help needed for i-pod phones

big jake

Standard Member
Any recommendations please. Would i be better getting headphones that are easy to drive, or get a pair and a portable amp?. At present I have bose triports and I`m looking for alround improvement including volume and base.:lease:
 

Drubbing

Active Member
I wouldn't bother amping the bose, they aren't a very good phone unfortunately - very much a brand premium for style over substance. I've heard from people who've had them, and also the reviews on amazon are exceptionally poor.

Amping by itself doesn't make SQ better and won't make average phones great. Amping an iPod just makes it louder, can reduce SQ, and can reveal the iPod limits as an audio source. To make it worth it, you'd need good quality phones, a decent portable amp (cheap is as cheap does) and a line out dock to connect them all. That a fair wedge of dough.

If an iPod is your main source, buying better SQ via phones is the way to go. Although don't go crazy, as the iPod will be the weak link at some point. As to what to get, that depends on whether you want open or closed, full size or portable - open sound better, closed isolate, so you can't hear stuff and they can't hear your music.

It also depends on how you like the music. Generally, the better the phones the less emphasis on bass, the more on balanced sound. Not that they don't have any, but some cheaper ones are one note bass and some people just come to equate overblown bass with high SQ.

Personally, I like Grado's, Beyers and Koss, not just for sound, but good VFM. Not sure if they sell them over there, but the Koss KSC75 clip ons are ridiculously good sounding phones for iPods, for only about 20 quid. Their Porta pro are also very good too - basically the same drivers as the 75s with a headband, so you get a punchier sound and deeper bass.

There's a heavy bias towards Senn's here, as on most big forums, mostly because they have a limitless amount of products in the 10-100 quid range, and some of them just aren't that good for the money.

I don't link to my favourite stores as they're o/s like myself, and therefore not that useful, and not sponsors here. But I hope that info helps, and gives you something to go looking online for.
 

big jake

Standard Member
The problem for me is trying to find any to actually audition. Also, don`t you think the grado`s way overpriced in the UK?
 

Drubbing

Active Member
Ok, I started a reply, and it kind of went on. I've left it as is, as some of my observations may be of interest or help to others.

I'm in Australia, but checking the prices recently, and yes, Grado is stiffing the UK! None of their US distributors are allowed to export, so no one outside the US can get their local prices. eg SR60 is the US are $US80 - in the UK they're 80 quid.

I've Alessandro MS1s, which are SR125s made by Grado, look like Grado etc, just tweaked a little for smoothness, and sold to some selected o/s markets. Australian RRP is $150, in the UK they're 160 quid! Personally, at $150 Aus I think they're a steal, and can understand why they get lauded - particularly when they can be had for those prices.

Much of Grado's huge rep comes from their insane VFM in the states. They're still great phones, but when you have to pay more for them, other phones come into play as equally good VFM.

It depends what you like and what you're budget is, and what you mean by 'better' bass. If you like bright, punchy, lively, sound, that's easily attained via an iPod, the Grado's are still very good for that.

Audio Technica's are very well detailed and clear, but their bass tends to be lighter than Grado's, although it's definition and clarity is probably better. Their closed back phones provide a fair bit more bass than their opens, obviously.

For the prices you can get them there, the Koss phones are well worth a look. The portapro is 20-30 quid there, over here they're about 65 quid, and still considered a bargain. They've been making the Porta pro for over 25 years, and they do look 80s, but they still sell shedloads of the things. That's got to be good. I almost got the Koss, but with the MS1 being so close in price here, I got those. So the VFM concept is a bit of a merry go round.

I'm not a fan of Senn's, I've heard quite a few and owned one, and while they don't all have a consistent sound sig - like the Grado's do - I don't like their canals, and found the 5 series rather dull, muddy and way overpriced. But a lot of people do like them, and they've saturated the market with choices!

Thing is, with so many models, some of them are just average, but they have a huge market presence, so they do have an image that everything they make is quality.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, hope you get some bites/opinions from others. Just don't go Senn only because there's more noise about them.
 

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