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Circumaural, Closed Back, $100?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

It's been a while, but it's time for new headphones. My office just moved, and the new setup is no good for focusing on work. Too much background noise and stuff going on. I have my cheapie IEMs (JVC Marshmallows) that I use for commuting on the subway and at the gym, but while the sound quality is fine when all I'm listening to is podcasts or broadcast TV while running, they leave a lot to be desired when I'm sitting at a desk.

 

Last time I looked for headphones was a long time ago, and this is what I remember from that experience:

- I ended up with Sennheiser HD497, which sounded fine, but seem broken these days. That, and open backed cans might not work too well at the office. Not as 'forward' as the Grado SR60, which I regret not getting at the time.

- I really liked the Grado SR60s, but massive leakage prevents those from being in the running for this usage scenario.

- I used to have a pair of Etymotic ER6i IEMs that lacked bass but otherwise sounded great. Too bad they stopped working after 6 months of the NYC subway system.

- JVC Marshmallows are $15, so constant replacement isn't an issue. Not the most clear, but reasonable.

 

I also remember liking the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, but that was also a while ago. Is there anything in the same vein that would be a better fit for me?

 

Source will be an iPhone 4 or iPad 1, no external amp planned

Files will be either Pandora or on-device MP3/AAC/ALAC files

Most genres of music will be present:

- Orchestral classical (Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, etc)

- Contemporary instrumental (RJD2, Thievery Corp)

- Jazz and Blues (from Booker T to Dave Brubeck, from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock)

- Classic Rock (Zeppelin, Clapton)

- Top 40 (though this stuff doesn't need to sound good...)

 

Would love everyone's thoughts. Thanks!

post #2 of 13

you can snag a pair of refurb HD 380s off ebay for around 100.00.

I just sold the pair I had as they did their job of keeping outside noise out too well (Couldn't hear my wife calling my name).

They do have a very tight clamping effect when you first get them, but I found they loosen up a bit with wear.

All in all I found they sounded nice and clean for a closed set.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Are the HD380s that much better than the HD280s? One of my concerns about the HD280 is that I've heard that they're difficult to drive with portable devices - is this still the case with the 380?

 

Also, I'm not stuck on Sennheiser, I'll gladly take other recommendations, too!

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
 

Thanks. Are the HD380s that much better than the HD280s? One of my concerns about the HD280 is that I've heard that they're difficult to drive with portable devices - is this still the case with the 380?

 

Also, I'm not stuck on Sennheiser, I'll gladly take other recommendations, too!

I think the HD380's are indeed worth it over the HD280's. They have a much more expansive sound stage, and have a greater extension in the low end with not so harsh of treble. Plus they fit over the ears more and are MUCH less clampy. For comfort alone, the HD380's would be worth it in my experience.

post #5 of 13

Oh yeah and both are easy to drive in my experience. Pretty much the same.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. Amazon has them for <$140, so I guess I can throw them into the running.

 

HeadRoom likes the Shure SRH440 - $100, closed back, one of their 10 best. Any thoughts on that one?

 

I think, basically, what I'm looking for is a Grado sound, without everybody in the office looking at me when something embarrassing comes through shuffle mode (Sugar Ray just came on, and I'm pretty sure Baby Got Back is somewhere on here as well...).

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
 

Thanks for the input. Amazon has them for <$140, so I guess I can throw them into the running.

 

HeadRoom likes the Shure SRH440 - $100, closed back, one of their 10 best. Any thoughts on that one?

 

I think, basically, what I'm looking for is a Grado sound, without everybody in the office looking at me when something embarrassing comes through shuffle mode (Sugar Ray just came on, and I'm pretty sure Baby Got Back is somewhere on here as well...).

My sister has the SRH440 for film production, and I have borrowed it from her a few times.

 

I think the SRH440 is pretty good, right up there with both Sennheisers. The comfort of the HD380's is still superior than the SRH440's for me at least. Pretty flat EQ, like the 280's.

post #8 of 13
NVX Audio XPT100. These are a neutral headphone with extremely comfortable pads. They are also clones of the popular Brainwavz HM5/Fischer Audio FA-003 (lots of reviews for these on Head-Fi). They are all three made by the same manufacturer. Definitely worth looking into smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Had some time to run to B&H Photo Video last night to try out a few options. They didn't have the HD380 or NXT on display, but the 280s and 440s were up. Right now, the 440s sounded better, but I found them really uncomfortable. The 280s indeed had harsher treble than the 440, but I could barely keep the 440s on for the ~1minute demo I was using.

 

As for other options, there was an Audio Technica that I liked, but was uncomfortable (probably the M40x based on the price), and an AKG (Probably the K141) that I really liked acoustically, but semi-open backed probably takes it out of the running for the office environment.

 

Ultrasone? Beyerdynamic? Any option I can try on I'd happily take recommendations on.

post #10 of 13

Try the HD380's if you can, not as harsh treble and very comfortable (pleather/leather aside) in my experience.

 

Never heard any Ultrasones, but I have the Beyerdynamic DT 770. It would definitely be my top pick over all of these, but it is a bit out of your price range and sounds best with an amp.

post #11 of 13

There is also the Sennheiser hd 439

Here is a superb deal on them under 50$ instead of 100$

http://www.head-fi.org/t/692119/the-deals-discussion-thread-read-the-first-post/3450#post_10352905

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

How are the Senn 439s in comparison to the 380s? I tried on the 419s at B&H, and wasn't too impressed - dark, boomy bass, sounded very consumer oriented.

 

Inexpensive is all well and good, but I'm willing to spend more for cans that I can keep on my ears for 2-3 hrs at a time, both from a comfort and acoustic perspective.

post #13 of 13

I've never heard the 439's. They have velour though! :evil:

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