Help Deciding on some Headphones (~$200)

So to outline my situation, I currently own the Logitech G Pro headset and have nothing to compare them to so I really don’t know at all what I like in a headphone but I can outline what I THINK I might like. I’m going to be picking up a Schiit Modi 3+/Magni 3+ stack and I’m looking for a pair under $200 but preferably closer to $150. As for my personal usage, I’d say it’s 55% gaming, 35% movies/tv-shows/videos, and 10% music.

Whenever I think I’ve decided on a pair of headphones, I always see that it has an issue that is a semi-deal-breaker for me such as a lack of imaging, too warm, not a lot of detail. I know it’s very rich and naive for me to think a headphone can be good enough to my liking in all areas especially at the price point I’m looking for so I thought I’d list out what (again, I think) are the most important aspects to me.

  1. Resolution/Detail
  2. Imaging
  3. Neutrality
  4. Soundstage
  5. Everything else?

I’m probably forgetting something in that list that I think I would find important but there it is. If anybody has any recommendations in the sub $200 range, that would be immensely appreciated.

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I can give you a personal recommendation due to the fact that I’ve used this headphone for the past 6 years or so. However, I must say that it is probably a headphone that is perceived to have a warmer sound signature.

That headphone is Sennheiser HD598. So far, there has been no headphone that I could have made the switch to. I don’t know why that is, but the headphone has over 1000 hours on it, and whatever headphone I switched to, I could notice a unpleasant change in sound.

It is very likely that it is because I am used to its sound, and if burn-in is a real thing, then that is definitely the case here. The other headphones I tried range from $200, all the way to >$2.5K.

Edit: I should make a clear statement that the main use of the headphone is and was gaming.

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I don’t own one myself, but maybe a DT880 600ohm for $200? Falenkor’s thread has a bunch of stuff about gaming headphones, might be a good resource for you:

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Honestly, just start with the Onemore Triples. I know they’re not open back, but can be found on Amazon sometimes for like $100USD? Maybe a little more. They’re worth what they were priced at new, and what you can find them at now? Best value can at that price point when you can get it for $150 or less. I’m not familiar with the Senn range, though.

hmm, you mention gaming usage as a priority… which gaming? Competitive?

While I love this headphone voja I think its feasible to inquire as to someones feelings towards oval shaped ear cups like sennheiser… I actually have problems with them as I have larger ears and they are truly on ear for me personally so its hard for me to use them comfortably let alone get a full sound signature out of them as its not sealing over my ears. Though I can definitely agree 598 is fantastic as is 58x since its also in his price range.

Is there a reason for neutrality? Rather curious. True Neutral is almost impossible in most cases and is something thats rather sought after but never quite fully achieved. Shure has good neutrality and Sennheiser has good neutrality but tends to prioritize in the mids. Others tend to have signatures of a different variety or more bass recessive such as AKG which prioritizes mids and highs

I am quite annoyed I haven’t been able to implement the update… net company is still working on getting things back up and running here… it was supposed to be updated last weekend… I haven’t been able to get to it.


HE400se, hard to tell cause the ones I have are the 400i 2020(discontinued and replaced by the 400se), but I think they’re absolutely insane for what I paid.

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Pretty much all gaming. Yes some competitive but also a good mix of strategy, story, games like sea of thieves, games like mount & blade, etc. Pretty much everything in terms of gaming.

I don’t really mean true neutral and I’m not even sure I know what I mean by neutral as I have very little audio experience. I think I just mean not an overly warm sounding or cold? (if that’s even a thing) sounding headphone. I think it’s more so that I prefer less prominent bass but still quality bass I guess. I’ve heard that many planars, such as the hifiman he400se acheive that but I’ve also heard that particular headphone doesn’t have great imaging which I find pretty important but I don’t know how valid that statement is.

I just want to add this in that I have larger than average ears but mine are a lot like monkey ears so they stick out. I’m including this because with my Logitech headphones, they have rectangular ear cups and I have no problem with them so I’m assuming the oval ear cups would fit me fine but I have no experience with round or oval ear cups so I really can’t say.

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Go out to an electronics store, and they should have some Sennheisers. Just try them on and see if they fit. If they fit, it would be a sin not to consider the HD598’s or other Sennheiser headphones.

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I can second the opinion here on potentially finding a store that carries the brand to check out for yourself. Some form of audition for the headphones would be advised.

I would say in this price tag range… most likely an HD 560S, HD 598, or 58x Jubilee from Sennheiser… 58x jubilee is found on drop or you can go with a beyerdynamic of which the more balanced approach from them would either be a tygr 300r or DT 880 600 ohm. All of which can be found within this budget cheaper if used conditioning. Beyers will be built sturdier and have larger pads on them they also respond better to pad swaps however they are brighter sounding headphones(the treble is increased on them) but not too over the top. 560S and the beyers have the better performance in competitive gaming with the beyers standing on top for all round use its more preference


I think I’ve narrowed my search down to the HE400se and the DT 880 600 ohm but I’ve heard the beyer’s only start sounding really good if they get a lot of power. Do you think they would still sound great powering them with the Magni 3+?
I’ve also tried calling around to see if any place allows me to try out some headphones but sadly most places around me either have a very small selection or they don’t have a show room open because of covid.

