Headphone Recommendations

Requesting input from all you headphone lovers out there. I have a friend whos looking to buy some good quality headphones. Around $250 new or used is his budget and would prefer to buy new. He needs a closed over the ear style, just cant stand buds. They will be used at work mostly listening through Media Slayer, therefore a very transparent top end wouldnt be needed. Headphones with good bass is what he would prefer, his music preferences reflect that. Lots of classic rock and alternative, Floyd, Tool, etc. He has no interest in an amp or DAC at this point(he wants to save his pennies for a two channel rig) so please keep that in mind with recommendations. Any suggestions or opinions would be appreciated. thanks in advance, Justin.
Look for a used pair of Sennheiser 600 headphones. They are listed sometimes here on Audiogon for around $200, and they are a great pair of headphones at that price.
Or you can get Sennheiser 580's for half the 600 price with performance that is very close. Both sets are very comfortable.
Since he is not interested in a dedicated amp, I would heartily recommend a pair of Grado SR-80's. They are less than $100 new, are very easy to drive, and are excellent for rock and alternative. He could move further up the Grado line, but the SR-80's are a fantastic budget-minded start!
Given these few key points regarding what he is looking for: Transparent top end, good bass, and no interest in an amp.. the answer is a no brainer: Grado 225. Much easier to drive than Sennheiser (per no amp- less affected my lesser headphone outs on receivers,cd players etc.), more transparent on top (some say too bright), and very good in the bass.
Good luck!
I am not familiar with Media Slayer. I will tell you that it takes a lot of "juice" to drive the Senn's. If you're talking about an output of 500-750 mVolt...forget about it! It will take about a 2 volt output [DAC] into a headphone amp to really appreciate the Senn's...otherwise, WAY too low volume.

Your friend might want to try a pair of Grado 125's, if he's going to go with a low voltage output. They'll play MUCH louder than the Senn's.
Yep...the HD600s are a great functional headset for
about the $200 or so mark. A little laid back, nice
balanced sound. Cant go wrong.
Sony 7506. Less transparent than the Senn's but plenty of bass and very rugged.
I personally like them more than the senns to work with and prefer the senns to relax...if you know what I mean.
Beyerdynamic DT-880s would fit the bill too methinks.
I believe that Grados will spill sound out into the workplace. If that is an issue, I recommend Sennheiser HD-280 Pro. Closed-back, as opposed to Senn. 580/600/650 and Grados, and with amazing isolation both ways— no one else hears your music, you don't hear anything else. Sound great, under $100 new, and you don't need a headphone amp to drive them. I use them on my commuter train with a portable CD player; have pricier cans and dedicated headphone amp at home.

Also, much more info available at head-fi.com. Good luck.
I have Sennheiser 580s and LOVE 'em. However, for your friend's application, I would recommend the AKG K240 *Studio* headphones. Be sure to get the Studio version, they have 55 ohm impedance instead of the 600 ohm impedance of the standard versions. These phones play LOUD, have excellent bass, and are extrememly comfortable for long periods of time.

There's a pair on FleaBay right now for $75 Buy It Now with $10 shipping:
Also, look at the AKG K271s - they have a more closed design, could be better for an office environment. They are all 55 ohm and will match up nicely with portable devices. Check FleaBay for these, also.

thanks for all the suggestions guys. As i read your posts there are a few i think he will like. Grados wont work due to their shape and open air design so they are out, as well as the nicer Sennheisers. I know he will want a design that covers the ear and blocks out his music and blocks out the ambient noise of an office situation. Im thinking the Senn. HD280s might be the ticket. Since he will be listening most of the day im guessing a laid back top end would be appreciated. Do these deliver good highs but not fatiguing? and are they robust?
Fatparrot-My friend and myself have a joke going on about Windows Media Player and how it basically butchers the music so we coined it Media Slayer.

Rlwainwright-i will do some research on the AKGs, thanks

thanks again everybody
Yes, the senns will deliver relaxed, non fatigueing hi's, but they are not the most robust. If that's important I'd guess the beyerdynamic dt250 or the sony 7506 i mentioned earlier. Both are tough as boots, have closed back designs and are very common in recording studios and radio stations etc.
Best of luck
AKG K701's aren't that much more ($50) but are worth every penny. There are a number of reasons that this headphone is becoming the new cost-no-object reference for many people.
The Sennheiser HD-595 is close to your budget and I used these as a replacement for my 650's, which I thought were too boring. The HD-555 is also a less expensive second option.
AKG K701...one of the best headphones made today. Amazing clarity, soundstage and detail.

I own the K701's, Beyerdynamcics DT880 and Sennheiser HD600's...and the K701's are by far my favorites

Jerry (Garcia) lives through the K701's
His requirements are:
a) closed cans
b) no amp = low impedence <100ohms
c) high resolution, good bass

There are only a few that qualify. Good ones would be the Beyer DT 770 (32ohm), Audio Technica ATH-A900 (32 ohm) and AKG K271 Studio (55ohm).

Each can has its own distinctive sonic signature, so its best that he try each out before deciding.
AKG's are excellent.
Not sure about the Beyer DT 770 being 32 ohms. Mine show 250 ohms. Maybe there is another version?
The standard version of the DT770 is 250ohms, but you can order a 32ohm version.


I've also seen the DT770 non-MANUFAKTUR 32ohm version. Maybe it was a special batch order? I don't know, but it is available.