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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015) - Page 24

post #346 of 4545
Ok, thank you. You have been most helpful, as usual...
post #347 of 4545
I just scooped up an open box set of iGrados for $29.00. Using your review as a reference, I think it's a solid deal. Great thread, BTW. Thanks for putting it together!
post #348 of 4545

Coby CV-215 vs CV-185

Hi all,

I see a lot of people recommending the Coby CV-185 on this forum. I'm interested in buying this but had a question. My local store is carrying the Coby "Jammerz", which is the Coby CV-215 packaged with earbuds Amazon.com: Coby Jammerz Headphones with Earclips CV215BLK (Black): Electronics. The headphones look the same as the CV-185. Was wondering if the CV-215 is indeed the same headphones as the CV-185, just repackaged with a different name to include those earbuds. My local store is pricing this the same as the CV-185 online. Thanks.
post #349 of 4545
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDGAFFLIN View Post
I just scooped up an open box set of iGrados for $29.00. Using your review as a reference, I think it's a solid deal. Great thread, BTW. Thanks for putting it together!
Good deal. Very enjoyable phones if you find them comfortable .

Quote:
Originally Posted by moraleslos View Post
Hi all,

I see a lot of people recommending the Coby CV-185 on this forum. I'm interested in buying this but had a question. My local store is carrying the Coby "Jammerz", which is the Coby CV-215 packaged with earbuds Amazon.com: Coby Jammerz Headphones with Earclips CV215BLK (Black): Electronics. The headphones look the same as the CV-185. Was wondering if the CV-215 is indeed the same headphones as the CV-185, just repackaged with a different name to include those earbuds. My local store is pricing this the same as the CV-185 online. Thanks.
Yes, it's the same thing, just different color schemes (I believe there's three additional color schemes for the CV215) and the earbuds thrown in.
post #350 of 4545
@ljokerl I think that among HD25-1 weaknesses, you should mention that they are pretty lousy at reproducing piano with the stock cable - it sounds significantly punchier than it does in real life. Not sure about other instruments, but I think strings also sound quite artificial with the HD25 because the treble lack smoothness. Also, the bass on HD25-1 is actually not that great with the stock cable IMO - it is really not that tight and even a little boomy. Compare directly with M-Audio Q40, or better - AKG K181 DJ - and you will know what I mean. Another weakness of stock HD25-1 is that they seriously lack smoothness which makes them a bad choice for stuff like smooth jazz.

Overall, I just don't think HD25-1 is hi-fi enough to deserve a 9.5/10 rating, even in the realm of portable headphones. If M-Audio Q40 is an 8/10, I would give stock HD25-1 an 8.5/10 max with some reservations because Q40 does many things better than HD25 IMO, like bass, lower mids, and smoothness. And of course, there are higher-end, much more expensive portables out there like the ESW10 and ES10. I heard the ESW10 briefly and I can say for sure that it blows HD25 and Q40 out of the water in overall sound quality. That one I would give a 10/10 as the best or one of the best portables currently available. Perhaps with a cable upgrade HD25 could indeed deserve a 9.5/10, but with the stock cable - no way.
post #351 of 4545
The truth about audio cables.

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."

-The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

The above could just as easily be re-phrased - for example ...

"I refuse to prove that my cables will make your system sound better", says the snake oil vendor, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, you will hear nothing."
post #352 of 4545
Hehe, I like that JxK.
post #353 of 4545
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
@ljokerl I think that among HD25-1 weaknesses, you should mention that they are pretty lousy at reproducing piano with the stock cable - it sounds significantly punchier than it does in real life. Not sure about other instruments, but I think strings also sound quite artificial with the HD25 because the treble lack smoothness. Also, the bass on HD25-1 is actually not that great with the stock cable IMO - it is really not that tight and even a little boomy. Compare directly with M-Audio Q40, or better - AKG K181 DJ - and you will know what I mean. Another weakness of stock HD25-1 is that they seriously lack smoothness which makes them a bad choice for stuff like smooth jazz.

