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Now my all-time favourite portables are the Etymotic 4Ps, which I will wear with comfort through a 14-hour flight and the only downside is that I sometimes miss out on ordering a drink because I can't hear the flight attendant. But I don't like to take them out of the pouch, get them set in my ears and pack them up again just for a 20-minute train ride. 

 

So I bought some Audiotechnica ATH-WM55 phones which are pretty good for the money and I think my son is going to love them, but they are just not doing it for me. Nicest feature is they have a neat cord retract system like a vacuum cleaner, plug the jack back into the earpiece, twist and the cord is gone. They sound just OK, and the pleather ear pads can gets little sweaty on a hot day. They also fit very nicely into a Tom Bihn CoPilot bag sized for an 11" Macbook Air - I use it to carry an iPad and one of the use cases is to watch various videos from the iPad. So anything phones that are hard to drive are probably out. The Audiotechnica cups swivel to occupy very little space flat in the bag.

 

So I'm looking for:

- good but not ultimate sound quality. Most of what I do with these cans will be developer videos or other TV/Movies. The Etymotics will always be there for serious music time.

- easy to drive

- rotating cups or other smart folding design

- leather or velour earpads preferred over vinyl

- cord management (or even Bluetooth?) a big bonus

- no active noise cancelling

 

On the radar are:

Beyerdynamic T50p (very mixed reviews, though I am sure many negative reviews are from people who didn't adjust the position correctly)

Beyerdynamic DT1350 (said to be great but not really suitable for direct drive from an iPad)

AKG K450

AKG Q460 - is the Quincy Jones edition appreciably different from the K450?

Sennheiser PX200-II

AKG K830BT Bluetooth, hmmm... I know this isn't ultimate fidelity but it's certainly convenient.

Sennheiser MM400 Bluetooth same pros/cons as the AKGs above, but they fold a little smaller too.

 

I've ruled out:

Aiaiai Tracks - they don't appear to rotate but otherwise look good.

Koss Porta Pros - had some, hated them.

Sennheiser HD25 - high clamp force, split headband looks like it will be fairly wide in the bag though "DJ" phones probably have rotating cups.

No Grado. Can't import because of distributor agreement, too hard to buy locally.

No Bose.

 

 

What do you think?