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Audio Technica AH-M50x vs Philips Fidelio L1 vs Something Else

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi guys I'm pretty new to the world of headphones so I appreciate any help you could give me!

 

I am a student on a fairly small budget (around $160, but less would be better) looking for a set of headphones mainly for desktop use without an amp and maybe a little bit of traveling, and had my sights set on the M50xs which are right at the limit for my budget.

 

Obviously I would like something with the best sound quality possible for the price, more specifically something that will play acoustic/classical well, so preferably with tight, extended but not necessarily accentuated bass, good accuracy and clean highs. My studies and part-time job as a wedding photographer require me to spend hours a day on my computer, so they need to be very comfortable for extended listening periods. This goes for sound too, although generally speaking I am leaning towards accurate and neutral, it's more important that they be easy and fun to listen to for long periods.

 

It's also important to me that they be durable, I've had a lot of problems before with fraying cables so I'm a big fan of detachable cables. I had been looking at the Sony MDR-7506s before but the lack of interchangeable cables and flimsy ear pads put me off, besides most reviews saying that the M50s sounded better.


I've just discovered though that I could get the Philips Fidelio L1s on discount for even a little less than the M50xs. I really like the look of them and Tyll Hertsens highly recommends them on his site, so I started wondering, will the semi-open design make a big improvement in sound quality for mostly acoustic and classical? Are the differences in isolation big enough to not recommend the L1's for travel? If anyone has experience with both of them please let me know.


I have had a look at a few others but generally the ones that seem to fit are $200 and up, and I'm already stretching my budget as it is... of course any other recommendations at lower prices would be welcome!

post #2 of 22

There is no way you can use open headphones for any traveling. You won't be able to use the  l1s for traveling.

Some other headphones you should check out:

Donscorpio dolphin

NVX XPT100

KAM HP-1

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunehdrocks View Post

There is no way you can use open headphones for any traveling. You won't be able to use the  l1s for traveling.
Some other headphones you should check out:
Donscorpio dolphin
NVX XPT100
KAM HP-1

Dolphins are 18 ohm, making them a bit difficult to drive. So they may or may not do very well with some devices. But definitely a good deal for the price. They do work very well with the Sansa Clip+ and Clip Zip that I have.

NVX are the same cups/drivers (same sound) as the Brainwavz HM5 and Fisher FA-003 (one company makes them and they are rebranded for different sellers). Great deal for those at $80. See these two discussion threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/491632/review-fischer-audio-fa-003-a-neutral-champ
http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ

If the M50X are at the limit of your budget, consider the M50s instead. It's the same driver/similar sound. They are pretty hardy headphones. I personally wouldn't worry about detachable cables. And I agree. I like the M50s better than the Sony V6s (which are very, very similar to the 7506, apparently).
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Dolphins are 18 ohm, making them a bit difficult to drive. So they may or may not do very well with some devices. But definitely a good deal for the price. They do work very well with the Sansa Clip+ and Clip Zip that I have.

NVX are the same cups/drivers (same sound) as the Brainwavz HM5 and Fisher FA-003 (one company makes them and they are rebranded for different sellers). Great deal for those at $80. See these two discussion threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/491632/review-fischer-audio-fa-003-a-neutral-champ
http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ

If the M50X are at the limit of your budget, consider the M50s instead. It's the same driver/similar sound. They are pretty hardy headphones. I personally wouldn't worry about detachable cables. And I agree. I like the M50s better than the Sony V6s (which are very, very similar to the 7506, apparently).

Are you talking about electrical damping factor?

If so, theres some measurements of the output impedence of a few devices

http://www.head-fi.org/t/631155/iphone-5-thorough-measurements

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your recommendations. I had thought that since the L1s were only semi-open it wouldn't be as much of an issue... But I do need good isolation, so I'll stick to closed for now.

I can't find much information on the dolphins or the HP-1, do you know anything more about them? I have been looking at the XPT-100s, so far it's looking like the best option!

