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Getting ready to purchase my first set of headphones

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My headphone search began
I had planned on getting some new speakers for my computer, then I decided that I could eliminate two birds with one stone, and take care of the home stereo crappy speaker probablem (temporarily) by getting a good set of headphones. Today I set off to listen to some good "Cans", (my town is pretty small so I knew that my choices would be limited), The first two I got a hold of were the RD535 and the RD545, They both sounded fairly well and had some amazing highs but, I could definitly hear some distortion and crackling at cetain times while listening to some James Taylor on one of the store workers (burned audio disc). Then I went to a different store and listened to the RD280, which kept outside sound out quite nicely but sounded a quite dead with virtually no airyness to speak of.

1. Are these speakers really not what I am looking for,did they not sound right because they were just outta the box, or was the sound source the problem, because I was not overly impressed by them at all except for the 535's (which sounded really good) when they weren't distorting or cracking (almost as if they were peaking out),

2. They headphones I am considering getting are the SR60's, SR80's, SR125,225,325, RD570's,RD580's, and RD590's are these perhaps better solutions, too bad they didn't have any of these in the store.

I listen to all types of music but, to give a good range some of the bands I primarily listen too are Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Portishead, Sigur Ros, Rage, Jack Johnson, etc...

Any help offered is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 
Come on somebody at least give me a grados or Sennheiser opinion based on what I said in the previous post
post #3 of 20
Well my .02, fwiw:

If you do not plan to get a dedicated amp, you can eliminate the Senn 580's. They are great cans, even with rock music, especially with an upgrade cable, but need the amp. Nix the 570's for the kind of music you listen to.

So you have the Grado's and the Senn 590 left to use directly out of your computer. I found the lower-end Grado's very uncomfortable for anything longer than a few minutes, despite their good sound. Can't comment on the higher-end ones, but suspect they may be similiar in comfort, but with even better sound - good for your type of music. The Senn 590's are very comfortable, quite efficient, have been described as having a sound somewhere between the 580's and the Grado's, and can even be upgraded with a better cable.

Also, depends on your budget.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply,
money not considered,
I keep going back and forth between the 590's and the 325's?

Help would be and greatly appreciated
post #5 of 20
hey bthorny

i'd like to politely disagree jpelg, and i've tried out the sennheiser hd570s and 580's on my computer and HT setup, and i've listened to my friend's 590's a couple times. Even though I do not have a dedicated headphone amp; I preferred the 580's over the 570's and 590's.

I mostly listen to pink floyd, radiohead, jazz, and most of the newer rock bands (i.e. incubus, weezer, strokes, white stripes). I have heard the HD580's on an old Creek OBH-11 amp, and although i was extremely tempted of getting the amp right then and there, it's still somewhere in the middle of my priorities to add onto my audio setups - still saving up for that HDTV.

Major reason I say go for the HD580's is because of the upgrade route. It's highly doubtful that anybody would really want to upgrade from this already high-end headphone, so spending about $100 more on an amp in the next few years isn't far-fetched. Also it's extremely clear and accurate, unamped. Along with its big brother, HD600, it's probably the most popular set of cans.
post #6 of 20
might wanna do a search for 580 and unamped in here.. quick search turned up this:

HD580 vs HD590

- people seem to agree hd580 unamped and hd590 unamped sound the same

HD580/HD590 for PC

- people say HD580 unamp sounds like s*** and HD590 is the way to go for computer *shrug*

I personally use my HD580's mainly now through HT setup and not off of my computer (w/ TB santa cruz.. not too shabby sound card). If you ever would consider getting a $50-200 amp you might wanna factor that in, and also if you're going to use your headphones for something other than computer (i.e. HT, PCDP) that too.

also - if SR325 is within your budget, then i'd say a HD580 + Creek OBH11 (off of eBay or head-fi fs/ft) is in your price range as well. Maybe a used DIY meta42 amp too?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering if that money aside the 325's were better than the 580/590's
post #8 of 20
i've never heard the grados personally, although i've been trying to convince a friend to get them so i can borrow a listen

i have heard that they're not the most comfortable headphones out there, so for computer usage it might not be most practical. (if you stay on the computer for long periods like me )

good luck in your search for a pair of cans! you'll find more than enough information and knowledgeable folk around here to help you with your decision. just remember to post on ATOT about how your new set sounds
post #9 of 20
I think I'll probably get a knife thrown at me if I say this, but I personally think that Sennheiser HD 25-1's are brilliant for computer use. I recently bought a pair when I was in exactly the same position as you. I had only been used to plantronics & labtec headphones before, and wanted to get some proper headphones to use on my computer which DON'T need an amp to be good, and I wanted Sennheiser after compairing them with Sony. I have been really pleased with the results, I listen to practically every type of music you could imagine (minus R&B, HipHop & Pop), also game alot and I really enjoy it no matter what I'm listening too . Seeing as my computer has 5 fans & one really noisy HSF cpu fan I need to have good isolation, and these are the only headphones I know of which can actually block it out .

I don't use an amp with these headphones, and I have a soundblaster audigy as my source (soon to purchase the audigy 2). Sennheiser say these headphones were created for professional monitoring, to have great accuracy & bass responce. That's probably why they're commonly known as the finest DJ headphones around (obviously that's controversal, but all the DJ's I know won't use anything but these & just say the sonys are there to look cool).

I think I've seen alot of negative feedback on these closed headphones, but I think most of it is from people who've not actually owned a pair, or are used to their open amped phones plugged into hi-fi's.

I think they're very pricey if you're just going to use them on your comp, but I sure as hell think they were worth it . Don't just these headphones by their plain look .
post #10 of 20
This has to be the most respectful collection of opinions. Glad to be a part of it.

bthorny - I see alot of good advice here (even if differing). I guess you will have to try to audition at least some of them to make a better choice for yourself.
post #11 of 20
Personally, ask yourself: do I see myself really getting into this hobby? Even if your answer is no now, you may like it enough that the answer may be yes in the near future. In that case, I'd go for the HD580s. They won't sound great, but they will be no worse than the 590s unamped(imho). This way, you'll eventually be able to upgrade with an amp, and open up a whole new world of possibilities. About the grados: I find them uncomfortable over long periods of time, and personally, I don't like the grado sound.
post #12 of 20
I went through the same decision you did about a month ago and i settled with the HD580s after listening to just about everything sennheiser makes under $500 and I also checked out the grados. I really like how comfortable my HD580s are since they do not touch my ears. Their sound is pretty darn good even though i do not have an amp yet (im getting an Airhead in a few days and a maxed META42 desktop model in three or so weeks). We'll see how these sound after that nice upgrade!
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
What sites can I order multiple headphones from and return the ones I don't like for a free refund minus shipping of coarse?
post #14 of 20
Only one answer there: HeadRoom. They'll have everything you're considering, plus a full 30-day return policy. They're also one of this forum's sponsors.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I would really like to hear the 325's, 80's,590's,600's, and the DT250's up against each other. I think that would be awesome but, the credit card would be bleeding.
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