Looking for comfy headphones

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#1 Posted by Jovafy (19 posts) -

I've been thinking about getting new headphones. My current ones are fine in terms of quality but usually my ears get sore after I have been wearing them for 30 minutes or more. Does anyone have any recommendations on what I should get?

I'm not exactly an audiophile so the sound quality doesn't have to be stellar. But of course I'd like them to sound good. I would be mostly using them when playing with people but also sometimes when I'm playing by myself, watching something, listening to music and so on. The most important thing about the headphones is that they should be comfortable to wear. The other thing is I wouldn't want to break the bank but instead I'm looking for something affordable. Let's say somewhere in the 30-60€ price range.

My current headphones are the Asus Cerberus. And like I said, I find the audio quality to be perfectly fine, but if I don't arrange the cups juuuuuuuuust right my ears get sore after 30 minutes. I've been looking at Superlux 668 and other Superlux earphones but I've seen reviews saying both good and bad things. Does anyone have any experience with any of the Superlux earphones?

So, what do you guys recommend? Are there any cheap-ish, decent, comfortable headphones out there? Or do I just have freaky ears and am doomed to live with sore ears? Thanks!

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#2 Posted by OpusOfTheMagnum (185 posts) -

I was always pretty happy with the comfort level on Planotronic headphones. Tons of padding and fairly large cups so they aren't obnoxious on your ears. Plus the new ones seem to use better top bands to keep the pressure down. Before I got into Audiophile stuff Planotronics was one of the few manufacturers that were comfortable for very long periods for me.

Don't know anything about their current lineup but it looks like a similar style of well padded, spacious cans.

http://www.plantronics.com/us/category/gaming/#pc

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#3 Posted by Jovafy (19 posts) -

@opusofthemagnum: Cool, thanks! I'll check those out.

Also, I guess I should clarify that I'm not necessarily looking for a complete headset. I have a separate mic that I like to use, so it's not necessary for the headphones to have a built-in mic.

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#4 Posted by xanadu (1169 posts) -

If you can find a pair of Sony MDR 7506 for less than 100 id highly recommend those.

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#5 Posted by Eroq (27 posts) -

I've been using the Hyper X Cloud for about 4 years now, and I don't think I will ever use another headset. Hands down the most comfortable headset I've ever owned.

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#6 Posted by Savage (616 posts) -
@xanadu said:

If you can find a pair of Sony MDR 7506 for less than 100 id highly recommend those.

Amazon has them for $90 right now.

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#7 Posted by BallsLeon (378 posts) -

@eroq: Ditto, the metal construction gives them enough support so it's sitting off of your head and thus less fatiguing

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#8 Posted by Captain_Insano (2702 posts) -

@eroq said:

I've been using the Hyper X Cloud for about 4 years now, and I don't think I will ever use another headset. Hands down the most comfortable headset I've ever owned.

I have a Hyper X Cloud Revolver and feel pretty much the same (Except that I lost the control cable because I'm an idiot), I had a pair of Turtlebeach PX21s before this which were serviceable but didn't sit comfortably. The metal frame on the Hyper X makes them sit fantastically, and I hate headphones usually. The only issue is if you bump the metal frame, then it kind of reverberates down the whole thing a little, but in the grand scheme of things it's not really a concern.

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#9 Posted by Sinusoidal (3325 posts) -

I could wear my Sennheiser HD 598s forever. They don't even touch my ears.

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#10 Posted by WillyOD (94 posts) -

Sony has cheap (50-90€), quality ones out there, most of them are pretty good even for prolonged use.

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#11 Edited by dgtlty (589 posts) -

If you're looking for comfort, try headphones with foam earpads that go over your ears rather than on.

Sennheiser HD 598 for instance.

Online
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#12 Edited by betterley (201 posts) -

@jovafy:

https://www.amazon.com/HyperX-Cloud-Gaming-Headset-PS4/dp/B00SAYCVTQ

I just go those^ a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. The price point compared to the performance makes them an excellent buy.

