Recommend me new headphones

unhappy_mage

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My faithful HD-202s have just given up the ghost, again. This time I have a little money to play with, so instead of repairing them I'm looking for a new set of headphones.

Budget is about $140, but if I can spend less that'd be okay. They'll be unamped unless I get ambitious and debug the Cmoy I built. I'd prefer closed headphones to open ones, and over-ear to on-ear. Earbuds sound interesting, but I don't want to get cheap ones and be disappointed. This'll be mostly music/ignore roommate use. Long-term comfortable is important.

Things I've tried and my impressions
HD 202s - Nice. I like the general sound of these, when they work.
HD 280s - Flat feeling. Boring. Headband clamps too tightly (and broke after a year or so!).
HD 280s, amped - Still a little boring. Much better overall volume, of course - they're too quiet without an amp.
These (Sony) - Uncomfortable like a mofo. Wrong size for my ears. Didn't sound great, either.
These (Sony) - Too loose for me, no matter what I did with the band. Don't remember what they sounded like.
 

unhappy_mage

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I'd really rather not have open cans. The 485s look nice; the cord is what I've managed to kill twice now, so getting a replaceable one is a good idea.

Repairing the cmoy is on my agenda now. I just have to find a free weekend to slave over a hot multimeter :p
 

soloz2

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the HD580's mentioned earlier will not be good unamped, however a pair of HD555 or HD595's would do nicely. I have both 595 and 580 and overall the 595's are slightly more forward and I think better for gaming... but they are much, much better unamped
 

Gatticus

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Where do you buy HD580's anyway? Sennheiser has discontinued that model and the HD600 is the replacement.
 

towert7

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Budget is about $140, but if I can spend less that'd be okay. They'll be unamped unless I get ambitious and debug the Cmoy I built. I'd prefer closed headphones to open ones, and over-ear to on-ear. Earbuds sound interesting, but I don't want to get cheap ones and be disappointed. This'll be mostly music/ignore roommate use. Long-term comfortable is important.

Hi Unhappy_mage. Make sure you take a look at the Beyer DT770pro 80ohm as one of your options. 140$, closed, around the ear, extream comfort, closed to block out roomates, and not that bad sounding for the price (with the option to upgrade down the road). I'm very impressed with mine.

~Hope this helps
 

Viperman5000

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Don't mean to hijack, but can I get a recommendation too?

I'm looking for about $80-100. I know about frequency ranges and all that, I just don't know any good brands. Preferably a closed ear, but I'm open to suggestions (no pun intended).

I also don't know about needing an amp, plus I'm an audiophile.
 

saber9505

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Nov 30, 2006
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Don't mean to hijack, but can I get a recommendation too?

I'm looking for about $80-100. I know about frequency ranges and all that, I just don't know any good brands. Preferably a closed ear, but I'm open to suggestions (no pun intended).

I also don't know about needing an amp, plus I'm an audiophile.

100$ wont get you audiophile equipment =(.
 

Dominat0r

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Damn. Well what's the best I can get for that much?

And are the Bose Quiet Comfort 2's any good (even out of my price range, just curious).

Well best really depends on music tastes...

Grado SR80s-125s are around that price and really nice for rock type music. They are very bright. Alot brighter then any sennhesier ive heard.

HD580s are about 125$ and a great set of cans. I really enjoy mine, even when they were stock. They are dark compared to the Grado though. Still nice for all types of music.

ATs and Beyers seem to get good reviews and people really like their sound. I dont know much about them, have only tried a AD2000 myself. I can say for sure those are great, but well out of the price range.
 

Scyles

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The HD555's are exactly $100. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile, but I am much more concerned with the quality of my music than the average consumer. 192K mp3's are the minimum I'd listen to. I'm quite happy with the HD555's after burn-in. Aside from the sound quality, they're so comfortable that you can almost forget they're on.
 

spaceman

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BOSE are overpriced and cheaply built aka flimsy.

Get Sennheiser 555s used on Head-Fi or some AudioTechnica phones. Both are well built and sound pretty good.

The Beyer 770 are good for gaming but for music they lack midrange.
 

skeeder

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if you want more of a jumpy entertaining sound, I'd recommend some grados.
 

