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Looking for headphones for the wife, help please :)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

hey guys,


Just to outline the situation a bit, I own a beautiful pair of ps1000 Grados, which I listen to directly out of my stx sound card from my computer. I did, recently, manage to arrange a trade and now own a schiit gungnir, and am working on the amp (rather I'm building the power supply while trying to decide which way I'm gonna jump for a diy).


The problem is I  have been spending a lot more time listening to headphones, too much so, at the expense of neglecting my wife a bit.  She is blind, and she does love music, and I have several times had her listen to my headphones and we would do the trade off thing, but I'm now thinking that maybe I should be looking for a set of nice headphones for her to listen to with me.  She does really like my PS1000, which took me a long time to save up to, but we are thinking maybe a complimentary headphone rather than the same, and switch off.  Although that could go badly too if we both favor a headphone more than the other significantly lol.


Just asking for thoughts, it will be towards end of summer when I could afford one.  Kind of thinking he500, hd800, or possibly a closed pair, since I dont know what 2 open headphones in close proximity would sound like (might not be a problem, but I'm trying to think ahead).


Only other details that might matter, even though we are going to switch headphones every week, she does like pop and other new-ish music, where as I prefer rock, so may want her's to be better suited towards that genre.  The gungnir has balanced and unbalanced out, may end up building 2 amps, one balanced and one single ended so we can listen to the same source, although I could have one plugged into the stx on the computer like I am running mine now.  Although I do need to decide on that before the final decision because that would mean purchasing balanced headphones (or modding them if possible).


So, would appreciate any suggestions, I'm not too worried about price, while I dont make a lot of money, I can save up for anything but a stax or audeze.  We are very patient people :)


Thanks :)

post #2 of 12

First, are the headphones you list really for her?  I mean it seems you are trying to upgrade yourself.


If she is not already a budding audiophile then it might make more sense sonically and financially to go with something like the Philips Cityscape Downtown, Koss Porta Pro, or even the ATH-M50X.


This way she can learn what sound signature she really likes and you save money in the process.

post #3 of 12

Would personally recommend Philips Fidelio X1, a good all-rounder, and sound good with practically all music.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

To be honest, I have no idea what headphones would be best for pop/or new music.  That being said, she does really like my PS1000, so I could just get a second pair, or possibly a lesser pair, although I would feel honor bound to get her the PS1000 because it would be unfair for me to buy the headphone I want and then buy her a cheaper one....


I particularly would like a pair of rs1i, but that is out of the equation as I have heard that they have less bass than the ps1000 and I believe that pop music needs good bass (I may be wrong here)


So, really leaves me back to where I started.  I can either purchase a second PS1000, or another headphone that would be more complimentary.  It doesnt have to cost as much as the ridiculously expensive ps1000, although, I would love to give my wife a nice quality pair of headphones that she can enjoy with me for many years, and am willing to make it happen either way.


I've read the he500 is pretty flat with decent (linear) bass and such, which I dont know if thats a good match up for pop or not.


I have heard that the hd800 is good for pop, but I've also heard that its too analytic.  Personally I have heard the hd800 and I didnt really care for it, but if it fits the bill I would be willing to spring for it.


Thats pretty much my thoughts, I kinda wish I could find a music store where I could let her listen for herself, but nothing like that around here.  I do want to give her some nice sounding headphones though, she is almost totally blind (can distinguish between bright and dark and thats about it) and therefore I think she would definitely appreciate some audible beauty.







@Rosario,   will look into those, they seem like a real bargain

post #5 of 12

You could go with the SR-80i and attach purchase the pads from the PS1000 as the pads shape the sound the most instead of the drivers.  I think all of the drivers are basically the same, but the higher priced pairs are more closely matched for channel balance and the pads are changed out.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't think I would cheat myself by doing that and I certainly wouldn't cheat my wife. And while I do like the sr80 and think they are an amazing value, even with larger pads and the electric tape mod they are not the same as the ps1000.

The x1 looks really good though, been told by multiple sources that it's awesome for her genre, but even does well for some other genres too
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

You could go with the SR-80i and attach purchase the pads from the PS1000 as the pads shape the sound the most instead of the drivers.  I think all of the drivers are basically the same, but the higher priced pairs are more closely matched for channel balance and the pads are changed out.


I can now confirm that the ps1000 is not sr 80i with g pads....

