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Closed headphone with good soundstage portable?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I am looking for headphones that would work as portable, originally i tried to find headphones with similar sound signature with the Akg K240mkII but after trying different headphones i came to the conclusion that i enjoy neutral, balanced sound.

I will list some attributes i would like in the headphones.

 

Should work directly from Sansa Clip +

Closed back with good noise isolation.

I know close headphones usually don't have very good soundstage, but over time i have started to dislike the INSIDE your head sound that many headphones have. So something with fairly good soundstage is preferred.

Neutral, balanced sound is a must.

How they look, while its not as important as the sound. The Size and fit is important. Of course its always nice that they don't look goofy on your head.

Portable.

I don't require them to fold or anything. But they should "travel" around the neck.

I know i will have to sacrifice in some department but i hope there is something at least near what i need and want.

If possible, the option to switch to Velour / velvet ear pads.

Detachable cable is a big plus.

My budget limit is something near 150 - 180€ with all the cost involved.

 

I will list some headphones that i have tried and what bothered me with them.

Last thing what i heard was the KRK KNS 8400, the sound was very good, but felt they lacked mid bass impact slightly.

Over all i think the amout of bass was good. Soundstage was okay. Fit was okay but the looks were quite goofy and slightly troublesome since the headband extents quite far from your head.

I own the Akg K240mkII and enjoy the sound quite a lot, slightly better extention into sub bass and slightly more treble would be great.

Had issues with the ear pads on the Akg K240mkII, pleather ones too shallow, velour too small.

Beyerdynamic DT-770 did not enjoy these one bit. too much bass and i felt it was boomy. The lack of midrange killed the music completely, and felt they lacked clarity and separation. But the soundstage was okay. The clamp was destroying my head.

Over all the look was not bad actually, slightly large for portable use maybe.

Shure SRH440 these had fairly nice sound but had a bit too uncontrolled boomy bass, fit was okay and the looks could work.

Only the sound was little lacking, slightly more cleaner sound would be nice and better bass.

Shure SRH840 while the sound was nice, only a slightly too warm. The fit was horrible, clamping force was far too strong and this was a demo pair in the store.

Tried the Philips Downtown headphones, while the sound was good for the price they had slightly too confined sound, sounding inside my head.

Its very difficult to demo headphones where i live so i am limited to mostly to big department stores that have very limited and bad options. I have listened to some sennheisers like the HD598 and PX-100II and i think one was HD 429 what i can remember they were way too dark and warm also lacking impact from the music.

 

So far i am thinking the Akg K550 for 133€ + 12 shipping, the fit and size is troubling me. Also no detachable cable (cant demo them before buying).

KRK KNS8400 for 135€ while they had flaws i still liked them but the over all looks and lack of mid bass impact made me hesitant.

So if anybody have any better options i would like to hear them. Thanks

Sorry for the wall of text.


Edited by Notus - 5/26/14 at 4:50am
post #2 of 35

Shure SRH440, they are said to have a great soundstage for closed back, but the looks might ot be the best; this is always a matter of personal taste.

 

see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH-BkyStfZw

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

I could always try them again at my uncle's place, bought a pair for him year ago. But what i can remember they lacked clarity and refinement. The bass was slightly uncontrolled and boomy. The Shure SRH840 was definitely more refined sounding and controlled but slightly too dark and like i say'd the clamp was quite horrible.

I actually found the look to be quite nice compared to some headphones.


Edited by Notus - 5/26/14 at 5:11am
post #4 of 35

yes, the 840 has more clarity/definition/control, but the headband was made by a toddler

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

I have to agree, its ridiculous how the cheaper headphones have better construction in terms of comfort. For bigger head the clamp force of the 840 also something i cant quite understand. If i could get SRH 440 with the sound of 840 with a bit brighter sound signature, those would be nearly perfect.

post #6 of 35

forgot to add: the HM5/XPT100 and other cloned versions of Yoga are said to have one of the biggest soundstages available within closed headphones, although portability isn't the best. it is quite bad actually :D they are well placed in your budget, have extraordinary pads, fairly normal to drive, and good looking. the problem is their size


Edited by rebelinho - 5/26/14 at 11:11am
post #7 of 35

Notus, I think that your request can be satisfied by trying the CAL!2 (Creative Aurvana Live! 2)

Almost every feature is included in this headphones:

 

Price range: about 120€

Detachable cable: yes (the one that mount the HD518/558/598 sennheiser series).

Switchable velour: yes

Soundstage: one of the best of it's range price and category.

Signature sound: slighty v-shaped, very fun sound.

Portable and comfy,one of the most comfy headphones I have tried!

Not so big earcups, but enough to fit every ear.

Driveable with every source due the impedance of 32omh.

