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New to Head-Fi and high end audio

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

New to the forum, and just getting my feet wet with higher end audio. When I was researching my next headphone purchase, many of my online searches lead me right here to Head-Fi.

I've always listened to music when on the go, usually from my mobile phone, or sometimes from an MP3 player. I never gave a second thought to replacing the factory supplied headphones. This changed when my cat chewed the cord of my Apple earbuds for my iPhone 4 a few years ago.

So, it was time to buy new headphones. At the time, I didn't want to spend the money to get replacement Apple earbuds, so I went to a discount retailer, Marshall's, and picked up a cheap set of SkullCandy in-ears.

This was my first experience with in-ear headphones. They knocked my socks off. The bass was outstanding compared to the Apple earbuds. The isolation was great. Again, I was happy, and didn't think that I could need anything better.

Fast forward to just a few short months ago. I had my first experience listening to a friends pair of Beats by Dre in-ears. Again, I was wowed in comparison to my Skullcandy's (which I had three sets of at this point. Ink'd and 50/50 in-ear, and Hesh over-ears) So I checked out prices online, and was stopped in my tracks. $150! I mean, they sounded great to me at the time, but they were 10 times the price of my SkullCandy IEMs. They didn't sound 10 times better. There had to be something as good or better, for less money. Which is when my research and self education began.

Many searches revealed a number of brands to be respected by those, like many here, who know what they are listening to and know quality when they hear it. Sennheiser was a brand that came up often, so I went to my local Fry's electronics. They had one set of Sennheiser in-ears available. The CX300-II. The retail price was $60, but Fry's will price match online prices, and Amazon had the same set for half that price. I left Fry's with the Sennheisers for $30.

Again, the sound was amazing (I'm easily impressed I guess) the bass was as full as my SkullCandy's, but so much tighter and punchier. The mids were much clearer. I heard details in songs I've listened to countless times that I never knew were there. The highs were much smoother and mellow than the SC IEMs, which tend to hurt your ears over extended listening. I could listen to the Sennheisers all day if I wanted without feeling the need to gradually lower the volume from the screeching treble.

Over this period of time, my research and shopping never ceased. While the Sennheisers are fantastic, I saw them as a way to hold me over while I searched for something even better. I wanted the "perfect" headphone. Something even more accurate and detailed than the Senn's, but not so cold and analytical as some people seem to suggest audiophile grade headphones to be. Something well rounded for many genres of music.

I settled on the HiFiMan RE-400 IEMs. Which arrived yesterday.

Anyway, that is my story as to how and why I ended up here amongst the audio elite. I hope to learn much more.
post #2 of 2

Hiya, welcome to head fi. I am a big fan of sennheiser cx series (previously owned cx 300 II, I have cx 400 II and cx 550 now).

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