I have glasses, so my ears often get really sore when wearing a headset also. But I haven't had an issue with this set at all.

It also comes with a cloth ear pad you can use instead of the leather one, if you wish.

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#13 Edited by ripelivejam (10898 posts) -

@dgtlty: @sinusoidal: theyre beauties. im trying to find an upgrade from them but it's hard, especiallt since i got my pair for lie $70 and the supposed next step up is the 650s at like $380. granted theyve served me well over like three years so i think im ok eventually paying more for diminished returns.

on the flipside vmoda m100s make my ears sore like no tomorrow. avoid them unless you get xl pads and have smallish ears. too bad because for a bass oriented headphone they sound pretty nice and fun. (e: also way over your budget. keep forgetting whenever people want headphone recs theyre never willing to spend more than like $50)

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#14 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (1864 posts) -

I got my Sennheiser HD 598s on a crazy good deal for $75 or so, but they're more now. I like the velour pads over pleather or leatherette or whatever its called. Great sound quality and so comfortable I can wear them for long sessions. The Kingston HyperX Cloud II's are really good too for about $90. I feel like they don't look ridiculous if you want to detach the mic and just use them walking around listening to music or whatever.

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#15 Posted by hmoney001 (1010 posts) -
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#16 Edited by MillaJ (229 posts) -

The JVC HA-RX700 may be an option for you. Huge yet cushy and lightweight. They also seem to be generally well thought of by audiophiles and only cost about $30-$40.

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#17 Posted by Jovafy (19 posts) -

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

It sounds like a pair of Sennheisers might be my best bet. Although I'm not counting out those Sony or JVC -headphones either. And I gotta say the HyperX looks pretty good too.

Time to dive deeper into reviews and figure out what to get.

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#18 Posted by Zella (1252 posts) -

Another vote for the HyperX Cloud from me. Picked them up maybe a year and a half ago and they have been great. Sound quality is good for both games and listening to music or movies. They feel fantastic and I have worn them for hours at a time without any real discomfort (I sometimes rest one headphone on an ear so I'm not totally isolated from my surroundings and that can be a little painful after extended use). The cord is also incredibly long, and even more so with the extender so I can plug them into my speakers and then just walk around my entire room without them pulling. Removable mic is a plus too.

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#19 Posted by Fitzgerald (589 posts) -

95% of the time, I'm not using them on my PC, but I really like my Sony MDR XB950BT.

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#20 Posted by UpperDecker (424 posts) -

Corsair Void is the best headset i've ever worn. It doesn't feel like you are wearing a headset. and you can wear them for hours if needed. very comfy.

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#21 Posted by tbk (268 posts) -

I picked up Sennheiser Game One/Zero a couple of months ago; They feel nice. The American amazon does seem to have them in stock

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#22 Posted by Bollard (7557 posts) -

I could wear my Sennheiser HD 598s forever. They don't even touch my ears.

Got a pair of these for Christmas and they're ace. Not cheap though.

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#23 Posted by Watershreder (27 posts) -

i'll put in another vote for the HyperX cloud headset, incredibly comfortable.

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#24 Edited by Batavist (59 posts) -

Yeah, I'll put up another one for the HyperX Cloud. The cables on mine became faulty, so I bought dt 770 pro's and they aren't nearly as comfortable. I've begun modding the HyperX to have a detachable cable, just have to solder them but a little nervous about it with the small contacts (for the mic especially).

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#25 Posted by Puchiko (403 posts) -

I have the Sony MDR-7506 and Sennheiser 598. I use the Sony's at work and the Sennheisers at home and there is big difference. The MDR-7506 are "on-the-ear" and the 598s are "over-the-ear" which can affect comfort if you plan to use them for a long time. The MDR-7506 I use about 7 hours a day and for me they feel like they are pinching my ears at times. The 598s as others have said, barely touch my ears. They completely envelope them and are super comfortable. The downside is the velvet they used for the padding is not good for small heads like mine as they have a tendency to slip off if move my head too much.

