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NEW - Please help me choose headphones for my nephew for Christmas!!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I just signed up so I can get some advice from people who love music and have tried all that's out there for a fair comparison.  I went to Best Buy today prepared to purchase some Beats for my 11 yr old nephew for Christmas (don't judge).  When I listened to the sound I felt disappointed.  Where is the amazing sound quality?  Did I miss it?  They felt so - plastic.  I tried the Bose noise canceling and I thought they were great.  Pricey, but better than the beats...I think.  I did end up purchasing some Bose for 134.00, not the noise canceling, feeling I would most likely be returning them when I figured out what I was doing.

 

Seems like Bose is not a favorite on this board, which is fine. I do not have a brand preference. They sounded good to me, but I don't even own a pair of headphones - yet.  I did make me want some though...

 

My nephew loves music!  I do believe someday he'll be in the world of entertainment.  He currently plays the cello and piano.  He's plugged in all day with books on tape and music, it's totally his thing.  Headphones are the gift for him, and I do want to get him the best I can so he has great quality from the start.  I am left so bewildered, I really need your help!

 

Here is some info so you can recommend a great set for him :

 

He'll be plugged into airplanes while traveling, nook, kindle, ipod, ipad, and his keyboard. He has such an ear for instruments that I felt the beats being so bass-y would eventually annoy him since he is also sensitive to a lot of noise.  Sometimes busy restaurants really bother him and he shuts down.  Noise canceling could be very useful for him, but they are very expensive.  I was expecting to pay $200 -ish for headphones that have amazing sound quality, supremely comfortable, and noise canceling would be a bonus.

 

Where else can I try these headphones you may be recommending?  

 

Thank you in advance for your input.  It is greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 10

Beats are very overmarketed and hyped. Same with Bose and Skullcandy.

Does he need portability?

 

I would think he would enjoy the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro.


Edited by Supertoaster - 12/6/12 at 7:33pm
post #3 of 10

Well sir or madam, it seems in your constructive euphoric quest to find the best headphones for your nephew has brought you to the right place. If I had the same enthusiasm as you, I might not procrastinate so much on this forum as I already do. I am elated to hear that you realize that Beats and Bose aren't the best out there. I've taken into account what your nephew will be using them for, and I have come to the conclusion that the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pros will be the best option.

 

Pros:

Extremely customizeable (a plus for youth)

Great sound quality

Versatile in both sound and overall use

Adjustable ports to adjust the sound signature of the headphones to match your personal preference (a new thing in the audiophile world)

Portable

Easily powered by a phone or iPod

Comfortable

 

Cons:

No active sound cancelling

Somewhat sub-par passive sound cancelling

???

 

You will be hard pressed (and trust me, you will be) to find an affordable, great-sounding set of headphones that include respectable active noise cancelling. I actually owned (notice past tense) the Bose QC15's, and actually those are some of my least favorite set of cans. Their sound cancelling is decisively the single best sound cancelling on the market, but the sound quality is most certainly not.

 

Another set you might want to consider (if your nephew is classy enough) is the Sennheiser Momentums. They aren't as stylish as the Beyers, but are definitely more classy. I haven't heard the quality of the sound personally, but by reviews--especially thinking of Innerfidelity on YouTube--they are generally positive. Paraphrasing the video review that Innerfideilty posted, "The highs are just a tiny tiny bit too recessed, the mids just a tiny tiny bit too shallow, and the bass just a tiny bit too loose. But overall, these do everything extremely well."

 

Really, this is how headphones go: if you want the best sound quality, they won't be portable. If you want the best portability, they won't be great sound quality. You can't really have the best of all worlds. As of yet, no one has achieved that. The ultimates in portability are in ear monitors (IEMs) since they generally are the best at passive sound cancelling, and you can actually find some pretty good sounding sets. I think I'm talking to myself now but I'll just leave you with those words to process.

post #4 of 10
The beats headphones are some of the worst headphones on the market, so don't feel confused. The only reason Bose isn't as loved as other headphones is because they don't have the best sound quality for the price point (meaning that if you buy a 200 dollar bose set of headphones, they will sound like a 100 dollar pair of regular headphones). HOWEVER, the price is for the noise cancellation. A set of Bose would be perfect if he was flying maybe twice a month or some form of extensive travel. If he isn't traveling all that frequently, then maybe a different pair of headphones should be bought.

