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Best Closed Headphones - Might go unamped

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi,



 



I'm looking for a set of Closed headphones that would work well unamped. I might get an amp eventually, but for the next 1-2 years i'll be doing a lot of travelling, so an amp might be a little cumbersome. I've normally been used to using iems like Shures or Westones for their clarity and sound isolation, but lately my brother got a pair of ATH-ES10 headphones paired with a SR-71 amp that just blew me away.



 



Would like to know what is a good set of closed headphones to audition. My budget is around 1k, but i don't mind paying more if they perform well enough. Would be nice if the headphones have good sound isolation as well. It's not a deal breaker, but i would prefer being in a world of my own when listening to my music. At least until i see the headlights of the oncoming car/train. >.<</p>

 



Thanks in advance



Noel


Edited by yeongman - 3/12/14 at 11:20pm
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeongman View Post
 

Hi,

 

I'm looking for a set of Closed over the ear headphones that would work well unamped. I might get an amp eventually, but for the next 1-2 years i'll be doing a lot of travelling, so an amp might be a little cumbersome. I've normally been used to using iems like Shures or Westones for their clarity and sound isolation, but lately my brother got a pair of ATH-ES10 headphones paired with a SR-71 amp that just blew me away.

 

Would like to know what is a good set of closed headphones to audition. My budget is around 1k, but i don't mind paying more if they perform well enough.

 

Thanks in advance

Noel


The problem is that you stated up-front, "over the ear headphones."  The ES-10's are not over-the-ear, they're on-ear.  If you like those, you will like the Sennheiser HD25 II's or Amperiors much better, IMHO.  Thing is, they're over-ear, too.  Both will do quite well on many un-amped sources, but almost any headphone will sound better with an amp.

 

As for over-ear, the NAD HP50 gets a lot of love lately (haven't heard them, though) and the old Denon D2000's were fantastic, but not made anymore.  You might be able to find them used - or the D5000, D7000 (fine wood cups that were more expensive, but essentially the same cans).  Just some suggestions ... there are others as I'm sure you'll find when more people post in your thread. 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow. Thanks tomb. Will check those out. In the meantime i think i better remove the over the ear portion and change it to one about sound isolation instead.

On the ears are fine as well, but if i'm getting a pair of headphones to complement my iems, it would probably be a big honking set. My priority is to not be able to hear all the cackling idiots and screaming kids on the train. I might decide to trip one of them if I do. Heh.
post #4 of 15

The Denon X000 line is definitely not idea for isolation. They basically dont isolate. Are you looking for portable headphones? Or headphones that are transportable? Will you use it with an amp like the Sr 71?

 

I personally like the sound of the sennheiser HD 25 line but find them uncomfortable. I feel like there are other options if on ears are what you're after. But im not sure exactly what youre looking for?

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi cotnijoe,

 

I'm not really sure what i'm looking for either. I've been a purely IEM user all along until that magical moment. I thought i'd just hear everyone's opinions and get a feel for them until i can decide what i want from Headphones.

 

For now though, here are my wants (in no particular order)

 

1. comfort

2. sound isolation (must be closed)

3. durability (the ability to swap cables is a nice touch. not necessary though)

 

Sound quality is a given since this is the audiophile gathering area right? heh.

 

I don't mind lugging around some heavy cans if they're that good. Heck, if they're that good, I might actually buy some amps to drive them.


Edited by yeongman - 3/13/14 at 12:20am
post #6 of 15

It's not ideal for what you want but if you want a closed headphone with great sound I would say the TH-900 or the D7000. They don't isolate well but their sound quality more than makes up for it. They are very comfortable too. However I doubt they are durable.

post #7 of 15

Hmmm considering you're willing to pay up to 1000 dollars for something, i think buying a good amp or source is a clear no brainer to go with it.

 

I would suggest spending the 1000 dollars on an entire rig maybe. What source are you currently running your rig from?

