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post #3196 of 29490

Sigh.

 

Of course, as I know how I am, I'm experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse. I've been reading some reviews on the ESW9's and have noticed a lot of them criticize it's tendency to be more fragile, their bad sound isolation, and inferiority all-around to the M50's at ~$120. Could anyone shine light on this comparison? I found what others said about the M50's (Like their durability, soundstage, better isolation) were appealing to me. I saw a few other threads that compared the two directly but felt they were inconclusive. I also feel more inclined to like a circumaural set of headphones (which the m50's are) against supra aural (contrary to what I said earlier... sorry!).

 

Could some who have tried both elaborate on the ESW9's vs. the M50's for my interests (below, quoted from my earlier posts)?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbiscu1t View Post

Hey guys, always been interested in high-end audio and will probably be an audio enthusiast in the future.

 

Bottom line: I'm looking for the best setup possible (preferably portable) for under (or slightly above $200). I really don't know where to start!

 

The music I love:

My favorite artists are The Beatles, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Wolfmother, King Crimson, and others of the spacy-progressive-ish rock type, as well as electronic music like Daft Punk and a good amount of dubstep. I'm very particular about my audio files - my favorite albums are in FLAC (mainly just for archival) and I'm sure to get the cleanest audio file possible from the best source (like vinyl, directly from CD, etc.)

 

As for preferences in the style of them, I really don't care whether they're open ended or closed. I just want great audio :D

 

I got my brother the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 about a month or two ago after doing some research for what he wanted (noise cancelling as a priority), and I was thoroughly excited about the audio quality after giving is a go with my own music - I loved how clear it sounded compared to what I was listening with before... I felt like the music had depth and a 3D space to it. AWESOME. The vocals and instrumentation just jumped into reality (to my inexperienced ears at least, lolz).

 

Anyway, I just want the best setup I can get that suits my listening interests, including (but not necessarily) an amp. My source will mainly be a 160GB iPod Classic.

 

tl;dr About a $200 budget to get an the best headphones and/or amp for my Floyd/Beatles and electronic music interests. Help!


Edited by Kbiscu1t - 4/17/11 at 7:46pm
post #3197 of 29490


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus_farmer View Post

I'm looking for a good budget-fi open set of cans which contrast heavily with my SR-60i. Looking for a good side-grade, not upgrade in otherwords. Would the HD238 be it, or do they overlap in sound signature too much?


I've only tried the HD238 briefly, but I think the PX100-ii presents a better contrast to the SR60.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by goodsandwich View Post

I'm looking for the best pair of wireless headphones I can buy for my budget. My budget is only around £40 or $80NZD. I will be using these headphones for my computer and they will mostly be used for watching movies and listening to music so I want them to have clear sound. I don't know much about headphones but I was going to go for the Philips SHC2000/05 but I live in New Zealand and I cannot find them anywhere in shops and amazon UK will not send them to me. Hope someone can help :) The types of music I usually listen to are J-Pop, Rock and sometimes Classical.

 

EDIT: I would prefer wireless but as I said I do not know much about headphones, If wireless headphones provide a significant lower quality sound then I don't mind going for Wired headphones.


Options for good wireless are small, and even smaller within your price range. The thing is, you're paying a certain amount of money for the wireless tech before even putting sound quality into consideration. For a smaller budget, take a serious look at your wired options. If availability is an issue, let us know what you can find and we can advise you from there.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337 View Post

Quick question, how is the sony's mdr-v6's soundstage?
(when listening to orchestrated music and possibly during gaming)


It's good for a closed can, though for orchestral and gaming I would suggest looking at open headphone.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Look for a portable headphone that is a good all rounder. Bass is important, but all around good sound is the main focus. I love my TMA-1s, but they're so ridiculously dark that it's tough to listen to some kinds of music out of them. Thinking a pair of ESW9s after hearing them at a meet yesterday, but they feel somewhat fragile, which worried me.

Suggestions? IEMs or Headphones are fine.

The ESW9 do feel a bit on the fragile side, but the build quality is actually quite good. As long as you don't roughhouse with them on, you should be fine. Stick a piece of cardboard into the case for more durability if you intend to shlep it around in a bag. If you intend to play football while wearing headphones, then perhaps the HD25-1-ii would be more suitable.
 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbiscu1t View Post

Sigh.