The main thing you should understand is that (good) noise cancelation works by recording ambient noise and producing a "anti" sound wave to cancel the ambient noise. However, this will add sound to the music. Now on Boses higher end models of headphones, the extra sound is almost non existent. The problem is they are made for fancy CEO people with a lot of money tongue.gif. On their lower end models, the extra sound is more present, OR they won't even bother with making the anti sound wave, but will instead produce a white noise effect to drown out the ambient noise and some of your sound. The whole idea of bose is that the more money you spend, the less of the outside world you will hear and if you kiss their @$$ along with handing over a fat check, you will also get a great music experience too.

It will probably be a much wiser move to simply get a pair of closed headphones which are simply noise isolating. So essentially they will act like ear muffs for shooting guns. It will block out some noise of the plane and your nephews neighbors won't hear the music, but your nephew will still be able to hear the plane's engines.

Now that being said, I have little experience with bose because I don't have the kind of money that gets you a good pair of their headphones. I do however love the Bowers and Wilkins P3/5. The P5 is 300 bucks, and the P3 is 200 bucks, but they are such amazing little headphones. If you go back to best buy, they should have them on display. I would recommend you bring an ipod or something because they will often times have a really crappy audio source hooked up to them. When you listen to them, make sure they are seated on your head right because there is some memory foam that makes a nice seal. I think you will be surprised.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

OR they won't even bother with making the anti sound wave, but will instead produce a white noise effect to drown out the ambient noise and some of your sound. ow that being said, I have little experience with bose because I don't have the kind of money that gets you a good pair of their headphones.

eek.gif I didn't know some headphones did that! That's horrible.

 

 

 

Quote:
 I do however love the Bowers and Wilkins P3/5. The P5 is 300 bucks, and the P3 is 200 bucks, but they are such amazing little headphones. If you go back to best buy, they should have them on display. I would recommend you bring an ipod or something because they will often times have a really crappy audio source hooked up to them. When you listen to them, make sure they are seated on your head right because there is some memory foam that makes a nice seal. I think you will be surprised.

You do need to remember that we're talking about a younger individual here. In my opinion, pretty much all headphones from Bowers and Wilkins requires an acquired taste. Now of course I'm not the OP's nephew, but I'm pretty certain that he/she wouldn't like it as much as other people might.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentCOPP1 View Post

eek.gif  I didn't know some headphones did that! That's horrible.

Yeah, if you go into a bose shop and listen to some of their lower end headphones without any music driving them, you can hear a faint white noise. Some pissed off employee told me that they just produce useless sound to drown out your surroundings.


Quote:
You do need to remember that we're talking about a younger individual here. In my opinion, pretty much all headphones from Bowers and Wilkins requires an acquired taste. Now of course I'm not the OP's nephew, but I'm pretty certain that he/she wouldn't like it as much as other people might.

I am not following. Do you mean for comfort, or for sound quality? if you are talking about comfort.......ehhhh I can see that. They do have a unique fit, but only for a few minutes and then after an hour you don't even noticing you are wearing it. After that it is smooth sailing. If you are talking about sound quality, then you and I must have had two different experiences, and I would like to hear what you have to say. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Tjj226 Angel - 12/6/12 at 8:04pm
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

I am not following. Do you mean for comfort, or for sound quality? if you are talking about comfort.......ehhhh I can see that. They do have a unique fit, but only for a few minutes and then after an hour you don't even noticing you are wearing it. After that it is smooth sailing. If you are talking about sound quality, then you and I must have had two different experiences, and I would like to hear what you have to say. smily_headphones1.gif