 

Imho the only minor lack is a good isolation, but isn't bad at all.

 

I love this headphones, bass slamming without overwhelming other frequencies and 

very clear sound, plus I can wear it for many hours! You must try them!

 

You can read this detailed review about the CAL2
http://headmania.org/2014/02/09/creative-aurvana-live-2-review/


Edited by Cloudheaven - 5/26/14 at 1:41pm
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, what i can tell from all the reviews the CAL2 is considered bass heavy headphone. Far from what i was looking for. I am looking for Neutral, balanced sound.

But thanks for making a suggestion anyway.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 forgot to add: the HM5/XPT100 and other cloned versions of Yoga are said to have one of the biggest soundstages available within closed headphones, although portability isn't the best. it is quite bad actually :D they are well placed in your budget, have extraordinary pads, fairly normal to drive, and good looking. the problem is their size

 

Woah, they look massive. Even bigger than the Akg K550 in pictures...

Problem is that they are not available here, only place i found them was on german amazon for 180€, i think with all the fees it could come as high as 200€...

Would be interesting headphone, but the price is over my budget a bit. Could consider them if they really are worth the hefty price of 200euros? I think that's around 270us dollars.


Edited by Notus - 5/28/14 at 12:06pm
post #10 of 35

they are smaller than the K550. get them here http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-earphones/brainwavz-hm5-studio-monitor-headphones for 139$, free worldwide shipping.

 

or the NVX here http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_46586_NVX-Audio-XPT100.html add to cart and hit "Click for international shipping quote" to get your rates.

 

or even the Jaycar Pro Monitor http://www.jaycar.co.uk/productView.asp?ID=AA2065&w=pro+monitor&form=KEYWORD add 5 pounds for shipping. 

 

sadly only the HM5 comes with the hard shell case, the NVX and Jaycar come with a massive cloth case (the smaller hard one can be bought at mp4nation), and the Jaycar only has the 3 m cable.

post #11 of 35
You can also add the Fischer wood cups later, for a further improvement in soundstage (I started with FA-003s and upgraded them to FA-002ws with the basic 5-step beech cups). AFAIK, the HM5s are equivalent to the original (non-Ti) Fischers.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 

Okay i have few questions about the headphones, they are basically the same headphone? Sound is the same?

Also is there problems with build quality, somebody mentioned the headband adjust parts cracking? Saw some pics where they have cracked and chipped pieces off.

Returning them would be pain and expensive that's why i am hesitant about ordering from over seas.

 

But over all something more portable would be nice.

I am still considering them (HM5) the reviews were great and isolation / comfort was praised highly.

post #13 of 35
Mine have been fine from a build quality point of view. They are also very light (but quite bulky - think closed HD600!).
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notus View Post
 

Okay i have few questions about the headphones, they are basically the same headphone? Sound is the same?

Also is there problems with build quality, somebody mentioned the headband adjust parts cracking? Saw some pics where they have cracked and chipped pieces off.

Returning them would be pain and expensive that's why i am hesitant about ordering from over seas.

 

But over all something more portable would be nice.

I am still considering them (HM5) the reviews were great and isolation / comfort was praised highly.

 

all of them are versions of the Yoga, sort of a white-label OEM headphone that other companies rebrand with some minor variations & adjustments - but for the most part they all sound the same. You can look up reviews & feedback for each particular model, but all have garnered strong reviews, especially for their neutrality, comfort, earpads (many people including myself purchase the Brainwavz pads separately for use on other headphones), generous accessories and their competitive price. I have done a lot of research on them and haven't noticed any issues with the build quality. Here are some video reviews, he highly recommends both the NVX & Brainwavz. 

 

Z Review - Brainwavz HM5

 

 

Z Reviews - NVX XPT100

 

 

Comments: 

 

TL;DW - These are cheaper (duh) but they also have a much more flexible band and a slightly bigger and worse storage box. The Angled Pads AND the original flat pads both have the plastic quick connects on the NVX and the Brainwavz have only the raw pads. The wires are the same except for the color indicators. Sound quality is the same as Brainwavz as far as I can tell. The relaxed fit of these is .. well relaxed. They may be even more comfortable than the HM5's but I DO like a bit of a solid grab so I will swap out these and the Brainwavz until I find out which I like more.

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

I have big head so would the NVX be better for me? Is the isolation better on the HM5 because it has stronger clamp? Any knowledge how is the headband of the Jaycar Pro Monitors compared to the two?

The carry case would be only a bonus, ofc its much better looking on the HM5 but its not a deal breaker.

Jaycar Pro Monitor's were dirt cheap... Out of the 3 mentioned here, what would you recommend? HM5, NVX, Jaycar's?

Do they need a headphone amp or can the Sansa Clip + power them properly?

Should i just go for the cheapest option?

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