Headphone opinions


Standard Member
I'm looking for a closed back headphones for Movie listening and occasionally some music as well. I'm after the closed back to keep out any background noise (should read girlfriend's music and her talking).
I didn't want to spend much more than £100 and have noticed you can get the Sennheiser HD250 Mk2 for £120. How would their sound quality compare with something like the Sennheiser 600 which I know is highly regarded around these parts?
Any help would be appreciated.


Distinguished Member
I truly love my Sennheiser HD600 'phones. They cost £150 back when I bought them (you can get a pair for £120 these days), but even so they're one of my two best audio purchases to date. (The other being a Graham Slee Projects "Solo" headphone amp, if you're curious). If you've never heard headphones in this class they may make you think about headphone listening in a completely different way.

A couple of buts:

1) I am told that the Sennheiser 580s are nearly as good (same electronics and drivers, I think), and you can get a pair of those for only £80. (Avoid the 590s, btw).

2) 580s and 600s are both open-backed, so they may not offer as much sound insulation as you say you need.

3) Depending on what equipment you are listening to you may need a headphone amp to get the most out of either model. They have a substantially higher impedance than cheaper 'phones (300 ohms), so something like a portable CD player actually can't produce enough current to drive them properly and they sound awful. Even with a much higher output to play with, many manufacturers don't pay much attention to the quality of the headphone socket. It's by no means unknown for an integrated amp just to have a simple resistor in series with the speaker output. 50 pence op. amps have also been known to put in an appearance. The quality you'll get by feeding the source (e.g. CD player) line-level output into a decent headphone amp is likely to be much higher.


Active Member
I have 250 Mk.2 phones and love 'em. I did demo the 580 and 600 models, and while slightly cooler around the ear and slightly more open sounding, the fact that the closed backed designs isolated you from external noises and did not leak sound to others sitting nearby decided it for me. I have had them over a year now and have never regretted the decision. The 250's are excellent.


I can fill my room with the sound from the 600's! they really do little to stop noise leakage.

i havent heard the 580's, all i knew was what hifi loved the 600's and gave the 580's as little more than ok. I guess i know better now!



Standard Member
Sounds like the 250Mk2 are the ones to go for then as noise isolation is one of the main priorities.


Distinguished Member
I believe the Beyerdynamic DT-831 is also a good quality closed-back 'phone, but you might have trouble tracking one down.


Standard Member
I think I saw those in Sevenoaks yesterday I'll see if they can get the HD250s as well and do a demo of the two.


Active Member
I bought Sennheiser HD280 Pro about a year ago for portable DVD player on train. Important was closed back (for sound insulation into and out of :)). I think they sound excellent, but have listened to very little music on them. Also come with coiled cable, which was another plus for me as it's tidier on the train, but may not be so good to you. I paid £70 - I think RRP was £80 at the time. No idea if they are still a current model.



Standard Member
ordered the HD250 Mk2 from Sound Control (big music supplier in Leeds) for £129 should be here in four days.


James, drop ReTrO a PM he has some great advice about headphones, may be a few days 'till he replies as he is getting sorted at uni;)



Standard Member
so much for four days but I have had them for a couple of weeks now and they sound truly great, perfect for late night DVD watching and game playing, almost complete noise isolation although lower freqs from outside do tend to get through slightly.
They have an exciting, involving, open sound and a surprisingly wide soundstage. very impressed so far and would definitely recommend them if you're looking for some closed backs. I'll give them a go with some music at some stage.


Well-known Member
Which ones did you go for James?

I use both Senneheiser HD 25 and HD 25 SP's for my film/music listening. They are both closed back Pro/DJ monitoring style 'phones, love 'em to bits. Keeps out everyone elses noise.:D

They are not the best for Dolby Headphone mind, as it works best with more 'open' designs. (though all other headphones are more open then them!)

ED: Just read the thread properly. Not used the 250's myself that I can remmember.


Standard Member
keeping out everyone else's noise was one of my main concerns and they are great for that. they use a fairly large, hollow can which I guess adds to the open-ness of their sound. very impressed. i meant to get in touch with you for some advice but I just got to impatient and ordered them on the spot!:D

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
A bit late for your purchase but for more general info.

Sennheisser 580, cracking little phone. The special limited edition was substantially better and has a lovely finish as well (Jubilee?). I bought these and enjoy them enormously. These were VERY successful but were a limited production run so had run out quickly. They therefore produced the 600. This is an EXCELLENT phone as well and I have a pair of these as well. They are not as well finsihed as the 580 SE but stunning sound. Perhaps the best non limited edition dynamic phone I have listened to. I am not sure which I prefer the 580 SE or 600. It is perhaps academic as both are excellent. Several other players in this field also produce some stunning phones, Beyer and Grado come to mind but ALL these are only as good as the driving electronics. These are top quality kit and need matching quality driving.

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