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Thread: Headphone Recommendations

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    Default Headphones.

    I've already asked for advice on another forum but it doesn't hurt if I hear from you guys, too. First thought was - IEM - but I've been told not to buy them as they distort the frequency too much.

    As of now I am considering purchasing Sennheiser HD-595. Are they any good?

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    Why not try the hi-fi forum in the "recorded music" section of this Forum?

    Here's a relevant thread: Headphones.

    and you might check out the link on headphones here: 2009 Winners; What Hi -Fi? Sound & Vision

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    Junior Member Bartók's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaerbEmEvig View Post
    I've already asked for advice on another forum but it doesn't hurt if I hear from you guys, too. First thought was - IEM - but I've been told not to buy them as they distort the frequency too much.

    As of now I am considering purchasing Sennheiser HD-595. Are they any good?
    I do not have the Sennheiser HD-595's, but I have only heard good things about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    Why not try the hi-fi forum in the "recorded music" section of this Forum?

    Here's a relevant thread: Headphones.

    and you might check out the link on headphones here: 2009 Winners; What Hi -Fi? Sound & Vision
    Yes, of course - this forum has so many sub-divisions that sometimes I do get lost in here (I'm a new-comer). Excuse my ignorance.=]


    [Admin edit: No problem - the two threads have been merged into one ]
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Dec-23-2009 at 01:17.

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    Default Headphone Recommendations

    Well, today I went to Best Buy and after verifying I could return whatever sets I don't want, I bought:

    1. Koss - PRO4AAT
    2. Sennheiser - HD238
    3. Sennheiser - HD280

    The store doesn't have any of them on display, so I really have no other way to test them out, aside from shelling out the $300 and returning the two I can't keep (which amazingly the returns manager said was okay). They're all around $100USD.

    Does anyone have any experience with these sets? Initially, the KOSS are extremely impressive in build quality and comfort, but the sound is flat. I'm hoping they will break in and develop more bass with continuous use. I LOVE the lifetime warranty on it too.

    The HD 280 sounds louder and the instruments maybe more distinct and spaced out. All the reviews rave about the quality sound after they get broken in.

    I haven't opened the HD 238's yet.

    I'm using just a portable CD player, a computer and IPOD...a setup which the KOSS really isn't designed for. It has the highest Impedance at 250,,I really wish I had more to try them out on.

    Well I have 30 days to decide. If anyone has any suggestions or experience with any of them, please let me know! I've never owned a quality pair of headphones before, it's all so exciting!

    I guess this is what happens when the wife leaves town to go visit her family.
    Last edited by David58117; Dec-21-2009 at 19:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaerbEmEvig View Post
    I've already asked for advice on another forum but it doesn't hurt if I hear from you guys, too. First thought was - IEM - but I've been told not to buy them as they distort the frequency too much.

    As of now I am considering purchasing Sennheiser HD-595. Are they any good?
    You might as well get the HD555, the HD595 is barely an improvement from it. Then instead of the HD555 you might as well get the AD700 which is available for the same price. I am of the opinion that Sennheisers are mainly for jazz and are too smooth for classical music.

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor, spend $50 more and get something like these.

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    The price is not that much of an issue. I'm looking for headphones that produce unaltered sound so that I can use them for every music genre there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaerbEmEvig View Post
    The price is not that much of an issue. I'm looking for headphones that produce unaltered sound so that I can use them for every music genre there is.
    In that case you might try these:

    They're good quality Grado headphones, SR 325is. They are about £300. They're semi-open back which I prefer to the closed back type.

    Mine is the version prior to that shown above, but they're essentially the same. I bought them two years ago year but I can't say that I use them much. I generally prefer the sound of room speakers, plus I'm nervous about damaging my hearing: one little accident (power surge or something like that, glitch on the CD, faulty amp volume control) could be serious. I tend to use them only for analytical purposes, e.g. when I have a specially good recording of an orchestral piece and I want to identify the instruments more clearly.

    They are far better than a previous set of Sennheiser I had (can't remember the name, as I gave them away) which I hardly ever used. I never got on with the closed back type.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    I have a Sennheiser HD 650 and it's very good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
    You might as well get the HD555, the HD595 is barely an improvement from it. Then instead of the HD555 you might as well get the AD700 which is available for the same price. I am of the opinion that Sennheisers are mainly for jazz and are too smooth for classical music.
    I found that the 555s did an awful job of reproducing the natural timbre of pianos. The 600/650s are excellent at this and get the soundstage "right." On the other hand, the soundstage of the Grados are quite narrow, and while they do a good job at small ensemble recordings, I did not like how they handle symphonic music. The 325s are a bit bright, which leads to long term listening fatigue in many listeners. Look into the AKG K601/K701. I found that the K601 was an excellent price/performance ratio.

    For IEMs, the Westone UM3X are my hands-down favorite in frequency response (slightly rolled of high frequencies, slightly warm mids, accurate throughout, and excellent low frequency reproduction (not too boomy). They are also the most comfortable and ergonomic to me. This is all in comparison with dozens of other IEMs and other earphones, to my ears, etc. I'm currently listening to Hilary Hahn's rendition of Bach's Violin Partita No. 3. Beautiful!

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    A tip: don't spend too much on your equipment. Ultimately money spent on upgrading your hi-fi equipment could be better spent on upgrading your music library. And anyway "unaltered sound" doesn't necessary mean "for every music genre there is", very often the unaltered sound is quite boring to listen to, and very often you'll want some bump in the frequency spectrum for certain types of music. But if that's what you want the K501/K601/K701 is probably for you.

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    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    If you're keen to get the best sound possible, you need a good CD player, a dedicated headphone amplifier, and high-end 'phones, each component costing in the range of maybe £500 - £800.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harwood View Post
    If you're keen to get the best sound possible, you need a good CD player, a dedicated headphone amplifier, and high-end 'phones, each component costing in the range of maybe £500 - £800.
    ... but you can get away with amazing sound (not the best, but hey, this is a hobby of diminishing returns) with ~$250 for a headphone amplifier (so many), ~$100 for a USB DAC for your computer (AMB Labs mini3 or HeadRoom Total BitHead), ~$300 for headphones.

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    If anyone is interested, I ended up returning all 3 headphones (Koss PRO4AAT, HD238, HD280) and have ordered the Audio-Technica's ATH-A700 (closed back) for about the same price as the others. It was between that and the HD555, but the open design isn't what I'm after. I'm not after the big bulky looks of the A700's either but that's easier to deal with.

    I also bought a little FiiO E3 Headphone Amp for about 10 bucks.


    Edit ---

    I just canceled the ATH-A700. I was getting afraid it wasn't going to be too much of an improvement over the HD280PRO I tried out, whereas if I save up a little while longer I can afford something along the lines of the AKG 701, or Bayer Dynamic DT 770. I can make some sacrifices in terms of open/closed if the sound is truly as amazing as the reviews say. It's going to be a fun next couple weeks. And hell returning to my skullcandy canal buds.
    Last edited by David58117; Dec-25-2009 at 03:06.

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