Looking for the most comfortable over-ear headphones under $600

Getting close. I’m going to be trading up my over-ear headphones, currently Massdrop Senn 58x. I’m still looking for detailed sound in a super comfortable package, under $600.

Lots of discussion about the over $1000 market. What is good down closer to $500?

J

1 Like

Comfort is a very personal thing!

Having said that, I found the Sundara to be very comfortable (and light) for the two weeks I have had them.

Lots of people love Beyerdynamic pads and praise them as being very comfortable, I do find the DT1990 comfortable but, to be honest, the pads make me itch!

1 Like

For me, weight has a lot to do with comfort. STAX electrostatics are generally quite light. I’ve liked the comfort of my old STAX, and when I have tried them, the Lambda series. If you have a place where you can try them, I suggest you do. Note that they require a special amplifier, so you’ll probably end up spending every penny of the $600 with any current set, although you can often find some bargains in recent models on-line.


My next good headphone will be a new STAX model. But you really must try before you buy, as electrostatics are a polarizing category.

3 Likes

Used Focal Elex, or Elegia…but both of those will push your budget.

Ummm…hmmm, what preference do you have? Also style these staying inside not in public? Closed or open back preference?

TH-x00 is a great option especially with ZMF velour pads! But are more in the “fun” category.

If you like the Senn sound HD660s.

1 Like

That’s tough, Sennheiser’s products are above average in comfort for me. As @DarthPool indicated, others within the family such as the HD-660 should be a direct quality improvement with identical comfort (also the HD-600).

The BeyerDynamic Amiron aims for the details x comfort market, but I have no personal experience.

For comfort, I rank my own as follows:

Very comfortable

  • AQ NightHawk Carbon – NOT detailed and sometimes plain weird
  • Sony WH1000XM2 – noise cancelling but NOT detailed

Average to above average

  • Sennheiser HD-600
  • Focal Elex
  • MrSpeakers AEON Flow Closed

Below average

  • HiFiMan HE-560 from the factory (thin pads; large round cups = some jaw pain). Improves to average comfort with replacement pads.

Poor comfort

  • Grado SR-80e – scratchy foam rests on ears; sold them
  • Audeze LCD-2C – huge foam pads squeeze and literally pop my jaw
2 Likes

I like light weight and little to no clamping force. I find the Bose QC35 to be very comfortable when I tried them at Best Buy. Lightweight and no clamping. Durability and sound are other issues, but I’m just talking comfort. I don’t care what they look like (though I am certainly not going the pink Beats route, ugh!… so many things wrong with that choice!)

I’ve been reading about the Beyer 770’s and 990’s. They look ginormous but the reviews are pretty solid. I’m kind of tired of the Sennheiser “veil”. I have three Sennheiser’s from the 58X to the PX100. I’m looking for a new “wow” experience.

J

2 Likes

Open or Closed?

I’m a fan of the Shure 1540.

AKG headphones are extremely light and comfortable for me. Not a fan of their sound though.

1 Like

The beyerdynamics could be a good alternative, they sound good, a little on the high emphasis…but could be what you are looking for as they are generally pretty comfortable.

But if you can find a pair of Focal Elex I think you would be exponentially happier…but unsure as I don’t know your preference to sound signature. But they are ridiculously comfortable. The only other more comfortable Headphones would be the HD700 or HD800(if you get lucky on a used pair). HD700 are very enjoyable to me but they are not for everyone.

1 Like

How about the Elear? Just saw that they’re on sale on this forums site at $479, if it’s still current. Haven’t really looked into the Elear/Elex differences.

The Elex are very comfortable, but I think the same about the LCD-2C albeit a totally different type of comfort.

1 Like

My personal recommendation would be the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed. FANTASTIC pads and the clamp is strong without feeling overly tight. I can wear those practically all day at work.

They’ll easily fit your budget if you look for a pair used.

2 Likes

I haven’t tried any Mr Speakers gear, but I do like the aesthetic look of the Aeons.

I always found the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 to be very, very comfortable; maybe look at something higher up in that line? Not sure if the sound will be up to your standards, but I liked that model well enough.

The good news is that there’s function to the form as well. The Nitinol headband is very lightweight and that teardrop shape just hugs the contours of your jaw in a way that keeps the headphones from shifting around.

Sonically, they lean more towards analytical and I understand why some owners think of it as a closed-back HD600, but with a little planar flavor. Feed it a good source/signal chain and it’ll keep your ears super-happy.

If it helps, you can find my writeup/impressions on the first listening session with them here. After a couple weeks of use at work, I started to appreciate them more on bass-heavy stuff. It’s still definitively planar bass, but putting in the tuning pads does help a bit with taming down the treble and allowing the bass to loosen up.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply. I must say that I err on the analytical side of the spectrum myself. I would like to try these one day. Thanks.

1 Like

Closed. Wanting the sound isolation. Of course that makes it harder to get detail sound in some set ups. Open back seems to be more natural.

Do the Aeon Flow require amping? I coming off an iPhone most of the time, or a MacBook. I might be able to squeeze a little and get them but it would leave out Dac/amps and digital players.

Yes they do. They’re very current-hungry and without a suitable amp they sound muddy and unresolving.

See here for more details.

3 Likes

Is the 58X’s clamp too strong for you? I find them quite comfortable, but I did need to bend out the metal parts of the headband a bit to lessen the clamp. Same deal with the 650.

1 Like