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Re-Buying with Experience: Classy, Natural, Well-Built Headphone needed.

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

First of all, Hello again.

 

For those who know me, I've been off of Head-Fi for a little while now after settling for my current modified M50's a few months ago, but I've grown curious as of late after seeing some new headphones as well as seeing modifications to others. I've owned about 3-4 main headphones over the years, which gives me quite a bit more experience in knowing what I want than an average newbie, so I hope that my requirements aren't too specific to find something that matches me. (Still looking for that it seems) 

 

I'm going to list my requirements and preferences, then list each of the headphones I am looking at. In return, I'd like an answer of which one fits my needs best, and where I can buy it for a reasonable price.

 

Requirements:

  • I need something with a rather balanced signature - but a very slight bass emphasis (punchy bass). I'd prefer NOT to have recessed mids if possible. 
  • I need something closed, not open.
  • I need something built well, that wont scratch or show wear easily.
  • I need something that looks stylish/sleek - not blingy or gaudy.

 

  1. V-MODA M-100 + XL Pads: I've owned these headphones previously, and greatly enjoyed them. However, I did have two issues with them. Firstly, the comfort; the headband would begin to hurt the top of my head after about 45 minutes; that, and the pads were slightly shallow for me - so if I plan to buy them, I plan to buy them with the new XL pads that are in production now. (Hopefully these will be available in white, as I plan to buy in white) Secondly, the mids were slightly recessed compared to what I like. I am unsure of what the effect the XL pads will have on this, but I have been told it will be minimal. Any input would be welcome.
  2. Sennheiser Momentum (Black): I've heard great things about the comfort of these headphones, and I have to say that I do love the look of the Momentum in Black. I've heard that these headphones are great all-rounders, but I would like to know if they meet my preferences/requirements listed above. How is the bass in comparison to the M50's or M-100's? How is Sennheiser support and prices for replacement parts like cables? How low can I find these for on-line? (Black version only please)
  3. KEF M500: Originally heard about these in this thread and I was wondering how they match up with what I need above. I understand their build is good (aluminum), but the fact that they're on ear and the aluminum construction may increase the weight has me worried for their comfort. I'm also worried that with them being on ear, they may leak more and isolate less than I'd like. Can anyone provide me with some input on these?
  4. AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio by Young Guru: When the original plain version of the AIAIAI TMA-1 came out, I loved them. I had to EQ to brighten their rather warm and dark signature, but the bass was punchy like I loved, and the style was great as well. Now that AIAIAI has a full-sized headphone in the Studio, I'm looking at the improved Young Guru version. I'd like to know about the overall balance of the sound, as well as if the matte finish chips and falls off  like it did at the adjusting piece on the original TMA-1's. Any input on these would be extremely welcome, as I understand they are fairly new.

 

Thank you in advance for all your help! redface.gif


Edited by BRSxIgnition - 8/23/13 at 2:16pm
post #2 of 30

KEF is my favorite closed can under $350.  The momentum and m100 both have slightly recessed mids.  Not the m500 though.  Nice clean sound.  The kef is also light, so no worries.  They don't have the isolation of the momentum or m100 though.  Its not bad, but not good either.


Edited by Trunks159 - 8/23/13 at 2:50pm
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

KEF is my favorite closed can under $350.  The momentum and m100 both have slightly recessed mids.  Not the m500 though.  Nice clean sound.  The kef is also light, so no worries.  They don't have the isolation of the momentum or m100 though.  Its not bad, but not good either.

What about the bass? Does it have the slight emphasis I want? Slight punchiness to it? How much worse is the isolation?

post #4 of 30

The bass is definitely there, and it will hit when your track actually has that emphasis in it.  Im sure youll have no prob with the bass. They have much better and more bass than some if these open 'neutral' cans like the hd598, q701, and ma900.  The isolation isn't much worse.  Depends. You'll just loose a little more bass when on the train or something like that.  I use it all the time for portable use.

post #5 of 30

Short version:

 

KEF M500 > M100 > Momentums

 

This will surprise you, but I actually find the Senns more uncomfortable than the V-Modas and it's really the main reason I would put it last.

 

The KEFs are REALLY good.

