Looking to upgrade from Koss stuff for music

I’ve been using the Porta Pros daily and now I want to find an upgrade that actually looks like headphones. I’d be using it for 80% music, 20% casual gaming (barely any FPS games- just things like Stardew Valley, Fallout or Skyrim… so, it also leans mostly towards ambience-type music). Libraries and walks too if I can use them that way, but I’m not picky. #1 is private home use.

I don’t currently have any amps (my FiiO BTR1K just died) and prefer not to need one. The most I can tolerate is a portable amp though.

I listen to lo-fi, rock, pop, rap, some acoustics, and EDM on Spotify. The kind of music I can get lost in or sleep to, but also enjoy if I’m focusing on the music.

I live in Malaysia so I can’t really try out the headphones I’m researching for, but I do want something that’s a considerable leap in sound quality from the Porta Pros. Comfort is a huge factor in this because I have a big head.

My budget is ~200$ and I’m probably going to look for used headphones instead of buying new ones. From online research, here’s what I thought of buying:

Meze 99 Noirs: Known for its bass? Looks alright to me too, but I’m nervous about the comfort.

Nighthawks: The ‘unique’ sound signature of these things interest me, and they don’t seem to need an amp. I’m hesitant because, since they’re discontinued, there probably won’t be any support for replacement pads if they wear out, hence making them bad in the long run.

DT770 80 Ohm / Custom Studio : Closed back, comfortable and I think they look awesome, so they’re great for the outside. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on these, but the need to spend extra for an amp is pulling me back.

AKG371: I hear good things about the sound, but it honestly looks a little plain to me. I also fear the comfort on these.

HD58X: I only hear good things about them, and don’t seem to outright require an amp. Most of the reviews I read are gaming-related, so I can’t tell if they’re good for music. Open-back, so I can’t use it outside but I’m still open to the thought.

I feel like the Custom Studios fit the bill, but I’d like to know what you guys think. I’m open to any other headphones I haven’t mentioned, as well as alternative pads to improve the comfort, and please suggest a suitable amp too if you can. Let me know if I should include more details, thanks!

I like to mention that dt770 80 ohm have a pretty long straight chord so isn’t really ideal for mobile… but if you’re thinking dt770 maybe consider the 250 ohm and a portable amp… they sound much better to me and they have a shorter coiled cable :+1:

The k371 and 58x are both really enjoyable headphones and dont require amps… I’d suggest either over the 80 ohm dt770… but you’ll receive more help tomorrow from more experienced folks than me lol


Ah yeah, I’ve heard of the long cable. Nothing a cable tie or something similar can’t fix, probably? Thanks for the opinions though! If I were to take the 250ohm DT770, would you know what portable amp would be enough to drive it?

Also, damn, I just realized the west is still asleep. Whoops.

Lol yeah I have an xduoo xd05 plus but I’m sure there’s something smaller and more reasonably priced that will work… there’s a bunch of fantastic people on here that will help guide you with their morning coffee :+1:

Edit: and about the 80 ohm chord I mean its preference but for me going mobile it’d be a hard no

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From what I’ve heard, my vote would be for the 58x. It’s just a good all around headphone, usuable for pretty much anything, from music to gaming, and it’s lightweight. It’s an easy choice, and I feel like they’d be hard to dislike. Nighthawks are great, but if you’re concerned about support I can understand, they also have an odd tuning that you may or may not like.


For going no amp the 58x , k371 to me are the logical next steps on the list. Pretty safe headphones the 58x being warm and smooth, the k371 harman neutral.
If you want glorified audiophile beats theezes are great, the dt770 is good if you willing to get the 250 ohm,the custom one studio is a better sounding 80 DT 770 but has build concerns

I’m getting the MH755 soon so I’ll have a decent comparison between warm (porta pros) & Harman neutral, if it comes to choosing between K371 and HD58X. I’ve heard the HD58X has clamping issues though. Will that go away, or will any alternative pads help with that?

Huh. I haven’t heard about build issues with the custom studios. I’ll look into that. Thanks everyone

It goes away and you dont wanna pad change those.

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I heard the 6 series only really like pads from other models in the 6 series headphone line up. I can’t say for sure as I don’t have any.


You can also flex out the metal adjusters

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The Sennheiser 600 you can find for under 200$ used. the akg K712 sell for under 200$ used. the monoprice M1060 sells for under 200$ used, way under. These are all better than the ones mentioned.

The nighthawks are good. but very dark

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600 are great but the 58x would be better driven without amp and you can get them new with warranty.


You need a amp. It really brings out the quality of your music. get a cheap one and replace it later with better ones and a DAC

This one is 25$:

This one is portable and 21$:


This one is small and very portable 21$:


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Admittedly I don’t think those would yield that big of a difference over a phone tbh, I would suggest waiting and saving until you can get something in the 100 range to actually make a good difference

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Man this is tough. Seems an amp will benefit me regardless of headphone choice so I’ll have to set aside some of the budget for that. Probably a FiiO portable one since there’s distributors here…

The M1060s look very interesting. Are they hard to drive?

If you like koss try keeping it in the family, the esp95x are great and you may find a deal here or there since they were selling at 400 over the holiday. If they eq up the bass they can be endgame, that is my struggle atm lol

You listen to pretty similar music to me, but I would recommend the Nighthawks if you can get them for under $300. The 58x are also pretty great for the price. Can’t say much about the other headphones because I haven’t heard them… Good luck!


I would never reccomend a 1060

I would agree if you can get them for a reasonable price where you live :+1:

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thats a great headphone. why not?