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expensive headphones

pat clancy

Active Member
well i,m using a philips pair bpought in argos 10 years ago,sound fab,anyway i went to one of these hifi shows,i tried a few of these headphones with separate amp,they sounded ok but not worth£500-£1000,i understand paying a lot for really good hifi speakers but headphones,on a differant note i ,ve bought a mp3 player with in ear phones,they are very bright,very harsh sounding,well i tried my hifi headphones and they are good,a bit big for wearing outside,can anyone recommend a pair of phones for my mp3 player that dont sound so bright,its a philips mp3 player ,rgrds pat
 

WhyAyeMan

Member
As regards your question about portable headphones, maybe try the Koss KSC-35 from www.koss.com or the Sennheiser PX-100.

Anyway, what is so different about spending money on good quality headphones to spending it on good quality speakers? You can spend much more on speakers than headphones, and you can easily argue those are even less VFM. I have £500 worth of headphone and amp, and it sounds a **** load better than £100 headphones out of an integrated amp. It also sounds far better than £500 worth of amp and speakers, and I'd say it sounded as good as very expensive speakers myself....

Now, fair enough if they are not your preferred method of listening, but for me, they are, and as such, are worth the money.
 

suzywong

Standard Member
I wouldn't bother spending a great deal of money on headphones for playing MP3s. The sound quality of the superb PX-100 (30 quid) comprehensively surpasses the sonic capability of any MP3 player. If you want more bass, then Sennheiser do a closed back version (PX-200?) which gives a different presentation but is equally fine. I auditioned both before buying the 100s. They are superb headphones and are extremely portable.

Unfortunately, "in-ear" headphones will never sound as good as "what-the-hell-do-you-call-em" external(?) phones. But, the PX100 (or similar sized) are bigger, more obtrusive, and probably "less cool" than others (i.e. those over the ear, strap around the back of the head variety). What are your criteria, sound quality? cool dude factor?

And for real hifi, then I totally concur with the sentiments presented by paul birkett (and I use a pair of vintage Senn HD420), but like all hifi, if the source is rubbish, you get rubbish out. Next stop (the bank balance having recovered from the purchase of our new CD/DAC) is a dedicated headphone amplifier.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
You will find the little Sennheiser earbuds as recommended above very good value,and quite decent performers.
If you really do want to spend some cash on a set of in-ear phones that will do well from the hifi point of view also,try the Etymotic Research range(www.stoneaudio.co.uk are the importers)...not cheap but definitely in the hi-fi area.

As for your comments about good phones and dedicated amps,like the other posts above,(and obviously as an owner myself)I can only add to what's already been said,and say that a good set of phones,with a dedicated amp and above all good source,will equal conventional speaker systems costing many times as much,for a fraction of the price in terms of detail and imaging.....ok,you lose the tactile element of the basslines,but you'd be surprised by a really good system.

Mine does run to the upper end of the price scale,but does include a lot of gear made otherwise redundant by the Av end of my system....suzywong....have you shortlisted any headphone amps yet?.....let us know how you're getting on with that!
 

engaged

Standard Member
Originally posted by alexs2
You will find the little Sennheiser earbuds as recommended above very good value,and quite decent performers. If you really do want to spend some cash on a set of in-ear phones that will do well from the hifi point of view also,try the Etymotic Research range...
The PX-100's discussed aren't earbuds - just thought I'd clarify to avoid confusion! (The Sennheiser 'MX' series are the in-ear ones.)
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Originally posted by engaged
The PX-100's discussed aren't earbuds - just thought I'd clarify to avoid confusion! (The Sennheiser 'MX' series are the in-ear ones.)
Thanks..hadn't got the series numbers to hand.....the MX series are the earbuds,and the Etymotics are actually for placement in the ear canal....I have both,and use the Sennheisers most of the time for portable use....the Etymotics are way better in terms of external noise isolation,but much more expensive.
 

engaged

Standard Member
I'd love to try some Ety's myself - but the price is prohibitive! I will, however, be buying and trying some Etymotic ER20 plugs for flying. (Will be stopping off at Dubai airport for a few hours and am wondering if the duty-free shopping there extends to Etymotic...)
 

pendulum

Novice Member
Etymotics are superb in ear phones, as long as the fitment in-ear is correct. As i didnt want to pay the prices in this country i bought a set off fleabay from Ideal Sounds. I paid about £160 for the er4ps, 4s cable, airline adaptor, and a few spare packs of rubber+foam tips.
If im out and about with em on, i have to keep reminding myself that theres traffic etc about, as they cancel out practically all outside noise:)
Etymotic now make the er-6, a cheaper set of in-ear phones, although i have not demo`d these.
Shure also have great in-ear phones, as an alternative.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
If you're looking for something small and cheap, Sennheiser MX500s are quite good value - they're in-ear, and cost about £20. (Try your local Richer Sounds).

There is an absolutely colossal difference between cheap 'phones and good quality ones, given a good source; but happily you start to hit the point of diminishing returns much sooner with 'phones than you do with speakers. With headphones you're already in "high-end" territory with something like the Sennheiser HD600, which can be got new for only £140. (You do admittedly need a decent headphone amp to the best out of them, which is another three or four hundred).

A pair of loudspeakers that occupies the same sort of position in the speaker market that HD600s occupy in the headphone market would set you back several thousand pounds for the speakers alone, and a similar amount for amplification....
 

suzywong

Standard Member
Originally posted by alexs2
....suzywong....have you shortlisted any headphone amps yet?.....let us know how you're getting on with that!
Firstly, I need a headphone amp because the Kain pre does not have a headphone socket, but it does have 3 pairs of line level outputs (I think this is for a Linn multiroom setup).

I've looked around and there's some fine looking kit mentioned in this forum, but I haven't heard any of them. There's also a company called Williams Hart who sell self-build kits that are well regarded, especially with the modifications detailed at www.rock-grotto.co.uk .....somevery interesting info on a number of headphone amps.
 

Radiohead

Member
Originally posted by suzywong

Unfortunately, "in-ear" headphones will never sound as good as "what-the-hell-do-you-call-em" external(?) phones. But, the PX100 (or similar sized) are bigger, more obtrusive, and probably "less cool" than others (i.e. those over the ear, strap around the back of the head variety). What are your criteria, sound quality? cool dude factor?
in-ear = intra-aural
over-ear - supra-aural

(I think)

:smashin:

Interesting to see that you consider the PX200's to be bassier than the 100's. I had a set of 200's (which, incidentally, are superb for use on public-transport as they seal very well) and found them to be a little lightweight in the lower frequencies. I changed to the 100's and find they have far more bass weight. Just goes to show that I should have done what you did and demo both!
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
"Supra-aural" headphones are ones where the cushion sits on your ear. Many headphones are better described as "circum-aural" - i.e. the cushion fits around your ear.
 

Kazman

Well-known Member
Have a look at the Bang & Olufsen earphones (I think they used to be called the A8's, but now they do not have a model number as they are the only earphones B&O do).

I have a pair and they sound fantastic, and not too overpriced at £80. They are over engineered and feel VERY solid, they also sound very nice too.

But not as good as a decent pair of over the ear's (they aren't a patch on my Bose QuietComfort2's), but very good for in the ear's :) :D
 

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