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Total newbie audiophile! Need advice on trance / house music headphones

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to headphones...

In the past I only used the default iPod / BlackBerry earplugs that Apple / RIM provided, but my friend lent me his grados for a week earlier in the month, and now it's safe to say I'm converted...

Haha, now I'm looking to invest some money in my first pair of high-quality headphones. :)

 

Specifically, here's some more details about what I'm looking for...

  1. The music genres I enjoy listening to are trance and house.  Specifically, my favorite artists include Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5, etc.
  2. I plan on using my headphones most often at work.  I work in a very conservative office environment.  I don't want my coworkers to be able to hear the music I'm playing.
  3. I live in New York City. I'd also like to use my headphones on the subway or walking, when there usually are a lot of loud noises in the background.
  4. My budget is anywhere from $300-$600.  I know that's a pretty wide margin, but I'm viewing this as an investment, and am willing to pay extra for my first pair of headphones if, for example, a $500 pair of headphones truly, truly meets all my needs and outshines every other $300 alternative out there.

 

Thanks everyone!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Best,

Ken

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Oh, almost forgot...

Also, ideally I would like to be able to use the headphones without needing an amplifier.

 

Thanks!

post #3 of 15

Since your requirements rule out open back headphones, I would probably recommend the Audio-Technica Ax00 line, or 32 ohm Beyerdynamics (DT 880's arrive for me in the mail TODAY! Can't wait!). Depends on how you feel about moving about with your headphones though; Audio-Technicas especially are quite large and likely to attract attention while walking around unless you go for one of their portable size phones. Are you considering IEM's as well?

 

EDIT: Welcome to Head-Fi! Sorry about your wallet!


Edited by Riku540 - 9/20/10 at 8:56am
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 


Thanks so much for your speedy response.

 

To answer your questions...

At work, I wouldn't walk around with any headphones on.

I would only use them when I'd be at my desk.

 

My friend suggested that I use IEMs because they are less likely to attract attention and easier to remove should a coworker want to talk to me.

However, I heard that, generally speaking, over-the-ears are always going to have better sound quality than IEMs... Is this true?

 

Finally, my friend also told me that open backs are also better than closed backs because there's no "echo" effect from the sound being trapped in the headphones, and also because closed backs will cause your ears to sweat a lot...

Is what he said true as well?

But my guess is that wearing open backs in the office may be too aggressive?

 

Thanks again.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riku540 View Post

Since your requirements rule out open back headphones, I would probably recommend the Audio-Technica Ax00 line, or 32 ohm Beyerdynamics (DT 880's arrive for me in the mail TODAY! Can't wait!). Depends on how you feel about moving about with your headphones though; Audio-Technicas especially are quite large and likely to attract attention while walking around unless you go for one of their portable size phones. Are you considering IEM's as well?

 

EDIT: Welcome to Head-Fi! Sorry about your wallet!

post #5 of 15

Welcome to Head-Fi. 

 

How much of a problem will it be for those near by if your headphones leak sound out? Most prefer closed headphones or IEMs at work so to not bother others near by. 

 

And, what equipment will you be plugging your new headphones into, or will you also be buying new portable equipment?

post #6 of 15

Open back headphones tend to have better instrumental separation and sound stage. However, with your budget, closed headphones will still deliver.  I can post initial impressions of the DT 880s when they arrive later today. They are semi-open/closed and should be a good compromise between the two. I agree closed phones can make your ears warm over long listening sessions especially in a warm environment. Personally it's never really been much of an issue with me. And yes, especially Grados; open back headphones depending what you get can be almost or as loud to the people around you as it is to you. My HF-1's leak everything but clarity.

 

Regarding IEMs; I can tell you out of what I currently own both full sized headphones and IEMs, the ones that wow me the most were my UE Triple Fi 10's. I find it hard to believe so much power can come from such a small device. They perform well in all genres; and have all the impact and resonance in the bass that easily competes with my full sized cans. Not to mention they sound great right out of my iPod.

 

If you're really not looking into an amp right now I would definitely recommend trying at least a cheap portable cMoy amp. They're small (usually built out of Altoids tins, literally) and unobtrusive, but give that extra "umph" to your phones. In the Triple Fi 10's case, the bass really tightens up and the separation is greatly improved.

 

I should say that I have been rather inactive on Head-Fi for a couple years until recently; so my knowledge as to what's current is a bit dated. Definitely wait for others to chime in for more recommendations.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the welcome!

 

I think it would be a fairly big problem for the sound to leak out.

I work for a conservative firm, and don't think many of my coworkers would appreciate the trance / house music I'm going to listen to.

Also, there are no cubicles...  Everybody sits in the same common floor space, so noise can travel out pretty far.

 

At the moment, I think I'm leaning towards purchasing closed cans...

I'll be plugging my headphones straight into my iPod or computer probably.

Not looking to purchase an amplifier or any new portable equipment outside of the headphones themselves...

 

Also, I heard for house / trance music, I need headphones with a V shaped sound profile?

I'm guessing that means they should have recessed mids and accentuated lows & highs?

 

Thanks again

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

Welcome to Head-Fi. 

 

How much of a problem will it be for those near by if your headphones leak sound out? Most prefer closed headphones or IEMs at work so to not bother others near by. 

 

And, what equipment will you be plugging your new headphones into, or will you also be buying new portable equipment?


Edited by kliuless - 9/20/10 at 9:40am
post #8 of 15

Quote:

Originally Posted by kliuless View Post

 

Also, I heard for house / trance music, I need headphones with a V shaped sound profile?

I'm guessing that means they should have recessed mids and accentuated lows & highs?


^^^ Screams Audio-Technica.

post #9 of 15

Ultrasone Pro 900 hands down for those genres. You can get them for $320 shipped via best offer from ebay seller buyauthorized. They do have a V shaped sound sig, but the mids while slightly recessed, remain clear and are not overshadowed by the bass and highs. They do benefit from an amp, but you don't need a big expensive one. A small and simple dac/amp such as a UDac-2 will suffice.

post #10 of 15
Welcome to Head-Fi, and sorry about your wallet.

I've always wanted to say that!
post #11 of 15

Ultrasone HFI-580 sounded pretty good with trance music. (although none of the dj's you mentioned are trance anymore and thats a whole different topic open to debate). Isolation was great, Bass was punchy but the problem for me was I had jaw pain while using them. It never stretched out and fit my head (if that ever happens with headphones) For this reason I never ventured beyond Ultrasone higher models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kliuless View Post

  1. The music genres I enjoy listening to are trance and house.  Specifically, my favorite artists include Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5, etc
post #12 of 15
How is AVB not trance?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post

Ultrasone HFI-580 sounded pretty good with trance music. (although none of the dj's you mentioned are trance anymore and thats a whole different topic open to debate). Isolation was great, Bass was punchy but the problem for me was I had jaw pain while using them. It never stretched out and fit my head (if that ever happens with headphones) For this reason I never ventured beyond Ultrasone higher models.

 

Were they considered trance in 2010 when he started the thread? 

 

I've never been very good at the whole "genre" thing, even back when there were only 10 or so genres--about the time I figure out how people classify what I like I found out they've changed the definitions again.  And the whole trance/ambient/house/whatever differences seem to flow faster than albums are released  :)

post #14 of 15
That's so true. I think the whole genre game is as subjective as head fi itself.
post #15 of 15
If you want some portables, I recommend the Sony MDR-1R. Really good for EDM. If not them, the Sennheiser Momentums are good as well. Neither really need an amp.
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