Home Headphone Comparisons Samson SR850 vs. SR950 | SOME KEY DIFFERENCES!

Samson SR850 vs. SR950 | SOME KEY DIFFERENCES!

by Stuart Charles Black

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Aloha friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Samson SR850 vs. SR950, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Today I will provide a quick and detailed comparison, and then link to my recommendation towards the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Similarities & Differences
  2. Samson SR850 Video
  3. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Similarities & Differences


  • Both have a 32 Ohm impedance. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Both have 98dB/mW of sensitivity.
  • Both are Circumaural and fit Over the ear.
  • Both have the same hammock headband structure which I love.
  • They both have velour ear pads with rounded cups.
  • Both have non-detachable cables that terminate in a 3.5mm jack with a 1/4″ adapter.
  • Both have 50mm drivers. What is a Headphone Driver?


  • Bass. The SR950 has more bass than the 850, especially in the sub-bass.
  • Mid-range. The SR850 has a better mid-range with more details present.
  • Soundstage. The SR850 has a more open soundstage. What is Soundstage?
  • Overall. The SR850 is a better all-around headphone and works well with music, movies, and gaming. The SR950 is more of a bass-heads can, while the 850 has an incredibly crisp and clean response. That’s not to say the 950’s don’t, but it’s just not as prominent.
  • Frequency Response. The SR850’s is 10-30kHz, while the 950 is 10-25kHz. Keep in mind the human ear can only hear up to 20kHz, so take these numbers with a grain of salt. Pink Himalayan or Aztec Sea Salt is preferred. ๐Ÿ˜›
  • Open vs. Closed. The SR850 is an open back headphone while the SR950 is closed back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.

My Video Review

Donโ€™t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated!

Final Word

Which of these you go with depends on the sound signature that you’re after.

If you’re looking for a closed-back model with good sound isolation and deeper bass response, the SR950 is your boy. However, my favorite budget closed back is the Sony MDR V6. It’s indescribably good like Zaxby’s chicken and has been around for decades. Interested in learning exactly why they’re the best entry-level closed backs?


If you’re looking for an open back with crystal clear and detailed sound, it’s hard to recommend anything other than the SR850 in this price range. These headphones are absolutely phenomenal and I was really taken aback when I first put them on. Why? Because I wasn’t expecting such a great sound for such a small price. Interested in learning all about them?


Well, thatโ€™s about it for today my friend! I hope youโ€™ve enjoyed this Samson SR850 vs. SR950 comparison.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Looking for something else? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What do you think about the SR850? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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Sergey Moraru March 14, 2018 - 8:11 pm

“If youโ€™re looking for a closed back model with good sound isolation and a deeper bass response, the SR850 is your boy. ”

Should be SR950 instead of SR850. I think it’s your typo ๐Ÿ™‚

Stuart Charles Black March 15, 2018 - 1:16 pm

Indeed a typo on my end. Thanks for the heads up! Sometimes when you’re writing fast stuff happens ๐Ÿ˜›

Philippe April 23, 2018 - 7:09 am

Hi there,

Great site and extraordinary good reviews inside.
You convinced me to buy and give a try to the Samson SR850 and I don’t regret it.
What a stuff for the money ! I enjoy every song since except one or two which are better sounding on my B&O Play H6 MkII.
Thank you & greetings from France !

Stuart Charles Black April 23, 2018 - 7:22 pm

No problem Philippe! So glad you’re enjoying them ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love them as well. Can’t really go wrong for the price, right? Don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever need some advice.


Laurie March 5, 2019 - 4:29 pm

Hi Stuart, thanks for your informative take on what seem to be the best value midrange headphones at the moment. I’m considering either the 850s or a used pair of MDR-V6s from ebay. Can you spare a word on the reason why you like the Sony headphones more than the 850s?

Stuart Charles Black March 6, 2019 - 2:33 am

Hey Laurie!

I would opt for the V6’s over the 850’s. I really like the 850 but it’s a bit shrill in that treble area. The V6 can also be a tad hot but not like the 850. The V6 is definitely more balanced overall. The V6 is always what I reach for when I need to hear an honest representation of the music. They are great for mixing/mastering/reference/tracking and anything in between. I love them for casual listening as well. They’re a lot of fun! Right now the 850 is my go to gaming headphone because of it’s fantastic Soundstage, esp. for something so cheap. Anyways, def go with the V6 for now. Great all around headphone!

Thanks for stopping by! Def let me know how you like them ๐Ÿ™‚

Laurie March 5, 2019 - 4:33 pm

I’ve just noticed that the recommendation is for MDR-V6s over the 950s, not 850s. I may want to record in the future with them, and then the closed backs would be at an advantage – but would I be missing out significantly in listening sound quality by doing so? Thanks in advance for your help on this ๐Ÿ™‚

Stuart Charles Black March 6, 2019 - 2:35 am


I don’t think so. I mean yeah, the 850 is going to sound more open but the V6 is a very detailed headphone in it’s own right. I love my 850 for Gaming so if you will be using it for that as well you may consider it over the V6. Otherwise, the V6 is my top choice overall and has been for quite sometime a long with the SHP9500.

