Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › this time I'm going to get something GOOD.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

this time I'm going to get something GOOD. - Page 2

post #16 of 74
Thread Starter 

**okay, you've all been super helpful. My spouse agrees about getting a separate good pair for home. That said, she doesn't want me blowing a ton on a first pair.**


The main issue with handling the phones roughly is actually stuffing them in my back and pulling them out. If they were the type where the cans swivel so it's flat, I would be able to neatly stow them away, with plenty of room and cushioning, and I wouldn't struggle to remove them. I would also have a nice bag to store them in at home. I think it was the stuffing in and pulling out of the senns that broke them.


Sound leak won't necessarily ruin the nuances of a good ambient track. Remember, I really like the open soundstage feel. The thing about ambient I like is that it feels more natural when it's slightly more open.  I don't care too much about annoying other people; They also generally don't care about who can hear their asinine conversations. 


It's going to be a while before I can buy a second pair, which is one reason I was shooting for an 'all-around' pair.  Even a semi-closed is a nice compromise. I am without working phones right now and it's making my life really weird. Although It's nice to hear the pitter-patter of my dog's feet in snow.  So, assuming I'm looking at only 1 pair for now, and assuming further that later on I will buy nicer phones exclusively for home use, I am hoping for a middle ground that's not too pricey because these will not be stored in one spot, something not terribly bulky 


so, if I wanted something inexpensive as an outside phone, but still sounding good enough for home use until I spend the time  picking out a really nice  pair, and open back isn't that bad because it makes walking my dog safer for me and my dog..... NOW are the Grados a fit? In terms of sound quality, is the 225i significantly better  than the 80i? It appears the 125i is not that special? 


By the way, The grados don't look uncomfortable to me. I have long hair. I'm a leo, and I look like one. It's like a bloody cushion.  I like the 'minimalist' design, they look like they are not bulky and would be easy to tuck away. This is why I'm so interested in the grados.  Also, I have to admit it, I really love the fact that they look like they came out of a 1960's basement.


and finally, I really only listen to music on my ipod, iphone and macbook pro. This is a factor I should consider, as not all phones are ideal for these devices. Another reason the grados appeal to me. And as far as Grados being tight? Well, I've always found myself futzing with the senns because they never feel right. Maybe a tight phone is what I need?

Edited by darwinvsjesus - 1/17/13 at 10:27pm
post #17 of 74
Originally Posted by separate View Post


You talk too much. No ones read.


And you know this how?

post #18 of 74
Originally Posted by darwinvsjesus View Post

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.



I don't think you're going to find much more robust build quality just because the cans are more expensive. If anything, more expensive headphones tend to be more delicate because of lighter materials. If you want headphones that will sound good and survive get some MDR-V6 Sony's. They are used all over the world for field work, make metal music sound badass, infinitely portable, well built, comfortable, and at their $70 price you can save some cash.


When I listen to metal it's mostly Scandnavian melodic death metal, your Children of Bodom, Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Arch Enemy, etc, and they sound great on the Sony's. Plenty of punch, guitar cuts through the mix greatly without being overly harsh, good soundstage for closed backs, and they are so sensitive you can make yourself deaf on just about any portable.

post #19 of 74
Thread Starter 

No one reads, but they take the time to say they don't read. I'm a linguist by training, and it's very sad that people are so god damn lazy that they cannot handle a minute of reading. Fine. No one reads, I guess we're all god damn illiterate.


1. dont want to get run over, closed back sucks.

2. dont want to blow too much on an outdoor pair.

3. grado's seem like they would fit me fine and suit me well.  I hope they sound okay.



I always regret joining forums. But then, who the **** joins a forum and doesn't read?

Edited by darwinvsjesus - 1/17/13 at 10:58pm
post #20 of 74
Originally Posted by darwinvsjesus View Post

No one reads, but they take the time to say they don't read. I'm a linguist by training, and it's very sad that people are so god damn lazy that they cannot handle a minute of riding. Fine. No one reads, I guess we're all god damn illiterate.


1. dont want to get run over, closed back sucks.

2. dont want to blow too much on an outdoor pair.

3. grado's seem like they would fit me fine and suit me well.  I hope they sound okay.



I always regret joining forums. But then, who the **** joins a forum and doesn't read?

