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Headphone Clash

Poll Results: Which headphones are the best? (Portability, SQ, style, comfort, etc.)

  • 40% (6)
  • 6% (1)
    Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones
  • 6% (1)
    ATH-M50S (or just M50, is the cord that ugly?)
  • 46% (7)
    Some other cans under $300 on Amazon.
15 Total Votes  
post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Okay, I'm relatively new to the area of hi-fi audio and whatnot, so I want to ask people more knowledgeable than I am...

My dilemma... I currently have about $300 (maybe a teeny bit more) to spend on a great set of cans that will go with my iPod. And yes, I know that the iPod isn't the greatest music player out there in terms of sq, but I'll also be using these phones to connect to other people's systems... who knows?


-I'm into portable cans, but not so much that they sacrifice sound.

-I'm a little bit hard of hearing, so I probably want a set of phones with low impedance, so I can listen loudly without maxing the volume, I'm lacking especially in the bass end of hearing.

-Good isolation (I guess everyone looks for this.)

-Good comfort (I wear glasses.)

-Also not too important, but since I'll be wearing this during my commutes, I don't want them to be downright ugly, so style is always a plus.


I know I have some other thing to say.. I'l comment later.

So I'm looking into a couple phones that I'm considering.


ATH-ESW9A ($210 @ Amazon, is this reliable?)

Bowers & Wilkins P5 (I was originally going to buy this b/c of the looks and the compatibility, but head-fi kinda bashed this for the sound quality.) 299.99

ATH-M50S, only I wish it had a much shorter (1.5m) cord.. I hear it's 11m.. a little long. It's $110 on amazon.


I personally am leaning toward the more (imo) classier cans, such as the ESW9A and the B&W.

But the M50 has bigger drivers...


Remember, these are portable and so I guess I won't be really *that* concerned about wonderful sound, just something that will be a great use for everything.


Oh yeah, build quality matters.. I don't want these breaking on my head. :)


Recommendations or comments please?

Much thanks.

post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh, I'll include the Beyerdynamic T50P on that list too.

Any comments?

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 


post #4 of 31

I love the B&W P5, but other may think they look ugly.

post #5 of 31

Atm the T50p are mixed reviews, but they look super nice and durable.  P5 I have not read many reviews on it, but they do look nice.  I think only Apple is the only authorized dealer?  Safe choice: ESW9a.  Ultrasone make some nice looking cans, but I don't know if I would call them classy.  AKG also makes some portable, but classy?  I don't really know.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

I've heard a couple complaints on the sound signature of the ESW9a, how good is it for long (2 hours+) listening sessions?


Yeah, the ESW9a is some sexy looking phones all right, but they don't HAVE to be classy. Just something that doesn't look too embarrassing to wear in broad daylight.


For the P5s, a friend of mine got them a while ago, so I'll be trying those out whenever she comes back from her vacation.

AKG cans are uncomfortable for me...

Guess it either comes down to the ESW9a, T50P, or P5s.

Or how does the ATH-M50s compare?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 


post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

Bump. Sorry.

post #9 of 31

Haven't heard the others, but when I was doing my research on which cans to get I ended up with the ESW9 :) They hurt a bit after longer sessions, but they make up for it with it's excellent sound quality, isolation and good looks!

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Okay, I'm also willing to kill my budget for a pair of ESW10s (which look awesome), so anyone wants to sell theirs or knows of retailers that sell the real thing? Any help very much appreciated!

post #11 of 31

The ESW9a makes your ears very sweaty: I can barely make it up to an hour with them before they get too uncomfortable to wear. I also have the T50p, and find them more comfortable, since they are smaller. They are true supra-aurals instead of nearly circum like the ESW9. I find that the ESW9 has better vocals and drum impacts, while the T50p has better highs, and maybe extension. I am still undecided between them however (have left them home like an idiot).


For the ESW10, be aware that there is also the ES10. One is wooden and limited, the other is the newer one with titanium housing and a larger driver.


Beach Camera IS a registered Audio Technica dealer, so if you buy from them on Amazon, they should be legit.


If you want the T50p, soundearphones is having a 15% off everything sale. You just have to enter "15site" as the coupon, but it doesn't work at the moment (try contacting them directly). Here's the link:

Edited by WyldRage - 7/31/10 at 9:56pm
post #12 of 31

I think the coupon is "site15." Either one should be great.  Though the ESW9/10 would be warmer from the wood enclosure.  But, for portability, the T50p would seem to be more rugged being metal.  I wouldn't want to damage those beautiful cups outside :P

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

Idk if the Beyer T50P is for me.. I had a listen and even though I'm no proficient audiophile, they didn't sound THAT great. Also, in my mind, I'm strongly pulled by the wood design of the ESWs, but of the two, I am absolutely in love with the 10.


any tips on how to get the esw10s? (links?)


WyldRage, thanks for the comment, if all else fails I'll get the esw9a from Beach Camera, their prices are good.

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by mythless View Post

I think the coupon is "site15." Either one should be great.  Though the ESW9/10 would be warmer from the wood enclosure.  But, for portability, the T50p would seem to be more rugged being metal.  I wouldn't want to damage those beautiful cups outside :P

Oh, yeah, about the cups.

I'm sorta like a protectionist freak of all my expensive gadgets, so I'm not TOO worried about killing the wood

but then again, if that happens, I'd be soooooooo devastated :'(


ya know any place where the esw10s are for sale? I'm having trouble finding stuff even in Head-Fi.

post #15 of 31

For the 10s, you'll probably have to get them used.  I saw go for the ESW9/10, since you probably won't like the sound of the ES10 (the titanium housing).  If I had a choice, I would go for wood too.

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