Overall, I just don't think HD25-1 is hi-fi enough to deserve a 9.5/10 rating, even in the realm of portable headphones. If M-Audio Q40 is an 8/10, I would give stock HD25-1 an 8.5/10 max with some reservations because Q40 does many things better than HD25 IMO, like bass, lower mids, and smoothness. And of course, there are higher-end, much more expensive portables out there like the ESW10 and ES10. I heard the ESW10 briefly and I can say for sure that it blows HD25 and Q40 out of the water in overall sound quality. That one I would give a 10/10 as the best or one of the best portables currently available. Perhaps with a cable upgrade HD25 could indeed deserve a 9.5/10, but with the stock cable - no way.
You have to remember that it's a relative scale. By definition that means that something should always be a 10/10. I broke the rule myself as I simply couldn't give the HD25 a 10/10 after owning them for so long but a scale based on an 8.5/10 maximum just doesn't make sense. I cannot base my scale on your impressions of the ESW10 for obvious reasons, unless you are willing to lend me your ears. Also if you read a few pages back I did originally give the Senns a 9/10 but made a mistake on the chart, so I was forced to change the review to a 9.5 for consistency while I work on a new scaling method. Unfortunately I had a computer... accident... which means that I have to start from scratch on the new chart. Expect an updated one in a few weeks.

Staying away from the cable discussion, I think the smoothness trade-off with the HD25 is worth it for the amount of detail and the balance that you're getting. Certainly neither the K181 nor the Q40 can match them on either. And of course this being a relative scale the others have their own issues. The Q40 sound significantly restrained at the top end, far more so than they should. And they give me bass headaches - the bass on the Senns is much easier on the ears. Neither of the three is perfect but I'm personally keeping the Senns until something that's a better all-rounder comes along (or I decide to switch to IEMs permanently). I'm also not clear from your post as to whether you've heard the HD25 with a different cable. If not, I don't see how you can suggest that a massive improvement is to be had.
post #354 of 4545
Glad to see some interest for ATH-M30- that can is surely nice. My friend asked me to look for a headphone for her and I guess this really fits, especially for her purpose: decent, laid-back SQ, comfort (circumaural), low price, no-nonsense looks, sturdiness. If it had a folding mechanism of some sort it would have been the perfect "common" circumaural.
post #355 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
You have to remember that it's a relative scale. By definition that means that something should always be a 10/10. I broke the rule myself as I simply couldn't give the HD25 a 10/10 after owning them for so long but a scale based on an 8.5/10 maximum just doesn't make sense. I cannot base my scale on your impressions of the ESW10 for obvious reasons, unless you are willing to lend me your ears. Also if you read a few pages back I did originally give the Senns a 9/10 but made a mistake on the chart, so I was forced to change the review to a 9.5 for consistency while I work on a new scaling method. Unfortunately I had a computer... accident... which means that I have to start from scratch on the new chart. Expect an updated one in a few weeks.

Staying away from the cable discussion, I think the smoothness trade-off with the HD25 is worth it for the amount of detail and the balance that you're getting. Certainly neither the K181 nor the Q40 can match them on either. And of course this being a relative scale the others have their own issues. The Q40 sound significantly restrained at the top end, far more so than they should. And they give me bass headaches - the bass on the Senns is much easier on the ears. Neither of the three is perfect but I'm personally keeping the Senns until something that's a better all-rounder comes along (or I decide to switch to IEMs permanently). I'm also not clear from your post as to whether you've heard the HD25 with a different cable. If not, I don't see how you can suggest that a massive improvement is to be had.
Ok, so you think HD25 has more detail and better balance than the Q40 and K181. Fair enough, you are entitled to your own opinion of course. Personally I disagree that HD25 is any more detailed than K181 or Q40, but maybe my hearing is just not good enough to be able to hear the extra resolution that the HD25 offers. As for balance, like I said, HD25 is not an all arounder, because it does not render certain instruments correctly, like piano and strings. Both K181 and Q40 beat HD25 in this regard, offering a more natural reproduction of these instruments to my ears. This means that for a lot of instrumental music, HD25 is really not a great choice - I would pick K181 and Q40 over HD25 for my favourite jazz and acoustic recordings any day. I also hate HD25 for ambient - it just doesn't provide a sufficient sense of space for this type of music IMO. HD25 works best for electronic and vocals IMO. It also works OK for rock and pop.