I didnt think that they would be, both from personal experience and the fact that it would seem strange (and terribly overpriced)  that 99 dollar headphones with 50 dollar pads would be the same as 1700 dollar headphones.  But I did borrow a pair and put my g pads on them just to make sure.  Bass is non existent on the modded sr 80i and even though the soundstage widens, it does so at a cost to clarity, and then when you actually compare them to the ps1000, well, its a shock.  I did abx testing just to make sure it wasnt me, although if you had actually tried this you would understand how laughable your claim was.  There was major differences all across the board.  Have to admit though that sr 80i are a great value, but they really need the stock pads to sound as good as they do.



I looked up as much info about the drivers as I could, I'm not sure where you got your info about all their drivers being the same, as I found a lot of post on head fi and some other sites about this subject and even found some testing on the drivers.  In the test they removed the drivers from the 60i and 80i, 225 and 325, and the rs 1i, and the ps500 ps1000, they set them in identical housings and applied the same signal to each and found different sound levels and sound pressure.  the 60i and 80i were very close, the 225 and 325 were very close, but other than those, they determined that the drivers are not the same.  On top of that many people on this site have emailed Grado Labs and Grado Labs has confirmed that they do not use the same drivers in all of their headphones.  About the only thing that I could confirm is that the size of the drivers are the same, and they are all made for 32 ohm impedance.


Not trying to be mean, but you may want to refrain from saying things if you dont know what you are talking about.  Misinformation is already rampant enough, no reason to make it harder for people to find the real facts.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Oh and I did order her a pair of the Philips X1


I hope she likes them, although we will see :)

post #9 of 12

In that regard I was wrong and my apology.  I retract my general statement, but require further explanation of how the drivers differ.


I should point out that I did not claim the drivers are "identical".


I am trying to save you some money is all and I find the sound signature quite similar from all of the Grado headphones.  Just not my taste is all.

Edited by NA Blur - 4/18/14 at 3:57pm
post #10 of 12

Dear Flailure, I surely hope and am quite confident that your wife will like the Philips Fidelio X1! They are light, very well constructed, and  comfortable to wear, and best of all have an enjoyable sound for any music played on them. I also have, amongst other headphones, my most treasured being an AKG 550, AKG 612 Pro, an Audio Technica ATH-AD700, and Sony MDR V6, which are all pretty good. Cannot really say which one is the best, as I enjoy them depending on what music I am listening to, as each one is more suitable for some particular music whilst I intend listening to. But the Fidelio X1, imho, is a competent all rounder, and as mentioned by a reviewer a good jack of all trade - not exactly flat throughout the frequency range, but very enjoyable to listen to, with fantastic open sound, clarity and punch (when the recording demands that, even though it is an open back), and when I revert back to the Fidelio X1 after using my other headphones, I never fail to appreciate their sound signature. Another benefit it that they do not really require a headphone amp, as they are relatively easy to drive, even directly from an mp3 player (such as a Sandisk Sansa clip) or a smartphone but a good reasonably priced headphone amp (like a JDS Labs/Epiphany Acoustics Objective O2, a Fiio E11, an Electric Avenues PA2V2 or any other good reliable headphone amp) will definitely help in giving even more body to the sound (especially helping in the bass department, making it tighter and neater).

post #11 of 12

This subject is difficult. She has listened to a very high end headphone and sometimes that makes it difficult to "enjoy" lesser quality headphones (depends how picky the person is).

I think its more down to what sort of sound signature she prefers.

Its hard to tell what other person wants if you / she does not know what she wants. Best would be of course to go and try headphones with her, maybe make a trip to a place where you can demo headphones? You could always try asking her, but that would ruin the surprise if you are planning that?

post #12 of 12

If you're getting her a headphone that she is likely to spend a lot of time on and is similar to the PS1000, I'd bet on the Grado RS-1 or PS500. All my female friends prefer Grados, including the self-confessed tone-deaf ones (who can't tell a K701 apart from an Apple earbud). For those not listening for more relaxed presentation that makes imaging more precise, the forward sound of Grados are always very appealing, and the RS-1 at least has more precise imaging than the Prestige series.


If you're getting one that will be considerably cheaper and yet will have a very different presentation than the PS1000, I'd go for the HD650 or K701. All of these should be relatively easier to drive than those $1,000+ headphones, and if you get or build an amp with two outputs that can be used simultaneously, at least both can listen in the same room on the same rig, and this second pair isn't likely to tax the amp.

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