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Main unamped 'phone for a variety: Beyer DT 880, Grado 225, Grado 325, HiFiMan HE-400, or other?

Poll Results: Beyer DT 880, Grado 225, Grado 325, HiFiMan HE-400, or other?

 
  • 17% (5)
    Beyer DT 880
  • 20% (6)
    Grado 325
  • 10% (3)
    Grado 225
  • 34% (10)
    HiFiMan HE-400
  • 17% (5)
    Other
29 Total Votes  
post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 

Hello all!

 

It's a pleasure to be a part of such an educated, interesting, and great group of people. I've been lurking for a while, but am so impressed with everyone's expertise, I thought I'd ask questions and interact, for once.

 

I'm a high-school science teacher, also a soul, jazz, blues, and classic rock singer and musician. (I'm telling you to give a better picture of my background, technical knowledge, and preferences.) I've listened to some good low-end headphones, but I know what good sound sounds like, and I don't have it. My Bose On-Ears (presents) are nasty - muffled, boomy bass, ill-defined highs. Same story with my V-Moda Crossfades. I have some Sennheiser HD280s, but they hurt like the dickens and are just so... boring. Good for recording, though.

 

I don't have an inclination to amp headphones, just because I'm always moving around, from school to my desk to other rooms to outside. I know amps offer improvements, but I've always felt that the easier the headphone is to use, the more likely I will be to actually use it. I'm so darn busy anymore, I need the least complicated setup I can get.

 

I have about $400 to spend right now, and I've been saving for a good pair of headphones. I care mostly about sound quality and detail, but a little comfort wouldn't hurt. I've heard Grados, and love the sound, but I've heard that the DT-880s (32 ohm, of course, for unamped) are comfortable AND durable AND sound a bit Grado-ish. Good for long correcting sessions. I've also heard great things about the new HiFiMan HE-400, but was worried they wouldn't work unamped on my iPad or Galaxy S3. Oh, and then if I go for Grados, I like the idea of the better components in the 325, but I heard it's too harsh.

 

I'm so confused at this point! Opinions, come flooding in!

post #2 of 79

Hey there!

 

If you don't have the intention in buying a headphone amplifier, the Beyerdynamic DT880 and the and the HE400 are not for you. Even the 32 ohm DT880 will need a bit of amplification to sound its best. The HE400, because of its planar magnetic drivers, will require the use of an amp. Both Grados, though, do not need an amp like the Beyers and the Hifimans, but still benefit slightly from an amp (I have an SR325is). If you're going to be using your headphones outdoors, do not buy an open headphone. There is no isolation and sound will leak in and out of the headphone. If going outdoors, look at closed headphones instead. If using your headphones indoors, by all means, open headphones will work 100%. 

post #3 of 79
Thread Starter 

Good to know, LazBro123. I was afraid of that with the Beyers and the HiFiMan. I get that an amp would help, but I just want to collapse at my desk and start listening to tunes whilst preparing for classes the next day, and I don't want to have to carry an amp everywhere. You like the 325s? Are they pretty well made? I heard that Grado is great about helping if they break anyway...

post #4 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Good to know, LazBro123. I was afraid of that with the Beyers and the HiFiMan. I get that an amp would help, but I just want to collapse at my desk and start listening to tunes whilst preparing for classes the next day, and I don't want to have to carry an amp everywhere. You like the 325s? Are they pretty well made? I heard that Grado is great about helping if they break anyway...

to choose which headphone is good for you, what kind of sound do you want?

post #5 of 79
Thread Starter 

Hmm, good question. (By the way, my family comes from Quebec City. Been there for 400 years. But I won't hold your Montreal roots against you... biggrin.gif)

 

I'm into many different genres: blues, jazz, soul, classic rock, Radiohead-type stuff, modern R&B. I even like the new Daft Punk album (So clean! So pretty!) I have a weakness for Steely Dan and Pink Floyd in terms of sound quality, but who doesn't? 

