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Need help finding good entry level headphones for rock

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi! This is my first post/thread, so consider this an icebreaker to the site, ha. I'm a long time lurker looking for a good pair of in ear headphones primarily for listening to rock/metal music. My budget, being a college student, is mediocre compared to a lot of people I see on this site. I guess I'm looking for something "entry level" if that helps. I'm eyeing the ATH-CKM 77, but the lack of reviews on this site are discouraging. And, I want your input! If you have a good suggestion of in ear headphones, I want to know it, and I'd like to know why. (: So, shoot.

post #2 of 9
The most common suggestion @ $100 is the Shure SE215. They are comfortable, as long as you don't mind the memory wire wrap over your ear style. A bit bass-leaning and a little V-shaped. I like listening to classic rock with them.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks (: It's hard trying to imagine a v shaped sound, but I'll trust your suggestion.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NocelCrown View Post
 

Thanks (: It's hard trying to imagine a v shaped sound, but I'll trust your suggestion.

 

He means accentuated deep bass and treble. That means for example a strong bass drum and really shimmering cymbals. If that goes far enough (not necessarily with the SE215 specifically), you can hear the bass drum in front of the vocals, and the cymbals can be grating; or even if controlled well they can get in the way of hearing the midrange.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 1/31/14 at 7:15pm
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I've always taken it mid range corresponds to the vocals in a track, and the bass in these headphones push past that on the soundstage? I love bass, some of my collection is Hard Dance/Hard Style, but the rock I listen to is big on vocals too. Would this affect the quality of the vocals, or just the presence? Sorry if ask a lot of things, ha.

post #6 of 9
*If* a headphone is very V-shaped in it's response, then yes, that can affect the vocals and those sweet guitar riffs in the mids. The Shure SE215 are NOT "very V-Shaped" - they are a "little V-Shaped" - meaning that the bass and the highs a little exaggerated past neutral. You don;t really expect a $99 IEM to be ruler flat, do you? cool.gif

I think that for $99, the SE215 sounds very good for rock - is it the best I've ever heard? No, of course not - but I think it sounds better with rock than, for example the Westone UM1 (which I also like). The SE215 is a completely different sound from the Etymotic HF5 (which I also like a lot). The Ety is more neutral across the frequency response - and because of that you hear more mids and treble when you turn up the volume. However you hear less bass slam than on the SE215. The Ety has bass and it is really good quality bass, it's just not quite as noticeable as it is on the SE215. That's why I said the SE215 is "a bit bass-leaning". The Westone UM2 is also different in a different way tongue.gif the mids are more forward, yet it's not as detailed as the Ety - it is "warmer" than the Ety, but doesn't have the fun bass that the SE215 has.

Confused yet? tongue.gif
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NocelCrown View Post
 

So I've always taken it mid range corresponds to the vocals in a track, and the bass in these headphones push past that on the soundstage? I love bass, some of my collection is Hard Dance/Hard Style, but the rock I listen to is big on vocals too. Would this affect the quality of the vocals, or just the presence? Sorry if ask a lot of things, ha.



It can. What most people don't realize is that you don't necessarily need that much more bass, nor should "flat response" mean "dull." My car's system gets a good curve from 70hz to 18khz (actual response disappears at 40z) according to a Samson USB mic, with just Focal 6" mids and Vifa 1" tweets. Even without a real sub, it gets good audible bass for the bassiest music I listen to - house (Kaskade and all those CDs with a cartoon bikini girl on a beach in Ibiza). I won't feel the bass, so bad news to anyone on Ecstacy who needs to hitch a ride (not that I'll let a molesting zombie ride in my car sooner than pot heads who'd turn it into a sauna), but as far as my ears are concerned it's good enough. Of course, I'd still get a sub for my next custom install, but even then I won't boost the bass too far. Same thing with earphones and headphones, except here I'd have a little bit more leeway because added bass response doesn't always put it in front of the other instruments as much as boosting the sub in a car would pull the bass towards the rear.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 1/31/14 at 9:10pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Confused yet? tongue.gif

Oh my God, yes. :blink: I understand y'alls explanations but these things take time to wrap my head around, ha. :p

 

I like what you're saying though, I'll definitely get the SE215s when I get the chance. And I can understand what you're saying about the price point, that I can't expect to get everything. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like a ruler flat response anyway, I can imagine how that would sound "nice" but not "exciting". Oh, and I'm mainly going to be using these for portable listening, but would they benefit from amping? I'm eventually going to get the Modi and Magni, but whether the SE215s sound great with an amp determines if I get them sooner with my income tax, or later when I can afford it paycheck wise. c:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

I won't feel the bass, so bad news to anyone on Ecstacy who needs to hitch a ride (not that I'll let a molesting zombie ride in my car sooner than pot heads who'd turn it into a sauna)

 

Hahaha, I couldn't help but appreciate the imagery in what you said here. I am however envious of you career'd folk who have a little more leeway with your budget. I would love to hear what any custom speaker setup would sound like, no matter the inclusion or lack thereof of body thumping bass. :tongue: 

post #9 of 9
The SE215 are efficient and low impendance - they really do not need an amp, but they should be fine with a Magni.
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