: Headphones- recommends (or inevitable reprimands)
Apr 1st, 2012, 08:42 PM
Ok- I know most ehMac'ers have multiple sets of $400 cheapies to -$2000+ 'ok in a pinch' headphones lying around, but pretend you are poor and desperate for a moment...
I need some headphones. Guidelines are- unbelievable sound quality, on ear, under $150, can be driven by iPhone 4 and Macbook unibody (and I have a current gen Shuffle but no great expectations there).
No noise cancel. No over ear.
Sound leakage not an issue, looks not an issue.
I'm looking at (low end): Sennheiser HD 218i, Sennheiser PX 100-IIi, Grado SR60i.
At the upper end: Grado SR80i, Sennheiser 238i, Klipsch Image One.
I have little available locally (Future Shop/Best Buy), they have assorted AKG and Panasonic in that price range.
Looked at the Bose OE2i, but they are spendy, and I think anything Bose has a premium that goes towards their advertising onslaught which I don't wish to pay into.
Not interested in Dr. Dre or other hip-hop premiums, nor am I interested in looks/ street cred like Skullcandy.
I don't want artificially boosted bass. I don't want a pair of subwoofers for my ears. I want clear accurate balanced sound. I listen to everything from Satie to Motorhead. A lot of singer songwriter, electronic, ambient, female vocal, rock, folk, indie, classical, polyphony, pop.
I have several earbuds that are in the $30-40 range, and Apple earbuds. All crap, but I don't mind the Apple earbuds as an all around.
For headphones, I have Sony MDR-V250 (about $50) which are crap soundwise, but fine for fit, design, and comfort.
Anyone have any of these headphones? Suggest? Recommend?
i"ve poured over review sites, looking for more personal user review experience.
Again, I realize I can get better quality for more money, but $150 is the top end. Also, even with my crap Sonys, I can't get enough power, always trying to turn it up to eleven.
How well does your Mac device drive your headphones?
Anyone use an amp. like the Fiio E5?
Apr 1st, 2012, 09:26 PM
Also looking for a set of headphones... Not to hijack, but I'm looking for pretty much the same thing - except I want sound isolation, which you usually find with full-size cans.
Apr 1st, 2012, 09:46 PM
I made my own sound isolation using radians custom ear molds.. $15... But I use my ear buds for stage monitors.. Really though, radians are great, and can be used with an year buds..and take 10 minutes to mold!
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Apr 1st, 2012, 10:08 PM
AKG makes some great studio monitors mind you they aren't up to the rigors of walking around or being tossed in a backpack etc. Sound quality is excellent to my ears provided you are in the $150 and up range.
Forget Skullcandy. Enhanced base and mediocre to poor materials/build quality. I have several of their various models as I get them super cheap and live around the corner from HQ where I get unquestioned replacements on their multiple defects. Ok for basic daily use if you can take advantage of their warranty.
Apr 4th, 2012, 05:20 AM
Beats and Skullcandy should be forced to listen to a Billy BASS singing fish for all eternity for their crimes against music.
Apr 4th, 2012, 05:05 PM
I love my Shure SE535.
Apr 4th, 2012, 08:06 PM
I have a set of AKG that I love. Mine are the DJ81's that are around $60 online. They're very well reviewed, offer decent sound isolation, fold up into a pouch and are easily driven. I listen to pretty much everything from rock to acoustic jazz and everything in between and while I'm no longer spending obscene amounts of money on audio gear I still do appreciate good sound :)
AKG K 81 DJ - Headphones | HeadRoom Audio (http://www.headphone.com/headphones/akg-k-81-dj.php)
They are known for strong bass but they aren't bass heavy if you know what I mean. A coworker has the Grado 80's and we both prefer my AKG's. The AKG's are also a lot more comfortable then the Grado's.
Apr 4th, 2012, 09:39 PM
Excellent Andrew Pratt, thanks.
Those AKGs match up price wise with the others I mentioned.
Found a very good user review/comparison for the AKG K81DJ.
REVIEW: 3 Closed Portables Compared?AKG K81 DJ, Audio Technica ES5 & Sennheiser PX200 (http://www.head-fi.org/t/164996/review-3-closed-portables-compared-akg-k81-dj-audio-technica-es5-sennheiser-px200)
Apr 4th, 2012, 10:02 PM
Wouldn't you know it I take a look at this thread go out on my walk and my apple head phones crap out on me on one side. Is that karma?
Apr 4th, 2012, 10:05 PM
I tend to agree with that review. The K81's are very easy to listen to for extended periods of time. I also use the acoustic EQ setting on my iPhone and have tried some portable amps as well. The amps do help but I got irritated with the interference noise added when I got data so stopped using it...esp since while they do help it wasn't night and day different on my iPhone4 plugged into constant power. As the review said they're not perfect but for the price IMO they're a lot better then you'd expect and to my ears more comfortable to ware and listen to then the Grado's.
Apr 4th, 2012, 10:06 PM
Joker...that's not Karma that's good luck :)
Apr 11th, 2012, 08:31 PM
I went with the AKG K450. These weren't even on my list but the salesman put them on the counter with the others.
Using an iPhone with a varied playlist representing my typical music choices, I sampled 4 different headphones in my range, and 1 way out of range. I brought along my Sony V250's as a control set, but determined within seconds that all the samples outclassed the Sony's by a mile.
Sennheiser PX 200 II - Ouch! Tinny tin tin. Flimsy build.
AKG 518LE- Muddy and muffled on sound quality top to bottom. Didn't seem like the iPhone was driving them sufficiently. Good build quality.
Grado SR60i- Easily the best sound quality top to bottom, with good accurate reproduction. Unfortunately, the iPhone couldn't drive them. I tried them with a headphone amp, but that wasn't practical. A real, beefy, 2m cord was the best of the bunch. The ear cups are a soft foam that I think would have felt hot after any length of time. Also the gentlest fit of any sampled, these phones wouldn't stay put with any kind of activity (Not surprisingly, there are a bunch of mods available online for the ear cups). Even though the 'i' is for iPhone compatibility and feature, I wouldn't class these as portable.
Bowers & Wilkins P5- way out of range at $300. Built like a $300 headset, but I didn't immediately hear the extra $150-$200 sound quality.
AKG K450- Best compromise. Middle of my price range. They are a portable headphone, good sound quality, a bit heavy in some bass situations and they get a little crowded with multiple layers, but they are easily driven by the iPhone, my MacBook, and my shuffle and don't leave me looking for more. Full sound at mid volume.
The build is a little flimsy feeling (probably because they fold up completely), but the ear pieces feel firm and the ear cups are comfortable, snug fitting but not squeezing my head (comparable to the Bose OE2 build). The thin cord is definitely the weak part of this headset, equivalent to an earbud cord. And the cord is short at 1m (that's the long one- also comes with a .5m cord, and a short 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter, as well as as 3.5mm to 1/4 adapter). I expect I'll be needing the 2 yr warranty for a cord replacement . The cord also detaches from the headset. I do like the single cord, no tickle/strangle around the neck and I can tell which side is left/right without looking as the cord goes into the left earpiece only.
The phones also come with a hardshell carry case.