£400 budget - open back headphones for large amount of use cases. Can anyone help please? Very overwhelmed with the amount of choice


I am currently searching for or some headphones which I need for the below uses. I have done that much research and looking I am more confused than ever with so much choice.

  1. Movies and TV (I have a Denon x1600 they can be plugged into)

  2. Xbox series X. Ideally want something I can plug into the controller and add a microphone

  3. Spotify on my laptop (no amp might buy one in the future but rather avoid it if I can)

  4. Spotify and podcasts on my phone

5 ) Electric guitar (I am a complete beginner at this but have a big Marshall amp they can be plugged into)

  1. Bonus would be teams calls on laptop but it really is last on the list. I will just use my crappy work headset if it causes issues having this requirement.

I am not sure on sound signature as I have not had any high end headphones before. I would like to hear a lot of detail and clarity though , although I have not got a professionally trained ear to probably pick up on a lot of it.

Music wise I listen to a massive range: rap , rock , EDM , jazz , r&b , pop

I was wondering if the Sennhesier HD660 would be a good fit? Would I loose much not having amp + dac on phone and Xbox controller?

Do I need to be spending so much is my other question? My budget is £400 but that is really an absolute max. Compared to £100 headphones like the Phillips shp5000 am I only getting an extra 5% extra out of anything which is 2-3 times the cost?

Comfort is also a massive factor if they give me any pain at all I will not enjoy them. I am looking for overhead open back headphones.

I currently have the Bose nc700 which I purchased for £170 in offer, but even with the NC off they sound a bit muffled to me.

Would really appreciate any help and guidance please.

Thank you

I’ll start with the Tygr 300R. It won’t have the most amazing subbass for movies and rap, but you could do worse and it should tick most of the boxes otherwise. I’m not sure about its availability in the UK though. I think they’re fine with guitars and music in general, but great for gaming.
The Beyer upgrade from that should be the DT1990. I haven’t compared them though.
If you have that kind of a budget I wouldn’t touch anything sub 100 new (though there are some exceptions like the Koss KPH30i). Once you get to 150-200 you’ll start to see some really promising options (like the Tygr, HE 400SE, etc). Those should be a noticeable (as in, eye-opening) upgrade from you current stuff.
~350+ will give you more refinement, but you might start into hitting a “barrier” without an amp.
I can’t comment much on mics, maybe someone else can.
I currently use the Tygr300 as my daily multimedia/gaming/casual listening headphone. Noises can appear irritatingly real sometimes. Build quality, comfort great as well. The only thing lacking is the oomph and that it isn’t the last word when it comes to overall clarity/resolution for music.


Hd660s probably the best all around at that price that doesn’t absolutely need an amp

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I’d take a look at HarmonicDyne Zeus.
Also Beyerdynamic TYGR.

I would not be looking at HD 6__ series for a lot of movie/tv/gaming elements and wishing to plug them into a controller. 150ohm headphones deserve some amping in my world. I like this series of headphone, own too many - but spatial elements are not their strongest.

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Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply much appreciated.

The Tygr300 looks like a great option!

Should I notice a massive “wow” upgrade over the Bose nc700 you think?

I can find them for £159 if that is a good price but never heard of the retailer: beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R Gaming Headphones | POLAR

Looks like the cable is not detachable? So I could not add a microphone to these ?

I guess I could always look at splitting my budget between a gaming and listening set?

Is the Microsoft Xbox wireless gaming headset any good?

Yeah the cable is not detachable. Maybe you could buy a dedicated microphone? Headset mics are usually suboptimal though I dont know how practical a dedicated mic would be for your use cases.

If I didn’t need it for the Xbox that would be an option.

Is there anything like them with the same quality to value level?

The PC38X is on sale. It does come with a mic. Josha and DMS loved it, Resolve and lots of users found it to be meh. Tygr vs 38X might depend on what games you play.
Then there’s the 6XX, also on sale.
You could get both to save shipping costs. However, I don’t know about Drop’s policies (returns, warranty).
You could get an amp for the 6XX at a later date.
So this would tick the (x) music and (x) xbox and (x) guitar boxes. The 6XX should be great for TV with the Sennheiser house sound that helps vocals. (x) TV. For action rich movies you’d want a bass heavy HP, maybe a Fidelio X2HR, if you watch lots of movies then it might be worth buying a dedicated pair for that, otherwise I’d wait and try the ones mentioned first (unless you watch A LOT of movies and music is not nearly as important you’re probably better off buying an amp instead).

the Tygrs would defenitly ne a good alrounder for gaming and music and if you want to try another sound signature with a bit more intimate soundstage and a more mid focused sound as a contrast to the Tygrs v-shape a sennheiser 58x could also do the trick :wink:
Both HP should also be often available in the used market so your could try them for cheap cause both beyer and sennheiser HP do last for years :partying_face: