Over Ear Open Back - laws of diminishing return price point? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-25-2019, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Over Ear Open Back - laws of diminishing return price point?

Hi all, been away from the community here for quite a while, love my system as is and haven't found any need to upgrade or change things for a while now which is weird a. f. for me ..
Getting the itch to try some high quality over ear headphones because of recent move to a townhouse where I can't crank my tunes.
I have a a pair of Shure SRH840's which are okay, but get uncomfortable after a relatively short period of time, and really the sound doesn't invite me to use them very often.
Having very little knowledge of today's headphone world, I thought I'd come back to my old stomping grounds for advice.
A quick review of some buying guides leads me to the over ear open back style for my "needs".
My audio component experience has been that there is always a price point where the laws of diminishing returns kicks in, where the more you spend the less improvements you get.

So I'm curious to if that applies to headphones, where you think that price point is and of course what recommendations might suit my needs in that sweet spot?
My music taste cover a wide variety of genres, and I do have a lot of high-rez music.

Current Gear: Anthem AVM60, D-Sonic 3500/7, Oppo UDP-203, PS Audio Nuwave Phono Pre, Technics SL1210 w/ Denon DL103, Dune Duo 4K, Vizio 75" 4K, Paradigm Sig. S6 & C3 v.3's, Studio ADP's, Velodyne SPLR1200.

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post #2 of 8 Old 12-29-2019, 12:45 AM
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I'd say somewhere in that $200-$500 range. For $200 you can get the Sennheiser HD6XX which are really well received, though lacking in the deep bass and with some treble veil. A little more gets you the Hifiman Sundara which are one of the best values in open back planars right now, though there is the continually suspect Hifiman build quality to content with. There's also the Koss ESP 95/X right under $500 which are my favorite headphones in that range by a mile, I absolutely love my pair. They do need EQ to help bring up the bass and treble, but they're an awesome value for a pair of electrostats.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-01-2020, 04:44 AM
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I have the Sennheiser 650HDs, pretty nice headphone. Mass Drop sells the 6XX, for 195 which is the 650. I remember people saying they came with a pretty short cord so you might want to invest with the stock 650 hd replacement cable, or get an extension cable, Grado's 15 ft extension is pretty nice for about 30-40 bucks.

I'm not sure where the point of diminishing returns is with headphones. I also later bought the 800S, and they are a really nice headphone. Are they worth the $$ premium over the 650s? For me they were, but I still use both of them, for different things.

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-05-2020, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I have the Sennheiser 650HDs, pretty nice headphone. Mass Drop sells the 6XX, for 195 which is the 650. I remember people saying they came with a pretty short cord so you might want to invest with the stock 650 hd replacement cable, or get an extension cable, Grado's 15 ft extension is pretty nice for about 30-40 bucks.

I'm not sure where the point of diminishing returns is with headphones. I also later bought the 800S, and they are a really nice headphone. Are they worth the $$ premium over the 650s? For me they were, but I still use both of them, for different things.
The HD6XX have a 6-foot cord.

I also have the HD58X. A bit livelier than the HD6XX (slightly more bass and treble). I prefer the HD6XX for music, but the HD58X for movies/TV. If I could only have one, I'd go with the HD58X (save about 50$, a bit more versatile, and slightly easier to drive at 150 ohms vs 300 ohms for HD6XX). However, I do value the relatively more neutral HD6XX, especially for classical and jazz.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-06-2020, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post
The HD6XX have a 6-foot cord.

I also have the HD58X. A bit livelier than the HD6XX (slightly more bass and treble). I prefer the HD6XX for music, but the HD58X for movies/TV. If I could only have one, I'd go with the HD58X (save about 50$, a bit more versatile, and slightly easier to drive at 150 ohms vs 300 ohms for HD6XX). However, I do value the relatively more neutral HD6XX, especially for classical and jazz.
The stock cable length for the 650 is 3 meters. Unless you are just sitting a a desk 6 ft is a bit short.

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post #6 of 8 Old 01-08-2020, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post
Hi all, been away from the community here for quite a while, love my system as is and haven't found any need to upgrade or change things for a while now which is weird a. f. for me ..
Getting the itch to try some high quality over ear headphones because of recent move to a townhouse where I can't crank my tunes.
I have a a pair of Shure SRH840's which are okay, but get uncomfortable after a relatively short period of time, and really the sound doesn't invite me to use them very often.
Having very little knowledge of today's headphone world, I thought I'd come back to my old stomping grounds for advice.
A quick review of some buying guides leads me to the over ear open back style for my "needs".
My audio component experience has been that there is always a price point where the laws of diminishing returns kicks in, where the more you spend the less improvements you get.

So I'm curious to if that applies to headphones, where you think that price point is and of course what recommendations might suit my needs in that sweet spot?
My music taste cover a wide variety of genres, and I do have a lot of high-rez music.
I too have the Drop HD6XX and I like them. Some people say never spend more than $100, other people people say spend no more than $500, then some people say spend no more than $1000.

Spend time listening to many different headphones, go to a hi-fi store, but also go to a music store and listen to their demos on display.

By the way, I have heard many really great studio headphones for under $100. You can find these in many musical instrument stores.

Save your money.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-09-2020, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post
The stock cable length for the 650 is 3 meters. Unless you are just sitting a a desk 6 ft is a bit short.
True enough. I was simply specifying the length of the cable, as I have one.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-24-2020, 07:25 AM
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The Law of dimishing returns starts at the $50 point...

Take some $50 Koss. a $100 Audio-Technica isn't twice as good it might be 80% better.

a $200 Sennheiser HD6XX maybe 60% better

$400 Hifiman Sundara 40% better

$800 Focal Elear 20% better

$1600 Sennheiser HD 800s 10% better

$3000 Hifiman Edition X - 5% better
$6000 pair of Abyss 1266 - 2% better
$60,000 pair of Sennheiser Orpheus 1% better.


and price doesn't ALWAYS or should I say perfectly correlate with performance.

The best sounding headphone I have ever heard are the STAX L700. That includes Focal Utopia, Stax SR-009s (!) Audeze LCD-4, and yes... even the Sennheiser Orpheus
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