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Good set of portable closed cans

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a pair of good sounding but portable closed cans. These are to replace a pair of bose around the ear tri-ports (ok sound, awful build quality). Primarily going to be worn while traveling so seal is fairly important. For the most part, i prefer clarity over bass as i tend to listen to alt/rock over bass heavy music. Oh yeah, budget is around 150.

Thanks
post #2 of 8
I dont have any cans myself but Im sure others will help you even in this section. However, Im just posting to help direct you. There is a whole entire section dedicated to cans. If I were you id post this same thing over there. But like I said, I think you will still get help in here but likely not as much.
post #3 of 8
This is an older review, and not all of the phones are portable, but I found it quite helpful. Good luck!

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/15-...eviews-128983/
post #4 of 8
This is a very tricky area. I just did the same research so I will offer my help, but this is a very personal decision.

I needed:

-- Closed cans that contain their sound well.
-- Closed cans that isolate you from outside sounds OK, but the nth degree of isolation was not crucial for me (as I just turn up the volume). [Note that containment and isolation are not the same thing, and some closed phones do only one of these well, like Denon D1000/1001's, which contain but don't isolate].
-- Sound good with my Predator and/or iQube amp, but also OK without an amp. I use a Cowon i7 and a generation 5.5 video iPod (actually an iMod). And an old Sansa now and then.
-- Are not so expensive that I am totally heartbroken when they get stolen (hey, I live in New Jersey).
-- Do not look geeky or strange. No big cans, no bowls, no wood. But at the same time look up-scale and say "I know headphones and you don't" (yea, I'm shallow).
-- Traditional over-the-head headband (not behind the neck -- that's where the gym towel goes), and traditional sit-on-the-ear pads ... cover most of the ear, but not surround it (i.e. supra-aural, not circumaural).
-- Fold up in some way. Good enough for me if the pads swivel so the phones become totally flat (and slip in next to my laptop in the briefcase). Other people will want true folding like a pretzel or a snowball -- lots of phones do that, but I just need flat).

After searching and reading, I chose Audio Technica ATH-ES7:

Amazon.com: Closed-Back Portable Headphones: Electronics

Actually I chose the black headband, not the white, but the link I gave has the best photo. Some sites say the list price is $285, others say $170, but it's all BS. I paid $115 -- that's the price from the link above.

Some of the photos on some of the web web sites make the backs look bowl-like a bit. They are not. They are very slim and dead flat and highly polished -- really sharp! And look-wise I need all the help I can get with the older ladies at the gym (check out my photo and you will see what I mean. Actually the only lady I try to impress at the gym is my wife, but that's important too, no?).

The SQ is excellent. I am very impressed and happy. But I'm older and the hearing is not as sharp as my college days. You should listen. I think they are carried at Apple stores, so you should be able to try them. If not, be sure you have return privs wherever you buy from -- the headphone game is about listening first, so audition for sure.

If you don't mind traditional (small) bowl-like phones, and you don't want real isolation, the Denon D1001's are amazing and being deeply discounted now. SQ (for my ears, anyway) approaching the best of all dynamic closed phones (I have listened to lots), and not too big. Boring looks.
post #5 of 8
x2 on the Denon 1001s. Well...I guess wavoman was really plugging the ES7s...
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanjong View Post
x2 on the Denon 1001s. Well...I guess wavoman was really plugging the ES7s...
No, I love 'em both, own 'em both, and listen to both. SQ wise, the 1001's win, no question. But they look like studio headphones, and they aren't going with me to the gym or on the plane.

The ES7's shine (pun -- stainless steel chrome backs) for that.

The D1001's are my knockabout "upstairs" closed phones for when my wife is watching TV. Not in my serious listening room, though they approach that level.
post #7 of 8
Oh I better elaborate. The D1001's contain well but do not isolate. I use them to watch the same TV program as my wife, just with higher volume. Open phones would be very distracting since she would hear the TV sound out the side (I have posted this before, sorry to repeat). Perfect since I can hear her talk.

To shut the world out is the job of real closed phones; I have Ultrasone 750's for a different reason, will test their isolation (haven't yet), also will test beyer 770s.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
But they look like studio headphones, and they aren't going with me to the gym or on the plane.
D1001s at the gym. LOL!
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