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commuter headphones - hd380 pro, ath-m50x, other

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok so I recently started the ny train/subway commute to work. I quickly realised an hour and a half without music sitting in train cars is not my favorite thing, so I want to pick up something for music listening both from my HTC one and my cowon s9 (if I can get the volume working, had to take out the button bc it would either hold down volume up or down and either mute everything or blast my ears. It's set at a good volume for my car but I can't change it bc there is only the hard outside buttons I removed. Any solutions for this would also be appreciated, as it is the volume is locked at a level too loud cor most headphones)

 

My budget is $100-180, but has some flexability. So far I have picked out 3 headphones that are all different but seem to fit the need and have good reception on here.

 

Shure se215spe - in ears, closed, small and convenient, no hair mess up on the way to work.

 

Audio technica ath-m50x - over ears, closed back, bigger and harder to store, headband design looks similar to my ultrasones so it should be comfy.

 

Sennheiser hd558 - over ears, open back, biggest of the 3, should be the biggest sounding. Not sure how much the open back design leaks audio out (even on off peak times trains can be crowded and I want to be courteous to others) but I like an open back so I'm not 100% deaf to the outside world.

 

Other - open to suggestions.

 

I have experience with better audio and these won't be my first set just what I use for commuting. I currently have ultrasone PROline 2500 at my pc which I find to be comfortable for all day wearing and I love the big open back sound they give. Their sound profile fits me pretty good and with an eq imho I have no complaints. I also have AT ath-pro5v headphones which I relegated to use while doing yard work, after an hour the ear cup design starts hurting my ears. I also had ultrasone 450 I got real cheap I used them.once and they were ok, but they have something where the right earphone doesn't work anymore and I don't even know where they are right now.

 

I listen mostly to rock and metal, from zep, to soundgarden, to tool, to apc, to Sabbath, to meshuggah, to the hives, to the Bronx. There is also the rap and hip hop I listen which is for the most part old school east coast ny stuff that is backed by all jazz and blues, and Midwest and southern stuff too. Mixed in is some jazz, blues,  as well as some mariachi stuff. I also have some edm think daft punk, justice, deadmau5, some dubstep but mostly I stick to small band stuff.

 

Thanks for the help.


Edited by Souldriver - 5/6/14 at 11:48am
post #2 of 8

You will probably prefer closed-back and isolatiing while on a train.  Open-back will get drowned out by noise and you will be turning up the volume too high to enjoy them safely.

 

ATH-M50x should do.

post #3 of 8

The HD558's are open which leak sound, so people on the subway would get annoyed.

 

From some reviews and such, I heard the ATH-M50 aren't really that great for portable use. I also hear of people complaining of the comfort. 

 

The Shure's might be the best here. I think the shure, since they are in-ear, that they are the most portable. They are probably just what you are looking for just for riding the train. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well how much would the 558s leak? Is it more than the people blasting their ear buds so the car can hear it anyway?

 

Other thought, what about the sennie hd380pros since theyre closed back. I think it may be between the hd380 pros and the m50x headphones. What's the difference in these two? Would it just come down to picking which sound profile fits me/my music better?

 

noobismsThanks and sorry for the noobisms

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

So went to the B&H in the city and tried out a couple of headphones. First things first, when I tried the edition 8s they had I was transported to another place. The busy store was gone and the sound, wow. But back to business.

 

The m50 - I know why people like these, very aggressive sound that gives a good color to music. For me it was too aggressive and the comfort and weight was off for me. Passed, just not for me.

 

Hd280 pro - so they didn't have the 380 on display and wouldn't let me open one up to try it out there. I now know what a flat eq headphone sounds like, a lot of details popped on these but overall volume was just low compared to the other headphones. This obviously could be fixed but it seems the bass and treble were just rolled waay down. I see what people say by sub bass, it has a nice sound but not expect anything with pop to show, good for some genres but not for mine. A proper EQ can make them livier I bet but they just seemed unengaging. Very comfortable in a squish pillow type way.

 

Dark horse time, I saw these and had to try them and was the most impressed.

 

Ultrasone hfi580 - a little of A a little of B. Less attacking than the m50 but much more life than the 280s. bass was deep and tight and had pop and texture, can say enough about it. It piped on funk tracks but showed the timbre when a bassist would let the stings fly. mids weren't perfect and took a backseat but they were clear as guitars sounded just fine. Highs were very clear as well and had a bit of sparkle. The area between the kids and highs though had a bit of sibilance on vocals . My proline 2500s have this so I'm used to it and I know with time it smooths out. The comfort is different, it's not squishy but it can't be described as hard, think rubber seals compared to soft pillows. Although I love the velour on the higher end ultrasones, this may be better for travel and hot city summer weather.

