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Thread: Headphones.

  1. #31
    Senior Member Kuhlau's Avatar
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    I'm a committed headphone listener and have been for as long as I can remember. I love the intimacy that's only possible with cans, though I recognise that listening fatigue can set in during a prolonged session; and that choosing a good set of headphones that are right for the individual is vital. Something else I know is how listening at loud volumes can damage your hearing: my foolish exploits in earlier years have left me with a very high-pitched case of tinnitus in my right ear (not as irritating or uncomfortable as you might imagine, actually).

    My cans of choice are three-fold: Sennheiser HD-215s for listening in noisy environments or when I don't want to disturb others (a so-so set, bought only because I needed some closed-back cans and didn't have much cash at the time); Sennheiser PX-200s for listening on the train or out on walks; and AKG 501s for 'proper' listening. These last are lightweight, with a rolled-off high treble response, a nice, clear mid-range and a fairly light bass weight - ideal for many types of classical music.

    As to how I imitate the effect of listening to speakers when using headphones, I rely on the foobar2000 media player with a cross-feed .dll file that mimics the cross-talk mentioned by Hugh. It's surprisingly effective and I'd recommend giving it a shot if you listen a lot using a computer, as I'm forced to at this point in my life.

    FK
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    Arghhh! Daughter's new Rabbit ate my old Beyerdynac 311's! Wife bought some DT 331's to replace them.( only 50 quid too!) open and padded. Because they arnt sitting flush on my ears like the old Beyer's they sound a bit brighter. Very Very comfortable though for a larger size than the old ones. If I push them in nearer my ears the bass gets better. Maybe if I squish the pads between some heavy books!?

  3. #33
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    hi Mark Harwood and others , yesterday I auditioned 2 sets of Grado headphones S80 and 325i .Although i have suffered hearing loss and tinnitus since 1992, I was thrilled that I could still detect the difference in resolution between S80 (NZ$ 275) and the 325i (NZ$650 ).I bought the 325i, although both are leading value for money phones in their price bracket.The 325i phones have brought me back high fidelity music that I have not heard since 1992 ..I have not bought any new gear for 17 years so I feel comfortable about buying my new Dynavector 10X5 cartridge and my Grado 325i headphones , and the sound is fabulous .

  4. #34
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Hi Bongos. Glad you're enjoying your listening. I've liked headphones ever since I heard good ones.
    Kuhlau, what's this foobar thing?
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Kuhlau's Avatar
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    See here, Mark: foobar2000.

    FK
    An everyman for himself ~ Classical music reviews & resources
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  6. #36
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Thanks, Kuhlau. I was afraid it might be kinda technical, but that clears it up.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    An update. My son's earphones broke down, so I've passed my Sennheiser CX-300s on to him, with fresh buds. My replacements are the CX-300 mk.II, which have a RRP of £40 but are available at £15. They're more accurate than their predecessors, and better 'phones for less money. My wife, who also has a new pair, says even piano sounds noticeably more natural, & Liszt is great on them. If you have an MP3 portable with the original 'phones supplied with it, I firmly recommend this upgrade.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  8. #38
    Junior Member ladyrebecca's Avatar
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    Headphones definitely have their place. There's simply nothing like live (no, not even expensive speaker rigs). And for the value, it's possible to get away with some of the better headphone stuff than the better loudspeaker stuff. Plus, with speakers, too often the listening environment is less than ideal. That matters far less with a good set of in ear monitors (IEMs), for instance. Plus all the known conveniences of headphones ... not disturbing others, etc. My IEMs provide approx. up to 25 dB of reduction of ambient noise, meaning I can listen to the music and not street noise/radiators/etc, almost irrespective of where I am.

    Headphones are by no means perfect reproduction, but it's a different way of experiencing music intimately, like others have suggested. So, without further ado:

    ALAC/AAC 320 kbps > iPod classic line out > mini3 amplifier > Westone UM3X. In fact I just got a gamma-1 DAC that should help my computer audio out considerably.

  9. #39
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    The best headphones for classical music = big soundstage, great clarity. Which is why the Grados are awful classical music headphones, they are made for rock or heavy metal and have a very in-your-face sound. Bassy headphones/earphones like the CX300 are even worse, the bass is generally useless for classical music. The best headphone for classical music at a reasonable price is probably the K701, but then it is not easy to drive and will require an amplifier. I recommend all classical music fans looking for a value for money headphone to try the ATH AD700, it's easily a demon of a value for classical music listening and doesn't require an amplifier.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Fair point about the CX300, Scythe: the boost in the upper bass could add warmth to some recordings but detract from the clarity of others; but for the money they were a good upgrade for listening on the move. The new Mark 2s are a significant improvement with regard to clarity & detail, & for £15 they're a steal. For serious listening, of course, we'd look elsewhere. But for anyone who doesn't have money to spare, they're a good place to start, I think.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  11. #41
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Today I listened to the Four Seasons on the new CX300s & a Sony Mp3. Not audiophile stuff of course, but a thought occurred to me: if I were on a tight budget, these 'phones & the Mp3 would leave me change out of £100 & I'd enjoy my music plenty.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  12. #42
    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    I need some new closed cans - thinking of Sennheiser HD 380 Pro or (for double the price) Denon AH-D2000. Anyone with any experience of either of these for classical music?

    NB. I have a dedicated headphone amp so driving any cans will not be a problem.

  13. #43
    Junior Member ladyrebecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
    The best headphones for classical music = big soundstage, great clarity. Which is why the Grados are awful classical music headphones, they are made for rock or heavy metal and have a very in-your-face sound. Bassy headphones/earphones like the CX300 are even worse, the bass is generally useless for classical music. The best headphone for classical music at a reasonable price is probably the K701, but then it is not easy to drive and will require an amplifier. I recommend all classical music fans looking for a value for money headphone to try the ATH AD700, it's easily a demon of a value for classical music listening and doesn't require an amplifier.
    I disagree that Grados are "awful classical music headphones." Your point regarding soundstage is well taken, but Grados have an accuracy and clarity in instrumental music that is totally reasonable. For more neutrality, go to the Alessandro Music Series. For wide soundstage, there's always the admittedly expensive GS1000 and now the PS1000. And finally, not all classical music is symphonic, and chamber music and sonatas, etc. are all quite nice on my Alessandro MS-2i.

    bassClef, you may want to consider AKG K601s or K501s. For my money, the K601s are some of the best headphones anywhere. Happy listening.

  14. #44
    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    Too late - I ordered the Denons - I bought my wife's christmas present to me

  15. #45
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    Hey there

    I want to get the Denons 2000 for the same reason as you did. If you have experienced them yet, could you tell me, how do they fair for your classical music listening?
    Thanks a lot. Happy Holidays.

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