Laxx

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I think you should check out the Audio Technica ATH-A700/900, priced at $125/169. I'm personally spluge the extra $29 above your $140 budget for the A900's as to not have buyers remorse later on. Worse comes to worse, sell it at Head-Fi if it's not to your liking and pick something else up. That's one of the great things about this hobby.
 

awins1

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I received the A900's from Audiocubes last week, after breaking them in a bit, they are awesome. Very comfortable to wear and for gaming simply superb. They were $182 shipped. Shipping was very fast, ordered on Thursday and received on Tuesday.
 

towert7

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if you want more of a jumpy entertaining sound, I'd recommend some grados.
Just out of curiosity, did you read the OP's first post? Grado's sound like the exact opposite to what he wants.

"I'd prefer closed headphones to open ones, and over-ear to on-ear."
"Long-term comfortable is important".
"This'll be mostly music/ignore roommate use".
:confused: :confused: :confused:
 

schapman

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The ATH-500/700/900s will for sure with no amp.

The Beyer DT770pro 80 ohms should but I've never tried them so I don't know.
 

soloz2

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the ATH-A500/A700's will be the best unamped with the Senn HD555/595's following in close behind. The Beyers can be used unamped, but almost everyone who has them eventually gets an amp to get their full potential.

for under $100 and closed go with the ATH-A500's or splurge for some A700's.
You can get used HD595's for $130ish
 

Laxx

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the ATH-A500/A700's will be the best unamped with the Senn HD555/595's following in close behind. The Beyers can be used unamped, but almost everyone who has them eventually gets an amp to get their full potential.

for under $100 and closed go with the ATH-A500's or splurge for some A700's.
You can get used HD595's for $130ish

You were able to get the HD595's for $150 new a few months back, but it's going for $180 new now.
 

unhappy_mage

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2005
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ATH-A500s ordered, Cmoy (I think) repaired. I'll have to see how it sounds with a decent source; I may have to make a few more modifications.

Why'd I go for headphones so much cheaper than budget allowed? 'Cause I want to get these too :D
 

Viper87227

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Don't feel too bad. Within a year you'll have spent twice as much on headphones alone.

I dunno about that. I think Mage might be able to fight the upgraditis. Just don't mention you know where :p

(granted, if he's made his own cmoy... I am sure he's well aware)
 

unhappy_mage

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I dunno about that. I think Mage might be able to fight the upgraditis. Just don't mention you know where :p

(granted, if he's made his own cmoy... I am sure he's well aware)

Who, Voldemort?:p I am aware of H***F*, if that's what you mean.

I fight upgraditis with the simplest weapon: no money :D
 

unhappy_mage

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ATH-500s arrived and opened, but no sound yet - I'm at work and not allowed to use headphones. They're pretty darn comfortable on my ears, but the pads on top press down on my head a bit much. I'll probably get used to it, but is there a way to adjust the tension of the springs on them without voiding the warranty?

Other impressions: I like the cord - the cloth covering is cool-looking. Can't wait to turn these on :D

Edit: The headphones shipped from Japan, and on the customs form it says these are a gift, and of value $20. Funny stuff :p
 

Viper87227

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ATH-500s arrived and opened, but no sound yet - I'm at work and not allowed to use headphones. They're pretty darn comfortable on my ears, but the pads on top press down on my head a bit much. I'll probably get used to it, but is there a way to adjust the tension of the springs on them without voiding the warranty?

Other impressions: I like the cord - the cloth covering is cool-looking. Can't wait to turn these on :D

Edit: The headphones shipped from Japan, and on the customs form it says these are a gift, and of value $20. Funny stuff :p

Lol... they are to tight? AT's are by far the loosest fitting headphones I've ever owned. If you think those clamp to much, don't ever buy a pair of Senns :p
 

unhappy_mage

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Lol... they are too tight? AT's are by far the loosest fitting headphones I've ever owned. If you think those clamp too much, don't ever buy a pair of Senns :p

Fixed ;) And no, not too tight at all, horizontally-wise. The two pads on top that hold the phones in place, though, seem like the springs are a little stiff. Or maybe I'm just not used to wearing headphones - I've been on speakers for almost a month now :(

Yeah, I think my family has big heads. My brother's HD280s are cracking along the headband, right next to the pad. I think these will be sturdier.

Any suggestions for breaking these in? I usually play bass-heavy material (Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys, for example - those low sweeps are lots of fun :D) at a fairly high volume for 24h before I even decide whether I like the sound. What makes good test material?
 
