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Headphones for City Walking and Working

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey All, I'm looking for a pair of headphones to use on my daily commute, a one mile walk, and during the day. The basic requirements I'm hoping to find are:

 

Collapsible or small (really this means "fits in a pocket or can be thrown in a backpack")

Open or semi-open

Relatively neutral balance

Under $200

 

I'm open to any style of headphones but generally prefer circumaural, over-ear headphones to IEMs.

 

Any suggestions? So far the best candidates seem to be Philips Fidelio L1s or maybe Sennheiser PMX 685is.

 

About My Taste in Headphones:

I'm currently walking around with Sennheiser HD598s, but they're so open I have to constantly fiddle with the volume to keep the music audible but not deafening. They're also huge and I worry their plastic construction won't stand up to being lugged around in a backpack. I'd like to let these live at home.

I've owned several pairs of MDR-V6s and enjoy their balance and range. These collapse down small enough but I'd prefer an open or semi-open set of cans so I can hear what's going on around me. I'd also rather stay fully circumaural if possible.

I've owned shure e2s that sounded nice but were uncomfortable and too isolating to be good for walking around a busy city.

 

About My Taste in Music:

I listen to a wide range. A lot of acoustic string instruments, a lot of classic and indie rock, some hip-hop/turntablism, some IDM/electronic, some jazz, some classical. I like to be able to listen to any type of music on my headphones, and I'm really appreciative when I can make out a stand-up bass clearly on a jazz track.

 

Head-fi's how I've always done headphone research in the past but I've never had to post before. Just having trouble tracking down cans that give just the right mix of quality, openness and portability, and thought I'd come to the experts.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 13

Why would you want an open headphone for a walk with all the loud cars, and other noises?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
To avoid dying. Basically it's important to me to be able to hear cars and people around me and hopefully also hear the music as well.
post #4 of 13

T50RP is semi-open and pretty durable. K240 looks more fragile.

post #5 of 13

Grado has a long list of open headphones which come in different prices, some close to your target, and that could help you avoid death. :D. Check them out. 

 

The fold ability might be a problem though...  

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgtr0660 View Post

Grado has a long list of open headphones which come in different prices, some close to your target, and that could help you avoid death. biggrin.gif . Check them out. 

I find they don't isolate enough.
post #7 of 13

Of course they won't, they are open. I know the OP wants open headphones to be able to hear environmental noises and keep out of danger but he will have to accept an almost complete lack of isolation. 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgtr0660 View Post

Of course they won't, they are open. I know the OP wants open headphones to be able to hear environmental noises and keep out of danger but he will have to accept an almost complete lack of isolation. 

A semi-open over ear model might be a good compromise.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I mentioned Fidelio L1s because they're semi-open. Haven't seen much on how well they isolate though. I'll look into the T50RPs and K240s as well.

I've looked at grados but worry they'll require just as much fiddling as my hd598s do to stay at a good volume.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
So it looks like t50rps are only good once modded, and the mods involve packing the ear cups with cotton and some other materials. Anyone know if these are still "semi-open" after modding? I see them described as closed in a lot of places.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosetron View Post

So it looks like t50rps are only good once modded, and the mods involve packing the ear cups with cotton and some other materials. Anyone know if these are still "semi-open" after modding? I see them described as closed in a lot of places.

 

I don't agree that they're only good modded. I don't mind their stock looseness, but mine is the minority opinion. Very few have actually listened to stock, so they're only repeating what they've heard. But you're right that modding makes them nearly closed.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Would you say they need an amp either way? I don't have one presently. I'm not necessarily averse to taking that plunge, but I'd want to stay on the less expensive and more portable end of the market. While it looks like the fiio e12 is a fine option there, it also looks like people don't think it complements modded t50rps very well. Thoughts?
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosetron View Post

Would you say they need an amp either way? I don't have one presently. I'm not necessarily averse to taking that plunge, but I'd want to stay on the less expensive and more portable end of the market. While it looks like the fiio e12 is a fine option there, it also looks like people don't think it complements modded t50rps very well. Thoughts?

Stock doesn't strictly need an amp, though it improves many aspects including bass response. Modded generally does need one because of the damping. Best to ask on one of the threads dedicated to a mod. Try the ZMF thread as it has a high ratio of knowledgeable, helpful members.

Several members I respect use Fiio products, including E12 and E17. I don't use an amp away from home except on holiday.
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