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Sep 13, 2016
First time headphone buyer
hi I am a first time over ear headphones buyer and I am wondering whether I should go with wireless or wired???
steve, D2Girls, and 5 others
Get a Stax SR-009
If you intend use it mainly on the go and need noise-cancelling features- or if you think cables are a real pain or want to look cool- go for wireless. That said, wireless headphones are usually way pricier than their equivalent counterparts
Go wired if you can. It sounds better.
Having said that I have a pair of B&W PX for travel and if you plug them in to a decent AMP/DAC (well it defeats the purpose I guess) they sound very good.
For travel they are great. You can have a listen to them at Best Buy (Magnolia) to see if you like them. They have other headphones as well including some open back ones.
Best is to go have a listen and see what you like and buy the one that sounds good to you.
Wired all the way. I'd only say to go wireless if you're okay with the exorbitant price tags and really need to have certain features (such as the convenience of not having a cable or the great noise cancellation that come with headphones such as the Sennheiser PXC 550s or Bose QuietComfort 35). Overall audio quality will always be better on wired headphones (given they are paired with a good DAC and amp), but it really depends on what you want to use them for. I will always have a preference for wired headphones just because the technology for wireless headphones isn't quite good enough yet to beat out wired headphones. I say give the market another few years before wireless technology is really good enough to make it a fair comparison.
Well, if you want better sound quality then go wired. If you want clsed backs for home, gaming and to be successfuly used with an entry level dac/amp then take a look at the dt770/32 ohm which is cheap and really good. If you want same ok priced allrounder for home and gaming also, you can take a look at an dt990pro/250 ohm. For that you need a better amp, though. For cheapper and somewhat portable open back you can also check the yamaha hph200, though the build is on the plastiky side but the sound superb. For in ear high quality at a fantastic price you can check the meze 11 neo. You can't go wrong with those.
I recommended those for a starter, as I know them all and they are very good price/quality. For portable allrounder and hifi music from phone go for the 11neo, for home use gaming, dt990, for office isolation dt770, for portable openback allrounder the hph200 or something like that. They all are in $60-150 range so, ok for a starter. Sound quality wise they are all very good. So hope that helps. First you need to find out how you will use them mostly then chose your first :)
Personally I recommend you buy cheap wireless headphones that sound mediocre so you’ll never end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on headphones and audio equipment.
On the other hand you could pick up the wired HD6XX but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I love wired headphones
here a simple answer..if closed back get takstar pro 82 or audio techinica m40x, if for home use get grado sr80e
you can worry about higher end headphones later (if you ever need them)
Totally depends on what your buying headphones for. Are they for a PC only? Are they for listening to music only? are they for gaming? Whats your end game? what your budget? plan to use headphones only or looking for something with an amp? Looking for quality surround gaming headsets, all arounders or sound quality stuff? Do you need a mic?
If you can answer some of these questions we could help.
I find wireless only useful for portability, if your going to be roaming the house all the time with them on or traveling alot. Personally i dont like wireless. I've had so many issues with wireless headets after my 4th pair I just gave up. From pairing issues, to quality not being as good (you'll only notice this if you've used more high end stuff). Some people never have problems with them, but me, its never ending.
I have several wired sets, raning from 100-500 bucks, some use powered amps, others use amps that came with the device (astro a 40s). Even high end gaming headsets dont sound half as good in my opinion as a quality headphone set like the sennheiser hd6xx or hd650s (same thing ones massdrop only) They are my favorite headset as an all arounder. Alot of people here would probably agree, they run 250-350 somewhere online. They are a really good start into the good sounding world. You can get you a cheap amp from
and a cheap dac to start, and the sound only gets better as you move up with better dacs/amps, 200 bucks will net you a magni 3 and a modi 2 from them. The headset will grow with you, and can be rebuilt piece by piece by you by ordering any part. So your not having to buy a new headeset all the time.
My choices for different purposes that arnt bank breaking:
All arounder and listening to music: senhheiser hd650 hd6xx (drop is going on now for 200 bucks more warm non fatiguing sounder), Beyerdynamic DT880/990 (more basshead style), or akg k7xx (brighter then the sennheisers and i'd say alittle more comforatable but can be fatiguing after prolonged use for me). All these run 150-300 somewhere.
gaming: sennheisers (with a modmic 5 for mic) and astro a40s depending on what i'm playing (although i've had some issues and had to have the a40s serviced a few times over 4 yrs)
Budget orientated wireless headset thats comfy, good for gaming and has a mic: steelseries arctis 7 wireless headset.
if your wanting to spend more money, theres tons more choices. But the above i think are the best bang for your buck, and best in their categories.