 

Of course, as I know how I am, I'm experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse. I've been reading some reviews on the ESW9's and have noticed a lot of them criticize it's tendency to be more fragile, their bad sound isolation, and inferiority all-around to the M50's at ~$120. Could anyone shine light on this comparison? I found what others said about the M50's (Like their durability, soundstage, better isolation) were appealing to me. I saw a few other threads that compared the two directly but felt they were inconclusive. I also feel more inclined to like a circumaural set of headphones (which the m50's are) against supra aural (contrary to what I said earlier... sorry!).

 

Could some who have tried both elaborate on the ESW9's vs. the M50's for my interests (below, quoted from my earlier posts)?
 


The isolation of the ESW9 is average, but their build quality really isn't as bad as some people say. Granted these are slim portables, so don't expect them to be tanks, but they're not going to fall apart when you sneeze either. The soundstage is decent, and while it does feel like a closed headphone, you don't feel cramped either. The sound is warm yet a touch airy, with a focus on the mids which have a bit of resonance to them which makes them feel fuller. The bass is there, but I would venture perhaps not enough to satisfy a basshead.

 

The M50 does boast sturdier construction and isolation, but it's also much bigger and heavier. What do you expect? The sound is pronounced in the highs and lows and the mids are recessed, with a rather mediocre soundstage.

 

edit: holy moley I hit 3000!

 


Edited by Armaegis - 4/18/11 at 12:15am
post #3198 of 29490
Turning to the headphone experts for some help!

I've read the buyer's guide and it's price-based companion. I'd like a bit of listening experience based opinion though, which I lack in the headphone area.

I just got news that my sister is moving in with me (thank you economy) and that means I'll need headphones. I work the graveyard shift so I'd want to make lots of noise listening to music and watching films while she wants to sleep.

For a reference point - I've gone separates: Integra DHC-80.1, and QSC amps. Current mains are a trio of Niles StageFronts 2770's and the surrounds/rears are from Niles too (Pro870fx). The surrounds are great, I don't love the mains. Not many folks have heard them though so I'm not sure if my opinion on them helps many point me towards an appropriate headphone.

I own a pair of Sennheiser HD 280pro's at the moment and power them on a little HeadRoom amp. The 280's are too tight on my head and glasses after an hour and I'd love more bass (organ music nerd here). The amp is portable and I'll upgrade it for the theater use.

Let me say this, maybe it will help bring a good suggestion to someone's mind:

Over the Niles, I'd really love a compliment of JTR Tripple 12's down the road, I wish they came in a kit form! (Need to audition them at a nearby forum members home to confirm). Should I not like them, I'm sold on a "ultimate reference grade super duper" ScanSpeak, Accuton, or Seas kit from someone such as Ellis Audio, Madisound, or Selah Audio...

I built a Seas Loki kit from Madisound and they are pretty darn good; better than the Niles which can be lifeless at times. But I still want more dynamics, more accuracy, less distortion, and a better soundstage. And now it seems, I want it in a set of headphones!

Budget: maybe $2500ish max between amp and cans. My sister will be here two-three years it seems, so investing in an outstanding set of headphones is ok by me. The mains will be upgraded later.

I may not know what I'm talking about but I understand tube amps do color the sound on headphones too; I'd prefer studio monitor accuracy more than "warming/coloring" what the director intended if that helps on the amp choice.

I'm not a big believer in magic cables or way weird esoteric stuff.

Any thoughts?
post #3199 of 29490

Hello, 

I couldn't find a similar thread, and maybe the question is difficult to answer, however..

 

I went to the HiFi showroom in the weekend.  They had a pair of Morel Fat Lady carbon fiber floorstanding speakers (price ~USD30,000) paired to similar high end source and amplification.  It was superb.

 

As that setup is well out of my price range, I was wondering if say a pair of BeyerDynamic T1's, matched with an appropriate amp, would sound similar, or is that crazy or not even a similar experience?

 

I have an old pair of Senn HD580, connected to an old Marantz receiver, and a Oppo SACD player, however it's just so-so.   

So my question is if I invest in a high end headphone setup, what is the sonic equivalent in 'traditional (i.e. with loud speakers)  HiFi terms can I expect.  Bookshelf speakers and a midrange amp?  

