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Which of these headphones are better?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm new here and I've recently got tired of the mediocre sound coming from my "el-cheapo" Sennheiser HD201's and I want an upgrade. I've asked around on yahoo answers a bit, but nobody seems to know anything because they've all recommended Dr. Dre Beats, which I've tried out in Best Buy and I found them to be extremely overrated and overpriced. I was not impressed by them one bit. Anyway, I've compiled a list  of headphones on Newegg that I've been looking at and I would appreciate some help in choosing one (or any other headphones in the price range of up to $150 (give or take some money)). I listen mostly to classic rock, southern rock and country. And I use them for general listening like on youtube videos and such. I do like some extra bass, but I don't want it to muddy out the rest of the song. I would like a full range of songs. The thing that's been concerning me, however, is impedance, since a higher impedance will usually result in lower volume(since Power = V^2/R). The headphones on the list that have the highest frequency range also have the highest impedance. My main concern as of late is that, since I will be using these with my Android phone (Samsung Vibrant), I do not know if it will be able to supply enough current to reliably drive the headphones with the lower impedance. I was thinking of making my own amplifier (Since I'm a computer engineering major (kind of a mix between electrical engineering and computer science) I think such a project would be beneficial to me), which could make it easier to drive the lower impedance, but I don't know when exactly i will make one. Any suggestions to these or other headphones are greatly appreciated. Here is the link to my Newegg comparison:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006521%2050011517%2040000070&IsNodeId=1&Manufactory=11517&bop=And&SpeTabStoreType=10&CompareItemList=70|26-159-215^26-159-215-01%23%2C26-159-203^26-159-203-03%23%2C26-159-337^26-159-337-TS%2C26-402-020^26-402-020-01%23%2C26-402-012^26-402-012-TS

post #2 of 27

Umm grado SR60i? SOL

post #3 of 27
Welcome to the forums!

Like Jipan said the Grado SR60i is a good option. You can also look into the Sennheiser HD 555 and the Audio Technica AD700.
I'm personally a bit of a Sennheiser fan, so I will recommend getting the HD 555. The HD 555 also has the most bass out of the three, since the AD700 and the SR60i both have a recessed bass response.


It's the other way around by the way: low impedance is easy to drive, high impedance is hard to drive. As for building an amplifier, you can try a simple CMoy or a Mini3. I've built a Mini3 myself and I can tell you that it was a lot of fun to do.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

Well the thing with the SR60i is that they have a low frequency range compared to the others. Now I'm a newb, so I don't know if that's a good litmus test. I've also been looking at V-Moda headphones. I've heard good things sound-wise, but durability seems to be an issue with them.

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

It's the other way around by the way: low impedance is easy to drive, high impedance is hard to drive.


That depends. All else equal, high impedance headphones will have lower volume. However, high impedance loads are easier on the amp because they require less current, and distortion will improve with these loads. The easiest headphone to drive is a high impedance, high sensitivity headphone, because it will be plenty loud and also have low distortion. The hardest would be low impedance, low sensitivity.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audifanatic518 View Post

Well the thing with the SR60i is that they have a low frequency range compared to the others. Now I'm a newb, so I don't know if that's a good litmus test. I've also been looking at V-Moda headphones. I've heard good things sound-wise, but durability seems to be an issue with them.


Frequency range doesn't matter. The specs they publish are extremely misleading. All Grados have almost the same bass roll-off, but they all have different frequency response ranges. I think the SR60i actually rolls off less than the others!

 

Unless they're publishing something with a range smaller than 20 Hz -  20 kHz, you can ignore it.

 

If you're going V-Moda, the headphone to go for seems to be the M80, which is above your $150 budget. The others don't seem to sound as good. I was under the impression their durability is very good.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

 

Frequency range doesn't matter. The specs they publish are extremely misleading. All Grados have almost the same bass roll-off, but they all have different frequency response ranges. I think the SR60i actually rolls off less than the others!

 

Unless they're publishing something with a range smaller than 20 Hz -  20 kHz, you can ignore it.

 

If you're going V-Moda, the headphone to go for seems to be the M80, which is above your $150 budget. The others don't seem to sound as good. I was under the impression their durability is very good.


So what are the things I should look for in a set of cans if it's not frequency response? Also, the other thing that's concerning me about the Grados are that they are all open designs. Although I commute, I do tend to spend a lot of time at school. I also fly a few times a year, so background noise can be an issue sometimes. Also, I don't know how much the sound leaks in open designs. I don't know if that will be a problem when studying in the library for instance. As far as the V-Moda's are concerned, those aren't the ones I was looking at, I was looking at the Crossfade LP.

