When I first started looking at headphones the m50x seemed the sure bet. Then after doing some research and discovering Zeos, the modded m40xs soon replaced them followed by the Ricardos, the Yamaha mt5, and now the Cooler Master mh751. At this point, it seems that each day I discover a new product that replaces what I previously thought was best. I’m looking for a closed-back set of cans that are good for gaming (games like warzone & R6) but at the same time deliver on the music audio side of things. To put that into perspective I mostly listen to rap and indie pop/rock. Comfort and build quality would be appreciated but I realize at the $200 and under price point you cant get everything.
As sort of a side note, I’ve mentally rejected the Beyerdynamic DT line due to their aesthetic and seemingly reduced portability. I’m not going to be walking around with my headphones but definitely bringing them on a flight or long train ride.
Again I’ve kinda made a shortlist consisting of:
M40x w/ cowhides
Cooler Master H751
as a heavy r6 player and now valorant the dt 770 would also be my reccomendation here as well build is nice with he exception of its robust but non detachable cable and comfort while clampy initially feel like pillows with the stock pads. I believe a dac x6 and a dt 770 250 ohm should be within your budget.
DT 770s are amazing for your genre of music and more casual use if you want a bassy yet bright headphone with good tonal mids… though it can be a bit much on the highs if you are sensitive to treble.
Heres some alternatives for ya.
Hyperx Flight: I know I know it’s a gaming headset. It’s a W signature that needs a pad swap, recommended suedes as velour destroys the sound or you can do with a more sheepskin if preferred. Sub bass and bass is real deep with present slightly raised mids and raised highs. Wireless but surprising sound for a wireless gaming headset. Though they definitely look “gamey”
Meze 99(classic, neo, noir) warm relatively wide but still pretty linear. Not the greatest in competitives for sure but very relaxing and a great sound with a very luxury feel. Does fantastic with different pad swaps too for a change in sound. Neo and Noir are the ones in the $200 spot classic iirc is more expensive
Alternative to dt770: Beyerdynamic Custom series. Game, one pro plus, studio, street. All different sounding some better than others… generally in your price bracket I would look into these see if maybe they are more up your alley. Different ohms though too so keep an eye on that one. Not as bright as the 770s but still pretty nice fairly similar to the low ohm dt 770
Sennheiser HD 598 Closed: Look it isn’t the best but its definitely not “bad” as a headphone. Still has that nice balanced sennheiser sound and is a good budget option.
Shp9500 and Fidelio X2HR modified to be closed: shp9500 bass light neutral bright. Fidelio x2hr very warm bassy(somewhat muddy) with very clean mids and just barily raised in the highs. These are some really fantastic headphones honestly… the fact they can be modded closed, can be made wireless through a 3.5mm bluetooth dongle, and make use of a v-moda boom pro microphone for gaming make them superb for just general use honestly.
If you have a portable amp T40RP modified(T40 rp is the closed back variation though you can get a t50 and mod it closed too not sure if they have a different tuning honestly) base form of the dekoni blue and argons and sounds great just needs an amp.
Shure 840: nice and very neutral… not much to say here it’s just really nice.
AKG k371: pretty nice for an akg maybe not the best for competitives but still a nice well rounded headphone as well
Thanks for the in-depth reply. The 770s are seeming more and more appealing, and out of the list you provided they seem the best to me. I just want to ask whether the 880s or 990s would be a better option. Also, I do plan to get a dac but I also plan to do a good bit of listening on my phone/laptop and I was wondering how that affects what ohm variant I should get.
880 is semi open and 990 is fully open backed. 990 practically demands an amp or someone who can deal with close to nails on a chalkboard levels of treble. 880 is more neutral bright with bass being light… fairly well rounded and good detail. both sound best in 600 ohms and require an amp with the 880 sounding its best on a tube amp
So I got the 770’s after buying two other headphones that I thought would suite me better(open back, more soundstage). I really wanted the dt770 80ohm from the start but talked myself out of it because of not wanting to spend on dac/amp at the time. Looking back I wish I had just got the dt 770 from the start.
I highly recommend them to anyone, especially if you like bass. I own the dt990 250ohm (open) and those don’t sound like open dt770s which is what I was hoping for(the highs can be brutal). I have my DT770 80 ohms hooked up to a k5 pro which is great. They do get loud enough with onboard sound and my phone for casual listening in a quite place, but definitely benefit from the dac/amp. I went with the 80ohms as most people said it had better bass than the 32, and I finally had an amp/dac.
My only negative thing with the DT770 is that I have big ears, and while the opening is large on the earpads, they are shallow and my ear presses on the driver, which gets uncomfortable after a while. I also own the M570 too and prefer that for extended gaming sessions due to the deep ear pads, however I prefer the sound of the the dt770 for bass heavy music by a decent margin.
Yeah, this is a common error I see people make. The 990 is extremely sharp and sounds very different to those 770s.
This is a stretch for me. Please do not recommend very bright headphones to everyone. DT 770 can be painful to those who are treble sensitive in a moderate manner while it is the least bright of the 3 dt cheaper options its still got quite a lot of bright treble and can cause a ton of discomfort or even ear pain. I am speaking from experience on that one as someone who tried to get a friend into it and it caused him quite some pain in the ears from the sharpness
they do indeed have more bass and generally sound better. Harder to drive on really bad audio codec hardware though. Still will get plenty loud enough for things such as phones less you wanna blow your ears out.
You can switch this to something like Dekoni Elite velour, Dekoni Sheepskin, or even Brainwavz XL pads for a huge pad if you really have that big of ear and they will work fine on the headphone. Sheepskins will tone back the treble.