I'm in no way an audiophile (very clear after you read this post), but wanting a decent pair of headphones I did a bunch of research for a couple days and completely overwhelmed myself being as it was the first time I heard any kind of "in depth" audio terms. But anyways, I wasn't interested in buying anything online so I went to best buy (apparently a rookie mistake), and looked around for a while. I ended up buying the sennheiser hd428's which were on sale for 60 bucks. Now my ignorance starts. This may be cause I'm not listening to a huge variety of music, mostly classic rock and progressive rock, bands like pink floyd, jethro tull, yes, and dream theater are the big ones I'm into at the moment. But to be perfectly honest I barely notice a difference between the stock apple earbuds and the sennheiser's. The sennheiser's sound a little more clear and the bass is more distinguishable and crisp (if that even makes sense), but other than that I notice very little difference. I was wondering what other people may find as the clear differences between these headphones and the stock apple earbuds, so I know what to look for as far as differences.
Sennheiser hd428 s vs stock apple earbuds
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Not necessarily. What is the bitrate of your mp3 files? 320kbps is a good number. If it's around 128, then GIGO- garbage in, garbage out- your new headphones won't sound much better.
Also, if you're using the new "earpods" which ship with the iPhone 5, then that might explain some of it- the new earpods are much better than the previous ibuds and give budget headphones a run for their money. Still, give the HD428 some time. A week or so if you haven't done that already. You will probably be able to distinguish the difference better that way.
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Apple stuff is suppose to have pretty good sound quality and are you talking about the new earpods or the old earbuds(New ones are suppose to be much better)? Anyways I had the HD 428 and there not really a headphone that jumps out of the you with there sound they have a laid back smoother sound due to the rolled off treble and leave bass politely behind the mids its there but not in the forefront its the opposite of the exciting v shaped headphone curve with boosted bass and treble these have an n shape midcentric headphone.
I wouldn't use them as main headphone but I quite liked there smooth laid back sound signature was unfatigueing and the headphone themselves are very comfortable. This is after modifying them to increase the bass though. There are holes covered up by tape you can open up to increase bass inside of the headphone the more you uncover the more bass I opened all of them be careful if you try this as a really thin wire hold connects the driver and this void your warranty altough you could probably return it to best buy for a replacement if you do break something as long as you put it back together)
I would give them some more listening time at least a week so you can get your brain used to them as well as let the headphone driver properly break in(altough I'd say its more your brain getting used to sound)before making you final judgment. If your still not happy with them then you can return them and get a new pair with a sound signature more towards you liking the S500 would probably be more what you want there pretty much the opposite of the HD 428 sound sig altough I would say keep it to have two pairs that would complement each other well but that's just me.
Edited by DJHeadshot - 1/14/13 at 10:46pm
I'm comparing them to the old Apple earbuds. I've heard the earpods sound better but don't stay in your ears. A lot of my music has crap quality from the start but the ones I tested the two out with are all stuff that I bought directly from Itunes I'm not sure of the sound quality but I'd imagine it'd be pretty decent. I've used them probably for 6 or 7 hours and I let them run through the night one night so they have probably around 15 hours of use. I know this is a very subjective question, but what is the best pair of headphones I can get for <100? There's been threads about these JVC ones that are about 30 ish dollars that are supposed to sound incredible for their price. I'll definitley keep using the sennheiser's I just bought too though.
Well, in the first place, paying $60 for a pair of the HD428, even on sale, is a bad deal. Refurbished ones usually sell for <$30 (even a couple days ago).
JVC S500/S400 ($40-60), Creative Aurvana Live ($60), Philips Citiscape Uptown ($65) are all very good for their price. Recently these Somics have been getting a lot of attention, chinese headphones around $40-50: http://www.head-fi.org/t/637699/50mm-driver-open-air-full-size-cans-pop-out-of-nowhere-sound-amazing.
As for iTunes/iPhone, their highest bitrate is 256kbps, which isn't the best. But if you're listening from your iPhone/iPod, chances are it's compressed even more to 128kbps (go to settings to see whether you're compressing them during syncing). If so, you will notice a large drop in quality compared to, say, 320kbps or lossless (flac).
Gotcha, thanks for that information. I'm not very interested in buying headphones that were refurbished though to be honest. At least not at this point with relatively inexpensive headphones. New they were a little more expensive online, not that I looked that hard.
WOW, that is really something else. Sounds like a completely different headphone. That's a really awesome sound though, I thought for sure I would hate the Sub bass, 8 seems so extreme. Just to update this post then I've used these headphones a ton now so they're definitely broken in and sounding great. I notice a huge difference in sound quality from my old apple ear buds, and I bought a pair of Klipsch image s4 earbuds for the gym or whenever i need more isolation and they sound nowhere near as good as the hd428's do. Can't even imagine what a better set of headphones would sound like at this point.