new headphones

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I currently have a pair of Sony MDR-V300 Studio Monitors, but I am now looking for an upgrade. I've basically narrowed my choices to the Grado SR-80's, Shure E2c's, and the Etymotic ER-6's (My price range is about $100-$130). Which of these will provide the best clarity and accuracy (I don't like bass heavy headphones)? Are there any other suggestions that fall into that price range?
 

jaffy

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Whats your source? For around $130, you can get the Sennheiser HD580s, which IMO are almost as good as the HD650 when properly driven. I used to own the Grado SR-80s and kinda liked them for a while, but they were very fatiguing due to the extreme highs, and were a bit uncomfortable next to the HD580/600/650.
 

jaffy

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Unamped, I'd go with Sennheiser HD497 or Grado SR-80/MS-1 (if you can stand the discomfort, lack of soundstage and piercing highs). Alessandro MS-1s are a bit better than the SR-80 performance wise, the highs are a bit tamed, and comfort is a lot better with the comfie pads. I have heard good things about the A500 from Audiotechnica, but have yet to hear them. If you plan to get an amp later, get the HD580.
 

Talonz

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Clarity and accuracy?

Er-6i

(Er-4s (4p if unamped) if you can shell out $200, then you won't have that "what if i got..." question in your mind ;) )
 

Mister X

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Talonz said:
Clarity and accuracy?

Er-6i
Agreed... of the three cans he mentioned those are the only ones that even come close to resembling those remarks
 

ooze

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The Grado is much better in my opinion. To get the Etymotic sound on the Grado, all you have to do is to EQ away all the bass and boost the treble (and it'll still sound better). But the Grado doesn't seal out noise and isn't as portable as the ER-6i. Decide which is more important, portability or sound.
 

AdamW

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First thing, whatever you buy is going to beat the living shit out of your Sonys. :)

Alessandros are modified Grados. The MS-1s are an excellent deal, as they're reckoned by most to be modified SR125s and are therefore much cheaper than the equivalent Grado. According to those who've heard them both, Alessandros are a little more neutral than Grados - less forward and aggressive, but still not boring. For home use unamped out of your Audigy, they'd be a great choice. The Sennheiser cans recommended earlier in the thread are excellent but do require amplification as they're high impedence, which would take you out of your budget. The A500s are a worthy option too, but I'd go for the Alessandros. Oh, only thing about Grados / Alessandros is they leak sound something rotten, people in the next room _will_ be able to hear a tinny version of what you're listening to, if there's no background noise.
 

Worminater

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Talonz said:
(Er-4s (4p if unamped) if you can shell out $200, then you won't have that "what if i got..." question in your mind ;) )
the fear of "What if i got.." has cost me hundreds of dollars i think:p
 

Quak3R

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I had a question to this conversation while we're at it. I too was planning to upgrade my HD-457s. Of course I'll have to upgrade my Onboard ac'97 to a audigy 2 zs. But I was thinking about getting the HD-580s as well, or go all out and get the 595s from newegg for 209 (249- 40 instant rebate). My question to you is what amplifier would i need and how much would it be? Please pardon me on my Audio Noobness
 

Talonz

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Worminater said:
the fear of "What if i got.." has cost me hundreds of dollars i think:p

Yea, I'm still on that path :p

a1rocketpilot said:
How comfortable are the ER-6i's to wear for extended periods?

They go very deep into your ears. If you can stand earplugs for a few hours, then you can stand the Etys. Once you get used to them, they feel pretty natural.

Quak3R said:
I had a question to this conversation while we're at it. I too was planning to upgrade my HD-457s. Of course I'll have to upgrade my Onboard ac'97 to a audigy 2 zs. But I was thinking about getting the HD-580s as well, or go all out and get the 595s from newegg for 209 (249- 40 instant rebate). My question to you is what amplifier would i need and how much would it be? Please pardon me on my Audio Noobness

I have no experience with the 595 or the 580, but most would recommend the 580 over the 595 if you can amp it. The audigy2 is not a good audio card, look into the AV-710 or the E-MU 0404. Amp wise, look to spend at least $75 for a CMOY or MINT amp, $100+ for a better amp. Talk to Mr. X (he posted above) ;)
 

Garage81

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if you get the E2c, rest assured youll end up buying the E5c within a year.

i would never think i would, but dammit, they got me too.
 
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Actually, I think I am going to steer away from the afforementioned earphones and stick with the headphones, so I guess that its down to the Grado/Alessandro set or the HD-497's. What advantage do the Sennheisers (if any) have over the Grado/Alessandro pair and vice versa?
 

Mister X

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What advantage do the Sennheisers (if any) have over the Grado/Alessandro pair and vice versa?

I'd go with Sennheiser HD497 or Grado SR-80/MS-1 (if you can stand the discomfort, lack of soundstage and piercing highs).

Nuff said? :D
 

jaffy

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Talonz said:
MS-1 doesn't have piercing highs :p
I sure thought they did, with both comfies and modded 414s, amped and unamped through 2 different sources. They are not quite as bad as the SR-80 though. IMO.
 

Mister X

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saturnine2 said:
I sure thought they did, with both comfies and modded 414s, amped and unamped through 2 different sources.
When compared to your Sennheisers or is that just general impression?


I think using my Sennheisers every day has had an effect my tastes and I can no longer handle cans that have even a hint of a a bright presentation.
(psycho-acoustic modeling in action)
In fact that is one of the reasons why I bought the SR225s (that I hate) was to see if I could change that..... hasn't worked
 

jaffy

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Mister X said:
When compared to your Sennheisers or is that just general impression?
For me, it was compared to my Senns (HD650/PX100), but one of my friends (non audiophile type) tried them and he too thought that they were a bit too bright. I ended up eqing the highs down a bit and they were pretty good for average listening, but I still preferred the Sennheiser sound.

If you look at head-fi's fs/ft, you will find quite a few nearly new MS-1's for sale at a good price. IMO they are worth the asking price.
 

jaffy

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Hell yeah! Everyone was hyping the MS-1s as the greatest cans ever last month, now its the gold 325s. I really need to stop going there. :(

*Carry on with the original discussion* :
 

AdamW

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you just have to learn who to listen to on head-fi (i.e., the people who've actually *heard* the headphones they recommend :>)
 
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Argh, in my multitasking while I was typing my last reply, I forgot to mention that the Audio Technica A500's are also in consideration, so it's down to those three cans as of now.
 

Stinn

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i recently got the HD555's to replace 497's which I only had a month. The 497's were uncomfortable and would really bother my left ear for some reason. The 555's are amazing in comparison, now hopefully these will keep me happy so I dont have to upgrade again soon, my wallet can't take it ;)
 
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