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Earbud advice needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


Someone's burning with desire to buy a new pair of earbuds (not in-ear-phones as I hate having things in my ear canal, even then it;s for a good cause...). I listen predominantly to electronic (more like down-tempo than techno, trance or any of that) music as well as RnB (MJ, Alicia Keys and similar) and a little bit of everything else. Because of that, decent bass is a must, and I'm not entirely which earbuds to go for. For reference, I have Sennheiser HD 580 headphones and absolutely as well as the sound of my BOSE speakers with overstated bass. Oh, and I hate ear tearing highs.


So far I've come across Sennheiser (mx 470, 580 and 880 as well as the older models) which most people think favourably of. However, I've once tried my friend's mx 550 and thought it was absolute and utter crap. Even though the highs and the mids were ok, but bass was absolutely nowhere to be found and that is a no-no as far I'm concerned. My Sony Erricson earbuds have more life than the senns... Are the new models radically different to the old ones?


I've also come across AKG models (K 313, 315, 317, 319). They seem to have good bass, but some people claims they sound muffled. Opinions?


I've also come across Yuin and would buy PK3, but no one seems to be selling them in the UK...


Anything else I've missed?


Help much appreciated; buds needed badly 

post #2 of 7

Welcome to Head-Fi millenium!


Though I haven't tried the AKG models that you have listed, I have had some experience with a few of the newer Sennheiser earbuds, particularly the MX471 and MX580 .  Though this is just one man's opinion, I personally think that the current crop of MX series earphones is quite a bit better than their previous entries when it comes to performance per pound/dollar.


Out of the two I've tried, I'll suggest the MX471.  You should also take a look at the MX470 as it should use the same driver but in a different housing.  Ideally, if there was a way to try both and choose the better fitting model, that would be best as bass performance / quantity is greatly affected by fit and the use of the foam and/or rubber attachments that come with the Sennheisers.  For reference, the MX471s (and others that end in a '1') are made for smaller ears.  The MX580 has an overall clearer sound, but have less bass and more treble.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey, thanks for the info.


Trying them out won't be an option, as they can't be tried out in store which is a great shame. I wonder if I have small or big ears... Canals are definitely small though...


Btw, what's your take on 760 vs 470(1)?

post #4 of 7

The MX760 and MX471 are both rather bassy while still retaining detail in the midrange and treble.  The MX471's bass is more condensed and direct, while the MX760's lower frequencies are more airy.  The midrange is more forward on the MX471 and more laid-back on the MX760.  Treble detail and control seem to be slightly better on the MX471, where the MX760's treble sounds more natural to my ears.  The soundstage size and imaging / positioning of the MX760 trumps the MX471, though the latter has a more cohesive presentation.


Overall, I prefer the MX760, but both are great earphones and ultimately it comes down to preference.  Keep in mind too that the MX470/471 is less expensive and doesn't have the annoying short lead + 1.0-meter extension cable that the MX760 has.

Edited by kjk1281 - 7/17/10 at 2:36pm
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

760 on its way... The cable will be a pain, but hey, I do like airy sound


Thanks for advice much appreciated.


Might still get AKG as well. If I do, I'll let you know how these sound in comparison.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Got my MX 760 yesterday.


They sound really impressive, including bass. However, I've got a problem with the very "in-your-face" highs which irritate my tinnitus... With the exception of MX500, this has never happened with any of the Senn gear I've gone through. Not sure if that's because they're brand new and need to do a bit of sweating before starting to sound less harsh or that they're highs are in fact too much for me.


From your experience, are 470 and 580 similar in that sense or a bit less harsh (from your comments above I would think it's the opposite?


Anyone with AKG buds?


The other problem with 760 is their size - they're huge. And although I do get all of the base as well as treble they sort of sit at angle in the ear...

post #7 of 7

Thanks for posting your impressions!


I too noticed the treble issue at first, but it seems to smooth out a bit over time.  Hopefully they'll get less harsh as you put more hours on your pair.  Also, I apologize for not warning you about the size of the MX760.  I usually try to point that out, but this time I failed to.  Depending on the angle of the bud in the ear, however, it may work out since preferably earbuds need to be angled toward the opening of the ear canal to provide the best sonic performance as the direction of the face of the earbud affects the way the sound travels into the ear and particularly has an affect on the soundstage.  This is of course assuming that it's fitting in your ear in such a way.


The MX470/471 and MX580/581 have a different kind of treble but there's more of it.  It's more defined and direct, so it's hard to say whether you'd find them more harsh or not.


If you do try out the AKGs I'd like to hear your thoughts!

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