As one approaches the stratosphere of "summit" quality headphones, one must take on lower efficiencies, higher impedance, 1/4" plugs, and 10' long cables thicker than a pencil. The response is pre-amps, headphone amps, wall plugs, vacuum tubes, and being tethered to a "listening station."
What is a top quality headphone that is suited for simple portable audio (esp. iPod) use? To me, "iPod use" includes:
- 1/8" plug;
- approx 4' cable;
- closed (probably... need not share your music with your neighbor);
- operates well off a source such as iPod Touch 5th gen (an EXCELLENT source.. 0.73 ohms output) or perhaps older iPod (pre Lightening connector, where the "Line Out" is truly analog, not reconstructed by a DAC in the plug!);
- needs no amp or DAC;
- reasonably small (not essential, but cannot fall off your head if you stoop down while walking to pick something up);
- volume and transport remote control as part of cable.
Of the ones in my 24-headphone inventory, it is either the NAD VISO hp50 over-ear or the Shure 535 IEM, but I suspect if I were willing to pay more, there might be something better, perhaps in the $1,000+ range.
Any ideas? Thanks!