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Music lover, headphone newbie, in need of advice

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, this is my first post, and my first real step into hi-fi headphones really. My last pair of headphones was the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones, which bit the dust a year ago, and I'm ready for something new that is not an over-expensive name brand.

 

What I like about music is that I like bass that is not too overpowering, but can give a little kick. I really like mids. The treble is tricky because it can always be too shrill, but I don't want it to be gone. I am looking to spend around $100-$150. I've looked at a few cans on this site (HD 595, SRH840, ATH-900, and AH-D1100). The HD 595 caught my eye the most, it's the most attractive in my eyes, and they look to be pretty comfortable. I am going to be using regular apple earbuds for travel/walking to school, but when I am sitting down in a coffee shop or at home or anywhere, I'd like to use these headphones. I don't want complete isolation, but I don't want the world to know what I am listening to. I also hate when noise canceling creates too much pressure (i.e. a lot of Bose IMO). Headaches, headaches, headaches! So I guess something in between haha.

 

Lastly, I like to listen to a variety of things. I like to listen to Jazz, Rock, Indie, Classical, Ambient, Electronic, and Hip Hop. I have a feeling there isn't a headphone that can cover all of these genres unless I want to spend the big bucks, but I want one that can at least make the effort to make other genres of music sound good. I don't think I want to purchase an amp btw.

 

So what would you recommend :)

post #2 of 17

HD598: Sorry, you'll have to rule these out. They are open-backed in design, so people sitting next to you will hear what you're playing.

 

ATH-900: there's an AD900 and an A900, be careful you don't mix the two up--AD is open, A is closed!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ah thanks! Definitely want closed. Don't want people judging me in public by the tunes that I choose :)

post #4 of 17

Heya,

 

Well, closed is the way to go then. Open air will spill into the room and everyone will hear what you're listening to as well. So if this is at all a problem, go closed.

 

Suggestions:

 

Fischer Audio FA-003

Ultrasone HFI 580

Shure SRH840

BeyerDynamic DT770 PRO

Denon D1100

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/19/11 at 9:38pm
post #5 of 17

MalVeauX, as always, has made some great recommendations. 

 

I don't have much experience with closed headphones, but I can offer you 2 pieces of advice:

1. In case someone recommends you the Sennheiser HD25-1, let me tell you right now that they will isolate more than you desire. In all other aspects, they meet your requirements, but they isolate very well.

 

2. You listen to a wide variety of genres. Thus, you should be hunting for a neutral/flat sound signature.

post #6 of 17

If neutral/flat is something that sounds nice to you, I would highly recommend a modded Fostex T50RP. If you are not into modding/DIY, then I would highly recommend the Fischer Audio FA-003 or FA-002W.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry, but what do neutral/flat sounds mean? Bass, mid, treble all the same? I really don't mind the isolation, I just had some bad experiences with the Bose where you turn the noise canceling feature on, and it's just too much suction on my ears I feel like. Like I said, I really do like mids and light-medium bass. I guess I'll check out those recommendations.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

I see a pair of the Denon headphones on amazon for like $125 refurb. How do we feel about refurbished cans too?

post #9 of 17
Yeah, neutral can be thought of as all sounding the same. Or, that nothing is exaggerated.
This doesnt mean drum kicks will sound as loud as cymbals--that still depends on how loudly the instruments were played and recorded, and how they were mixed. This DOES mean your headphones will not boost an already loud bass beat in hip-hop, or make sharp electric guitar solos sound more screechy or harsh than they really are.

Btw mind that you don't confuse noise cancellation with isolation. Isolation's just blocking out sound; cancellation is more complex and involves playing a sound to "counter" external noise, and may have side effects such as the discomforting "pressure" you described.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've been doing lots of research, and I don't think I want neutral or flat headphones. The Bose headphones that I had were flat, and I am ready to explore the world of different hi-fi cans. I think that anything I get will be better than what I have, and I have no way of testing these cans out because no store carries them for me to try them out in my area. Out of the headphones MalVeaux described, the ones that have interested me are the:

 

Ultrasone HFI 580

Shure SRH840

BeyerDynamic DT770 PRO

 

I hear the Denon is poorly built so I will avoid those. Anymore suggestions to my original post?

post #11 of 17

I own and use the Shure SRH840. They are the some of the nicest closed back headphones in that price range.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

They do look like a solid pair of headphones, but I'd be nervous that I would accidentally yank out that random chord that sticks out. But they do look like a good pair of cans. How comfortable are they? I am also looking at:

 

ATHM50S

 

ATH-ES7

 

AKG K271MKII 

 

DT 770-PRO

 

The one frustrating thing about researching headphones is that the pros to a lot of them are that they are a good pair of headphones, and the cons are that they are really crappy headphones. I can only go off of recommendations and research, but I will never truly know what they sound like beforehand unless a friend had one of the headphones. I'll reiterate quickly. I enjoy mids, and enough bass to recognize the line that it's paying, and not too shrill treble.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Also, let's say I got a pair of headphones, and they are perhaps too mid-y or bassy or trebly, or not enough bass, etc. Can I just EQ it in iTunes? I don't know if the custom set EQ in iTunes transfers over to the iPod, if it were a potential solution.

post #14 of 17

I listened to the ATH M50s a couple of days ago.  I used to own Grado SR80i headphones, which were the absolute best sounding around without spending a million bucks.  But the Grados are open design, so people around can hear you.  But I have to say, after listening to the ATH M50s, they really are great!  Not as wonderful as the Grados, but I really don't think anything out there are.

 

I'd go for the ATH M50s.  I'd say that if Grados didn't exist, I'd own the M50s. 

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

My friends has a pair of SR60i's, and he loves them too. If I were to ever get another pair of headphones, they would definitely be a Grados, they do sound great. I'll buy some if I win the lottery or stumble onto some free money :)

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