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First Post :-) Please Recommend Some Over Ear Headphones (Multiple Purpose)

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey All,

 

Firstly hello to all head - fi'ers :-) i've been a long time lurker and finally took the plunge & joined. I am pretty new to the headphone game but I can see it is a very slippery slope!!

 

I am hoping for some advice on my first proper (mid range) headphone purchase that ticks a few of my requirements and, most of all, sound amazing J

 

Basically I am looking for a pair of over ear cans that can be used (and sound great) across multiple purposes:

 

  1. Listening via potable source (iphone etc) but with high quality files (lossless etc).

  2. Listening at home via my Beresford DAC (from what I understand works better with low OHM cans, but must confess I don’t know what this means).

 

I have done some serious reading across various forums but still can’t narrow the selection down to one set that will do the job for both purposes?

 

My music preferences are anything from metal to acoustic music (simple vocals & guitar) and would like headphones that really bring out the quality of the music and not swamp with bass or distortion that takes away from how the music is supposed to be listened too.

 

I guess the other thing to consider is that there isn’t a “one size fits all” can and I need to look at two separate pairs but would like to avoid this if possible!

 

Lastly, with regards to open back & closed back, I would prefer something that isn’t going to leak out too much sound (the Mrs would swing for me) but at the same time I don’t want to settle for an inferior sound/product and can arrange listening that avoids this conflict!

 

Budget wise I am pretty flexible but not really looking for extreme high end (although I am happy to go into the second hand market to get the right cans)

 

Hope you can help & please ask more questions if it would help.....................

post #2 of 31

Audio Technica esw9s are really good on ears I was considering buying for a very long time, they can be had used for around $200 last time i checked and they look amazing and are 42 ohm so they should sound good right out of your iPhone.  Sennheiser Momentum on ears are also coming out and a ton of people are very excited about those.  Both are closed back as well

 

What kind of sound signature do you like? Bass heavy, a lot of treble, neutral?

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for you reply linglingjr, sound preference is a very good question and I am not sure how to answer?? confused_face.gif

 

I wouldn't say that I like huge amounts of bass or overly bright sound.  this is sitting on the fence but I would say that I am after headphones that brings out the quality of the music (whether this is instrumental or vocal) but at the same time reproduces just the right amount of bass so that you can hear it but it doesn't take over (hope that makes sense!!).

 

The only other way I can describe it is when I recently went from a bog standard midi hifi system to a Naim & KEF XQ hifi system, the difference is night and day and you can clearly pick out the different instruments and lose yourself in the music and hear how the music is supposed to be heard.

 

I should also mention that I live in NZ so demo'ing cans is quiet difficult but I have had a very brief listen to the momentums in a local store (but not with any of my own music) and I found the sound ok but the vocals tended to be kind of crackly/fuzzy when the volume was increased but this could have simply been down to the source (low bit rate etc).   I have also read that the momentums are better used with a portable source rather than a DAC for home listening??

 

A friend recently lent me an old pair of Grado SR80's which I found the sound good but as i mentioned in my post, the sound leakage might cause a problem!

 

Hope this helps a bit??
 

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJH2204 View Post

 

I recently went from a bog standard midi hifi system to a Naim & KEF XQ hifi system, the difference is night and day and you can clearly pick out the different instruments and lose yourself in the music and hear how the music is supposed to be heard.

Those speakers look really nice.  

 

I've never heard any of these cans but people say the esw9 is has more bass than esw7s (audio technica has a ton of on ears you should look into) From my experience having a little bit extra bass is a good thing if you listen to a wide variety of music but I'm not really sure with metal I know that grados do that great. 

 

Here are reviews of the esw9, I think it would be very hard to be disappointed with them:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-technica-ath-esw9-sovereign-wood-headphones

 
 
If you don't like them you can always turn around and sell them on the For Sale section on here and try something else.  Best thing I can say is to read a ton of reviews and see what others say about them taking into account what their source is and what genres they tested them with.  Looking for the right headphones gets 100x easier after you've owned several and start to have a reference point to compare with.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

thats interesting to note about having a decent bass sound but looking at the review for the ESW's it seems like they are bass heavy and I am not sure if they would suit my accoustic type listening?