 

PS I havent found a place willing to let me try their BD T1's for myself.

PS2: These will be for home us, I have a pair of Eymotic ER5s for the road so any sonic comparison to those would be helpful.

PS3 I listen to general rock and pop, jazz, vocal, not much classical music 

 
I suppose the question is, does anyone feel they have a setup which they feel reproduces a high end traditional audio system?
 
Thanks for any comments.
 
Tom
 
 
post #3200 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom-in-hk View Post

Hello, 

I couldn't find a similar thread, and maybe the question is difficult to answer, however..

 

I went to the HiFi showroom in the weekend.  They had a pair of Morel Fat Lady carbon fiber floorstanding speakers (price ~USD30,000) paired to similar high end source and amplification.  It was superb.

 

As that setup is well out of my price range, I was wondering if say a pair of BeyerDynamic T1's, matched with an appropriate amp, would sound similar, or is that crazy or not even a similar experience?

 

I have an old pair of Senn HD580, connected to an old Marantz receiver, and a Oppo SACD player, however it's just so-so.   

So my question is if I invest in a high end headphone setup, what is the sonic equivalent in 'traditional (i.e. with loud speakers)  HiFi terms can I expect.  Bookshelf speakers and a midrange amp?  

 

PS I havent found a place willing to let me try their BD T1's for myself.

PS2: These will be for home us, I have a pair of Eymotic ER5s for the road so any sonic comparison to those would be helpful.

PS3 I listen to general rock and pop, jazz, vocal, not much classical music 

 
I suppose the question is, does anyone feel they have a setup which they feel reproduces a high end traditional audio system?
 
Thanks for any comments.
 
Tom
 
 

It's not crazy. There are quite a few people 'round these parts that have had experiences with systems that cost well over $40,000 and still prefer their headphone rigs. They're very different experiences, but the sound can be the same. I find myself to have a much easier time zoning out with headphones than I ever did with my father's classic Hi-Fi setup back in the day.

At the Austin meet this weekend after hearing the LCD 2 and the HE 5LE I believe it is more than possible to get that amazing sound. We actually held the meet at a local Hi-Fi speaker shop and after hearing some of the same music over those speakers...I preferred the headphones. They just feel less intrusive to the world around me and set a much more intimate mood when listening to music than speakers will ever be able to.
Edited by MorbidToaster - 4/18/11 at 12:25am
post #3201 of 29490

ThanksMr Toaster,

 

that gives me some confidence I'm not chasing fools gold.  

 

If I have ~USD3k to splash out on:

Headphones

Amp

USB DAC (could be integrated with the amp, I suppose)

Optical disc player (if I can rip CD's as lossless via my computer, is this still necessary??)

 

What would be a recommended system?

 

Cheers,

Tom

post #3202 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom-in-hk View Post

ThanksMr Toaster,

 

that gives me some confidence I'm not chasing fools gold.  

 

If I have ~USD3k to splash out on:

Headphones

Amp

USB DAC (could be integrated with the amp, I suppose)

Optical disc player (if I can rip CD's as lossless via my computer, is this still necessary??)

 

What would be a recommended system?

 

Cheers,

Tom


I can't comment on a DAC for a monster rig like this and I can honestly only comment on a very narrow set of gear that I've heard the LCD 2 on.

There were 2 amps at the meet that were just ridiculous and those were the Cavalli Liquid Fire and the Peachtree Nova. The Cavalli is pretty much your entire budget, so that's out. The Peachtree runs at about $1200 and has a really cool feature in which you can use tubes, or bypass them completely. It really changes the sound and gives you a way out of possibly owning 2 amps. The LCD 2s sounded great out of the Peachtree, meshed very well sound wise and the wood of the cans matches the wood of the Peachtree nicely as well.

As for a CD player...You could potentially just rip to lossless and do it that way but I think with a higher end set up a lot of the fun is seeing the big CD/Vinyl collection and going through it to find something you want to listen to. It's so boring picking music on a computer...I love the actual process of handling them. Opening the CD case, popping it in and zoning out. Maybe even flipping through the album book as you listen. I find myself doing this even with books I've seen or read a hundred times. Again, I love the intimacy that comes with headphone listening, and I feel the physical media is part of it.

