what headphones to buy? i like beats by dre

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by laxori666, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. laxori666 macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    Hi all. I'm lookin for some sick new headphones.

    A while back I bought the Grado-SR225i headphones. They were quite nice - better than any headphones I got previously - yet I was not blown away the moment I put them on and listened to something. Great sound quality, but they felt a bit underpowered... no WOW factor, though they did bring out new aspects of songs I didn't hear usually.

    Recently I put on my friend's Beats by Dre headphones. WOW!!! They sound amazing. The songs really come to life when I listen to them... I listened to Made of Love on them, a song I had listened to dozens of times on different headphones (and at trance concerts), and they brought out things I had never noticed.

    however I heard that beats by dre are overpriced cause of the brand name, so i sought to buy something in that price range but from a different brand, thinking i'd get a better deal. I bought some Denon AHD2000s, and... well I was left unimpressed. they were OK.. maybe crisper mids than my Grado's, but i had more fun listening to the Grado's... and a lot more fun listening to the Beats.

    So my question is.. are there headphones that sound like the Beats, but better (better to me, based on what i've posted here)? or should i just go and buy some damn Beats already since that's what i seem to like? =) i would kind of like the Bass + wow factor of the beats , plus the better quality of the Denon's.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You don't say how they will be used or where. Are the studio headphones you will use while editing video Are you a musiician or are these just earbuds for use at the gym?

    What equipment will these be plugging into. Do you have a good headphone amp or just an iPod?

    Is the environment quiet or not. Do you care if sound leaks out or in?
  3. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I have read, never heard them for myself, that Beyerdynamic makes headphones with deep bass. They make open and closed versions, so you want to take that into consideration when you pick one out.

    I prefer AKG k701s, but I doubt you would like them.
  4. newuser2310, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    High quality headphones and speakers give you the 'real' picture of what the song really sounds like.

    All that headphones like the beats do is crank up the bass, mid and treble respectively and give you that 'wow' factor you talk about.

    It depends what your after really..

    If you like hearing what the artist intended(or didn't) then buy some more 'professional' headphones, from brands like Sennheiser, Akg or Beyerdynamic

    You can always adjust the equaliser to suit your tastes.

    If you want lots of bass and wow factor buy the beats. Its like those cheap hifi's you can buy with a 'mega bass penis boost' button on them, with speakers out of a transformer film.

    Remember that your actual songs are important, try to get high quality recordings, like wav, flac or mp3's 320kbs and above.

    Another reason why I don't like itunes and their shoddy low quality downloads.
  5. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    As others have mentioned, your usage will determine which headphones are best for you. If you plan to listen in a relatively quiet environment, I'll second the recommendation for the AKG K701s.

    If you'll be using them in a noisier and/or more active environment, though, you'll want something with a closed back (as opposed to the open back of the K701s). The Sony MDR7506 and the Sennheiser HD 380 are pretty good closed-back headphones, and both have a fairly flat response, so they see use in a lot of recording studios.

    If you're looking for something that just has boomy, thumping bass like the Beats, though, none of those options will really appeal to you.
  6. hayesk macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2003
    I still can't imagine preferring the Beats to the Grados, but if you did, then you should get them.
  7. laxori666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    I just like listening to music.. trance, heavy metal, house, some rap, but mostly the former two. I'll be listening to them in my room, which is a pretty quiet environment. it's ok if sound leaks out, i'd prefer it not to leak in.

    i'll probably be plugging it into my Logitech speakers, which plug into my computer, though i can plug it into my computer directly if sound quality would be affected.
  8. laxori666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    hmm listening to them side-by-side, the comparison is harder to make than i thought... definitely not a night&day thing. the beats emphasize different parts of the song, so maybe that's why i thought i preferred them, as i did hear new things with them, but i can see why the bass might be annoying..

    are there any headphones which just blow both out of the water?
  9. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    I got some AKG-240's, still work fine over these years and sound great. No reason for me to get an other one still :D
  10. Dozerrox macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2009
    Beats sound good, but far too overpriced imo.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I asked above what was the use of these. As most in this forum are creating content of some kind but then when I hear names like beats and grado I figure it must be a consumer type use and then in that case just get whatever sounds good to you

    But if you are mixing sound you sure as anything do not want headphones that emphasize anything or then you'd reduce that in your mix. Engineers need "flat" sound

    Spend $100 on a par of studio headphones. The AGK K240 are pretty much an industry "standard" and have been for decades. For once something like this is not a ton of money. The K240 don't emphasize anything and play the music the way it was recorded. After a while you get used to acuate sound and will prefer it that way

    Even if you do buy something else everyone should have a pair of these as a reference
  12. laxori666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    How do they compare to the grados? and the AKG K701s? i heard grados were very flat and accurate
  13. a1rflow macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Beats sound horrible unless you absolutely love huge bass blowing your ear to pieces.

