I’ve just destroyed my AKG headphones trying to replace the padding on the headband. When removing the old padding the signal cable between the ear pads came off too and unfortunately sheared. I’m both disappointed with myself for being so clumsy and with the headphones for being so flimsy.
Anyway, I’m now in the market for a decent pair of budget headphones upto £150 unless there’s a strong case for a pair under £200 that are head and shoulders better.
They’ll need to be closed back as I can’t have noise leakage and I don’t want wireless.
From what I’ve seen online the Audio Technica AHT-M50x have the best reviews but I thought I’d garner the opinion of my fellow forumites who share the same musical presentation values as myself.
If you love the AKGs perhaps they can be repaired?
Otherwise, within your budget I see that Naim’s stablemate Focal, who seem to be pretty handy at making headphones, have the Focal Listen Professional. They seem to be the successors to the excellent Spirit Pros. Probably well worth a listen.
In terms of sound quality the AT are hard to beat at this price point, they’re one of the most affordable audiophile (or studio rather) headphones. I own a pair myself.
I don’t find them extremely comfortable for long listening sessions, but if you listen casually for an hour or so they are fine. Also they are quite dark in their presentation, if you normally like bright, sparkly headphones these might not be your jam.
Otherwise i think they are excellent for the price.
The Focal Listen that Richard mentioned may be worth checking out too, they are comparable but perhaps a tad brighter.
I own the regular Meze 99, and others here seem to be also really enthusiastic about them. Great sound and the most comfortable pair I’ve ever tried. I have no experience of the Neo though, so can’t tell you if the only difference is the material of the cups and to what extend that changes the sound. But I would say it’s worth investigating in case they’re anything like the classics.
I paid 215 for a pair of Shure SRH 1540s - closed back, well reviewed. They’re more new, but when I was looking plenty on auction site with low use. The week before two ‘unworn’ sets went for 150-175 each. Mine were advertised as unworn… they don’t seem to have been. Come with spare pads, decent hard case, spare cables.
I thought they were among the best set of closed back I could expect for a reasonable sum. Very happy with them, and the case etc.