or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Comparisons: 33 of the Top Closed/Portable Headphones Around
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Comparisons: 33 of the Top Closed/Portable Headphones Around - Page 17

post #241 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Went to an ear/nose/throat specialist (Dr. of the head-holes according to the Simpsons) and he said I was fine. Just happens after listening to IEMs. Ranges from "feel full" to "is this an ear infection pressure". Sinuses are good, but the easy solution was to follow the old joke:

Me: "doctor, my arm hurts when I wave it like this".

Doctor: "then don't wave it like that".

So IEMs are out for me...thus my journey this summer into portable headphones. 

Hmmm, interesting. I guess if nothings wrong otherwise then youre good to go. I have had chronic ENT issues for years so I could never let it go like that. But thats me - at least you know its nothing serious.
post #242 of 4207

Thank you, MacedonianHero, for this great write-up and comparison. I really appreciate your effort and time which has gone into this.

 

I would love to see how you would rate the Ultrasone Edition 8 in your rating system. Yes, different ends of the pricing scale but I would find it very interesting nonetheless.

 

Cheers.

post #243 of 4207
Peter, two thumbs up for the Momentums. Listened to Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild" and there was some bass there that I did not detect with my HE 400 ! I gotta go back and check whether my ears are playing games.
So thanks to you, I'm set with my portables.
post #244 of 4207

and where are the M100??

post #245 of 4207
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodflowerz View Post

Thank you, MacedonianHero, for this great write-up and comparison. I really appreciate your effort and time which has gone into this.

 

I would love to see how you would rate the Ultrasone Edition 8 in your rating system. Yes, different ends of the pricing scale but I would find it very interesting nonetheless.

 

Cheers.

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback. I used to own the Ultrasone Edition 8 Limited Editions and actually I prefer the sound of the Momentums, Kef M500s and PSB M4U 2 to them. Now when one considers that they cost $2000 MSRP, doesn't really give you good value does it? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post

Peter, two thumbs up for the Momentums. Listened to Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild" and there was some bass there that I did not detect with my HE 400 ! I gotta go back and check whether my ears are playing games.
So thanks to you, I'm set with my portables.

Excellent! Glad you're enjoying them. I love mine and they'll be with me for a very long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by augusto3210 View Post

and where are the M100??

Hoping to get to them down the road. But this week I've been busy with my 2 new Stax amps (KGSSHV and Liquid Lightning) for my SR-009s. But I do plan on giving them a try and adding them to the list.

post #246 of 4207

I had a good listen to some of these headphones this morning at a store I found in Wellington - Sound Expressions for any locals. All headphones were driven from a Samsung Galaxy S4, as that's what I plan to use to listen to music at work - I have LCD2 and a DAC/PPA at home. Note that these headphones haven't had a lot of burn in time - quite variable amounts between 30 minutes and a dozen hours. I took my LCD2 and Beats by Dr Dre in for comparison - don't judge me for the beats, they were free review samples. Just for comparision's sake, the beats are a bit bass heavy, lack detail and the highs are rolled off, but overall they're not as bad as their reputation. Great for on a plane.

 

First up, the S4 isn't a great source/amp. Listening to the same mp3 on my home setup with the LCD 2 vs powered by the phone the the home setup sounds quite a bit better. Clarity's a little better, highs, bass is lower and stronger, everything's better really. So the results I find probably don't apply to good source/amp setups. Comfort rated while wearing reading glasses... because I wear reading glasses.

 

About me - I run a headphone reviews website, I've owned and listened to all sorts of things, good and bad. I like stuff like Michael Buble, Norah Jones, dance music like Generation Trance (vocal trance), Joss Stone, and a bit of rock. I'm listening to Buble live on the LCD2 through a PPA while I write this review. I'm looking for closed headphones for work to replace the stolen A900s (see more about that below).

 

Now on with my impressions! Remember, all my opinion, and all driven from the S4 phone.

 

PSB M4U 1. I found these quite bright and a little sharp in the treble. The bass wasn't that low or that strong. Clarity was good to very good throughout the range. Comfort was good. Build quality seemed ok, but they don't seem super robust. I don't know why they made them folding, they don't get much smaller when folded. I found the M4U 2 much the same. Overall the lack of bass made these a "no" for me.

