I am thinking about getting some actually decent headphones and have narrowed it down to the Shure SRH440's, the Phillips uptowns and the ATH-M50's. All three around $100, All three have gotten excellent reviews but I just can't decide which one is right for me. I listen to a huge selection of music ranging from alot of dubstep and electronica, to indie rock like fleetfoxes and bon iver This would be my first pair of decent headphones. Could you please offer some insight. Thanks.
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Shure SRH440 vs philips Uptown
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 149/12/12 at 5:33pm
out of those three, the Shure would be my top choice for all-rounder. works very nice with indie rock and is not too tame on the bass for the bass heavy music. M50's just don't do it for music where vocals are the centerpoint. Uptowns I haven't tried but the Shures SHOULD be a lot more refinedpost #3 of 149/12/12 at 5:49pmThread Starter
I had heard that the m50s were heavy on bass and treble but lacking in the mid. Male vocales are a must in indie rock. The thing I don't like about the uptowns is that they have this lame volume slider adjuster on the cord and its a flat noodle like cord which i dislike, but otherwise i have heard that the uptowns have a very warm sound and don't lack any bass, mid or treble.post #4 of 149/12/12 at 8:15pm
I found the M50s boring. I found the 440s to be bright and punchy (I enjoyed their sound signature), but they were very uncomfortable for me. I really like the Uptowns. They're warmer and bassier than neutral, but still have very respectable clarity and detail. Very enjoyable, forgiving sound. Great soundstage. And leagues ahead of the 440s (and noticeably ahead of the M50s) in terms of comfort. The cable is a little lame, but I just keep the volume at max and adjust from the source. (I listen to mainly folk rock stuff, but I also have some varied genres.)post #5 of 149/12/12 at 8:19pmpost #6 of 149/12/12 at 9:03pmThread Starter
Im starting to understand that alot of this comes down to personal preference. I would really like to try out both headphones before I use them. Would somewhere like Bestbuy or Guitar Center have a demo pair of both of those I could try out?post #7 of 149/12/12 at 9:29pmQuote:
Guitar Center will have the M50s and SRH440. Best Buy has the Uptowns.
Just my own personal experience:
SRH440: Extremely uncomfortable, large treble spike sounds rather edgy, bass is punchy but lacking extension and overall a little weaker than neutral, nice mids, soundstage is meh, bulky (headphones and the cable). Good with some modern music, unsatisfactory with things like jazz.
Uptown: Extremely comfortable, also kind of peaky in the treble but not too bad, extended bass which is a little more than neutral but not over exaggerated, mids are on par but not especially noteworthy, fantastic soundstage, cable remote is annoying. I don't find them particularly warm at all, but I don't think I was getting a full seal. I might have been hearing such a good soundstage for this reason too. Good all rounder.
M50: haven't heard it...
Edited by manveru - 9/12/12 at 11:39pmpost #8 of 149/12/12 at 9:49pm
I own the Uptown and the M50 (and have a broken set of the 840s that I got to demo for all of 10 minutes before the right earcup snapped off of the hinge), and the Uptown wins in most sonic regards, and the M50 wins in other regards.
The Philips has punchier bass, fuller mids, but has a bit of a peaky treble. The build quality is decent, but the cable remote, while a nice feature, isn't implemented very well. The cord is surprisingly durable, however, and is *just* the right length for portable use.
The M50 sounds decent. The bass is punchy, if a bit too loud, the mids are a bit recessed, the treble can get peaky, and the soundstage is rather small. Having said that, they're built like absolute tanks. I've heard some stories about people doing some awful stuff to their M50s (dropping them down escalators, for example) and them coming out OK.
Both are going to be huge steps up from typical, consumer-grade headphones. The M50s benefit from an amp, but still work fine without one. The Philips play very nicely with portable devices.
If you don't mind on-ear headphones, I'd take a peek at the JVC HA-S500s, but any of your other 3 choices will still be very nice.post #9 of 149/13/12 at 7:39amThread Starter
I would primarily be listening to these with an ipod, so the uptowns seem to work very well for that. I will have to go to best buy and try them out for myself. My only worry is the cord, but if I just put the slider on full, its seems like it works fine for you guys. Would the uptowns work for studio mixing and such? I am thinking about getting into music production and I would like to have a pair of headphones already capable of working for that application.post #10 of 149/13/12 at 7:44amQuote:Originally Posted by FunkBlaster
I would primarily be listening to these with an ipod, so the uptowns seem to work very well for that. I will have to go to best buy and try them out for myself. My only worry is the cord, but if I just put the slider on full, its seems like it works fine for you guys. Would the uptowns work for studio mixing and such? I am thinking about getting into music production and I would like to have a pair of headphones already capable of working for that application.
Ehh...they're not perfect, but for just starting out, I'd say that they'd work fairly well. I'd eventually look to get a set of Brainwavs HM5s for that, but really, as long as you know the sonic characteristics of the headphones, and take that into account when you're mixing, you'll be fine with them. (I'm a hobby producer, too.)post #11 of 149/13/12 at 8:06amThread Starterpost #12 of 149/13/12 at 8:10ampost #13 of 149/13/12 at 5:55pmThread Starter
I went to bestbuy and tried out the uptowns. They sounded very nice and had excellent isolation, however I could not directly compare them to the other two. My only qualm about the uptowns was that when ever the slider on the flimsy cord was bumped it produced a crackly sound which was really annoying. Then I went to Guitar center and directly compared the m50s with the 440s. The m50s seemed to have a richer more present sound, while the 440s were harsher and more bright. The m50's had much better isolation than the 440s and were more comfortable. I think I like the m50s the best. They have a really solid build quality and a richness to their sound. The uptowns sounded excellent also, but I could not directly compare them with the m50s, and their cord let them down.post #14 of 149/13/12 at 6:43pm
If you prefer one over the other, go for it. If you're looking for accuracy for mixing, though, I'd recommend the KRK KNS-8400s over the Uptowns. I think they have the neutrality you would want for mixing. I have both: the 8400s for critical listening, and the Uptowns for enjoying the music (although the 8400s work pretty well for that use, as well).
- Shure SRH440 vs philips Uptown
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