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Generic 'Which headphones should I start with' thread.

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Edit: Arrived, here are my thoughts.

 

I know this thread probably pops up a thousand times a day, but everything I've found through search was pretty general and nothing that covered the stuff I've asked here. Apologising in advance if I missed some huge thread detailing absolutely everything.

 

Copying the message from the thread: "Buying headphones? Seeking guidance? DON'T START A NEW THREAD. Ask for advice HERE!"

Due to the response being underwhelming and no real questions being answered.

 

'Hey, just found this amazing site. I'm not an audiophile at all (yet), but hoping getting some nice headphones will change that.

 

I'll try and cut to the chase. [Edit: Didn't do a very good job of that, rofl.] So a couple of days ago my mate said he was buying some nice headphones. Came back the next day with some Dr. Dre Beats (Solo, I believe). At this point I knew absolutely nothing about the wide world of headphones, so I put them on and was blown away. Being used to stock ipod headphones, and my (what I consider decent but probably -snip- Sony MHC-EC50 speakers) they sounded -snip-ing astounding. I closed my eyes and refused to give them back. Anyway, mentioned this to a more or less audiophile mate of mine, who said they were overprices pieces of -snip-, and led me to this forum. So I've done a little research (bombarding him with questions) and he seemed to think the ATH-M50's would be a good place to start. I know they're regarded as a really safe option but are really popular around here, so I figure they must be good.

 

So despite being about half the price, will the M50's sound any better than the Beats Solo? I know price isn't everything, and I understand that a lot of it's paying for the brand (god knows why), but such a price increase still has me concerned. Also I've heard that for the same price, open headphones will almost always sound better than closed. Given the M50's are closed, I wonder if anybody has any recommendations for any open phones around the same price range that'll be better? Also wondering if I'll need a portable amp or anything for them? I just use an iPod touch but if they sound significantly better than my speakers (I trust they will) probably on my computer (which has an onboard sound card if that's what you call it, haven't purchased one) too. I have no idea what sort of amp I'd be looking for if I do need one.

 

Having open / closed phones doesn't matter to me really. Whatever sounds better. I listen to almost everything from latin guitar / post rock / metal / dubstep. I'm in love with instrumentals at the moment currently however, so if there's a headphone that is really clear and nice I think I'd prefer that to a heavily bassy one. Some bands are: toe, sgt., nujabes, LITE.

 

I'm wondering about the 'street price' I see around, I'm Australian and the best I can find M50's for is ~$170. Which isn't a problem. I think I could go up to $200 for some beautiful sound (and once I'm used to that who knows how much I'll spend for an upgrade.)'


Edited by Viral - 8/19/11 at 5:40am
post #2 of 49

I've tried both the M50 and the Solo HD; and although this phrase has been said many a time, the M50 blows the Solo HD OUT OF THE FREAKING WATER. It's really no contest; the M50 sounded MUCH clearer, detailed and less congested than the Solo HD, with the latter only excelling at... I don't really know. Really. I've sincerely tried to find any worth in the Solo HDs, but nothing. Except aesthetics.

 

Don't take this another Beats bashing; I personally like its Pro. However, the Solo HD and the Studio sounded HORRIBLE to me (horrible being lower than M50 standards in my book, given the price) and you could honestly do better with the same amount of money.

 

Alright, back to recommendations. For instrumentals, I hear the Sennheiser HD5xx series do a very good job, but since I've never auditioned any of them I can't give you a very in-depth explanation. I can recommend Ultrasones though; their clarity and sharpness work well for most instrumentals, with the HFI-580 being the bassiest of the HFI line. You could take a look at those.

 

As a customary welcome (and seeing that you're set on buying a pair), welcome to Head-Fi, sorry 'bout your wallet :)

post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 

Yeah definitely buying a pair as soon as possible. Pretty tempted to get the M50's but I'll check out the HD's in comparison (and Ultrasones). I'm sure there are some reviews around.

Thanks. :)

 


Edited by Viral - 7/3/11 at 7:32am
post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viral View Post

Yeah definitely buying a pair as soon as possible. Pretty tempted to get the M50's but I'll check out the HD's in comparison (and Ultrasones). I'm sure there are some reviews around.

Thanks. :)

 


Heya,

 

If you have a limited budget, I would suggest getting a headphone that sort of covers the majority of what you're into. Don't get a bass heavy headphone if you don't use it primarily and most often for electronic/dub or something of that nature. You may not like how it sounds on things that have less focus on low frequency. A lot of people have a headphone just for that, so that they're not hurting their other music, so to speak. So get a headphone that is going to cover what the majority of what you listen to is. If bass/electro/dub is what you spend most time on, get something bass heavy. Otherwise, consider getting something a bit more neutral or flat (and know you can EQ for a bit more bass when needed to an extent).

 

M50's are great for the price. I don't like them, as I don't find them comfortable and don't like non-cloth pads. But they are a quality headphone for the money. They'll cover a very broad spectrum, but won't excel in one place basically.

 

If you can get some Ultrasone 580 (or better) for $200 or less, consider it though. I think it will do you more justice.

 

Very best,

 

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 

Only one place I can find that sells Ultrasone's here, and they're about $260. Though considering Australia makes everything more expensive I'll definetely still consider them. If anybody knows and US stores where you can get them for ~$200 delivered to somewhere in the US, there's a site that can transfer them onto an Australian address for 5% of the cost (shipping and whatnot). I have no idea where to look honestly.

 

Thanks for the recommendation.

post #6 of 49

See if you can find the Denon AH-D1100.

