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Circumaural Headphones around €100 for Prog Rock, Classical and Jazz

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello. I am looking to buy a pair of headphones with the following in mind.

 

Budget: around €100;

Source: desktop without amplifier;

Preferred music: progressive rock, jazz, classical music (mostly from the romantic period);

Isolation: not required at all.

 

I am looking for some comfort as I end up using the headphones for the occasional film or online meeting.

 

Until the left speaker stopped working, I had a pair of Creative Aurvana Live! which I enjoyed very much. Nevertheless, I have not had the opportunity to try anything else so take that as you will.

 

I have been having some trouble finding what I need because most pairs around this budget seem to be especially suited especially for electronic music. I have looked at the ATH M50 and the AKG K271 MKII though I am not sure they are what I need. I have also looked at the Grado SR60i but according to most reviews they get uncomfortable very fast; otherwise they seem to fit well.

 

Can you please help me find adequate headphones?

 

Thank you very much.

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Bump?

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorheim View Post
 

Hello. I am looking to buy a pair of headphones with the following in mind.

 

Budget: around €100;

Source: desktop without amplifier;

Preferred music: progressive rock, jazz, classical music (mostly from the romantic period);

Isolation: not required at all.

 

I have also looked at the Grado SR60i but according to most reviews they get uncomfortable very fast; otherwise they seem to fit well.

 

Get the SR80i. I found my SR225's uncomfortable if I wore them close to an hour, but that also has something to do with the earpads. The SR60i and SR80i both use the more comfortable earpads, although they do tend to muffle the treble a little bit (search for "quartermod" to remedy this if you find the treble lacking).

 

Also whichever Grados I listen to (save for the GS1000 and PS1000) I don't put them smack over my ear canal - that puts the earpad rear half on top of your earlobe and that's where much of the pressure will be. Move them forward a little bit so the drivers aren't directly on top of your ear canal (which reduces glare on the sound also) and the rear half of the pads just forward from the outer earlobes. If you're ordering from abroad I suggest you order the earpads too - wouldn't hurt having spares with you already. Or order both over-ear pads so you can compare which one you prefer.

post #4 of 11

I really enjoy my Grados, but I don't know if they're right for your genres. I use them for organ, string ensembles, and vocals. But I use AKGs for orchestral and piano, and for jazz. My romantic partner (female) listens to prog rock and prefers AKGs for that. So maybe consider an AKG model. One member I trust considers K271 mkII very under-rated, but I haven't heard them yet. Interestingly, their FR chart is the closest to Grados among commonly-mentioned closed Grado substitutes (http://www.head-fi.org/t/689357/closed-grados-a-compilation-of-30-threads-poll/15#post_10043597).

 

Besides that, I have some recommendations about Grados. Unless you've already tried 80i and know you like it, I would recommend 60i because it's less potentially offensive.

 

I strongly dislike the stock headband. It's so flimsy that the metal inside was nearly hurting my head. So I bought an aftermarket headband for comfort, and that solved the problem. I, too, prefer the stock S-cushions that come with 60i/80i because they bring the drivers closer to one's ears, which further increases the treble and maybe clarity too, and they're more comfortable. I haven't quarter-modded mine because I'm concerned about getting hairs, &c., caught in the drivers and also about how it will affect the comfort.

 

Grados can be made considerably more comfortable fairly easily by bending the headband in order to fit the curve of your head and to obtain the desired level of pressure on the ears. You can soften the pads by soaking them 8-12 hours in lukewarm water with a drop of mild liquid soap; rinse gently in cold water and dry in open air for 4-5 hours.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Get the SR80i. I found my SR225's uncomfortable if I wore them close to an hour, but that also has something to do with the earpads. The SR60i and SR80i both use the more comfortable earpads, although they do tend to muffle the treble a little bit (search for "quartermod" to remedy this if you find the treble lacking).

 

Also whichever Grados I listen to (save for the GS1000 and PS1000) I don't put them smack over my ear canal - that puts the earpad rear half on top of your earlobe and that's where much of the pressure will be. Move them forward a little bit so the drivers aren't directly on top of your ear canal (which reduces glare on the sound also) and the rear half of the pads just forward from the outer earlobes. If you're ordering from abroad I suggest you order the earpads too - wouldn't hurt having spares with you already. Or order both over-ear pads so you can compare which one you prefer.