 

When I get a proper dap back I'll test them again to make sure, but I seem settled on the hfi 580s, I don't want to make a decision on in house sound and my HTC one when neither will be my source.

post #6 of 8

V-Moda XS?  They're on my list for travelling headphones.  I compared them to M50x, I preferred the V-Modas.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souldriver View Post
 

Hd280 pro - so they didn't have the 380 on display and wouldn't let me open one up to try it out there. I now know what a flat eq headphone sounds like, a lot of details popped on these but overall volume was just low compared to the other headphones. This obviously could be fixed but it seems the bass and treble were just rolled waay down. I see what people say by sub bass, it has a nice sound but not expect anything with pop to show, good for some genres but not for mine. A proper EQ can make them livier I bet but they just seemed unengaging. Very comfortable in a squish pillow type way.

 

Hmmm, I'm not sure what exactly you heard from those HD280's, but I've checked my pair with A-weighted frequency sweeps and they do a really good job of staying right around neutral across all of the frequencies that I can comfortably hear (20Hz --- 18kHz). If you wear glasses, you have to be careful about getting a good fit and seal when you use closed circumaural headphones. If you don't get a good seal, 1) you won't get all of the (sub)bass that should be there, 2) the noise isolation will be sub optimal, which reduces the signal-to-(background)noise ratio. Also, I'm a little surprised about your volume comment. These are the loudest, most efficient pair of headphone I own. Every phone, computer, and tablet that I can make them louder than I can comfortably listen to. I use mine sitting next to a pretty noisy wind tunnel and I set my software volume to -20dB.

 

For your headphone search:

You might want to check out Innerfidelity's, Headroom's, or goldenears headphone measurements page and look at the frequency response and sensitivities for the headphones that you've tested out. You can then use those as a reference to get an idea what type of sound signature you perfer, and then get an idea what other headphones you might want to test. Certainly trying them in person is good for finding the right fit, but you can eliminate some that don't have the sound signature you're looking for. HeadRoom  lets you compare up to 4 models at the same time to see how they compare directly.

 

Based on your description of the HD 280, I'm guessing that you might prefer slightly boosted low end and slightly boosted high end (some folks call this a "V" profile, because the low end and the high end are boosted relative to the mids).

 

also, you might check out innerfidelity's headphone wall of fame. there are a few sound-isolating circumaural headphone recommendation on there.

 

Cheers

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

Hmmm, I'm not sure what exactly you heard from those HD280's, but I've checked my pair with A-weighted frequency sweeps and they do a really good job of staying right around neutral across all of the frequencies that I can comfortably hear (20Hz --- 18kHz). If you wear glasses, you have to be careful about getting a good fit and seal when you use closed circumaural headphones. If you don't get a good seal, 1) you won't get all of the (sub)bass that should be there, 2) the noise isolation will be sub optimal, which reduces the signal-to-(background)noise ratio. Also, I'm a little surprised about your volume comment. These are the loudest, most efficient pair of headphone I own. Every phone, computer, and tablet that I can make them louder than I can comfortably listen to. I use mine sitting next to a pretty noisy wind tunnel and I set my software volume to -20dB.

 

For your headphone search:

You might want to check out Innerfidelity's, Headroom's, or goldenears headphone measurements page and look at the frequency response and sensitivities for the headphones that you've tested out. You can then use those as a reference to get an idea what type of sound signature you perfer, and then get an idea what other headphones you might want to test. Certainly trying them in person is good for finding the right fit, but you can eliminate some that don't have the sound signature you're looking for. HeadRoom  lets you compare up to 4 models at the same time to see how they compare directly.

 

Based on your description of the HD 280, I'm guessing that you might prefer slightly boosted low end and slightly boosted high end (some folks call this a "V" profile, because the low end and the high end are boosted relative to the mids).

 

also, you might check out innerfidelity's headphone wall of fame. there are a few sound-isolating circumaural headphone recommendation on there.

 

Cheers

 

Well yes the v profile is what I'm used to and what I like. When I said the bass and treble were rolled down I meant compared to a v type sound. It was a flat eq which did sound good but for my music listening it wouldn't fit moat of the genres I like. The volume seemed low to me with the same source on the same volume, this might be the bigger bass and trebled on other phones giving them more presence. They did give everything an equal chance to come out and bc of that Tue detail was really good. The bass is there, and I was wearing glasses but it was still there. It was just a very mellow sub bass. It would work perfectly with the song "follow me down" by unkle. Once shin not downplaying the sennheisers just saying I prefered the hfi 580s more.

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