Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How my journey for closed portable bliss came to an end
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How my journey for closed portable bliss came to an end

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Let's start with the pursuit: ever since I first came to Head-Fi, I've always been looking for a closed portable headphone that I could use at work. So in the interest of tracing history I'll go back to the beginning and explain why I tossed out each one I ran into:

- Senn PX 200

Pre-Head-Fi. Back then it sounded great!!! Looking back, I don't know how I ever put up with it. Could never get a seal for decent bass, it sounded cloudy, and overall it was a piece of crap. Durable though, gotta give it that.

- AKG K271

First Head-Fi-induced purchase. This headphone just needed too much amplification. And it wasn't comfortable to wear for extended periods. And it gave me headphone hair. The sound was nice though.

- Sony MDR-V6

This one needed much less amplification but still more than I liked. And eventually the mid-range recession, treble spike, and lack of comfort with even the velour pads put me off.

- Audio-Technica ATH-ES5

Ok I have to admit, it was tough casting these out. I liked them a lot. Lots of infectious energy and deep bass. But the scrunched-up mids and messy upper-treble finally got to me, it just wasn't refined enough. Still, the fact I owned these for 10 months speaks for itself.

- Audio-Technica ATH-FC7

Really bad. I'm not sure how AT let this one slip out of the gates. Well ok it's fine for people who've never heard good headphones before, but the sound was so murky and fuzzy it wasn't enjoyable.

- Beyerdynamic DT770-80

These sounded pretty good. But the recessed mids and overbearing bass finally got to me. There is such a thing as too much bass!

- Sony Headphile CD3000

Ack, take it off! I knew as soon as I heard this that the Sony sound sig would never be for me. Too bright. And too detailed. Yes you read that right.

- AKG K81DJ

Blech. Bloated bass anyone? The mid-range didn't engage me either, it sounded weird and unnatural. Treble not refined enough either. And waaaaaaay too much clamp! Holy isolation Batman! I mean I wanted closed, but these took it to the next level!

- Audio-Technica ATH-A900

These were pretty good. But not good enough. Treble too metallic and grainy. And the recessed mids bothered me. And it was HUGE. I mean HUGE! Until you see these in person you have no idea how big they are!

- AKG K171S

I thought a return to a K271-like sound would be nice. I was wrong. Nothing wrong with the sound per se, but...pleather! The grip plus the pleather made it uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. What was AKG thinking with a supra-aural??? And these needed just as much amplification as the K271 too.

- Beyerdynamic DT250-80

I started to like these when I found out how well they performed with electronica. However, the love fest sunk like the Titanic with music other than electronica, which is only about 1/3 of my CD collection. They weren't "fast" enough either, they were sluggish in the mid-bass. And the super-flat treble finally got to me. Yeah I like mid-range, but I need treble too man!

- Audio-Technica ATH-OR7

These might have been perfect if AT hadn't put that darned hole in the earcups! The leaking was intolerable! Oh and the recessed mids really bothered me too. I need SOUL from my music! The OR7 stole it from me!

So as you guys might imagine, by the time I sold the OR7 I was pretty disappointed. I was certain I would never find a solution for a portable closed can. I set in for disappointment.

And more disappointment.

And even more disappointment.

Time passed.

Still more time passed.

(I wasn't listening to music at work during this time. It made me sad.)

Then one day I had enough funds to go after one of my long sought-after headphones. Audio-Technica's ATH-ES7. I'd been eyeing these since the K271S mind you.

HOLY CRAP! Today I am now kicking myself in the nuts! I wish I had just gone for these first! All I have to say for now is that these are awesome closed portable cans! They're not super-refined but they've got everything else I like! They've got mid-range! They don't have a treble that's too flat! The mid-bass is punchy enough for any kind of music! And it sinks low enough for most purposes too!

