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Portables for work

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Whatsup guys,


I've been out of the game for a while. My last purchase for work use / listening was a pair of Denon D1100s. I love the things, but they're cheaply made. After taking care of them meticulously, they're developing cracks in the plastic, all around the arms / connection points. I'm about to just get a replacement pair from Denon, and sell em. Anyways, this brings me to my current predicament. I'm trying to find some new portable-esque cans for work use / listening. I don't want anything full size, but larger portables will be considered. I'm driving them out of a laptop with a 3.5mm to USB adapter, that actually amplifies them quite a bit. It's getting a lot more power, so driving them shouldn't be an issue (for portables that is). There's been a ton of new releases this past year alone, and I'm way behind. My musical tastes largely revolve around 90's / underground hip hop, with a lot of old rock. I like bass, and I wanna feel my lows, but I don't need some XB's or anything. The Denons do a great job with bass, for me, but reallllyyyy lack in mids and treble. I have the EQ the heck out of those things for details. So far, what I've seen that interests me is as follows:


AKG-K450: These look like solid portables. People are saying they don't sound very good for their price point, however. Others report mids / treble are very recessed, an issue I HATED with my Denons. 

AKG-K518: Dirt cheap. $45? A lot of people are saying they sound better than the K450 as well, which makes me think "why would anyone purchase the 450?" Obviously they're not as portable

ATH-ES700: I always wanted to get myself a pair of ES7s, however I was deathly afraid they wouldn't be fun enough for me. I love my mids and treble, but there's gotta be a kick in the low end.

ATH-WS55: I read a lot about these, and people are raving about the WS77 / 99, but I haven't seen much on the 55s. 

Jays C-Jays: They look... Odd... I've read a lot of mixed reviews on these things. I'm pretty skeptical.


This is all I got so far! My price range is up to about $150 (I reeaalllyyy don't want to spend that much).


Thank you in advance for any feedback on the headphones I've listed, or additional recommendations!



Edit: Comfort is pretty high on my priority list as well.

Edited by dub Beatz - 11/22/13 at 6:37pm
post #2 of 9
AKG has one of the best selections of closed & semi-open, portable 'phones. I've heard a couple of the models (can't remember the specific numbers) and I liked them. I suspect you'll find what you want in their somewhere.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

The AKGs have always interested me. I was reading a lot of reviews on portables last night, and it also seems like other people agree ES700, while not bass monsters, definitely generate enough oomph. My ears don't work the way they used to, so listening to thumping bass for hours a day would be really fatiguing. I still want it present however, with ample kick.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

throwin a bump, if anyone has experience with these headphones, I would appreciate any feedback.

post #5 of 9
Hi, if comfort is a priority, the small AKG headphones might not be a good choice, and some don't like the clamping force of the 518s on their ears. If you don't mind the fit, the Sennheiser Amperiors have been on sale for around $130 or so (search in the Deals Thread III). The Amperiors are very well built. I used to have a small Audio Technica on ear headphone somewhat similar to the WS55, and they had a good punchy sound and were fairly comfortable for on ear headphones.
Look into the Ultimate Ears UE6000, nice warm sounding portables which isolate well, are comfortable, and pretty modern and stylish. They can be used passively, or you can turn on their noise cancelling capability. I never use the noise cancellation, but it might help in a plane. I have a pair and they are my favorite travel headphone. A few places have them for under $100 right now.
I completely agree about the Denon 1100. I used to have a pair. I was amazed by the strong deep bass, but everything else seemed to be missing, and the build quality was disappointing.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks a bunch for the reply, SDBiotek. I appreciate your input on comfort, as it's definitely important to me. I don't want to sit around at work for 8 hours with headphones on that hurt. Are the Amperiors essentially HD-25s? When you said you had some AT's, were they ES7s / ES9s by chance? And I'll check out the UE6000, thanks for that recommendation.

post #7 of 9

Hi dub Beatz, the ATs were ATH-FC700. It was years ago, but I think you can still find them if you look around online. They were pretty well balanced overall, a bit warm, with some nice midbass punch, but tended to sound a little grainy with my old iPod. In some ways the UE6000 soundwise is a more refined version (and overall a better headphone).


The Amperiors are an updated version of the HD-25s, with aluminum earcups and probably some other tweaks, but similar sound signature.


I've tried out various less expensive Sennheiser headphones over the years, and usually have pretty good luck with the comfort. The HD 439 or 449 might not have enough bass impact for you, but might be good for the money. The HD 429s aren't bad, but don't have the clarity of some of the other headphones you're considering.


Hopefully some more fellow Head-Fiers can chime in. but I hope this helps.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

That helps a lot Biotek, thanks. I really dig the look of the UE6000, my only concern is that generally speaking, headphones with noise cancelling technology tend to perform poorly, when compared to their standard dynamic counterparts. I'm gonna read up some more on them.

post #9 of 9
Tyll's review at Innerfidelity is where I first found out about them. I never use the noise cancellation, just plug them in like any regular headphone.
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