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First 'audiophile' purchase, need Head-Fi's help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Head-Fi,

 

I really enjoy listening to music on a daily basis, and during the past year have become intrigued with 'good sounding' systems. I finally have some money, and am looking for a good set of cans to suit my needs:

 

  • $150 budget
  • I'm an entry-level audiophile; I don't need anything fancy, but something that can help me explore audio in a more enjoyable way
  • All around music-listening use; computer (on-board sound card), libraries, sidewalks
  • I often steam music (last.fm), and have a lot of MP3 (sub 300 kbps), but obtaining higher quality music slowly
  • Mostly listen to rock (alternative, post-rock, experimental, grunge, ambient, shoegazing, drone), indie, and dream pop
  • To give you better idea, I listen to A Perfect Circle, Mogwai, Jesu, Beck, Moby, Sublime, Led Zeppelin, Ravi Shankar and other similar artists
  • Would like low-impedance 'phones so that I can run from a portable device. However, something that can take advantage of an amp (I am interested in building a C Moy)
  • Not sure of form (IEM, earphones, or full size), hoping you can help
  • Style is kind of important, something that won't shout "Nerd" when in public, nothing too bulky (only turn-off for M50's)
  • Comfort: Something I can wear for about 3 hours at a time without irritation

 

 

What I've looked at so far, but need more options: Denon AH-D1001, ATH-M50, Sennheiser HD448, HD238, Grados/Alessandros

 

I really, really want a pair of Grados, but I'm afraid of the sound leakage since I'll be using these at libraries and noisy areas often. So, I'm thinking a closed back will be the best option.

 

I'm open to IEM, but I already have a cheap pair of Sony's (my girlfriend bought me them for my birthday last year, and buying another pair might be a slap in her face)

 

Long first post, sorry. But I'd really like to give you the best feel for what I'll be using the headphones for. Head-Fi has some really intelligent audiophiles, and I trust your opinions. Thank you for any suggestions!


Edited by Shadowness - 10/9/10 at 12:52am
post #2 of 8

From the headphones that you've mentioned, I own the grado sr80, allessandro ms2, denon d1001, and denon d2002. Between the sr80 and d1001, I enjoy the sound from the sr80 more. It's bass is more punchy, making the headphones sound faster. Its mids and highs are better than the d1001, though some people cannot stand the grado's brightness. The d1001 on the other hand, has much more bass. You can really FEEL the bass when you listen to bass heavy music. A lot of the times, the bass feels too loose to me though. Its not as controlled as the sr80. The highs of the d1001 are good, but the mids are recessed. I think the recessed mids stem from the overpowering bass. 

 

I think both the d1001 and sr80 are great headphones for the price. I prefer the sr80, because I like the open/airy sound compared to the closed sound from the d1001. It also depends to the music you're listening to. Grados are good with rock and metal, where guitar sound is very clear and clean; the speed offered from the grados really benefit with rock/metal. D1001 on the other hand is better with electronica to me. Something like techno and trance sounds better because of its heavy bass. The sound is also smoother, so its also good for "chill" music. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great suggestions. I'm still considering the 1001's, but unfortunately I don't opened cans will be usable for me, so I'm not sure about the Grados. Any other suggestions from others?

post #4 of 8

Iems are the way to go.  Headphones should not be worn in public.

 

I like the Etymotic HF5s.

post #5 of 8

The Denon both the d2000 and d1001 do not leak very much sound. Sound leakage is at a minimal, but... you do hear noise around you. Certainly not as bad as grados, but if someone were to call your name semi-loudly, you'll hear them. But that person will not be able to hear what you're listening to. 

 

IEMS are probably a good choice too. I'm just not an IEM person, I think headphones sound better. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

bump

any other suggestions? How would the Sennheiser 25 -1 II fit my needs? It's pricey and has high impedance. These might be a bit too high-end for what I'm looking for. Any thoughts? Thanks for input thus far!

post #7 of 8

Hifiman re0 and Panasonic hje-900 are excellent options for your budget

Just let her have a listen and she'll understand wink.gif

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowness View Post

bump

any other suggestions? How would the Sennheiser 25 -1 II fit my needs? It's pricey and has high impedance. These might be a bit too high-end for what I'm looking for. Any thoughts? Thanks for input thus far!


HD 25-1 II are actually not that high impedance. At 70 ohms, plus a high sensitivity (120 dB/V), they get loud quite fast--I keep mine at 50-60% volume on an iPod Classic. They also isolate quite well.

 

Note that their stock sound is not for everyone though. Quite forward, and a bit lacking in warmth and bass, especially given Sennheiser's reputation. A common 'mod' is to swap the cables for HD600 or HD650 cables; this is essentially exchanging the stock steel cable for a copper cable, which is practically guaranteed to change the way a headphone sounds.

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