Please don't go out and just buy something though. Especially with a set up of this magnitude...Try to get some demos going on and just try some high end stuff out. It's kind of hard with headphone gear, but you don't want to blow 3k, get it all ready and then hate what you hear.

My recommendations (purely from the small amount I've experienced at this level) would be a Peachtree Nova (which is also nice to power speakers and pretty much anything else you throw at it), and a set of LCD 2s. That will run you about $2200 all together. Invest the rest in a good DAC and decent CD player. If you already have a quality Analog CD player, use that.

Anyway, that's just my $0.02. Take it with a grain of salt.

EDIT: Excuse my ignorance about the Nova. I only really noticed it was a great amp at the meet...but it's also a DAC. Go figure, now I was one even more. rolleyes.gif
Edited by MorbidToaster - 4/18/11 at 8:49am
post #3203 of 29490

Ooops, I didn't see this thread when I made mine before. I will repost my message:

Hi guys, I am in Singapore for a few days and I am looking into getting some new closed headphones. I currently have Senn HD555's, which I think are great, but I don't really like turning them up too loud on the bus, so I am looking at some nice closed back headphonesne through headphones. I would also like to be able to use my headphones for recording/tracking/monitering etc in the future.

So far, I have considered the following models:

Shure SHR 840 - mixed reviews, either worship or terrible, sounds better for music production
Audio Technica ath m50 - good all arounder, fairly cheap, better for casual listening
beyerdynamic dt770 - heard nothing but good stuff about these
ultrasone hfi-580 - I have heard that ultrasone sound more like open headphones, but better for electronic music
sennheiser HD280 - I heard that these are great for the price, but uncomfortable

Are there any other models I should be looking at (please keep suggestions within price ranges of headphones I have already listed). If I cannot find them in Singapore, I will probably order online when I get back to Australia.

post #3204 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post


Options for good wireless are small, and even smaller within your price range. The thing is, you're paying a certain amount of money for the wireless tech before even putting sound quality into consideration. For a smaller budget, take a serious look at your wired options. If availability is an issue, let us know what you can find and we can advise you from there.

 

 

 

Ah okay, Thanks I'll stick to wired headphones then. Availability shouldn't be much of an issue as if I can't get them In New Zealand I could get relatives to send them over.
I've had a look at some highest rated headphones on a few sites that were in my price range of £50/$100NZD. After reading some reviews I knocked some off and I brought the list down to these 3
 
Sennheiser HD 428
Sennheiser PX 200-II
Sony MDRXB500- Although I've heard these have too much Bass?
 
what do you think?

 

 

post #3205 of 29490

Hi Everyone.


So here's the deal, for the past 2 years I've been using Shure SE210's and a few other IEM's, but now they cause discomfort to my ears and it is quite annoying when other people want to hear my music etc. So I've been looking into some headphones.


I've got a price limit of £200.00 for these and was initially looking into the dre beats, before I realised most people think they are very overpriced and from what I've heard on them, it is just the bass that is really booming. I'm going to be listening mostly to Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop and some rock music on these headphones that I want to buy so can you guys keep those in mind when recommending me some to look into.


Is there any that are good for all those types of music and also look decent? Since one of the big selling points in the Beats is the look, and i too think they look sexy, but are there any other headphones, good for Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop, so that I can nicely hear a bit of bass on the kick and snare drums etc, and also look sexy?


Thanks, btw if it helps i'll be using a Cowon J3 to listen to the music.

post #3206 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by McClintock View Post

Hi Everyone.


So here's the deal, for the past 2 years I've been using Shure SE210's and a few other IEM's, but now they cause discomfort to my ears and it is quite annoying when other people want to hear my music etc. So I've been looking into some headphones.


I've got a price limit of £200.00 for these and was initially looking into the dre beats, before I realised most people think they are very overpriced and from what I've heard on them, it is just the bass that is really booming. I'm going to be listening mostly to Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop and some rock music on these headphones that I want to buy so can you guys keep those in mind when recommending me some to look into.


Is there any that are good for all those types of music and also look decent? Since one of the big selling points in the Beats is the look, and i too think they look sexy, but are there any other headphones, good for Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop, so that I can nicely hear a bit of bass on the kick and snare drums etc, and also look sexy?


Thanks, btw if it helps i'll be using a Cowon J3 to listen to the music.


