Suggestions on headphones?

Hey guys, I’m new here but have been secretly lurking these forums for a while now. I do have a question of my own though, so I decided it was time for me to register… Anyways, I’m looking for some advice on a new pair of headphones… I have my eyes on the Shure SRH1440’s I found here but i’ve seen mixed reviews online and I’m beginning to doubt this decision and for now I’ve held off on buying them. That site rates the Sennheiser HD 600’s ahead of the Shure’s… would that be the better way to go?

My old headphones of 4 years finally took a fall the other day and one earpiece is not working…so I need to make my decision within the next few days. Any help would be appreciated… as this will be a big investment for me and I want to make sure I get the best I can - I would also love to make them last as long as my others, if not longer.

Thanks in advanced :slight_smile:

My old headphones of 4 years

Which are?
If you’ve been lurking you know we live on specifics, makers and model numbers.

What do you use them for?


Have a look (and a listen, if possible) at the Superlux range. These are Chinese clones of well-known studio headphones and they are very affordable…

I’ve been using the Sennheiser 280 PROs and they’ve been pretty good to me. I use them for just about everything.
I’ve read about the Superlux but as a sort of knock-off brand, can they actually compete with the big names?

Sennheiser 280 PRO

They seem like excellent headphones. Get those.


They can compete.

Sound is as good as the original, finish is good, but not as good as a 150 $ Beyer DT770 Pro fi. The Beyer will last 20 years, the 40 $ Superlux only ten. But that’s mostly the cable. You can get spare parts for the Beyer, but not as easily for the Superlux.

I’ve got a friend who is doing broadcast news sound in the field. He looses his headphones sometimes because they get sogged in the rain, doused in ketchup, or other mishaps. He wouldn’t even listen to the Superlux, so he kept spending his money on Beyers. One day, I slipped a Superlux in his kit. It took him several days before he noticed. And he noticed because the cable was more flexible. He never bought another Beyer again. He looses Superluxes these days…

Superlux used to make Sound Devices clones (only portable mixers and headphone amps, nothing digital). Sound Devices is really good gear, but pricey as hell. They were as good as the original, only less than 20% of the price. Under pressure from the original manufacturer, they stopped making those. Now they make their own gear which no longer looks like something else. Because of the history of the brand, some American shops still do not carry the brand.

I have Sennheiser HD380’s. These are fine too, but I think they are a bit too expensive at 199 €, as the 30 € Senn HD201 is almost as good.

Anyhow, headphones are even more personal than speakers. You will be wearing them. Try to listen in a shop that still offers that kind of service. And if you are a kind person, you might even buy them in a shop that offers that kind of service. Can’t listen to them on Amazon! It may not tell you a lot about how they sound (as the gear and material driving them might be awful), but you can at least feel how they fit your head.

An important question is also: closed or open?

If it’s for voice-over or other “pro” applications, you probably want closed.

If it’s for listening to music in a quiet environment, you 'll want open or half open headphones.

My Senn HD380’s sound good, but the covers on the earpieces murmur a little, unless you keep your head fairly motionless. So I have a number of HD201’s that get far more use. They are quiet, cheap to replace and sound good too.

I also have a pair of vintage AT condenser (electrostatic) headphones. These are 40 years old and require at least 50 Watts per channel to drive them. When it comes to detail, they still outclass the Sennheisers. But with only 2m cord, a heavy transformer case and a stereo amp next to them, they aren’t very practical. A headphone needs to be practical, light and comfortable to wear. And these are not. The earpieces ride on top of my ears, for instance. The headband is too loose. I would never buy these again. And certainly not for the crazy price from 40 years ago. But when it comes to finding sore spots in recordings, they are my personal weapon of choice.

There are lots of other good headphones, from Beyer, Shure, Audio-Technica, AKG…

I’ve been using the Sennheiser 280 PROs and they’ve been pretty good to me. I use them for just about everything.

So you’ve already done the research. You’re not starting from dead zero.

I put a number of different headphones in a bag and headed over to a friend’s house who I knew had a set of Sony MDR-2506 headphones. I cycled through different models and more or less confirmed what I already knew. The 7506s were clear but harsh, the two Koss’s, the Pro4 and Pro3 were perfect in every way except they weighted as much as a Buick. The 414s had weak bass, I had two different Sony versions and they had the Beats problem. Noticeable bass boost, one of them pseudo bass, even worse. Beats gave up the idea of “clear sound with no coloration” in favor of the fastest way to make your ears bleed.

When you read about headphones, ignore the positive comments. Their headphones will not cure cancer. Pay attention to the negative comments particularly if several say the same thing.

“The headphone cable failed after a few uses…”

If you buy the headphones you already know, you can forget about them. If you buy a knock-off you have to be constantly aware that there were shortcuts taken and you’re never sure exactly where.

Another trick: Google “Sennheiser 280 PRO.” See what people have to say about them. Compare the reviews.