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Will any of these work on my X-Fi XtremeMusic and will I need an amp for my iPod?


What is all this talk of amps ?? I have a few Ipods a 3g 40gb and a 5g 30gb + Senns
497's and it sounds good.What is the point of an amp ? Will it help with battery usage,
as my 497's halve or worse my Ipods battery power,which really sucks... What do you
guys do about that? as the buds will give me 12 to 15 hours,where my senns,kill the
battery after 4 to 6 hours.Oh and more totally OFF topic,has any ony here tried this,if
so did it help at all,or allot,was it fairly easy ?

http://www.longlast-battery.com/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=5

So yeah...this or any of the other models out there,and is there anything better,as to after market batter replacement kits for the 3G? TIA
 

oqvist

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An amp drives the phones better. For example the bass on my DT 770 is more boomy without my amp. They don´t respond as quickly to sound changes... Otherwise it´s also a question of volume. now running my DT 770 PRO straight from my X-Fi I have no problem with volume. They do also sound really good out of that but to get the last little bit you want an amp.

I am sure it helps phones like 595 as well. An amp don´t only give you more loudness :).

As for A900 yes they are very loose fitting can´t see how they could clamp? I have quite a large head use glasses and a trackIR cap. I can´t feel I am wearing them and they fit to loose to be able to headbang.

I haven´t heard of any headphones that fit looser then the ATH-A900 or it´s siblings.

As for headphone for me it´s 50/50 DT 770 or A900... I do preferr DT 770 but I think that is mostly because I am more used to it´s sound though I do have 100h with the A900 or something I think already :).

I am getting the ULTRASONE PROLINE 750 tomorrow which after 150h burn in I fully expect to blow my previous headphones out of the water lol.

They do cost a bit more though. Especially than the DT 770 which is cheaper then A900. Hopefully it´s worth it.
 

Viper87227

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Fixed ;) And no, not too tight at all, horizontally-wise. The two pads on top that hold the phones in place, though, seem like the springs are a little stiff. Or maybe I'm just not used to wearing headphones - I've been on speakers for almost a month now :(

Yeah, I think my family has big heads. My brother's HD280s are cracking along the headband, right next to the pad. I think these will be sturdier.

Any suggestions for breaking these in? I usually play bass-heavy material (Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys, for example - those low sweeps are lots of fun :D) at a fairly high volume for 24h before I even decide whether I like the sound. What makes good test material?

Loud != more burn in. Keep it moderately leveled, and try a wide range of music that will work in all areas. You could also try running pink noise through them... lots of people say that works well. I haven't used it tho... to burn in I just make sure even when I am not listening, music is playing. I will usually stop after about a week straight. 160+ hours is a reasonable burn in for most cans.
 

unhappy_mage

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Loud != more burn in. Keep it moderately leveled, and try a wide range of music that will work in all areas. You could also try running pink noise through them... lots of people say that works well. I haven't used it tho... to burn in I just make sure even when I am not listening, music is playing. I will usually stop after about a week straight. 160+ hours is a reasonable burn in for most cans.

Yeah, by "fairly high volume" I don't mean unlistenable. But a few dB higher than I'd normally listen at. I think I'll try pink noise, and I'll reduce the volume to what I'd want to listen at over long periods of time. Thanks for the input!
 

Tutelary

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Yeah, I think my family has big heads. My brother's HD280s are cracking along the headband, right next to the pad. I think these will be sturdier.

I have a pair of 570s that are failing here and there as well. You'd figure construction would be a prime consideration for something that is on and off your head all the time. :rolleyes:

Shouldn't have to pay $400 for something that doesn't fall apart.
 

towert7

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I don't see the connection...

That's only because you havn't made the connection yet........ give it time ^_^


PS: Unhappy mage, welcome to the club of fellow cracked HD280pro's........... and to think they still make them.
 

unhappy_mage

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2005
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After five days of playing continuously (either white noise, while I'm AFK, or music while I'm here) they're quite listenable. Bass response when I first got these was painfully strong; they've backed off on that end some but not too much. Still crisp high-end and crunchy in the middle. I like these :D

On the other hand, I'm really noticing how bad many bands' equipment is. It'd be interesting to plot noise floor on a given recording to the skill of the players involved. FLAC is a waste on some of the bands I listen to, unfortunately :(
 
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