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in-ear vs over-ear

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

For quite some time I have been using the Sennheiser HD-25 II as my only headphones both on my couch at home (plugged to an iPod Touch 4G or to an old but good east german amplifier) and (less frequently) while I am on the go (iPod Touch too). I mainly listen to a full album from start to finish (classic, jazz and some pop/rock). I tend to like an  exact sound pattern.

 

I am starting to long for something different for my ears that first and foremost deliver a better sound quality but also something that is a bit more comfortable to wear. With the Sennheiser HD-25 II on-ear my ears are a little too much under pressure wich especially gets uncomfortable after longer sessions (1h-1,5h). 

 

Now my questions is: Should I pick in-ears or over-ears? I noticed that top-level in-ears tend to be cheaper than top level over-ears. Would you say that it is true that I can get better sound quality for the same price with in-ears compared to over-ears. What else do I need to consider when choosing in-ears vs over-ears.

 

I have been looking at the the Sennheiser IE 8, would you think that this is a good pick in my case?

post #2 of 4

I don't know much about sound quality difference between the two but generally:

 

-In-Ears tend to offer better sound isolation than Over-Ears (Universal or Custom).

-Within the same price ranges, Over-Ears sound better because a chunk of what you're paying for in IEMs goes towards microengineering.

 

Things to consider when comparing In-Ears to Over-Ears:

 

-Are you okay with foam sleeves stuck in your ear? Or in the case of triflange tips, do you have a ear violation fetish?

-Unless you buy Shures, replace the stock tips with a aftermarket one for a sound improvement for price.

-Are you okay doing the weird wire over the ears thing?

-If by exact sound pattern you mean neutral sound. Consider a Westone 4, a great neutral universal fit that won't break the bank. Something to break the bank even less, Etymotic Research ER4P or ER6i

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by NinjaSquirt - 11/2/11 at 2:26pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that helped a lot. Now let's make it concrete: How would the Beyerdynamic DT 880, 32Ohm (so I can also use it with an iPod, I was told the DT 880 are a good bang for the buck) compare to the Westone 4 or to the Sennheise IE8 in terms of sound quality and sound neutrality? 


Edited by bitbonk - 11/2/11 at 11:27pm
post #4 of 4


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitbonk View Post

Thanks, that helped a lot. Now let's make it concrete: How would the Beyerdynamic DT 880, 32Ohm (so I can also use it with an iPod, I was told the DT 880 are a good bang for the buck) compare to the Westone 4 or to the Sennheise IE8 in terms of sound quality and sound neutrality? 

 

I've never heard the 32 Ohm version of the DT880, but I have plugged my AKG K702 (a headphone pretty close to the Beyer DT880 that generally requires a desktop amp) directly into my iPod and at max volume, it was actually loud enough to listen to. The sound however was thin, distorted across the spectrum and just generally yucky. And also if you commute with it you'll be listening to the sound of your music + the subway or the bus or the streets.

 

The moral of the story being: Just because something can be done, does not mean it should be done.

 

The fact is high end headphones are too revealing for iPod DACs and what you end up listening to the all the flaws of the DAC. It'll still be neutral and but sound quality will be meh.

 

Something like the Westone 4 will be neutral but not as revealing as the Beyer DT880 so you can still enjoy the music coming out of it but by the same token you won't be able to hear as much detail as a DT880 on a good DAC and amp combo. This is my experience with IEMs of UNIVERSAL FIT (the experience may be completely different with customs).

 

If you have a Hifiman HM-801 with a Lisa III amp on the other hand, going ahead and pick up an HD800 and compliment it with an LCD-2.

 

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