Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › College student looking for lightweight, portable circumaural headphones for varied music
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

College student looking for lightweight, portable circumaural headphones for varied music

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

I'm looking to buy a portable headphone to suit my needs as a college student. I've been using Panasonic High Fidelity Ergo-Fit Inner Ear Earbuds mainly, but would prefer the comfort and distance of actual headphones. (I also have a Sennheiser HD205 that I barely use because it hurts to wear due to its tightness, and the sound is very muddied.) I listen to a fair variety of music, from Broadway musicals to Adele and John Newman to Muse and Goldfish. I'm not an audiophile but appreciate quality sound, and I plan for a fairly long investment in whatever headphones I decide to buy.

 

The general criteria I have are:

-portable (lightweight, ideally foldable but just the earpieces rotating flat is fine too)

-sub $150

-clear and even sound throughout, a slightly strong bass okay as long as it is clean (I don't like thud-thuds a la Beats)

-comfortable for multiple hours of constant use (i.e. 4+ hours)

-decent isolation needed, as I plan to use this in the library and don't want the sound leaking out everywhere

 

In terms of sound quality, I really liked one of the upscale Sennheiser headphones, which seemed to isolate all the ranges well due to multiple drives. The quality seemed cleaner/clearer compared to Audio-Technica headphones of a similar caliber.

On the other hand, I *LOVED* the feel of the Bose AE2 (very little clamp, comfortable circumaural fit, super portable) but didn't like the sound of the bass that was pretty messy IMO, while the treble seemed to be somewhat tinny.

 

Ideally, my perfect headphone would be a mix of the cleaner Sennheiser sound quality and the comfortability of the Bose AE2! Granted, I'm not going to get the same sound quality for the price range I'm looking at, but something that possesses some of the qualities of the above description would be much appreciated.

 

The only headphone in serious consideration for purchase is the Bose AE2 at the moment. I would appreciate your suggestions!


Edited by arcat - 2/18/14 at 11:28pm
post #2 of 22

Audio Technica ATH-M50s. I almost don't have to give that a second thought. In terms of audio fidelity, they're one of the best pairs of headphones in their price range, if not, just flat-out, the best.

 

I actually have demoed the Bose AE2s in store, and they were some of the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. They also don't sound very good, according to the general population. I don't trust in-store demos because they tend to cherry-pick the music played.

 

The only problem with the ATH-M50s is that they do not have a removable cable. You can buy them with a straight or coiled cable (but I find the coiled cable is usually a little more expensive).

 

There's a lot of really good options out there, but if you want an overall great contender, I haven't seen anything recommended nearly as much as the ATH-M50s.

 

And if you're worried about a specific brand determining whether or not all headphones from that manufacturer are good, don't be. Even Sennheiser puts out crap products. Take a holistic approach when determining which cans will work best for you.

post #3 of 22

Just to add on the the ATH-M50, recently they came up with an updated version of this model. It is the ATH-M50x. It does come with a removable cable (1.2m straight, 3m straight, and 1.2m coiled)

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem View Post
 

Just to add on the the ATH-M50, recently they came up with an updated version of this model. It is the ATH-M50x. It does come with a removable cable (1.2m straight, 3m straight, and 1.2m coiled)


It's $40 more than the ATH-M50s with a straight cable on Amazon right now.

post #5 of 22

Yup ......the be all end all of recommendations "M50s"

Great job helping people fellow Head-Fi'er ! 

 

"For the people who will take me seriously , please don't"

post #6 of 22

The M50s are not comfortable , the pad space makes for a confined fit which I don't find comfortable , they have grain , bass is over-over accentuated , bright , sibilant what else the "price" the thing they are know for .....

This syndrome of influential purchases never seems to stop , and like it does for the person trying to help others by bashing something "Famous" which isn't any good , I sense people coming at me 

 

My Recommendations - 

 

1) Senn 380 pro 

2) NVX XPT 100/HM5

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, I totally did not see that the M50 had a straight cable option... that might alter things! Although, I'm hoping to go for something with a smaller overall frame. If the images say anything, it looks like it has bulk? The NVX, and Sennheiser 380 to a lesser degree, seem similar in that regard from what I can tell. It's not a dealbreaker at all, but I'd like to go for a lighter frame if possible.

