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new to the forum...love my music loud :D

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Josh checking in here...pretty serious about my music (home speakers are Focal, planned car system also Focal) now looking to get a dang nice set of cans to satisfy my pretentiousness (my wife's favorite word to describe me with lol!) recommendations are always welcome especially on dacs/amps (never used one before), and FYI im currently seriously considering the B&O H6's

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Figured I should probably give you guys an idea of what I'm looking for...

 

1) Comfort/fit - I need a set of headphones that are gonna be comfortable for 2+ hours at a time and aren't going to get overly sweaty and slide around while im in the gym (I don't wear them while I do cardio so either circum or supra aural is fine). I love my Sol Republic Tracks because they stay put and aren't overly heavy...but they do get a touch warm hehe....

 

2) Sound quality - I listen primarily to heavy metal, rock, and dubstep...so lots of bass, intense electric guitars, and percussion instruments...that being said I absolutely love classical and solo piano/violin recordings so the accuracy and detail needs to be there.

 

3) Easy to power - about 99% of the time I'll be listening to music from my phone (Nexus 5, soon to be replaced by an HTC one M8). I use Spotify and download all my music in their "Extreme Quality". As far as I can tell it's pretty dang close to, if not CD quality. So having to use an amp to really enjoy my headphones isn't an option right now.

 

Ok whew...maybe I'm asking for too much...can ya'll help?\

 

Josh

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post

 

new to the forum...love my music loud :D

 

Just checking...have you ever heard of tinnitus? Because in car and home audio forums, FS adds would have an RFS like this: "no longer have an audio room, converted it into a nursery for our nth baby" or "new baby, need to make space for the stroller in the trunk." In Head-Fi and the local headphone forum over here, RFS would be, "I have tinnitus now, doctor doesn't want me using headphones or IEMs."

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post
 

Josh checking in here...pretty serious about my music (home speakers are Focal, planned car system also Focal) now looking to get a dang nice set of cans to satisfy my pretentiousness (my wife's favorite word to describe me with lol!) recommendations are always welcome especially on dacs/amps (never used one before), and FYI im currently seriously considering the B&O H6's

 

I think what you mean by "loud" is actually more like "dynamic," something that you can get with a combination of an amp that can deliver enough current for a dynamic-sounding headphone. The sound seems loud because the sound is very "in your face," even if measuring equipment would peg it at the same volume level as, for example, a Sennheiser HD600 (which by no means lacks dynamics, but the overall presentation is very different). Generally, those who like Focal's car audio sound signature tend to like the Grado RS-1 (similar to the yellow cone series, not up to date what's new now) or the SR325 (more like the Polyglass with the metallic tweeter - TC90? not up to date), while those not wanting to spend a lot of money are likely to get the SR225 (like the Polyglass with the softer tweeters, properly installed) or the SR60 (kind of like the Access series).

 

If anything, you lose a lot of soundstage characteristics with Grados, most of it due to the earpad design - there's an adapter available from www.headphile.com that allows for Beyerdynamic circumaural earpads but they're around $200. If however you can accept compromises with headphone use and can focus on the musicality of it without being bothered by the Poseidon hates you soundstage (strong L-C-R with recessed sound coming from between L-C and C-R, like a trident is pointed at your face), you can't go wrong with the RS-1 or SR325. 

 

I also tested the AKG K701, K702, and Q701 - they can have slightly wider and deeper soundstage than the HD600, but with the right amp they can sound as dynamic as Grados. Problem is, the "right amp" I've tried that really made them more dynamic than the HD600 and closer to Grados is the Burson Soloist, and that's around $1,000 (my own amp only put its dynamics on par with the HD600). Its high-current demand makes these headphone kind of like Dynaudios.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

yes I'm familiar with tinnitus and I actually do have a slight touch of it along with minor hearing loss in both ears (6 years in the Marines and 4 deployments will do that to yah!). Fortunately it's not severe enough to seriously impact my music enjoyment (the tinnitus only flares up on rare occasions and my hearing loss is mostly in the super-high frequencies)....though my wife swears I subconsciously tune her out all the time.......

 

As for my music being loud...I meant just that...I like loud music, but I also appreciate being able to listen at low volumes and still hear accurate details. (I've actually been making a concerted effort lately to dial down the decibels).

 

Speaking to how speakers actually sound, I guess a good way to describe how I hear/feel about my Focal home speakers is that they make the music feel "alive" without sounding artificial (best comparison I can come up with right now is how Bose speakers/headphones tend to sound artificially enhanced) (am I making any sense here????).

 

In short I just want something that gives me detailed, lively sound without sacrificing the low end...maybe some examples of what I'm looking for are in order...

