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Decent (read budget) portable Over Ear Headphone needed

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Dear Head-fiers,

 

Just joined this community, and as an audio enthusiast new to hi-fi audio gear (can't describe myself as an audiophile...yet :) ), am looking forward to getting good guidance from all the experts here.

 

Requirements:

- I'm looking for portable closed Over-ear Headphones, and currently use a Cowon iAudio 10 as the source. 

 

 

Background:

My current quality music listening is mostly done at home with Sennheiser HD 558 paired with FiiO E6, using mostly the same source mentioned above, the Cowon iAudio. I also occasionally use the trusty phone (SEMC Xperia arc) paired with a decent Neutron Music Player or PowerAmp, which, in my opinion, match the quality of the Cowon i10 in terms of Sound Quality (detail and clarity) with the right EQ adjustments and pre-amp settings.

 

Music Preferences:

Alternative, Country, Rock, a bit of Metal (the non heavy variety), Indian Folk and Folk-Rock (I'm from India, yes), well mostly anything except Hip Hop and Electronic music.

 

For office listening (I'm an architect by the way), I pair the basic Senn MX 370 earbuds with the same set of source(s) + amp mentioned above, which offer decent quality for the ultra low price.

 

The problem starts when I go on the occasional trip to my hometown (I work in New Delhi, India and travel to Calicut, in the extreme south of the country) on (usually) a non stop 3 & half hour flight, or during the occasional short vacation trip, during which my companions are either the horribly 'bassy' (in my opinion) Sennheiser HD 202 or the stock in ears that came with the phone! Guess I don't need to explain any further about my need to upgrade.

 

This brings me to my current quest for a decent portable Over Ear (I don't prefer in-ears) set of headphones on a budget.

 

After having read positive reviews about the Philips Citiscape Uptown here on Head-fi, I've shortlisted this as a reference to compare other models with. The problem is that it's not yet available here in India in the Philips stores at the time of writing. So my option is limited to ordering online, which costs extra.

 

 Thus while waiting for its launch, I thought I'll give Head-fi a try, and get some help from the real audiophiles, and not Beats-or-EarPod-crazy people I see everyday walking around ;) Ha just kidding.

 

Thanks and hoping for some good advice,

Cheers,

Shreyas

post #2 of 16

JVS HA-S500-Z (Gun Metal Gray) folding portable headphones, sells on eBay for $67-$80, ships from Japan.

 

For around $15 you can try difference ear pads

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion. Could you also give a comparison with the Citiscape Uptown in terms of sound quality?

Thanks
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShreyasMax View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. Could you also give a comparison with the Citiscape Uptown in terms of sound quality?
Thanks

I know zero about the Citicape Uptown.

So really can not compare.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well that's ok then...so I take it that the JVC you suggested offer decent quality, and a not so overwhelming bass.

I'm really not in favor of these 'boomy' sounding (forgive the terms) lower end headphones made by Sony and a few others which take away all the mids and have harsh highs and everything is just dominated by the reverberating bass.

It seems that the new Sennheiser HD 202 II offer decent quality as well, but unfortunately the original ones I have just aren't good enough.

Right then, the JVC goes into the shortlist, now for amazon..( ebay India doesnt show these cans even in their Global EasyBuy page)

Do suggest more options if possible.
Thanks and regards
post #6 of 16
The uptown is obviously an over ear headphone. It is a darker sound than the S500 which is a fun sounding V shaped headphone. The bass is a tad slow but not bloated and has a nice texture to it. Mids are not recessed but some mid details seem a bit laid back.

For $65 dollars they are a great buy. They have an edge on the S500 in comfort, isolation, and build. The cord is thin but has control buttons on it which is not desirable by everyone. The S500 seems to have a lot more sparkle in the highs and can appear to have a bit more detail because of that.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comparison, will consider.

Any more options would be appreciated.

Thanks and cheers
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post

The uptown is obviously an over ear headphone. It is a darker sound than the S500 which is a fun sounding V shaped headphone. The bass is a tad slow but not bloated and has a nice texture to it. Mids are not recessed but some mid details seem a bit laid back.
For $65 dollars they are a great buy. They have an edge on the S500 in comfort, isolation, and build. The cord is thin but has control buttons on it which is not desirable by everyone. The S500 seems to have a lot more sparkle in the highs and can appear to have a bit more detail because of that.

