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Compact Portable Headphone Roundup (16 Phones including PortaPro, PX-100 II, V-Jays, Tracks,... - Page 6

post #76 of 203

Just to show how subjective such comparisons are....

 

A few months ago I bought the V-Jays for my ipod touch, and was really impressed (for the price). Engaging sound with punchy, but not too prominent bass and unexpectedly clear vocals. My choice was partly as result of reading the earlier comparison review, where the V-Jays. came ahead of most of the pack, including the PX-100 II.

 

Today, I received my PX-100 IIi (with the extra remote control/mic), In comparison, the PX has a definite bass boost and treble droop.

Resulting in a warmer and, TBH, mushier sound. Overall the V-Jays won, and by quite a margin. Of course, the warmer PX's will be better at taming over bright recordings, so people sensitive to such such things may be swayed by that.

 

Regarding comfort, the V-Jays clamp the ears significantly more than the PXs, but that clamping doesn't seem to matter after a while, thankfully.

When moving around, the V-Jays stay on the head much better than the PXs. In either case, I'd rather have had more foam cushioning, but I guess that would have affected the sound.

 

Back on my main rig, In comparison to my Senn HD600s, which I consider to be very nice, mid-end, headphones, it was clear that the big boy was in a completely different and superior class to the two juniors. No chance of any giant killing going on here!

 

In conclusion, it might be early days yet, and maybe the PXs need some burn in or something, but I cannot understand how the PXs got to the top of the table a few posts above. I'm not not saying they're bad, just nothing special compared to the V-Jays. 

post #77 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

 

Gotcha on the ATH-FC700A, if I ever decide to try them out that is (I've always had a hard time getting excited about A-Ts).  Just out of curiosity, if you were to add any additional models to the roundup, what would they be?  Do you have any specific ones in mind?  Or is it more of whatever might come across your path?

 

 

 smile.gif

Hey warrenpchi,

 

I would still recommend trying the FC700A. It was the best of all the phones I tested that provided decent isolation. Also, they will disappear very soon.

 

As far as additional models, I definitely didn't want to have more than one model from a specific manufacturer so that ruled out things like the PX-200 II, KSC75, K420/422, JVC Flats, etc. If I had more time and resources I would have liked to add the Beyerdynamic DTX-330p, the Ultrasone Zino (both have had very mixed reviews, but I respect both makers a great deal), maybe a Sony and a few others that met the criteria. I also thought about something like the V-Moda M-80, but they are just a bit too pricey. I didn't include things like the entry-level Grados, CAL!, etc because they are what I consider a little on the large side for a portable. But I may do another shootout (perhaps only 8 headphones) of "small" and lightweight circumnaurals in the near future.

 

I intentionally stayed away from "chain store" offerings like Beats, Marley's, Skullcandy, etc. because everything along those lines that I have heard sounded pretty bad to my ears.


Edited by postrock - 7/19/12 at 12:41pm
post #78 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

Just to show how subjective such comparisons are....

 

A few months ago I bought the V-Jays for my ipod touch, and was really impressed (for the price). Engaging sound with punchy, but not too prominent bass and unexpectedly clear vocals. My choice was partly as result of reading the earlier comparison review, where the V-Jays. came ahead of most of the pack, including the PX-100 II.

 

Today, I received my PX-100 IIi (with the extra remote control/mic), In comparison, the PX has a definite bass boost and treble droop.

Resulting in a warmer and, TBH, mushier sound. Overall the V-Jays won, and by quite a margin. Of course, the warmer PX's will be better at taming over bright recordings, so people sensitive to such such things may be swayed by that.

 

Regarding comfort, the V-Jays clamp the ears significantly more than the PXs, but that clamping doesn't seem to matter after a while, thankfully.

When moving around, the V-Jays stay on the head much better than the PXs. In either case, I'd rather have had more foam cushioning, but I guess that would have affected the sound.

