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It seems that Grado, Sennheiser, AKG, Audio Technica and Beyerdynamic are
most often cited.
I listened to my old "dreadnaught" Genesis' A Trick Of The Tail remastered through my recently acquired 225e phones today and, even though I've listened hundreds of times to this recording since it came out in 1976, I heard Hackett's guitar details as never before, plus Collins' melodic percussives. Quite the musical revelation. I've got about a hundred hours of continuous playtime on these by now and they continue to improve.
I have Yamaha HPH-200WH that for some strange reason cost only $59.99 white at Amazon. Black version is $95 (still a bargain). It has strong tight bass, clear highs and good imaging. I also have AKG K271 MKII and used to gave HD-580 (same drivers as HD-600). Both sounded cold and lifeless in comparison to Yamaha. It is "on the ear" open air design. They need a week of loud playing for midrange to fully open. Sound is warm and very musical. I drive them with Oppo HA-2 (USB to MacMini).
inna2,048 posts07-10-2016 5:37pmBy audiophile standards $700 is not much. I really like Grado RS-1. Grado 225e are 'poor man's' RS-1 - very good.True for audiophile, but for common sense standards it's a-bit too much. For quality standards, for substantially less you can get same or better performance.
I could say that common sense standard is not to spend less than needed. The difference between Grado 225e and RS-1 is big even when just listening to youtube without external dac/amp. $500 is next to nothing these days. But for most people spending more than $100 would be madness or at least weirdness. Or even more than $50.
Great comments here. I need to hear HiFi Man and Audeze to get a sense of what alternate designs contribute to headphone listening. Recently bought a JDS O2 amp for my Senn Momentums and had no idea they could sound this good. Clearly amplification also makes a difference in perceived headphone quality.
This Phillips set compares favorably with the Senn 650 (though I prefer Senn 600 myself) for about half the price: