Feed my headphone addiction!

dan13l

Standard Member
I'd appreciate a recommendation please :)

I've bought quite a few sets of heaphones over the last couple of years, trying to find the perfect set for home, work, and on the move.

I'd settled on Grado SR-60's for home (gaming, dvd, music), Sennheiser mx550's for on the move, and a set of Philips noise cancelling 'phones for work.

I've decided I'm sick of the Philips. They don't sound terribly hot, and I'm sick of keep forgetting to turn off the noise cancelling and running my batteries down.

I need a set of closed, sound isolating headphones that sound good but aren't going to destroy my wallet (up to about £60 I reckon, slightly more if I have to). At work they're mostly driven by my iPod, so I need something that isn't too hungry.

Any recommendations would be really appreciated :)
 
Have you used the search? :rolleyes:

Sennheiser cx300 or slightly more than you budget see if you can get the shure e3c from eBay.
Psst I know you didnt ask this but change the Grado 60 for the 80 version (maybe a £10 - £15 difference on eBay). Change the MX550 and get the sony 21's for £12 from Amazon :D

See I am feeding your addiction .... :devil: Now do it, do it now.....
 

dan13l

Standard Member
Oooh, you swine :)

I thought I had searched, but obviously hadn't searched here. Sorry 'bout that.

Are the CX300's canalphones? I know the Shures are. I've tried a couple of pairs of canalphones in the past and don't get on with them (they just don't sit in my ears properly).

The Sony 21's aren't though are they? They look like some sort of hybrid earphone canalphone thing...interesting. I'll probably try those ;)

I've been trying to resist the urge to upgrade the Grados to the 80s. Must...resist...must...
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
*IF* you can find the Beyer DT250 at your budget, it would make a very good closed phone for the money. There are 2 version - 80 ohm and 250 ohm. The former is easier to drive, the latter sounds better (if driven well enough).
 

extremelydodgy

Active Member
I would say wait until you have double that budget, then go and buy a pair of Sennheiser HD25. Anything else I've had for around that price has been a bit half-arsed as a truly portable set of closed headphones. I use them as part of the quintet of my regular phones as they're very isolating, very practical for portable use, tractable and sound fairly good. I can chuck them into a backpack, wear them around my neck when not in use, etc. Sizewise they're not very different from the Grados so you can probably gauge how portable they're going to be.


A fact of having closed phones is that except in exceptional circumstances, the sound quality reduces when compared to equivalent open phones. The HD25 has quality barely over the SR80, but still it's not bad value if you consider the significant extra practicality for portable use that a tightly isolated and rather efficient phone gives you.


The DT250 can be had for about £70-80 but it sounds rather noncommital, is a bit large and even the 80 isn't actually that efficient, making it sound even more noncommital from a portable. It also doesn't isolate. It's saving graces are the excellent comfort and the indestructible build. The other popular DJ phones generally deliver thumping bloated bass up to scratchy or subdued trebles. The HD25-SP is also quite popular, but it's terminated in a 6.5mm plug, making it unwieldy. Shadowritten's done an excellent quality write-up of the new K81 but with all due apologies if it causes offence, I'm inclined to take his opinions with a large pinch of salt at this stage given his previous reviews / opinions.
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
extremelydodgy said:
Shadowritten's done an excellent quality write-up of the new K81 but with all due apologies if it causes offence, I'm inclined to take his opinions with a large pinch of salt at this stage given his previous reviews / opinions.

No offence taken, sir.

You're right that I have made some rather over-zealous comments regarding phones of varying degrees of crappiness in the past. And as you're one of those on here who is highly regarded where the question of cans is concerned, it may well be wise for others to defer to your superior understanding and experience. I can only comment based on limited expertise (if it can even be called such!), so if people take a chance on my opinions and find that I'm right - or wrong, for that matter - then this is, of course, entirely down to them.

Many thanks, incidently, for your kind comments re: my review. Much appreciated. :thumbsup:
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
Must admit, I'd be inclined to agree with extremelydodgy, I would wait, because cheap closed phones are invaraibly rather poor IMO.
 
Do you prefer in ear or over ear headphones for isolated listening? Also as mentioned before go for the 80's over the 60's (for home use) if you can sell the 60's. As the price difference is worth it (I think about £10 on eBay). :devil: hehe ... The RS1's are coming down too, coming into the senn HD650 (new) terrirtory at c£300 (eBay of course) don't fight it, resistance is futile :devil:
 

extremelydodgy

Active Member
Moving up in the Grado range doesn't mean you're getting any more isolation.


If a new RS1 was £350, I'd recommend it mainly for the looks and materials. Otherwise it's got to be the least 'high-end' of the 'high-end' phones I've bought. Even the <£200 DT880 does a better job, sonically and ergonomically, when amped with commensurate-class equipment.
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
Aye, anyone who pays the asking price in this country for RS1's needs their head examining.

Poor build quality, even poorer comfort, and sound which frankly isnt any better than anything else you can get for less than 1/3 or even 1/4 of the price.

Grado's do have a fairly "unique" sound though and I can see why some like it, but at the end of the day, some of the lower models are pretty much good enough to deliver the kind of heavy handed sound i feel they have.

Each to their own, of course. However, I struggle to see how anyone can justify £700 for the RS1 when of course, in the good old US, they are half the price!
 
Extremely dodgy this is for his home use :) :lesson: I have already given him some pointers for isolation.

P What did you use (equipment you mentioned) to beat the RS1 with 880's as I have recorded music and listened to it through the 990 and Senn HD650 and Grado's are a lot better and accurate all round?

Also as far as price is concerned every one pays for something what they think it's worth I paid &#163;350. Some people spend a lot more on a one week holiday, speakers, etc I spend where it earns me a lot more than I paid. Comfort is great can have on for somethimes 6 hours. Also part of my living comes from sound/film recording so I will always get as close to the best as possible. <--- Of course this is not for everyone if you are a hiker you may buy a lot more expensive gloves than I would, etc. Having listened to most of the Senn, Beyer etc range I am genuinely interested to see what costs c&#163;115 and is as good or better than the Grado RS1 or even &#163;80 1/4 price. Really? I brought the HD650 and upgrade cable which cost me more than the RS1 but they do not compare
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
At the end of the day Reano, if you like what Grados do then theres nothing really that can replace them, at any price. However, some people do prefer other much cheaper cans, and that is a fact.

As always, swings and roundabouts :)
 

dan13l

Standard Member
Thanks for all the responses.

I'm seriously tempted to put my Grado 60s on ebay and upgrade to some 80s. I wasn't until I posted this, but now I am ;)

I'm still not sure what to try for work and portability though. I'm sure I read shadowritten's review of the another set of the AKG headphones (not the 81s though) but I can't find the thread now. I was half tempted by them as a cheap pair (I don't want to spend a fortune on 'phones for work, as they'll inevitably get nicked, broken, or otherwise rendered useless) but I can't find anyway that will ship them for anything like a reasonable price (the one place I found wanted a tenner to ship them).
 
pbirkett said:
At the end of the day Reano, if you like what Grados do then theres nothing really that can replace them, at any price. However, some people do prefer other much cheaper cans, and that is a fact.

As always, swings and roundabouts :)

Hi pb I'm not having a go I'm genuinely interested to see/hear other cans. I don't know any cans for the prices I quote that beat the RS1'a thats all. A bit like my challenge to beat the sony 21's Ive now orderd some audio technica as someone says he thinks they are really good so I'm going to see. We are all hear to learn (well I am anyway).
 

dan13l

Standard Member
OK: I've now ordered a set of 21s on Reano's recommendation to replace my MX550s and I've ordered the AKG K 26 Ps from Nusystems (they're doing free delivery on AKG kit at the moment) for work.

I now have to decide whether to ditch my Grado 60s and upgrade to 80s and my headphone reshuffle will, hopefully, be complete. Until the next time I decide I need to upgrade. Sadly, this pursuit seems to get increasingly expensive...
 

dan13l

Standard Member
The Sonys have arrived this morning. I'm very, very impressed with them. They're not the most comfortable things in the world (/fiddles with ear for a bit, feels better) but I can live with them. They sound magnificent though - far, far better than the mx550s.

I await the arrival of my AKGs; they're the ones I'm supposed to be using at work!
 

dan13l

Standard Member
I've tried the AKGs, but I'm not that impressed, sadly.

They're damned uncomfortable (both from the clamping over the head perspective, and because of the way the headband is designed) and they haven't coped terribly well with what I'm currently listening to (Eels' Blinking Lights). The "scratchier" sections sound abysmal through the AKGs, and a good deal of the subtlety that I can easily hear with the Sonys is lost on the AKGs.

In actual fact, the Sonys probably isolate better than the AKGs too. Shame.

I might give them another go, possibly at home (although I suspect they will pale in comparison to the Grados in that environment).

The search continues...
 

extremelydodgy

Active Member
I think the K26P's are one of the more abysmal phones I've heard at that price... but if all else you've heard is crap, I guess you might think it sounded good. As a Grado user, it definitely ain't going to cut it for you. Trying the DT250 won't hurt, although my recommendation for the HD25 still stands. On the basis of everything you've written, I'm pretty certain the HD25 (the -1 model) is the phone for you.
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
dan13l said:
I've tried the AKGs, but I'm not that impressed, sadly.

That's a shame for you. Still, you can always get your cash back, I guess.

dan13l said:
They're damned uncomfortable (both from the clamping over the head perspective, and because of the way the headband is designed)

Now that's interesting. I downgraded the rating for comfort in my review after a few months' use, but not for either of the reasons you cite. I found that for us jug-earred folk, the tiny pleather 'doughnut' couplings could become quite ... well, bruising, I suppose, particularly on the less fleshy part of the outer ear. The clamping pressure was easily enough adjusted with a few outward/upward flexes of the headband - which, incidently, probably fits your head more comfortably if you have clippered-short hair rather than a full barnet!

dan13l said:
and they haven't coped terribly well with what I'm currently listening to (Eels' Blinking Lights). The "scratchier" sections sound abysmal through the AKGs, and a good deal of the subtlety that I can easily hear with the Sonys is lost on the AKGs.

Another puzzler. I found the K26P coped just fine with rock/indie music. It was classical that suffered in my experience.

dan13l said:
In actual fact, the Sonys probably isolate better than the AKGs too. Shame.

Good point, there. The claims made for the K26P's ambient noise attenuation are a little ambitious, I now appreciate. The K81 DJs with which I replaced the K26P isolate far more effectively (Headroom say the former don't do as good a job, but I strongly disagree with that assessment), and are, quite frankly, a better set of cans all round. But then, they're about twice the price - still cheap in headphone terms, of course.

I think it's as extremelydodgy says: user opinion is fairly divided on these phones. Also, StevieDvd posted in my review thread about later batches being not so up to the mark (see post below). One of the roots of your displeasure, perhaps? However, I'm far more inclined to agree with extremelydodgy once again, when he suggests that for those who, like me, are used to 'lesser' phones, the K26P will sound surprisingly good; while for folk with a broader (better?) experience of higher grade cans, these little phones are unlikely to impress.
 

StevieDvd

Novice Member
That would be me mentioning the newer batches of AKG26P are bass bloaters. Another head-fi member heard mine and bought a set but his were the bad'uns.

Until I switched over to IEMS for portable use I used ATH FC7s which are better then the AKG26p for me. Not many over ear headphones isolate that well - not good enough for the tube hence my IEMs.

HD201 - better sound but too big to carry around
AKG26P - metal headband was fiddly - deeper bass (bloated bass on some)
ATHFC7 - better quality but not isolating enough
HD25 - best sound of these but like most dj phones the cabling like to mess up due to the revolving ear cups.

Apart from the HD25 which I broke the others are stuffed in my diy parts draw - no respect eh!

Steve
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
StevieDvd said:
That would be me mentioning the newer batches of AKG26P are bass bloaters. Another head-fi member heard mine and bought a set but his were the bad'uns.

So it was! :hiya: Edited my post above to include your name.

StevieDvd said:
HD25 - best sound of these but like most dj phones the cabling like to mess up due to the revolving ear cups.

Rightly or wrongly (and probably the latter), I've been put off Sennys in general after what I thought was the awful-sounding (and horribly uncomfortably designed), PXC-250, with its bulky and not-very-isolating-but-quite-buzzy active NoiseGard system. My friend's 'leaky' PX100 left me unimpressed, too, - and I've owned some real crap! :D

Perhaps when funds next permit I shall pick up a pair of these much-feted HD25 and hear what they're like. But I'm just cautious in case they leave me with the same impressions as Senny's cheaper cans have. Also - and perhaps one of you kind chaps can enlighten me on this - don't the HD25 have some pretty mighty head-clamping pressure? This is something I've read mentioned in scattered reviews. Yes, the cheaper AKG sealed cans also do, but with these, letting the pressure off is relatively easy. However, studying pics online of the HD25, this doesn't look like something that could be achieved simply for us large-lugged folk. Mainly, I think, because of that novel split headband design. Any thoughts on this?
 

SILVERBACK

Active Member
for comfort i would rather have barbwire wrapped round my ears before going back to grado`s,lovely sound but murder on the ears.just my two pence worth anyway.
 

koti

Member
Im surprised that nobody recommended these: http://cgi.ebay.com/KOSS-PORTA-PRO-...ryZ67792QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

In case the acuction on ebay will be gone this is the name of the phones: Koss Porta Pro

These are the best sounding head phones you can buy at this price. They will do a great job everywhere and I promise You that the second You put them on, You will buy them at any price.

Now for the above people who reccomend HD25 to this guy. Sory but Youre talking crap...HD25's are monitor phones used primarily for MONITORING. They are extremely loud, have a great sound seperation like monitors should, and they are absolutely NOT fit for listening to music. I have been using HD25's and Sony MDRV700 for djing for years...sometimes I listen to music on my Sony V700, but soon I change to the Koss Porta Pro. I would never listen to music on my HD25.
 

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