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Buying first "Audiophile" headphones.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Or at least headphones that don't suck. A lot. At the moment it's Apple Earbuds since my PXC450s broke. I'm not interested in noise isolation really, it would be a plus to be able to listen to them on the train, but I'm just as happy to go for open headphones and just read while traveling.

 

Music includes Prog Metal and Rock. Prog of anything really, now that I think about it. From Dream Theater and Opeth to Pink Floyd, but more conventional music as well.

 

I also watch a lot of movies, tv shows, anime etc.

 

The source will be almost exclusively my MacBook Pro, and I'm looking for something to improve on just using the headphone jack so suggestions for amps are appreciated.

 

I've so far considered the HD 280 Pros for their flat, balanced sound, and the Beyerdynamic DT 880s and the Sennheiser HD 598. I want to stay under AU$300 for the headphones including shipping. Unless it's REALLY worth it, as in I will get a dramatic increase in quality for a bit more.

post #2 of 20

Grado SR80i, or Alessandro MS1i.  I've had the Grados for a couple of years now, and they are unbelievable.  You will never, ever regret buying them.  The MS1i is basically the same headphone, maybe a step up.  The MS1i will ship to AU for $99US, shipping included.  Buy them, and never look back.

post #3 of 20

Heya,

 

Grado SR225i could be an option. The DT880 is definitely a nice headphone and an option (you might be able to get away with 250ohm on the laptop, maybe someone with a MacBook Pro can confirm impedance usage on it with various headphones?). The HD598's are also an excellent choice for the same thing/reasons. I think you've already got a good selection right there on your own to go for, more just, figure which style you like better and go with it. I'll also suggest perhaps the Fischer Audio FA-011 or FA-002 for open-air, or the FA-003 for closed as well. Another option could be the Ultrasone HFI 580 (closed) and Shure 840 (closed). I know prices for AUS are rather different from US prices, so it all becomes relative to where/how you can buy various headphones (even the ones you mentioned are borderline that, or more, in AUS if I'm not mistaken).

 

Very best,

post #4 of 20

The headphone buying help for "first time audiophile headphones" can be very very confusing on head-fi.  I'm not sure why, if someone isn't concerned about isolation, everyone here doesn't recommend Grado SR80i as the one and only solution.  They are multiple award-winning headphones that all experts and consumers consistently rate five stars.

 

Why confuse the issue with things like, "What type of music do you listen to?", or "The SQ on such a such brand is a U-shaped". 

 

Just get the Grados.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post

The headphone buying help for "first time audiophile headphones" can be very very confusing on head-fi.  I'm not sure why, if someone isn't concerned about isolation, everyone here doesn't recommend Grado SR80i as the one and only solution.  They are multiple award-winning headphones that all experts and consumers consistently rate five stars.

 

Why confuse the issue with things like, "What type of music do you listen to?", or "The SQ on such a such brand is a U-shaped". 

 

Just get the Grados.

 

Because there is clearly not just one good headphone for everyone at that price point. And frankly, for the money, the SR60i with the L-cush pads are a better value than just the SR80i with no pads at the same price point. Grados are not for everyone. Some people need more bass. Some people need less energy. Some people need their ears to not be in pain when the headphone comes off. And some people simply want a different style. Let's not take something very subjectively driven and boil into "one headphone answers all things" because that doesn't even work in high ends let alone entry level stuff.

 

Very best,
 

 

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Grado SR225i could be an option. The DT880 is definitely a nice headphone and an option (you might be able to get away with 250ohm on the laptop, maybe someone with a MacBook Pro can confirm impedance usage on it with various headphones?). The HD598's are also an excellent choice for the same thing/reasons. I think you've already got a good selection right there on your own to go for, more just, figure which style you like better and go with it. I'll also suggest perhaps the Fischer Audio FA-011 or FA-002 for open-air, or the FA-003 for closed as well. Another option could be the Ultrasone HFI 580 (closed) and Shure 840 (closed). I know prices for AUS are rather different from US prices, so it all becomes relative to where/how you can buy various headphones (even the ones you mentioned are borderline that, or more, in AUS if I'm not mistaken).

