'Best' headphones for iPOD??

GlynH

Active Member
I'm sure this must have been asked a thousand times so I have searched through the archives but nothing seems relevant to me... :confused:

I have an iPOD Mini and actually like the in-ear 'phones that come with it sound quality-wise...however as with many other in-ear types they seem too big to fit into my ear :(

So I have tried the Apple upgraded 'phones and found them to be a good fit with their Sony-like rubber tips but the sound quality is inferior to the original 'phones. :confused:

As many people seem to rate the Sony earphones I bought a pair of both the MDR-EX71SLW & the MDREX81 for me & my girlfriend and expected great things.

These were similar to the upgraded Apple ones (are they made by Sony?) in the fact that they do fit nicely in the ear but they lack bass and actually sound worse to me than the original ones supplied with the iPOD Mini so back to Square One... :boring:

I hear a lot of things about Sennheiser so I tried the PX100 & 200 series - these were far more open than the originals but again lack bass(!) and I actually prefer the originals overall...

Rummaging through the loft I came across an old pair of Technics RP-HT90 that seemed to be shedding the finish on the earpads leaving bits of black on everything they came in contact with!

The sound however? Wonderful. Open like the Sennheiser PX100/200 but with bass. Magic. Just the job. If I was critical however I would say that they do not go quite loud enough but I would be prepared to live with this because they sound great! :thumbsup:

As these are in a poor condition does anyone know if I can replace the earpads on the RP-HT90 or what current 'phones would offer a similar sound please?

Thanks & regards,
-=Glyn=-
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
You should find quite a bit both here and in the iPod/MP3 area of the forums relating to which phones are best.....in summary,a good number of aftermarket 'phones,either in-ear or otherwhise are a worthwhile upgrade,but as long as the impedance is fairly high,as the op-amp in the iPod responsible for it's headphone output isn't very happy with low impedance phones.

A good example is the Etymotics,which induce fairly early distortion and limiting,whereas the thing will drive a pair of Sennheiser 600s(not suggesting these for portable use BTW) albeit to not awfully high SPLs,but with little distortion.
 

GlynH

Active Member
Thanks for the reply alexs2,

I did try my HD600 just out of curiousity before I 'discovered' my old Technics RP-HT90's and noticed the lack of volume which gave the impression that they sounded soft and not very dynamic. :(

Even if they were the best I had heard they would not be my first choice for plugging into my iPOD on the move! :rotfl:

I was going to look at the Etymotic's as they always seem to get rave reviews but being 'allergic to distortion' may now give them a miss! :eek:

I guess I will have to keeplooking then - I have spent 100UKP in my quest so far and am still at 'Ground Zero' which was why I was looking for inspiration. :suicide:

I have shortlisted the Shure E3c and would like to get a listen to the Grado SR60 & SR80 but do not know what size the physical package of the Grado 'phones are... :confused:

If it wasn't for the old Technics shedding the black finish from the earcups my quest would have already ended...

Thanks & regards,
-=Glyn=-
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
GlynH said:
Thanks for the reply alexs2,

I did try my HD600 just out of curiousity before I 'discovered' my old Technics RP-HT90's and noticed the lack of volume which gave the impression that they sounded soft and not very dynamic. :(

Even if they were the best I had heard they would not be my first choice for plugging into my iPOD on the move! :rotfl:

I was going to look at the Etymotic's as they always seem to get rave reviews but being 'allergic to distortion' may now give them a miss! :eek:

Thanks & regards,
-=Glyn=-
Have a good look around here,and also this may be useful... www.head-fi.org which whilst US based,is entirely devoted to headphones etc

The Etymotics themselves aren't the problem as regards distortion with the iPod,just that the iPod isn't well suited to the load,although the high impedance version may be better.

I agree that the 600's will end up sounding a bit restrained,but it's not really fair to use something like that with an ipod other than for occasional home use.
 

sirlukas

Active Member
If You Really need bass, try Koss The Plug, another 16 quid won't make You a diference, will it? ;)

When You can only fit them in, You will be surprised by the bass, rest is also good. I recommend those earphones to "Bass Maniacs" ;)


Regards....
 