The last two sentences of your post show a misunderstanding of my previous post. Like I said, I think HD25 may sound better with a cable upgrade because I've read many times and also heard from my friends that an aftermarket cable can improve the sound of these headphones. Personally I tried Senn HD650 stock cable on HD25 and did not like the results - the sound quality deteriorated. I suspect this is because the HD650 cable was not designed to work with lower impedance headphones like HD25. But I still believe that a good aftermarket cable made specifically with HD25 in mind might make them sound smoother with a deeper, tighter bass and a larger soundstage.
post #356 of 4545
About cables - conductivity does vary with materials (silver has the best conductivity of all metals, and copper conductivity varies with purity and oxygenation). As cables are a rather expensive part of headphones, all manufacturers save on cable quality. Twisting wires also makes them more resilient to interference (long-distance telephone cables and network cables are twisted because of this). Another interesting bit is that the lower the impedance, the less the effect of interference (4-ohm speakers really don't need twisted wiring).

Analogue audio is a bit special in that it really is a power/voltage variation which is modulated at high frequencies. So the worse the conductivity of the cable, the more harmonic distortion there will be, with some harmonics being depressed (veil), and high/low frequencies being delayed in time, and clarity being reduced. The simplest way to demonstrate this is by reterminating an Ethernet UTP cable with audio connectors, and using it as an interconnect for an amp in place of any straight-wire cheap store cable.
post #357 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
Ok, so you think HD25 has more detail and better balance than the Q40 and K181. Fair enough, you are entitled to your own opinion of course. Personally I disagree that HD25 is any more detailed than K181 or Q40, but maybe my hearing is just not good enough to be able to hear the extra resolution that the HD25 offers. As for balance, like I said, HD25 is not an all arounder, because it does not render certain instruments correctly, like piano and strings. Both K181 and Q40 beat HD25 in this regard, offering a more natural reproduction of these instruments to my ears. This means that for a lot of instrumental music, HD25 is really not a great choice - I would pick K181 and Q40 over HD25 for my favourite jazz and acoustic recordings any day. I also hate HD25 for ambient - it just doesn't provide a sufficient sense of space for this type of music IMO. HD25 works best for electronic and vocals IMO. It also works OK for rock and pop.

The last two sentences of your post show a misunderstanding of my previous post. Like I said, I think HD25 may sound better with a cable upgrade because I've read many times and also heard from my friends that an aftermarket cable can improve the sound of these headphones. Personally I tried Senn HD650 stock cable on HD25 and did not like the results - the sound quality deteriorated. I suspect this is because the HD650 cable was not designed to work with lower impedance headphones like HD25. But I still believe that a good aftermarket cable made specifically with HD25 in mind might make them sound smoother with a deeper, tighter bass and a larger soundstage.
Very well said. I totally agree with you that hd 25 is no better than K 181 DJ. I did an a/b testing and found the akg to be superior in most cases. It sounds more natural, stronger and more controlled bass, more engaging overall. Not to say the senns were far away. If portability is an issue, then go for the senns. But i was sold on the 181 because it just sounded better to my ears. Even looks better
post #358 of 4545
So what you're saying is: HD-25 are DJ-oriented headphones...
post #359 of 4545
Seidhepriest, let's not ruin this nice thread with funny cable theories or the like.
post #360 of 4545
Got the Cobys in today:

One thing is it's larger than I thought it was, from the pics I thought it would be roughly the size of the flats, but its larger. Squeezes my head pretty tight too, I can see the headband plastic physically bend out of shape when it goes on my head (unless I have an enormously large head :P) It's livable though, especially since its the same size as the Sony MDR-V150s (hate those phones btw) so I can use the pads from it (it's a bit softer).

I really like the sound though. I am not an audiophile so my opinion may be laughed at but it has a nice smooth sound to it. The treble isn't as sparkly as the Koss KSC-75 but the nice bass makes up for it. It sounds pretty much like my old modded Sennheiser HDR-6-9's with slightly better bass. Thanks for the recommendation. My only real complaint is it wasn't as small as I would have liked it to be.

*edit*

Putting the MDR-v150 pads on, the midrange got a lot louder (I figure that's because your ears are closer to the driver), I'm not sure if I like it more like that or not yet.
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