I can now say my journey came to an end with the ES7! Finally I have something to listen to tunes at work! Works great out of the Bithead! Get them from AudioCubes and don't look back! Full review coming much later, this is all I'll say for now, but these are rockin' my world! They even have some sonic similarities to the AD2000!
post #2 of 59
I got my girlfriend a pair of ES7s last Christmas. Every time she's not looking I tend to instinctively grab them and start listening to them (not that she minds). A great pair of portable cans that not only sound great but look drop-dead sexy as well. Glad you were able to find your perfect pair of portable phones
post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
HOLY CRAP! Today I am now kicking myself in the nuts! I wish I had just gone for these first! All I have to say for now is that these are awesome closed portable cans! They're not super-refined but they've got everything else I like! They've got mid-range! They don't have a treble that's too flat! The mid-bass is punchy enough for any kind of music! And it sinks low enough for most purposes too!

I can now say my journey came to an end with the ES7! Finally I have something to listen to tunes at work! Works great out of the Bithead! Get them from AudioCubes and don't look back! Full review coming much later, this is all I'll say for now, but these are rockin' my world! They even have some sonic similarities to the AD2000!
x2! i have the same goofy smile on my face whenever i put em on too. 'grats!
post #4 of 59
Interesting, as I am currently looking for some closed cans for work and had settled on the AKG271S w/velour pads. I do have a Gilmore Dynalo which I use at work, so amplification shouldn't be a problem. If you had better amplification, do you think your choice would still be the ATs or would you reconsider the AKGs?

Chris
post #5 of 59
Great post! I've gone through many of these myself and have come to similar conclusions, so based on your post I just bought a pair from buy.com ($109 shipped!).

Drew

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
Let's start with the pursuit: ever since I first came to Head-Fi, I've always been looking for a closed portable headphone that I could use at work. So in the interest of tracing history I'll go back to the beginning and explain why I tossed out each one I ran into:

- Senn PX 200

Pre-Head-Fi. Back then it sounded great!!! Looking back, I don't know how I ever put up with it. Could never get a seal for decent bass, it sounded cloudy, and overall it was a piece of crap. Durable though, gotta give it that.

- AKG K271

First Head-Fi-induced purchase. This headphone just needed too much amplification. And it wasn't comfortable to wear for extended periods. And it gave me headphone hair. The sound was nice though.

- Sony MDR-V6

This one needed much less amplification but still more than I liked. And eventually the mid-range recession, treble spike, and lack of comfort with even the velour pads put me off.

- Audio-Technica ATH-ES5

Ok I have to admit, it was tough casting these out. I liked them a lot. Lots of infectious energy and deep bass. But the scrunched-up mids and messy upper-treble finally got to me, it just wasn't refined enough. Still, the fact I owned these for 10 months speaks for itself.

- Audio-Technica ATH-FC7

Really bad. I'm not sure how AT let this one slip out of the gates. Well ok it's fine for people who've never heard good headphones before, but the sound was so murky and fuzzy it wasn't enjoyable.

- Beyerdynamic DT770-80

These sounded pretty good. But the recessed mids and overbearing bass finally got to me. There is such a thing as too much bass!

- Sony Headphile CD3000

Ack, take it off! I knew as soon as I heard this that the Sony sound sig would never be for me. Too bright. And too detailed. Yes you read that right.

- AKG K81DJ

Blech. Bloated bass anyone? The mid-range didn't engage me either, it sounded weird and unnatural. Treble not refined enough either. And waaaaaaay too much clamp! Holy isolation Batman! I mean I wanted closed, but these took it to the next level!

- Audio-Technica ATH-A900

These were pretty good. But not good enough. Treble too metallic and grainy. And the recessed mids bothered me. And it was HUGE. I mean HUGE! Until you see these in person you have no idea how big they are!

- AKG K171S

I thought a return to a K271-like sound would be nice. I was wrong. Nothing wrong with the sound per se, but...pleather! The grip plus the pleather made it uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. What was AKG thinking with a supra-aural??? And these needed just as much amplification as the K271 too.

