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seeker_moc's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jul 23 2011 - 11:13am
Best closed cans under $200

I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan, and the pair of Sennheiser HD280s that have served me well the last few years broke.  I liked the 280s, though I thought they were somewhat lacking in bass, and I'd like to upgrade to something similar but better.  I'm looking for headphones that have the highest sound quality that meet the following criteria:


  1. They should be reasonably durable, as I travel often and to austere places.  The ear pads on my 280s ripped, and the cord has a short in it, though they lasted me 3 years so I won't complain too much
  2. They should have closed cans, I don't want people around me to have to hear what I'm listening to, and some noise attenuation from aircraft engines is nice
  3. $200 or less (I can go slightly higher if there is a very good reason to)
  4. I need them to watch movies, play games (no FPSs, so emphasis on surround imaging isn't critical), and listen to music (mostly rock/hard rock) on my laptop, and listen to my MP3 player
  5. They shouldn't require an external amp
  6. They should be reasonably accurate and balanced (though better in bass than the 280s)
  7. They have to be available online, as I can't exactly go to the nearest audio store
  8. They should be comfortable enough to wear for 4 hours straight on occasion (2 hours at a time would average).  I thought the 280s a little tight, they got better as they were broken in, but still became uncomfortable around the 4 hour mark.
  9. I'd prefer something with around the ear cans, but this isn't a strict requirement as long as they meet the sound isolation and comfort criteria
  10. I'm not looking for small headphones, though they should be at least portable enough to be stuffed into a carry-on 15" laptop backpack and usable on a long, somewhat cramped, economy seat flight.


So far, I'm considering the Sennheiser HD 380s, Audio Technica M50s, and Ultrasone HFI-580 or 780, though don't let this limit your recommendations.


Thanks for any comments/recommendations.

Remonster's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jul 31 2011 - 11:44pm
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (has a

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (has a coiled cable like the HD280 or M50s if you prefer a straight cable). I have the M50s (I'm listening to them right now) which I got for around $150 last year. I haven't heard every single headphone but I did listen extensively to most of the offerings from Sennheiser, Beyer Dynamic, Shure, Ultrasone, etc. in the sub $300 range and these were my favorite closed cans in this price range.

I had the Sennheiser HD280 Pro before these and while I really liked those, the Audio-Technicas are much more comfortable and sound better in pretty much every way especially with respect to bass. I listen to a lot of hard rock and metal and every song sounds fantastic through these; rap, hip hop, electro, house, etc. is no problem. The HD 280s can handle rock almost as well as the Audio-Technicas but the Sennheisers could never handle stuff with a lot of bass like these can.

They fold up and fit into a pretty small carrying pouch that is included, you can't stick them in your pockets but they are definitely portable.

ScaryFatKidGT's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 day ago
Joined: Sep 15 2011 - 1:09am
First thing that comes to

First thing that comes to mind are the Shure SRH840's but while I wouldn't say there easly broken I wouldn't say there extreamly durable either, there mostly plastic. If I was you I would use IEM's but for over ears id look at something made of metal and with replacable earpads and cords like the GASP! Beats by Dre. Pro's or the Pioneer HDJ-2000.

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