 

Back on my main rig, In comparison to my Senn HD600s, which I consider to be very nice, mid-end, headphones, it was clear that the big boy was in a completely different and superior class to the two juniors. No chance of any giant killing going on here!

 

In conclusion, it might be early days yet, and maybe the PXs need some burn in or something, but I cannot understand how the PXs got to the top of the table a few posts above. I'm not not saying they're bad, just nothing special compared to the V-Jays. 

I couldn't agree with you more about the subjectivity of all this. Your points are very well taken and we've already discussed how things such as what type of music we listen to play a part in our impressions. I am assuming you are referring to to Mike's shootout review that swayed you to the V-Jays. I haven't heard the PX-100 II "i" but I have to assume it sounds the same. I find it interesting that when you have become used to a certain SS then trying a new headphone the differences seem even more pronounced.

 

I think comfort and fit is also very subjective. I would say I have a "medium to slightly large" head. Also, I wear glasses...all the time. I have read reviews about certain phones that raved about the comfort and I found them unpleasant. Similarly, I might comment that a certain phone feels right and others might find it a bit loose. I have no issues with the PX-100 II's staying put. And even after several months with the V-Jay's they still hurt after about 45 min.

 

Burn-in is also a hotly debated subject. For the record, I do believe that significant burn-in is a good idea (but also DO NOT recommend using white noise or special "burn-in" files as these can damage the drivers, especially if you let them go non-stop for days. That's just my opinion, but I am an audio engineer and many of my peers agree). I have to say the PX-100 II sounded pretty good OOTB though so I would not expect a major change. But if you've been listening to your V-Jays for several months now they are likely properly burned in and may sound smoother than mine, which have had maybe 60 hours.

 

I'm glad you like your V-Jays. I really would have rated them very near the top were it not for the comfort and the forward sounding upper mids (for me the AIAIAI Tracks had a very similar SS without the issues so I rated it higher). I like a lot of things about them, but still find that things like snares and "biting" guitars are too abrasive and fatiguing. They hurt my ears a bit at louder volumes, much in the same way the expensive Phiaton MS-400's did. I sold those but will definitely keep the V-Jays.

So, we are talking about two very good portables, just very different. Give the PX-100 II's some time and let us know if your impressions are the same after a few months.

 

Finally, it's true that none of these portables can really stand up to the "big boys". I made a special effort not to listen any of my larger phones while doing these reviews. And I spent several months (off and on) working on them.

 

Thanks again for your comments. I really appreciate it!


Edited by postrock - 7/19/12 at 1:10pm
post #79 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

Hey warrenpchi,

 

I would still recommend trying the FC700A. It was the best of all the phones I tested that provided decent isolation. Also, they will disappear very soon.

 

I hear ya.  Is it straight up being discontinued, or is A-T planning on replacing it with a newer model?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

As far as additional models, I definitely didn't want to have more than one model from a specific manufacturer

 

Ahh, I see now.  Okay now the line-up makes more sense.  Plus, I would think that at some point budgetary issues come into play.  Thanks again for doing the round-up though.  These shoot-outs are incredibly useful for people looking to get a certain type of cans without having too much prior knowledge.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

I intentionally stayed away from "chain store" offerings like Beats, Marley's, Skullcandy, etc. because everything along those lines that I have heard sounded pretty bad to my ears.

 

Yeah, you and me both.  Good call there.

 

Lemme know if you plan on doing a larger portable or smaller full-size roundup.  I just won a pair of Eskuche 33 1/3 on auction ($10) and I might get a pair of the Incipio f.38s on special at Woot.  I'd be open to lending them out to you if you want to include them in your next round-up.

post #80 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

 

I hear ya.  Is it straight up being discontinued, or is A-T planning on replacing it with a newer model?

 

 

 

The  ATH-FC707 which was released on 5/20/2011.smile.gif Haven't checked. It's not over here yet?

 

 

Might have to check out that Woot Incipio deal.

