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Finding a Full-sized, Lightweight, Portable, but Sturdy Headphone: does it exist?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just like the title says.

 

For the past 2 years, I've been getting by fine with my modified white Audio Technica ATH-M50's, replacing the ear pads whenever they get too worn out or cracked, but now that the headband is also starting to fade and tear, I've started looking into the different kinds of headphones that have been released recently. I've found a few interesting ones, but I'm still unable to decide on anything in specific. So I've now come back to Head-Fi once again in hopes of getting a quick refresher course and a few recommendations on what would be best for my uses.

 

My main physical requirements are that the headphones be:

  • Full-Sized. (Around Ear preferred for comfort)
  • Portable. (Example: M50's are fine for me)
  • Sturdy & Stylish. (Metal/High Quality Construction is welcome!)

 

When it comes to sound, I want two things:

  • Neutral. I don't want heavily V-shaped or overly bright sound signatures. Bass is good, but I don't want recessed mids. (A la M-100)
  • Fun. That said, I still want the sound to be dynamic, and not perfectly neutral or deadly flat. The ATH-M50's sound alright to me, though I would like more detail and a bit more balance. 

 

My spending limit is $400 after tax - so discount codes or promotions are welcome. 

 

I've recently tried the B&O H6, and while I didn't expect much, they sounded rather good. I still have not gotten a chance to use them with my own music, but from what I listened to at the Apple Store, they weren't half bad. Then again, they seem to be way out of my price range. 

 

I apologize in advance for making a "Recommendations Thread" - it's just that lately, I've seen quite a few headphones that are marketed to be high quality and well-built, yet apparently fail in other regards. I hope that in making this thread, others can get help finding what they need as well. In the case this gets removed, I've created a post in the "Help & Recommendations Thread." 


Edited by BRSxIgnition - 4/3/14 at 8:01pm
post #2 of 15

I was thinking you might like the ESW9, but it's way too flimsy compared to something as sturdy as the M50s.

 

What about the K545? There's been quite the hoop-lah over in the appreciation thread.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I find myself agreeing on your input about the ESW9's - they look nice, but their flimsiness and the fact that they are dual-cabled annoys me. 

 

The AKG K545's do sound very good. I'm excited by the fact that they say they're as detailed as the original 550's, but have better bass and such. It seems like AKG listened and fixed the issues of the original.

 

It's a shame that the cable isn't 3.5mm-3.5mm, but does that really make it too hard to find a replacement? I really like my current V-MODA 3.5mm-3.5mm cable. 

 

Could you please point out the appreciation thread you mentioned, so that I can read more about these? I don't knoe where the thread you are referencing is.

 

Either way, thank you for the input.

post #4 of 15

http://www.head-fi.org/t/670709/akg-new-headphone-k545

 

It's very cluttered, but people start posting impressions/reviews after around page 13 or so.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you for that.

 

The reviews and such seem promising for the K545, but would you happen to know if they're as good or better than the B&O H6's or the BW P7's?

 

I've had a chance to listen to the H6 before, so having a confirmed comparison will help my decision a lot. I love the design of the AKG's, the only thing making me nervous about them is that it will be hard to find a replacement cable if needed.

post #6 of 15

KEF M500's sound very good for you. Only catch is they are not over ear. But if your reason for preferring over ear is because of comfort, you won't have a problem with these. At least give them a look-over. Other options are the Sennheiser Momentum's, and the Sony MDR-1R.


Edited by halfinfinity - 4/4/14 at 12:12am
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfinfinity View Post
 

KEF M500's sound very good for you. Only catch is they are not over ear. But if your reason for preferring over ear is because of comfort, you won't have a problem with these. At least give them a look-over. Other options are the Sennheiser Momentum's, and the Sony MDR-1R.

I like the look of the KEF M500's, but the on-ear design would leak more and isolate less than the K545, wouldn't it? 