I use to own Bose Quiet Comforts and they were super comfortable like the 598s but had leather padding so they stayed in place better. The downside was the flimsy headband. I went through 3 pairs because the headband would break after about a year or so of use. Also they cost nearly $200 each time and Bose would not repair them.

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#26 Posted by CouldbeRolf (244 posts) -

If you can afford the Sennheiser 598 they are amazing. Light, comfortable and good sound quality. If you're looking for something a bit cheaper the HyperX Cloud II headset is pretty comfortable as well.

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#27 Posted by Ir0n (131 posts) -

You should take a look at this post

In short: Dedicated gaming headsets tend to be overpriced in comparison to regular audio headphones.

Ones I could recommend: If you look for a gaming headset the Sennheiser PC 360 (or the successor Game One) are fairly good for the price.

If you are willing to go headphones instead the AKG K701 are superb if (and if only) you want to use them for competitive multiplayer fps (they are exceptional when it comes to directional accuracy (hearing the position of your opponents) but in order to shine in that department they are very neutral - nothing you would want to use in single player gaming sessions.

Probably best all around headphones I used to date are the Philips Fidelio X2 and AKG K712 - later ones require dedicated headphone amp whereas the Fidelio work fine even without.

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#28 Posted by EthanielRain (1331 posts) -
@dgtlty said:

If you're looking for comfort, try headphones with foam earpads that go over your ears rather than on.

Sennheiser HD 598 for instance.

This is what I've found to be true (over the ear = comfort, at the cost of looks ^_^).

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#29 Posted by Jovafy (19 posts) -

@ir0n: That post is great! Big thanks. I'm currently thinking about grabbing something from the Audio-Technica M-series, but we'll see.

Also, thanks to everyone else. Unfortunately a lot of the headphones mentioned here are either out of my price range or not available where I live. I might just suck it up and end up spending a little more than I initially thought to make sure I don't buy something that I'll immediately regret.

Oh, and since a few people have mentioned getting over the ear headphones, I think I should clarify that those are exactly the kind I have had in mind since the get go. And my current headphones also go over the ear. My ears are fully inside the cups while I wear them and I still get sore ears. That's why I'm so wary if I see anything negative mentioned about the headphones's comfort. Maybe my current headphones are just bad or I could have freaky ears.

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#30 Posted by kiwikuku (28 posts) -

@jovafy: I have Superlux HD681 and HD669. Cheap, good headphones but they don't have a lot bass if that's your thing. I find them comfortable, but hey, we have different heads. I read some opinions about discomfort after wearing them for a long time - i don't have this problem. Plus they are not that loud, i think you need amplifier to get full power.

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#31 Edited by Yesiamaduck (2150 posts) -
@jovafy said:

@ir0n: That post is great! Big thanks. I'm currently thinking about grabbing something from the Audio-Technica M-series, but we'll see.

Also, thanks to everyone else. Unfortunately, a lot of the headphones mentioned here are either out of my price range or not available where I live. I might just suck it up and end up spending a little more than I initially thought to make sure I don't buy something that I'll immediately regret.

Oh, and since a few people have mentioned getting over the ear headphones, I think I should clarify that those are exactly the kind I have had in mind since the get go. And my current headphones also go over the ear. My ears are fully inside the cups while I wear them and I still get sore ears. That's why I'm so wary if I see anything negative mentioned about the headphones' comfort. Maybe my current headphones are just bad or I could have freaky ears.