I think if you get bitten by the bug you'll want several sets of headphones. I've never seen a reason to accept the compromise in sound quality that goes with wireless but when I next have to replace my noise cancelling headphones (currently Bose QC15s) I'll go wireless due to the convenience of not having a cable on a plane. Still, that's a niche use so start wired.
I find GUTB's reply to your question absurdly elitist. Sure, you might get to those higher priced models in time but build towards them using cheaper cans with better value for money. You'll find if you research that there are some key milestones along the way: Grado SR80es, for example, are a decent entry point (though technically on-ear not over-ear) then pick one from the Sennheiser or AKG lines for an increase in fidelity and transparency. You'll never have to stuff your old set in the cupboard ... it will always stay relevant just as long as you pick carefully each time you upgrade. You can have a stellar range of headphones at home for the price of one esoteric set. (Which is not to knock the high end headphones at all.)
Finally, don't neglect comfort and build quality when picking ... the headphones you enjoy wearing are more valuable to you than the ones that sound best because they're the ones you'll use most.
It really depends on what the application will be. I am old school, so I really like the wired headphones. I actually just purchased the Massdrop Hifiman Headphones, but can't give you an honest answer until I receive them at Christmas. Hifiman Headphones come in various models.
Honestly, this will depend in a lot of factors but you need to keep in mind the most important ones:
Yes, budget! No matter how good our recommendations are in regards of wired and wireless headphones, if you can't afford them they will just add more stress for you, and your wallet.
2. Do you
wireless? If you are going to use them mostly outdoors, doing some activities where cables can be an issue, with occasional walks, maybe public transportation as well, then: Yes, you
Once you have an answer for these questions you will get far better help from anyone in the community. However, as owner of both, wired and wireless I can tell you that wired headphones will always be superior in terms of sound quality, but I also understand the practical use of a wireless headphone.
So assuming you need wireless and with no particular budget, I would personally recommend the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0. A very nice sounding pair of headphones, pretty decent when used wireless and even better when used wired.
Hope this helps! Keep us posted with what you decide to go with.
Welcome to this fascinating world! :)
You gotta look at what you want from a headphone to see what you need from a wired or wireless, we cant answer that for you. Wired has good quality with just plug and play. Wireless you gotta worry about battery and the quality of the bluetooth coding. One thing I really want to say is dont listen to GUTB he's a twat lol.. 300$ being low-fi is ridiculous especially if its like Usd.. His logic so so flawed might as well say all his lowfi headphones are mid fi because i can buy a pair pf thx00 or d2000 for under 300$. what kinda idiot rate headphone quality on how much you spend? defiant snake oil charmer..
You can find a great deal of great quality headphones for sub $200. I have the Sennheiser HD 518s and they're so comfortable. They've also lasted me at least 5 years (never bothered to count). The pads are wonderful with glasses; you can wear them for hours and forget you're wearing them, but make sure to get a different cable, the standard one is far too long. Replacement probably cost me $20.
Wired if you do not have to go wireless. wired gives you higher quality for less price to an extent.
If you care about sound quality of wireless get a Senn. Momentum 2 if not and like noise cancelling get a Bose QC 25.
if you need the best sound quality go wired but from here your options are endless.
Wired for better sound quality, wireless for more freedom of movement.
For a first time buyer-
Id recommend:VModa crossfade m100 / Audio technica ATH m50x/m40x if you want to save a few bucks
Wireless: cant really recommend, but bose quiet comforts are good
I'd second the m40xs. They were/are a great set of headphones
Ever since i got the Hifiman He4xxs ive been ignoring the M50xs, its just a beast at the right price for audiophile grade cans.
What type of music that you mostly listen to? You need to choose the headphone fit your music.
said, go for wired, can make sounds improvement through an dac/amp.
Wired - trust me I made the same choice and couldn't be happier... I can't stress this enough.
if, you dont have any budget constraint, just aim for the high end. This way you will save you hundred of bucks at the end of the days.
Closed can: Sony MDR-Z1R
Open can: Sennheiser HD800S
Are you seriously recommending for someone but their first pair of quality headphones to just go out and spend $1000+??? I guarantee you this dude is thinking of spending $200 tops.
Get wireless if you need wireless, get wired otherwise (better price/performance).
Bluetooth in its current state is still lacking when it comes to sound quality. You do get the benefit of no wires though. In the end it really depends if you want the convenience of the sound.
Wired, by far.
WIRED! Much better sound and much less cancer! I have a pair of AT-M50x's that I love! Not expensive at all as far as good headphones go. Can be easily found for between $130 - $150
Get the wired ones. Better fidelity.