 

Sennheiser Momentum. I was really disappointed with these, I expected much more from Sennhesier. The ear cups are quite small, even to me with smaller head and ears, you kind of fold your ears into the cup. They're only just circumaural. The highs are rolled off a bit, they're quite dark. The bass is strong, but extension is poor, and it's quite muddy. Overall clarity wasn't great, not near what it should be at this price. They're quite comfortable despite their small ear cup size, and look reasonably well built. These are a fashion piece, not a high end headphone. A definite "no".

 

Yamaha HPH-MT220. These were quite outstanding, initially my pick of the bunch even though they weren't perfect, though I think they're second now. Bass extension and impact was excellent without being too strong. There was good highs, and detail and clarity there was good. The midrange sounded recessed and lacked clarity, which was the main drawback of these headphones. I've asked the very helpful guy in the store to burn them in a bit for me, I'll go back in a week or two and try them out. I probably wouldn't get them with the recessed mids, but if they come out a bit they'll be an excellent headphone at a great price. I listen to a lot of vocals so the recessed mids wouldn't suit me, but for some music they might be great. Comfort was good, and they're quite light. They're plastic, but good solid plastic, build quality's good. I don't like the coiled cord and the cord isn't detachable. These get a conditional "yes" from me.

 

Yamaha Pro 500. Poor bass, poor clarity, comfort not very good. Not recommended at all.

 

AKG550. These were interesting. They're a good all rounder, if they fit you. I found the ear cups too large so they didn't seal, which affected bass - pushing them to my head bass got better. The support system wouldn't let the bottom of the ear cup seal on me without me pushing it. Not suitable for people with smaller heads. Bass extension was good, but strength low - better if you push them in. Bright in the highs, but not in a bad way - good detail. Good midrange, well balanced, good clarity. Well balanced, overall a good headphone, but with some size/fit issues. Not recommended unless you have a big head and can try them before you buy, or return easily and cheaply.

 

Sony MDR-R1. I listened to these at the Sony Store without any headphones to compare them with. I was pretty impressed! Strong bass with good extension, but not too strong. Good detail in the highs without being too bright. Midrange was well balanced. Clarity I find a bit hard to judge without a comparison, but I felt while it wasn't perfect it was pretty good - better than the Momentum or M4U 1. They're definitely made to be driven by portable devices, not high end hifi gear. Decent build quality, plastic but robust, I wouldn't want to drop them too often though. Comfortable, pads a bit thin but totally fine. Other than clarity these seemed like really nice headphones, my pick of the bunch, and quite good value as well. A definite "yes".

 

Sony MDR-R1NC. Largely similar to the non NC version. They were a lot brighter to my ear, to the point I couldn't listen to them for too long as they'd be fatiguing. The highs are just a bit sharp. Good noise cancelling though, at least in the store. These are a "maybe", only if you can return them if they're too sharp for you.

 

Audio Technica A900s were probably better than most of those headphones, and better value too. Very balanced sound, good bass, good treble without being too bright, good clarity. The A900X support system SUCKS, the 3D wing really provides no support at all so they slip down and rest on your ear if you move around at all. However at $200 they're amazing value, and if anyone can work out a way to mod them to provide good support without using a stupid ugly rubber band then these are probably my pick of the lot. They're not at all portable, they look stupid, but they make great music. The next best to this is the basic MDR-R1.

 

Also listened to, open headphones today:

 

Sennheiser HD598. Impressive sound at this price point. Well balanced sound, good bass with good extension, not super strong but balanced. Mid and highs were nice, clear, balanced. I really enjoyed these, but they're open and I need closed for work.

 

Grado PS500. These are interesting. The sound is a bit colored, but in an enjoyable way that's hard to describe. You'd never call them accurate, but more like fun. Everything's well balanced, good bass, good clarity. Slightly on the bright side, but not in a bad way. Very comfortable for a supraaural headphone. I was impressed. I wouldn't buy it, but if you like the grado sound you'd probably like these.