    Grab a pair of studio headphones as people have posted above. I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50s. Cheaper than the Beats, and sound way better too. May not "look" the greatest but your ear will thank you.
  14. citywalk macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Beats By Dre. NO

    Plastic overpriced headphones. If your spending that money go Bose for a label and Sennheiser if not
  15. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    K701s are also quite flat, with probably less bass than you're hoping for (and WAY less than the Beats), but quite a bit of detail. To give you an idea of their design philosophy, the K702s are intended as high-end studio monitor headphones, and the only difference between those and the K701s are the colour and the addition of a detachable cord.
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I have a set of the Audio Technica ATH-M50s as well, and I love them.
  17. Plumbstone macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    Ultimate ear... say no more, especially if you listen to trance....
  18. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2009
    lol I came to this thread to recommend some 701's from the fact I own an old pair of 301's that are still amazing (but have been meaning to get myself a pair of 701's for a while)
  19. FroColin macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    Another thing to keep in mind is that headphones need to be... broken in... kind of. You need to have them play a bunch before you really know what they will sound like. So when you get a pair, play them a bunch before you decide you don't like them.
  20. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2009
    yeh, infact some people play music through their headphones for about 100 hours before even putting them on
  21. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Get the audio technica ATH-M50, it will produce something similar to the beats by dre, but do it drastically better at a much cheaper price. The bass might not be as boomy (unless you want to eq it to do so, that said they still pack a decent punch without eq) but the bass extends much deeper, has more texture to it and is more full, while I could liken the beats to have a hollow bass sound. The highs of the M50s are very bright and detailed, while the mids tend to be recessed a bit, but get much more sharper with an amp (the upper bass tends to be the same with with an amp too)

    If you get the M50s, don't judge them until you put in 50 or so hours of burn in. I know burn in sometimes tends to be thought of as a placebo thing only audiophiles tote around, but in the M50's case, their sound is night and day after burn in.

    The beats by dre are cheap and plasticy, with seemingly low speed drivers that muddy sound up whenever there's a complex song playing. The bass can boom, but it is hollow and doesn't extend deep at all.

    Both grados and the beats by dre tend to have very small soundstages too, which is usually a bad thing, but sometimes the "in your face" feel of headphones with small soundstages does make for that exciting emotion you might be feeling. (Grados are very in your face with rich mids for guitars-- I do not like it)

    I have no personal experience with Dennons so I can't comment on them.

    This might be a good read up for you (head-fi in general could be a good read-up for you, but they're quick to trash on brands like beats by dre and anything related to skullcandy, so they can be very snobby at times)

  22. Pili macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2005
    Orlando/Miami, FL
    Nobody in the thread has really mentioned the source input. In my experience, the pass through from most computer speakers only degrades the quality and I doubt they do much in the way of amplifying. I'd look at getting a basic headphone amp/dac before throwing money towards new headphones. I bet, especially with the Denon's, that they weren't being powered adequately, which would definitely lead one to having a negative opinion.

    If you are still unhappy with what you have after cleaning up the source, I'd shy away from the open ear cans, they wont give you that punch your looking for in my opinion (especially if you liked the beats).
  23. TMRaven, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Also could be because the Denons are moreso meant for monitoring applications, so have a pretty flat sound response (a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes in audio)

    A lot of people like flat response because it truly represents what the artist intended in their music, but a lot don't like it because it isn't colored in a way that makes it more exciting you could say. The Grados do a good job and making your music exciting with in your face mids. The beats by dre do the same thing with excessive boom boom bass.

    Between my AD700 and M50, I find the AD700 to be considerably more enjoyable for a lot of genres, because it's a very 'hi-fi' sparkly type of headphone with nice highs. The M50 tends to be more flat, but of course the bass is really nice (whereas AD700 has little, but of what bass it does have is very precise and tight)

    If you really like the boominess of the beats by dre, I think the extra bass series of headphones sony makes might do you good too (particularly xb700)

    It could be that you're feeding it through a bad source too though, the D2000s should be in another league compared to the Beats by Dre. Beats by Dre are not that good at all.
  24. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2008
    I really love my Bowers & Wilkins P5's. While there are probably better headphones out there for the price (I personally have not heard them) when you compare the fit and finish, design, materials, and most importantly the sound of these babies, they are pure class and incredible.

    They have a darker tone to them, but very natural.


    (authors note: They are very durable to, they survived being flown from my passenger seat into my dashboard after being hit by a semi going 60 mph!)
  25. masterofbuckets macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    +1 for the M50.

    Its got the wow factor imo and doesn't cost a bank.

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