 

Well, that didn't really narrow it down much. Let me put it this way: I want a headphone that will let me get immersed in the music.

post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Good to know, LazBro123. I was afraid of that with the Beyers and the HiFiMan. I get that an amp would help, but I just want to collapse at my desk and start listening to tunes whilst preparing for classes the next day, and I don't want to have to carry an amp everywhere. You like the 325s? Are they pretty well made? I heard that Grado is great about helping if they break anyway...

And yes I like the 325, but the bass is sort of lacking, and the highs can go overboard, but have excellent mids. They're pretty well made, but not exceptionally well. I wouldn't worry about them breaking.

post #7 of 79
Thread Starter 

Oh, and while I want accuracy, I don't quite want the boring sound of the HD280s I have. A little TOO accurate, perhaps?

post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Hmm, good question. (By the way, my family comes from Quebec City. Been there for 400 years. But I won't hold your Montreal roots against you... biggrin.gif)

 

I'm into many different genres: blues, jazz, soul, classic rock, Radiohead-type stuff, modern R&B. I even like the new Daft Punk album (So clean! So pretty!) I have a weakness for Steely Dan and Pink Floyd in terms of sound quality, but who doesn't? 

 

Well, that didn't really narrow it down much. Let me put it this way: I want a headphone that will let me get immersed in the music.

Lol. So basically you want an all-rounder closed headphone, right? If that's the case, I would look at the AKG K550, Denon D2000 (discontinued, so they will have to be bought used), Audio Technica ATH-A900X, Shure SRH940 (a little lacking in bass, but detail is just out of this world) or Ultrasone PRO 750.

post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Oh, and while I want accuracy, I don't quite want the boring sound of the HD280s I have. A little TOO accurate, perhaps?

Honestly, I do not like the HD280 PRO at all. Not only are they analytical and dry, they have this plasticky hollow sound in the lower mids, which I really do not like. As well, I find that there's no sense of engagement in the sound. They're meant for the studio (because of the flat frequency response), not for pleasure listening.

post #10 of 79
Thread Starter 

Glad you feel the way I do about the HD280s. Ugh, they're painful, but I respect them.

 

Why do you think I need a closed headphone? I don't care about bugging others - I have my own room. Are they better suited for my music? I'm a bit tired of over-bassed headphones. I like bass, but not inaccurate or over-amped. 

post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Glad you feel the way I do about the HD280s. Ugh, they're painful, but I respect them.

 

Why do you think I need a closed headphone? I don't care about bugging others - I have my own room. Are they better suited for my music? I'm a bit tired of over-bassed headphones. I like bass, but not inaccurate or over-amped. 

Didn't you say you were bringing your headphones outside? Open headphones will not work outside, while closed headphones will. If you're going to be listening only inside, I can recommend you open headphones... Closed headphones usually have more bass than open headphones, but there are a few exceptions, like the Beyerdynamic DT990, which have more bass than a lot of closed headphones.

post #12 of 79
Thread Starter 

By the way, I'm totally thankful for the closed-back recommendations - the AKGs look VERY durable and sweet. You like them?

 

I live in a pretty rural area, North Bend, WA. I really care mostly about good sound. However, those AKGs look tempting as a melding of the two worlds - an open sound signature but a closed back convenience?

post #13 of 79
Thread Starter 

And now that I'm thinking about it, I could be wooed away from the Grados if I found something that was super tough and super comfy with decent sound. See, this is why I'm asking for help! I don't know what to do!

post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

And now that I'm thinking about it, I could be wooed away from the Grados if I found something that was super tough and super comfy with decent sound. See, this is why I'm asking for help! I don't know what to do!

IMO, I would get a closed headphone for you. I would take the AKG if I were you ;). Seems like it suits your needs the most, and no amp needed!

post #15 of 79
Thread Starter 

See what happens here? I come in thinking that I know which headphones interest me, and I come out picking a totally different beast. Thanks very much for your help, LazBro123. I'll be ordering those AKGs tomorrow!

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