I do find them darker than the Momentums (unlike Trunks ;-)) BUT that is NO problem at all as they kind of remind me of MrSpeakers Mad Dogs! ;)

 

KEFs definitely produce surprising amounts of bass (sub-bass and mid-bass), with forward mids (upper, sometimes can be too much with female vocals) and lush highs. It doesn't sound muddy, it really provides clear sound and details BUT it does so after you push it up a bit (i.e. increase the volume a bit higher). Does it sound better amped? Of course, but played straight from my Cowon, it provided me with pleasant sound in every genre I threw at it.

 

They are light and comfortable too, although after 3 hours, it seems the memory foam pads recede and I had to adjust a couple of times.

 

All in all, excellent headphones and great effort from KEF!

(can't wait for a full-sized closed offering!!!)

 

The Senns, love the style. I have the browns and they look like they were made for "grown-ups" but I like it. They too have a warm tilt with a bit boosted mid-bass, lack clarity a bit but not enough to get riled over. But what I don't like sound-wise about them is "something" up-top in the upper-mids/lower treble section... it just sounds "off" to me with some of the faster punk/metal I listen to. This doesn't happen with the KEFs so...

 

The M100s, well, you know those so I wont comment on them. They are still an excellent portable headphone in my eyes even with their recessed mids and comfort level.

 

If you can find a dealer to try the M500s, do so.

 

 

If I could suggest a headphone for you though, it would probably be the Mad Dogs, but they are not as good-looking as the others. And on the bit upper echelon, Ultrasone Signature Pros.

 

 

Anyway, just my .02 cents.

 

Good Luck!

post #6 of 30

It seems that the KEF M500 is quite popular. AnakChan seems to like them too.

 

I have the M-100 but I wouldn't really call it a balanced headphone even when portable listening. I did order the XL pads, so I'll post my impressions here when they arrive.

post #7 of 30

I think all of these headphones you've listed are also listed on Headphone Bar's site...judging from your location and assuming it's been updated that's ~1 hour or so away. The prices are okay, but I guess the key point is that they'd probably have them in stock for you to actually try out - though I haven't visited in months so I wouldn't be any wiser. It's a nice environment to try gear out. This might make me sound like an awful person but I've probably spent more time in there trying things there than actually buying them.

 

I would get pretty embarrassed if you already knew this though. frown.gif I'm actually going tomorrow so I'll see if they do have them in stock.

post #8 of 30

If you like M-100 bass, Momentum will not satisfy you.  I listened again at Best Buy and don't get the fuss around them.  While the mids are forward, the resolution doesn't blow me away and the highs still sound a bit harsh to my ears, almost artificial.  The TMA-1 is soooo dark in my opinion.

 

I think you should keep an eye out for the NAD Viso HP50 (check out my thread).  It is out in Europe and should be hitting North America anytime.  I would think they would be readily accessible in Canada since they are owned by PSB.  There is also the Munitio PRO 40 which hasn't been reviewed yet, but looks interesting.

 

I have not heard the KEF.
 


Edited by Craigster75 - 8/24/13 at 5:26am
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post

Short version:

 

(Lots of Info)

 

Anyway, just my .02 cents.

 

Good Luck!

 

Thanks for all your information, it's really helpful. Seems the Momentums are out of it for me, which is a shame - they look great in Black, and Tyle @ Innerfidelity loves them. 

 

About the KEF - I've heard they have an odd, flat cable, as well as a 2.5mm - 3.5mm setup. How is the quality of this cable? Is it expensive to replace? I've never had a flat cable before so I don't know how they are for overall utility. I'm also unsure of the comfort offered by the memory-foam on-ear pads, considering I'm mainly an around-ear person. Any impressions on these things would be good. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

It seems that the KEF M500 is quite popular. AnakChan seems to like them too.

 

I have the M-100 but I wouldn't really call it a balanced headphone even when portable listening. I did order the XL pads, so I'll post my impressions here when they arrive.

 

Agreed - it does seem that the KEF M500 is a popular choice.. I will have to contact Anakchan so that he can provide his input, seeing as he knows more about them. Also, impressions on the xl pads would be great once they arrive, thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

I think all of these headphones you've listed are also listed on Headphone Bar's site...judging from your location and assuming it's been updated that's ~1 hour or so away. The prices are okay, but I guess the key point is that they'd probably have them in stock for you to actually try out - though I haven't visited in months so I wouldn't be any wiser. It's a nice environment to try gear out. This might make me sound like an awful person but I've probably spent more time in there trying things there than actually buying them.

