Closed back upgrade advice! I want warm sound, strong bass, under $300

I personally think that the 99 noir is more of a sidegrade than upgrade imo. It does have a bassier signature but actually perhaps less detail than the sony at times. I think they are enjoyable but not really an upgrade

That helps a lot! I’ll probably shoot for something else then. I’ve been playing the sidegrade game for a while and my goal is to consolidate and sell off my cheaper stuff to fund a nicer setup. Another set I have considered is the WH-1000XM3. They seem like a logical choice for my use case and sound preference. But there is a big part of me that feels like I would be sacrificing some fidelity for utility. I listened to a friend’s set and they were pretty nice though. The sound of that silent void for your music to play in is sweet.

What about the Sony 1AM2 those seem like an upgrade to the 1A and they are relatively cheap lately

Hadn’t considered those. I’d be curious to see if there are any comparisons to the 1st generation of the Z7.

The z7 is a more impressive headphone imo, it’s got a slightly less normal tuning, but it’s really impressive. You can really tell you are moving to the high end portion of Sony instead of the consumer headphones

@M0N From my experience, the Nighthawk Carbon do leak quite a bit. I’m never able to use them around other people even at lower volumes, they leak almost more than one of my relative’s HD6xx imo.
The Sony MDR-1AM2 are really nice warm headphones. Those are closed back and don’t leak sound. That would be a very good choice.
If you are open to IEMs, or earphones, the Guideray Gr-i series are one of the most comfortable IEMs you can find for the price. Really nice low end extension with good detail. IEMs leak practically no sound, and isolate perfectly. These are definitely worth a look for what they cost. Many people who say they can’t wear things in their ears actually find these comfortable.

Very strange, my pair really doesn’t leak that much tbh (although I have the og Nighthawks). I have tried a few carbons and they didn’t leak that much either, but I was listening somewhat quietly

I like the look of the older model more too, with the wood. They probably sound pretty close. I usually don’t take them past 65 on my Plenue D.
Maybe it’s just my easily irritated parents though XD.

The carbons sound signature is more toned down and less strange, as they wanted it to appeal to more people, although the carbon is still strange a bit lol

I do like wearing IEMs sometimes. I just like being able to switch it up. I’ve heard good things about the Guiderays. I had a set of the KZ ZSX then bought the BLON BL03. I sold my ZSX shortly after because I like the BLONs so much. I think I’ll stick with them for a little while, might upgrade my IEM setup a little down the road too.

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One nice thing is that the Guideray comes with the same connector type as the BL-03, 2 pin 0.78mm, a nice silver cable with a mic. The cable that comes with the BLON stock is kind of bad imo.

Ok after some more looking today I’d like to throw one more set into the discussion. Thoughts on the Fostex TR-X00? I see them available used in my price range. Seems like it might be the sound I’m looking for. I want something fun and exciting, as long as it’s not fatiguing in the treble. Soundstage is not my biggest concern with the types of music I tend to listen to which is all different types of rock, metal, and folk mostly (although I go through phases with jazz, classical, soundtracks, and EDM). These also look professional enough that they wouldn’t stand out terribly in public. How is the isolation? Do they leak sound enough to bother your office neighbors? How would they do paired with something like the BTR5? Thanks for being patient with all my questions guys. This is an awesome discussion!

I think it would be pretty dang great, although in an office if you play loud it might leak a bit but it’s reasonable. They don’t really have any isolation since they are essentially semi open. I think they would most likely pair pretty well with the btr5, it would be a solid pairing. The cable is a bit hard to deal with at times but it is manageable


Anybody have experience with the E-MU Teaks? How do they compare to the TH X00? From what I’ve heard they are in the same family for sure, just less in your face, more soundstage, and a little bit tamer bass. I like that they have a more normal detachable cable with a 3.5mm plug. They seem to hover in a similar price range used, but don’t show up quite as often.

I personally think the teaks are more refined than the x00’s (and a decent amount of people prefer them to the x00). A pretty great alternative (also slightly better build)

I’m going to ask for another comparison because this thread has been treat. The 177x GO came up earlier in this conversation and we didn’t really spend much time on it. I’m looking into those now and I’m also intrigued by them. How do they compare with the THX 00 and the E-Mu Teak? Seems like they are all competing for a similar segment of the market.

So those are more of a V shaped sound. Meaning there will be more bass and more treble. They will have pretty good bass but not a warm sound, since the midrange will be dialed down, so probably not what you are looking for, but that doesn’t completely rule them out. They are still really good.

the 177x is actually pretty even, smoother across the board. More relaxed a bit, pretty dang wide for a closed back, also very comfy with good build. Slight v shape but still pretty good mids

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Looks like they are a little harder to come by at the moment. If I want those I might have to be patient.

Btw, how much sound leak are you hoping to limit? Are you in a library or quiet workspace?