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Is there any newer headphone that is an upgrade to my HD429, within the same price range? are the Sony MDR-V55 a good choice?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I want to replace my HD429 headphone, I did multiple ABX tests and can't find the difference. I tested 128kbps vs 1411kbps lossless wavs ripped directly from a CD, played them with foobar, couldn't detect a single difference, so I'm guessing the sound quality degraded a lot over the past 2-3 years (that's how old these headphones are, I also dropped them numerous times from at least 1 meter).

I also hate it that their chord is extremely thin and flimsy, it isn't even made of high quality plastic... it's some kind of weird elastic plastic that has the texture of hum (if i pinch it with my nails I can leave a big dent on the plastic).

 

Is there any direct upgrade within the same price range, which is under 80$?

here's a graph for my headphones http://i.imgur.com/W05ZFDC.png .

 

I noticed these headphones, saw very good reviews for them: http://versus.com/en/sennheiser-hd-429s-vs-sony-mdr-v55

http://www.trustedreviews.com/sony-mdr-v55_Headphones_review

and I heard they have very good bass without being too excessive, which I really like, and the sound quality is generally good

 

are the v55 a good choice? I've been thinking about the ATH-M50 but they're incredibly expensive in my country, 3x more than they are in the USA and rest of Europe, the sony v6 don't even exist here, the grado sr80i are expensive as well, about 300-400$ in my country, so there goes one of the best choices in this price range, and I'm left with the rest.

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

I found a few more headphones that are considered great, so far my list is now:

 

Sony MDR-V55
Sony MDR-XB600N
Grado SR60i
Creative Aurvana Live
 

 

I also found this website, is it a trustworthy reviewing site?

http://en.goldenears.net/4446
http://en.goldenears.net/22624
http://en.goldenears.net/11143
http://en.goldenears.net/16084

 

looks like the creative aurvana live beats every other headphone while being cheaper


Edited by An00bis - 12/26/13 at 5:54am
post #3 of 10
Th CALS are very popular here, not sure if you can get JVC where you are but many of the boys in the portable section swear by JVC HA-S500, they have a thread pushing 500+ pages on them.Check it out here, but the Creative are a good buy if this falls through.


http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread
Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/26/13 at 7:19am
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Th CALS are very popular here, not sure if you can get JVC where you are but many of the boys in the portable section swear by JVC HA-S500, they have a thread pushing 500+ pages on them.Check it out here, but the Creative are a good buy if this falls through.


http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread


unfortunately I couldn't find the pair of headphones you linked, searched on all online shops in my country. We don't have too many audiophile products, they're part of a niche that online shops here believe is so small they have to add huge taxes on to even want to sell. For example the ATH-M50 are about 200-300$, the grado sr80i are 300$, incredibly expensive, no way I'm paying that high for what most people consider entry level or average headphones, but I heard many good things about the CAL and since their price is actually the same here in my country, I think I'm getting them. I also can't import anything, european taxes are high and then there are the ones my country and and in the end I waste a lot of money, it just isn't worth it.

Can't even buy a real amp here, or a sound card, they're too expensive, I'm guessing that shops raise prices of niche products that very few people buy.

 

Thank you for your suggestion though!

 

I did search a lot today and read lots of reviews, so far I've seen that the CALs are incredibly good headphones and not only their sound quality is great but they're comfortable as well. Isolation I heard is on the weak side but I never listen to music on the street on big headphones, I use in-ear buds, so I only use them at home which is always quiet.

 

Are there any users here who own the CAL headphones? what's your opinion? I think I'm buying them anyways, they're the best and cheapest option i have in my country.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Th CALS are very popular here, not sure if you can get JVC where you are but many of the boys in the portable section swear by JVC HA-S500, they have a thread pushing 500+ pages on them.Check it out here, but the Creative are a good buy if this falls through.


http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread


OK, I just got them (the CALs). They DO sound a lot better! the soundstage, I believe is the term, is amazing, a lot better than my old sennheiser HD429, I can clearly notice every different instrument in music, I'm listening to a music file that has a choir surrounded by an orchestra and every tiny sound stands out. The trumpets sound a lot sharper, less muddier than in my old headphones. Bass I think stayed about the same, maybe only slightly better, but unfortunately I don't have many bassy songs to choose from so I can't form a real opinion on this matter. Overall they sound more clear, and I didn't even have time to burn them in, just plugged them in like 10 minutes ago.

 

Oh and they are a  bit small, luckily I have a big head and small years so I don't care but FYI they're a bit smaller than my old sennheiser HD429 which i think are built in the same way as the other HD4XX headphones from sennheiser.


Edited by An00bis - 12/27/13 at 2:09am
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by An00bis View Post
 


OK, I just got them (the CALs). They DO sound a lot better! the soundstage, I believe is the term, is amazing, a lot better than my old sennheiser HD429, I can clearly notice every different instrument in music, I'm listening to a music file that has a choir surrounded by an orchestra and every tiny sound stands out. The trumpets sound a lot sharper, less muddier than in my old headphones. Bass I think stayed about the same, maybe only slightly better, but unfortunately I don't have many bassy songs to choose from so I can't form a real opinion on this matter. Overall they sound more clear, and I didn't even have time to burn them in, just plugged them in like 10 minutes ago.