But are they suitable for consistent use over 5 hours of time? I ask this because I wore the CAL like that and there were not issues with comfort.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I really enjoy my Grados, but I don't know if they're right for your genres. I use them for organ, string ensembles, and vocals. But I use AKGs for orchestral and piano, and for jazz. My romantic partner (female) listens to prog rock and prefers AKGs for that. So maybe consider an AKG model. One member I trust considers K271 mkII very under-rated, but I haven't heard them yet. Interestingly, their FR chart is the closest to Grados among commonly-mentioned closed Grado substitutes (http://www.head-fi.org/t/689357/closed-grados-a-compilation-of-30-threads-poll/15#post_10043597).

 

Besides that, I have some recommendations about Grados. Unless you've already tried 80i and know you like it, I would recommend 60i because it's less potentially offensive.

 

I strongly dislike the stock headband. It's so flimsy that the metal inside was nearly hurting my head. So I bought an aftermarket headband for comfort, and that solved the problem. I, too, prefer the stock S-cushions that come with 60i/80i because they bring the drivers closer to one's ears, which further increases the treble and maybe clarity too, and they're more comfortable. I haven't quarter-modded mine because I'm concerned about getting hairs, &c., caught in the drivers and also about how it will affect the comfort.

 

Grados can be made considerably more comfortable fairly easily by bending the headband in order to fit the curve of your head and to obtain the desired level of pressure on the ears. You can soften the pads by soaking them 8-12 hours in lukewarm water with a drop of mild liquid soap; rinse gently in cold water and dry in open air for 4-5 hours.

 

Thank you for your insight! I would indeed like to grab a pair of headphones that does well with orchestras as they are prevalent in most of the music I listen to, even prog rock hosts them very often. I am, however, confused with something you said as you told me to consider an AKG model but then said their FR chart was close to the Grados. Maybe I'm being pedantic and these headphones fit all genres, but would you say the AKG MKII are a good buy over grabbing another CAL?

I'm reluctant to grab the Grados as I am afraid of getting into modding to be honest, my knowledge of electronics is very limited.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorheim View Post
 

Thank you for your insight! I would indeed like to grab a pair of headphones that does well with orchestras as they are prevalent in most of the music I listen to, even prog rock hosts them very often. I am, however, confused with something you said as you told me to consider an AKG model but then said their FR chart was close to the Grados. Maybe I'm being pedantic and these headphones fit all genres, but would you say the AKG K271 MKII are a good buy over grabbing another CAL?

 

I meant that the K271 chart is closer to Grados than the charts of any other closed models I've seen. But even so they're not especially close, as you can see in the link, and also there's more to sound than charts can currently show. I haven't heard K271 yet so I can't recommend it, but it's an older, full-sized AKG and they usually play orchestral music well, so I think it's worth looking into.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

I meant that the K271 chart is closer to Grados than the charts of any other closed models I've seen. But even so they're not especially close, as you can see in the link, and also there's more to sound than charts can currently show. I haven't heard K271 yet so I can't recommend it, but it's an older, full-sized AKG and they usually play orchestral music well, so I think it's worth looking into.

 

Thank you, I might just get those, going to look into some reviews, appreciate your time.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorheim View Post
 


But are they suitable for consistent use over 5 hours of time? I ask this because I wore the CAL like that and there were not issues with comfort.
 

 

Oh, in that case, I'd have to say no, they won't be comfortable for that amount of time. That said I've never worn headphones that long since my ears get too warm and they'll sweat; the closest I've done is fall asleep on an intercontinental flight with IEMs in my ears.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorheim View Post


But are they suitable for consistent use over 5 hours of time? I ask this because I wore the CAL like that and there were not issues with comfort.

I've worn velours (K702 and the Shure SRH940 velours I put on my Fostex) for 7-8 hours.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Oh, in that case, I'd have to say no, they won't be comfortable for that amount of time. That said I've never worn headphones that long since my ears get too warm and they'll sweat; the closest I've done is fall asleep on an intercontinental flight with IEMs in my ears.

 

I apologise, should have made it clearer in my first post. I actually do this with the CAL often without too many issues, maybe if it's Summer I'll remove them for a while due to heat but otherwise they're fine.

post #11 of 11

I was thinking about your genre interests and I remembered reading about KAM HP1, an uncommon model resembling K271, reviewed here

http://www.head-fi.org/t/648810/review-kam-hp1-an-unknown-headphone-that-rivals-the-hm5 (and here http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HP1).

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