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Top of the range headphones for opera

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


I am looking to get my dad some top of the range headphones, where price is not an issue. He is a real audiophile with sensitive ears, but needs to get something for when he is not at home.


He would use them exclusively for opera and classical music (for example: Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Handel, Haydn).


He would always use them away from an amp, so connected either to a portable CD player or MP3 player.


Also, I would be interested to know if there are any good headphones of this type that would also have a noise-cancelling option. I understand that noise-cancelling tends to hurt the performance, but I would be interested in any headphones that are good/great for opera when the noise-cancelling option is turned off.

(My dad would use them with the noise-cancelling option turned off most of the time, but it would be great if he could use them on a plane as well from time to time and then the reduced performance when the option is on would not be as important).


Thank you very much in advance for your advice.

post #2 of 12

maybe some of the portables by beyerdynamic?

post #3 of 12

The Ultrasone Edition 8, Ultrasone Signature Pro, V-Moda M80 (all are closedback headphones) are very good buy and they are highly detailed (reveal lots of details in music) and they cancled out noise without NC.

post #4 of 12

too bassy though, i think the beyers will serve him best.

post #5 of 12

Wow, if it were not for the need for isolation, I feel the K702 would have been the choice! 

post #6 of 12

Looking purely top-of-the-line, absolutely nothing be noise cancelling. It's simply a consumer feature.


In terms of amping, the fact that it would be driven by a portable player limits your options severely. The only one that comes to mind that excels in my mind with classical is the Beyerdynamic T5p, but nothing top-of-the-line acts at its best when on a portable player, whether or not it's technically portable.

post #7 of 12

If he can stand IEMs, they are better than noise canceling on a plane.  Quite passages are not really listenable in loud environments like planes with noise canceling or IEMs.


Of the IEMs I own, the Klipsch X5 and Fisher DBA-02 are very good for classical.  The Ety ER-4 has a good rep for classical too, but I've never heard them. 


I can't recommend a in production, portable, audiophile headphone.  The headphone I own that meets that criteria is a vintage Yamaha YHD-1 ortho.  Sounds great out of the iPod.  I'm listening to it right now.  It's fairly rare though.


I seriously doubt that any of the closed headphones recommended will isolate well enough for an airplane.  I've tried the Ultrazones at meets and they don't isolate well enough there, so the tendency on an airplane will be to turn up the volume.  I've not heard the new Beyers, but vintage closed Beyers barely isolate at all.  If the new ones have leather pads, they'll be better, but still probably not good enough.


He'd be better off with either an in ear or noise canceling on an plane.  I have recommended the Audio Technica noise canceling headphones to coworkers who are musicians, but not audiophiles.  They like them.  I've heard them at meets and they quite a meet down considerably.


Another option would be Thunderpants.  I'm not sure how well they do directly from an iPod since I never tried them either at meets or with the loaner I had, but they are great at isolating.  They isolate as well as hearing protection ear muffs.

post #8 of 12
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very much for your replies.


I feared that the noise cancelling might be problematic. To be honest, the most important thing is that it performs well under quiet circumstances and for that you have certainly given some leads for further investigation.


With regards to the IEMs, thanks very much for the tip, but my dad definitely is not interested in IEMs.


If anyone has any further ideas, please let me know, but I'll get started with the tips you have given me so far in any case!

post #10 of 12
I would highly recommend the Shure SRH1840s. IMO listening to an opera like Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, for example, eliminates a lot of headphones because of their treble quality, but the 1840s handle this music with ease, and are very good - even out of an iPod. I would put them in the category of a 'monitoring' headphone in terms of their clarity/detail, with a fairly neutral sound signature.

Although my main headphones are the AT-W3000ANVs, while they can be used with DAP, they really need a good amplifier and source to perform to their potential so may not be a good choice based on your Dad's use.
Edited by Ridleyguy - 6/6/12 at 11:25am
post #11 of 12

I'd still recommend the T5p based on what the OP has been saying. I occasionally run it from my Sansa, and though it's not as spectacular as it is from a dedicated setup it still performs much better than most other portable cans with classical.

post #12 of 12
I find it more strange the OP never contacted BD. Would have taken 5 min to verify the authenticity of the transaction.
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