 

 

So what am I going to buy? I had no idea. Maybe the Sony's, but I want to go in and compare them with the Beats and LCD2 first. Maybe the A900X again, if I can work out a way to mod them to put a decent headband in there. Maybe the Mad Dogs, though I think they're a bit expensive given they're a (much) modified $70, and these probably need a small amp as well. They'd cost me US$500 shipped from the US once you count shipping and having to buy another headphone amp, which is more than I want to spend, and for work an amp is a pain in the butt with cables and packing it away every night so it's not stolen.

 

If I had to buy something right now  it'd be the Sony MDR-R1, my only slight concern being clarity.

post #247 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando View Post

I had a good listen to some of these headphones this morning at a store I found in Wellington - Sound Expressions for any locals. All headphones were driven from a Samsung Galaxy S4, as that's what I plan to use to listen to music at work - I have LCD2 and a DAC/PPA at home. Note that these headphones haven't had a lot of burn in time - quite variable amounts between 30 minutes and a dozen hours. I took my LCD2 and Beats by Dr Dre in for comparison - don't judge me for the beats, they were free review samples. Just for comparision's sake, the beats are a bit bass heavy, lack detail and the highs are rolled off, but overall they're not as bad as their reputation. Great for on a plane.

 

First up, the S4 isn't a great source/amp. Listening to the same mp3 on my home setup with the LCD 2 vs powered by the phone the the home setup sounds quite a bit better. Clarity's a little better, highs, bass is lower and stronger, everything's better really. So the results I find probably don't apply to good source/amp setups. Comfort rated while wearing reading glasses... because I wear reading glasses.

 

About me - I run a headphone reviews website, I've owned and listened to all sorts of things, good and bad. I like stuff like Michael Buble, Norah Jones, dance music like Generation Trance (vocal trance), Joss Stone, and a bit of rock. I'm listening to Buble live on the LCD2 through a PPA while I write this review. I'm looking for closed headphones for work to replace the stolen A900s (see more about that below).

 

Now on with my impressions! Remember, all my opinion, and all driven from the S4 phone.

 

PSB M4U 1. I found these quite bright and a little sharp in the treble. The bass wasn't that low or that strong. Clarity was good to very good throughout the range. Comfort was good. Build quality seemed ok, but they don't seem super robust. I don't know why they made them folding, they don't get much smaller when folded. I found the M4U 2 much the same. Overall the lack of bass made these a "no" for me.

 

Sennheiser Momentum. I was really disappointed with these, I expected much more from Sennhesier. The ear cups are quite small, even to me with smaller head and ears, you kind of fold your ears into the cup. They're only just circumaural. The highs are rolled off a bit, they're quite dark. The bass is strong, but extension is poor, and it's quite muddy. Overall clarity wasn't great, not near what it should be at this price. They're quite comfortable despite their small ear cup size, and look reasonably well built. These are a fashion piece, not a high end headphone. A definite "no".

 

Yamaha HPH-MT220. These were quite outstanding, initially my pick of the bunch even though they weren't perfect, though I think they're second now. Bass extension and impact was excellent without being too strong. There was good highs, and detail and clarity there was good. The midrange sounded recessed and lacked clarity, which was the main drawback of these headphones. I've asked the very helpful guy in the store to burn them in a bit for me, I'll go back in a week or two and try them out. I probably wouldn't get them with the recessed mids, but if they come out a bit they'll be an excellent headphone at a great price. I listen to a lot of vocals so the recessed mids wouldn't suit me, but for some music they might be great. Comfort was good, and they're quite light. They're plastic, but good solid plastic, build quality's good. I don't like the coiled cord and the cord isn't detachable. These get a conditional "yes" from me.

 

Yamaha Pro 500. Poor bass, poor clarity, comfort not very good. Not recommended at all.

 

AKG550. These were interesting. They're a good all rounder, if they fit you. I found the ear cups too large so they didn't seal, which affected bass - pushing them to my head bass got better. The support system wouldn't let the bottom of the ear cup seal on me without me pushing it. Not suitable for people with smaller heads. Bass extension was good, but strength low - better if you push them in. Bright in the highs, but not in a bad way - good detail. Good midrange, well balanced, good clarity. Well balanced, overall a good headphone, but with some size/fit issues. Not recommended unless you have a big head and can try them before you buy, or return easily and cheaply.