 

Very best,


It depends, the Sennheiser and Beyerdynamics are not pushing it too far, I can buy those on Amazon and get them shipped over. The Grados won't be shipped though, so, if I have to go through eBay, the SR225i is about $380 + shipping, and the sr80i is $170 + shipping.

 

The HD280 Pro alone is about $300 or more in the retail shops here!

post #7 of 20

Alessandro MS1i ship worldwide for free.  Price is $100US.  No brainer, in spite of what some people post here.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post

Alessandro MS1i ship worldwide for free.  Price is $100US.  No brainer, in spite of what some people post here.



I have to disagree with you.  I own Grados and I love them.  However, they do not suit everyone's needs and it is ignorant to say they are the only headphone worth anything in the price range.  

 

 

To Klinic: To add a few suggestions - Audio Technica ATH-AD700 (open) and Audio Technica ATH-M50 (closed)

The AD700 has great clarity and a wonderful soundstage.  The M50 has a fun, slightly "V" shaped sound signature and is closed and isolates fairly well.

Also, I support the suggestion of Fischer Audio, they make some absolutely wonderful headphones for the money.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have a lot of suggestions now. ._. I really wish I could test them all. Haven't really got any place that even offers headphone testing aside from the Beats. And a couple of low end sennheisers.

 

AD700 is one that I've heard a lot about. Especially from gamers for it's soundstage. The Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic look the most solid though. The Grados especially look flimsy.

 

Again though, Amazon won't ship them anyway. -.-; Ebay prices jump up quite a bit, and local prices aren't even worth considering.

post #10 of 20
if rock is your primary concern, then Grados and Alessandros (collaborations with Grados) are good bets. I had the old MS1 and enjoyed them on slow rock and folk, and pop in general.

I have a Beyerdynamic DT 880 in 250 Ohms and a MacBook Pro. I'll test them briefly for you when I get home.
post #11 of 20

Senn HD380pro is awesome with bass.

post #12 of 20

After being here for years and experiencing everything I have up to this point, I think the best you can do is try to go to a meet before buying anything. Show up, listen and stay for the people. Once you figure out what you like, purchase that.

 

That being said, I would highly recommend the Fostex T50RP. Stock it is decent but you can mod it to match your desired sound signature at which point it will perform extraordinarily well.

post #13 of 20

Fostex T50rp + 1.... =)

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've heard the Fostex require a massive amount of amping. I'm willing to get a small amp for my MacBook Pro and iPhone, but I don't have the cash to splash out on a fancy amp, nor the time to set it up everywhere I go.

 

Alessandro, Sennheiser HD 598 and the AD700 seem to be the contenders at the moment. Those Beyerdynamics sound great too (in theory), but I've lost any place that can ship them reasonably. The original place must be out of stock and stopped selling them or something. :/

 

Can those other two [i]really[/i] hold up to the Sennheiser considering the rather large price difference? 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by klinic View Post

I've heard the Fostex require a massive amount of amping. I'm willing to get a small amp for my MacBook Pro and iPhone, but I don't have the cash to splash out on a fancy amp, nor the time to set it up everywhere I go.

 

Alessandro, Sennheiser HD 598 and the AD700 seem to be the contenders at the moment. Those Beyerdynamics sound great too (in theory), but I've lost any place that can ship them reasonably. The original place must be out of stock and stopped selling them or something. :/

 

Can those other two [i]really[/i] hold up to the Sennheiser considering the rather large price difference? 


The Fostex don't require a massive amount of power. They do require some modification to sound their best though. Amping them certainly won't hurt.

 

A great headphone that doesn't require amping, yet sounds fantastic is the Fischer Audio FA-003. They are cheap and certainly compete with headphones many times their price.

 

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