Be careful if you do buy more premium headphones, though, they can require better amplification than your standard DAC provides from a PC/TV Headphone socket in order to be driven properly. Just a warning because I bought AKG K702's for this purpose (amazing for video games btw, open back design provides an incredible soundstage and they have comfy earcups with plenty of space) but was initially disappointed with the sound quality because whilst they worked, everything sounded claustrophobic and the high end was brittle and harsh. This was because the DAC in my PC was substandard and wasn't nearly powerful enough to operate the headphones properly (and the DAC was cheap so reproduced nasty sound which was presented loud and clear with headphones as transparent as they were) but, fortunately, there are plenty of inexpensive Headphone amps on the market which will be fit for purpose.

Definitely try to avoid gaming headsets unless you want a microphone, you're often paying a premium for a decorated standard model with gimmicky features like surround sound which is pointless in headphones. A good pair of headphones will have a vast sound stage which will reproduce immersive surround sound naturally and infinitely better with open backs and two well made larger sound drivers than these gimmicky headsets with 4 - 6 cheaper drivers crammed into a small cup. Brands I personally recommend across all price ranges are AKG, Sennheiser, Shure, Bower & Wilkins, Beyerdynamic & Grado. These headphones are usually well built, best in class in their respective price range and comfortable.

So a run down for gaming headphones I personally reccomend

DO - look at reviews

DO - find out if they're hard to drive or not, or if a standard headphone jack/DAC will be up to task if you're not prepared to pay for amplification

DO - Buy an open back headphone if you want immersive surround sound. Be warned this means you will annoy people if you're sharing a room as these leak sound BAD

DO - Try to look for headphones that are referred as 'neutral but have a slight U shape (like a smile)' these are generally fun and accurate (overly neutral headphones are great if you want absolute accuracy but can be boring to listen to) but don't result in fatigue like headphones which emphasize the high end or muddiness like headphones that extend the bass which will reduce precision and accuracy in the soundstage

DO - Buy a headphone with a detachable chord (so you can easily replace if it breaks or upgrade/downgrade to a shorter or longer cable based on need

DON'T - Buy a gaming headset unless they offer a specific USP that isn't available in any other headphone you can buy in the price range you're after

DON'T - Buy hard to drive headphones unless you plan to buy a headphone amp as they'll sound bad/underwhelming.

DON'T - Buy head phones that try to sound exciting and overly bright, they might sound great and ear grabbing the first 30minutes you put em on but they'll cause ear fatigue before long and sound artificial the more you wear em. If you plan to wear headphones for a long time you have got to remember the sound they produce is as important a factor to comfort as build and fit.#

AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BUY HEADPHONES WITH 'SURROUND SOUND' ACHIEVED BY PUTTING MORE THAN ONE DRIVER IN EACH CUP - you have been warned

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#32 Edited by Jovafy (19 posts) -

@kiwikuku: Cool, good to hear some opinions about them. I'm not looking for a ton of bass or something super loud, so I don't think that's going to be a problem for me.

I noticed the HD681 is available here for a good price and I'm pretty sure I'll pick those up.

E: @yesiamaduck: Thanks! That's great advice.

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#33 Edited by Zelyre (1740 posts) -

Going to jump on the Sennheiser train, too. Own a pair of 595's (That are coming up on being 8 years old), which were replaced by the 598s, I believe. I don't use them for gaming, but I do use them when I play the piano and trumpet - I can wear them all day.

Or, there's pro-gamer/streamer and everyone's internet dad Jeff Green's recommendation of the Koss Portapros. A co-worker has them and he wears them all day long. They have a lifetime warranty as well. They're super ugly in a 80's kind of way that I kind of like.

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#34 Posted by OldeBlueEyes (14 posts) -

I have the original HyperX Clouds and haven't had a problem since and one of my favorite features is the comfort for sure, not to mention that they are build to take a beating with their metal frame. They don't break the bank either!

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#35 Posted by mrcraggle (2868 posts) -

Can't go wrong with Sennheiser. Super comfy and sound great. I personally own AKG 550s which are fantastic, especially at £100 and I can wear them for hours no problem (unlike my V-Modas) but the seams for the padding are starting to split only just after a year and AKG don't offer replacements :(

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