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The best for jazz

Poll Results: Best closed can for jazz

 
  • 0% (0)
    AKG K167
  • 20% (2)
    AKG K271 MKII
  • 0% (0)
    AudioTechnica A700X
  • 30% (3)
    AudioTechnica A900
  • 20% (2)
    Beyer DT770 PRO 32ohm
  • 0% (0)
    Ultrasone PRO 750
  • 10% (1)
    Ultrasone HFI 780
  • 10% (1)
    Shure SRH840
  • 0% (0)
    Sennheiser HD25-1 ii
  • 10% (1)
    other (if so, please post in comments)
10 Total Votes  
post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey Everyone,

I've decided to take a vote for the best jazz cans. I'm trying to figure out which ones would be the best to buy for my specific use of them. Here's the gist of what I'm looking for:

 

I am looking for a closed or noise canceling headphone system that is good for mainly jazz but won't torch the few songs of classic/modern rock that I have in my library. I DO NOT listen to rap, hip hop or dubstep so I don't need an over powering bass. I'm, of course, on a budget so I'm looking for headphone for $200 or less. If need be, I may be able to extend that range to $250 or less but nothing more. I would also like to bring these headphones in the car when I go on road trips with my friends but I don't plan to go jogging or even where them outside of a car or my house. I really would prefer not to have to buy an amp for these puppies if it runs me over $200 dollars. I'm a saxophone player and am often looking to hear the saxophone in the band so please take that into consideration as well (mainly meaning I'd like to be able to single out certain sounds in the band). I would prefer the headphones not to drop of the deep end with any specific sound (for ex. great bass but squeaky and annoying high, etc.) Lastly, I would like to wear these puppies for a few hours at a time so please have them be comfortable. I don't like having to stop listening to my music because the headphones are killing my ears.

 

Thanks for any help!

post #2 of 12

A900

post #3 of 12

the A900 is a good choice, you can also look into AKG K601 or K701 (may be right there on your budget or slightly more)

post #4 of 12
I put a vote for the Shure SRH840 but to be honest it's the only can of this group I've heard. I adore them. I've had mine for a couple years now and they are perfect for most listening because they are very flat and good soundstage for a closed can. They are rather large but quite comfortable for extended listening. Great value too. Check their response out on Goldenears.net. I judge most cans and IEMs I buy against these. To me they just don't have many weaknesses and will enhance just about any music genre.
post #5 of 12

Another vote for the A900...

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Another vote for the A900...


For a second there I thought you were gonna say HD650 + Lyr

tongue_smile.gif

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post

the A900 is a good choice, you can also look into AKG K601 or K701 (may be right there on your budget or slightly more)

 

I agree on this one, the K-70x can be the best option for jazz at this budget! But for the K-70x you'll need some hps amp, or a DAC with a nice hps section.

post #8 of 12

wait I only just realised you said closed cans A900 then

post #9 of 12

The first to understand about head-fi is that trying to decide which of several possibilities is best is usually a disaster. Because

 

1. Most people won't have heard a reasonable selection of your options but won't make this clear

 

2. A lot of people here are easily influenced by marketing and placebo effect (this is why they buy magic $200 cables...)

 

3. A lot of people here won't take account of any priorities you express. You probably shouldn't have mentioned jazz even because people are even likely to ignore your priorities and tell you what they like for jazz, even if they prefer "warmth" and "musiciality" (whatever these mean) over the neutrality and resolution you need.  Even worse, an awful lot of people will project every possible quality on to any piece of hardware they like.

 

So if at all possible, hear the phones yourself - or at least ask on a musician's forum where people understand your particular needs

 

That said, I do think the HD25s would be a good enough option for you. They specialize in being neutral and revealing and separate instruments extremely well - they're designed for professional sound people in ENG teams so they're designed for picking audio apart. They're tough, don't need an amp, and you can wear them all day once you know how to adjust them: align the earpods with the split bands pressed together and then tighten the fit by widening the headband split. When you feel any pressure on your ears, back off a little. This way you get good isolation and comfort. Some people do complain they pinch, but I think this is because they don't know how to adjust them - idiotically, Senhr don't explain how. Obviously, if you buy from Amazon you should be able to return if this is a problem. They're also about the easiest headphone in the world to re-sell.

 

I can't say that they're the absolute best headphone for jazz, but they did completely change my listening experience by providing the extra resolution and separation I think the music needs, and they're portable, highly isolating, and indestructible enough to impress a kevlar vested cockroach. I certainly can't imagine anyone finding that the 25s don't provide enough separation and resolution to do what you want, and I think they're unique amoung your choices in the toughness and portabilty they provide.

 

Another option for extreme clarity and separation are Etymotic IEMs - probably the HF5 and ER4. They're usually described as revealing to a fault. If you go this route, buy some alternates tips for them and experiment - both sound and comfort will change.

 

RE. active noise cancelling: you should know that it only works to cancel steady sounds like engine whine, not eg human voices.


Edited by scuttle - 2/2/13 at 8:20pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

The first to understand about head-fi is that trying to decide which of several possibilities is best is usually a disaster. Because.... SNIP...

RE. active noise cancelling: you should know that it only works to cancel steady sounds like engine whine, not eg human voices.
First up I agree with most of this post especially about listening for yourself... Everyone's hearing is so different as well as personal preferences......

But I think you may have fallen victim of your own warnings with the last comment. I have found active noise cancelling does reduce voices and other ambient noise quite well just not as effectively as constant sounds. Some might misunderstand what I think you were intending to mean.

Otherwise, great post....
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpfe8851 View Post


First up I agree with most of this post especially about listening for yourself... Everyone's hearing is so different as well as personal preferences......

But I think you may have fallen victim of your own warnings with the last comment. I have found active noise cancelling does reduce voices and other ambient noise quite well just not as effectively as constant sounds.

 

That's interesting. I have to say, standard active boise cancellers are NOT supposed to do that! In fact not cancelling voices is supposed to one of the design goals for most maker, eg

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise-cancelling_headphones

 

Noise cancellation makes it possible to enjoy music without raising the volume excessively. It can also help a passenger sleep in a noisy vehicle such as an airliner. Research examining the benefits of noise cancelling headphones in the aviation environment has found that compared to passive noise attenuating headphones or no headphones, noise cancelling headphones significantly increases the signal to noise ratio, making hearing important information such as safety announcements easier.

 

The technology was originally developed for aviation, and the idea was that the flightcrew would be able to talk naturally because engine and prop/rotor noise what be filtered out and not voices. Possibly you're talking about a situation where there a lot of indistinct background voices? In which case they could add up to something like the engine hum that is supposed to get cancelled. Or maybe you've used non-standard hardware, in which case its worth saying what it is, because in past threads people haven't been able to find headphones with voice cancelling:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/182952/does-anyone-make-noise-cancelling-phones-that-work-in-the-human-voice-range

post #12 of 12
Let's not get off topic but I wrote reduce not cancel. And yes they do reduce. So did my Sennheisers before the Bose...
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