Best headphones for movies?

Doctor Smith

Well-known Member
Currently I have a 5.1.2 atmos Bronze series setup with a Denon 2300w amp.
Shield tv, Panasonic 820 4k player and an Epson tw9400 projector.
At certain times the surround is too loud due to the neighbors.
My question.
Which are the best headphones which will give me something close to the surround sound experience? I'm not expecting miracles, just something that is easy to use and reasonably priced. Budget about £300. Cheaper would be a bonus.

Thanks. 0
 

David Alexander

Active Member
I'd suggest you go for headphones which give you the best bass response. You headphone jack will only give you a 2-channel mix.
Your AVR has a 'virtual' sound mode: This mode lets you experience an expansive surround sound effect when playing back through just the front (L/R) speakers only, and when listening with stereo headphones
So that's as good as you'll get and you may find that you don't like what this 'effect' does to the sound output.
From my experience what I miss when watching movie content on headphones is the LFE output. I think LFE output is sent down the 2-ch mix, it's just that most headphones aren't that good at reproducing this content. This one of the reasons I have opted to buy some large planar driver headphones.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
On a PC this is easy with Atmos software or the digital software of the headphone manufacturer

I believe only Yamaha has receivers that output digital multichannel to stereo headphone

Otherwise the current gen PS5 3D audio and Xbox, or Apple's spatial audio are the best bet for digital surround sound on stereo headphones at a 'achievable' price

The JVC Exofeld is very expensive, but that is what you are looking at if none of the above are an option

Headphones with actual multiple drivers for 4.0 or 5.0 or more physical channels, based on today's headphone driver technology, I can only imagine would sound terrible, hence why nobody sells it

This is probably the second most asked question on the headphones forum. I type this answer so often, might create a sticky discussion thread

@David Alexander, some (read, not many) headphone amps come with a subwoofer output so you can pair stereo two channel headphones plus the sub LFE channel for 2.1 personal listening
 

David Alexander

Active Member
Fortunately, my Arcam SR250 downmixes multichannel info as stereo so all is retained even with the headphone bypass on. It’s why I’m after some cans which faithfully dig deep.
 

james morrison

Active Member
I have hifiman sundara added bonus of them sounding sh*t hot for music is I tried them for watching a couple of mkv bluray movies on kodi through pc using headphone output of Anthem mrx710 and they sounded fantastic with a very good bass response. Highly recommend giving them a try
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I'd suggest you go for headphones which give you the best bass response. You headphone jack will only give you a 2-channel mix.
Your AVR has a 'virtual' sound mode: This mode lets you experience an expansive surround sound effect when playing back through just the front (L/R) speakers only, and when listening with stereo headphones
So that's as good as you'll get and you may find that you don't like what this 'effect' does to the sound output.
From my experience what I miss when watching movie content on headphones is the LFE output. I think LFE output is sent down the 2-ch mix, it's just that most headphones aren't that good at reproducing this content. This one of the reasons I have opted to buy some large planar driver headphones.
Joining the Planar snobs
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I'd suggest you go for headphones which give you the best bass response. You headphone jack will only give you a 2-channel mix.
Your AVR has a 'virtual' sound mode: This mode lets you experience an expansive surround sound effect when playing back through just the front (L/R) speakers only, and when listening with stereo headphones
So that's as good as you'll get and you may find that you don't like what this 'effect' does to the sound output.
From my experience what I miss when watching movie content on headphones is the LFE output. I think LFE output is sent down the 2-ch mix, it's just that most headphones aren't that good at reproducing this content. This one of the reasons I have opted to buy some large planar driver headphones.
Have you got a delivery date yet.
1520957306493-Screen-Shot-2018-03-13-at-111813-AM.png.jpeg
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Joining the Planar snobs
I'm already one. :thumbsup:

I've got both open, the planars, and closed back. The closed back do a good job with music when they need to be used but the open backs give a much better and expansive soundstage when watching films or TV. Don't forget comfort, no good getting a pair that will make your head hurt after half an hour or so.
 

David Alexander

Active Member
Have you got a delivery date yet.
Tomorrow :)
I've got both open, the planars, and closed back. The closed back do a good job with music when they need to be used but the open backs give a much better and expansive soundstage when watching films or TV. Don't forget comfort, no good getting a pair that will make your head hurt after half an hour or so.
The comfort factor? Well I'm going to have to suck it and see. It is possible to mitigate the 'hotspot' that some, not all, comment on by buying an after-market headband pad (mentioned in another post but the ZMF pilot Pad looks quite nice).

I was messing around listening to Amazon's Wheel of Time on my HD660S Sennheiser's last night directly following viewing it through my speaker set up. I'll not kid anyone, there's little comparison to the soundstage of my 2.1 (actually it's 2.3) stereo + sub set up. But then what is? I mean everything is going to sound a little closed compared to that. After a little while you kind of get used to the reduced soundstage.

What I'm after with the planars is a little more low end visceral whump. I read a post somewhere (of the Mono 1060C) which basically said that they were as close to the 'feel' of their 2.1 set up as they'd got with headphones. If that's true, I'll take that. Not ATMOS, but atmospheric enough...
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Tomorrow :)

The comfort factor? Well I'm going to have to suck it and see. It is possible to mitigate the 'hotspot' that some, not all, comment on by buying an after-market headband pad (mentioned in another post but the ZMF pilot Pad looks quite nice).

I was messing around listening to Amazon's Wheel of Time on my HD660S Sennheiser's last night directly following viewing it through my speaker set up. I'll not kid anyone, there's little comparison to the soundstage of my 2.1 (actually it's 2.3) stereo + sub set up. But then what is? I mean everything is going to sound a little closed compared to that. After a little while you kind of get used to the reduced soundstage.

What I'm after with the planars is a little more low end visceral whump. I read a post somewhere (of the Mono 1060C) which basically said that they were as close to the 'feel' of their 2.1 set up as they'd got with headphones. If that's true, I'll take that. Not ATMOS, but atmospheric enough...
Enjoy and keep us posted on the sound. On this thread and the other one.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I'm already one. :thumbsup:

I've got both open, the planars, and closed back. The closed back do a good job with music when they need to be used but the open backs give a much better and expansive soundstage when watching films or TV. Don't forget comfort, no good getting a pair that will make your head hurt after half an hour or so.
Me too. Although they are not in my signiture as there is not enough space to put them in.
 

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