Newbie help with headphone gift choice.

I don't know much about headphones. They all have good reviews so how to choose? These will be an Xmas gift for my brother.

He uses them for TV and music. Priorities would be durability, comfort, then sound quality in that order.



Sony MDR7506 Professional

Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor


Thanks for any input.


What’s your budget?  Also, would he prefer closed- or open-back ‘phones?  Closed-back seal out sound from getting in or out while open-backed ‘phones allow outside noise in and also leak sound out into the room.  I much prefer the sound of the latter, but practical considerations may demand a closed-back design.  Also, if he’s gonna be driving these with something like a phone you want headphones that are easy to drive and don’t require more power from a separate amp to sound good.  I can highly recommend these at a nice discount — I bought both my Hifiman headphones open box and they both were perfect and I saved a bundle.  They are open backed so sound will leak out and outside sound will get in if that’s a concern, but they are comfy and the sound is excellent.

The Sony's are comfortable, durable (only pad flaking in 30 years) and easy to drive.

The negative is static electricity causes "ear shocks.". Not recommended for dry environments. Can be mitigated with anti static spray.

I replaced them with Focal Listen which also come with BlueTooth. 

Thank you guys for  your info. I appreciate it.  Budget is about $75 - $100. So the four I listed are in that range. We live in New Mexico so it is dry here. But my brother's place doesn't have any carpets if that makes any difference. Thanks for the head's up on HifiMan set drivability. (Is that a word?) I didn't think about about that. I'm tempted to try a pair for myself but my android phone would not be able to drive them. My brother would use them with Apple laptop and Apple iPad. So maybe hifimans wouldn't work. Decisions, decisions. Thanks again. Happy holidays.

Yeah, you want some higher sensitivity ‘phones if he’s driving them off a laptop or tablet.  First, you did some good research and identified some really good candidates at the price point.  Hard to say without knowing your brother’s sound preferences, but if he’s ok with a semi open-back design I’d go with the AKG, but if he needs a closed headphone I’d go with the Sennheisers as they tend to go straight down the fairway sound wise and not offensive in any way so very safe.  He’s clearly not an audiophile so your first choice should be whether he’d be better off with sealed or open ‘phones.  After that I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them and I’m sure he’d be thrilled with any you so aptly chose, but u gotta get the closed versus open thing right.  If he’s in a room with other people around or with outside noise you want closed headphones, and if not I’d go open.  Hope this helps!

The Sony are clear and crisp sounding. The Sennheiser and AKG tend to be warmer and a bit dull. I haven't heard the AT. 

Thanks to everyone for your input. I went with the Sony MDR7506 Professional since he wants to try some recording of guitar music. I gave them to him early and he's using them a lot,