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Help me make an informed decision, purchasing first quality headphones.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Edit:

I'm trying to decide between getting the Creative Aurvana Live! or the KRK KNS 8400.

Which one is better for my music taste? Which one can I use without having to upgrade anytime soon or without needing to amp?

 

The type of music I mainly listen to, for reference:

 

1. http://youtu.be/ZJXMrGiABOk?hd=1&t=1m30s
 

2. http://youtu.be/ZTmF2v59CtI

 

3. http://youtu.be/u4oQui_xBYo?t=3m11s
 

 

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Hello all,

I’m relatively new to the quality audio scene so please bear with me. I’ve been using the Ipod earbuds for years now and finally decided to upgrade to some better sounding headphones. My budget is around $100. I don’t really want to go over this amount but if there are headphones that are a perfect fit for what I’m looking for, I can go up to around $120ish…($150 is stretching it)

I’m mainly looking for (1) comfort and (2) good sound for my listening needs.

 

1. Comfort: I’ve tried some (closed?) full headphones in the past, they seemed very big and bulky and made my ears itch. I don’t know what brand they were, this was around 5 years ago. I tried on the SOL republic tracks (too loud/bassy for me) at Best Buy the other day and they were okay in terms of comfort so maybe something of similar material (for the earpads). Also, I’m looking for something that isn’t going to heavily clamp my head as I get headaches/migraines easily. It doesn’t really matter to me if they are 100% noise isolating or not, I’ll mostly be listening to music on the Ipod/Laptop in my room but some outside noise blocking would be a plus. I'll take suggestion for both full closed headphones and portable headphones.

 

2. Good sound: I mostly listen to Blues, Sufi music, Soul, Jazz, some Pop and R&B. A good portion of my music are from world albums or soundtracks (Rozana - Nishabd, Main Jahaan Rahoon - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ekla Cholo Re - Kahaani, Drift Away - Dobie Gray, Golden Train - Justin Nozuka, Rolling in the Deep - Adele etc). I do listen to some bass music but those are mild to moderate bass, nothing bass heavy, no heavy metal, punk, hard rock etc.

A wide soundstage would be nice and the ability to differentiate between different instruments.

Also, I’d rather go for the ‘around the head’ feel of music rather than the ‘in the head/brain cavity’ feel (Again, I’m very prone to getting headaches/migraines).

 

I apologize in advance if my description is confusing as I’m a newcomer to all of this. Your recommendations and inputs would be very much appreciated. This is my first time spending and investing so much money on headphones so I really want to make an informed decision before I purchase anything. Thank you.

 

I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this or not, so please feel free to move it.


Edited by azurite - 3/28/12 at 11:26pm
post #2 of 16
Hey check this out http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide
post #3 of 16

I would stretch that budget and get some used Beyer dt990's here on the for sale forum. They are the most comfortable hp that I own and I've owned a few. They are open so you would get the "around the head" experience that you ask for. And they are quality up and down.

post #4 of 16

Also the dt990 come in different ohm versions. I'm using the 600ohm version and it's drives and sounds very nice with the fiio e10 which a very decent and inexpensive amp/dac.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhapsodyfan View Post

Wrong section if you are not looking for portable headphones, like the Porta-Pros or Senn PX series. My budget favorite (and not too large) is the Creative Aurvana Live! which is $73 on Amazon. Under your budget. If you do get them, be sure to remove the internal foam (inside the pads) with a small scissors. Yes, it does damage the phones, but it brings up the highs and mids a bit, making them even better. A very good value, and not too large or cumbersome.

 

 



Can you tell me more about the CAL!'s please. How is the bass and vocals on it? Also, is it necessary to remove the internal foam to in order to get good sound from it?



Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I would stretch that budget and get some used Beyer dt990's here on the for sale forum. They are the most comfortable hp that I own and I've owned a few. They are open so you would get the "around the head" experience that you ask for. And they are quality up and down.

I looked at the Beyers..they're a bit too bulky for my tastes.
 

 

post #6 of 16

KRK KNS 8400s. I love mine, and they seem like they are the right choice for you. I don't have personal experience with the CALs, but I've read that they are fairly bassy. They aren't bass monsters that suffer heavily in the mids/highs because of their bass (like Sony XB500s), but I couldn't imagine the mids/highs being anywhere near as good as KNS 8400s. Given your tastes in music, the 8400s would be a more fitting choice. They are clarity/detail monsters for the price, and as an example I also own V-Moda M80s (which I also love) which are highly respected on here and have more of a fun signature, and even though the M80s cost a good deal more than the 8400s, the 8400s often reveal more detail in songs. The KRKs are very comfortable with memory foam used for both the earpads and the headband pads and have low-moderate clamping force (I have a small head and the clamping force is very low for me). Great headphones for the price, and if you have any Guitar Centers around you give them a try firsthand. 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCLA 15 View Post

KRK KNS 8400s. I love mine, and they seem like they are the right choice for you. I don't have personal experience with the CALs, but I've read that they are fairly bassy. They aren't bass monsters that suffer heavily in the mids/highs because of their bass (like Sony XB500s), but I couldn't imagine the mids/highs being anywhere near as good as KNS 8400s. Given your tastes in music, the 8400s would be a more fitting choice. They are clarity/detail monsters for the price, and as an example I also own V-Moda M80s (which I also love) which are highly respected on here and have more of a fun signature, and even though the M80s cost a good deal more than the 8400s, the 8400s often reveal more detail in songs. The KRKs are very comfortable with memory foam used for both the earpads and the headband pads and have low-moderate clamping force (I have a small head and the clamping force is very low for me). Great headphones for the price, and if you have any Guitar Centers around you give them a try firsthand. 