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Dolphins are 18 ohm, making them a bit difficult to drive. So they may or may not do very well with some devices. But definitely a good deal for the price. They do work very well with the Sansa Clip+ and Clip Zip that I have.

NVX are the same cups/drivers (same sound) as the Brainwavz HM5 and Fisher FA-003 (one company makes them and they are rebranded for different sellers). Great deal for those at $80. See these two discussion threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/491632/review-fischer-audio-fa-003-a-neutral-champ
http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ

If the M50X are at the limit of your budget, consider the M50s instead. It's the same driver/similar sound. They are pretty hardy headphones. I personally wouldn't worry about detachable cables. And I agree. I like the M50s better than the Sony V6s (which are very, very similar to the 7506, apparently).

I do need something less dependant on the source as I generally won't have an amp to drive them. It's one of the reasons I was gravitating towards the M50s. Have you heard both the NVX and the M50s? How do they compare? Thank you for the help!

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Output impedance on my laptop is apparently around 24 ohm, does that mean it will probably cause some distortion with the dolphins?

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Malherbe View Post

Thanks for your recommendations. I had thought that since the L1s were only semi-open it wouldn't be as much of an issue... But I do need good isolation, so I'll stick to closed for now.


I can't find much information on the dolphins or the HP-1, do you know anything more about them? I have been looking at the XPT-100s, so far it's looking like the best option!
Lol cel
Thats your cue
...
No reaction??? I'm disappointed.
Edited by zunehdrocks - 5/15/14 at 6:50pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Malherbe View Post

I do need something less dependant on the source as I generally won't have an amp to drive them. It's one of the reasons I was gravitating towards the M50s. Have you heard both the NVX and the M50s? How do they compare? Thank you for the help!

My son has the NVX--I gave them as a gift to him--and I have not had a chance to hear them yet. But based on the all the happy people who bought them for $125 or more as Brainwavz HM5 and Fisher FA-003, they definitely would be a good value at $80. And my son has been happy, too smily_headphones1.gif

If you go in the HM5 or FA-003 thread and search for M50, I'm sure you'd find some comparisons given how popular the M50s are. Or you can ask in those threads as well.

What I like about the Dolphins vs. the M50s are lighter weight/smaller. A touch more comfortable, better soundstage, and less upper mid bass emphasis. Most of the discussion about them is in the Chinese/Asian brand thread (you can search for Dolphin). I ended up doing this simple mod of removing the tape/foam that covers half the driver, which made the soundstage even better.

Depending on what devices you use them with, the Dolphins could be just fine.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Malherbe View Post
 

Output impedance on my laptop is apparently around 24 ohm, does that mean it will probably cause some distortion with the dolphins?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/340327/damping-factor-for-headphones

Most people say it may skew the sound sig a bit at most

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunehdrocks View Post

http://www.head-fi.org/t/340327/damping-factor-for-headphones
Most people say it may skew the sound sig a bit at most

My understanding is that it the impedance curve of the particular headphone can also be a factor. But admittedly, I don't understand the engineering behind it.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for their recommendations! I've decided to try out the XPT-100s, if it's too expensive to have them shipped internationally (UK) I'll go for the M50s (Dolphins look nice but don't know much about them and not sure about the effect of driving them with a high impedance source).

 

This was my first post, thanks again for all the comments!

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Malherbe View Post

Thanks to everyone for their recommendations! I've decided to try out the XPT-100s, if it's too expensive to have them shipped internationally (UK) I'll go for the M50s (Dolphins look nice but don't know much about them and not sure about the effect of driving them with a high impedance source).

This was my first post, thanks again for all the comments!

Before you buy, check the LINDY HF-100. Same as the Brainwavz HM5. Looks like they only have one more left in stock.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Before you buy, check the LINDY HF-100. Same as the Brainwavz HM5. Looks like they only have one more left in stock.

Brilliant! Thank so for much for your help, I would never have found these by myself!

post #15 of 22
Awesome! I'm glad you found something to fit your budget smily_headphones1.gif

Once you get them, come back and post your impressions. It's helpful if someone else searches the site to learn about them.
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