 

For starters I could suggest something like the Mr. Speakers Mad Dog as a possible closed headphone. The Denon X000 line is really nice too. It really depends on the music you listen to though. What sound signature are you looking for?

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah. Am in another thread asking about a good portable source. Currently torn between getting an old iPod classic, the upcoming Fiio x5 or the RWAK100/120. I really really like apple's design and am very used to apple's UI as it is. The Fiio seems like a really good deal for it's price. But it's still not out yet. The AK100/120 looks very luxurious. Seems rather pricey though. Not sure i want to buy into their hype.  

 

So far no commenters on that thread though. Heh.

 

I don't exactly have any specific sound signature. It kinda depends on my mood. Some days I really love classical and jazz. Other days I want a little rock. Other days I just bop along to pop. (please don't flame me.) A clear set of headphones would be nice as long as the bass isn't too lacking. I might be a closet basshead.

post #9 of 15

If you use an ipod classic, then to get the best sound out of it you would need to spend at least another 1000 dollars or so to get the best sound out of it. Unless you're willing to do that id consider other options, despite the ipod having the best UI by far.

 

I currently use the iBasso DX50 and love the sound from it. iBasso is releasing its DX90 next week and it looks promising and should be a step up from the Fiio X5. Maybe keep an eye out on those. I'm personally quite an iBasso fan.

 

The AK120 would be over 1000, which the RWAK100 are also quite pricey. With the 1000 USD budget you'd end up with a 200 dollar headphone running through a 7-800 dollar DAP, which doesnt really make sense to me.

post #10 of 15
Martin Logan Mikros 90
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm... Still waiting for the ibasso dx90 and the fiio x5 to be out before I decide. So far I managed to get my hands on the vmoda m100 and the tan m50x. Both sound amazing! The vmoda clearly has better sound quality, but it has this clamping effect that gives me a headache. Love the ath-m50x though. The fit, design and removable cable is awesome. Would like to listen to a few other similar headphones before I decide though. Apart from the es10 and the hd25, are there any other comparable closed headphones?

Ps. I've never heard of the Martin Logan Mikros 90 before. The sales staff I asked just gave me a very puzzled look. Could I have more information about it?
post #12 of 15

They have a dedicated thread on the portable headphone section, but it's a huge one (260+ pages), and frankly I don't encourage you to read it.

Mikros 90 are my traveling headphone and I love them for many reasons, but I don't find all the praising very accurate nor a suitable choice for you, given the feedback you wrote about other headphones.

An alternative to the above mentioned, would be AKG K550, which also work very well un-amped and sound fantastic for the price and for a closed headphone in general.

 

Other people also commended highly the NAD or Focal headphones, but I have no usable knowledge about them and I have no idea how they work without an amp.

But they're definitely worth checking out.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotnijoe View Post
 

The Denon X000 line is definitely not idea for isolation. They basically dont isolate. Are you looking for portable headphones? Or headphones that are transportable? Will you use it with an amp like the Sr 71?

 

I personally like the sound of the sennheiser HD 25 line but find them uncomfortable. I feel like there are other options if on ears are what you're after. But im not sure exactly what youre looking for?

 

+1 on everything. What music do you like most? SRH840 is very good as an all rounder, and isolation is above average. The headband is kind of heavy though, but you can mod it.

post #14 of 15

The T5p is one of the best closed headphones I've heard.  The isolation is exceptional and it was designed for portable use.   The Amazon price goes up and down on the T5p -- the lowest I've seen it is around $1000.

 

Another good headphone is the Alpha Dog...but you would need and amp.

 

 

It a full-sized headphone is too big, then try the Martin Logan Mikros 90.  For $60, what could go wrong???

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just managed to get my hands on a Red Wined iPod + SR71 amp combo. Now that my Source is fixed, i'm still looking for a good headset. Got the ATH A2000. Love how sparkly it is. Too bad I just had to try the LCD 2 and LCD-X....

 

Anyone wants to buy a kidney? Heh.

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