Thanks for the comparison, will consider.

Any more options would be appreciated.

Thanks and cheers
post #9 of 16

The Panasonic RP-HTF600 are a great budget buy, but are a bit more bassy than you might like.  Comfort is OK IMO, and you can replace the pads to make them more comfortable.  For the SQ the price is awesome (I picked them up for around US$26ish) but I will say the build quality will leave you disappointed (then again, its OK for cheap cans I guess)
 

I do have a can I think you would like based on your music type and the signature type, but they are On-Ear, not over-ear cans--the Noontec Zoro's (http://www.head-fi.org/t/616365/noontec-zoro/75)

I think you'll really like them.  Just enough bass to make your music seem full, but no where near enough to seem boomy or muddy.  Mainly clear and balanced IMO, though you do lose a little sparkle in the high end.  And don't worry, they may look like fake ripoff Beats Solos, but they are (in my opinion) much better, and not at all tuned to have that artificially boomy bass.  Not sure how to get them in India, but here's a link to the US Amazon site if that's a good starting point for you:
http://www.amazon.com/Black-Professional-Reinforced-Technology-Headphones/dp/B007OWRSLQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354346484&sr=8-1&keywords=noontec+zoro

Cheapest price I've seen right now is around $60 USD.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Also, I do have the JVCS500.  If you want to try out a bit bassier HP, they are actually quite good for many genre's of music in my opinion.  I personally don't find the bass overwhelming, and really like that it goes deep.  But it is more pronounced than other cans.  


Edited by BBlord - 11/30/12 at 11:32pm
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes I've heard abt the Noontec Zoros...the review by Innerfidelity was very positive indeed.

The only two problems (for me) are they're on-ear type, and the major one is the Beats rip off. I didn't care much abt the looks for home listening but for taking outdoors, this one's a 'major bummer' :-) IMO of course.

But many thanks indeed as I'd forgotten abt them..will now consider.

Thanks and cheers
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi again,

 

Could anyone please compare the sound quality of the Uptowns with the Sony MDR ZX 700?

 

This is because although the Uptowns look stunning to yours truly, they're not locally available in India, and therefore have to be ordered from Amazon which after import & taxes goes slightly above my budget of 100 USD. The Sony on the other hand, costs much less.

 

Thus the query, although most probably I'll be waiting patiently for a local launch, and subsequent price drop, as I'm currently doing good with a set of Senn's HD 558's :)

 

Thanks again for your inputs!

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShreyasMax View Post

Well that's ok then...so I take it that the JVC you suggested offer decent quality, and a not so overwhelming bass.
I'm really not in favor of these 'boomy' sounding (forgive the terms) lower end headphones made by Sony and a few others which take away all the mids and have harsh highs and everything is just dominated by the reverberating bass.
It seems that the new Sennheiser HD 202 II offer decent quality as well, but unfortunately the original ones I have just aren't good enough.
Right then, the JVC goes into the shortlist, now for amazon..( eBay India doesn't show these cans even in their Global EasyBuy page)
Do suggest more options if possible.
Thanks and regards

The JVC HA-S500-Z are only sold and shipped from Japan.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-Victor-Stereo-headphone-gunmetal-HA-S500-Z-/300788413563

 

3 days ago my Takstar Pro 80 (Gemini HSR-1000) arrived, currently my top pick for headphones under $100.

post #13 of 16

still wonder about sharp highs and the amount of treble energy on the takstars. as i am more into smoothed out sennheiser like sound, i am still afraid of ordering the pro80s..

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post

still wonder about sharp highs and the amount of treble energy on the takstars. as i am more into smoothed out sennheiser like sound, i am still afraid of ordering the pro80s..

 

That's a good bit of information, as I too like the (slightly) laid back sound of the Sennheisers that I have (HD 558), which doesn't hit hard (so to speak) when raised to higher levels. 

 

If there're any similar sounding models on my budget (max. approx. 100-110 USD after imports & taxes), please do give suggestions.

 

Thanks & cheers

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello again,

 

This is to inform that I've finally succumbed to temptation and ordered the Philips Citiscape Uptown from eBay US. 

I'd also like to thank all of you for your suggestions and opinions. 

 

Will post my impressions of the cans after a while. 

 

Thanks & cheers!

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