Headphones - looking for suggestions

Josh Steinberg

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Hi All,

It looks like I might be in the market for some headphones, specifically to use with my receiver when watching content on my home theater. It turns out that waking up your wife from rewatching movies at 2am that depict NASA launches is perhaps a less than ideal thing to do :D

So I'm on the lookout for headphones, only, I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for.

I think I'd like something that was wired as opposed to wireless, and with a cord that runs a good long length (maybe 20 feet or so?) so that I'm able to move around the room or sit in different spots while I use the headphones. Or, if there's such a thing as a cord extender, I'd be happy to use that too. I just don't want to go wireless for this particular use.

I'm not sure that it would make a difference, but I wear prescription glasses full time, and I also expect to watch 3D content while wearing headphones - so they should be headphones that can be worn comfortably with glasses. I've never had an issue with this in the past, but figured it was better to mention it than not.

I might move my head around a bit during a movie, or may sit in a position that's not exactly head on, or with my head leaning angled against a pillow later at night - so looking for headphones that aren't overwhelmingly heavy or that require you to have your head perfectly straight in order to wear comfortably.

Basically, I want something that has good quality sound, if possible staying around or under $100, that's more comfortable than earbuds. I have a pair of RF wireless headphones that I use occasionally in the bedroom, but the wireless gear adds some weight to the headphones that make them not perfectly balanced or comfortable for long periods, and the sound quality leaves a little to be desired. Hoping to improve on that.

I'm not sure if this is a crazy tall order or rather simple but hopefully this might make sense to someone reading. If memory serves, I think @Adam Lenhardt and @Mike Frezon have previously discussed headphones but I can't find the discussion thread where that happened - I'd be very interested in hearing from you gentlemen if you have any headphones thoughts!
 

Wayne_j

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JohnRice

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I haven't used headphones for decades, but I suspect you want full closed ear ones for sound isolation, rather than the semi open-ear ones that are pretty common.
 

Wayne_j

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My suggestion was open back but that didn't detour me because it didn't sound like the somewhat small amount of sound that comes into the room would be an issue.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I had Sennheiser HD280PRO headphones for a number of years, and quite liked them. They had a very neutral curve to them, with neither the treble nor the base overly emphasized.

Currently, I use beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones, with 80 Ohm resistance. They're more aggressive on the high and low ends of the range, meaning the vocals and midranges don't stand out as much, but I think the audio quality is better. It did take some time before I had them broken in, so that the audio quality really shined.

Both pairs of headphones have been worn with glasses.

The HD280PRO is right around $100 on Amazon. The DT 770 PRO is a bit more at $130-140. I think the build quality of the DT 770 PRO is better, though.
 

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Wayne_j

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Although my take from Josh's first post is that his spouse is sleeping in a different room but she wakes up from loud action scenes that shake the house.
 

JohnRice

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I was under the impression this was watching movies in the bedroom, but I think I misunderstood.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Although my take from Josh's first post is that his spouse is sleeping in a different room but she wakes up from loud action scenes that shake the house.
I was under the impression this was watching movies in the bedroom, but I think I misunderstood.
My fault for the confusion.

Wayne’s correct - these are for me to use in the living room while my wife is in the bedroom.

Will write more later but wanted to send a quick thanks for all the suggestions posted so far.
 

Sam Posten

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My sugestions stand. You can add open back Beyeerdynammic 990s or Senns if you like to them =) I have both kinds, the opens are a little more comfortable, the closed are a little more enveloping.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I think I'd like something that was wired as opposed to wireless, and with a cord that runs a good long length (maybe 20 feet or so?) so that I'm able to move around the room or sit in different spots while I use the headphones. Or, if there's such a thing as a cord extender, I'd be happy to use that too. I just don't want to go wireless for this particular use.
Yes, you can purchase cord extenders quite inexpensively, so do not let cord length dissuade you from picking a set of headphones that you like.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Thank you everyone for the suggestions so far - looks like I have a bit of homework to do!

My personal favorite for watching on my home theater is the sennheiser HD600
This is a bit outside my price range, but I still appreciate the suggestion. I could be wrong about this in the end, but my guess is that I'd use these perhaps once or twice a month, maybe once a week at the most. It doesn't seem worth it to me at this point in time to spend $300 given the infrequent usage that I'm anticipating. Of course, I could end up loving the headphones and end up using them more than I expect, but since I tend to care more about video than audio, I'm hoping that some of the other (cheaper) suggestions will be "good enough".

The HD280PRO is right around $100 on Amazon. The DT 770 PRO is a bit more at $130-140. I think the build quality of the DT 770 PRO is better, though.
I'm going to look into both of these - the better build quality is a worthwhile selling point and $140 is still close enough to budget that I'd give it a serious look. I honestly have no idea if I want something more neutral like the Sennheiser or something more aggressive like the Beyer. Though it looks like the DT 770 PRO just jumped from $135 last night to $170, so maybe that just made that decision a little easier.

Interesting that you and Adam recommend the same Beyer model but differ slightly on the Sennheiser. Adam's recommendation is for one priced at $100 and yours is for one at $150. I can't for the life of me figure out what the extra $50 gets me other than a detachable cord and a different kind of foam.

Yes, you can purchase cord extenders quite inexpensively, so do not let cord length dissuade you from picking a set of headphones that you like.
Great to know, thank you!


I think the truth is that any headphones out of these suggestions I order will:
a) be better than watching an action movie with the volume so low that it's hard to understand or enjoy
b) be better than my crappy RF wireless headphones which need perfect line of sight and perfect positioning to avoid static/crackle

So maybe I should just go with the cheapest recommendation. I had been leaning towards the Beyer DT 770 PRO at $135 but $170 is more than I'd like to spend, so maybe Adam's Sennheisers, or put this on the back burner for now?
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Or, if there's such a thing as a cord extender, I'd be happy to use that too. I just don't want to go wireless for this particular use.
Probably a decade so ago, I picked up a 25-foot extension/adapter cord at RadioShack. The one end has a 1/4" plug that goes right into my A/V receiver. The other end accepts the 3.5mm plug from the headphones.

I've run it underneath the area rug in my living room so that I can leave it plugged in without anybody tripping over it. Even losing 6 feet or so to the rug, I can get to everywhere in my main living space without taking the headphones off using the extra cord.

Very similar to this one, just a bit longer: https://www.radioshack.com/products/headphone-extension-cord

So maybe I should just go with the cheapest recommendation. I had been leaning towards the Beyer DT 770 PRO at $135 but $170 is more than I'd like to spend, so maybe Adam's Sennheisers, or put this on the back burner for now?
As of this post, currently $135 again for Prime Day: https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-770-PRO-Studio-Headphone/dp/B0016MNAAI/
 

Josh Steinberg

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Very tempted.

I had started this thread as a fact finding mission and here I am about ready to pull the trigger. Between that and the stuff I just ordered to dip my toe into the HTPC waters, this is turning out to be an expensive week...and it’s only Monday!
 

Josh Steinberg

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My only real hesitation point is that I’m worried it’ll be uncomfortable wearing these with active 3D glasses on top of my regular glasses. But I guess that’s what return policies are for.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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My only real hesitation point is that I’m worried it’ll be uncomfortable wearing these with active 3D glasses on top of my regular glasses. But I guess that’s what return policies are for.
You'll probably by uncomfortable wearing headphones on top of one set of glasses on top of another set of glasses no matter which cans you go with. But the padding around the ears on the DT 770s is very soft and nonabrasive.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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That’s a good point. And it probably can’t be worse than it was when I tried it with my not great wireless headphones.

Trigger pulled, looking forward to it.

Thanks for the help! :)
 

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