 

I might see if i can find a pait to demo and check them out myself.

 

Anyone got any other recommendations ontop of the ESW's?

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post

Those speakers look really nice. 

Yeah, ive actually got the older version with the hyper tweeter on top of the cabinet.  Looks pretty retro but I like them

post #7 of 31

Some how I managed to forget about the Sennheiser HD 25s, the Amperiors and maybe Beyer DT1350s
Edit: this whole time I thought he was saying on ears... oops.


Edited by linglingjr - 7/24/13 at 1:09am
post #8 of 31

The ESW9 are on ears not over ears and it has less bass the the HD650, very mid centric perfect for vocals and Jazz. Bear in mind that they have recently been discontinued and prices for new cans are climbing to ridiculous levels. If you really want one, there's plenty for sale here.

 

To the OP you did not mention your price range

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post

Some how I managed to forget about the Sennheiser HD 25s, the Amperiors and maybe Beyer DT1350s
Edit: this whole time I thought he was saying on ears... oops.


Looks like the HD-25s and Beyer DT1350's are on ear rather than over ear?  im definately keen on over ear

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post

The ESW9 are on ears not over ears and it has less bass the the HD650, very mid centric perfect for vocals and Jazz. Bear in mind that they have recently been discontinued and prices for new cans are climbing to ridiculous levels. If you really want one, there's plenty for sale here.

 

To the OP you did not mention your price range

 

Are the HD650 open back and if so what is the sound leakage like?  ive got a tempramental girlfriend tongue.gif

post #11 of 31

Hello!

 

Welcome to Head-Fi! :D 

 

HD650/HD600 are both open headphones and will leak a lot of noise be it from outside to inside or the other way round. Since your equipment are more for headphones that are easier to drive with, I would suggest you the PSB M4U1!

 

Hope this helps!
Billson :D

post #12 of 31

Hi JJH2204

 

Fellow Kiwi here.  Definitely need more info if you want some decent help.

 

  1. What part on NZ?  Helps - just so I can check audio stores in your location.
  2. What is your budget? (NZ$ is fine).  When you talk about buying 2nd hand - are you OK purchasing on-line o/seas and getting them that way - or are you planning on sticking mainly to NZ (eg TradeMe)?
  3. I'm assuming from what you posted so far that you're after circumaural and closed (over ear and isolating).
  4. You mentioned ability to be driven from a portable device - so assuming unamped?  Please list make and model of portable player.  When you say portable - you mean listening actually on the go - or just having the ability to take them around with you?  What level of isolation required?  How important is size and looks?
  5. What model is your Beresford - so we can look up output specs.  Also what is your chain - which digital player > Beresford > any other amp? > headphones.
  6. Finally - what is your listening preference.  Please describe in detail.  Do you like bassy, relatively flat, mid-centric, bright .... ?  What are the main genres you listen to?  What other headphones have you heard - and what did you like or didn't you like about them?

 

The more info you can provide - the better the help.

 

Cheers

 

Paul (in Invercargill)

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

Great question Brooko and I have tried to answer them confused_face_2.gif

 

1. My location is Auckland but travel to the UK fairly often.

 

2. Budget is a tough one, I always take the philosophy of waiting a bit longer to save up a few more $ to get the next level if it makes a huge difference (if that makes sense?)  To give a ball park I was thinking $200-400 NZ new (or second hand)

 

3. Definitely looking for something over-ear and not too much sound leakage if possible.

 

4. Good question re portable device.  What I was trying to say is that I wont always get the opportunity to listen through my Hi-Fi so would like something that works fine with an ipod/iphone when I have to listen in another room or in a hotel room etc.  I dont think I would use the cans walking out on the street so they dont need to be super portable or look  flash :-)

 

5. My hifi setup is all digital music (lossless files) played via airport express > into the Beresford > into the Naim 5i Amp and KEF XQ5 speakers.   The new headphones would be plugged directly into the bushmaster (I dont believe the Naim as a headphone jack!! confused.gif

 

6.  This is the one I really struggle with as a newby to Hi-Fi and headphones :-(  I dont want overpowering bass (just enough as on certain tracks that need bass but not enough to distort or take away the quality of the vocals etc).  I did mention above that I am looking for something that enhances the music I am listening too, good detail, good instrument isolation without it being patchy and reproduces the sound the way the artist wanted to be heard when they made the music.

