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Compact Portable Headphone Roundup (16 Phones including PortaPro, PX-100 II, V-Jays, Tracks,... - Page 8

post #106 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

I guess they probably include in the term headphones earphones as well. There are huge numbers of eabuds and IEMs under $10 being sold. There are even very usable IEMs under $10 such as the JVC Riptidz. There are a number of IEMs under $20 that sound quite decent. As far as actual headphones though, the only decent one under $20 I have found is the JVC HA-S160. I still say you should review this, as it is imo quite unique.

That makes sense. The sheer quantity of earbuds and IEMs (all price ranges) is overwhelming to say the least. For me personally, just can't use them. I've tried. It must be my 30+ years of using on-ear and over-the-ear phones...

 

I certainly agree that there is very little worth mentioning in the $20 range as far as actual headphones. I will get around to checking out the JVC HA-S160 as well as the KSC75 (with headband mod).

 

The only others I ever hear about at that price are the Monoprice (8323,8324,8325). Have you ever heard them?

 

As you can tell from my reviews I didn't find the Meelec HT-21 or Soundmagic, both $20, to be worth it.

post #107 of 201
Thread Starter 

I got the Sennheiser HD229 and HD239 as well as the JVC HA-S600 and HA-M750 today. I need to burn them in properly but first impressions are good. Both Senns sound very good OOTB and brighter than the PX-100 II. The JVC's are expectedly warmer and bassier and will need some burn in for sure.

 

FYI - When I do post the review I will start a new thread and post the link here.

post #108 of 201

I never tried any of the Monoprice earphones or headphones.

post #109 of 201

postrock and warren, I see, I thought that including the two superlux means a somewhat bigger portable headphone (although I actually don;t know the size of them)

post #110 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendou View Post

postrock and warren, I see, I thought that including the two superlux means a somewhat bigger portable headphone (although I actually don;t know the size of them)

 

No it's cool, I think you were right.  I must have missed the post where he mentioned the larger units.  Sorry about that.  smile.gif

post #111 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendou View Post

postrock and warren, I see, I thought that including the two superlux means a somewhat bigger portable headphone (although I actually don;t know the size of them)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

 

No it's cool, I think you were right.  I must have missed the post where he mentioned the larger units.  Sorry about that.  smile.gif

Yes there will be some bigger phones in the next reviews, some of which wouldn't fit warrenpchi's definition of portable.

 

The Superlux HD661 looks very much like the Sony MDR-7506, except for the headband. The Superlux headband has not had many positive comments, though. The HD631 is about the same size and is one of the newer models. More of a DJ headphone, it's one of the more expensive models. It's doesn't seem readily available in the states, but sells for about 50 EUR overseas.

 

Some of the other larger circumnaurals I will be reviewing are the JVC HA-M750, KRK 6400, and Incase Sonic.

 

For no particular reason, I seem to be ending up with two different models from several of the manufacturers. Not sure how that's going to play out in the way I group them, etc.

post #112 of 201

Hi postrock, after my less than enthusiastic response to the PX100 IIi a while back (in comparison with my v-jays), I thought I'd give them a bit more time, and so here is my update:

 

My reaction to them is the same as before. I do find this very puzzling because your reviews are so thoroughly done, and I traditionally prefer the smoother Senn sound.

In particular, my reaction was the exact opposite to yours on your following (edited) points:

 

Upper Midrange

... Stunning presence. (10/10) (My view: pleasant, warm, a bit dull, but at least they don't sound "thin")

Lower Midrange

... and detailed. All the texture and subtlety of the music is there for you. This is one of the few headphones in this review where you will hear detail you didn’t know you were missing.  (10/10) (My view: No way! This is their weakest area: smeared, lacking in definition, nothing comes out of the mix)

Low Frequency

Never overpowering or excessive, but loads of impact. What sets these apart is that the bass feels “fast”. (10/10) (My view: slightly overblown, which is ok most of the time, one note thud, very slow) 

 

I wouldn't normally be so contrary against what is a great set of reviews, but something is wrong here that goes beyond personal opinion. As there is nothing obviously broken with my set, I can only think of two possibilities:

 

  • Batch variation in production
  • The cable quality in the "i" version has been downgraded due to the extra microphone/control features, with an unexpectedly significant impact

 

Don't get me wrong. I think they are a reasonable set of phones for the money and have some fine qualities, but I just can't fathom how they got top marks on the above parameters. 

I promise this will be the last time I give a negative comment in this thread.

post #113 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

Hi postrock, after my less than enthusiastic response to the PX100 IIi a while back (in comparison with my v-jays), I thought I'd give them a bit more time, and so here is my update:

 

My reaction to them is the same as before. I do find this very puzzling because your reviews are so thoroughly done, and I traditionally prefer the smoother Senn sound.