 

But then again, I never listen to my music at full volume, I usually listen at mid-range, so I'm not sure if sound-leakage will be such an issue there.


Edited by audifanatic518 - 12/11/11 at 10:07am
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by audifanatic518 View Post



Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

 

Frequency range doesn't matter. The specs they publish are extremely misleading. All Grados have almost the same bass roll-off, but they all have different frequency response ranges. I think the SR60i actually rolls off less than the others!

 

Unless they're publishing something with a range smaller than 20 Hz -  20 kHz, you can ignore it.

 

If you're going V-Moda, the headphone to go for seems to be the M80, which is above your $150 budget. The others don't seem to sound as good. I was under the impression their durability is very good.


So what are the things I should look for in a set of cans if it's not frequency response? Also, the other thing that's concerning me about the Grados are that they are all open designs. Although I commute, I do tend to spend a lot of time at school. I also fly a few times a year, so background noise can be an issue sometimes. Also, I don't know how much the sound leaks in open designs. I don't know if that will be a problem when studying in the library for instance. As far as the V-Moda's are concerned, those aren't the ones I was looking at, I was looking at the Crossfade LP.

 

But then again, I never listen to my music at full volume, I usually listen at mid-range, so I'm not sure if sound-leakage will be such an issue there.

Unfortunately the manufacturers specs are usually quite useless. Sensitivity and impedance are most often the only useful specs listed.

What you should be looking for are user reviews and measurements.
For measurements go to Tyll Hertsens blog, or to headphone.com
Don't worry if you don't understand all the graphs at first. You can at the very least compare the frequency response graphs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

That depends. All else equal, high impedance headphones will have lower volume. However, high impedance loads are easier on the amp because they require less current, and distortion will improve with these loads. The easiest headphone to drive is a high impedance, high sensitivity headphone, because it will be plenty loud and also have low distortion. The hardest would be low impedance, low sensitivity.
I never looked at it that way, but you're right. However generally speaking higher impedance loads are harder to drive because they have lower volume per volt.
Also: this means that the HE-6 is an absolute **** to drive.
Edited by Tilpo - 12/11/11 at 12:04pm
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

So I'm going to see if any local stores have Grado headphones in stock (It doesn't seem likely) because I would love to try them out first.

post #9 of 27

Absolutely do this. I can't suggest a Grado to anyone in good faith without having them listen to one first. They're very divisive headphones. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audifanatic518 View Post

So I'm going to see if any local stores have Grado headphones in stock (It doesn't seem likely) because I would love to try them out first.



 

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanjiWatsuki View Post

Absolutely do this. I can't suggest a Grado to anyone in good faith without having them listen to one first. They're very divisive headphones. 
 



 



 Very wise advice, this very short story illustrates that perfectly,

 

 The other day at my local audio store I had my Grado SR80i's with me running out of a Furutech ADL Cruise portable amp, the owner's niece who

 loves the Red Hot Chilli Peppers tried them out and declared them her favorite headphone from everything else in the store! Clearly a case of

 a young Gradophile, at the same time a guy was there who was purchasing a pair of Shure SE535's ~ his curiosity got the better of him and

 he asked for a listen ~ I almost had to catch them, as soon as he put them on his head, he grimaced and almost threw them across the

 room.

 

 'Yuck, they are the worst headphone I've ever heard in my life!' he said.

 

 Same headphones, same track ~ two different people redface.gif

post #11 of 27

Try the Fischer FA-011cans, I am very happy with them. darthsmile.gif

post #12 of 27

void


Edited by bmeat - 8/16/14 at 3:16pm
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevesebastianb View Post

Try the Fischer FA-011cans, I am very happy with them. darthsmile.gif

 

How are those volume-wise? They have an awfully high impedance.
 

 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I found a place that sells Grado by my house, a little mom and pop home theater place. They said they usually carry all of their models, but they only had the sr60i and sr80i in stock and only the sr60i was available for testing since they had misplaced the open set of sr80i's. I had loaded a few albums in FLAC format onto my phone. Side by side, I couldn't tell much of a difference between them and my current Sennheiser HD201's. The Grados sounded a little clearer, but overall they were very similar. He told me to call in a few days since he hopes to find the sr80i's by then, so I'm going to give those a shot in a couple of days.

post #15 of 27

void


Edited by bmeat - 8/16/14 at 3:17pm
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