Keep me posted on your decision!

Laurie June 3, 2019 - 3:37 pm

Stuart, thanks for the words of wisdom a few months back. I actually got a bargain price on the SR850s and so I went with them. Very tight at the beginning, had to give em a good stretch so they weren’t pincering my head! After that, yeah, a balanced, clear, articulate sound, a little shrill on the highs as you mentioned. Using them daily and they’re good cans for the price, nothing special and yet very well put together.

What I would love is a pair of headphones that has the same balanced sound, but also manages some deep bass – I really do miss the bass in certain music types. If it was a slightly richer/warmer signature I wouldn’t mind, even if a bit of accuracy is lost. Do any cans spring to mind? I have a pair of Koss Porta Pros which I like the sound of more, but I need to affix a new cable after a hoover-related accident… I think I will probably just get to repairing those and carry on with them for now, unless something comes to mind right away? Would like to spend hours going through your excellent guide I just spotted to pick the perfect pair, but really don’t have the time!

I also bought a second hand pair of Sennheiser HD 598s with high hopes, but to me they sounded bloody awful, just a complete mess when compared to, well, more or less any pair of headphones I’ve owned! The only thing they could give is a richer bass and some details revealed thanks to the all-over-the-place EQ. Not sure if I got a badly treated pair or am just not a fan of the “Sennheiser” sound.

Anyway thanks for the correspondence, and keep up the good work!

Stuart Charles Black June 3, 2019 - 4:41 pm

Hey Laurie! Great to hear from you again ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you liked the 850 but I definitely understand you wanting a bit more bass. Are you still wanting to stick to an Open Back in the same general price range? Let me know.. I would like to narrow it down to make it easier for us.

As for the Sennheiser, yeah you may have gotten a bad pair but it would be hard to tell without measuring it. I do some headphone graph measurements from time to time but also, the Sennheiser sound is definitely not for everyone. I too find the bass on the 598 a bit bloomy and clammy sounding at times, so I really do get where you’re coming from.

Anyways, get back to me about price and open vs. closed!

Talk soon,


Laurie June 4, 2019 - 3:49 pm

Well, to my ears it was actually decent bass, but at the expense of everything else! I listen to a lot of live instruments and it just sounds so far from the original sound (using the SR850s as a fairly accurate reference) that I can only imagine them being good for certain electronic and processed beats that naturally skew towards that.

I don’t have enough experience with open vs closed to make the distinction, but at least semi-open to give good bass reproduction would be a good idea? I get the sense that the V6s wouldn’t be that much of an improvement in bass over the SR850s. Just throw a few names at the ยฃ50-ยฃ150 price bracket and I’ll see what bargains are on the second hand market. Am looking at the ATH-M40x/M50x as possibilities, ยฃ45 and ยฃ55 second hand respectively.

Yeah, I know a fair bit about computers and I enjoy giving advice to people building PCs to get better performance and save money. With that though, it’s more about objective performance for the amounts, and less about subjective taste like it is with headphones. IMO, headphones is a better niche thanks to the amount of listening to music that comes with it!

A quick question – on the headphone cable I have there are 4 strands of wire coming from it, two on each side, and two pairs of solder terminals on either side of the Koss. Any idea if it matters which goes on which? I’m assuming you’ve done your own headphone repair at least once in your life!

Stuart Charles Black June 6, 2019 - 4:35 pm

Hey Laurie!

I think the M40x is a good bass heavier option but you may find the lower mid-range a bit problematic. Fortunately the upper mids are very good, treble is a tad metallic, and the mid-bass is a little over accentuated but other than that a great headphone under $100. Comfort isn’t the best though and you won’t like it for long listening sessions.

I would definitely take a look at the Status Audio CB-1. You can check out my review here: Status Audio CB-1 Review. I think that would be a good example of a closed back headphone that actually sounds open. Great Soundstage, good amount of bass, non fatiguing treble.

The V6’s actually do sound like they have a bit more bass but I think that’s because they are closed. I have a pair on right now and honestly they are my go to in most situations. They may be too bright for you, but they are definitely less bright than an 850. Listening to Touch by BenZel, Ryne Weaver and it sounds great. I am using the iFi xCAN with bass boost and 3D+ (Presence), but it sounds good without it too.

Everyone who has bought a V6 based on my recommendation always comes back to say how much the loved it. Mid-range is absolutely fantastic as well. It’s just not really warm like you’re looking for I guess. the CB-1 is definitely warmer.

To be honest, I’ve been thinking about this for hte last couple of days and it just hit me: The Oppo PM3. That’s a very warm, pleasant headphone and sounds fantastic. Not open back, but extremely comfortable. I wrote an article awhile back and I really gushed over it. Oppo PM3 Review

I’ll leave you with those for now. Let me know about the PM3. At retail it was kind of expensive but you may be able to find a deal. In my opinion the price is completely justified because it combines everything: Comfort, Sound, and Build into an almost perfect headphone.

