Off-Topic: Headphones

Narnian

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I am fond of the Klipsch IMAGE S4 in-ear headphones. http://Klipsch IMAGE S4 in-ear headphones

They are relatively cheap yet highly rated in Consumer Reports.

I can wear these all day while on or over the ear headphones hurt my ears after a short while.

Though 90% of the time I listen to podcasts and audio books. My music is mostly folk and bluegrass with a smattering of classic rock.
 

ice_man

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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 and rock 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.

The Good: Plenty of bass for anything. Decent highs - not a muddy sound like 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 most rock music. I can EQ it to sound better, but it's a pain to do that on my phone. Cable is not detachable/replaceable.


So I'm looking for a sub-$200 set of headphones that sound relatively balanced (I don't mind slightly recessed mids) but can handle strong bass when present and can be easily powered by a phone without an amp. My search took me to the Ultrasone HFI-580s, which look absolutely perfect for my needs except that they have a long cable which is not detachable/replaceable. All I need to do is step on the cable once while pulling on the headset, and there go my $200 headphones. I'm way too clumsy for that - the detachable nature of the cable has saved my Bose headphones on many occasions. I won't pay over $100 for headphones that lack this feature.


And that brings me to a pair of headphones which I ordered and should be arriving today: 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 compared to my AE2s, 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.
I used to have Bose iems as well. This Brand gets bashed im audiophile sites because they don't perform well for the price they command.

If they we're priced about $100 lower, they they wpuld be worth the price.

There are a lot of better brands that are cheaper but performs 100x better.

Some of which are Vsonic, Klipsch, Sony, Logitech (UE), and High End Vmodas.


Tapatalk.
 

ice_man

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Head-Fi is a good source of info on headphones/iems and the like...


Tapatalk.
 

tdekany

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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.
Amin, since Grado is from New York, I am sure he is in most Audio shops in your area. Go and listen to any of the models and you will have a better understanding of what good sound is. To me that would be the right way to "judge" other products.
 

ice_man

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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.
M80 is a good choice. A lot of Pro Djs are using them. ATH50 is a bit better imho.

Burn them in for about 150-200hours and they will be more smoother.




Tapatalk.
 

htc

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Forgive me Amin, this goes beyond the limit, BUT;

I wasn't huge fan of headphones until I tried noise canceling ones. Please try Bose QuietComfort® 15! The world around you disappears and there is only you and music. I didn't believe until I tried. I couldn't imagine buying anything so expensive (in headphone range) but I stopped eating for awhile, bought them and now I'm happy ;-)

I use them in an airplane with movies and music, telco meetings while driving (with mic cable through iPhone) and so on. They are always with me.

At least TRY!

Bose | QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones | Noise Cancelling Headphones
 

mattia

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My Home 'phones are currently KRK monitoring units, which are comfy, very clinical, and good for mixing and a little less great for listening. I have some cheap Panasonic noise-canceling phones and would buy Bose ones in a heartbeat if I flew way more regularly. Don't see a need or a point outside of airplanes. My favorite in-ears are my Shure e2c's, which have been superseded by other models. Great sound, extremely comfortable, and block a lot of noise. If/when they need replacing i'll probably get another pair of shures and have an audiologist fit custom molded earpieces for them.
 

Amin Sabet

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Forgive me Amin, this goes beyond the limit, BUT;

I wasn't huge fan of headphones until I tried noise canceling ones. Please try Bose QuietComfort® 15! The world around you disappears and there is only you and music. I didn't believe until I tried. I couldn't imagine buying anything so expensive (in headphone range) but I stopped eating for awhile, bought them and now I'm happy ;-)

I use them in an airplane with movies and music, telco meetings while driving (with mic cable through iPhone) and so on. They are always with me.

At least TRY!

Bose | QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones | Noise Cancelling Headphones
I actually did try those and loved the noise cancelling. My only issue was that I kept forgetting to power them off, and as you know, when the battery goes, they don't function at all. To me, the battery dependence was a big negative. However, if I were a frequent traveler, I'd definitely get a pair to keep the noise away!

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
 

Blastop

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If you have much sensitivity above 16 KHz, noise-cancelling headphones can lead to discomfort, ear fatigue or even nausea if you have them on long enough. I really prefer noise-blocking headphones - over-the-ear around the house or in the studio, in-ear on airplanes and transit.

For your needs, from my limited experience, I would recommend the M-Audio Studiophile Q-40. Despite being studio headphone, they are not unpleasantly critical - more mid-rangey with solid bass and clear high frequencies, in my opinion. They have a removable/replaceable cable. The included cable is far too long outside of the studio, but any narrow 1/8" headphone jack cable will do for a replacement. I also replaced the earpads, as I'm not a fan of vinyl. I ordered Beyerdynamic velour ear pads, which are more comfortable and fit the headphones well.

I like the Sennheiser PX 90 for a cheap pair of about-town headphones, when I want to be able to hear and react to traffic or my wife.

For in-ear, I like the MEElec A151, which is a particularly narrow canal earphone, which made it a good fit for my relatively narrow ear canals. It sounds reasonable and does a reasonable job of blocking surrounding noises, too.
 