 

Sony MDR-R1. I listened to these at the Sony Store without any headphones to compare them with. I was pretty impressed! Strong bass with good extension, but not too strong. Good detail in the highs without being too bright. Midrange was well balanced. Clarity I find a bit hard to judge without a comparison, but I felt while it wasn't perfect it was pretty good - better than the Momentum or M4U 1. They're definitely made to be driven by portable devices, not high end hifi gear. Decent build quality, plastic but robust, I wouldn't want to drop them too often though. Comfortable, pads a bit thin but totally fine. Other than clarity these seemed like really nice headphones, my pick of the bunch, and quite good value as well. A definite "yes".

 

Sony MDR-R1NC. Largely similar to the non NC version. They were a lot brighter to my ear, to the point I couldn't listen to them for too long as they'd be fatiguing. The highs are just a bit sharp. Good noise cancelling though, at least in the store. These are a "maybe", only if you can return them if they're too sharp for you.

 

Audio Technica A900s were probably better than most of those headphones, and better value too. Very balanced sound, good bass, good treble without being too bright, good clarity. The A900X support system SUCKS, the 3D wing really provides no support at all so they slip down and rest on your ear if you move around at all. However at $200 they're amazing value, and if anyone can work out a way to mod them to provide good support without using a stupid ugly rubber band then these are probably my pick of the lot. They're not at all portable, they look stupid, but they make great music. The next best to this is the basic MDR-R1.

 

Also listened to, open headphones today:

 

Sennheiser HD598. Impressive sound at this price point. Well balanced sound, good bass with good extension, not super strong but balanced. Mid and highs were nice, clear, balanced. I really enjoyed these, but they're open and I need closed for work.

 

Grado PS500. These are interesting. The sound is a bit colored, but in an enjoyable way that's hard to describe. You'd never call them accurate, but more like fun. Everything's well balanced, good bass, good clarity. Slightly on the bright side, but not in a bad way. Very comfortable for a supraaural headphone. I was impressed. I wouldn't buy it, but if you like the grado sound you'd probably like these.

 

 

So what am I going to buy? I had no idea. Maybe the Sony's, but I want to go in and compare them with the Beats and LCD2 first. Maybe the A900X again, if I can work out a way to mod them to put a decent headband in there. Maybe the Mad Dogs, though I think they're a bit expensive given they're a (much) modified $70, and these probably need a small amp as well. They'd cost me US$500 shipped from the US once you count shipping and having to buy another headphone amp, which is more than I want to spend, and for work an amp is a pain in the butt with cables and packing it away every night so it's not stolen.

 

If I had to buy something right now  it'd be the Sony MDR-R1, my only slight concern being clarity.

 

Either your ears did not fit at all well in the cups or there was something wrong with that Momentum because they are neither rolled-off in the bass or lacking in clarity at the price range. 

post #248 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

Either your ears did not fit at all well in the cups or there was something wrong with that Momentum because they are neither rolled-off in the bass or lacking in clarity at the price range. 

+1

post #249 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

 

Either your ears did not fit at all well in the cups or there was something wrong with that Momentum because they are neither rolled-off in the bass or lacking in clarity at the price range. 

 

Remember a few things:

 - This is my opinion, with plenty of disclaimers. You can have your own opinion, but you can't tell me my opinion based on what I heard is wrong. Sure happy to hear if you disagree, or if you think they're faulty, but you can't say someone's opinion is incorrect about something this subjective.

 - The source was a phone, so not great quality or power behind it

 - The headphones probably hadn't been burnt in, they're in a store. Some headphones really do need good burn in time, some are fine out of the box.

 

The momentum also wasn't balanced properly - the left ear was very slightly louder than the right. The PSB M4U 2 had the same issue, both quite subtle. It's entirely possible that it was brand new out of the box, or that it was faulty. My ears fit into the cups, but they did feel smaller than most headphones. I know another place has them, so I'll have a listen to them again in the next couple of weeks and I'll update if the first pair turn out not to be representative of them all.


