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Audio Novice, £100-£200 headphones? K701/MS1i/SRH840/ATH-M50? Advice also needed.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

 

 

EDIT: After advice and research I've decided to get PX100s for travelling and the best cans I can afford for home use. I've compiled a short list, but from there I do not know where to go... Also I'm still unsure whether I'd need a DAC.  

 

AKG k701 - £200 (I really like the look of these, but I've read that they'd need an amp and are uncomfortable? And they're quite expensive for me)

 

Sennheiser HD600 - £200

 

Shure SRH840 - £150 (I think these look great, but apparently they 'stick out' and have poor bass?)

 

Sennheiser HD595 - £130 (Ugly looking, but I've heard ok things about them)

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50 - £120 (Can't decide whether they look awesome or awful)

 

Alessandro MS1i - £100 (Same as above, and I see mixed things about the sound quality and comfort)

 

Firstly I would like to make you all aware that I know next to nothing (some may argue nothing) about audio quality and how to achieve it. Secondly, I'm not sure whether this thread is more at home in the 'Headphones (full-sized)' category, if so I'm sorry and could a Moderator please move it.

 

I have recently decided to (try) and listen to my music how it was intended (or close enough to). So I have started amassing CDs and ripping them at Apple Lossless.

 

The only problem is that I don't have any decent headphones as, in the past, I have been loathed to spend more than £10 on earphones. I want that to change. After looking around I came to some conclusions: anything branded with that 'Dr Dre Beats' rubbish are utter pony, along with those hideous Skullcandies. What I wasn't expecting was that Bose, the be-all-and-end-all name in the layman's music scene, are scorned by the audiophile community. Therefore I had no idea where to turn, these seemingly perfect £99.99 Bose around-ear headphones that I had seen in the shops, may not be the best for my budget...

 

...and to add yet more confusion, after a brief look around, there are amplifiers? 

 

In conclusion, I know nothing about audio quality, and want to step up on the ladder. Which headphones (either on-ear or around-ear) should I buy for both listening to music on the move, from a 16GB iPod Touch 2nd Gen, and in situ with a MacBook Pro. I have a budget of £100, which should equate to about $150. 

 

I would also like advice on how to begin enjoying music to it's potential.

 

(tl;dr - £100 budget, headphones, and advice needed)


Edited by Dhrax - 7/31/10 at 7:40am
post #2 of 42

What type of music do you generally listen to?

Would this be mainly for home listening or portable?

Earbuds, headphones or in ear canals?

post #3 of 42

well ignore should, prices in the UK can be vastly more that the US for some things.  id expect grado recomendations but they are stupidly expensive over here. 

 

anyway if its for portable would you not rather IEM's? (in ear monitors) at present in the UK my default suggestion in the Radiopaq Jazz.  its cheap, sounds great for the many and is like to be satisfying to mast people with its sound signature.  since you dont seem to have a clear idea of what type of sound your after id say get it and then use it as a point of reference for the future.

 

if you want to blow the 100 right off id say go for the sennheiser IE7

post #4 of 42

I've just pulled the trigger on a pair of Sennheiser HD-25-1 II headphones, as they are highly rated around these and other parts for portable music listening that offers great sound, durability and isolation from outside noise (and likewise not pissing people around you off).

 

They are however £150 - I got mine from iheadphones (http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/23547/Sennheiser+HD25+ii.htm).

 

If your budget won't stretch further than a ton though, have a look at Joker's excellent thread here for heaps more suggestions.

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-44-portable-headphones-compared-sony-mdr-xb500-alessandro-ms1-added-07-08

 

On the issue of amps, that really is only a requirement if your player is unable to 'drive' your headphones.  That's mostly determined by the ohm impedence rating of the headphones. If the headphones or earphones are marketed as portable, there's no reason they shouldnt work well with the Touch.  Some, however, like to use a portable amp to beef up the gain going into their phones from their source player, to both improve volume and sound quality.  Some headphones and iems respond well to being amped this way, others don't. 

 

Finding your way through the maze of all of this is part of the learning curve, and it can be confusiing at first, but the only golden rule is to keep asking questions till you are happy with the answers. In the meantime, with an eye to the future, ask your boss for a pay rise and extend your credit limit ;-)


Edited by Bennyboy71 - 7/19/10 at 6:25am
post #5 of 42

Hey Benny

 

In London also

Can I ask what made you plump for those HD-25-1 II's?