You're not going to get a lot of people wanting to help you with an attitude like that. Open backed headphones aren't going to help you hear traffic much better than closed because you have to crank the volume up higher to be heard above the din.


Grado's are good for rock but they are notoriously delicate, especially the drivers and cable, prone to shorts from tugging on them. Good luck.

post #21 of 74
Originally Posted by darwinvsjesus View Post

No one reads, but they take the time to say they don't read. I'm a linguist by training, and it's very sad that people are so god damn lazy that they cannot handle a minute of reading. Fine. No one reads, I guess we're all god damn illiterate.


1. dont want to get run over, closed back sucks.

2. dont want to blow too much on an outdoor pair.

3. grado's seem like they would fit me fine and suit me well.  I hope they sound okay.



I always regret joining forums. But then, who the **** joins a forum and doesn't read?


Please note that 'separate' is a new user... that was his first post. Reading walls of text is commonplace here.


Has anyone suggested the Fidelio L1 to you?

post #22 of 74

yes, the Grado's would sound fine unamped out of your devices. i also love the way they look: old-school minimalist and a bit industrial looking (with the 225 metal). i lived in Buffalo for a year, and their look would certainly fit in with the overwhelming hipster/scenester/pseudo-whatever crowd that I couldn't seem to escape in that city ;P


unfortunately, from my experience with the 225i's (which are said to be the best value in the SR series if you read the reviews), they were very uncomfortable and get quite fatiguing. the comfort issues for me were with the bowl pads that sit on your ear and would cause intense pain on my ear's helix after half an hour or so. there are mods you can do to fix this; the best cheap one for me being the 414 reverse mod (look it up if you choose the grado's). in addition to the comfort issues though, these cans have a very forward and aggressive sound signature. this is why i love them, and use them when listening to punk, rock, certain jazz records and other aggressive music. but i also have other headphones that i turn to when i need a break from this sound, because my ears would start to bleed if they were my only headphone. i'd say audition them and see for yourself, or order from a place like amazon where returns are easy and unquestioned. also, as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't want to be sticking these cans in a bag out of fear of damaging them.


i'll also ask you what quality music you are using with your i-devices? if it's low bitrate music, you'll likely not hear the advantages that better cans might provide (a minimum of 320kbps is necessary). do you have a budget in mind? if you're considering the 225's at $200, I'd suggest going for the 80's at $100, and spend the rest on the Koss TBSE1 (Tonny Bennets) that I wrote of before (these swivel flat and come with a case and detachable cable, and are great value for $50 currently on sale), or some Koss Porta Pros (also rather retro and fold up small), or Koss KSC75 (I loooove these little budget cans) for a cheap portable. you have many other options too.


but to answer your question; everyone has their own sound signature that they prefer, so everyone will likely have their own preference for an all rounder. i'd say my at home all rounder is the sennheiser HD 600, and my portable all rounder is the Beyer DT 770 Pro 80 / Brainwaves M4 (IEM). 


if you try and desribe the sound you are looking for in a headphone, it might be easier to recommend one for you. look into the Beyer trifecta while reading reviews on here.... DT 770 (bass heavy, closed), DT 880 (more neutral, semi-open), and DT 990 (high bass and treble, open).

post #23 of 74
Thread Starter 

So, here's the sound I hope to get:

 I don't want muffled treble, or flat treble. I like bright, clear treble, but I find that Sennheisers generally have a grating, sharp treble that can be very unpleasant.

 I pefer warmer mids and lows. The lows should not be up front, nor way way back. Neutral mids are good.  A lot of black metal and Funeral doom benefits from balanced mids. The bass should be strong. That is to say, some of these lunatics down-tune their guitars to C, or even A. This can cause a 'wuhwuhwuhwuhwuwhwuhwu' sound in the bass, with crackling. The phones need to be able to handle the lows very well, but this isn't bloody hip-hop, so the bass can't be so forward that it dominates. If the phones can handle the extreme lows of some bands[search Thergothon elemental on youtube for an example of  down-tuned guitars and rough production, Bleached bones by Marduk for nearly unlistenable lows. I haven' t ever had phones that could handle the lows of the Marduk album 'world funeral'] then  the bass is almost certainly adequate and will be appropriate elsewhere.