 

 

Anybody heard the V-JAYS-II (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/jays-v-jays-ii-headphones/)? Just a refresh or does it sound different?


Edited by jant71 - 7/19/12 at 1:39pm
post #81 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

 

I hear ya.  Is it straight up being discontinued, or is A-T planning on replacing it with a newer model?

 

 

Ahh, I see now.  Okay now the line-up makes more sense.  Plus, I would think that at some point budgetary issues come into play.  Thanks again for doing the round-up though.  These shoot-outs are incredibly useful for people looking to get a certain type of cans without having too much prior knowledge.

 

 

Yeah, you and me both.  Good call there.

 

Lemme know if you plan on doing a larger portable or smaller full-size roundup.  I just won a pair of Eskuche 33 1/3 on auction ($10) and I might get a pair of the Incipio f.38s on special at Woot.  I'd be open to lending them out to you if you want to include them in your next round-up.

See jant71's comment regarding the ATH-FC707. They look pretty similar but I haven't seen many reviews and he is right, there don't seem to be many online offers other than overseas.

 

Thanks a lot for your offer about lending me some phones for my next reviews. But I don't think I would need them;

 

I already have a pair of Eskuche 33's (mine are called the 33 "i" and have a mic/control buttons). Frankly I don't like them very much. They are very bass-boosted and rolled off on the high-end, especially compared to the excellent sounding Kassette model I reviewed already. The Kassette blows them away as far as SQ. (I'm still surprised that no one has snapped up those Kassettes for $8 + change on Amazon)

I've also heard their Control model and both sound the same. They are fairly well-made but obviously aimed more at the Beats market and also compare very closely to the Panasonic RP-HTX7. Let me know what you think of them, though...

 

The Incipio f38 could be a nice buy. They usually go for about $30 on Amazon. From what I understand they are a completely rebadged version of the Fischer Audio FA-004. They are also sold as the Brainwavz HM3. I bought a pair of the Fischer Audio FA-004 for about $70 two years ago and I love them, so if they sound the same you will be getting a great deal. They have a fairly neutral sound signature and excellent resolution. My biggest gripe is that they are not especially comfy for a circumnaural. The pads are a bit hard and the adjustments are limited. I have been meaning to get around to trying some replacement pads for them, something fabric or fuzzy like my Beyerdynamic DT-770's perhaps. I know you can find them around. It's a pretty standard size (round) and I think you can get pads that fit certain Sennheiser models that would work with these. But maybe the pads on the Incipio are softer than the FA-004.


Edited by postrock - 7/19/12 at 6:08pm
post #82 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

 

The  ATH-FC707 which was released on 5/20/2011.smile.gif Haven't checked. It's not over here yet?

 

 

Might have to check out that Woot Incipio deal.

 

 

Anybody heard the V-JAYS-II (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/jays-v-jays-ii-headphones/)? Just a refresh or does it sound different?

See my comments above about the Incipio.

 

I think the V-JAYS II is exactly the same. In fact, that's what I reviewed. They are packaged differently and the only cosmetic difference I can see is a different logo on the sides of the headband and I think the plastics are less glossy. iLounge claims they cut the price in half, but it's still hard to find a good deal. Amazon sells them now for 59.99 + shipping. Jays sells them direct for the same price but shipping to US is $25.00. So, the price did drop but not by half. Although some online stores are still selling them for $90.

 

If I remember correctly, I paid $69.00 for mine a few months ago. 

 

Thanks for your comments, what are your favorite portables?


Edited by postrock - 7/19/12 at 3:32pm
post #83 of 203

My two favorites are the ones in my signature, the Cresyn and the K422 with foam pads. The Cresyn is basically the big brother of the P372 which Cresyn makes but they change the cups, tuning, and the driver is Titanium coated. Specs don't change from the Denon but they are beefier in build especially the cable and plug. They sound different but related if you get my meaning. Great deal at $14.99 shipped from Newegg. The Cresyn are still better than the AKG which is quite nice but different. My K422 is not the bassy version and has maybe a slight treble tilt. I have read about K420's and K422's being bassy usually but here and there I've seen the reports of very neutral ones. Seems that's what I got.

