Off-Topic: Headphones

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Amin Sabet, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I enjoy a good pair of headphones, but I haven't found the perfect set yet. $200 is about as high as I'm willing to go, and I listen to a mix of mostly rap, rock, jazz, funk, electronic, and pop music.

    My first "good" set in years were the Bose AE2s which I got sometime last year. All Bose products get absolutely slammed on the various audio sites, but these perform pretty well IMO.

    The Good: Super light, comfortable, good isolation, replaceable/detachable cord, good build, not ugly. Overall pretty good sounding for most of my rock/pop music.

    The Bad: A little lacking in mids and not enough bass for satisfying experience with much of my rap music.

    Recently I got the Sony MDR-XB600s for $39.99 via Amazon Goldbox, and they're also very satisfying for the price.

    The Good: Plenty of bass for anything. Decent highs - not as muddy a sound as some other inexpensive "basshead" headphones I've listened to before. Tangle-free cables. Not ugly. On-ear design but still very comfortable given design that allows them to angle on two axes with the contour of the ear.

    The Bad: Bass overwhelms with some music. Someone said in a review that listening to the Beatles is like one big McCartney solo, and I can't disagree. It's pretty badly unbalanced with a lot of music.

    So I'm looking for a sub-$200 set of headphones that sound relatively balanced. Today I ordered the V-MODA Crossfade M-80s. These seem to get good reviews, even from self-proclaimed audiophiles, yet like any headphones there are detractors as well. I listened to a set on Radio Shack and didn't think they sounded like anything special, but it's hard to form an informed opinion with a 10 minute experience at Radio Shack. I'm looking forward to having them for a longer checkout and hope they deliver the goods. As a smaller, on-ear design, I'll feel less self-conscious when wearing them out and about, plus they look pretty stylish to me.

    Anyone have a set of headphones you love? Would love to hear other experiences.
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I love my Aiaiai TMA-1's.

    I have a large head and it fits perfectly.

    Sound is clear but not too punchy like Beats by Dre.
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Wow, I never saw those. Love the design! Looks like your TMA-1s are a direct competitor for the M-80s I purchased - both are on-ear and portable with good bass and generally balanced sound.

    I obviously should have started this thread prior to buying my M-80s today with same day delivery :rolleyes:.
  4. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    Etymotic ER-4P

    Slightly more bass tilt than the very flat and analytical ER-4S, and properly inserted deep into the ear canal, the best earphones I have ever experienced, ever.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    My huge problem with in-ear phones is that I lose 'em, every time (or worse yet, they enter the wash cycle :eek:). Just can't afford to lose $250 earphones!
  6. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    I have been a Grado fan for accurate sound, but not the type you are looking for.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    My AKG Q460's are still going strong after a couple of years now. Solid bass but not too muddy. They'll handle some volume without falling apart. Detachable cables. Also pretty compact and foldable but comfortable. Around you budget.

    I like these as much as my superfi 5 pro in ear buds.

    Mind you my ears are getting a bit older so you'd need to have a listen for your self.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    I have a set of Shures that have been going for almost 7 years. The cord is going, and I am going to get a set of 215's, which have a detatchable cord. Shures also come with a hard case, which can help them stop getting washed. My wife has some sennheisers which are "waterproof", and have kelvar built into the cord. However, hers are neon yellow so take that for what it's worth.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. BLX

    BLX Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2012
    Real Name:
    I use the white Earset 3i from Bang & Olufsen.
    It is small and light and the sound quality is amazing.
    It is compatible with iPhone so I can change music number, adjust volume and answer the phone :smile:


    Here's pretty cool video with a guy using them

    [ame=]BeoPlay EarSet 3i - WILD LIFE - YouTube[/ame]
    • Like Like x 2
  10. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    Another vote for Grado. They just sound incredible.
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I use this set in Black. My daughter got them for me because she knows I hate ear buds climbing in my ears. These don't. I mostly listen to Classical and Bluez. The sound is great and holds up if you crank up the tune....
  12. NikkoExiledInSF

    NikkoExiledInSF Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I bought the Ultimate Ears 900. Crazy money but the quality & value they deliver is in line with that! What can I say - simply awesome!

  13. slappy

    slappy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    B&W P5s are my choice.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah, isn't the grado sr80 supposed to be the very bestest sound/value ratio in the sub 100$ pricepoint? I wish I could be an audio enthusiast, but I spend too much on other vices (aka photography).
  15. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Amin: have you checked out the audio-technica offerings? I know the ATH-M50 is supposed to be highly regarded.

    I don't even know why I read so many headphones reviews..I can't justify dropping more than 50-60$ on stuff I'm likely to destroy while commuting places. I do like to find good performing/good value things though..
  16. slappy

    slappy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Can't believe people will spend a fortune on cameras but scrimp on music and headphones


    Attached Files:

  17. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Is it that hard to believe? Some people spend lots on food..others on clothes. I can't believe how much some people spend on their camera set ups instead of going away on trips.

    That said, I'm of the believe that if it's worth doing/ ought to do it well. ;)
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Not sure - I'm pretty much a noob with audio, but my noob understanding was that Grados were open design and therefore best for listening in a quiet place where there is no one to bother you and no one to be bothered by you. I'm pretty much never in that situation.

    I've read a lot of good things about those. They were definitely in the running. However, my V-MODA M-80s just arrived, and first impressions are very positive. I think these are the headphones I've been searching for.
  19. m43dex

    m43dex Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    Two thumps up on the P5s... Love them.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I am a little confused on the B&O's, they look too big to be in ear? Do they just cover the ear opening?

    Confirmed audiophile here but one without headphones.