That's basically it. For my outside pair of phones,  I want them to have clear treble, but not grating. reasonable neutral mids, and something that can handle the low bass without being absurd. I like warmer mids and lows. It's an organic kind of sound, to me.  I'd like something that has a reputation for sound better than the 'HD 400" line of Sennheiser. I have HD 428s and they are good, not great. They are somewhat 'punchy' and I do like that. A punchy sound without being overly bass-oriented is perfect.  That's all. I would gladly spend 200 dollars for durable phones. Sturdy wires are nice [i.e those Senn wires are thin and flimsy!]


Thanks. Also, I absolutely refuse to put anything on my ipod that  is less than 320kbps, apple lossless, or converted to one of these from a .flac No low quality mp3s at all.

Edited by darwinvsjesus - 1/18/13 at 9:05am
post #24 of 74

I have a pair of Beyer DT 770 Pro 80s.  I really love them for whatever I'm listening to, but I can definitely see their downfall in some places.  I like an assortment of music, not necessarily all kinds but an eclectic mix (Ska, Classical, Power Metal, and most steps in between).


I generally run my headphones on a 'Classical' EQ setting, not sure if that is really useful or not.  I don't consider myself an 'audiophile', but I do appreciate a good recording and a good sound.


My 770s are really comfortable to me.  I've worn them for 8 hours at a stretch at a moderately loud volume and felt just fine afterward.


That said, someone else mentioned the lack of a detachable cord, and that's true, but they didn't mention the LENGTH of that cord...10ft is a little long to be usefully portable, though it definitely is doable.  I'm tempted to recable them (or pay someone to do it) so I can have the long cable for home and a shorter one for when I want to take them out.


If you have a place like Guitar Center near you, go in there and try out some headphones.  Take your iPod and listen to the same track on several different pairs.  Your ears are going to be the absolute best judge of what will be best for you.  They don't have all brands (mine doesn't), but they have enough of a mix of different brands/types to make it a useful trip.  When I was in there, the guy helping me took several brand new pairs out of the box so I could try them.  I tried open, semi closed, and closed and decided that the closed DT770s would be best for me.  They're 80Ohm, which means I can comfortably drive them with my phone (iPhone at the time, Android now) without having a separate amp.  I do have a headphone amp built in to my sound card that I turn on when I'm at home, which is nice.


I also listen exclusively to 320kbps mp3s.  I could never tell the difference before, but with these headphones I can (or maybe that's just a placebo effect).

post #25 of 74

Well I've looked for what you have wanted and from my research the HD-25 looks to fit the bill. Very clear treble, very nice bass, but not sure the small width of its soundstage would be something you mind. Just replace the wires with HD650 cables if flimsyness is your concern (the HD 25 is certainly not flimsy). Apparently, these cans are also very good for metal and forgiving for less than perfect sources.


Keep in mind that I have only read up what I'm saying here, nil experience. What I do know is I also hate shrill treble, painful stuff. I also know Grados have a forward treble.


My two pennies.


EDIT: Having had actual experience of the HD-25s now, I stand-by my comments. Go for it, or take the IEM route like others here mentioned. 

Edited by moali125 - 1/19/13 at 9:13am
post #26 of 74

I love my Beyer 770/80s. I highly suggest them to anyone looking to enjoy music.

post #27 of 74

Well, your needs call for either a HE-400/500 or a sennheiser hd 600/650. But those are NOT portable and too expensive. Maybe some time later on you could get those... 


EDIT: @darwin Can you maybe list some bands/albums to look into. I need inspiration :P

Edited by davidsh - 1/18/13 at 12:03pm
post #28 of 74
Originally Posted by nailbunny7 View Post

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.

Sorry, but I just have to point out that this is possibly the worst advice here. They just went out of production, so they're hard to find. They're notorious for leaking more sound than you'd think possible from a closed headphone and they're humongous, making them useless portably. They also, while beautiful, are not built anywhere near the standards that the OP wants.

post #29 of 74

Let me tell you from my experience.


For portable headphones, just get IEM, it isolates well such that you hear every details and blocks the noise. (especially if someone is na :p gging all the time beside you.)


