Suggestion for first timer's audio setup

So getting to the point, I’m looking to upgrade my audio gear to something more proper. Currently using KZ ZSN Pro and KZ ZS10 Pro in office and home respectively for audio needs and a cheap mic. Now fully WFH and probably for the time being, I wanted to use something that would be suitable for VOIP, streaming and recording, gaming and media consumption. This is what I had in mind

Budget: RM2000-3000 (USD482-723/EUR414-621)

Interface: Motu M2
Microphone: ATH-AT2020
Headphone: ??

I was considering between Audio Technica’s MX0x series headphones, till I saw Z’s reviews about them and well, now I’m lost. The problem is I listen to almost anything from youtube videos to podcasts to multiple genres of musics, no specifics. And I use it to play various games as well, if that’s helpful. Specifics I can tell is that I don’t like sharp piercing sound, and it needs to be closed back if possible since I don’t want to disturb my family late night.

Any suggestions and advice is welcome, thanks in advance

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If you were looking at that audio technica does that mean u are specifically eyeing closed backs or are open backs also on the table? In addition ur basically asking for something super well rounded right? Sound-wise

Yes, I am eyeing specifically closed back cans due to personal preference. And sound wise yes, i want it to sound well rounded without being too bassy and too sharp (does that make sense?). I know I’m asking for something impossible in those price range but I don’t have the incentive to buy multiple cans to test them out one by one, so this is like a “buy, use, done” deal.

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Gotcha gotcha that’s fair. So in that range I’ve honestly only played with 1 open back. The beyerdynamic DT 770 sadly it’s probably both too bassy and too sharp lol! I’ve also used the elegia which might be the perfect fit for you and nowadays can be found under 500 closer to 400 too (Focal Elegia). Besides that I know there are some other options like AkG, other beyers at that price range that may be good to look at altho personally haven’t experienced those.

Have you considered IEMs?? I ask because I recently bought a JVC iem from drop (250 usd) and it seriously rivaled expensive headphones like the hifiman sundara and audioquest Nighthawks. In addition it’s small light and portable so u can take IEMs with u everywhere, generally require less power etc. And all IEMs are closed backs lol. Even now I use mine over my open back more often because it blocks the AC noise, my dog barking etc

So after another 12 hours of research, I’ve finally narrow down (sort of) what I had in mind for my new headphones. Audio wise, I wanted it to sound balanced/neutral/warm while also detailed.

Sennheiser HD 650
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO 250 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250 Ohm
Audio Technica R70X

TBH I don’t know if the ones i’ve listed above is suitable for what I wanted but I know they were highly regarded for their sound quality. Apologies if it looks stupid, again more suggestions are welcome.

P/S: Drop isn’t an option for me

Those are all solid cans. Really, it’s a matter of preference, I think.

Treble sensitive people find Beyers to be too sibilant a lot of times.

HD650s have a warm-neutral tone. Some, usually people who prefer brighter tuning, complain they sound too veiled.

R70x are probably the most “neutral,” but sometimes neutral also feels boring and flat since there is no emphasis on a frequency.

If you’re looking for closed-back maybe look into the AKG K361 or K371? Similar to the Audio Technica M40x and M50x, but with a more neutral, Harman frequency response. I see them recommend more often nowdays as good starter cans - basically replaced the Mx0x as the go-to recommendation.

If to make your life any harder, I will add that people who like the HD6x0 headphones seem to be the most satisfied with their setup as opposed to upgrading. Never tried them myself, but that my limited observation across forums and reddit.

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the closest to your current kzs on this list is the 990. all of these beyers are relatively hard to drive you need an amp for all of them . balanced/ neutral/ detailed sound the 880 or the r70x is are probably good choices here. 770 is great as well for this but the treble can run a bit hot just like the 990 and for warm the 650 is a good choice for a warm sounding headphone but is not as detailed as the 880 or r70x to my ears

Necro update: So I end up ordering the HD650 alongside the rest of the kit soon afterwards. They also bundled the headphone with a BTR5 (which unfortunately I need to crank it up to max volume to actually made it loud enough to listen to compared to my ZS10 pro)

Driving it with the Motu M2, and with PC volume maxed and using the M2 to fine adjust the volume, maybe it was my lack of experience with these stuff, but it took me a while to get used to its warmer soundstage. Just the right balance of bass and treble, not even piercing or tearing/noise (if that’s a thing)

P/S: I used to unironically use it as a “speaker” when humidity is high enough I can feel like sweating in my ears, but it wasn’t too tight or anything. If any I guess it was due to my long hours of putting it on my head, like nearly 24 hours long. Now I’ve gotten used to it for such long term usage.