 

They are considered bassy headphones, but the bass doesn't cover up the other frequencies.

 

Very comfortable and are considered portable for "around the ear" headphones.

 

They also don't need an amp.

post #7 of 49

The DJ1 has the same drivers as the HFI-580 and is $120 delivered on amazon, really good deal. If you don't like the look the 580 is around $150.

 

You should be blown away by M50's though, to me they're more on par with Beats Studios, and Solos can't even touch them. But for the genres you listed I agree with crinacle, you should really like the Ultrasone sound. Their sharpness works really well with acoustic and electric guitars, and they'll give you the bass you need for dubstep.

post #8 of 49

And if you want to take erod's suggestion, the creative aurvana live! is a same driver, same factory clone of the denon d1000 line. They're a little bit bass forward, but not monstrous in the bass. You can read about them (and 83 others if you like) in this thread, which is way more helpful for starting out than the one where you ask advice: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-84-portable-headphones-reviewed-fischer-audio-fa-004-koss-ur55-added-06-06

It's a comparison of a bunch of portable, most of them closed back, headphones and it's sorted by price.
Welcome to head-fi, seeing as you're in Australia, allow me to give you 20-50% extra condolences about your wallet...

post #9 of 49

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't ship overseas due to warranty issues. I live in NZ so have similar local overpricing problems to you. As far as I can find the best Aussie headphone store is http://www.headphones.com.au/ , and they also have really helpful forums. Other options are to order from online stores based in Asia (eg Audiocubes, Pricejapan) - these usually have some quite reasonable pricing for Audio-Technica, Sony, Denon and other Japanese headphones, and shipping to Australia is good. Make sure to google for seller feedback before going this route - some stores are dodgy. These is one store in NZ that had some very good prices for Ultrasones - but I think I bought their last 580! They still have some 780s for NZ$255, but not sure they would ship to Aus (http://www.audioreference.co.nz/category/headphones). Good luck in your search.

post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 

Would the M50's outclass the M50's in any aspects? If the HFI-580's are considered better in most every aspect I can probably raise the bar, but only if it's going to be completely worth the extra $100. On the other hand - will I be needing an amp for the 580's (or a DAC, hell I don't even know what that is to be honest)? If so, how much would a portable amp be that'd do the job? I feel like this would just raise the price exponentially as opposed to just getting the M50's in the first place.

 

I don't know what would be considered good in terms of drivers and whatnot - does a good driver make a good headphone, or is it the hardware + nice driver.

Headphones.com.au looks like it's the only place where I can get most of these headphones in Australia, and those Asian based stores seem slightly sketchy / have a small range.

 

Much appreciated to everybody who has responded. ♥

post #11 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viral View Post

Would the M50's outclass the M50's in any aspects? If the HFI-580's are considered better in most every aspect I can probably raise the bar, but only if it's going to be completely worth the extra $100. On the other hand - will I be needing an amp for the 580's (or a DAC, hell I don't even know what that is to be honest)? If so, how much would a portable amp be that'd do the job? I feel like this would just raise the price exponentially as opposed to just getting the M50's in the first place.

 

I don't know what would be considered good in terms of drivers and whatnot - does a good driver make a good headphone, or is it the hardware + nice driver.

Headphones.com.au looks like it's the only place where I can get most of these headphones in Australia, and those Asian based stores seem slightly sketchy / have a small range.

 

Much appreciated to everybody who has responded. ♥


I assume that you're asking whether the HFI-580 is better.

 

It really, really depends on what you like to listen to. I'll give you an in-depth explanation, but I already have a review of it. In my sig :)

 

post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinacle View Post

 


I assume that you're asking whether the HFI-580 is better.

 

It really, really depends on what you like to listen to. I'll give you an in-depth explanation, but I already have a review of it. In my sig :)

 


Just read that, great review!

I'm starting to think that perhaps I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, and should just stick with my initial reaction, the M50.

Given that I've literally had 10 minutes of experience with a nice pair of headphones I won't know what I've got / what I'm missing out on, ignorance is bliss, so the M50's will probably do for now.

 

Despite the slightly worse instrumental spacing and drum / guitar blending as you mentioned in the review, I don't think that'll be as much of an issue for me as I don't even know what I'm listening for essentially and I'm probably used to horrible quality. The advantages don't seem enough (to me) to warrant an extra $100.

 

Thanks for all your help, and your great review.

Have a good one. :)

 

post #13 of 49

Don't get me wrong; the M50 is still a good pair. I'll stick with mine, even after upgrading.

post #14 of 49

The M50s are a really great option, because they blow a lot of other closed cans of similar and greater prices straight out of the water. They also, dare I say, beat some closed cans on the cheap (audiophile-wise that is).

 

I'd go with the ATH-M50, but that's your decision to make. Good luck!

post #15 of 49

There are a ton of fake products around these days, so when you DO decide on something go to the manufacturer's AUTHORIZED DEALERS lists so you know that you're getting the real deal.

 

Otherwise you may get a lame one and think, these aren't all that good what the heck are all those Head-fi people talking about?!?!?!? Especially in your area of the world.

 

There is also always this thread to check out, not sure offhand how they do with portable players but they are BANG for Buck with a ton of models and sounds at least worth the read... http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/546556/superlux-express-train-voted-best-budget-headphone-2011  The AT M50's are a good option as I understand it as well. Heck now that you are in here you will be getting a bunch more anyhow in the near future. L3000.gif

 

oh hey you might want to go back and edit out the swears there in your first post I would hate to see this thread getting deleted due to a few words.

 

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