Do the 8400's reveal so much detail as to bring out the impurities in a song? I sometimes listen to songs that are 128kbps and I was just wondering if

the 8400's would be bad for those?

 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by azurite View Post


Do the 8400's reveal so much detail as to bring out the impurities in a song? I sometimes listen to songs that are 128kbps and I was just wondering if

the 8400's would be bad for those?

 


I don't think so. In fact, most of the music I listen to is low quality. I don't buy music anymore (and haven't for a few years), and most of the time I just listen to music on Youtube, no lie. The hard thing to listen to is classical music, but that's not the 8400s fault, it's the fault of the fact that 90% of the classical music I find on Youtube is very low quality, and of course listening to music on Youtube in the first place is probably a no-no on here. I've only really listened to a few MP3s on my iTunes account (most of which are probably 128kbps), and from what I remember the 8400s didn't bring out impurities. If they only bring out noticeable impurities in the lowest of the lowest quality music (low quality Youtube videos), then there isn't really anything to be concerned about. 

 

Another thing to consider is that, being new to the headphone scene like myself, you probably wouldn't be able to tell very well if headphones are bringing out the impurities in a song.

 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by azurite View Post


Do the 8400's reveal so much detail as to bring out the impurities in a song? I sometimes listen to songs that are 128kbps and I was just wondering if

the 8400's would be bad for those?

 

 

Yes,


They will sound awful in a pair of KRK's. KRK's are monitors, real ones, not just something marketed as studio monitors. They are all about revealing flaw, they are murderously detailed, and fairly flat for this. That's what they're used for: producing. And a few people use them for casual listening (emphasis on few). Do not use studio monitors to listen to 128kbps MP3's.

 

For your genres, I would put you on a pair of Beyer DT770's or a pair of AudioTechnica A900's.

 

Very best,
 

 


Edited by MalVeauX - 3/29/12 at 2:47pm
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCLA 15 View Post


I don't think so. In fact, most of the music I listen to is low quality. I don't buy music anymore (and haven't for a few years), and most of the time I just listen to music on Youtube, no lie. The hard thing to listen to is classical music, but that's not the 8400s fault, it's the fault of the fact that 90% of the classical music I find on Youtube is very low quality, and of course listening to music on Youtube in the first place is probably a no-no on here. I've only really listened to a few MP3s on my iTunes account (most of which are probably 128kbps), and from what I remember the 8400s didn't bring out impurities. If they only bring out noticeable impurities in the lowest of the lowest quality music (low quality Youtube videos), then there isn't really anything to be concerned about. 

 

Another thing to consider is that, being new to the headphone scene like myself, you probably wouldn't be able to tell very well if headphones are bringing out the impurities in a song.

 


 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Yes,


They will sound awful in a pair of KRK's. KRK's are monitors, real ones, not just something marketed as studio monitors. They are all about revealing flaw, they are murderously detailed, and fairly flat for this. That's what they're used for: producing. And a few people use them for casual listening (emphasis on few). Do not use studio monitors to listen to 128kbps MP3's.

 

For your genres, I would put you on a pair of Beyer DT770's or a pair of AudioTechnica A900's.

 

Very best,
 

 

The A900's are a bit out of my price range.

 


I'm in a dilemma here, spending so much money (broke college student here <$150) on my first pair of headphones and I don't want to make the wrong choice and

get something that I'll have to replace or whatnot.

 

Still debating between the CAL! and KRK 8400.

I think I should try to find a Guitar Center near me and go demo the 8400s before I decide.

 

 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by azurite View Post


 


 

The A900's are a bit out of my price range.

 


I'm in a dilemma here, spending so much money (broke college student here <$150) on my first pair of headphones and I don't want to make the wrong choice and

get something that I'll have to replace or whatnot.

 

Still debating between the CAL! and KRK 8400.

I think I should try to find a Guitar Center near me and go demo the 8400s before I decide.

 

 


Definitely demo everything you can.

 

You must have closed back, right?

 

Very best,

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post


Definitely demo everything you can.

 

You must have closed back, right?

 

Very best,



It's not a must but I am looking for good sound quality and comfort. Nothing too bassy or piercing - I'm very sensitive to getting headaches.

post #13 of 16
Give the Grado line a try. Look at the sr60, sr80i and sr125i. They are in your price range and are all excellent for the money and will do well with the type of music you listen to. Check out as many as you can though.

The 125i's are at the edge of your range but well worth it
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've read that the Grado's aren't really comfortable when used for long periods of time so I haven't really considered them.

 

Also, is there anyone that owns both the CAL! and the KRK KNS 8400 that could give me some input?

post #15 of 16

I don't own both, but I do have the CAL!

I also get headache easily. That was the main thing I looked for when I bought the headphone, comfort. CAL! is very comfortable. Not the most comfortable thing I've ever tried on, but very nice. The earpads, headpad are very soft and barely any clamping. Noise isolation is not very good, but with music on (even low volume) would drown out some outside noise. 

I'm no expert on the sound qualities, but I really have no complain with CAL!.

good luck.

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