 

The Cresyn have the nice midrange and just enough treble and the bass is evenly thick enough yet short of bloat/humps(need enough burn) and reaches quite low. The K422 that I got is not mid recessed since I took the stock pads off and almost perfectly balanced from top to bottom outside of the treble which may tame a bit. All three are so even in presence, clarity, detail, and overall performance that they are wonderfully coherent. My particular K422 are good for around the house/quiet areas but may need bass EQ where external noise cancels low frequencies out making them sound too thin. Actually happy I got a bass light K422 as they compliment the Cresyn's beefier sound and they are much better than the K430 was unamped to my ears. 


Edited by jant71 - 7/19/12 at 3:42pm
post #84 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

The  ATH-FC707 which was released on 5/20/2011.smile.gif Haven't checked. It's not over here yet?

 

Might have to check out that Woot Incipio deal.

 

Oh, I have no idea.  But postrock said the 700As were going to disappear soon so I thought that maybe they were being discontinued.  As for the Incipio deal, you've probably already seen it but here's the link:  http://www.woot.com/offers/f38-hi-fi-stereo-headphones

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

Thanks a lot for your offer about lending me some phones for my next reviews. But I don't think I would need them;

 

Sure, no problem.  Just lemme know if you do.  smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

I already have a pair of Eskuche 33's (mine are called the 33 "i" and have a mic/control buttons). Frankly I don't like them very much. They are very bass-boosted and rolled off on the high-end, especially compared to the excellent sounding Kassette model I reviewed already. The Kassette blows them away as far as SQ. (I'm still surprised that no one has snapped up those Kassettes for $8 + change on Amazon)

 

Let me know what you think of them, though...

 

Well I'm feeling better about that purchase already!  frown.gif  Oh well, at only $10 it's not much of a loss.  I can use them as disposable cans where I totally don't care if they get destroyed.  I'll be sure to post some impressions after some listening time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post

The Incipio f38 could be a nice buy. They usually go for about $30 on Amazon. From what I understand they are a completely rebadged version of the Fischer Audio FA-004. They are also sold as the Brainwavz HM3. I bought a pair of the Fischer Audio FA-004 for about $70 two years ago and I love them, so if they sound the same you will be getting a great deal. They have a fairly neutral sound signature and excellent resolution. My biggest gripe is that they are not especially comfy for a circumnaural. The pads are a bit hard and the adjustments are limited. I have been meaning to get around to trying some replacement pads for them, something fabric or fuzzy like my Beyerdynamic DT-770's perhaps. I know you can find them around. It's a pretty standard size (round) and I think you can get pads that fit certain Sennheiser models that would work with these. But maybe the pads on the Incipio are softer than the FA-004.

 

And all of those variations are made by Yoga anyway (which tend to make excellent cans).  Dunno, still on the fence about them.  If I do get them, I've got some spare pads lying around that I salvaged from various dead cans over the years.  Assuming it doesn't degrade the profile from my tastes, I can always do a quick swap.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

My two favorites are the ones in my signature, the Cresyn and the K422 with foam pads.  My K422 is not the bassy version and has maybe a slight treble tilt. I have read about K420's and K422's being bassy usually but here and there I've seen the reports of very neutral ones. Seems that's what I got.  The K422 that I got is not mid recessed since I took the stock pads off and almost perfectly balanced from top to bottom outside of the treble which may tame a bit.  My particular K422 are good for around the house/quiet areas but may need bass EQ where external noise cancels low frequencies out making them sound too thin.

 

I think I definitely got one of the bassy/boomy ones, but the soundstage makes up for it in terms of fun factor.  Probably gonna keep the mesh pads on mine though as I find those pads to be ridiculously comfortable.

post #85 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrock View Post
.....Give the PX-100 II's some time and let us know if your impressions are the same after a few months.

