Recommend Headphones - Closed Back, Budget, Wired, Detachable Cable, Budget Audiophile (Budget $200)

[EDIT- I ended up repairing my broken Audio Technicas by stripping the broken wire and soldering a fresh connection. They work again! Will still keep up this thread as I may end up getting new ones eventually. Thanks for all your suggestions!]

Hey all

Looking for any recommendations for headphones on a budget - closed back, wired, budget audiophile headphones with detachable cable.

There's quite a lot out there it seems.

Not interested in wireless or noise cancelling (features I'd pay more for but don't personally need)

Use case - gaming (have a separate mic), listening to music out and about (but only streaming spotify from the phone), occasional monitor for home music recording, and occasionally listening to HiRes audio via a Focusrite DAC.

Appreciate that the specialists here would choose a separate pair for each use case. But despite wanting headphones that achieve some minimum level of detail, I'm actually not that fussy.

I have been using a pair of Audio Technica SQ5 for the past decade. Last night the stupid cable to one of the ear pieces finally broke. So looking for something with detachable cables. I was previously quite happy with them. Or, at the very least, not unhappy!

Looking at buying from JB Hifi, Amazon, Headphonic, Store DJ or anywhere else!

Looking forward to and thanks in advance for your suggestions, from the mundane to the exotic.


  • +2

    I've compiled a list of highly recomended budget closed backs that I'm on the lookout for since my environment isnt suited for openbacks. - I've used Crinacle's list as a base reference and read other recommendations off head-fi

    Shure SRH440 - Current price $100 - Sale price $75
    Shure SRH840 - Current Price $332 - Sale price $260
    AKG K371 - Current Price $199 - Sale Price $150
    AKG K361 - Current Price $148 - Sale price $100

    This one just came out and most expensive so obviously depending on your budget also consider
    Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X - Currently $400~

    Edit: Also might be worth considering IEM's if they fit your budget - Highly recomended are Moondrop Aria's for $100~120

    • thanks wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! I'll check these out.

      I've had decent IEMs in the past, but lost them. For some reason I'm not gravitating to getting another set. I'm not sure that I warmed to the intimacy of IEMs and seem to prefer an ungainly cloth, plastic and metal clamp on my head instead. Maybe I will regret this over the summer months.

  • +1

    I haven't tried enough headphones to make a recommendation, but I bought the Shure SRH440 for similar all round use and didn't really like them.

    I though I wanted a neutral sound and didn't care about bass, but I soon realised I was wrong. The SRH440s don't sound bad, but out of my three pairs of headphones I find them the least enjoyable to listen to. Of course, that's a matter of personal preference and the Shures are much more suitable as studio monitors than my other headphones.

    The SRH400s are also quite bulky, and I found them a annoying to uses for commuting. The heaphones fold, but the earcups don't swivel so they still take up a lot of room in a bag.

  • +1

    Broken cable sounds like an easy fix if you want to keep the ATH

    • You're probably right. I'll get out the teeny weeny screwdrivers and open them up tonight see if it's just a wire strip and solder job. Usually not very good at these repairs but mainly because I don't usually try. When I do it sometimes works. Thanks for the reminder of the power of repair!

    • +1

      Rise and Ruin, thanks so much. You saved me $150 or whatever goes for budget these days.

      I opened them up. Desoldered the broken wire, cut and stripped the wire to expose fresh wire, did the worst soldering job in the history of electronics, and ta-da, they are as good as news.

      Fiddly job. I am a hopeless solderer. But I will put off buying a new pair for a little longer!

      Thanks again!

  • +2

    Budget; how 'budget' is your budget? Under $500? $1000?

    • Yes, good question. Honestly, probably under $200. Not because I pooh pooh the quality of higher end headphones, just that with my main uses (gaming and occasional music recording) I don't really think I personally will appreciate the added detail and refinement.

      I mean, if SQ was my highest concern, and seeing as I am using them mainly at home, I should probably go open back no? But I'm happy to compromise and get closed so I can walk around with them every now and then.

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