Amin Sabet

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From this thread and my reading at headfi.org, I wonder how any of these companies make money selling headphones. There are so many choices being recommended!
 

medavid2

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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..
I would second this suggestion. I have a pair of ATH-M50S (decided on it after reading many reviews). They are highly regarded on head-fi forums and are considered the best headphones under $200 by many. They are also very comfortable and can be used for prolonged wear.

Many headphones in the $200 range need amplifiers or pocket amplifiers to sound good. The ATH-50S sounds good even without one. They usually cost about $120 on amazon or around $100 through amazon warehouse in very good or like new condition.
 

daimos

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Bowers & Wilkins have the P5 on display for auditioning on Apple stores for $299.
The P3 is $199. People say they need a lot of hours for break-in time.

 

mzd

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i'll second the ATH-M50. i think they are great for the money, and not needing to pick up a dedicated amp was a big plus for me. they come with either a coiled or straight cord, but alas, it is not detachable. not a problem for me, but it sounds like that is a deal breaker for you.

you could check out the Shure SRH840 - they come with a replaceable cord. i haven't listened to them, but i'm sure there are plenty of reviews on head-fi.
 

Amin Sabet

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Thanks for all the suggestions. The B&W P5 and P3 are highly rated and pretty cool looking as well. Too bad the ATH-M50s don't have a replaceable cord. That's really important to me, otherwise I would have bought the Ultrasone 580S for sure.

Right now, I'm loving the M-80. It's pretty much everything I could want except for the high tones lacking a bit of "sparkle". Easy to see how people get deeper and deeper into this audio thing. I'm almost afraid to try some really high end headphones with an proper amp, etc. Might end up with a lot less money for cameras!
 

Mellow

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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..
I finally broke down and got the ATH-M50's . . . all I can say is WOW! They're amazing. Very closed design, however, which some people don't like. Can't say enough good things about them. A good deal too at < $125: Amazon.com: Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones with Coiled Cable: Musical Instruments
 

phrenic

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Lucky Americans with your great prices..

Not that I have the money, but I think I will keep an eye open for the M-80. Looks very promising. I am also very hard on my headphones cords..any other options at this price point that have detachable cords?
 

brianb032

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I've been using a pair of Sony MDR-V6's with Beyerdynamic pads for nearly 7 years. I've extensively tested a few Sennheisers and Bose headphones, but I keep on coming back to the V6's. They're not too impressive with the stock pads, but the Beyerdynamic pads make them worlds better by increasing the sound-stage, boosting the bass, and whatnot.

Earphones and IEM's are a totally different ball-game for me though. I've spent way too much money playing with mid-range S4's, Sonys, & Sennys. But in the end I'm never really happy with the price-to-quality ratio that I get with IEMs. I don't like having headphone-hair, so I really want a pair that matches the quality I get from my V6's. Too bad most of the options are so expensive though.
 

krugorg

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Another vote for Grado.

They are not what you would call ruler flat sound-wise, but they have a fun rock/rap sound and what is unique with their house sound is that they sound great at lower volumes.

One other plus is that they are very flexible for folks with large melons like me.
 

Just Jim

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I just noticed this thread... I like these
Amazon.com: Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones: Electronics

But umm... they are big. I use these when I play guitar through my computer when the wifey is too PO'd to listen to my amps. I've since made them my all around pair, as they really aren't too expensive for the quality. For some reason, I go back to my more compact Sony's, the sound difference annoys me on the Sony's. These seem to put out what the equalizer says should be putting out. Then again my ear isn't like a trained sound engineers. In any case love em. ...even more for the price.
 

Djarum

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A little different and slightly OT. I picked these up for my girlfriend:

Bluetooth Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Earphones with Microphone PS 210 BTNC: Bluetooth 3.0 and Noise-Cancellation | Phiaton

She was dead set on having some bluetooth headphones. Obvious the nature of bluetooth throws anything "audiophile" out the window, at least one would think. I was delightly proved wrong. I've used all sorts of headphones and earbuds before, high quality to bargain basement. These things sound just as good as any "audiophile" headphones I've ever heard. They are extremely neutral sounding compared to even my seinheisser earbuds which are a little bright. After EQ'ing them using some Android EQ's, I was blown away by how deep they'd go and how clear they were. The active noise canceling is great while running on a treadmill, however, the overall color changes a little. The design allows for slightly larger drivers and the fullness of bass tones is much more pronounced than standard in-ear headphones. My seinheissers at time can sound a little too punchy, while these are more rounded in the bass department.

One of the cool things about these headphones is that they aren't just bluetooth headphones. They provide an adapter cord so they don't have to be bluetooth. My initial thought was that they'd sound better hooked straight into my non-bluetooth mp3 player. While there is some improvement and some music sounds a little more dynamic, I almost miss the cordless bluetooth more than the slight gain of audio quality being tied down with a cord.

I highly recommend these. Even if one isn't looking for a bluetooth option, the noise cancelling works just as well when hooked with a wire. They had them on Amazon for 129 a while back, but I think they are up to 149 now. Active noise cancelling headphones cost more anyways, so a few extra dollars for bluetooth isn't all that bad.

My overall impressions is that bluetooth is starting to become a viable way to listen to music with headphones.
 
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