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Looking for durable portable headphones

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


I'm looking for a durable, or easily fixable (replaceable cord, etc) set of headphones for subway commutes. I've used PX-100s and AIAIAI Tracks before and loved them for portability and sound quality, but they fall apart rather quickly. I'm very careful with my equipment, but in daily use, they don't quite hold up. I've replaced the connector on each pair of headphones I've owned as that's the first thing to go, but shortly after it's the part that connects to cord to the ear piece which is more difficult to fix. I also have a pair of HD600s that I absolutely love but are useless on a train, not to mention way too expensive to be bringing outside.


I listen to a balanced mix of punk, rock, dance, acoustic/folk, and classical, and I've had good experiences with my AIAIAI Tracks in all of these. The PX100 is a close 2nd to me. So in an effort to not spend $60-$80 every couple of years, I'm extending my budget a bit higher to anything under $200. I've looked into the TMA-1 Studio and TMA-1 X, as well as the HD25, but looking for other opinions. Grados are nice, but not really conducive to noisy trains. I was also impressed by the V-Moda XS, but I'm not terribly into it's style (I know, I know). Also listened to Marshalls (Monitor and Major) but didn't vibe with them too well. Same with the Senn Momentum.


I was at a store listening to the TMA-1 DJ and TMA-1 X today and generally liked the X in everything except punk/rock, where it didn't have quite enough low-mid power, and it seemed a bit sibilant around 5-7kHz. Also, the lack of replaceable cable is a big minus, though it looks much sturdier than the Tracks I've been using. The DJ edition was quite nice, but very dark (which I've since read can be countered with a bit of EQ quite nicely). Granted, it's all hard to tell in a noisy environment and for a short period of time. The store didn't have the HD25s, unfortunately, so I'll try a different place next week.



TL;DR: looking for a set of phones with good sound quality for a variety of styles, <$200, durable and moderately isolated for subway commutes,



Any opinions on these, or other cans I should look at? Or the ones I passed over and should take a second listen to?


Thanks a bunch!

post #2 of 6

the HD25-1 II, HD25 Aluminium or the Amperior, they all seem to be perfect for you. Excellent isolation, ridiculously durable, fast and punchy sounding, great looks (at least for me). I would go with them.


If you use them on the subway how about IEMs?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply!


I had a set of Shure IEMs a little while back. Maybe it was the specific pair I had, but I was never able to get a good fit with any of the tips, and getting molds made is a bit out of my budget. If you have any suggestions, though, I'd gladly try them out. Probably going to the B&H store next week.

post #4 of 6

I'm sure there is a pair of Ciem for around 250$, when I find them I'll give you the link. As for universal fit, Comply, or any other brand, foam eartips solve the problem for 99.9% of the users, and increase isolation, but might be worse soundwise. That's one of the reasons I don't like IEMs that much, there are too many really important factors for them to sound good (you might buy them, love them, and due to fit they sound different every time you use them).


From that store, the Roland RH-300 is an incredible choice too. I've read they are like a flawless M50, this is, no overbright high, better mids, etc. Really like the MT220, but a tad cheaper. Of course they are more expensive than the HD25-1 II, but if you are planning on buying your HP from that store the extra 20$ might be worth it (comfortwise, at least). I'm saying this because, for example, the Amperiors can be bought for as little as http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-505573-Amperior-Headphones-Silver/dp/B009QV14MC/ref=sr_sp-btf_title_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1404429977&sr=8-8&keywords=hd25 it's really a matter of searching, if you can buy stuff from the web it's well worth the time spent

post #5 of 6

I think an IEM will be better for subways, since it's too noisy.Both of Bowers&Wilkins C5 and Klipsch X10 are good choice for this price range, depends on what kind of music you listen to.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I appreciate the answers, I'll check all of those out. My main concern with IEMs is cable durability. The Shure IEMs that I had were great until the cable tore at the earpiece. Since they were past warranty, there wasn't much I could do but sideline them. And yes, I tried Comply tips, and they were better, but still not great.


So I think I want to stick with supra/circum-aural style cans. I'm not looking for total isolation, just enough to keep my music to myself. The closed back phones I've used all worked great in this regard.


Thanks again! The Rolands look interesting...

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