If you are really saying 'best' without the words 'reasonable cost' included then go for one of the following 1. RS1 'Grado', 2: Senn HD650, 3: Senn 280 pro or the 4: eshure 5c. <--- Not in any particular order. BTW I thought the sony's you mention 71/81 were too bassy sort of like artifical bass 'thud', 'thud'
 

sirlukas

Active Member
If the price really is not an issue, go for these


Regards,....
 

BenW

Active Member
They're probably some of the most comfortable. Just put them in like normal earphones i guess.

Not sure you're going to find anything with lots of bass if you find the sonys to be lacking bass.

I went from cheapish (£15) sonys to shure e2c and the shure have a lot less bass but its much more defined and makes the music sound more 'sophisticated'
 

Godfather

Active Member
shahedz said:
how do you stick them in your ears? they look horrendously uncomfortable
They look exactly like the ear pieces of hearing aids, so probably provide excellent long term comfort and audio quality. Not exactly cheap though!
 

extremelydodgy

Active Member
I get variable fit with the UE-10's sometimes. I have to pull them out, open my mouth wide and push them back in. The fit will depend on how good an impression you get. The Sensaphonic 2X-S feature a softer compound and are supposed to generate a better fit... but since I use in-ears only on the plane these days, I'm not going to bother comparing.


Isolating in-ear phones are generally pretty bad value in terms of sound. The E5c's sound like a bad joke compared to the best ~£300 headphones, and the UE-10's are not so hot soundwise either when I compare them to one of my ~£600 headphones. You pay for the isolation (which is generally unmatched by any other type of ear/headphone) and the portability of isolating IEM's. For me, the tradeoff was worthwhile... until regular IEM use started damaging my ears (not my hearing, but minor yet frequent irritations in my ear canals). Since then, I've been using headphones for everyday use. On a plane though, IEM's are the only way to go so the UE-10's serve there.


The bass-enhanced (for an IEM) E5c and the Ultimate Ears UE-5Pro / EB may be the only choices that work for you if you're after a pair of in-ears. The E2c is the bassiest single-driver earphone once you get above £50, mainly because it doesn't use the balanced armature drivers that the others use and gives a fuller frequency response with more balanced lows than the other single-driver IEM's (at the expense of some accuracy).


I'm surprised you consider the PX100 to be non-bassy. These things are definitely on the bassy side. Perhaps you'd like to take a look at the AKG K26P. I didn't rate it highly for quality, but one thing it definitely has is bass. If an open phone doesn't bother you, the Koss Portapro is also worth a shot. Their higher impedance of 64 ohms plays into an audio quirk of the iPod which loses a bit of bass with low-impedance phones, and they are bassy to start with.
 

sirlukas

Active Member
shahedz said:
how do you stick them in your ears? they look horrendously uncomfortable
They look, but to buy one of these You have to go to your ENT Specialist to get your ears cast, then You send it to Ultimate Ears and get your Earphones done as per your ear fitting.


extremelydodgy do You have a Headphone shop or sth? ;)
 

shahedz

Distinguished Member
sirlukas said:
They look, but to buy one of these You have to go to your ENT Specialist to get your ears cast, then You send it to Ultimate Ears and get your Earphones done as per your ear fitting.


extremelydodgy do You have a Headphone shop or sth? ;)
so in the end, they end up costing the price of the unit + time with the ENT doctor!
 

sirlukas

Active Member
Don't tell me that You buy almost every piece of headphones just because of curiosity :cool:
 
C

cyeomans

Guest
You've asked a great question. I would say that nothing really beats the HD-650s hooked up to a good power source if you're looking to listen to music at a desk.

If however, you're looking for mobility, then the Etymotic 4Ps are great since they don't need a driver. Alternatively, you can splurge for the Sensaphonics, but at nearly $1,000 they may be a little over your budget ;)
 

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