Please, help me choose a good pair of headphones under $200

Someone, please help me with an advice.

I’m looking for a good pair of headphones around 150-200 USD to go with my recording/listening set of choice (Audient EVO 4 and RODE PodMic, maybe some condenser mic later, too, so I would prefer those headphones to not have a lot of sound-leakage) and all the reviews I’ve seen are just… The more I look, the more confused I become.

It was much easier for me to choose an IEM then it is to choose full-size headphones too, since there was an “obvious” bang for the buck option when I bought ones and I knew exactly what kind of sound I wanted from them.

So, should I buy an open back, a closed back or a semi-open back? I don’t have much experience when it comes to full-size headphones (most of my full-size headphones were gaming headsets and such), so I really have no idea. I’m gonna use them for some light work with audio and (mostly) to listening music, maybe some non-competitive gaming.

What do I need from them: I listen to all sorts of music, from djent to jpop and such. I’d like balanced-ish, somewhat detailed sound (since I do plan on working with audio sometimes). I want them to have a detachable cable, in case it ever breaks (I can solder, but I’m not very good at it). Comfy, since I’m going to wear them for long periods at a time. Well-built, so it doesn’t break on me, since it’s going to be my only full-sized one and I don’t like sitting with IEM’s at home. Looks don’t matter, since I’m only going to use them at home and I can’t see them when they’re on my head. Impedance - I’d like it to be not very high, since Audient EVO 4’s (that I’m currently looking at buying) specs say that it can handle up to 50 ohms. Cable should be up to 3 meters (I can replace it with the different one though potentially, but that also means more money). That’s all I can say for now.

There’s just so much choice nowadays, so I feel like I actually need some advice this time. Current budget cap, overall - 520 USD (for both mic, audio interface, a cable and a pair of headphones). Also, add about 20% in price, because of my region. If you have a good audio interface or a dynamic mic (my room isn’t treated, so condenser mic is a no, for now) in mind and it fits the budget, I’m open to your advice too.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Sorry if I it was hard to read - I’m still learning English.
P.P.S. Currently, my attention was caught by Sivga SV021 and Beyerdynamic DT770 (these don’t have a detachable cable though, so I’m very reluctant on buying them).


Initial thoughts are only just rolling in, and at their just-released price of $299, they’re above budget.
However - it seems like DT 700 X Pro from Beyerdynamic answers a lot of these questions, check into those.

It is sounding like you may be wise to stick to closed-back in terms of the leakage concerns - though I don’t fully understand those concerns to comment on if that is necessary. That long attached DT770 cable will probably last much longer than it takes for you to update to something else. Worth noting that a lot of headphones now don’t come with such long cables.

If open/semi-open were available, I’m sure rec’s like HD560s, Tygr 300R will come in - appropriately.

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Hi. DT 700 X Pro is definitely a great pair of headphones, but, as you’ve already mentioned, they are 299USD on Amazon and it seems like they’re not even sold in my country. So, we add Amazon international shipping price to my location of $25 and $20-$30 in taxes and we get the price of around $350, which is 75% higher than I can afford.

I think, you understand that it’s too big of a difference.

About the cable. I forgot to tell, but I also plan to run them balanced from time to time, so I’ll actually have to do some soldering on the DT770’s in order to be able to.

TYGR 300R’s are apparently either sold out everywhere, or not being produced anymore.

HD560 are great, but way too open. I feel like those would leak even into a dynamic mic, to be honest.

Thank for the response anyway, have a nice day :slight_smile:

Huh think I just saw the tygr at the Beyer side for sale and they would be a nice fit imo
Otherwise a Sony 7506 or the ath m40x would also come to mind for a neutral bright experience
If you want more warmth from your HP you could try the meze neo those would be on the top end of your budget but if you’re patient you could get them used for 120 to 150€
With audio interfaces and mics i can’t help you

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Also did just remember the akg 361/371 but which one is the one for you I can’t say cause some like one and hate the other
Read a bit in the threads for those and see if one could be for you :wink:

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I’d suggest to stay away from the SV021. Sure, it sounds great when you are listening to it, but as soon as you start comparing them to other headphones, you will be disappointed.

I can personally vouch for Sennheiser’s HD598, have been using them for over 6 years. Comfy. Well-built. Affordable.

You can also go the Drop route (collab with Sennhesier), but know that the quality is nowhere near the quality of their older releases (like the HD598 and HD600).

As always, listen to Beyer’s before you buy them.

Sennheiser’s open-back headphones aren’t a problem if you don’t listen at loud levels.

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What’s the problem with SV021’s? I’m just curious. I’ve only heard good things about them so far.
About Beyer’s. I’ll go try Beyer’s, if I can find ones in the store. There’s just not many stores that allow you to listen first around here. Not with that kind of headphones anyway.

598’s are very nice (and nice looking too), but I couldn’t find them in stock. There’s a pair of used ones on Amazon, but they’re 400USD (international shipping not included). 600’s impedance is way too high for the audio interface that I chose (it says that it can handle headphones up to 50ohm, but judging by the reviews, 80 ohms seems to be the most they can handle well) and they’re a bit off in terms of price too. And I will probably buy them one day, but sadly, I can’t afford to right now. Problem is not just headphones, but I also need an AMP that can drive them. Maybe, I’ll go for them, if I manage to secure more funds in the near future though.

Also, open-backs might be bit of a problem, since I will use them to monitor my own voice in real time and I’m afraid it’d be bad for the recording.

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I have the SV021’s, and they just don’t sound the best. The mid-range is tinny and sharp, the highs are also kind of shouty. If I didn’t compare them to other headphones, I’d say they are a good pair.

