Best over ear headphones for under £300

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by IvanDobskey, Jun 29, 2018.


    1. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      I currently have some sennheiser momentum on ear headphones which I mainly use for gaming and general pc use with a bit of music listening thrown in. I like the sound quality but they are uncomfortable for long sessions. I bought them because they were very cheap and I liked the style. I didn't really do my research :p

      Ok, so I'd like something that really fits what I am using them for and I'm prepared to pay a bit more this time, £300 absolute tops, but preferably less.

      I'd like something comfortable, good sound quality suitable for my usage and nice build quality / materials.

      Any recommendations?
       
    2. JayCee

      JayCee
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      Sony WH-1000XM2 or their predecessors MDR-1000X if you can live with over-ear.
      Better sound quality and comfort.
       
    3. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Thanks for the feedback.

      Surely wireless isn't really needed for mostly home use?

      Wouldn't I be better off with wired?
       
    4. gibbsy

      gibbsy
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      The AKG 550s are very comfortable, big ear cups that fit right over the ears, lightweight and the headband sits nicely on the head. These are wired closed back. They sound pretty good as well and the new MkIII version is reportedly better than my MkIIs. Very easy to drive at 32 ohms.
      AKG Over Ear Closed Back Headphones

      The Shure SRH 1540s are my most comfortable 'phones, they are however above your budget but I would say for sound quality they are worth the extra. Velour earcups are extremely comfortable, as is the headband. Like the AKGs they are very light. You can wear these for long periods as compared to the AKGs the clamping force is better. These are also wired closed back and are rated 46 ohm, so again easy to drive.
      Shure Over Ear Closed Back Headphones

      RicherSounds have a good selection of headphones which you should be able to audition for comfort. However for heath and safety reasons they will not exchange headphones except for warranty reasons.
       
    5. JayCee

      JayCee
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      No Wireless isn't “needed” but it's good for the freedom it gives you walking around the house.
      Both models I suggested can be used wired as well where they sound even better.
       
    6. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Would the sennheiser momentum 2.0 over ear wireless be a decent choice for me?
       
    7. Getgaff

      Getgaff
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      Nope.
       
    8. Getgaff

      Getgaff
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      This instead.
       
    9. dannnielll

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      Yes but... the extra 100 euro buys 50 CDs at charity shops rather than being spent on a BT reciever, a Battery pack and a DAC amplifier all of which are in the wireless headphones. .. conviaence has its cost... having said that, i have occassionaly cursed at cables getting knotted up
       
    10. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      I do like the look of the Sony's but they are rather pricey and a little plasticky.

      I've been eying up the bowers P7's but can't find them for sale anywhere :(

      Maybe a second hand set off eBay is the way to go.
       
    11. neonplanet40

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      Amazon warehouse have loads of them in very good condition. I find their things to be very good.
       
    12. dannnielll

      dannnielll
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      In my opinion yes. If you like the sound of sennheisser, and don't like the pressure on the ear lobes of on ears then over ears is the way to go...
       
    13. Steven

      Steven
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      The P7 have better bass than the momentum imo but needs to be tested before buying to ensure you find the pads comfortable. The P7 have a v-shaped signature so not sure they are the best for gaming and the need to hear voices and the like in the mid range

      As it is home use only have you thought about buying home hifi headphones. You'd need a DAC / headphone amp but you'd get bigger sound and soundstage capabilities. If not then sticking with portable headphones is more cost effective
       
    14. andyj34

      andyj34
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      AKG 550's are very good or for home use suggest you try the Grados 80i open-back headphones, which are exceptional value for under £100.
       
    15. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Thanks for all the feedback :)

      I have been doing lots of research and one pair that keeps catching my attention is the Oppo PM3.

      I cannot seem to source a pair though? Are these discontinued? Or just not available in the UK?
       
    16. Steven

      Steven
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    17. gibbsy

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      I suggest you move very quickly for the Oppo PM3s as they are consigned to history by Oppo pulling out of the audio market. Some available at RicherSounds. I've not seen a pair but if the build quality on my PM1s are anything to go by then they will be a delight to own. They are built to last. Very easy to drive.
      Oppo Over Ear Closed Back Headphones
       
    18. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Well that's a big shame :(

      Looks like the ones at richer sounds are ex display, so a bit expensive at £350.

      I see a few pm3's come up used on fleabay for around £200 and I noticed a red pair at Petertyson for £299 (open box).

      I may just wait and see what comes up in the classifieds.
       
    19. gibbsy

      gibbsy
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      It's getting increasingly difficult to get new Oppo products, especially so in headphone and headphone amps. I thought that I had found an Oppo HA1 amp at Stoneaudio of Poole, Dorset but they are seriously messing me around.
       
    20. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Continuing my research, I really like the look of the Shure 1540's, only problem as ever is the price :(

      At £380 they are a fair bit more than I am comfortable with paying for headphones.