 

In general: separation and clarity of each instrument is critical! I listened to my Sol Republic Tracks earlier this evening and just realized how muddy they actually are! This is huge on recordings that have a variety of classical/acoustic instruments (Let It Go by The Piano Guys is a really great example of this).

 

Bass: I hate boomy, muddy, indistinct, overpowering bass....Even on dubstep and metal I prefer distinct, definable bass notes that while they have a weighty presence, support and enhance the rest of the track rather than overpowering it.

 

Vocals: while my wife would digress and say that all I listen to is screamo I do enjoy a really really good vocal/acoustic track (Adele is usually my reference for this kind of stuff). Being able to hear the fine nuances in a voice is really pleasing especially when I can do so without straining to hear it over the instruments.

 

Instruments: guitars (both acoustic and distorted electric) have to be clear, strings need to evoke emotion and not sound dull or scratchy (I had a pair or Shure e2c's a long time ago and I absolutely hated them for being overly bright). Percussion instruments...they gotta have that clarity and separation as well as actually sound "musical" (best example I can give here is that cymbals shouldn't sound overly bright and borderline tinny...you should actually be able to hear the "notes" they create). Piano - oh Lord I love piano...if it doesn't sound like a baby grand in a living

room then it's wrong (strictly my preference :) )

 

Listening with an amp really isn't an option right now...unless there's some really small and light ones that wouldn't be cumbersome while at the gym. Oh and my source (currently) is a Nexus 5 smartphone with the music sourced from Spotify in "Extreme Quality". Gonna replace that phone with an HTC One M8 but still use Spotify.

 

Ok...I *think* that covers it fairly well...

 

I'll be auditioning the Bang & Olufsen H6's here on Saturday hopefully. From everything I've been reading about them for the past month they might be what I'm looking for but we'll see.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post
 

yes I'm familiar with tinnitus and I actually do have a slight touch of it along with minor hearing loss in both ears (6 years in the Marines and 4 deployments will do that to yah!). Fortunately it's not severe enough to seriously impact my music enjoyment (the tinnitus only flares up on rare occasions and my hearing loss is mostly in the super-high frequencies)....

 

I'd still say to keep the volume turned down, tinnitus can make that much worse and then you'd have no means to enjoy music if it does. That ringing can still get worse.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post
 

though my wife swears I subconsciously tune her out all the time.......

 

If you're tuning her out because the center frequency of her voice is where your hearing rolls off, I'd say it's possible. At least it's it's not because you're having bad flashbacks - I got a friend who perpetually found 7.62s on his laptop and he's just happy that he's not only alive, but can tell us all about anything (well, what's not classified anyway) while laughing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post

 

As for my music being loud...I meant just that...I like loud music, but I also appreciate being able to listen at low volumes and still hear accurate details. (I've actually been making a concerted effort lately to dial down the decibels).

 

As in my previous post, what you actually enjoy really is the dynamics. Problem with some headphones and speakers, depending on a lot of variables, can lack dynamics and detail at lower volumes. This can be due to a too close to flat response, and given the human ear isn't flat either and biased for the midrange, the lower frequencies are always harder to hear. It can also be from lack of isolation, with the detail at lower volume settings getting drowned out by ambient noise. In some cases though there are listeners who just like the sound of an amp at higher settings - the distortion can make the sound warmer depending on the amp.

 

Grados would be great for dynamics even at low volume levels, the problem is that their isolation is next to zero so if there's a lot of ambient noise around you'd still have to raise the volume, even if it's already hooked up to a quality amp. My SR225 was nearly inaudible when the a/c unit 1.5m from my head is running.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post

 

Speaking to how speakers actually sound, I guess a good way to describe how I hear/feel about my Focal home speakers is that they make the music feel "alive" without sounding artificial (best comparison I can come up with right now is how Bose speakers/headphones tend to sound artificially enhanced) (am I making any sense here????).

 

Bose products are artificially enhanced, mostly to compensate for physics. Their BT speaker for example produces astounding bass response for its size, and we can hear every drum hit loud and clear with that thing in the middle of our patio table when we're drinking, but that's because it applies bass boost. What's smart about it is it detects if there actually is a lot of bass on the track and adjusts its own EQ so as not to result in heavily distorted bass. 

 

They're great for when you need your speakers really small and easy to lug around, but for headphones there are other alternatives. Ditto their home speakers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslone View Post
 

In short I just want something that gives me detailed, lively sound without sacrificing the low end...maybe some examples of what I'm looking for are in order...