I certainly will. I've yet to conclude if the clarity of v-Jays is solely due to an artificial upper mid hump, or due to just being better.

 

But here's a few more thoughts in the meantime...

 

My hearing doesn't extend much beyond 14khz, so I can't comment on what these headphones do at the higher frequencies. Although in my experience, most treble issues that people complain about, happen in the upper-mid to lower-treble.

 

VFM depends where you live. All the European headphones will seem poorer VFM in the US compared to US phones, and vice versa. I got my V-Jays for £35 from amazon uk, just slightly more than the PXs. And at that price, you probably would have given them a higher Value score in your review. But right now the v-Jays are £45, which is more typical.

 

The v-Jays are more sensitive than the PXs, so any A/B comparison needs careful volume matching. I'm sure you're experienced enough not to fall for this one, but this is a reminder for people starting out (sorry if that's too obvious).

 

Finally, something I should have said at the very beginning: Well done for producing a really well written and impartial set of comparison reviews.

post #86 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

My two favorites are the ones in my signature, the Cresyn and the K422 with foam pads.

 

Can I ask you where you found foam pads for your K422? I would like to try that with my K430 to see if they are more comfortable.

post #87 of 203
Thread Starter 

Warrenpchi

Since you've got some mid-sized portables in there, I wouldn't mind reading your thoughts on the HD 238/239.  I tend to like mine for its speed and precision.  And it's not the most uncomfortable unit out there with those soft foam pads,  I do wish it had a bit more clamping force, but I also acknowledge that I have a bit of a slimmer head than most.

 

 

Well, it looks like I will be reviewing the HD229 and HD239 very soon. Sennheiser is sending me review samples. See next post...

post #88 of 203
Thread Starter 

Another shootout/roundup coming soon!

 

I will be writing another set of reviews in the next few weeks. It will feature "Mid-sized" headphones, some Supra-aural and some Circumnaural. This time around I definitely do not have the resources to acquire my own review samples so several manufacturers have been kind enough to send them to me. And I am waiting to hear back from others. I will probably use the Denon AH-D1001 as my benchmark, even though they are discontinued (although readers should get some insight as to the SQ of the CAL! since they share the same drivers). I will also include in the review my Fischer Audio FA-004 even though I have had them for a while (this will also help readers who may be looking at the Incipio F38 or Brainwavz HM-3). I will also include the Eskuche 33i, even though I much prefer the ultra-compact Kassette model from my last review. In addition to those three, I will be receiving review samples of the following:

 

Sennheiser HD229

Sennheiser HD239

JVC HA-S600

JVC HA-M750

German Maestro GMP 160

KRK KNS-6400

AIAIAI Capital

 

I am still awaiting word from at least a dozen or so other manufacturers to see if they are willing to participate.

 

You can be sure I will continue to be objective and unbiased in my reviews. I feel strongly that comparison reviews are the most valuable. Many stand-alone reviews, while useful, seem more like advertisements for the manufacturer.

 

So, does anyone have other recommendations for headphones that should be included in this review? My only criteria are:

 

Mid-sized

Reasonably portable

Easily driven

Less than $200.00 MSRP

 

I would aprreciate your input/suggestions!

 

Thanks...

post #89 of 203

I would add Audio Technica ATH-WS55 to your list, if you can get one to review. List price is $99.95 according to Amazon.com.

And I also own the JVC HAS600, so I'll be curious to see if your thoughts on it will be the same as mine.

post #90 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

I would add Audio Technica ATH-WS55 to your list, if you can get one to review. List price is $99.95 according to Amazon.com.

And I also own the JVC HAS600, so I'll be curious to see if your thoughts on it will be the same as mine.

Thanks...haven't heard back from A-T but I did inquire about that model. How do you like it vs. the FC700A?

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