In particular, my reaction was the exact opposite to yours on your following (edited) points:

 

Upper Midrange

... Stunning presence. (10/10) (My view: pleasant, warm, a bit dull, but at least they don't sound "thin")

Lower Midrange

... and detailed. All the texture and subtlety of the music is there for you. This is one of the few headphones in this review where you will hear detail you didn’t know you were missing.  (10/10) (My view: No way! This is their weakest area: smeared, lacking in definition, nothing comes out of the mix)

Low Frequency

Never overpowering or excessive, but loads of impact. What sets these apart is that the bass feels “fast”. (10/10) (My view: slightly overblown, which is ok most of the time, one note thud, very slow) 

 

I wouldn't normally be so contrary against what is a great set of reviews, but something is wrong here that goes beyond personal opinion. As there is nothing obviously broken with my set, I can only think of two possibilities:

 

  • Batch variation in production
  • The cable quality in the "i" version has been downgraded due to the extra microphone/control features, with an unexpectedly significant impact

 

Don't get me wrong. I think they are a reasonable set of phones for the money and have some fine qualities, but I just can't fathom how they got top marks on the above parameters. 

I promise this will be the last time I give a negative comment in this thread.

Hi again,

 

I whole-heartedly respect your contrary opinions/impressions of the PX-100 II. One never knows if there could be some batch variation or if the cable quality has changed with the "i" version. But more likely it is just a distinct difference in our general likes and dislikes of headphone SQ. When you read through all of the reviews of the PX-100 II there seems to be very little middle ground. I'm not alone in feeling these are among the best portables, and yet you are among many who feel they are are overrated. I would suggest that maybe your Senns are still not burned in, but I doubt it because mine changed very little after more the 60 hours and sounded very good OOTB.

 

I also doubt that "something is wrong"...it's just a very subjective thing. I have to assume that given your admiration of the very forward sounding V-Jays you simply are accustomed to and a fan of that type of sound signature. Given that, I can understand your thoughts on the PX-100 II.

 

And it works both ways. It just so happened that when I read your comments today I am in the middle of writing my final part of the Compact Portable roundup, which are my impressions of how the headphones sounded with the FiiO E6 poartable amp. I had high hopes that the V-Jays would show some improvement and scalability with amplification and in fact they sounded worse. (I also ran them through the headphone out of my NAD 325BEE integrated amp and had the same issues). It's been well over a month since my listening sessions for the reviews and I have a little more perspective. In regards to the Senns, I still stand by my remarks although I would now admit that the bass is not especially "fast". But I don't find it slow either. I probably listened to it after several days of evaluating some lesser phones. (Try doing some critical listening of 16 different headphones in a period of a few weeks and I'm sure you get that). But in hindsight I now also feel that I was generous to the V-Jays. I now find them more grating than ever and far less comfortable. If you saw my "Subjective Ranking" post (page 7) you'll see I dropped the V-Jays down a few places because I just don't find them very enjoyable.Your quote about "a reasonable set of phones for the money with some fine qualities" is how I feel about them. I also find it hard to fathom that you and others like Mike at Headfonia are so fond of them.

 

Neither of us is "wrong" and we're just on opposite sides of the fence. I do hope that readers will do a lot of research before making a buying decision and that you didn't purchase the PX-100 II based solely on my reviews or others (like Katun), who love them.

 

It's good to have this kind of debate and I'm really appreciative of your follow-up. The two headphones in question are very polarizing for sure!

 

I would also like to know if you have a favorite mid-sized or mid-priced headphone as I'm starting a whole new set of reviews. Keep in touch...

post #114 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

I have to assume that given your admiration of the very forward sounding V-Jays you simply are accustomed to and a fan of that type of sound signature. Given that, I can understand your thoughts on the PX-100 II.

That's the thing that's puzzling me. My preference is very much for a more "natural" presentation, rather than a hyped up, bright sound. That's why my mid-level reference is the Senn HD600, which many people find too dark. And many people also find my main Stax O2 Mk1 rig to also be too dark. In short, I'm usually the last person in the room to like a hyped up, bright presentation. 

 

FWIW, I found the HD600 was subjectively more neutral than either the V-Jays or PX100, and was tonally somewhere between the two. It therefore made a good reference point for me.

I also recognise that the V-Jays do have some form of upper mid peak - at this price rage, no headphone is going to get even close to perfection, and I don't think any of us are expecting that.

 

So, if the discrepancies are not simply due to personal preference, I can only think of 2 further possibilities:

 

  • You are insane, and have lost all sense of perspective and judgment
  • I am insane, and have lost all sense of perspective and judgment

 

Based on the thoroughness of your whole comparison reviews, I would say the former is highly unlikely.

So  I'm considering the latter as a distinct possibility....


Edited by TheAttorney - 7/30/12 at 9:26am
post #115 of 201

The PX100 and PX100II headphones are good, but they aren't that good. Imo the JVC HA-S650 is better, and the $13 JVC HA-S160 is close in overall sound quality.

post #116 of 201

The most natural headphones I have heard were imo the Sony V6 and the JVC HA-S160.

post #117 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

That's the thing that's puzzling me. My preference is very much for a more "natural" presentation, rather than a hyped up, bright sound. That's why my mid-level reference is the Senn HD600, which many people find too dark. And many people also find my main Stax O2 Mk1 rig to also be too dark. In short, I'm usually the last person in the room to like a hyped up, bright presentation. 

 

FWIW, I found the HD600 was subjectively more neutral than either the V-Jays or PX100, and was tonally somewhere between the two. It therefore made a good reference point for me.