As for the Soldering, actually I’ve never really done any of that with headphones haha. I do know that you do want to match positive to positive and negative to negative (ground). So copper is always ground, red is right, and blue or green is left. And also don’t hold the solder too long as it will melt the voice coil. Here’s a good video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6BMEDrqLDE

Keep me posted! You’ve actually inspired me to finally do a detachable cable mod on my Sony MDR V6. ๐Ÿ˜€

jems shrestha January 2, 2021 - 8:23 pm

samson sr850 vs sr950??which one is good for mixing n mastering??i live in place where sound is much ambient..pls reply

Stuart Charles Black January 3, 2021 - 3:37 pm

Hey there! I’d def go with the 850. 950 is more bass-heavy and better for casual listening while the 850 is better suited for picking out small details and getting a mix right.

Saroj March 25, 2019 - 3:55 pm

Hello Stuart!

Great review on the headphones. I will be using the headphone only for gaming and some movie on my PC. My top choice is HyperX Cloud Alpha. But with taxes, shipping and custom charged and what not price is too high.

So i was looking for cheaper alternative. Don’t worry about mic, I have my eye on a good mic. With this headphone I could save a lot of money. So my questions are:

1. In your opinion how do these compare to cloud alpha?
2. Soundstage is good buy what about sound imaging?
3. Will my mic pickup sound from my headphone?

If you could answer these question it will help me a lot.
PS: Budget king SPH9500 cost 232$ so I can’t buy that. My choice is cloud alpha (160$) or sr850 + mic (70$). At 160$ hd559 or dt770 with mic is a option. But at that price point I don’t want a extra wire messy set-up.

Thank you

Stuart Charles Black March 27, 2019 - 12:35 am

Hey Saroj!

Thanks so much for the comment.

I absolutely love the 850 for Gaming and Movies so don’t hesitate. Just get it! Check out my official review/YT video first though. I think there’s a fella in the comments telling people to buy separate pads which will really enhance the experience. The stock pads are fine and I use them but I’m actually going to get newer ones as well. You don’t have to right away though. The headphone is pretty comfortable overall.

As for your questions.

1) Haven’t heard the Cloud Alpha unfortunately.
2) Both Imaging and Soundstage on the 850 are phenomenal. Lots of out of your head sensations and instrument separation is fantastic. You’ll really get a sense of where exactly specific details are emerging from. In movies I was hearing some of the most subtle intricate textures in the movie Garden State. Little voices in the far off distance and stuff. Great for FPS shooters as well.
3)That’s tough to say. I think as long as you’re not blasting the sound you’ll be fine. Because it’s semi-open and not completely open, there’s less of a chance that your mic will pick anything up. You don’t want to blast it anyways though. The 850 at loud levels can get a bit harsh sometimes because of that treble. It’s a bit bright and can be problematic at times. Definitely something to keep in mind.

That said, the 850 is a super easy recommendation because of the sound quality a lone. It’s worth way more than it’s price tag I think.

Where are you living? The 9500 went back on sale at New Egg. Price varies but right now it’s around $70 which is a steal. I assume you came across my article? I got mine for $54 in 2017. Amazing headphone.

Quick word on the others:
-Haven’t heard the 559 although if it’s anything like the 558 and 598 it’s a great headphone as well. Good for gaming. You may enjoy comfort more on a Sennheiser to be honest.
-DT770 is also a great option and very comfortable. A mic paired with this would definitely not pick up any of the sound from the headphone obviously because it’s closed back.

Keep me posted on your decision and if you have any other questions!!


Saroj March 28, 2019 - 4:32 am

Thanks Stu. I am going with sr850. I really didn’t have any experience with expensive audiophile headphones. I think this will be great for a beginner like me. It has velour ear pads so i think it will be comfortable . I am happy with my soundmagic earbuds for music. This headphone will be for fps games(PUBG). Thank you again.

Stuart Charles Black March 28, 2019 - 8:20 pm

Hey no problem Saroj! Check these pads that one of my YT subscribers linked to me. I’m actually about to purchase them from eBay. They will work better than the stock pads

Jeff March 25, 2019 - 7:55 pm

Hey, I’ve never really bought an expensive pair of headphones before, so wanted to ask if the samson sr850 would be a good starter headphones, for casual listening and a little bit of gaming only.

Stuart Charles Black March 27, 2019 - 12:44 am

Hey man!

Perfect for gaming, very good for music. Treble is a bit bright at times but I love the headphone and don’t see it leaving my home unless I were to upgrade to something like a K702 for gaming. The 850 is my current movie/gaming/netflix headphone although to be honest I don’t listen with it as much for music. I have other headphones for that but it’s still a great all rounder. What kind of genres will you be listening to mostly? 850 is fantastic for Rock. A bit bass light but still very detailed and articulate. You’re going to hear a lot of sounds that you really have no business hearing.

Have you considered the 9500? It’s perhaps my favorite headphone and it went back on sale at New Egg. Check out my review/video and let me know what you think. Would be a bit better for casual but also fantastic for Gaming too.

Keep me posted!


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