Best Headphones in $500 range for Leben 300X

Brand new to the headphone scene. The reality of apartment living has pushed me in this direction. Would love any suggestions on a headphone pairing for a Leben 300X. I listen mainly to viny on a Thorens TD-160. Hope to upgrade in about six months to a Rega P-5. I listen mainly to jazz.

Thanks a lot!
This won't be what you are expecting but that sounds like a perfect amp for some AKG K1000 earspeakers, which you would use not with the headphone input but with the speaker terminals. Originally they retailed for about $1000, but Headroom ( took out the remaining stock from AKG at one point and sold them for about $500 so there should some people who sell them around that price. They don't come around much and on balance, when they do, they usually are a bit higher in price.

They need about 10W (because they are so insensitive) but I think they are wonderful. To me, they are the best headphones I have ever used/heard (I have heard a few generations of top Sennheisers, the Beyerdynamics, the Stax phones up to the top end, the top Grados, and others and I have never found a pair I'd rather have than the K1000s. They are not completely quiet for the person sitting next to you on the sofa (because they are more open than open-ear cans) but they are fine for 'apartment living.'
I second the AKG K1000's. They are the best headphones I've heard.

The AKG 1000 are spectacular. Apparently, everyone agrees.
There is a pair available in "New Today" for only $1200.
Is that inflation, or just supply and demand? You be the
Just after I posted, I looked and there was a pair for $950. Wonder if this new pair is coincidence... :^). While I think they are great, and I haven't followed recent used market prices, I think they can probably be had for less if you wait a bit.
If you're looking to use the headphone output rather than the speaker outputs, I can highly recommend the AKG K-702. They take some time to burn-in but when they do you are well rewarded with amazing transparency and neutrality. Bass is not as prominent as the Sennheiser 'phones but seems more real and less bloated.

My best advice would be to visit the Head-fi website and get some advice from people as hooked on headphones as most on this site are hooked on hi-fi!:-)
the K1000s are a great phone, but given their are out of production and have a big following, I would be very surprised to find a pair @ $500.00. $850 is the lowest price I've seen in several years.
Thanks Swampwalker, guess my price info was a few years out of date, and unfortunately, that puts them over-budget for the OP.

I think Hens' advice about the Head-fi site is a good one. As for good 'normal' headphones in that price range, my info is 'old' in that I think the Senn 650 is pretty good. I also like the Grado RS-1, but thought it was better as a walking-around-with-an-ipod headphone than as a sitting-down-on-the-sofa-in-an-otherwise-quiet-apt headphone (something of a warm-ish mid-bass hump if I remember). I have not listened to the AKG K702 but the K701 was a very good pair of headphones.
T_bone, the K702's are the same as the K701 other than the addition of a detachable cable with the K702 and a different colour (K701 - white, K702 - dark blue). You are right that they are very good headphones.

The Senn 650's are very good as well, but a different presentation - a little warmer and more bass pronounced. Personally, I preferred the more neutral AKG's. Grado also have some excellent 'phones at that price point, but they are on-ear type fitting as opposeed to around the ear which I find more comfortable and better for isolation.

Just like loudspeakers, I would highly recommend auditioning extensively before laying out your dough!
Hi, I am a dealer for the Leben range of products and recommend the AKG702's as a great match for the Leben integrated amps. I do not sell headphones, but personally use these headphones myself, while working in my office. They have a very natural presence and an articulate bass presentation that is true to the music. Through the Leben amp, they are really smooth.. and present the music with an enjoyable ebb and flow for many extended hours of listening...


I have recently bought the AKG K702 headphones for use with a Leben 300X and am very pleased with them (though according to various reports I have seen they probably need more hours before they are fully broken in). There appear to be a number of after market headphone cable upgrades available for the K702 (e.g. Cardas). Does anyone have any experience of these?
I have not heard the Leben, so can't say what headphone will work best. I own HD650s and have listened to the AKG K701 at Head-fi meets. I have never been impressed by the K701. They tend to sound quite analytical, tend toward sibilance, and are relatively difficult to drive. They enjoyed a FOTM status a few years ago on Head-fi but no one over there who regularly attends headphone meets owns them. The HD650s, when properly driven, are a much better headphone. They are enjoyable, but have a slightly laid back presentation. However, my favorite headphone by far has been the JVC Victor DX1000. I stumbled upon a used pair for $550 about two years ago and now use them exclusively. They sound absolutely wonderful with any tube-based amplifier. In many ways, they are similar to the HD650s but just better them in every way. There is a very long thread on Head-fi about the DX1000s, which I recommend you take a look at. You can buy the European version new for about $650 from computer universe, a German online retailer. Many people regard the DX1000s as the "poor man's" Sony R10, a legendary headphone that cost $3,000 but are now out of production. Finally, avoid the K1000s. They are uncomfortable and out of production, so impossible to service.
I would check them out for yourself. You can buy the K702's right now for $248 at BH Photo Video. That's the only way you're going to find out. They are all good headphones, and the K702's are very very very well respected amongst serious headphone enthusiasts to this day. They're just as good as Senns, just different. I love both as well as Grado, mainly because of their differences. I wish I could own them all.
I would not recommend the JVC Victor DX1000. Not for any audio issues (they sound great!), but for the crappy plastic headband that will fall apart sooner or later, rendering the headphones useless. I speak from experience. I just replaced them with Audeze LCD-2.