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this time I'm going to get something GOOD.

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

This is bothering me enough that I've put down my neurolinguistics textbooks and joined the forum.  I've been buying Sennheiser headphones for a while now [HD 238, HD 428, a few others] and after the 238 and 428s broke, it dawned on me that whenever my spouse asks me why I always 'need' to wear headphones {she thinks notices that I ignore her ] my answer is always the same:

 

Music is extremely important to me. I grew up studying jazz theory. I played constantly. I lived on music and i'm a right-brained person, haven't you noticed how frequently I get excited about the {this is irrelevant, but FTR, she hadn't noticed.

 

So. I usually 'safely' spend no more than 120 dollars on 'okay' headphones and they always bloody break on me. Given how important music is, and given that I take them everywhere, but I don't want ''portable" headphones if this means inferior sound quality, I was hoping someone with more experience might help get me in the right direction. Generally, whenever I hear someone ask "where can I get a ...." or "what should I do about...." on a forum, I tell them to 'buzz off' via telepathy, but I truly believe that I have unique criteria and I'm not some nutty little jackass who won't do his own research.

 

Now that half of you have stopped reading this far, the rest of you, thanks! you're alright. Here's what I need. I'll be more 'direct'

 

1. I walk everywhere. I don't own a car. I walk my dog, I walk around campus [SUNY Buffalo is a big campus] I walk around trying to find a good spot for my telescope, I walk silly..SILLY.  At school, I gently place my headphones in my bag during class, so too bulky is no good, but the 428s were not too bulky. I suppose the 50mm drivers are ok.

 

2. I live in GD Buffalo. It's colder than where you live, unless you're north of buffalo and west of the great lakes. It's something I've noticed.  A set with a good build will not be affected by weather. I'm outside a lot. See #1 if you forgot.

 

3. I have an extremely eclectic taste. Not like those chumpasauruses that say they do and then rattle off the local radio stations that play lame alternative, lame hiphop, lame super hiphop, and the most un-country country ever made. I generally change with the seasons, or my moods. Here's what I listen to, overall.

 

 A lot of ambient in the vein of Eluvium, black metal of all kinds, death metal, funeral doom metal, black ambient, stuff like 'virgin black' I don't really know how to classify them, piano stuff, jazz stuff a la John zorn and Pat Martino, Dispatch, Elvis Perkins, Elliot Smith, Iron and Wine [when I need a good cry], Nick drake. So a lot of acoustic stuff. And Burzum. Burzum is my absolute favorite. So primtive black metal and some black ambient from him, and it's intentionally 'roughly' produced.

 

Essentially, I think a pretty robust soundstage is what I want. If anyone has ever heard "In the shadow of the horns" through good headphones, it's actually really nice.  All of this music has a different  aural dynamic. I'd also like a pair that won't effing break [do they make cans with removable cables? it's ALWAYS the fruity little cable they put on those Sennheisers. It's like dental floss. USED dental floss].  So something all-around is good. I figure anything that brings "Ahab" and "Mournful Congregation" to life will also make "Lambent Material" sound good. God, I could talk about LM for hours and hours. I got goosebumps and chills when I heard it for the first time. 

 

I don't want to say 'I want the bass to bash my empty skull sideways" or anything. I want a warm, robust soundstage, [SENNs are too FLAT], I want them to be durable. I will be taking them everywhere, using them a lot, taking them in and out of a bag. 

 

I listen to a lot of music. I don't watch television and I only use the internet for the hilar pictures of ducks on skateboards with funny captions.  My wife's mom likes to eat dinner and sit in front of her ANALOG tv and watch like....whatever is on channel 'bad local commercial hour". I like to lay down, close my eyes, and let some music take my consciousness wherever it will.  That said, Any suggestions? Oh, even though I'd rather not spend tons of money, I will spend a little more if it means significant durability. That said, let's say money is technically no object. There. I introduced myself and asked a noob question all at once. Hi everyone.

post #2 of 74
Thread Starter 

Oh Jesus. I'm sorry everyone. I left out the important bit.  I've explained my criteria and I was considering the Grado 225s or the AD-700.  What I intended to ask about was whether or not these two specifically would accommodate being used constantly, and have a little more depth than sennheisers. I have never handled these and can't buy them locally [i think] so I can't make this determination  - are they durable enough to use this way? These aren't terribly delicate, yes?

post #3 of 74

The grado's would probably sound alright for your music, but are about the most open cans you can get.  They will leak sound like nothing else.  I don't mind their comfort like some people, but I also wouldn't want to wear grado's for many hours a day.

 

I haven't heard the AD-700 for a long time, but I don't think they are the best choice for any kind of metal...