I really like my TMA-1 for more bass-centric music. It has a really dark sound that (when I pair with my J3) I EQ up just a tiny bit and they sound great for Funk, and Hip Hop (as well as my Electronic music). And they're one of the sexiest portables around today, IMO. They're also built like a tank...Full rubber body.

EDIT: All this being said I am selling mine because I've been getting more into Folk and Solo Guitar music on the go lately, and they're just too dark. But for the genres you named I'd say near perfect for those.
post #3207 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by McClintock View Post

Hi Everyone.


So here's the deal, for the past 2 years I've been using Shure SE210's and a few other IEM's, but now they cause discomfort to my ears and it is quite annoying when other people want to hear my music etc. So I've been looking into some headphones.


I've got a price limit of £200.00 for these and was initially looking into the dre beats, before I realised most people think they are very overpriced and from what I've heard on them, it is just the bass that is really booming. I'm going to be listening mostly to Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop and some rock music on these headphones that I want to buy so can you guys keep those in mind when recommending me some to look into.


Is there any that are good for all those types of music and also look decent? Since one of the big selling points in the Beats is the look, and i too think they look sexy, but are there any other headphones, good for Funk, soul, RnB, Hip Hop, so that I can nicely hear a bit of bass on the kick and snare drums etc, and also look sexy?


Thanks, btw if it helps i'll be using a Cowon J3 to listen to the music.




I really like my TMA-1 for more bass-centric music. It has a really dark sound that (when I pair with my J3) I EQ up just a tiny bit and they sound great for Funk, and Hip Hop (as well as my Electronic music). And they're one of the sexiest portables around today, IMO. They're also built like a tank...Full rubber body.

EDIT: All this being said I am selling mine because I've been getting more into Folk and Solo Guitar music on the go lately, and they're just too dark. But for the genres you named I'd say near perfect for those.


not just dark but Pitch black, the TMA-1 VS the HD-25II I will take the HD-25 any day. I went from the HD-25's to the TMA-1 with the some song, same source and everything and I could barely make out the vocals. The pads are nice but the over all lack of mid-range was to painful for me to not hear.

 

post #3208 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post




not just dark but Pitch black, the TMA-1 VS the HD-25II I will take the HD-25 any day. I went from the HD-25's to the TMA-1 with the some song, same source and everything and I could barely make out the vocals. The pads are nice but the over all lack of mid-range was to painful for me to not hear.

 


That definitely feels like a bit too much to me. Right out of the box the vocals seemed veiled, but after some burn in I don't hear the veil anymore. They're a little overpowered, but a little bit of EQ fixed that. I went from the HD 25-1 II to the TMA-1 because of comfort issues. I just couldn't wear the HD 25 with my glasses on and big-ish ears. It was ridiculous.

The TMA-1 on the other hand is the most comfortable portable headphone I've tried. Something about it just made it so good for me. Less clamp for the glasses wearers, and I was skeptical about the all rubber headband at first, but it feels so good.
post #3209 of 29490


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by idratherbeflyin View Post

Turning to the headphone experts for some help!
Budget: maybe $2500ish max between amp and cans. My sister will be here two-three years it seems, so investing in an outstanding set of headphones is ok by me. The mains will be upgraded later.

I may not know what I'm talking about but I understand tube amps do color the sound on headphones too; I'd prefer studio monitor accuracy more than "warming/coloring" what the director intended if that helps on the amp choice.

I'm not a big believer in magic cables or way weird esoteric stuff.

Any thoughts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom-in-hk View Post

Hello, 

I couldn't find a similar thread, and maybe the question is difficult to answer, however..

 

I went to the HiFi showroom in the weekend.  They had a pair of Morel Fat Lady carbon fiber floorstanding speakers (price ~USD30,000) paired to similar high end source and amplification.  It was superb.

 

As that setup is well out of my price range, I was wondering if say a pair of BeyerDynamic T1's, matched with an appropriate amp, would sound similar, or is that crazy or not even a similar experience?

 

I have an old pair of Senn HD580, connected to an old Marantz receiver, and a Oppo SACD player, however it's just so-so.   

So my question is if I invest in a high end headphone setup, what is the sonic equivalent in 'traditional (i.e. with loud speakers)  HiFi terms can I expect.  Bookshelf speakers and a midrange amp?  