 

I would get pretty embarrassed if you already knew this though. frown.gif I'm actually going tomorrow so I'll see if they do have them in stock.

 

I've been to Headphone Bar once, but I rarely go into town - so It's rather out of the way from where I live.. If you could tell me about the comfort, quality of build, as well as the quality of the cable that would be amazing. (From checking the HeadphoneBar Website, it seems he's only expecting the KEF M500's on the 27th? Might want to check that before you leave!) They also don't seem to have the TMA-1 Studio by Young Guru.. Or any other version for that matter. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post

If you like M-100 bass, Momentum will not satisfy you.  I listened again at Best Buy and don't get the fuss around them.  While the mids are forward, the resolution doesn't blow me away and the highs still sound a bit harsh to my ears, almost artificial.  The TMA-1 is soooo dark in my opinion.

 

I think you should keep an eye out for the NAD Viso HP50 (check out my thread).  It is out in Europe and should be hitting North America anytime.  I would think they would be readily accessible in Canada since they are owned by PSB.  There is also the Munitio PRO 40 which hasn't been reviewed yet, but looks interesting.

 

I have not heard the KEF.

 

Yeah - it definitely seems like the Momentum is out of the running. I have a demo station in the mall by my house, so I will give them a quick try and see if I like them at all before discounting them completely. The Original TMA-1 - I agree - was incredibly dark, but apparently the studio by young guru version is much much more balanced and actually good. We need more thoughts on them, but I've only seen one owner on Head-Fi so far..

 

I've also been looking at the HP50, but until more news comes out about those and their price point, I can't really do much about them. If you could keep me updated on them though, that would be amazing.

 

Thank you for all your replies everyone!redface.gif

post #10 of 30

The Akg K550, No love for her here q.q you guys make her sad! 


It's a very sexy stlyish can, the mids are SLIGHTY forward, the bass hits DEEP and TIGHT, with a Jds Labs c5 it will SLAM really nicely! But you might know about it's fit issues. It fit's my head very nice, so it was more than worth it for me! 

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRSxIgnition View Post

I've been to Headphone Bar once, but I rarely go into town - so It's rather out of the way from where I live.. If you could tell me about the comfort, quality of build, as well as the quality of the cable that would be amazing. (From checking the HeadphoneBar Website, it seems he's only expecting the KEF M500's on the 27th? Might want to check that before you leave!) They also don't seem to have the TMA-1 Studio by Young Guru.. Or any other version for that matter. 

He usually has demo units available sooner than he has stock - so for the M500 I'll be checking right when I get there.

 

You're right, I remember them having the TMA-1 Studios (not sure if it was by Young Whatchamacallit or anything) last time so I just assumed. It's not on the site :P

 

Quote:
If you could tell me about the comfort, quality of build, as well as the quality of the cable that would be amazing. 

For all of them, or any one in specific?

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

He usually has demo units available sooner than he has stock - so for the M500 I'll be checking right when I get there.

 

You're right, I remember them having the TMA-1 Studios (not sure if it was by Young Whatchamacallit or anything) last time so I just assumed. It's not on the site :P

 

For all of them, or any one in specific?

The M500 - but if you find any other headphones that may fit what I need, that would be cool too biggrin.gif

post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRSxIgnition View Post

The M500 - but if you find any other headphones that may fit what I need, that would be cool too biggrin.gif

Ugh another Kef M500 recommendation... I hope that company wins some kind of award I won't care about *sigh*

 

Honestly they are too hip for me. If they looked like old school headphones [Beyers, Akg's] I might have hopped on this band wagon... but they look to hip and trendy,,, scares me away from what could be a great sounding can due to my desire to AVOID the main stream HIPSTER trend that's been spreading around these last few years 

 

I need to review these things already... any one know a company that's offering review samples? 

post #14 of 30
I would like to try a pair too. Their design seems "fresh" in the ocean of available headphones these days.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

I would like to try a pair too. Their design seems "fresh" in the ocean of available headphones these days.

Yea and I work as a "fresh" associate for Wal-Mart so I have MORE than enough "fresh" in my life

 

I emailed KEF,,, if Audio Technica can send me an AD 1000x, why can't Kef Send me their M500 right? We will see though 

 

Also... I love how the w1000x proves to have TIGHTER mids than the Akg K550, tighter with a lusher tone and punchier attack. Go you Modded Ath w1000x, only cost me $350 for the un modded can to! [Eat that KEF -.-] 

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