For home, I was going to suggest all the "high-end" headphones since the music is an important and significant to your life but I will stop here, because it will never end. :)


Truth is, I have Grado SR80i, and the differences between SR80i and LCD2/HD800 is noticeable but not $800/$1200.


Trust me, you will love Grado SR80i, I hated it first because of rough ear pads, it felt the same as dish wash scrubber but you will get used to it.


For high-end or mid-fi headphones you can search in this forum to get a better feedback. :)

post #30 of 74

I guess I'll add my two cents, since I've owned a more varied array of cans than many who've posted on the thread of yet. I think you'd be better off getting an all-rounder for now instead of suffering through a cheap can on-the-go, since you're always on-the-go.


A Grado generally compliments most forms of rock well (I listen to everything from folk to ambient post-rock to ska-punk), but has some serious drawbacks that you should consider. On the sonic side of things, I don't think a lower-end Grado would give you the immersion you want. Until you get up to the RS-series, the midrange seems dry and uninvolved, and the bass, while deep-reaching, doesn't have the impact that I believe you'd want. In terms of build quality and practicality, the lower two models, the SR60i and SR80i, have cheap plastic housings that could easily be damaged, and while the cables are extremely well-built (among the best cables on a headphone under $100), they're not attached to anything sturdy and can break off without much warning. In addition, being fully open, a Grado probably is not suited to either heading around town or drowning out the world, as it lets the world's noises in with glee. They're also quite famous for being impossible to wear for more than 30 minutes at a time without your ears falling off in a ball of flames. I know you think I exaggerate and I know they don't "look" uncomfortable, nut they're really that uncomfortable to most people (though you can order slightly more comfortable and obnoxiously yellow Sennheiser HD414 earpads that fit them).


The Beyers that've been suggested are all very well-built, and the sonic characteristics of the DT770 and DT880 would suit you well. However, most Beyers you'll find aren't really done justice by merely driving out of an iPod, or pretty much any conventional portable device. You may end up with a small CMoy or FiiO amp if you buy a pair. In addition, Beyers are quite large. They're nowhere near as easy-to-store as an HD428, an SR60i, a TMA-1, an M50, etc., etc. Finally, they don't isolate particularly well with velour pads and their soundstage is nothing to write home about.


Ultra-portables like the HD25 or TMA-1 would fit you well in terms of your physical needs. They're extremely durable (in a high-quality, one-piece plastic sort of way), are designed specifically to be used with a portable device without being amped, and can be literally thrown into storage (if need be) in half a second. However, you may find their sound signature (especially that of the TMA-1) a bit too warm and bassy. I find both of them have treble that I don't really like, and they feel like they're lacking in detail. The HD25 would be best of the two for you and they'd certainly be more involving than the Grado and more portable than the Beyers, but they may still not fit the bill entirely.


Something like a V-Moda would be built very well (perhaps even better than the Beyers), but the only model that tones down the bass enough for you to truly enjoy it with your genres is the M100, and at its price there's better options out there. I'd only advise you to buy a V-Moda (as much as I respect Val and his company) if you really want something for high style and big bass, which you haven't indicated.



I'll leave you with one suggestion of my own, which I believe could remedy your situation (feel free to pick it apart at will if I've missed anything): the Ultrasone HFI-780. It's built well for a headphone in its price range, though a Beyer or V-Moda will edge it out a little bit in that regard. It's relatively small and portable, with a similar footprint to the ATH-M50 and other "monitor-type" headphones. It has exactly what you're looking for in sound signature (if your rational thoughts steer you correctly, that is): fast yet engaging bass, warm mids, and sparkling treble, a combination that is oddly hard to find in lower-end headphones (lower-end being, to me, under $400 or so). But here's the big one: it's got Ultrasone's S-Logic, which is a patented technology that they use in most of their headphones to enhance soundstage, placing the music "around" your head. It's not as accurate with imaging as a Grado, but you won't find anything as wide-sounding in a closed can of its price range. If you value soundstage enough to make your decision on it, there's only really one option. And, adding in your other sonic preferences, I don't see how you could really go wrong with it (unless, of course, I've missed something).


I hope my advice was of help, and I'll be checking in on this thread later this afternoon to answer any other questions you have.




Edited by ssrock64 - 1/18/13 at 12:53pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › this time I'm going to get something GOOD.