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I strongly advise you against blindly buying Beyer’s without actually trying them first.

For example, games have a lot of bright sounds, and if you find the treble to be too much on Beyer’s, you simply will not be able to enjoy gaming. If anything, you will be forced to turn down the volume to the point where you would be at a competitive disadvantage.

If there is any place that allows you to order something for a trial period, please do so. It is a big gamble to order something without having the option to try it out first.

I think this is the advice any audiophile would give you.


depends on the beyer but I can agree to this due to bright aspect since some people are intolerant… Regardless of this fact, if he can tolerate it the beyers easily stay on top in practically every area for competitive gaming and they do have some rather nice bass tones that arent recessive unlike hifiman.

I keep seeing this recommended and I have to hard disagree with a lot of the claims. It’s good but not particularly topping a beyer tygr 300r good. It does well at verticality and its imaging is decent… its stage is larger than the regular beyers as it has a more airy spacious sound. However, build quality is pathetic as is the usual quality control with the company.

power does not = better sound. It has to do with the circuitry. Yes the magni 3+ will drive 600 ohm beyerdynamic headphones just fine but it can be improved upon later. It’s one of those that scales alongside your setup though the changes aren’t extremely drastic or anything, it does become rather clearer and more detailed with a higher setup.

makes sense, perhaps theres a return policy you can take advantage of? It only takes trying one of those sennheisers or beyers to really get the general feel of them.

its always extremely important to try the equipment, especially when your new


Exactly. Especially when it comes to audio equipment. Sound perception is strongly subjective, so, no matter how much you read online, you can never know how your ears will perceive and hear that particular piece of audio gear.

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Having the he400i 2020 too, i completely agree. The headphone can seem bright, but one can EQ them if needed: as any planar, they respond well to EQ.

Other than that, they are quite neutral, have good soundstage and imaging, and above all, that planar transients… :heart_eyes:

One constraint though: they need power to sound as intended. I think a magni 3 should be enough for this job.

I don’t even think they need that much eq stock tbh, my biggest problem was I found the pads uncomfortable, but I got them like this now and I swear you can’t beat them under $350 now.

Basically just get those pads and put a single layer of toilet paper below them

If it’s truly alike to the Sennheiser HD 650 ($400), then I would recommend the supposedly same Sennheiser HD + Drop HD 6XX ($220)

They were the first headphones I had in audiophile territory. They were also the first time I felt that special kind of new joy we get in this hobby when we first try any new super interesting sound.

They played electronic for me in a way that, during an electronic listening heavy portion of time, played the genre in a way that softened all the harshness away. The 650’s filled the audio space in a welcoming lush, yet just clear enough way for the digital synthetic tones to come through and immerse me in their intent.

Quiet a poetic way of putting it all I, suppose! Still, it is all true for me and I would be able to recommend the experience if it may turn out that the 6XX ends up doing the same for you. Still yet, we all have different libraries, different ears, and different tastes. Worth a shot anyway :slight_smile:

…and if you don’t like it…you can sell it for not too much less than what you first paid!

I hope this is helpful :slight_smile: there are more I could say based on what I’ve heard the community recommend in the past, but I can only speak for my 1st hand joys at that price point.

If you want all my considerations around this price point, you can out my rankings list for a full look.

P.S. If you want to know where the 650’s are at in my day to day use now, they are no longer as enjoyable to me as the HD 800 S. The Sennheiser HD 800 S was the NEXT love of my audiophile life. That’s a whole other chapter of your journey if/when you make that leap.

I’ve owned a set of Razer Carcharias for probably 13 years now (has to be somewhere around there I bought them when I worked at Best Buy during college.) They survived 6 years of heavy WoW raid use and they’re currently laying on my desk for when I host webinars for work 3 times a week. I don’t know what all the online regarding them is about.

I hear a lot of good things about the HyperX headsets but I’ve never used one. I just bought a set of Razor Blackshark V2 for $100 while looking for some good gaming Headsets. They’re… good. I like the mic as much as the Razer’s because it’s detachable and it is not fixed in place so I easily flip it up when not in use. I also easily find the faux leather cups super comfortable, just like the microfiber ones on the Razers, they are as nice as the cups on the Bose QC15s.

If it’s the wire being destroyed, maybe go for something with a replaceable line in? You can get replacement line ins for most Sennheisers (my previous set of headphones before the mic became necessary) and Bose QC15’s. There’s also a couple of mics out there that can piggy back on nicer headphones which weren’t available a few years ago.

Thinking about it, I probably have way too many headphones laying around so I really should stop buying them. I’m counting 5 working pairs of circumoral aural headsets right now plus 4 sets of earbuds.

Well, you have got many good options. I’d recommend you to use Logitech G930 as I am using it for 3 years and the results are impressive.

While I am glad you like your logitechs… I definitely wouldn’t use another… not after as much experience with gear that I have now. $230-$300 for that? Hard pass