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The Best Headphones to Pair with a ModMic

The ModMic is an award-winning microphone used by hundreds of streamers that can attach to any pair of headphones (or VR visor) to create the ultimate headset.

But then... which headphones do you buy? Well, that depends on your budget, needs, and sound preference, but over the last 6 years we've found a few stand-out models that hit the price to value ratio just right

Headphones don't change much though, you could go back to any of our yearly articles on headphones, pick one from there, and they'll still be pretty great. Heck, many of them are on this year's list as well!

Original DT880 Left, Modern DT880 Right. Internal components, basically the same.

By adding a ModMic to these professional headphones you get the quality and durability far beyond "gaming" or "voip" headsets, meaning they not only sound better, but last longer.

Full transparency, at the time of publication we're authorized resellers of Audio Technica and Hifiman, but beyond this are in no way associated with any of the companies below and have linked all third party sites with no affiliate links to keep our bias to a minimum.

All Prices Accurate as of 9/9/2020 for US consumers. International pricing may vary heavily.

The Classics

Like I said, headphones don't change much, there are good odds if you're reading this 10 years from now these will still be great headphones. This is not a list of the best headphones by pure quality alone, this is our opinion of the best dollar for dollar pairs out there.

Headphone

Price

Style

Link

Philips SHP 9500

$74.99

Open Back

Amazon

Sony MDR-7506

$94.01

Closed Back

Amazon

Sennheiser HD 559

$99.99

Open Back

Crutchfield

Audio Technica AD-900x

$139.99

Open Back

Beach Camera

Philips Fidelio X2HR $144.99 Open Back Amazon

Beyerdynamic DT-770

$159.00

Closed Back

Amazon

 

SHP9500 is often noted as the best dollar for dollar open back headphone. Nice, open sound, great for FPS gaming. Very comfortable. Be aware if you have large ears your ears may contact the inside of the cup.

MDR-7506 is the equivalent inexpensive closed back option. There is a reason practically every music studio has a pair of these. It's the no-gimmick pure quality masterpiece from Sony.

HD559 is my direct contender for the 9500s claim on best dollar for dollar pair. I find them significantly more comfortable than the 9500 and I like the warm sound better. During holiday sales these often drop in price to be equal to the 9500, and therefore leap into first place in the dollar for dollar race. Even without a sale I think the extra $25 is worth the upgrade.

AD-900x, which not only delivers what I consider slightly better, more neutral sound quality than the 559, but has a headband design I much prefer. You can also substitute the AD-700x here, they're nearly identical. Home Studio Basics says the 900x is the better all-arounder, while the 700x may be slightly better for gaming.

Fidelio X2 has been "updated" to the X2HR. As far as the internet can tell, they only changed the earpads. Beloved for their mid-range accuracy (a key for competitive gaming), these made our Best Headphone list in 2018 and their price is a staggering $90 less than they were back then, giving them the juice they need to qualify as a dollar for dollar winner.

DT-770. Our #1 pick from 2017, there's simply no denying the quality, comfort, and V shaped sound of these.They're the perfect blend of affordable and high quality. We've linked the 32 ohm version to save money on having to buy an amp, as when you factor in the amp cost the minor gain from the higher ohms doesn't make sense. However, if you have an amp already, consider the Pro version. Similarly, you can snag the open back DT-990s or better yet, the classic DT-880s if you have an amp and want a more open sound.

The Newcomers

Headphone

Price

Style

Link

Sennheiser 450BT

$149.95

Closed, Wireless

Amazon

Hifiman HE-400i 2020

$169.00

Open Back

Amazon

Hifiman Deva

$299.00

Open, Wireless*

Amazon


We've selected 3 relatively new headphone models to talk about as interesting contenders to the above stalwarts. Keep in mind the jury is still out on these, they haven't had decades to prove themselves, but based on early reviews they could stick around for a long time.

450BT is probably the most interesting for the extremely robust feature set for it's price. Not only are you getting Sennheiser sound quality, but it comes with aptX Low Latency for gaming needs. Only downside is you'll need to buy an aptXLL Transmitter, which is going to add about $25 if you want low latency for gaming or movies. While the BT450 does have active noise canceling, don't expect it to beat out the Sony WH1000xm3 or Bose QC35. Still, add in a ModMic Wireless and you've got the ultimate wireless gaming headset under $270!

400i is back! This popular entry level planar magnetic headphone was discontinued for a while due to issues with the build quality. The sound quality of the 400i has long been a favorite of everyone here at Antlion Audio, and they claim to have fixed the issues people had with the thing breaking. This is the budget bass response headphone of your dreams, but it may require an amp so be advised.

Deva is... unique. The Deva is really a wired headphone with a custom Bluetooth attachment, so I am not sure it really qualifies as a wireless headphone. According to the reviews I have read it does a fantastic job in both wired and wireless modes. Being able to swap between USB-C, wireless, and analog is pretty incredible for a planar magnetic headphone. It's worth checking out because it really is a technical leap forward. While it isn't the first wireless planar magnetic headphone, and $300 isn't cheap, it's actually lot cheaper than the few alternatives; the next cheapest of which appears around $400 at time of publication. Sadly the headphones themselves do not have a low latency option, but despite that if you add in a ModMic Wireless, you should have a unique and flexible headset able to swap between analog, usb, and wireless.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you think there's a headphone that DEMANDS to be on here, head over to our Discord and make your case!

So there you have it. 9 headphones ranging from $75 to $300 to create the ultimate headset. Add a ModMic and you have a headset that, dollar for dollar, will beat any pre-built 'gaming' or 'business' headset on sound quality, durability, and of course, mic quality.


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