 

I've got $200 to spend (Amazon US gift card) which would enable me to get those, someone else also mentioned em on here

 

I would be using for a couple of hours tube/train commuting every day, plus general usage, I almost constantly listen to music wherever possible

 

Would the HD-25-1 II's be suitable for me? Are you planning on using yours on the tubes & trains? Reading up, I thought they were too big to be for every day use 


Cheers

post #6 of 42

Fellow Londoner eh? Cool. More the merrier.

 

Ok, here's my set up:

 

I listen to music whenever I can too, but this is mostly limited these days to tubing it to work and back, plus some time in evening. Evening listening is from home stereo set up, so no headphones needed, but sometimes when I do need to listen through phones (cos of girlfriend etc), I play music through my Cowon J3.  I used to be an amp and iPod Classic guy, but sold them both off recently to get the better sounding J3.

 

In terms of the phones I use, up till now I have always been an in-ear phone (iem) user, and indeed I have a pair of Earsonic SM3s which are top end universal iems costing about £300. They are beautiful sounding devices, but recently they broke on me and I am currently waiting for them to be replaced.

 

In the meantime, I started looking at headphone reviews for some reason - probably just bored actually - and started to really like the idea of trying out the Senns.  If you Google that model, you'll see plenty of positive reviews and comments, with some claiming they are the best portable closed phones you'll get for that kind of money.

 

Now, I have no idea if thats true, or indeed how really 'portable' they are until I get them tomorrow.  But as long as I dont look like a plank in public and the sound is good enough, I'll then take a view on whether to keep the SM3s to give me a choice of solutions, or to sell one or the other.

 

Hope that all makes sense. Am happy to answer any questions about all of this in private messages, if that makes it easier to converse.

 

post #7 of 42

Newbie so far, kind of nervous about learning too much! Fine for me, not sure the girlfriend or wallet will approve though...........

 

Cheers for that though mate, sounds almost identical to me. When out and about, have always been an IEM man meself too, although nothing quite so high end as the SM3's

 

At home I have a fairly basic Cambridge set-up, play a lot of records as well as having a home studio so tend to stick to connecting a laptop via the studio and then into the amp etc.

 

Out and about, I just use an iPod Touch, no amp. Yet

 

Gonna read more about them, but my main concern was as you suggested, looking like a plonker in public! If they look ok, then it looks like a no brainer to me. I'd narrowed it down to these or the Phiaton MS300's, but the latter was purely down to aesthetics

 

Could I trouble you to voice your opinion once you receive them tomorrow please mate?


Cheers again

post #8 of 42
post #9 of 42

Yep, those are the ones.  Perfect for your voucher, by the looks of it!  How much is delivery to UK though? Can you not convert to sterling, or even sell the voucher code to someone here based in US?  Might be worth thinking about, but depends on exchange rates etc I guess...

 

And yeah, no worries, will let you know my thoughts once had chance to give them a go tomorrow.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fierce1979 View Post

Sorry mate, just to clarify, it's these you've ordered? :

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-25-1-II-Professional-Headphone/dp/B000W8XRKK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1279551706&sr=1-1

post #10 of 42

Yep, tried all that! Non transferable, and the cheap so and so's that work out of our US office won't offer anywhere near enough for it!

 

Still, will use our work FedEx account, so no shipping. Nice

 

post #11 of 42

Free delivery's better than a poke in the eye, I agree.

 

What iems have you been using up till now?
 

post #12 of 42

i agree with bennyboy71

The hd25s are all you need for portable use, i use them if im just walking down to the shops or on a train.

isolation is brilliant for that type of headphone, they are durable, just put them in your bag and your off. 

 

you wont regret getting the hs25s, no matter what other headphones you hear 

post #13 of 42

Benny, always used CX500's, mind you that was prior to joining this place! 

 

Cheers James, looks to be the way to go. Phiaton's are soooo pretty though

post #14 of 42

Am not convinced by the look of those Phiatons mate, it has to be said.... And given the state of things in London, that attention seeking red trim means they'll either get nicked or people will think you've been stabbed in the head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fierce1979 View Post

Benny, always used CX500's, mind you that was prior to joining this place! 

 

Cheers James, looks to be the way to go. Phiaton's are soooo pretty though

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennyboy71 View Post

Am not convinced by the look of those Phiatons mate, it has to be said.... And given the state of things in London, that attention seeking red trim means they'll either get nicked or people will think you've been stabbed in the head
 


 


Hehe, there is that! I was actually considering the ones without the red trim, PS320, not MS300 as I stated above. Although I wasn't entirely sure what the differences between the two models were, except for the colour and the fact that the PS320 has dual drivers. Yet they're cheaper?

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Audio Novice, £100-£200 headphones? K701/MS1i/SRH840/ATH-M50? Advice also needed.