      Maybe I'll audition a pair and push the boat out for them if they really blow me away.
       
    21. Cameron583

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      There are lots of people saying "X" sounds better than "Y" - please remember, sound is very subjective. As are most factors when it comes to selecting a pair of headphones.

      The reality is, most headphones around £300 are going to sound very, very good.

      I personally use Momentum Wireless over ear - I settled on these after going through 10 pairs of other headphones, and prefer them to the Sony's. That doesn't make them "better" though; it just means I like them more.

      I encourage you to pop to John Lewis (or better yet, somewhere like Hi-Fi Headphones), and try on a few pairs to see which you prefer.

      If you're primarily looking at home use (i.e. not taking them out ever), I'd suggest looking into something like the HD650. You can often get refurb deals on them etc. Again, many will say you need a decent AMP/DAC to get 100%, and while it may be true for some, in reality, you'll probably get 99.9% out of them plugging them into decent on-board audio.
       
    22. gibbsy

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      I've got a pair of 1540s. They are very comfortable and the velour earpads do not get overly hot, even in this weather, beautifully made. Only negative I will give them is the very short lead that is supplied with them, although Shure do provide two sets. If you wish to sit a fair way away from the player then you will have to buy a good extension lead.

      I tend to use them when the wife is watching some crappy soap and she wears them when I'm watching the rugby. Noise isolation is pretty good as they are closed back. Of all the closed back I tried the Shures were easily the best. They are better than the AKG 550 giving more bass and better detailed highs, especially good on female vocals, never harsh or fatiguing. Sound stage, for closed backs, is very good as well.
       
    23. IvanDobskey

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      Thanks for your feedback on the shures :)

      I am planning to get to a decent hifi store this weekend and audition a few pairs.

      Hopefully I will have more idea what to buy then. But the 1540's do sound perfect for me. Just the price that's a a bit of an issue....
       
    24. gibbsy

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    25. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Good review, thanks.

      What I like about these is that there are no gimmicks like wireless, mobile controls or folding for portability.

      I just want high quality headphones with great comfort and build quality for home use.

      Guess I just have to pony up the cash :p
       
    26. Khazul

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      I have the sony wh-1000xm2. I like them for their purpose, so happy I have them. Here is an attempt of objective +/- and some comments about them :

      +Ve Points for me
      - SQ is good enough
      - fold up with hard case to stick in a laptop bag
      - BT with good range of codec support and works well with iPhone
      - Good NC mode with good isolation and NC optimiser seems to help
      - Comfortable enough
      - Decent enough volume (I don't like isolating cans to be loud)
      - Like the gestures system and especially the instant mute
      - Construction seems OK

      -Ve points
      - Miserable cheap nasty cables for wired use and charging
      - Doesnt seem to be a mic mute for voice comm mode on the unit - an annoying omission
      - Sense of pressure from NC - always a problem for me with NC cans
      - Not sure about the ambient sound mode - doesn't seem to help much with hearing someone trying to get my attention at work
      - Heavier than I would like, clamp harder them I would like and headband more noticeable than I would like, but I am being picky here. Momentum look as if they would be more comfortable.
      - I always find closed isolating cans a bit fatiguing and I do notice that BT AAC is not lossless.
      - Useless for hi-res as will be down-sampled back to 44.1K/16bit.

      While the SQ, comfort etc is good for this kind of headphone, do not ever consider them a comparable to good quality (and cheaper) wired open back lightweight cans. They are a good compromise for their intended use wireless use with good environment isolation and for that they may be about the best their is depending on your own priorities.

      My other means of headphones on my iPhone is a dragonfly red DAC into my AKG 240s studio headphones. Despite these being relative cheap cans, the resulting sound quality is a massive leap up from the sony - part of that is the AKG are open back, part the much better DAC etc.

      So think carefully about what you are buying these for - if you want wireless isolating cans (for eg for use at work), then go for it. If you want the best listening experience, look elsewhere you will get MUCH better sound for you money with a decentish DAC and some decent open back wired cans.
       
    27. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Bought the Shure 1540's in the end :)
       
    28. gibbsy

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      They'll need about 50 hours before really opening up. I've just had half an hour with them playing my Pet Sounds SACD which arrived today. The wife was watching the tennis and the Shures did a good job of keeping the grunting out and they produced a beautiful soundstage of what is a really rather good stereo mix.

      I've no doubt you'll really enjoy them.
       
    29. IvanDobskey

      IvanDobskey
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      Had a bit of a play with them, tweaked my PC audio settings and played a few songs. Have to say I'm very impressed so far.

      I did audition them in store and was immediately impressed. Only really compared them to the AKG 550's though. Felt they were quite noticeably better.
       
    30. gibbsy

      gibbsy
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      Definately better than the 550s. Although my wife prefers the 550s as she doesn't have to take her earings out!o_O

      Better bass than the 550s and more mid range detail.
       

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