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Friend seeks recommendation and I'm stumped...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've got a real puzzle here. A friend of mine is looking for a pair of headphones that is portable, durable, and well isolating and I have no shortage of usual recommendations for people who prioritize those aspects, but he's really resistant to the idea of IEMs and the Sennheiser HD-280 PROs, Ultrasone HFI-580/780s, and oft recommended (but not by me) Audio Technica ATH-M50s we auditioned didn't appeal to him for sound signature reasons (too treble and bass oriented, not enough emphasis on mids to his ears/taste). I had him audition each of my own pairs, Heavily modded wooded Grado SR-60is, mini-markl modded wooded Creative Aurvana Live!s, Foam modded Sennheiser HD-650, and my own little recipe of Fostex T50RPs. Here's where things get complicated. He liked the T50RPs best and his price range tops out at about $150. The mid-centric planar magnetic sound he wants doesn't really come in any packages that are portable, durable, or isolating that I can think of. My question is, am I missing anything? A more portable version of the delicious AKG K271 or K240 mkII mids? Maybe one of the newer Sony MDR-ZX series has strong mid-presence? I have a couple lists, but every pair of cans I can think of has pretty severe compromises to his requirements. We're in the US market, and his listening is mainly indie folk in the vein of fleet foxes, lots of acoustic strings and reverby vocals. Any input would be appreciated, though I'm afraid he's going to have to choose between the sound signature he wants, and the portability/durability of the package it comes in.

post #2 of 6

Have you heard about the SRH440? it does great with acoustic music, balanced mids and build quality is fine. It makes a perfect portable headphone. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've auditioned the SRH440 and SRH840 before and I use SRH-840 Pads on my T50RPs, but it has been a while since I auditioned a pair of the Shures. I was A/B comparing them in a shop in Seoul at the time but if my memory serves, I was using the Beach Boys "Girls on the Beach" as one of my Mid/Vocal-centric audition tracks and I heard a really noticeable sibilance with both of them and when I cycled through the rest of my audition tracks I suddenly couldn't not notice it. I do have a favorable impression of those mids though. The foldability and carrying pouch would be a pro for him, the 10 foot cable would be a con. I'm just kind of thinking out loud at this point, but I appreciate the reply and thank you for a keen recommendation that slipped under my radar.

post #4 of 6

How about the ATH-ESW9? 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, appreciate the input. I think he wanted circumaural rather than supraaural and the ESW9 is out of his price range. I haven't auditioned one since last summer in Japan, and it was amid a whirlwind, but I'll definitely discuss it with him as an option.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by acticulated View Post

I do have a favorable impression of those mids though. The foldability and carrying pouch would be a pro for him, the 10 foot cable would be a con. I'm just kind of thinking out loud at this point, but I appreciate the reply and thank you for a keen recommendation that slipped under my radar.

 

If cable length is a con, you can braid the cable. 

I think there's a thread here about that. Just a suggestion. 

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