 

In general: separation and clarity of each instrument is critical! I listened to my Sol Republic Tracks earlier this evening and just realized how muddy they actually are! This is huge on recordings that have a variety of classical/acoustic instruments (Let It Go by The Piano Guys is a really great example of this).

 

Bass: I hate boomy, muddy, indistinct, overpowering bass....Even on dubstep and metal I prefer distinct, definable bass notes that while they have a weighty presence, support and enhance the rest of the track rather than overpowering it.

 

Vocals: while my wife would digress and say that all I listen to is screamo I do enjoy a really really good vocal/acoustic track (Adele is usually my reference for this kind of stuff). Being able to hear the fine nuances in a voice is really pleasing especially when I can do so without straining to hear it over the instruments.

 

Instruments: guitars (both acoustic and distorted electric) have to be clear, strings need to evoke emotion and not sound dull or scratchy (I had a pair or Shure e2c's a long time ago and I absolutely hated them for being overly bright). Percussion instruments...they gotta have that clarity and separation as well as actually sound "musical" (best example I can give here is that cymbals shouldn't sound overly bright and borderline tinny...you should actually be able to hear the "notes" they create). Piano - oh Lord I love piano...if it doesn't sound like a baby grand in a living

room then it's wrong (strictly my preference :) )

 

Listening with an amp really isn't an option right now...unless there's some really small and light ones that wouldn't be cumbersome while at the gym. Oh and my source (currently) is a Nexus 5 smartphone with the music sourced from Spotify in "Extreme Quality". Gonna replace that phone with an HTC One M8 but still use Spotify.

 

Ok...I *think* that covers it fairly well...

 

For a home reference system that all sounds like the HD600, but that needs at least a portable amp. And for gym use, well, scratch the Grados. You could check out the Brainwavz HM5 but I'm not sure how that does with the integrated DAC+HPamp chip (without large enough power caps) on mainstream mobile devices. Fiio is coming out with the $99 X1 DAP in a few months so you can consider using a separate player - it has a dedicated DAC chip whose signal goes into a a real amplifier circuit. It's designed for IEMs but a relatively easy to drive headphone like the HM5 should not have any problems with its oughly 150mW output (which is 30x more power than what you can get out of a smartphone).

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've noticed that by keeping the volume down I'm noticing more details in my music (at least to the degree that I can with the SR Tracks)...and I'm also realizing more and more just how "not good" the SR Tracks are hehe...

 

I can't stand hardly any of the Bose products anymore...maybe it's because my Focal's have spoiled me that much...the only exceptions I'd make to that are their earbuds...supremely comfortable, durable, and I can somewhat "tolerate" how they sound.

 

Hmm...well yeah the Grado's aren't going to work for home or gym use (I'd have to crank them all the way up in the gym to hear anything and I'd have to keep them super low at home to not disturb anyone). But after everything I've read and heard about them over the years I'm gonna try a pair eventually. Heard wonderful things about the HD600's as well...I actually had a pair of Senny PX-80's when I was in Iraq and I LOVED the separation and detail they had especially with stringed instruments.

 

What I'd like to find (for now) is a pair of cans that I can drive decently without an amp from my phone for the time being...but an amp for home use isn't out of the question either ;) Speaking to amps, what should I look for in one and what are the features/doodads that I really don't need? Like what's marketing hype and what's actually important? The only sources I can imagine myself ever using are Spotify, 320k MP3's, and FLACs.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Come to think of it I'm leaning more towards an on-ear can rather than over ear because of less bulk, lighter weight, and a bit more comfortable for gym use (that's been the biggest thing I've loved about my SR Tracks). Though a light weight, over-ear can isn't out of the question. The Momentum OE seem pretty appealing and from what I've read they'll do fine being driven from a phone. I also saw the Aedle VK-1's on the Head-Fi Summer 2014 Buyers guide...if looks alone dictated quality I'd buy those in a heart beat 'cause they're downright gorgeous :)


Edited by jcslone - 7/4/14 at 10:20pm
post #8 of 9
Definitely on ear vs. over ear for gym use to avoid heat build up.

What is your budget?
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Max I'm allowing myself is $400. I'm trying to balance my reenlistment bonus between necessities (bills, furniture, etc) and toys (audio stuff, guns, and vacation). I had the thought to just upgrade my SR Tracks to the V10 Sound Engines but after reading more in depth on them I want something that's not as recessed in the mids (and the more and more I listen to my Tracks now having an understanding of how to describe sound I definitely want something better).

 

Currently I'm considering the V-Moda Crossfade M-80's (absolutely sexy design and the reviews are good), Senny Momentum OE's, B&W P3/P5's, and the Aedle VK-1's


Edited by jcslone - 7/5/14 at 9:07pm
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