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Multipurpose headphones for use with 1 or 2 ears, mostly for classical and rock

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am trying to find a pair of headphones (Or 2? Or 3?) that will be used throughout an entire workday at the office.  I already read through "A Hopefully Helpful Headphone Buying Guide…" and tried doing searches for multipurpose headphones but came up mostly empty but somewhat better informed.


Important Priorities (from critical to less critical)

  1. As indestructible (or nearly so) as the Koss KSC75(even if I pay 2-3x more, it's worth the hassle of not having to re-purchase/RMA/etc. a broken pair)
  2. Easy to switch between 1 and 2 ears
  3. No wire problems (probably wireless barring some sort of creative solution)
  4. Sound quality >= PX100 for rock, pop, classical, soundtrack, blues, and instrumental music


Less Critical Priorities

  1. Works well with cellphones (Samsung Galaxy Nexus, LG Revere, and maybe even a T-Mobile G1) (must include microphone)
  2. Works well with Polycom telephones  (must include microphone)
  3. Good for videoconferencing over the Internet (must include microphone)



Hard limit of $500 and a soft limit of $100. These are order-of-magnitude estimates.




At this time, I use a Koss KSC75. I really like how I can easily take off 1 ear to hear what's going on around me, as I share an office with another engineer. I am also frequently on long (1 hour+) telephone calls so being able to listen to music with 1 ear is a welcome relief. However, I don't like how the cable inevitably gets snagged on my desk chair arm. This tends to happen at the worst times such as when I'm turning from working on 1 computer off to the side to using my main computer. In addition to that problem, I know that there are headphones with better sound quality because I own one that sounds better.


To be specific, I also own a Sennheiser PX100 that I really wish I could take to work because most of my listening time is at work but since the PX100 is not cheap, I don't want to risk yanking at the cable by accident. It's also awkward to use only 1 of the 2 earphones in the PX100.


My company is also heavily reliant on video conferencing via Skype/WebEx so something with a good microphone would be appreciated but not critical, as my main work laptop has a built-in microphone and webcam.


In addition to getting music from computers (generally just 1 but sometimes 2 or 3), there are times when I need to talk on a cellphone for moderately long calls (~30 min). Here, the answer seems obvious (Bluetooth) but I hesitate to take the plunge because I've tried 2 different inexpensive Bluetooth headsets (mono) and their sound quality/microphone quality were bad. They were from Motorola and Samsung and a bit old (manufactured in the early 2000s). Also, it seems like a bit of a waste to have to carry around another headset just for cellphone calls.


Finally, my desk phone supports headsets and it'd be nice to talk over that phone without leaning towards the speakerphone all the time. It's a Polycom phone but it doesn't have Bluetooth.


To wrap things up, I would like to minimize the amount of stuff I have to buy while improving my listening & working experience. My typical genres are as follows. Sorted by # of hours of music, they are: Rock, Pop, Classical. Sorted by "Windows Media Player star average", they are:  Soundtrack, blues, instrumental.


At this time, I don't even know which categories of headphones to look at or if I'll need to dig through multiple ones so any help would be greatly appreciated. And, thank you for reading through this long "first" post. :)

post #2 of 5

Why not IEM's that when somebody is talking to you just take one of and put it back on later, they also come with a mic but if you are not willing to spend much i don't know what you can buy.

post #3 of 5

Remembered a site that has an interactrive IEM comparison table (http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-list/), well found some choices, all this IEM's have a in-line microphone so i guess you can talk through skype and make calls.


-MEElectronics M9 / M9P

-Soundmagic PL21 / MP21

-Astrotec DX-60

-MEElectronics M2 / M2P


Look into it



post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the idea!


I didn't even consider IEMs because I've always been scared off by their price but I see a lot of things in that table that are <1K and it looks like the sound isolation varies so I guess I'm looking for an IEM with as little sound isolation as possible (weird, I know) but great sound and some sort of in-line microphone.

post #5 of 5

Because you like the one ear on / one ear off aspect of the Kosses and are looking for something durable, consider HD25-1 II and its aluminium variant, Amperior. Here's a good review: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/sennheiser-hd-25-1-ii-and-adidas-original-hd-25.


They clamp pretty tight though. A fellow I met had to leave them stretched out over a cardboard box for a several days--testing periodically--till they were comfortable enough for him. (I would have stretched more, but I'm more sensitive.) He also modded in a mic to play games. If you watch sports matches, you probably already know what they look like.


DJ-style models usually have cups that swivel fully, and some have headbands large enough that you can wear them on one ear with the other cup folder up against your head. It looks funny, but I know some of them stay in place; I don't know how comfortable it is.

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