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Need Help - Looking for beginner portable headphones for a gift! - no amp, no IEMs

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,


I can't tell you how helpful this forum is. Overwhelming a bit? Sure . But helpful, yes!


I am in the process of finding a good portable headphone for my boyfriend. He is a huge audio lover and is in the very beginning stages of creating a great home audio environment to create music. That being said, he is in desperate need for a good headphone. The things he wants?


Portability - he will take these things everywhere. A great case that isn't too big, easily able to go in his bag, to use on public transportation during his commute etc.


Look - we both love the look of the Monsters but after reading all about how overpriced they are, I could not swallow purchasing them if there are way better options out there that sound even better. Are there any good brands you'd recommend that not only sound better than Monster, but look great too?


Features - he does not have an amp, and sure he may have one in the future - but does not now. So the headphone needs to sound great without an amp.


No IEM - he happens to find any IEMs very uncomfortable. So it's just a matter of taste, but he wants something that does not stick in his ear.


Price Point - Under $250.


I'd love to hear all your wonderful suggestions in helping buy him a great gift this Christmas. I SO appreciate it in advance!


Also - please let me know if I am posting in the wrong category :) I'm probably worse than a newbie here!!




post #2 of 7

What a girlfriend.  I'm married and I can't get this kind of gear unless I buy it myself and say it's from her.  blink.gif


They may not be the most portable things in the world but I love my ATH-M50's with the coiled cord.  Fantastic sound for not much scratch (although they're more now than they were when I bought mine).  They're built like a tank, fold for transport, and come with a travel bag, too. 


Aside from those, maybe something like the Ultrasone HFi series?  Great-looking and more portable from a cord standpoint.  I think they come with a nice bag, too.


That's all I can think of offhand.  Have you checked out headphone.com yet?  Extremely informative site and they've got info for about a hundred different cans on there. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

No! I have not checked out that website. Thanks so much. I tend to research the hell out of things, particularly electronics. Call me a dork - but I love electronics. How can you not?


That being said - I am not about to make a bad purchase on something as fun as a great pair of headphones :)


I am going to go check out your suggestions now! Thanks again for all the help!

post #4 of 7

What does he like to listen to? I've got a pair of HFI780s and I love them. They're pretty portable and comes with a nice bag and my itouch powers it just fine. They certainly sound better with an amp though. Only thing is I listen to a fair bit of classical and they're only so so for that. 

post #5 of 7

She researches electronics obsessively, too.  Oh my, I hope he hangs on to you.  wink.gif


Anyway, you've got a lot of options and a site like headphone.com helps you sort of narrow it down.  Xuster's question is also valid.  There are no "perfect for everything" cans. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I know - a bit strange for most girls to obsess over electronics, but hey - my dad brought me up well :)


So, he has a VERY diverse palette for music. He tends to like a lot of R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Classic Rock, and Jazz. He has a big appreciation for Classical as well, but his favorites are the first group I mentioned.


Ideally these will be comfortable, portable, have good sound for that particular type of music and look good too.


Too much to ask? :)

post #7 of 7

I honestly think you'll have a tougher time finding cans that fit the portability and looks categories than you will with the sound.  It might be easier to look at good-looking cans first and then figure out if the sound signature will work well with what looks like a pretty broad range of tunes. 


What about something like the Sennheiser HD25-II's?




They're supposed to be one of the better-sounding portable-type 'phones out there.  They're a bit smaller than some of the other high-end options.

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