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Should I get a pair of low-fi phones for background listening?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'll try to explain my situation here. I usually listen to my headphones for 3-4 hours each night. The first few hours are just background/casual listening, i.e. having the music on when I'm reading or working. Then I'll do a hour or so of critical listening before bed.

 

The problem is although my setup sounds good when I first listen to it each night I find it losing much of the 'wow' factor when I finally began serious listening.  I'm not sure if that's because my ears are tired or because they're so accustomed to the sound after hours of exposure they no longer find it interesting or impressive.  

 

Has anyone else here had similar experiences as mine? Do you guys use your main rig for background listening or keep them only for critical sessions? Should I get a pair of cheap (say, less than 50 dollars) headphones for background use so to not spoil my main setup? Or should I just stop using music as background noise?

 

Also if I am to get a pair of low-end phones, what should I get? I'm thinking about Senns PX-100 at the moment as they're open (closed phones are a quite tiring for me) and are said to be very comfortable with a rather laid-back sound. But I'm interested in other options too.

post #2 of 13

Part of it could be the nature of the headphones you're listening to as well.  I had a similar experience with the Shures--although they are technically great headphones, they get boring after a while.  I never have that happen with either pairs of my Beyerdynamics, which turns out to be the sound signature I prefer.  I really only use my GMP 450s for critical listening, but it's because they are so bass light.

 

That said, coming from the cans you have to the PX-100s is not going to be the right answer.  Their lack of detail and richness compared to the others will probably just drive you nuts.  If you are going to invest in good headphones, find a pair that you like enough to listen to for longer than an hour at a time.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah I've been wondering about my pair of SRH840 too, nowadays I pretty much only reach for them when I really need isolation. Perhaps that has something to do with the shure and my amp being both warm so they sound a bit muddy together. On the other hand, I'm rather happy with my K702, it's just they began to sound a bit flat after a couple of hours' listening.  I'm not sure if I should go buy another pair of high quality (and expansive) phones, or buy a pair of cheaper but comfy phones to have them in a high-low rotation with k702 to avoid getting bored by listening to the same setup for hours. 

post #4 of 13
Don't go for cheapo. You can't enjoy a $50-ish headphone after you listen extensively to $300 headphones. It is not always the case but I would say nine times out of ten. That's always my problem when I go higher. And I find it very very dangerous for my little wallet.
post #5 of 13

its hard to believe you do critical listening every night?

I thought people do that just for reviews... unless we are not in the same length as to what critical listening means here..

let me tell you, critical listening is a PITA and the reason why everything is exaggerated here

 

what I would recommend you is to get a new albums/ recommended music instead of another cheaper headphones

although for purely background listening there is nothing wrong with it,

IMO, once you sorted out the gear side, its the music that should give you the wow factor not the other way around

gears do that, once u played around with them enough they get boring, giving you the upgraditis

good music however, are timeless..

post #6 of 13

 

Quote:

IMO, once you sorted out the gear side, its the music that should give you the wow factor not the other way around

gears do that, once u played around with them enough they get boring, giving you the upgraditis

good music however, are timeless..

 

So true! Sadly we sometimes forget the reason we came here: Music.

 

Honestly how many of you ever think headphones need an amp and DAC to sound good before you came to Head-Fi

post #7 of 13

i feel ya, man.

i bought some cheapy headphones for work, so my ears would go "wow" when i get home and listen.  hahaha 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh I don''t go as far as reviewers here do regarding 'critical listening' and perhaps I should have said 'focused/concentrated listening' instead of 'critical'. I understand it should be music that wows me but find some music (mostly orchestral works) hard to enjoy without feeling good about the acoustics (the pile of Naxos Historical cds gathering dust on my shelves could testify for that).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWuss View Post

i feel ya, man.

i bought some cheapy headphones for work, so my ears would go "wow" when i get home and listen.  hahaha 


Yeah that's what I'm thinking about, having some kind of contrast in sound. So what headphones do you use for work? Are they comfortable for prolonged use?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmath View Post

Oh I don''t go as far as reviewers here do regarding 'critical listening' and perhaps I should have said 'focused/concentrated listening' instead of 'critical'. I understand it should be music that wows me but find some music (mostly orchestral works) hard to enjoy without feeling good about the acoustics (the pile of Naxos Historical cds gathering dust on my shelves could testify for that).

 


Yeah that's what I'm thinking about, having some kind of contrast in sound. So what headphones do you use for work? Are they comfortable for prolonged use?



right now i'm switching back and forth between m50s and fischer fa-004.

the fa-004 is fun, but pretty rough around the edges.  but, also light and comfy, and i'm not afraid of damaging them.

 

the m50 is actually a pretty decent sounding set of cans.  if not for the clamping force and ear sweat, i'd wear them a heckuva lot.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWuss View Post





right now i'm switching back and forth between m50s and fischer fa-004.

the fa-004 is fun, but pretty rough around the edges.  but, also light and comfy, and i'm not afraid of damaging them.

 

the m50 is actually a pretty decent sounding set of cans.  if not for the clamping force and ear sweat, i'd wear them a heckuva lot.

 


From reviews here fa-004 seems like a good choice. But as it's a closed phone I'm wondering if there's any issues with eardrum pressure during long use?

post #11 of 13

If you what you casual headphones to also be portable, perhaps some cheapo KSC75 or Yuin G2A? if not, something like the JVC RX700 (mod them :D)? Just for a change


Edited by n-ster - 5/18/10 at 7:34am
post #12 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyHoney View Post

Don't go for cheapo. You can't enjoy a $50-ish headphone after you listen extensively to $300 headphones. It is not always the case but I would say nine times out of ten. That's always my problem when I go higher. And I find it very very dangerous for my little wallet.

 

I enjoy my KSC75 as much as my MS-Pro?..
 

post #13 of 13

When i started on the Headphone world, i bought the Sony MDR-XB300's. They are good for bass, specially if you have limited budget. 

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