 

Based on your requirements maybe one of the Beyer DT770/880/990 range?  Beyer have -very- good build construction and generally make great all-round headphones...  Can get used ones for around/under $200.

post #4 of 74
Thread Starter 

i like the 880s,  but they may be a tad bulky. the bulk isnt a huge problem if it means a truly sturdy cable. i am also looking at the ATH-m50s. They seem very reasonable. But i dont want my black metal sounding thin and tinny, and i want my funeral doom [including the deep, gurgly vocals a la thergothon] to really shine through. these are most important but rich acoustics/percussion and sharp detail for ambient is good. If you'd like a sense of what I will use them for, these 3 things on youtube might help

 

anything from mournful congregation

anything from burzum's filosfem

 

**this is the primary concern, in terms of sound*** something from eluvium's lambent material. I really like the track "under the water it glowed" it just sounds, to me, like a man who has just realized that he's been staring into the face of nature and he is in awe. To me, I hear that song and  I get a vivid picture of a man who is speechless as he becomes aware that he is marveling the beauty of a cascading forest for the first time. i have a vivid imagination,  and i want something that will let me experience all the subtle tones of a good ambient soundscape. Like staring into a forest, there is so much to see and so many fine details that new things can always be found if you pay attention. I hope someone understands this. And like I said before, I have a vivid imagination and music is deeply important to me. I treat music as if it is nourishment for my spirit. I get a lot out of it. I'd like to get the most out of my headphones.

post #5 of 74

You really owe yourself some proper headphones. What about IEM's?

And wouldn't isolation from ambient noise be a good thing? It will sacrifice some sound stage though.

 

I can't point out a headphone that would be perfect for you, but the beyers are good.

 

The m50's are said to be a bit hyped. You can probably get something better for the money.


Edited by davidsh - 1/17/13 at 1:25am
post #6 of 74

double post :P

post #7 of 74

Yep, for a lot of outdoor use, I'd suggest IEMs. Portable, don't need an amp, will sound good, and isolate well.

post #8 of 74

If price isn't too big an issue, I would suggest getting a set of Denon D5000 (around 400-500) or D7000s (around 600-800) and having them recabled (varies greatly) with a 1/8 plug. They're easy to drive and sound very good, and they also don't leak all too much, so they should be safe to use around most people.

post #9 of 74
Thread Starter 
In ear is no good. I play music loud as it is. **** . the grado 225i or 80i I hear doesn't require an amp. I don't mind sound leak. I'd spend 600 dollars on headphones if they were extremely well built and had a very good warranty and needed no modding. Price isn't that important it's just that these phones that are over 500 dollars apparently need some modding and an amp. Lets try another question. Would those grados make it as a "bottom shelf" audiophile phone?
post #10 of 74
Thread Starter 
In ear is no good. I play music loud as it is. **** . the grado 225i or 80i I hear doesn't require an amp. I don't mind sound leak. I'd spend 600 dollars on headphones if they were extremely well built and had a very good warranty and needed no modding. Price isn't that important it's just that these phones that are over 500 dollars apparently need some modding and an amp. Lets try another question. Would those grados make it as a "bottom shelf" audiophile phone?
post #11 of 74

The purpose of in ears is to be able to play ur music more quiet because of the isolation :P

The grados are definitely mid-fi. Though, you might have issues with comfort. I don't know if the build quality is good enough for what you are going to do

post #12 of 74
Thread Starter 

right now it looks like i'm leaning very strongly towards the beyer dt 770/880s.  Lets pretend for a minute that metal is irrelevant. As much as I adore  a good gurgling lunatic and inappropriately down-tuned guitars, what if I was more interested in picking up the subtlety in ambient and solo acoustic stuff? I like a warmer sound.  Maybe on-ear instead of over-ear as a decent compromise? I don't know.  No, sorry, I just looked at those and I felt very discouraged. 

 

 

In case anyone was wondering, I made a mistake before. The song by eluvium that I love is called "zerthis was a shivering human image". It sounds sacred. Listen and you'll see what I mean. Time  disappears and all you can imagine is a longing for the earth. 

 

That said, let's forget about metal and think more about a warm sound and something that is well-built, I'm generally not as gentle as I ought to be with anything. That said, are my previous choices  [including grados] still not ideal?

post #13 of 74
Thread Starter 
post #14 of 74

The Grado's are not the most durable can, and I would not throw mine around or toss them in a bag. As well, they are not very comfortable for long listening sessions; and more importantly, like the AD 700's you also ask about, they are open back. This means that your music will leak out to the world (likely annoying those around you), and outside noise will leak in through the headphones. For your purposes, a closed-back headphone is ideal. Quite frankly, as mentioned above, the Beyer DT 770 Pro 80 is a good choice (the 990's are open, and the 880's are semi-open). The 770's are built like a tank and can take some everyday abuse. The 770 Pro 80 model can play decently out of most portable devices (the music is loud enough from my iphone, but not from my ipod nano 6G though). They have excellent bass, great soundstage for a closed can, but the mids are a bit recessed. I seem to recommend these quite a bit, even though I don't listen to mine much anymore. I prefer the sound from open cans, and neutral ones at that, but for your needs, the 770 pro 80 will suit you well.

 

I will mention that they are bulky.... very bulky. And the cable is not detachable, which might pose a problem for someone who throws them around. A better solution would be to get a pair for home (here you can get an open pair if you like, but something that caters specifically to your needs and musical preferences), and for portable use, get a pair of IEM's or a cheaper portable headphone. I have the Koss TBSE1's (the are identical to the Koss ProDJ, but come with a removable cable, carrying case, and have other cosmetic differences). These are on sale now for $50, and replacing the pads with ATH M50 pads makes them quite comfortable. They fold up to a small footprint in their case.

 

The reason many of us on here have different sets of headphones is because there isn't one can that can do it all. Go for a more expensive or better quality headphone for home use, and a cheaper portable closed headphone or IEM for on the go. Good luck.

post #15 of 74

I guess if you're looking for a decent out of the box can, and want super durable, the V Moda M100s are pretty good, and feel like they're near indestructable.

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