 

Any advice on burn in? Is it true that the song the headphones burn in is the type of music they'll sound better at playing?  or should I just put in some random song or just white noise?


Glad to hear you enjoy them.

Regarding burn in it's very subjective for each person, however the general rule is to use bass heavy music or something with lots of drums and exercise the driver/diaphragm. You want to do this at about 3/4 from full volume, so just set an album on repeat and let it play al day. Switch albums every 4 hours. Give them 40-50 hours and see how you feel. I'm not for or against burn in, I would like to believe something happens but only on a few minor instances has anything occurred and usually those changes were rather subtle although there's no harm in trying right? 

If you want to find some good FLAC files I recommend looking on bandcamp, a fabulous resource for non mainstream music.
There's some very talented artists there and a lot of the music is 'free' or at least very cheap you can download in FLAC, MP3 and a few other formats.

Link to bandcamp: http://bandcamp.com/


Here's a free alum to get you started: http://existstrategy.bandcamp.com/album/air-shaper

(just click 'buy it now' and enter $0.00)

Goodluck
 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post
 


Glad to hear you enjoy them.

Regarding burn in it's very subjective for each person, however the general rule is to use bass heavy music or something with lots of drums and exercise the driver/diaphragm. You want to do this at about 3/4 from full volume, so just set an album on repeat and let it play al day. Switch albums every 4 hours. Give them 40-50 hours and see how you feel. I'm not for or against burn in, I would like to believe something happens but only on a few minor instances has anything occurred and usually those changes were rather subtle although there's no harm in trying right? 

If you want to find some good FLAC files I recommend looking on bandcamp, a fabulous resource for non mainstream music.
There's some very talented artists there and a lot of the music is 'free' or at least very cheap you can download in FLAC, MP3 and a few other formats.

Link to bandcamp: http://bandcamp.com/


Here's a free alum to get you started: http://existstrategy.bandcamp.com/album/air-shaper

(just click 'buy it now' and enter $0.00)

Goodluck
 


Thanks for your help man!

 

wow, I can clearly notice the difference between my old headphones and this one, the first song in that album you posted sounds very clear on my new pair of headphones. Thanks for posting those links.

 

I have a question though, I noticed that these new headphones made lots of sounds that I haven't noticed before (in my favorite songs) stand out a bit more. I encountered a problem though, I was playing a song and I noticed some kind of faint cracking sound, similar to a fuse getting burned, something like that. Here's that song:

https://soundcloud.com/destructoid/opening-credits-by-michael

Can you notice it too? around 00:04, 0:05, 0:08 and 0:18. Maybe it's just the song, I only notice it happen while playing this song, I have it in flac format on my PC but i can hear the same distortions on the online version as well.

post #8 of 10

You don't want the volume too high, so one notch above normal listening. Besides bassy music, try using pink noise (http://simplynoise.com). I find that it opens and clarifies, which is a good balance to the tightening effect of the bass.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by An00bis View Post
 


Thanks for your help man!

 

wow, I can clearly notice the difference between my old headphones and this one, the first song in that album you posted sounds very clear on my new pair of headphones. Thanks for posting those links.

 

I have a question though, I noticed that these new headphones made lots of sounds that I haven't noticed before (in my favorite songs) stand out a bit more. I encountered a problem though, I was playing a song and I noticed some kind of faint cracking sound, similar to a fuse getting burned, something like that. Here's that song:

https://soundcloud.com/destructoid/opening-credits-by-michael

Can you notice it too? around 00:04, 0:05, 0:08 and 0:18. Maybe it's just the song, I only notice it happen while playing this song, I have it in flac format on my PC but i can hear the same distortions on the online version as well.


Yeah, I  can hear it, it's just part of the recording. :)  Especially at 0:04 - :0:07. 

Tested with my Yamaha MT-220 Studio Monitors. 

Happy listening.
 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post
 


Yeah, I  can hear it, it's just part of the recording. :)  Especially at 0:04 - :0:07. 

Tested with my Yamaha MT-220 Studio Monitors. 

Happy listening.
 


Thanks for your help and everything!

 

I think this thread is done now.

 

In case anyone googled this question and got to this thread and can't decide what headphones to buy around 50-100$, please give the Creative Aurvana Live a try, it's a great pair of headphones, a lot better than my old HD429 (which are basically the same as HD428 and slightly worse than 449) but that could just be my subjective opinion since I'm excited that I bought a new piece of technology, so try both out. They sound amazing and are very comfortable, the cable is decent enough, of higher quality and thicker than my Sennheiser HD429's cable which was just terrible, very thin and rubbery, the ear pads are comfortable as well, of higher quality than the ones used in my Senn HD429, a lot softer and more durable.

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