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Many newly acquired headphones for a noob. Any advice would be much appreciated!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for reading my first post. Over the past two months. I've been on a shopping spree for headphones. Regardless of my very little knowledge about the artistic and tech sides of headphones , I simply just dived in with a burning desire to learn. Here's the list of what I've acquired up to today. Most of them were bargains and I read numerous reviews on each one of them before ordering. I also tried to categorize them based on my very limited understanding of this beautiful genre.

Sub-flagship Headphones:

* beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 ohm

* Denon AH-D600

Audiophile Headphones:

* AKG Q 701

* PSB M4U 1

* Sennheiser HD 598

Fashion Headphones:

* Beats Executive

* V-MODA Crossfade LP

Go-to Headphones (durable, all-around phones in mid-price range):

* Audio-Technica ATH-M50

* Sennheiser HD25SP II

Highly Portable Headphones:

* AKG Q 460

* Sennheiser Blue AMPERIOR

* Sennheiser PXC 250 II

PC Headphones:

* Logitech H800 (wireless)

* Logitech UE 6000

Bluetooth Headphones:

* Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth Stereo

* Klipsch Image One Bluetooth On-Ear

* Monoprice Premium Bluetooth Hi-Fi Over-the-Ear

In-ear Headphones:

* Beats urBeats

* Klipsch Image S4i Rugged

* Logitech Ultimate Ears 600vi

In-ear Headphones for Workout:

* Denon AH-W150BK Exercise Freak

* Klipsch Image A5i Sport

Gaming Set for Xbox One:

* Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510

I admit, it's sort of crazy for a newbie like me to grab so much gear in such a short period. But I read somewhere that the best way to learn the art of headphone appreciation is through back to back comparison using as many different phones to listen to my favorite music as possible. So here are my questions:

1. Do any of the purchases contradict each other? I mean, are there any unnecessary, redundant, or even stupid choices that simply should've been avoided in the first place? There's still time for me to return some of them :-D

2. Please point out anything you may find inappropriate about the way I categorize my phones. Cuz this could have a direct effect on how I am gonna use these phones for different music genres and in various situations.

3. Now that I've got myself a sizable collection of headphones, what would be the most efficient way to make the best of them in order for me to get a real "feel" about being audiophile quickly, headphone-wise? e. g., should I start with some of them first and try the others in certain sequence? Should I use certain phones exclusively for certain music? ... I mostly listen to new age, classical, smooth jazz and also movie scores.

4. Last but not least, any phones in my list you think I should get rid of in a heartbeat? I guess Beats Executive probably is the one to go by most votes. But oddly enough, for my untrained ears, they are not that bad for soft rock which I also enjoy.

Many, many thanks for reading my 1st thread and even more thanks for putting your two cents in. I felt so hesitant to ask these questions that may be dumb in a way at first. But anyhow a beginner's mind is all that matters to start a wonderful journey. Good sound is something worth pursuing, that much I know for now. :-)
Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 1:15am
post #2 of 21

Personally, I feel like you have TOO many headphones. And also for me, a mid-high tier set of headphones would be much better than 5 low-mid tier headphones.


Yeah pretty much I just don't get why you have so many headphones. And as for the organizing, you may want to think about categorizing the headphones by sound signature. i.e. bass heavy, or V-shaped, extremely neutral, or good for everything so you can use them for their strengths. But since you only listen to a few different genres, I would definitely recommend consolidating your collection, and possibly getting a flagship or mid headphone.


By my count, you have 17 pairs of over-ears and 6 pairs of in-ears, that's a bit excessive..

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Gary. I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed already. That's why I came here to seek some advice on things like how I may trim my collection a little. I got way too carried away when I saw a "deal". Blame the shopping season spirit! LOL

When i started off, I thought of just getting a couple of top of the line phones, but I wasn't sure my major sound sources (320k from Spotify and Google music) can realize the potential of those top phones. So I wanted to try as many different phones as possible. ($100 to $300 range). Sorry, pricing is still a big factor when I decide which to buy since I know so little about the acoustics at this point. Problem is for my untrained ears, I can't seem to tell much difference between these cans I already own, leave alone to categorize them based on your advice (by sound signature). I know this is an acquired taste, so how do I start the training with these cans? If too many of them is a hindrance, which ones should I get rid of and which ones should I keep and focus my listening sessions on? Pity is that not many of the purchases are returnable now.

Much obliged for your kind response.
Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 3:21am
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Compulsive shopping it was, I guess. /sigh

Though my newly found interest in headphones is genuine. Really need to start returning some of the purchases. But which ones?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
post #5 of 21

How to you think the treble on the 598 compares to the Q 701? I've been looking for a set of open-backs to use at home.  