 

Quote:
 And if you're worried about a specific brand determining whether or not all headphones from that manufacturer are good, don't be. Even Sennheiser puts out crap products. Take a holistic approach when determining which cans will work best for you.

 

Will do, thanks for the advice!


Edited by arcat - 2/19/14 at 5:45am
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechAgent View Post
 

The M50s are not comfortable , the pad space makes for a confined fit which I don't find comfortable , they have grain , bass is over-over accentuated , bright , sibilant what else the "price" the thing they are know for .....

This syndrome of influential purchases never seems to stop , and like it does for the person trying to help others by bashing something "Famous" which isn't any good , I sense people coming at me


Your mileage may vary. All I know is that unlike Bose, Beats, and Skullcandy, ATH-M50 headphones tend to be popular for the right reasons.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Any suggestions regarding headphones that have smaller frames but still have clean and clear sound? I already have enough weight inside my backpack without having bulky headphones adding to it, especially because I have back problems.

post #10 of 22

On-ear headphones are really your only option most of the time for quality, lightweight headphones - at least in your budget. I won't lie, the ATH-M50s are pretty hefty compared to the Bose AE2is (284g and 140g respectively). I stumbled on a pair of headphones that are marketed as lightweight and have been recommended for their audio fidelity on the headphone buying guide (admittedly due for an update).

 

Sennheiser HD25-i II. They're marketed with the same weight as the Bose AE2is. The comfort is hit-or-miss, but according to user reviews on this site, they are fairly comfortable and sound good. Search yourself and see if they're your fancy. They're a little bit outside your price range, but they're really the only headphones I felt comfortable suggesting.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonzeanse View Post


Your mileage may vary. All I know is that unlike Bose, Beats, and Skullcandy, ATH-M50 headphones tend to be popular for the right reasons.

In that respect , sure but .....
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonzeanse View Post
 

On-ear headphones are really your only option most of the time for quality, lightweight headphones - at least in your budget. I won't lie, the ATH-M50s are pretty hefty compared to the Bose AE2is (284g and 140g respectively). I stumbled on a pair of headphones that are marketed as lightweight and have been recommended for their audio fidelity on the headphone buying guide (admittedly due for an update).

 

Sennheiser HD25-i II. They're marketed with the same weight as the Bose AE2is. The comfort is hit-or-miss, but according to user reviews on this site, they are fairly comfortable and sound good. Search yourself and see if they're your fancy. They're a little bit outside your price range, but they're really the only headphones I felt comfortable suggesting.

Thanks for the suggestion! I will keep that in mind

 

I am more hesitant about on-ears because they clamp directly on the ears, but I'm starting to feel like I need to consider them as well in order to widen my search.

 

On that note, any thoughts on the Creative Aurvana Live! original headphones? I hear it's good for the price, but not sure if that is a good enough reason to invest in it if I'm willing to look for higher-end headphones (which presumably should have better sound quality than CAL if price directly correlated with quality?).

 

EDIT: Just listened to a friend's M50s, I'm not sure if I like it. It's certainly better than what I have currently, but I have to say that the sound was too "veiled"/unclear for my taste.


Edited by arcat - 2/19/14 at 10:18pm
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Also, any thoughts on Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviators? They seem surprisingly well-received in comparison to other Skullcandy products. Mostly I'm sold on their mix of a light frame, foldability, and circumaural ear pads.

 

Along with Aviator, I'm currently considering CAL!, M50, and HD 25-1 II.

post #14 of 22
Used SRH840 ($130-150) and mod the headband with HD650 foam for comfort if you need to. It's clear, it sounds warm, it works for every genre I've thrown at it. It's also tough and it folds.
post #15 of 22

Don't forget to account for Aviators and CAL being pretty much semi-open or open headphones with a lot of sound leakage and thats part of why they sound so good imo no experience just from research. I kind of miss the M50 sound sig. even with it's recessed mids the rich highs and bass are very fun to listen to. I'd second the M50's in that price range. After trying many headphones in retrospect the M50's are probably the best in sub 150 price range. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › College student looking for lightweight, portable circumaural headphones for varied music