Advice on Headphones in The $150 to $200 Range

I am interested in over the ear, either closed back or open but I think I would prefer open due to already owning closed back headphones (below). They must be either wireless or have a removable 3.5mm cable/female 3.5mm socket on the headphones so I can make them wireless. I would ultimately like wireless and an upgrade in sound from my current headphones.

I already own a Hyper x cloud 2 headset which has good sound for gaming but I would like something a bit better for music.

Additionally, if there are headphones that are much better but are more expensive than the above budget, I could be convinced to spend more so please mention them. I think my limit would have to be around $250 though as it's not something I need, just want :)


  • I own the fidelio x2, sennheiser hd598 and ath m50x as well as the hyper clouds you have.

    If you want something different you should go with open back headphones. the problem is you will probably get lazy like me and just use one headphone for all entertainment purposes while the others collect dust. I am a casual user and got suckered into the entry level headphone market thinking there would be an enormous difference. at your price range i think the hyper x's present good value and that you would be let down by most upgrades under 200, maybe even up to 300. i advise you to avoid buying or at least try before you buy. if you are still adamant on buying here are some of my opinions

    the ath m50x have similar properties to the hyper clouds in that they are bass/treble dominant and suit electronic music, gaming and action movies. they have the tendency to clamp on my head over longer periods however

    the hd 598 are open and airy and sound better with classical or acoustic/live acoustic songs and are pretty good at recognising sound positioning in some games if thats important to you. these are probably the most comfy of the three as they are lightweight and very soft

    the fidelios are what i use now as they are the best of both worlds with decent bass and openess. imo they sound clearer/brighter than the hd 598s as the treble is more accentuated on these. a bit like the m50x but with open back. these are big headphones though and you will look stupid wearing them. they are still super comfy

    the question of wireless isn't something i can answer with confidence. however you may need to take note of sennheisers proprietary lock in cables that may make it harder for you to attach a wireless adapter. i think the ath m50x also requires a screw in cable to function.

    if you are in SE melbourne i am happy to let you try

    • Unfortunately I am on the Gold Coast, QLD but I appreciate the offer. I also appreciate the detailed answer you gave and your recommendations. I did narrow down a pair I wanted about 6months ago but I couldn't find them for sale in Aus at a decent price, they were the Philips SHP9500 and I subsequently gave up after not finding them for a while. I've noticed quite a few headphones have a proprietary port/plug if they have removable cables, or at least something different like mini xlr so they really don't make it easy for us lol. This is mostly why I would prefer just a pair of wireless cans that can also be wired for better performance. I saw a review recently on the hyper x cloud mix which look almost perfect for style and function but they aren't selling in Australia yet.

      I like to game quite a bit so I feel like I'm leading towards the hd 598 as comfort is quite important to me as well as sound positioning. In saying that though, I probably listen to dance music the most these days, I've been listening to a lot of dubstep lately lol. So maybe the ath m50x? But I have the hyper x for that, like you said it's better for electronic music so I don't want to get a new pair that sound the same as my cloud 2's.

      Either way it's nice to have some good cans to narrow down my choices so thank you for your input. If anything is stand out better for say, $300 or less, I could be convinced on that too but that would be my limit I think, Im not an audiophile or anything as such, but I enjoy good audio so I think $300 should be more than enough.

      Have a Merry Christmas :)

  • If you can save a bit more then closed back:
    If you want open back that falls into your absolute max:
    If you want open back and want to save a bit more then this is an option: (400I vs 6XX is very much a personal preference. 400I you can do with 3.5mm on both sides but 6XX is proprietary connection)

    There is a big jump in audio quality from sub $200 to sub $350. If your ears notice it is a different question. If you care enough is a different question. Listening to same songs on 'better' headphones where you hear a lot more in every single song can be like going from 2 minute noodles to a good noodle house; you will either care or not. If you care then that $350 mark is a good level for audio quality and headphones. BUT your wallet will notice it :) If you don't care then just enjoy what you enjoy at cheaper price, your wallet will be happier!