I recommend hd600, hd650, he400i, he500. For mids, vocals.
X2, thxoo, th900, d5k, d7k, m100 for bass.
Hd800, x2 for gaming, symphony, classical.
T1,x2,th900 for everything.
My preference rank, HE 500, th900, hd800, t1, hd650, x2, hd600.
sibilant - x2, th900.
Non of them will disappoint.
with wireless you risk battery exploding into your ear. :) not a pretty picture. plus wired will have better quality (in general). wireless (I'm assuming bluetooth) will have amp matched to headphones - so it may sound better than your particular combo of amp+wired headphones. I personally just cannot have another device which I should keep on charging, and what if battery dies - I throw out $300 worth of headphones? I also happen to play games and any wireless element will add lag - be it keyboard, mouse, headphones, WiFi etc. So, no wireless for me.
wired -> better quality for ur money
wireless ->ease of no wires
this is how it usually is. there are exceptions
I was in the same boat you are in about a year ago. I wanted my music to sound better but I did not really know what exactly I was missing, only that it was not there.
I found a guru on YouTube his channel is called "Z Reviews". I won't attempt to tell you what you are missing but after watching some of Z's videos you can educate yourself enough to figure out exactly what it is.
heed to the word of Prophet Z so we will be all delivered unto audio Nirvana!
Some questions to help me better answer yours....
1) What is your music source? (assuming your phone but please confirm)
2) Where will you be doing the majority of your listening?
3) What types of music do you listen to?
4) Where do you source your music (stream, download, rip)?
5) What headphones/iems do you currently own if any?
6)What do you like/dislike about your current headphones/iems that make you want to go over-ear?
7) What is your budget?
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Unfortunately iv not heard any of them but...
Ask yourself a few questions:
Which has better sound
Which has better comfort
Which has better build quality
If you don't have a clear winner then ask yourself what is the price to performance value.
That last question is probably the most important and is for you alone to decide. It's your cash and you have to be happy with what you spent it on.
It's kinda hard to decide on those questions. Well, thanks for the advise agn. Will go through them and see what's my mind thinking
Wired. Wireless ranges from garbage (anything less than APT-X) to just bad (APT-X).
Sound quality in headphones has 3 general categories:
Lo-fi (less than $300)
Hi-fi (over $1000)
Lo-fi isn't worth your time because if you decide that headphone listening is for you, it will INEVITABLY lead you to trying something in the mid-fi range. You might as well skip the lo-fi step altogether.
If you could trust my advice, you would find the budget for hi-fi headphones. But, I know you won't, so I'll at least suggest a few strong mid-fi options such as the TH-X00 here on Massdrop, AudioQuest Nighthawk, HiFiMan HE-400S (or i if on sale). I recently listened to the B&W P5 and it was an impressively solid mid-fi offering. A few more tips:
1. This isn't the 90s. Avoid conventional plastic dynamic drivers. Planar, electrostatic, bio-cellular = good. There a re a FEW exceptions that use unique technologies.
2. Don't be tempted by the HD600/650/6XX, etc. They are mid-fi performers from a technical perspective, but are very boring you WILL get tired of them, just skip them altogether. Also they are old school plastic dynamic driver junk, avoid.
3. The difference between closed and open is *** NOT *** as large as many would have you think. Ignore this factor, concentrate on performance.
4. Class A = best, class A/B = good, class D = junk (unless you pay huge $).
5. Desktop-sized DACs and amps perform better than small portable units.
6. Headphones ALL require SIGNIFICANT break-in (think 200-800 hours). The used market IS your friend: not only do you save money you save time on break-in.
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Yeah, I was reading this for advice but feel like I've just been attacked and I wasn't even the one asking the questions. It may be good advice but put in that way it's not helptu to anyone
OK so wireless can be good: see Rs-170. Way too expensive to go good wireless.
1. this is true
2. Probably out of his price range.
3. The difference is enough in this case to affect him. He can't have people here his sound, so sound isolation is a must. Therefore open back is a no go.
4. Google this. From my understanding it's just different types of amplification and d is the most efficient.
5. The fiio e10k dac/amp is an awesome start to getting in to higher end audio. However I can't weigh in too much more on this point.
6. Headphone break in is a thing, I do not know however, where you got the idea of 200-800 hours from. It's like a few hours to a week.
Also used market is a good idea but don't go get ratty headphones. Also Massdrop is your friend
M50x's were my first 'high end' headphones and as many before me have said is a very good place to start. They are easy to drive sound great are very comfortable and are well built.
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