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Another what headphone thread!

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Aero, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Aero

    Aero
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    Hi everybody! :hiya:

    I'm on the lookout for a new pair of headphones and I need some help. Getting very confused by all the various model numbers, and trying to work out which are new models, which are old models, and which new models continue from which old models!! :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I am after closed back phones, around the £100-130 mark, will be listening on my home hifi (Arcam), music types mostly rock and classical. Oh yes, I prefer a fairly transparent sound.

    I've been looking at Beyers as I have been told good things, but have read mixed reviews on the net.

    HD-831 - supposedly good, but getting on now.
    HD-770 - bass heavy, getting on now
    HD-880 - semi-open, quite pricey (£150)

    Not really looked at Sennheisers yet, Grados are all open backed IIRC.

    I really need some good recommendations, most of my local hifi places only stock one type and so comparison is impossible.

    Also, anybody know a good online retailer based in the UK?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi and welcome.....I can understand what you mean about the abundance of names and numbers!

    If you're set on closed back phones,the Beyers are generally good,although there are others from AKG,etc,which are also worth a look.

    It's also worth your while looking at some open phones,which whilst they offer much poorer isolation from external noise,can also be excellent in terms of sound quality,and lighter on the head and ears.
    Mine are Sennheiser 600's,but the Grado range are also very good,and quite light.

    Each of us has his/her own preferences,i.e.open/closed,electrostats etc,and the best way to decide is to try as many as possible,by finding a friendly dealer.....take some music you're familiar with,and settle down to a decent trial over a bit of time.....well worth the effort in terms of getting the sound you want,with a set of phones you can wear for long enough to enjoy the music.

    I understand your comments about local dealers,but it is worth shopping around as much as you can,if you intend to use them regularly.

    By all means use online retailers,but the only way you're going to be able to listen is via a dealer somewhere.
     
  3. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I recommend the Beyerdynamic DT250 (250 ohm version) - a forgiving headphone that is one of the best closed headphones available for under about £200, and these are less than £100, which makes them great value for money, and will sound very good with your chosen genres. The sound is similar in tone to a high end Sennheiser, but the Beyer's midrange is more forward / aggressive, and it has bigger bass.

    They are well built and all of the parts are replaceable. They will sound very good out of an integrated amp, and are not amp fussy at all.

    They are probably better than the DT770, although the DT770 has much more bass, I think you might find it sound muddy out of a stereo integrated amp - it really needs a very clean sounding dedicated headphone amp to get the best from it.

    I've also had various closed AKG's and Sony's, but I would not recommend the closed AKG's because they performed poorly for the price, and the Sony's needed a dedicated headphone amp to sound their best, and even when you give them it, the sound is very bright, but they are decent if you like that sort of thing. The Sony's tend not to isolate very well either for closed headphones, which defeats the purpose of being closed.
     
  4. Aero

    Aero
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    Hmmm, interesting. Auditioned a few pairs this evening, here's my thoughts :

    Sennheiser HD-25 - good sound, really involving, but uncomfortable (they sit on your ears). Plus they're studio headphones so not really designed for home use. People seem to use them with walkmans and the like with good success rates.

    Fostek something or other - very laid back, actually pretty detached and uninvolving.

    Beyer 770 - really harsh treble, boomy bass, but comfortable.

    Beyer 990 - better than 770s, but bass still too heavy and they're open backed and a lot of leakage.

    Out of that lot the Sennys were definitely the best, but I'm not convinced they're good audiophile phones - they're in the studio/DJ section on Sennheiser's website. Fostek and 770s were right out. Beyers were sex on a stick to wear, but even the 990 didn't get the sound quite right. Was surprised at how offensive I found the 770s, and was thinking of plumping for them without a demo earlier...

    Do Sennheiser do any good audiophile phones with comfy pads that go over rather than on your ears? Closed backs?

    I'm starting to wonder just how noisy open backs would be as that would open up a world of possibilities. Trouble is I'll be listening to loud music in the same room as my missus is watching TV...
     
  5. Aero

    Aero
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    Just demod another couple of pairs.