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi, shock. Honestly, I don't wanna pretend that I know both phones you mentioned very well. Have owned them no more than 1 month. Along with other phones I got recently, I didn't actually spend much time listening to them. From the 2 or 3 hours I spent on each of them, HD 598 sounds a little richer, more balanced while 701 has more clarity, almost sounds spotlessly clean. I personally feel treble stands out more from 701. Don't know much of the headlfi jargons or terms, sorry. Hope it helps. Btw, 701 is almost inaudible on My iPad and iPhone even at max volume. At first, I thought I got a defective pair. After doing a little research, I realized I need to get an amp. Then I ordered Fiio E7. Much better, still not loud enough. (Is loud a proper word in this forum?) but when used on my PC, 701 sounds just great. Been using a burn-in player on these two for like 40 hours each. Strange noises fill the house day and night, lol.
Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 2:57am
post #7 of 21

Grab a pair of Martin Logan Mikros 90 while you're at it--a very good bargain right now, and let us know where they rank relative to the rest of your collection!


Your best bet is to number each set, randomly select the order of your headphones for audition, jot down very simple sonic descriptors of each audition and start cataloging them that way.


In the end, your ears--and no one else's--will judge/decide.


You may have gone overboard to a degree, because, besides the headphones themselves, there are other important variables in the equation like listening/genre preferences, source gear, common use, etc.  There is no single listening station/set of listening conditions capable of deriving each set's particular best performance IMHO. 




Edited by pataburd - 1/14/14 at 5:36am
post #8 of 21
It's no problem. I don't have an amp, (I'm new to this hobby) and I might use these on the go, so I'm leaning toward the 598.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

"Your best bet is to number each set, randomly select the order of your headphones for audition, jot down very simple sonic descriptors of each audition and start cataloging them that way."


----Thank you very much, Pataburd. That's actually very practical advice for my situation. Will start working on the numbering process, and I'm also going through the glossary for describing sounds. That'll hopefully help me accurately jot down how I feel about a particular pair.


Yes, I'm ready to throw more $ to upgrade source gear and get desktop amp, etc. But above all, I think I will focus on learning to understand each and every one of my headphone pairs better and better. That's where the beauty is: enjoy great sound while learning something fun and useful.


From your exp., can you name the headphones in my collection you think could possible be best for listening to new age music? I really want to start with the phones that excel at that kind of music.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi again, Shock. From a newbie to another newbie, I have to break the bad news to you. Neither HD598 nor Q 701 is ideal for mobile use. They are huge, esp. the Q 701. Plus, the cords are way too long for you to manage when out and about. Btw, they don't come with in-line remotes, which could be a little inconvenient for outdoor use.


And, even if HD598 does work on a mobile device, it doesn't sound that great without amp. With the help of Fiio E7, HD598 really shines on my iPhone.

Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 4:14pm
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

My Denon D600 just arrived a moment ago. Trying it out on my iphone 5S without amp. Oh, my, I love the sound, like from heaven! I may not have the savvy taste, but personally I couldn't say my Beyer DT 990 premium 32ohm sounds much better that other mid-low pairs of mine. Maybe there is a learning curve for these more traditional phones.


Denon D600 sounds fantastic to me, right out of the box. Oh, my.

Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 4:16pm
post #12 of 21

The D600 supplanted the older D5000, or thereabouts.  Have you heard the D5000?

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Nope. I am an absolute newbie. Almost everything in my collection was acquired within the last 2 months. More shipments are on the way. Lol.


I used to listen to music on Big Jambox, Bose Soundlink, and just my computer speakers. Headphones are being newly found jewel in my life. Got a pair as a present, and I was amazed how music could be enjoyed this way. Then I started getting whatever "deal" on headphones over the past 2 months. Now got overwhelmed and has officially become a hoarder. Without sufficient reference points based on extensive listening in mind, Denon D600 blows most other pairs I own out of the water. Now I wonder why I even bothered to get Sennheiser HD25SP II and stuff like that in the first place.

Edited by Cyberarhat - 1/14/14 at 4:51pm
post #14 of 21
Return the HD25 and M50. The HD25 SP is inferior to the 25-1, which itself was succeeded by the Amperior (that you already own).
M50 ought to be inferior to Crossfade LP. On that note, maybe you could return the Crossfade too, and get the M100?
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yes, Eric. Pretty much my "Go-to pairs" (Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and Sennheiser HD25SP II) ought to be "gone-too pairs". Lol. Having lost the original packaging, I wonder if i can successfully return them for a refund, though they r in mint condition, considering I have way too many pairs to seriously listen using them.

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