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Looking for my first pair of GOOD headphones.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, I've been lurking for awhile and been reading various reviews, suggestions, and posts here on Head-Fi.

I'm looking for a good set of over-ear headphones for both portable and home use. I honestly don't know if I've ever heard neutral headphones. I've read they are good for many different types of music, and it seems like that's what a lot of people want.

What I like to hear: I love bass. I wouldn't consider myself a bass head, but maybe I am. I want clarity in my headphones for sure. I don't want to just hear the treble or overpowering bass.

Budget: about $175 USD.

My sources will be a T-Mobile Galaxy S4 (using ViPER4Android) and a laptop with a fairly basic Soundblaster sound card. I will be using a fiio e17. My music ranges from the occasional 128kbps mp3 file (which I try to avoid, but I can't airways get better sources for a lot of free downloads such as the MLPMusicArchive Fan Music) to Opus format music around 160kbps (a little higher than what I read many consider to be transparent.) At home, encodes of my own CDs are FLAC. Most of my own rips are rock or dance/pop. I enjoy music from AC/DC to Carly Rae Jepsen to Atreyu to Hollywood Undead. I listen to a LOT of electronic/dance/dubstep from deadmau5 and Skrillex to Hellberg and Stephen Walking. Most of my MP3s are electronic or dance with lots of sounds like glass dropping that are high and should sound clear on what I'm looking for and long reverby bass sequences.

Headphones I've had in the past, which are about all I have to compare to:
  • Skullcandy Hesh 1: I used to love these but they seem way to bass heavy now.
  • Skullcandy Hesh 2 - much clearer than Hesh 1. I enjoy these but wanted to move up in quality.
  • Sony MDR-X05 - these are on ear headphones. I love the sound quality from these but they also seem a bit bassheavy. My biggest gripe with these is the sound feels so narrow. Closed in and direct. The Hesh 2 seem to have a better Soundstage and I prefer to use them if I can use an equalizer. When I don't have a decent equalizer or audio effects, I prefer the Sonys.

Requirements for new headphones:
  • Detachable headphones can that is easy to replace. My cats have ruined too many of my headphones to compromise on this.
  • Closed, with enough isolation for portable/public use.

I've been looking at the Soundmagic HP100 online and am leaning towards those, but I've read a few negative things about their midrange.

I've also been looking at the Brainwavz MH5. I read that they are a little light on bass and saw someone here link the Soundmagics for similar sound with a bit more bass.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4
Edited by crawler9 - 10/10/13 at 11:14am
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawler9 View Post

I've been looking at the Soundmagic HP100 online and am leaving towards those, but I've read a few negative things about their midrange.

Every headphone has some "negative things" depending on what you are comparing them against. wink.gif

I have not heard the HP100 myself, but everything I have read suggests that they are an excellent value and a step up from the Brainwavz HM5. Know that the HM5s are a Chinese manufactured speaker which are often sold by different companies with different branding on them. The newest version to come out in that line is the NVX Audio XPT100, which apparently has the same cups and drivers as the HM5 but different headband.
post #3 of 14
I would without reservation recommend the Yamaha HPH-200. They are unbeatable at the price and you'd have to spend a lot more to gain much improvement. They also have a surprisingly punchy bass response for open cans.
Edited by amigomatt - 10/10/13 at 8:35am
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by crawler9 View Post

I've been looking at the Soundmagic HP100 online and am leaving towards those, but I've read a few negative things about their midrange.
Every headphone has some "negative things" depending on what you are comparing them against. ;)I have not heard the HP100 myself, but everything I have read suggests that they are an excellent value and a step up from the Brainwavz HM5. Know that the HM5s are a Chinese manufactured speaker which are often sold by different companies with different branding on them. The newest version to come out in that line is the NVX Audio XPT100, which apparently has the same cups and drivers as the HM5 but different headband.

Of course there will be a negative in at least one person's opinion for all headphones. I understand that. I'd love to hear from a few people that have used the HP100s.

