Looking for bright/recessed bass headphones

Budget - 100-350€
Source - Schiit Heresy + Modi
Preferred Type of Headphone - Full Size, no wireless, closed-back
Preferred tonal balance - bright, recessed bass
Past headphones - Audio Technica ATH-MSR7, Sennheiser HD600
Location - Germany

I really like my ATH-MSR7 and use them daily for podcasts, videos, games because of the recessed bass which makes the mids and highs stand out more. But I also use them to listen to all kinds of music. I have a pair of HD600 that I use when I want to lean back and solely focus on listening to music but for everyday use, I prefer the ATH-MSR7. In many games and videos, I find the audio to be mixed quite badly and with the HD600 many sound booming and too deep. It might be that I’m just too used to the sound of the ATH-MSR7 but too much bass over a long time gives me headaches.

After 3 years the ATH-MSR7 are completely worn through. The synthetic leather is breaking apart and the filling beneath is coming out. The plastic parts at the hinge and headband are getting brittle and recently one side promptly broke into pieces. Also, the hinges or more so the plastic parts attached to them started squeaking horribly after about a year. Was not a deal-breaker for me since you would only really move the hinges when putting the headphones on or off but build quality is the thing I’m looking to improve.

I tried to buy a replacement for the complete headband for the ATH-MSR7 but was not able to find them anywhere but aliexpress (which I’m not a fan of).

Looking through the hifiguide I was surprised that there are no closed-back headphones and even open-back there are only three recommended.

I’m a heavy user. Since corona, I wear headphones for ~12 hours per day. So I would like to improve on build quality and keep with comfortable headphones.

I have Dekoni Pads and would prefer to use Dekoni Pads on the new Headphone too. I’m also thinking about using Dekoni Nuggets to be able to replace the Dekoni Nuggets once they are worn out instead of wearing out the headband of the headphones itself.

Another thing I do not want to go through is headphones with proprietary cables/connectors. The ATH-MSR7 are advertised as “replaceable 3.5mm cable” but the socket on the headphones themselves is recessed and extra slim so that no normal 3.5mm cable fits in and one is left with the bad stock cables or having to trial and error many cables looking for one that it made thin enough to fit. I ended up taking the ATH-MSR7 apart and drilling the holes bigger which obviously is bad for the warranty.

HD600 have their own connectors too but they are popular enough that many companies make cables for them but anything less popular and It will become more of a problem to find a good cable at the wanted length.

I know these are many requirements, but I think they are quite reasonable. I think the biggest problem might be bright/bass recessed headphones not being popular.

/r/headphones was not able to give a recommendation, maybe you can since I have no experience with headphones other than the mentioned two.

Non replaceable cable but Grado HP’s come to mind :+1:

Grado HP? I can not find them on their website. Are they not like an old model they did?

Sorry my bad I meant Grado Headphones in general…there’s a few threads on here regarding various Grado models…

you want closed back, which would make Grado a non-starter. however, if you’re okay with semi-open, take a gander at the Beyerdynamic DT 880’s, particularly the 600 ohm model.

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Bright, no bass, closed back = Audio Technica XD Something like a A2000z (that I am selling) would be quite nice. SR9 would be an upgrade to the MSR7, in fact the new MSR7b is also an upgrade as they change the driver

audio technical air series. in this budget range you can get the ad 900x the bass decays very fast pretty good mids bight lower treble with airy sounding treble overall. I think will be a good fit

all the audio technica stuff have their own connector now, so no for me

older models don’t have detachable model if that helps :laughing:

sorry but open back is not an option since my partner will be in the room too

how much do the beyerdynamic dt 880 bleed? My partner usually is in the room and open back is not a good option then.

open back tho as Marzipan said

You would be very hard pressed within budget, but used Beyer T5p.2’s would be your dream headphone, I think. Might even be worth stretching your budget, if possible.

I would take them off the list.

1000 euro headphones with synthetic leather and plastic. No thank you.

used they are selling for 500 and used is always a bad gamble.

Most headphones are pleather and plastic these days.

They are pricey, if you don’t like used, but I think they would provide the sound you like. I had to EQ them away from brightness and add bass.

not gonna spend 1k on something that will break in less than 3 years.

Obviously, they are not for you. However, the Beyer T1’s and T5’s are not cheap headphones that wear out or break easily. I think you have confused these with their cheap models.

Happy hunting.

plastic degrades over time, doesn’t matter what plastic it is. Especially when light gets on it and it is a moving part.

The headband is a moving part, when you put them on and off they get bent and twisted.

recipe for failure. Aluminum frames would be quite easy to make and would not have any relevant cost to produce.

I mean spending 300 Euros on headphones that last 3 years ok. Paying triple for headphones that hold the same time is silly. They don’t sound 3 times as good.

Yeah, no.
Plastic parts just come out of a relatively cheap mold, maybe need the injection leftovers snipped off and are ready for assembly.

Injection molding aluminium is possible-ish for simple shapes (enclosures, for example). Would require loads of incredibly expensive time on CNC machines to get the details like an injection molded plastic part though.

You are looking at three times cost increase for simple shapes (such as cases), complex parts for headphones, likely five times and up.