HD598’s for 400USD?!? That’s more typical for something like the HD600. I got my HD598’s for like 140 euros.

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I’m thinking, and I cannot think of any particular pair of headphones in that price range that would be better than the Beyer’s (closed-back, studio headphones).

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I just watched on the official Beyerdynamic website and they’re out of stock.

Sony 7506’s seem rather fragile, no? Thing is, I want to buy headphones to use for like forever. Other than that, I don’t know much about them. Just want to emphasize that I’ll mostly use them for listening to music - not recording. Will these stack up well in that regard?

I don’t know much about the M40X’s. I’ve read a lot about the M50X and they seem to be more of a “analytical” listening experience from what I’ve heard. Like, really focused on the recording side of things.

The Meze 99 Neo seem to, on the other hand, be very much oriented towards the listening experience (again, from the reviews). And yeah, if they’re actually decent for some light audio work, I might go for those. I actually found Meze 99 Classic for 130USD used, not even Neo’s. Catch is, I can’t try them before buying, since the seller lives in another city, but the risk might be worth it. What do you think?

AKG K361 and the K371 look very flimsy and plasticky, so I’m not very sure how they’ll hold up over time. I also watched DMS review on these and he told that K371 is a “bass canon”, “Beats from AKG”. Also told that he’d “never use the K361 to mix with”. And both of them seem to have build quality issues. I’m not sure how much of that is true, so tell me if you don’t think so.

Man, that sucks. And they seemed to have such nice build quality too…

HD598’s for 400USD?!? That’s more typical for something like the HD600. I got my HD598’s for like 140 euros.

I know, right? Actually, HD600’s are cheaper and they’re brand new here. Very bizarre. They’re around 300USD here, shipping and taxes included. I’d totally like to go with them, maybe used, if I had an audio interface good enough to power them.

I should probably check them out if I manage to then. TYGR 300R are nowhere to be found though, but 770’s, maybe

Edit: I can’t find TYGR 300R even used, guess it’s not an option then

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I’d say that you are not helping yourself by expanding the picks.

I used to be like you. I wanted to buy a full speaker system, and before you knew it, I started researching the whole market. The outcome? I never bought a speaker system. Lol.

Try to listen to Beyer’s and see how they sound. Those headphones will do you much better in the recording space than the music listening space.

HD600’s are very power-hungry beasts. Very, very hungry.

Ehh. SV021’s have very good-quality metal and wood, but the pads and the headband, not so much.

My last recommendation: Telefunken THP-29. These are a result of cooperation between Direct Sound and Telefunken. I have the Direct Sound EXTW37 PRO’s, and these sound absolutely nuts. Very, very enjoyable, isolation is crazy good if you don’t have a skinny head (they have no horizontal rotation).

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If you can’t get your hands on the THP-29’s, try searching for these:

or these

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I’d say that you are not helping yourself by expanding the picks.

You’re probably right, but that’s just because I can’t afford to waste my money on buying several pairs of headphones, unfortunately, so I’m trying to pick the right ones for me to use for a long time.

Telefunken THP-29. Very interesting headphones, never heard of these. The only problem is, I couldn’t find many reputable reviews on those. From what I did manage to find, they seem to have a very good passive sound insolation, which is great, but not much about the actual sound.

What do you think about the Meze 99 Classics option? I managed to find those used for 130USD here.

P.S. I’ll look for another audio interface, maybe I can fit some used HD600’s in the budget with an audio interface that can power them.

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No worries, man! I’m with you on the spending your money wisely.

When I made my first “serious” audiophile headphone purchase, I spent months, if not a year, researching & forum asking. I came down to the HD598’s, and I do not regret that purchase a single day of my life. That headphone ain’t ever leaving me!

Yup, not much info on them, they are a hidden gem. You can try contacting Direct Sound and asking them if the driver/sound performance of the EXTW37 PRO differs from THP-29/EX29 Plus/Studio Plus+.

I have them, the isolation is crazy. Many drummers use these. I’m not a musician, I only listen to music.

They have a very good and powerful bass response, well extended mids, and clear highs that are not too bright.

Direct Sound is an American company, so they should be able to assist you.

They are built like a tank too (the ear-cups), and all the parts are easily replaceable.

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You can try contacting Direct Sound and asking them if the driver/sound performance of the EXTW37 PRO differs from THP-29/EX29 Plus/Studio Plus+.

I forgot to mention, but it seems that only THP-29’s are sold where I live.

Direct Sound is an American company, so they should be able to assist you.

Not sure about that one either, chief :sweat_smile:

But I’ll look more into them, they sure look interesting. Except for the cable - I can’t tell if it’s detachable or not for sure, but I assume it isn’t, from the looks of it.

Anyway, thanks for your advice, sir!)

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Are you located in America?

THP-29’s don’t have a detachable cable, I believe. The other two (from Direct Sound) do.

THP-29’s don’t have a particularly nice cable from what the pictures tell… But they are also fairly affordable. I’d say, if possible, contact Direct Sound.

A mail never hurt nobody. Be friendly, they might just come up with something for you.

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Are you located in America?

Unfortunately, I’m not) I’m living in the southern European part of Russia currently.

Direct Sound seem to not be represented on the Russian market, from what I’ve seen, but I’ll try contacting them, sure) I’m not sure if they’ll ship here though.

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Aha! I knew it :wink:
The “)” gave it away.

Do contact them, tell them that you are an interested buyer from Russia, but can’t seem to find their headphones in your region.

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