 

I'm strongly considering purchasing the AKG K845's. As far as I know, they have the same sound quality as the original, and can take a 3.5mm jack into the cup,rather than having the smaller jack.

 

If someone could confirm these impressions for me, I think I'm ready to make my purchase.


Edited by BRSxIgnition - 4/4/14 at 11:03am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRSxIgnition View Post
 

I like the look of the KEF M500's, but the on-ear design would leak more and isolate less than the K545, wouldn't it? 

 

I'm strongly considering purchasing the AKG K845's. As far as I know, they have the same sound quality as the original, and can take a 3.5mm jack into the cup,rather than having the smaller jack.

 

If someone could confirm these impressions for me, I think I'm ready to make my purchase.

 

They don't leak at all, but they don't isolate as well as an over ear. 

post #9 of 15
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the link - I've looked at those, but there seem to be mixed opinions on the P7's and the HP50's don't really look very stylish at all in my eyes. I have heard the H6 though, but I haven't tried it with my own music or compared it with my current M50's either.

So I guess my question is: are any of the top three in that link worth the $100 more in price?
Edited by BRSxIgnition - 4/4/14 at 4:02pm
post #11 of 15

Just got the K545's today and they're great.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotaLefty View Post
 

Just got the K545's today and they're great.

Good to hear - if you have any other headphones, please compare them if you end up writing about your thoughts.

post #13 of 15

The only other closed headphone in this price range that I've owned is the Sennheiser Momentum, and I definitely prefer the 545's. The fit is miles better on the AKG's and they have amazing isolation. Comparing it to some open headphones, I'd say that the soundstage closely resembles that of the Sennheiser HD600's. It really does not sound like a closed headphone. It is not as articulate as the HD700's, and the soundstage is much narrower, however, I prefer the warmer, forgiving tone of the 545's. If you've tried on any of the Beyerdynamic DT*** headphones, the fit is close to that of the AKG's. I was going to purchase the Denon D600's, but I didn't like a thing about them after auditioning. They sounded tinny and boring. They were not comfortable at all and looked absolutely ridiculous. They also felt like $40 headphones due to the amount of plastic used. The 545's are very well built. They ooze quality. I wasn't able to audition the 545's at the store as there were none on display, and the one that I bought was the only one in stock. 

 

There are some things that I dislike about the 545's, but they aren't prominent enough to warrant a return as far as I can see. My ears touch the drivers, which I typically cannot bear, yet it isn't much of a problem with these headphones (after a few minutes of use, they seem to disappear off of my head). The two included cables are short. They were made to be used for portable sources. The cable is a 1.5mm to 3.5mm cable, which will make replacements a pain. These headphones also make my ears quite warm, but it isn't noticeable until I remove them.

 

Overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I apologize if this was scrambled or didn't make much sense; it has been a very long day. 


Edited by NotaLefty - 4/5/14 at 7:19pm
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotaLefty View Post

 

There are some things that I dislike about the 545's, but they aren't prominent enough to warrant a return as far as I can see. My ears touch the drivers, which I typically cannot bear, yet it isn't much of a problem with these headphones (after a few minutes of use, they seem to disappear off of my head). The two included cables are short. They were made to be used for portable sources. The cable is a 1.5mm to 3.5mm cable, which will make replacements a pain. 

Thank you very much for your thoughts on these.

 

The bolded portion is why I am going to spend the extra money getting the K845's. In addition to having high quality BT included, the cable has been changed to a 3.5mm-3.5mm. It annoys me that they moved it to the opposite side, but I much rather try it and not like it, than not give it a chance in the first place.

 

From what I've heard, the K845BT is literally a K545 with bluetooth and the above changes, so as far as I know, there's no sonic dissimilarities between it and the K545's. I hope this holds true, based on what I'm hearing about them.

post #15 of 15

Have you looked into the K935 at all? I was interested in it late last year but couldn't find out much about it.

 

Actually nevermind. They aren't bluetooth as far as I know.


Edited by NotaLefty - 4/5/14 at 7:25pm
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