 

PS I havent found a place willing to let me try their BD T1's for myself.

PS2: These will be for home us, I have a pair of Eymotic ER5s for the road so any sonic comparison to those would be helpful.

PS3 I listen to general rock and pop, jazz, vocal, not much classical music 

 
I suppose the question is, does anyone feel they have a setup which they feel reproduces a high end traditional audio system?
 
Thanks for any comments.
 
Tom
 
 


Since the both of you guys are playing with budgets well outside the realm of most people in this thread, I would highly recommend you keep reading until you formulate an idea of what you want. There's also a "high end" forum here to peruse and see what kind of gear people are using.

 

For reproducing the feel of speakers, the closest I've heard/felt with orthodynamics and Stax.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grobbo91 View Post

Ooops, I didn't see this thread when I made mine before. I will repost my message:

Hi guys, I am in Singapore for a few days and I am looking into getting some new closed headphones. I currently have Senn HD555's, which I think are great, but I don't really like turning them up too loud on the bus, so I am looking at some nice closed back headphonesne through headphones. I would also like to be able to use my headphones for recording/tracking/monitering etc in the future.

So far, I have considered the following models:

Shure SHR 840 - mixed reviews, either worship or terrible, sounds better for music production
Audio Technica ath m50 - good all arounder, fairly cheap, better for casual listening
beyerdynamic dt770 - heard nothing but good stuff about these
ultrasone hfi-580 - I have heard that ultrasone sound more like open headphones, but better for electronic music
sennheiser HD280 - I heard that these are great for the price, but uncomfortable

Are there any other models I should be looking at (please keep suggestions within price ranges of headphones I have already listed). If I cannot find them in Singapore, I will probably order online when I get back to Australia.

 

Since isolation and monitoring are two important aspects, you can't go wrong with the HD280. They have possibly the best passive isolation in any headphone I've tried. These should be available in just about any music store for you to try out.

 

The DT770 have the next best isolation, but they don't collapse in any way so are perhaps not the best for portable use. They also have very scooped out mids and would not be ideal for mixing/recording.
 

The 840 vs M50: I consider the 840 better at isolation and sound (and relatively flatter frequency response, though it has a thicker bass response), but the 840 headband is uncomfortable. The M50 fits a little better, and overall comfort is higher if you stick the 840 pads onto it which also improves isolation. The M50 also collapses into a tighter package for easier portability.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodsandwich View Post

 

 

Ah okay, Thanks I'll stick to wired headphones then. Availability shouldn't be much of an issue as if I can't get them In New Zealand I could get relatives to send them over.
I've had a look at some highest rated headphones on a few sites that were in my price range of £50/$100NZD. After reading some reviews I knocked some off and I brought the list down to these 3
 
Sennheiser HD 428
Sennheiser PX 200-II
Sony MDRXB500- Although I've heard these have too much Bass?
 
what do you think?

 

 


They are all quite different beasts. The PX200 is quite neutral with strong detailing and a quick bass, and is small and portable and sits on the ear. The HD428 is the least bassy of the bunch, full sized, and does not collapse in any way. The XB500 is big (not as big as the 700) with lots of bloomy though slightly blurry bass, very comfy due to the huge pads.

 

post #3210 of 29490
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Look for a portable headphone that is a good all rounder. Bass is important, but all around good sound is the main focus. I love my TMA-1s, but they're so ridiculously dark that it's tough to listen to some kinds of music out of them. Thinking a pair of ESW9s after hearing them at a meet yesterday, but they feel somewhat fragile, which worried me.

Suggestions? IEMs or Headphones are fine.

If you don't mind carrying around an amp and waiting around for a deal on ebay or the FS forums her you might want to look at some of the old Yahmaha orthos.

I just got a pair of YH-3s in today and even stock, they're amazing when you consider their small size. They've got smooth mids and deep and tight bass, though not massive amounts of it. The treble and upper mids a bit grainy, but better than a lot of full size dynamics.

The downside is their efficiency of only 93dB/mW stock. If you mod it, it only gets worse. Most people will need an amp. I listen pretty softly compared to a lot of people and max volume on my D2+ is still listenable for me which means most people are going to want a lot more volume. They'll probably need a recable as well since stock they come with a 1/4 inch plug and adapters are clunky to use on the go.
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