 

That last one probably didnt answer your question and I am guessing that most of the recommended headphones wouldnt be overly bassy or have a "cheap" flat souless sound?

 

7.  The headphones I won or have tried so far are the Senn heiser PXC250? noise cancelling that I use on flights, Grado SR80 (good but lots of sound leakage), Sennheiser momentums (I didnt really have chance to listen to these properly but first impressions were ok).

 

Hope this helps!

 

J

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Hi JJH2204

 

Fellow Kiwi here.  Definitely need more info if you want some decent help.

 

  1. What part on NZ?  Helps - just so I can check audio stores in your location.
  2. What is your budget? (NZ$ is fine).  When you talk about buying 2nd hand - are you OK purchasing on-line o/seas and getting them that way - or are you planning on sticking mainly to NZ (eg TradeMe)?
  3. I'm assuming from what you posted so far that you're after circumaural and closed (over ear and isolating).
  4. You mentioned ability to be driven from a portable device - so assuming unamped?  Please list make and model of portable player.  When you say portable - you mean listening actually on the go - or just having the ability to take them around with you?  What level of isolation required?  How important is size and looks?
  5. What model is your Beresford - so we can look up output specs.  Also what is your chain - which digital player > Beresford > any other amp? > headphones.
  6. Finally - what is your listening preference.  Please describe in detail.  Do you like bassy, relatively flat, mid-centric, bright .... ?  What are the main genres you listen to?  What other headphones have you heard - and what did you like or didn't you like about them?

 

The more info you can provide - the better the help.

 

Cheers

 

Paul (in Invercargill)

post #14 of 31

Thanks - helps a lot.

 

The ones I'd recommend for you to try - and these I know very well (I own them) would be the Shure SRH840.  They are good all-rounders, circumaural, slight mid-bass hump - but very good mid-range and nice sparkle to the highs.  They are easy to drive & although large - do fold enough to get into a carry-on bag.  

 

Although I mainly use IEMs (Shure SE535 Ltd Ed) for long-haul flights - I have used the Shures before as well - and their isolation is above average for a closed headphone.  I personally find them very comfortable for long-term use.

 

Cons are that they are reasonable large & on the heavy side.  They look a bit blocky as well - but as you're not going to be wandering around with them, should suit you well.

 

Computer Lounge in AKLD have them - not sure if you can demo.  There are also a couple FS on the forums here which would be significantly cheaper.  The SRH840 were one of the first cans I owned.  I sold them after about 18 months (to try other gear) - and since then have bought and sold : SRH940, HD600, Q701, SR325i, HM5, AD700, MS1i, DT880 (250).  The only headphones I have repurchased (and still have both) are the DT880 (now 600 ohm) and the SRH840.  I'll probably rebuy the HD600 again at some stage - but for closed phones it will show you the high regard I have for the SRH840.  IMO the SRH840 have a wonderful sound signature.

 

Here's my original review - pretty old now - but still conveys my thoughts (http://www.head-fi.org/products/shure-srh840/reviews/5490).

 

Aside from the SRH840 - maybe consider:

 

HM5/FA-003/Digitech (all same headphone) - my review here http://www.head-fi.org/products/brainwavz-hm5-studio-monitor-headphones/reviews/6201

You can purchase them in NZ here : http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=AA2065

They're very good value.  IMO don't sound as good as the Shures and not as portable/transportable.  Do isolate very well though.

 

Also look for:

Mad-Dogs (https://www.mrspeakers.com/) - haven't heard these - one day I hope to - would be at upper limit of your price range.

AKG550 - again haven't heard them - check for sale forums for best deals - Addicted 2 Audio in Australia have them new for reasonable price (http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/AKG-K550-ClosedBack-Reference-Headphones)

Soundmagic HP100 - again haven't heard - but reviews suggest worth checking out.

 

Hope above helps.

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 

Many thanks for that, I will have a read through and check out some of those cans.

 

I have also been reading about the Beyer DT1350 but those look like on ear instead of over ear and the superlux range (as a cheap introduction into headphone ownership!)

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