- Beyerdynamic DT250-80

I started to like these when I found out how well they performed with electronica. However, the love fest sunk like the Titanic with music other than electronica, which is only about 1/3 of my CD collection. They weren't "fast" enough either, they were sluggish in the mid-bass. And the super-flat treble finally got to me. Yeah I like mid-range, but I need treble too man!

- Audio-Technica ATH-OR7

These might have been perfect if AT hadn't put that darned hole in the earcups! The leaking was intolerable! Oh and the recessed mids really bothered me too. I need SOUL from my music! The OR7 stole it from me!

So as you guys might imagine, by the time I sold the OR7 I was pretty disappointed. I was certain I would never find a solution for a portable closed can. I set in for disappointment.

And more disappointment.

And even more disappointment.

Time passed.

Still more time passed.

(I wasn't listening to music at work during this time. It made me sad.)

Then one day I had enough funds to go after one of my long sought-after headphones. Audio-Technica's ATH-ES7. I'd been eyeing these since the K271S mind you.

HOLY CRAP! Today I am now kicking myself in the nuts! I wish I had just gone for these first! All I have to say for now is that these are awesome closed portable cans! They're not super-refined but they've got everything else I like! They've got mid-range! They don't have a treble that's too flat! The mid-bass is punchy enough for any kind of music! And it sinks low enough for most purposes too!

I can now say my journey came to an end with the ES7! Finally I have something to listen to tunes at work! Works great out of the Bithead! Get them from AudioCubes and don't look back! Full review coming much later, this is all I'll say for now, but these are rockin' my world! They even have some sonic similarities to the AD2000!
post #6 of 59
Lol, welcome to team ES7...

But given your list doesn't include the K 181DJ and HD25-1, I'm not so sure your journey is over my friend...

Best,

-Jason
post #7 of 59
Asr, I heard your ES7's at HeadFest and really liked them. From my brief listen I agree they're a winner.

Caveat: yadda yadda "meet impressions" yadda yadda.

I was mentally comparing them with the HD25 which was my preferred office can for quite some time and remains my standby headphone in my den (where I usually listen on speakers). I would call the two about par on total subjective quality, if there is such a thing, but with really different sound signatures, the HD25 having a good deal more bass emphasis. The HD25 is considerably more isolating than I remember your ES7 being, with a corresponding cost in comfort though I never much minded it.

Though you've found nirvana at last, you might want to give the HD25 a listen sometime just to round off your collection of workplace-friendly closed can experiences.
post #8 of 59
i liked JJCha's recabled ES7s a lot (recabled with Grado wiring!) but I like my stock K81DJ a lot too, and even more with Senn HD25-1 velour pads on them to address the issues you raised, and now the recabled KSC-35s are here and sound darn good, and...you see where this is going!
post #9 of 59
How could you try so many portable closed cans and not get your hands on the HD25-1? I'm glad you're satisfied though.

(for now)
post #10 of 59
Thread Starter 
I always thought the HD25-1 was too expensive. Looking back....

Heh well maybe I'll still try it one of these days. But for now the ES7 satisfies my head-fi needs at work!
post #11 of 59
Just out of curiosity, which of the headphones you've tried prevented "headphone hair" the most?
post #12 of 59
Congrats! on finding your office headphone. I think I had found mine in the ATH-ANC7 for many of the same reasons you give for the ES7.
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
HOLY CRAP! Today I am now kicking myself in the nuts!
I'm really having a hard time visualizing how one would go about this. I mean, I can see how you might be able to kick yourself in the @ss, but this has got to be a lot more difficult, no?

Mind posting a video? I'm guessing it looks something like "River Dance"?
post #14 of 59
Great story, you sure did take the long way. When you had the K81DJ did you pull the foam out of the earcups? I found them very bloated with the foam in. Now I want to try the ES7, dammit.
post #15 of 59
I like exclamation points!





just kidding....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How my journey for closed portable bliss came to an end