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Gift-priced cans with isolation

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm a head-fi member from a ways back looking to get back in on a gift-based budget - my college student wallet is not up to becoming a regular member again. I'm looking for the best set of <$75 closed cans with a decent amount of isolation I can find.

Tastes: I had a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 pro-250's that I loved, but the drivers gradually wore down. I had a pair of modded allessandro MS-1's that were pretty nice[a touch harsh on the highs]. My source is usually a noisy computer, which detracted from them, but I used them until I wore out the cord/plug.

My music varies from Manson to Fiona Apple to Tricky to Barenaked Ladies to Ninjatunes to Dylan to Bach.

My girlfriend is bugging me for what gift she should give me, and I have no ideas other than getting my hands on some decent headphones again. I've been using Klipsch promedia and now Sony floorstanding speakers(which I'm mostly satisfied with) for a while, but they just don't have the noisefloor{because of the computer} for classical. For general listening, they're also a bit hard to crank up in a four person household. And of course I dug up my mp3 player recently, which hasn't seen use since the Grados went downhill.
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Based on headroom's evaluation, the AKG K 26 P[who puts so many spaces in their product name??] would be my obvious choice, but from the few comments I've read around here, it doesn't live up to their review, and/or there's a shoddy batch going around.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Bump - need opinions asap, in order to get order shipped before christmas.
post #4 of 15
Senn HD201

Tyll from Headroom seems to love them....or maybe it was just the one he recabled with the Cardas. Yep, $20 cans with a $150 cable. Awesome!
post #5 of 15
Senn HD201/202, Koss KSC35/75.

gave my freind the HD202s for his birthday and he loves them.
post #6 of 15
For 75 bucks? Have you thought about IEMs? They aren't my fave alternative but there should be some decent ones in that price range that will be isolating and be as resolving as your old DT770s (without that bass tho).
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Would the DT231, or the K 26 P sound any better?

And how well does it isolate?

And Jahn: just based on the fact that I thought dt770 > sr80, I think I needs' me bass.
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Squalish
Based on headroom's evaluation, the AKG K 26 P[who puts so many spaces in their product name??] would be my obvious choice, but from the few comments I've read around here, it doesn't live up to their review, and/or there's a shoddy batch going around.
I gave them a pretty bad review and I should probally update it. For a protable headphone with good isolation, these are really great. For metal/rock they tend to get muddy in the low midrange, but for other types of music that are not as busy, I enjoy the mids, it gives them a certain fullness that my senns dont have.
Another thing too, the pads change the sound alot, when I took them off the sound changed quite a bit. more detail, less mudd, but the pads add some darkness which I like too.
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by Squalish
Would the DT231, or the K 26 P sound any better?
I just don't like the sound of the DT231; to my ears it has very mushy mids and highs. Mine also were quite leaky - despite looking closed, they let my music out into the room and did not pass the "spouse trying to read a book on the other end of the couch" test.

They're also unattractive IMO.

The K 26 P that I have (from Headroom's first batch) sounds pretty good. But one that I listened to later had all the "like listening through a down pillow" exaggerated bass and muffled highs that you've probably read about elsewhere in the forums. I bought mine based on Tyll's initial raves, and they were justified; but the later headphone didn't sound the same at all. It wasn't just a break-in issue, it was as if they'd reformulated the headphone to be much louder and bassier, as the expense of mids and highs. I can't say what the ones being sold now sound like, but I'd be hard-pressed to recommend the K 26 P unless the raves start flowing again, and I haven't seen any.

I just got my hands on the ATH-FC7, and posted my impressions in another thread. It could very well qualify as your "gift-priced can with isolation," and it's attractive (and attractively-packaged) in a way that may make your girlfriend feel better about contributing to your headphone geekiness than something blah-looking like the DT231.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Has anyone AB'd the HD201 and the ATH-FC7?

Everyone seems to love the HD201, but they often are taking price into account. Does the HD201 sound better than the ATH-FC7?

Also, what do you think of the HD 212 pro and the EH 250
post #11 of 15
I got the k26p for my brother this year. Headroom got them to me very quickly. Less than a week from ordering to my door. I'm dying to listen to them but have to keep reminding myself that they're not mine.
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by Squalish
Has anyone AB'd the HD201 and the ATH-FC7?
Okay, I can do that. The HD201 is well burned in and the FC7 is brand-new, but FWIW, here's what I hear.

Isolation: FC7 wins. HD201's isolation is not completely pathetic, but it's fairly weak. FC7's is not terrific, but it is less weak.

Comfort: HD201. But FC7 is not at all bad.

Sensitivity: FC7 is louder at a given volume setting than HD201.

Sound, unamped from iPod 4G: Side-by-side I would rather listen to the HD201. The FC7 is darker-sounding, less clear, and has muted highs.

Sound, driven by Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro USB device: FC7 clears up significantly in the highs and acquires more bass authority, but is not very clear in the mids, and the highs are still a little muted. Bass is a little too dominant. HD201 is muddy and unclear in the bass but better in the mids. Hard to delcare a winner. If you must have clear mids, HD201; if you must have clear bass, FC7.

Sound, amped by Porta Corda II: the trend above continues: both are a bit better, but FC7 has the bass advantage while HD201 has the mids advantage. FC7 seems to have slightly sharper highs.

Sound, amped by portable Pimeta (8620, class A, 2x buffers): same trend, but FC7's mids and highs have improved enough to say they're emerging from the background at last. Highs are still a little muted compared to HD201.

Sound, amped by SR-71: FC7's clarity is improved considerably, while HD201 has stayed at about the same level since the PCII. At this point the competition is more about sound signature rather than sound quality. FC7 has a sharper sound in the mids and highs, and a stronger bass sound, while HD201 is is a mellower sound, with more forward mids.

Overall, for the vocal jazz and similar material I mostly listen to, the HD201 would probably be my choice for extended listening. For less mellow and more highly dynamic music, the FC7 has more kick. And I see the FC7 as the more portable and more isolating of the two.

If had only these two, I'd use the FC7 for the gym, travel and housework and HD201 at my desk.
post #13 of 15

Please, don't listen to everyone's suggestion and get a Superlux HD662, HD668b or HD681, depending on your preference. All of those are sub $50 and absolutely destroy the other suggestions. Check out the reviews here on Head-Fi if you think I'm exaggerating. wink_face.gif Superlux headphones are the best bang for your buck headphones around at the moment, they just haven't reach popularity yet. If you live in Europe they're easily bought from Thomann.de, otherwise check Ebay. 


Oh, I own the Sennheiser HD201, HD202 and K26p and they're all inferior to my similar priced Superlux headphones. The Superlux headphones look like studio equipment though, no low profile portableness. normal_smile%20.gif You could check out the Superlux HD651, which looks like the Panasonic retro portable. It's only $20 and has a more fun signature than the HD202. Looks cuter too. 

Edited by Negakinu - 5/24/11 at 1:18am
post #14 of 15

Negakinu, you might want to check the date of the post above yours...

post #15 of 15

Oh. Right. Zombiethread coming back to life? Didn't notice for some reason. How on earth did I run into that thread then? bigsmile_face.gif Thanks for the head's up.

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