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Another Recommendation Thread....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I have been lurking and reading here for the past week trying to make a decision on the purchase of some new headphones, but decided I should register and see if I could get some input.

 

I certainly wouldn't consider myself an "audiophile", but when listening to music I enjoy a nice clean sound.  In the past I have owned some Bose TriPort ( I know, I know...), and am currently using some AKG K81DJ.  

 

Neither of these really sounded BAD to me, but I haven't really heard any higher quality headphones to know the difference I suppose....my biggest problem with my current set is comfort.  I am a programmer so being able to wear headphones for extended periods of time is a must.  I work in an office environment so a closed head phone with decent isolation is a must.  

 

My music preferences fall under the metal category, specifically a decent amount of power metal....some examples of bands I enjoy:

 

Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Kamelot, Nightwish, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, etc...

 

So basically I am looking for a good pair of closed headphones for this type of music.  Budget wise, I could go up in the $350 range if it is justified, although I am unsure if my ears are even deserving of this kind of hardware.  I have no issues purchasing a portable amp for the right set of headphones if it is needed.  I am using an Android Phone or iPhone typically as a source.  Again, I'd consider a higher quality player if I can notice the benefits....

 

So in short...my requirements listed in order of importance:

 

1) Comfort ( I do prefer the over ear design as opposed to on ear )

2) Sound Quality ( I like bass, but to use a description I've seen on here I guess I like "tight" bass, boomy bass is not my thing. )

3) Portability ( mainly used at a desk so not THAT important. )

 

Some headphones I have looked at and considered but just am unsure of what route to go....

 

Ultrasone HFI 780

Ultrasone Pro 900 ( supposed to be a lot more comfortable than the 780 so I figured maybe the money would be well spent...?)

ATH-M50

 

I haven't been able to find these headphones locally for a trial run....

 

So now that I've rambled -- does anyone have any input on what they think might be best for me?  Any other information I could provide that could allow people to help me make an informed decision?  Do I buy a few and flat out return ones I don't like?

 

Thanks!

 


Edited by griffonz - 8/9/11 at 3:25pm
post #2 of 6

Heya,

 

You just mentioned Ultrasone Pro 900's yourself. So I'll just save you the climb and say get those without hesitation. The bass is out of this world. And they're excellent for metal. I'm listening to Buckethead and John Petrucci through my Pro 900's right now. It's amazing. It's the high point of your budget, even a tad out of it, and this headphone does like an amplifier. So if you're willing to invest in something like this, I would go that route. Add an inexpensive amplifier (PA2V2, FiiO E11, etc) with the Ultrasone Pro 900 and you'll be swimming in music bliss. If this is simply out of the price range, look at the Ultrasone HFI 580. And then start also looking at the BeyerDyanmic DT770 32ohm.

 

I would also start looking to replace your android/iphone as a source and move towards something like a Sansa Fuze (inexensive, drives headphones very nicely without a portable amp). New is like $65 or something like that. Add microSD card to increase storage. Pump that FLAC through and enjoy one of the headphones listed above.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Mal...

 

I'd be interested to know how you feel about the sound of one of my favorite Iced Earth songs, Dracula, with the Pro 900s...

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjx6GmpNl_A&hd=1 (tried to grab a decent quality off of YouTube, which isn't easy...)

 

Also, just to verify, these are OVER the ear phones, right?

 

Thanks!

 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonz View Post

Thanks again Mal...

 

I'd be interested to know how you feel about the sound of one of my favorite Iced Earth songs, Dracula, with the Pro 900s...

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjx6GmpNl_A&hd=1 (tried to grab a decent quality off of YouTube, which isn't easy...)

 

Also, just to verify, these are OVER the ear phones, right?

 

Thanks!

 

 

Heya,

 

Bass impact is solid, it's not a low rumble bass, it's a fast attack bass that hits hard and fast. The details of the guitars are there. Vocals are pretty forward. Overall, a good sound. I feel like a little EQ work in the mids might bring out a bit more of what you want. Some older metal is not recorded/mastered that well, so the recordings themselves even off a CD are sometimes not that high of quality and are congested and you can hear it on good gear.

 

Pro900_Dracula_REQ_1.jpg

 

Pro900_Dracula_REQ_2.jpg

 

They are definitely over-ear. They cover them up. And still work well with glasses if you wear them. See above.

 

I just put on Kamelot - Forever, from the Karma album to test some more. Overall, there's not a lot of bass in these songs but a lot of this kind of metal does not have heavy bass, just impactful bass (which is definitely there). It has to do with the recording and mastering. When I test it against some Buckethead, the bass on a track by Buckethead is just a lot more tight and impactful, but older metal, I don't find much low bass. Check out this track by Buckethead, Lebrontron. Switch to 720p of course. And when I put on some John Petrucci or Michael Angelo Butio, a high quality recording, it's crazy how good they are on the Pro 900's.

 

If this is your primary stuff you listen to, I would point you to the Ultrasone HFI 580 instead to save you some money and essentially get the same sound for this stuff. But if you also listen to other stuff, like more recent stuff even, that has a lot higher quality recording/processing and simply has more bass involved, don't even hesitate and get the Pro 900's.

 

Very best,

 


Edited by MalVeauX - 8/9/11 at 10:36pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Again, thanks for your informative posts and taking the time to check this out for me.

 

I appreciate the heads up on the HFI 580, I think however I'm going to still hit up the Pro 900s if it's just as good for my primary music, as the 900s would give me room to grow as my music tastes expand.  I'd rather spend the money up front now than regret not going for the 900s down the road. :)

 

Also, thanks for the pic, seeing those on you, **** they are definitely over the ear! I like!

 

Order going in tonight, I'll report back with my experience!

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonz View Post

Again, thanks for your informative posts and taking the time to check this out for me.

 

I appreciate the heads up on the HFI 580, I think however I'm going to still hit up the Pro 900s if it's just as good for my primary music, as the 900s would give me room to grow as my music tastes expand.  I'd rather spend the money up front now than regret not going for the 900s down the road. :)

 

Also, thanks for the pic, seeing those on you, **** they are definitely over the ear! I like!

 

Order going in tonight, I'll report back with my experience!


Heya,

 

Good man. You definitely won't have to worry about your headphones keeping up with anything. I had edited previously to try and say that the Pro 900's are still the way to go so that you can enjoy the crazy bass and excellent treble for a lot of better recorded metal. A solo by Jeff Loomis in the Pro 900 is awesome, and then you can turn around and throw on dub or some symphonic metal with low end bass from an organ and it will be tight and deliciously low. It's the kind of headphone where the only next step is something that costs literally twice as much.

 

Make sure you have a little amp of some kind to get the most bass possible. uDac2, Fiio E7, PA2V2, etc. Or if want something desktop oriented that is more powerful than you need but leaves you room to grow, the Fiio E9 is great. But I would get something portable so you can jam on these things where ever you go. I use a Vivid V1 Tech amp with my Sansa Fuze. You will still have crazy good sound without an amp right away depending on what your source is, but again, you will benefit an amp, so consider it an investment that is part of having the Pro 900's.

 

And of course, use lossless audio and the highest quality recordings/remasterings of older music that you can. It truly makes a difference.

 

Also, before you form an opinion, try a lot of different music types. Try and flex the bass muscles of the Pro 900. Even give quiet acoustic a go. Everything you can that is lossless and clean. I'd hate for you to listen to a few old congested tracks of something poorly recorded and think the Pro 900's are at fault.

 

Very best,

 


Edited by MalVeauX - 8/9/11 at 10:44pm
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