Thank you for the NVX Audio XPT100 link! They're less expensive than the HM5s if I decided to go with that. If two headphones have the same drivers, will they definitely sound the same?

I've read good things about using an amp... What do you think? Is it worth it for the headphones in my price range?

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4
Edited by crawler9 - 10/10/13 at 10:34am
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Double post.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4
Edited by crawler9 - 10/10/13 at 10:35am
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

I would without reservation recommend the Yamaha HPH-200. They are unbeatable at the price and you'd have to spend a lot more to gain much improvement. They also have a surprisingly punchy bass response for open cans.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. If I was looking at the right ones, they seem to be open headphones. Since I'll be using my headphones a lot in public, I think I need closed ones.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4


Edited by crawler9 - 10/10/13 at 10:41am
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawler9 View Post

Of course there will be a negative in at least one person's opinion for all headphones. I understand that. I'd love to hear from a few people that have used the HP100s.

Thank you for the NVX Audio XPT100 link! They're less expensive than the HM5s if I decided to go with that. If two headphones have the same drivers, will they definitely sound the same?

Best bet is to research head-fi for reviews and impressions threads on those headphones. That's where you get the best help for finding out about a particular headphone model smily_headphones1.gif

A google search with head-fi as a keyword along with the make/model usually finds all the main relevant threads.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Best bet is to research head-fi for reviews and impressions threads on those headphones. That's where you get the best help for finding out about a particular headphone model smily_headphones1.gif

A google search with head-fi as a keyword along with the make/model usually finds all the main relevant threads.

Thanks! I've already looked through many reviews on this site. Google does seem to work better than the built-in search :P but that seems to be true for most forums I use.

site:head-fi.org Soundmagic HP100 has yielded a lot of information and I think I'm still leaning towards the HP100s, but just wanted to see if a few other people thought they'd be a decent fit for me based on the details about my music collection and listening habits I detailed in the first post, or if I would get a few more recommendations of headphones into which I could look a bit before forming a final decision and spending my money.

post #9 of 14
Well, I like the K550s for the types of music you listed. They are a just a finicky fit. There seem to be enough people in the HP100 thread that like it as much or better than the K550s, that I didn't recommend the K550s because of the fitment issue.

That, and they have very plush soft pads that your cats would surely like wink.gif
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Well, I like the K550s for the types of music you listed. They are a just a finicky fit. There seem to be enough people in the HP100 thread that like it as much or better than the K550s, that I didn't recommend the K550s because of the fitment issue.

That, and they have very plush soft pads that your cats would surely like wink.gif

When you say K550s, are you talking about the AKG Acoustics K550 Closed-Back Reference Headphones? If so, they look nice. I don't see any mention of the cord being removable, and the picture makes it appear as if it's permanent. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is that the case? Thanks again, cel4145.

post #11 of 14
Sorry. I forgot about the cord replacement requirement. Although you could always open up the headphone and replace it yourself if they tore it up. Many head-fiers update their headphone cables.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawler9 View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. If I was looking at the right ones, they seem to be open headphones. Since I'll be using my headphones a lot in public, I think I need closed ones.


Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4

They are open, but they're not immensely noise polluting to the outside. I'd happily use them on public transport!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

I decided to go ahead and order the Soundmagic HP100s, but I have the Yamaha HPH-200s bookmarked so I remember to check them out again in the future. I'm hoping I can find a place to try out both the K550s and the HPH-200s. I will probably get an open set of headphones in a few months when I have a bit more money and use them for when I'm at home. Maybe at that point, I'll reconsider the HPH-200s.

 

I steered away from the K550s because I couldn't find a place to sample them myself and given how finicky a fit they seem to be, I wouldn't want to risk the money without firsthand experience with them.

 

@cel4145 @amigomatt Thanks again for the suggestions and guidance!

post #14 of 14
Glad to help smily_headphones1.gif

Be sure to come back and post about how they sound.
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