Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Finally joined and a thanks!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Finally joined and a thanks!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


After lurking and learning for a few months, I thought it was finally time to join the community that has already helped me with my first delve into higher quality head gear. I mostly wanted to improve my listening while working on editing images (photography is my main hobby) and with 2 young children, I only get to enjoy it late at night. I was using a set of Sennheiser HD205’s with the onboard sound of my PC. While they sounded ok, the clamp force was enough to be uncomfortable after 15 minutes… and that is after storing them on a basketball for 2 years! As they were built like a tank I thought I would look at Sennheiser for a replacement. This turned out to be a long, deep rabbit hole.


After reading, reading and reading some more, I purchased a set of Sony IEM’s… ok, so I also listen to music and podcasts for much of the day at work as well, so I thought I would upgrade my Shure SE210’s as they have always lacked a lot in terms of mid and low bass especially with faster music. On reading a few reviews of the Sony XBA-4i I found a good deal on them and pulled the trigger. Overall I am happy with them. I still cannot find a good ear piece from the kit that Sony provides (I LOVE the foam that comes with the Shure’s) so I may pick up an aftermarket set to replace the silicone units that Sony provides. The bass is significantly improved and the voices just roll nicely. Probably not the best set out there, but so far I am very happy with them.


So, on to my home PC. After more reading, I decided that the only way to know what I liked was to buy a few different headphones and compare them. So I purchased a set of HD-558’s and a set of HD-598’s along with a Xonar STX sound card. I really did like the 598’s better as they were just crisper in the mid to upper tones with tighter albeit less bass. This was fine as I am nowhere near a bass head (been there, done that). So I was happy with the 598’s… then I found a returned set of HD-650’s on amazon and couldn’t pass them up. They arrived and 2 days later the 598’s were returned. The 650’s are so nice to listen too… everything the community has said about this headphone has proven to be true. Well done head-fi! I am also using ALAC rips with JRiver, which is just a pleasure to use.


So for now I am very happy with my setup at home, but I am already looking at better amps to use with the 650’s. Not out of necessity, but because I can never leave well enough alone and the DIY units from Bottlehead and Garage1217 are really intriguing to me (engineer by day). I am also considering a Schiit Modi/Magni for use at work, but that can wait for a while.


Anyway, thanks for creating such a great resource for learning about and exploring the world of high(er) end headphones and all the associated gear that helps us keep the economy moving in the right direction.




post #2 of 15
Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet! You seem to have a pretty nice setup. You interested in jumping in the portable/lifestyle headphone market?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am actually at the airport with a set of Sony MBR-10r headphones and my iPhone and was thinking there is probably a better setup. I will have to look into that... Any suggestions are very welcome.

The wallet wasn't hit too hard. The photography hobby on the other hand, that has decimated it.
post #4 of 15
10r reg is ok sounding, though the 1r is better.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yes, I am sure they are but for less than a 100 dollars, I couldn't pass them up.  I will see how well they do on the plane in a bit.  I travel frequently and a nice set of portable, foldable cans would be a great.  Any other suggestions?  The ATL 50's seem to get a lot of recommendations.  Any opinions on them?

post #6 of 15
U mean the ATH M50? They've been surpassed by the cans coming out lately:
Martin Logan Mikros 90 (check out the thread)
ES FC300
Fidelio L1
post #7 of 15



Yeah, it depends what you listen to. I thought ATH-M50 was good enough for some electronic music, but it really isn't versatile enough for a portable because the treble is too thin for guitar-based music and other treble-rich genres.


Amongst the portables, I've preferred SRH840 because it can handle just about anything. (Still burning in my Mikros though.)

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 



Yes, the ATH M50's... fat fingered the iphone.  I will look into the newer headphones and through the portable audio section for some other ideas.  The main limitation of many headphones for portable use is that they do not fold flat with rotatable cups.  This is the main reason I ended up with the Sony 10r's.  They are small, lightweight and the cups rotate.  I need them to be flat for my usage, otherwise there is no way they will fit into my bag.  I could look for another bag, but it is for work and my current one fits the bill nicely.  Thanks again and if you think of any more with rotatable cups, send them my way.  I will definitely check out the newer AT's.  Any thoughts on the Beyerdynamic DT-1350's? 