No no, not sound quality. I should have been more specific. I'm just talking about the aesthetic style of the set. They have more of a high class English kind of style. A sophisticated style. A lot of youth don't really like that. I mean, let's be honest, Beats have got to be some of the most stylish set of headphones out there. Wouldn't you agree that's why they are so popular now? If they weren't stylish, how would they convince the mass that they should buy their crappy-sounding headphones? That's the kind of style I'm talking about; pop culture. I think the COPs really adhere to that kind of cultural taste.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by neednewgear View Post

Hi all, I just signed up so I can get some advice from people who love music and have tried all that's out there for a fair comparison.  I went to Best Buy today prepared to purchase some Beats for my 11 yr old nephew for Christmas (don't judge).  When I listened to the sound I felt disappointed.  Where is the amazing sound quality?  Did I miss it?  They felt so - plastic.  I tried the Bose noise canceling and I thought they were great.  Pricey, but better than the beats...I think.  I did end up purchasing some Bose for 134.00, not the noise canceling, feeling I would most likely be returning them when I figured out what I was doing.

Seems like Bose is not a favorite on this board, which is fine. I do not have a brand preference. They sounded good to me, but I don't even own a pair of headphones - yet.  I did make me want some though...

My nephew loves music!  I do believe someday he'll be in the world of entertainment.  He currently plays the cello and piano.  He's plugged in all day with books on tape and music, it's totally his thing.  Headphones are the gift for him, and I do want to get him the best I can so he has great quality from the start.  I am left so bewildered, I really need your help!

Here is some info so you can recommend a great set for him :

He'll be plugged into airplanes while traveling, nook, kindle, ipod, ipad, and his keyboard. He has such an ear for instruments that I felt the beats being so bass-y would eventually annoy him since he is also sensitive to a lot of noise.  Sometimes busy restaurants really bother him and he shuts down.  Noise canceling could be very useful for him, but they are very expensive.  I was expecting to pay $200 -ish for headphones that have amazing sound quality, supremely comfortable, and noise canceling would be a bonus.

Where else can I try these headphones you may be recommending? 

Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80), I just mail ordered a pair from Woot, total cost ship to Calif. $68.

Leaves you lots of leftover cash to buy him something else.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentCOPP1 View Post

No no, not sound quality. I should have been more specific. I'm just talking about the aesthetic style of the set. They have more of a high class English kind of style. A sophisticated style. A lot of youth don't really like that. I mean, let's be honest, Beats have got to be some of the most stylish set of headphones out there. Wouldn't you agree that's why they are so popular now? If they weren't stylish, how would they convince the mass that they should buy their crappy-sounding headphones? That's the kind of style I'm talking about; pop culture. I think the COPs really adhere to that kind of cultural taste.

Interesting point, and I agree that it should be taken into consideration.

@OP: are you sending him the gift, or are you going to be presenting it in person? If you are presenting the gift, it might be a cool idea to just make him a coupon for XXX amount and take him to best buy. That way you can show him that the beats are crap and that the P5s are the winners. Or, he could find something completely different that suits him. Who knows. Child ears are probably much better at hearing frequencies that adults have a hard time hearing, so the whole experience could end up being very surprising. Just make sure you bring an ipod with some of his favorite songs. (if you are there).
post #10 of 10

I feel the Custom One Pros would be great. Sure they are passive sound isolated and are just decent at it, but if sound quality is what you want most out of them, they would be great. They are durable, have a detachable cable for easy storage and replacement, a little slider to adjust the bass level. You can also change out the cups etc to customize them if you really want. 

 

The Momentums also would be decent.

 

 

headphones I would pick:

 

Custom One Pros

DT770 80(ohm)

Momentums

Vmoda m80

Vmoda m100( over budget, but are over ear and durable.

Koss DJ100s

 

If he really wants good Isolation I would suggest some IEMs instead of over the ear headphones. For that Shure se215s are very nice. 

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