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Girl needs phones - small, efficient, portbale, detailed, clean and balanced sound for Jazz,...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Need your help guys. Title I think says it all but here are more details. I need the phones as a gift to my lady friend so it's desirable that phones don't look especially ugly or dorky or uncomfortable (which I think leaves Grados out). IEMs or over the ear phones are also out of question since she hates sticking things deep into her ears or cover them. She drives her buds from iPhone and desktop PC, she won't use headamp. Deep isolation isn't important since she doesn't listen to her music in noisy environments.

Her poison is a lot of female Jazz vocal (Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simon, etc.), also Tom Waits, C.W. Stoneking, Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse, Ute Lemper, Joan Baez, Fado and Flamenco, and Operas. I'm sure she'll appreciate clean, detailed, spacious with good separation and balanced sound without overpowering and tiring bass and highs.

She feels and understands her music deeply but unfortunately when it comes to sound quality the only things she knows are Apple's iPhone buds and a Bose kitchen system. From my own experience I know what an amazing shock it is for the first time to listen to a familiar music using decent phones.She doesn't know what she is missing! I want to amaze her with what a difference good gear makes and I know she'll appreciate it. She listened once to my AKGs running from Marantz and headamp and was smitten but said that she would never put on her head such big and heavy things that cover her ears. My budget is up to $500.

I don't think that there are good buds. Maybe Phiaton's 210? I never listened to them, how do they compare to my Westone 4? If not buds then what is left are over the ear phones according to the criteria from the title and what I said above.

Many thanks!
Edited by albau - 12/27/13 at 3:34pm
post #2 of 5

From your description, I'm guessing that you are looking for an on-ear portable headphone, you could look into the Sennheiser PX200-II which I think meets your criteria.

post #3 of 5
Sennheiser HD25-II might also work for portable on-ear. I love mine paired with DX-50.
post #4 of 5
Jvc ha s500 is wonderful gift for jazz lovers
post #5 of 5

All things being equal, open models sound better. As isolation is not a requirement, buy an open model. Because of the size and weight constraints, we're looking for an on ear instead of over ear model. Some open on ear possibilities include:

 

Sennheiser PX100-II, the open version of the model that wskl suggested above.

 

Sennheiser HD239. These I haven't yet heard. Both reliable reviews I've read emphasize that the frequency ranges are very well integrated (though the sound is very slightly grainy).

 

I think Grados can look hot. Don't you tell her you don't think she'd look hot in Grados! :wink_face:

Nevertheless, I consider them less than ideal for her genres.

 

Please tell us what you find. Some of us will need your help with buying presents. Best of luck!

 

Edit: I found HA-S500 too bass heavy, but I prefer a bass light sound.


Edited by Claritas - 12/27/13 at 10:30pm
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