Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Why do small headphones sound bad?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why do small headphones sound bad?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi

I work in an open office environment, and use my headphones several hours per day. A year ago, I bought a pair of Beyer Dynamics DT770 600 ohm which I used for some time and was really happy about. But I couldn't hear the phone ringing or what my colleagues were talking about even though I keep my music very quiet all the time. I then added a pair of DT880 600 ohm to the collection, which are open cans with complete transparency, so they were a good compromise. I still prefer the sound from DT770's because they had more of a bass impact and presence, but the DT880 are also great so it was not much of a loss.

 

Then came time for the discussion of my yearly bonus, and my boss told me he thought I seemed like a recluse, since I was always sitting with these big headphones on. That sounded reasonable, so I started my search for some in-ears which would do the trick instead since that was what one of my colleagues was using..

 

And that's when my problems began to arise. I bought a pair of Sennheiser IE8 on ebay, but they where either fake or broken - they didn't play any bass, so I had to get a refund through Pal Pay. I then bought a pair of JVC FX 700, because I was tired of searching and just wanted the best in-ear available, which also had the highest degree of transparency to outside sounds. Unfortunately they were still to closed, and again I couldn't really hear what people were talking about. I then bought a pair of B&O, which was too much of a hassle to mount if you had to do it 20 times a day. I now have a pair of Sennheiser MX880, which is the best compromise so far. Their openness is perfect, and they are easy to mount with the added bonus that I could turn the volume-knob down so I couldn't hear the processor whine from my i5 laptop. Only problem is, they do not sound as good as my DT880. 

 

The question is, would a pair of Sennheiser MX980 be a better solution or are on-ears always going to sound distant and a little thin?   


Edited by KennyStarr - 6/18/12 at 9:18am
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 

Bonus info: I use VLC media player, and use the build in equalizer at the "headphone" setting (=hameg) just to get an acceptable sound.
 

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Bump!
 

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

Changed the headline to something a little more catching :-)

post #5 of 28
Perhaps you should just go with a set of Apple Ear Buds w/ a set of Acoustibuds...

No joke, really. I am currently in the middle of testing the very same set up.

The buds have a very good sound curve, the Acoustibuds add the missing bass, and I can still hear whats going on around me. They also stay put in my ears during a strong shaking of my head.

Look for my review soon.

Jim
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

But are they more open than the JVC FX700 which I have tried? They should be the most open in-ears on the marked, but they still isolated way too much for my use

post #7 of 28
Yes, ear buds will not sound as good as a true iem or a fully closed over the ear headphone.

Sounds like you are inbetween a rock and a hard place.

Boss says this, you try an iem but find the sound to be lacking.

I am at a loss as to how to help.

Sorry, Jim
post #8 of 28

I have YUIN PK-1's and they are incredible for buds! Plus - I can hear my phone and/or conversations without having to remove them.


Edited by FlatNine - 6/18/12 at 2:14pm
post #9 of 28

Obviously the sound signatures matter, and the basic design limitations of headphones vs IEMs vs speakers. So you can't really compare the three side by side.

post #10 of 28

W-4's UM3X, ESW9's and DT1350's (among others) hardly sound bad...good CIEM's will blow your doors (and expectations) off.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Mostro View Post

W-4's UM3X, ESW9's and DT1350's (among others) hardly sound bad...good CIEM's will blow your doors (and expectations) off.

 



Ok. I never really gave the JVC's a fair chance, since I concluded after 5 mins. that they were just to isolating. Maybe in-ears can be just as good as on-ears. But I choose the JVC's based on "Jokers" review of 242 in ears, and they were some of the least isolating in-ears around, but still it was too much.

Maybe the YUIN PK-1 that FlatNine suggest will offer the best compromise? I'm sure the Sennheiser MX880 are not as bad as I make them out to be. They just need to play louder to shine. I play them really low so the music is just audible, but then they sound like they play from bottom of a can. Which is the same experience I had with the B&O A8's. 

.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyStarr View Post

Maybe the YUIN PK-1 that FlatNine suggest will offer the best compromise?
.

 

I think they very well may be. Full sized cans or even over the ears will portray you as a recluse, so those are out. Just about any IEM is going to isolate you too much, so those are out. That leaves earbuds. If you do the research, you'll find that the Yuin PK-1's are fantastic buds. The PK-2's may also suit you - they are a bit less expensive and have a lower impedance so they may be a better match with DAP's with lower power output. (although the PK-1's have been fantastic with iPod Touch (3G) and my Cowon C2.

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm reading a review of the Yuin OK1 right now, where they are compared favorably to my Beyers: http://www.head-fi.org/f/7/dedicated-source-components

 

They do seem like a good replacement. Does anybody know how much of an improvement they would be over my MX880?

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm also looking at the MX980. Apparently they are a substantial upgrade to the MX880, and I do find the MX880 to be quite comfortable, so the MX980 should probably be OK, even though they are bigger.

 

Would an external amplifier improve sound quality at low volumes?

post #15 of 28

How about the Yuin G2A clip-on earphones? They have a very open sound and sound great even when played at a low volume. They do not isolate at all, and will probably leak some sound if you play too loud.

 

They have a hook just as the B&O, but after putting the hook behind your ears, the drivers just rest on your ears. Easy to put in place and great sound at low volumes. What more could you ask for?

 

http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/17/yuin-g2a-headphone-in-review/

 

http://reviewstash.com/viewtopic.php?id=1181

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Why do small headphones sound bad?