    Bose Triport - not a bad sound, a little heavy on the bass and quite sibilant at the top end on some recordings. Main issue was that for over a hundred quidsworth of headphones the build quality looked pants, I'd break them in five minutes. Plus Bose always seem a little "lifestyle" to me - are you paying for the kit or the name?

    Was talked into listening to a pair of Grado SR-60s. Really liked the sound, was up there with the Senn HD-25s, not convinced that the foam earpads would stay comfortable, and my ears got very warm in the 10 minutes I had them on. Other problem, open backed and let a lot of sound out...

    Now I am tempted by a pair of HD-25s for closed back listening and if I ever get an MP3 player, and maybe some Grados or other decent open-backs for other times.

    Problem is, closed backs are always going to be a compromise.... Maybe the Grados and a pair of 50 quid closed backs.... Decisions decisions!!
     
  6. Leporello

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    Sennheiser HD 580, 600, 650 and 280s all have comfortable pads and many people swear by their sound. I find my HD580s very comfortable but I'm not sure that how well they fair under free form adjectives.

    If you found the Sennheiser HD25s uncomfortable you'll find the Grados more so. However, the Grados seem to attract marginally more free form adjectives. I found the earpads on the Grado SR80s very uncomfortable. They tasted like sponge rubber with hints of blackcurrant and oak, the the aftertaste was evocative of a warm Summer evening on the banks of the Tigris.

    As for the Bose Triports, I find them comfortable but decidedly non u amongst audiophiles here and the free form adjectives they generate are a trifle harsh.
     
  7. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I wouldnt write off the Beyers on the strength of hearing the 770 and 990, which are arguably two of the least balanced Beyer headphones in the whole range.

    I still think you should check out the DT250-250, you might be surprised ;)
     
  8. flangemonkey

    flangemonkey
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    The only other half-decent closed phones that Senn do are the HD280 Pros...

    If you're after audiophile sound, then open-backed phones are the way forward, although IMO the 280 Pros are possibly the best closed cans for the price...

    I use the HD555s in an office, and as long as I don't have them at full-blast (which is far too loud anyway) no-one can hear them...

    I also use them walking to and from work, turn them up, and they isolate surprisingly well. However, they do definitely leak to a degree at high volumes (as do all open-backed designs)...
     
  9. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    The HD280 are fine, as long as you dont like hearing any bass...
     
  10. StevieDvd

    StevieDvd
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    Where are you located in the UK? There is a shop in Charing Cross road that has a good selection on demo and they aim to beat other prices (so don't just but there - find what you want at the best price and then get them to beat it).
     
  11. Zigster

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    Resurrecting this thread ...

    I've got a similar question to Aero in that I'm looking for some recommendations to help me put together a shortlist. My usage/requirements are:
    - reasonably infrequent use of headphones (ie, I'm a bit of an insomniac so listen to music early in the morning/late at night when the wife is in bed)
    - I can see circumstances where I might be listening when wife is in room and I might be using headphones (as she hates much of my musical taste) so closed back 'phones would probably be best.
    - 'phones will typically be plugged in to the headphone socket of my Linn Classik. I'm not intending to get a separate headphone amp, despite all I've read on this board.
    - given the relatively low usage, budget is only around £100 (though flexible for the right pair - for example, would the Ergo Model 1 be worth looking at?)
    - happy to spend less too (as then they come into present territory and it's my birthday at the end of this month). Would the Beyer DT231 Galactic be any good as I've got a Richer Sounds close to my office which sells them for £40?
    - style not important as they will be for home use only (I've got Shure e2c 'phones for my iPod but I don't think they'll be particularly satisfying for home use)

    I've borrowed a pair of AKG K271 Studio 'phones from a neighbour and I've quite enjoyed them. I've seen them for £85 incl P&P which seems to be a good price.

    I've read some posts mentioning Turnkey on CXR. I could pop over there one lunchtime to audition some pairs - are they still open as their website seems to be down? If they are still open, what brands do they stock?

    Any recommendations for a shortlist gratefully received. :thumbsup:

    Zigster
     

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