Help this broke newb into the Audio World

Hi everyone!

As the title suggests, I’m new to this forum and the audio world as a whole. I’ve seen some videos from Zeos’ channel, as well as DMS, Joshua, Metal571 to name a few, but I’ve never had an “actual” pair of headphones. Well… I had a pair of those Beats Solo 3 Wireless some years ago, but honestly, that shouldn’t even be considered as such (worst purchase ever); anyway, I digress…

I’m planning on buying my first pair of headphones and I’m in a budget, under $200 to be specific. I know you can’t get a pair of HD800S with that punny amount of money, so I’m not expecting to get a miracle headphone, but I’d like it to check as many boxes as it can (Oh by the way, I saw the KPH30iK on sale for $19.99 so I’ll be getting those as well). Now, enough blabbering (I’m sorry I talk too much)…

From what I’ve read from this forum, it’s best if I detail what I’ll be using them for, what I listen to and what type of sound I want and all that, so here it is:

:black_square_button: What I listen to the most (according to a tool to analyze my Spotify library):

1. Pop:

  • Mainstream
  • Indie
  • Dance
  • Electropop
  • UK Pop (ok…)

2. Rock (not Heavy nor Metal):

  • Modern Rock
  • Alternative
  • Pop Rock

3. Indie / Folk:

  • Indie Anthem-Folk
  • Indie Poptimism (wtf is this?)

4. Dance (isn’t this Pop already?):
5. Neo Mellow (wtf…)
6. Rebel Blues (no idea…)
7. Hopebeat (uh…)

:ballot_box_with_check: What I’m looking for:

  1. Mainly, listening to music and watching TV Shows and Movies on my MacBook, NOT gaming at all.
  2. Preferably, no need to but an Amp/DAC (as I said in the title, broke AF).
  3. Price under $200
  4. Over-ear Closed-back with good sound isolation (I do wear glasses though, so that may be a problem).
  5. Wired but as comfortable as possible.
  6. Good soundstage and imaging.
  7. Balanced sound, meaning:
    • A good amount of bass but reasonable, so as not to bleed into the rest of the frequencies.
    • Clear mids but not “on you face”.
    • Detailed treble but not sibilant or piercing (I’d consider myself "treble sensitive").

:radio_button: Bonus (a.k.a What I’d like - optional, not deal-breaker):

  • Detachable Cables.
  • (Detachable) Microphone, now that we have online classes and such, if not then I’ll have to buy a ModMic or something…
  • Closest to “audiophile” sound for the price (probably too much to ask for).

That’s all, I hope. If there’s anything I didn’t mentioned (doubt it) let me know. Again, sorry for such long post. Thanks in Advance!


yo, what’s up…
AKG K371 kinda fits your description… maybe even the cheaper K361,
some peeps feel bass is a little much on the K371 and think the K361 sounds a bit more clean.
I used both and keept the K371 which i bought for around 80€ second hand.
Comfortable, Affordable & pretty good sounding for a closed back at that price range.
I’m sensitive to treble aswell & was fine with either version.

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Thanks, I’ll consider those!

A1s? they wouldn’t require a dac/amp:

Or maybe some of the Drop headphones? 5XX, 58X, HD6XX, 4XX, are all about $200 (+/- $25) and likely wouldn’t need an amp, with the possible exception of the 4XX.

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not closed back tho

With shipping that is $199 and I think those need an Amp, but thanks, I’ll consider them.

Also those are not Closed, maybe in the future where I can afford a second pair of headphones, which definitely will be open. Thanks.

Take a Look on Massdrop for the Emu Purpleheart you can get i for 75$ and is closed with a good isulation.
I use it when i am in Train and hear nothing from the others.

I like his pretty sweep V shape Sound.Is the best phone closed back for under 100$ in my opinion.

Thanks, I’ll check them out! Also, better than the K361/71 that @schmu mentioned?

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According to some yes. I’m in europe and don’t have easy access to Drop products.
They seem pretty interesting. Here you can find a comparison.
It’s all a little subjective tho.

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Ahhh good call, missed that part

The A1s don’t need an amp, i had a pair i drove off my iPhone for years.

Thanks, I don’t live in the US either, but I’ve bought from Amazon and eBay and I get packages shipped form Miami, so I think it’s possible for me?

Oh I see, thank you!

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I’m sure you can find a way… about the review I linked - the conclusion was:

“There are more detailed headphones with the same overall tonal balance but most that I’ve heard cost around twice as much, for music enthusiasts and really any one wanting an affordable closed back headphone I feel the K371 is the choice to pick!”

It was just a random review that also mentioned the Purpleheart.
You will probably find reviewers who’d prefer one or the other.
Some others might suggest the Audio Technica ATH M40X with brainwav pads.
Used those and prefered the K371.
My 2 cents :woozy_face:

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Seems like it’s one of the best I can get for the price…

So far what you guys have recommended are:

  1. AKG K361 / K371
  2. Sony MDR-1A

I’ll keep a list and see what’s the best option for me

Well If you have the same tastes and preferences as me, and you like the K371 more than the M40x, than I’ll do too, probably.

Haha, we don’t know for sure if we have the same taste :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I listen to everything from Jazz/Soul to Hip Hop/Funk to Rock/Metal to Techno.
Not that much Pop music, but my job requires listening to pretty much every genre…
Never tried the Sony MDR-A1, they seem more expensive tho.

I have not heard the K361/71, only read reports that they tend to be too peaky in the highs.
And they are often tiring and too sharp is not good for your hearing in the long run.
Especially if you don’t want to use a Dac.
Everything seems so shrill that’s not good either.

With the Emu Purpleheart you don’t do anything wrong, among other things, it still sounds soft enough without being shrill, and its sound remains fatigue-free.
I forgot my dac dongel once and you could still listen to it on the tablet, not with full enjoyment as usual but it was very acceptable.

It looks so inconspicuous but it works, it’s robust.
And what comes out is coherent.
It has a nice rich bass, great mids and highs that never seem too sharp but are high enough.
And the most important thing is that on the train I can forget everything around me and close my eyes.
The only thing I hear is when the driver is talking and I have to take them off for a moment.

At the moment I also use it on the Dac from time to time and the little one never ceases to amaze me.
For me, it’s the Swiss Army knife among headphones.
I would get them again at any time.

Edit I read that we have similar taste in music.
He would definitely be the right one.
Especially if you like Alica Keys or Nora Jones he will open new doors for you.

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Hahaha good point, maybe we don’t. Yeah those MDR-A1 are used but “in great condition” on eBay, so not so sure about that one.

This is a reply to @Deleeh (I surpassed the reply limit lol): Well thank you, really. Now the Purpleheart is winning on me, but I’ll still keep open to any other suggestions. Thanks again!

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