Thanks for the impressions on the M50's.  I listen to a lot of string music so the mids and highs are more important to me than deep bass, though some bass is always needed.  I looked at the Shure's but the cups do not rotate to be flat for storage.  This is the first item on my list for portables.  The Mikros do look very nice but again, they are not conducive to my travel needs.  Thanks again!

Edited by timkwhite - 3/19/14 at 5:39am
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Also, the Sony's are a bit thin in the upper mids and highs and do not isolate as well as I had hoped.  They are ok especially given the price I paid, but I will definitely be looking for something better.

post #10 of 15
The Mikros isolates better than any closed can on my list, plus of course they rotate.

I haven't heard the DT1350, but I hear the T50p is pretty good. The Mikros emphasizes the upper mids - lower treble. A world of difference from the 1r.

The WS99 is kind of a bass head can, though the most balanced basshead can you'll find. The FC300 sounds airy, with an exciting sound signature. The UE6000 is dark, warm, and melow.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick summary, it is greatly appreciated.  I need to do some additional listening with the Sony's as I have had them on all night as I peruse the web (hotel bound for a few nights) and they are sounding better with each song.  Not saying that I will stop looking for a replacement but I may wait awhile.  A favorite album of mine is 18 by Mobi and I must say that the MBR-10r's sound much better than when I first picked them up.  They started out with no bass what-so-ever with muffled mids and highs.  Everything has opened up considerably and I would like to give them a chance as they are oh so comfortable.  Apparently headphones need to burn in... who knew?  (kidding)


I have another trip coming up in a few weeks and as the flight is 12 plus hours (Japan here I come), I will have some quality time with the Sony's both on the flight and during the week.  I will say the Beyerdynamic DT-1350's are very appealing to me so I may have to pick them up to try them out.  Why did I have to find this site... :).

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi all, a quick update.


I have returned the Sony’s. They started to sound ok in the hotel and on the trip home, but once I put the senn’s back on, they were put back in the box and returned. I am again looking for some assistance. For portability and sound isolation, I am thinking of going with some IEM’s. I have several pair with the most notable being the Shure SE210 and Sony XBA-4ip. The Shure’s are very comfortable but are very bass light. The mids are nice but the lack of bass is their weak point. The XBA-4’s are a warm but muddy on the high end with perhaps too much bass at the low end (for my anyway, ymmv).


After looking around over the past weekend and being very partial to the fit and finish of the Shure’s, I am considering picking up the SE535. They have their issues but they are described as warmer and with some bass as compared to my current SE210’s, if I do some inferring that is. I cannot find a direct comparison, but nor did I expect too (7 year old low end IEM vs newer high end IEM). Does anyone have a really strong reason why I shouldn’t try the SE535’s? I have looked at the Westone W40’s and UE900’s but I keep going back to the Shure’s. The SE425 does not appear to have the sound signature I am looking for (slightly warm and fun vs analytical). Thanks in advance.



post #13 of 15
Cant help much with iems:

Rha ma750I
Brainwavz B2
KEF M200
Triple Fi 10

Ive been thinking of buying the MA750i.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Trunks...


I ordered a pair of SE535 bronze's.  I wanted to step up to the special editions, but they were almost 200 more and I just cannot justify the price delta for the slightly better high's.  I will report back with my brief impressions after I have had some time with the new Shure's.

post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by timkwhite View Post

Thanks Trunks...


I ordered a pair of SE535 bronze's.  I wanted to step up to the special editions, but they were almost 200 more and I just cannot justify the price delta for the slightly better high's.  I will report back with my brief impressions after I have had some time with the new Shure's.

Please do!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Finally joined and a thanks!