Edited by commando - 8/31/13 at 3:03am
post #250 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando View Post

 

Remember a few things:

 - This is my opinion, it's not up for debate. You can have your own opinion, but you can't tell me my opinion based on what I heard is wrong. The best you can says is you don't think that pair of momentums is representative of all of them, or is faulty.

 - The source was a phone, so not great quality or power behind it

 - The headphones probably hadn't been burnt in, they're in a store. Some headphones really do need good burn in time, some are fine out of the box.

 

The momentum also wasn't balanced properly - the left ear was very slightly louder than the right. The PSB M4U 2 had the same issue, both quite subtle. It's entirely possible that it was brand new out of the box, or that it was faulty. My ears fit into the cups, but they did feel smaller than most headphones. I know another place has them, so I'll have a listen to them again in the next couple of weeks and I'll update if the first pair turn out not to be representative of them all.

 

I didn't say your opinion itself is wrong now did I? I said that either your ears didn't fit well so you didn't get a good seal (which bass extension suffers from) or they were faulty in one way or the other. Because, providing it's a well-functioning pair, the Momentum is arguably among the best sounding portable headphones out there. 
 

post #251 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando View Post

The momentum also wasn't balanced properly - the left ear was very slightly louder than the right. The PSB M4U 2 had the same issue, both quite subtle. It's entirely possible that it was brand new out of the box, or that it was faulty. My ears fit into the cups, but they did feel smaller than most headphones. I know another place has them, so I'll have a listen to them again in the next couple of weeks and I'll update if the first pair turn out not to be representative of them all.

If two headphones have the same problem..... is your source faulty? (Sorry if this is too much "stating the obvious.")

post #252 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

If two headphones have the same problem..... is your source faulty? (Sorry if this is too much "stating the obvious.")


Or even the song, possibly?

post #253 of 4207
commando, I see you enjoyed the Yamaha headphones!! I think they are pretty special and would choose then over the Momentums, PSB, Kef M500, etc.
post #254 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

If two headphones have the same problem..... is your source faulty? (Sorry if this is too much "stating the obvious.")

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

 

I didn't say your opinion itself is wrong now did I? I said that either your ears didn't fit well so you didn't get a good seal (which bass extension suffers from) or they were faulty in one way or the other. Because, providing it's a well-functioning pair, the Momentum is arguably among the best sounding portable headphones out there. 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DnB4Guy View Post


Or even the song, possibly?

 

I don't think it was the source or the song. I listened to six or eight different songs on around 10 pairs of headphones yesterday. The Grado's, Senn 598s, beats, Yamaha, AKG, Sony all sounded balanced. The seal I got was fine, no problems there, the only fit comment I had was the ear cups are quite small. I'm fairly experienced at this, I've been here since 2004. I've probably listened to more headphones than most people on this forum, I own http://www.headphonereviews.org and get quite a few samples through.

 

I'm not saying the Sennheiser Momentum was awful, just that it wasn't as good as the other headphones I listened to. I'll have another listen this week to a different pair, if I can convince JB HiFi to take them out of their rack. No point listening to the same ones again.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post

commando, I see you enjoyed the Yamaha headphones!! I think they are pretty special and would choose then over the Momentums, PSB, Kef M500, etc.

 

They were excellent in the lows and the highs, but the recessed midrange also lacked clarity. It wasn't awful, it just wasn't as good as the highs and lows, but it was still very good. I'm hoping the mids clear up with a few days burn in time, which the store's doing now - the guy's a headphone enthusiast and appreciated me taking the LCD2 in. I think these were my second favorite, behind the Sony MDR-1R.

post #255 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando View Post

I'm not saying the Sennheiser Momentum was awful, just that it wasn't as good as the other headphones I listened to. I'll have another listen this week to a different pair, if I can convince JB HiFi to take them out of their rack. No point listening to the same ones again.

I am not that impressed with the Momentum's either. Comfy to wear, but The HD25-1 ii's and DT-1350's give better IMO....I think style won this development battle.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Comparisons: 33 of the Top Closed/Portable Headphones Around