I also recognise that the V-Jays do have some form of upper mid peak - at this price rage, no headphone is going to get even close to perfection, and I don't think any of us are expecting that.

 

So, if the discrepancies are not simply due to personal preference, I can only think of 2 further possibilities:

 

  • You are insane, and have lost all sense of perspective and judgment
  • I am insane, and have lost all sense of perspective and judgment

 

Based on the thoroughness of your whole comparison reviews, I would say the former is highly unlikely.

So  I'm considering the latter as a distinct possibility....

Good stuff...I'm sure we're both insane. Just thinking though...if you are a proponent of the HD600 it may just be that you're disappointed in the SQ of the PX-100 II for a Sennheiser. If anyone were to tell me that was their reference point I would never recommend the V-Jays as a portable. I think it's great that you like it for a complete change of pace. The upper-mid peak on the V-Jays is what kills it for me. It really does have other great qualities; detail, decent soundstage, tight bass, etc.

 

Ever heard the Sennheiser HD228/229 or HD238/239? I'm reviewing them now and they have similarities to the PX-100 II's but brighter for sure. The sound a bit like the Jays if you pulled back thoes upper mids.

post #118 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

The PX100 and PX100II headphones are good, but they aren't that good. Imo the JVC HA-S650 is better, and the $13 JVC HA-S160 is close in overall sound quality.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

The most natural headphones I have heard were imo the Sony V6 and the JVC HA-S160.

I'm sure I'll get around to checking out the HA-S160 but I'm knee-deep in mid-sized cans right now for the next shootout.

 

Some thoughts about the HA-S650...

 

I do really like mine but still would only cautiously recommend them because many would just find them way too relaxed and a bit bass heavy. I still prefer the PX-100 II. Did you notice any difference in yours after very extensive burn-in? Mine have probably 60 hours on them and they have definitely improved from OOTB but I'll be curious to see if they change.

 

I'm working with the HA-S600 and HA-M750 now and there have been big changes after the first 24 hours or so. If I'm not mistaken you reviewed both of these and mentioned that they both need EXTENSIVE burn-in and maybe the HA-S650 is the same. (For fairness though I have to use the same burn-in time for all phones when I do comparison reviews).

 

It's cool that you have been a champion for JVC because they are often overlooked and underrated.

 

RE: Sony V6...

 

I've just never been a big Sony fan but I know a lot of people like them. The V6 is one of those models that is intended to be a studio monitor but has made a much bigger impact as a consumer headphone. Very few studios use them these days. I have a pair but they've long since been shelved for studio work in favor of the Beyerdynamic DT-770, Fostex T50RP and even the Equation Audio RP-21. In relation to other consumer headphones they are indeed neutral sounding but I can say first hand that they lack the accuracy needed for mixing and mastering.

post #119 of 201

Sony headphones are a mixed bag. Some are bad, but others are quite good. My Sony V6 is 24 years old and still works fine, although I did need to replace the earpads. the V6 is great. It sounds so neutral and natural. I disagree with you about the V6 lacking accuracy. Perhaps there may be something wrong with the one you have?

 

I haven't heard the JVC HA-M750. I used to be a big Sennheiser fan, however their recent pricing is much too high.

post #120 of 201
Quote:

Originally Posted by postrock View Post

 

I also doubt that "something is wrong"...it's just a very subjective thing. I have to assume that given your admiration of the very forward sounding V-Jays you simply are accustomed to and a fan of that type of sound signature. Given that, I can understand your thoughts on the PX-100 II.

 

<snip>
 

Neither of us is "wrong" and we're just on opposite sides of the fence. I do hope that readers will do a lot of research before making a buying decision and that you didn't purchase the PX-100 II based solely on my reviews or others (like Katun), who love them.

 

It's good to have this kind of debate and I'm really appreciative of your follow-up. The two headphones in question are very polarizing for sure!

 

Wise words. I've had the PX100-II's for about 3 weeks now (probably at least 100 hours on them). And I have had my KSX75's (on headband) for approxmiately 5 weeks. I would have to agree that it is a subjective thing. I wrote my newbie impressions of the two headphones here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/620326/senn-px100-ii-and-koss-ksc75-personal-comparison

 

My impressions may change over time, but the below from that link pretty much sums it up for now:

 

"But, when listening to the KSC75's, the above terms are what resonate with me - they sound amazing! Having said that, when flipping between them and the PX100II, it mainly just seems to be a "different sound". Both have their own sounds, and both sound awesome, and if I was forced to listen to either pair for the rest of my life, I'd be good with that (well, maybe if I hadn't read about those damned DT1350's!). But yes, I would have to say that I prefer the sound of the KSC75's. The thing that strikes me the most about them is that the instruments seem very "distinct", "separate", "punchy", and "in their own space" (my terms). Not bad for a $20 pair of drivers!

So for me, I'll probably end up listening to the KSC75's around the home the most (but frequently switching to the PX100II's when I need a good kick in the b-ass). But the rig that will be heading out the door with me will always be the PX100II's due to their durability/portability, and fuller bass which really helps at the gym."

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