A good pair of cans for a beginner
Aug 12, 2010 at 12:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

somebody19

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Posts
1
Likes
0
Hey guys,
 
I'm new to the audiophile scene, and I haven't really invested any money in my life in getting a sweet pair of cans. However, I'm wiling to spend around $200 - $400 on a new pair of headphones, and I need some help in choosing a pair of headphones. I'll list out some of the criterias which I think might help in the selection process, so do give me a hand if it isn't too much trouble yeah?
 
- I'm only going to be listening to my music at home, in a quiet environment, so I reckon I should go for an open pair of headphones instead of a closed pair yeah?
 
- I'm not really entirely sure what the difference is between supraaural or circumaural but whichever is more comfortable, I'd take that.
 
- I am mainly going to be listening to my music through my headphone socket through my computer (I do not have an external sound card, only an internal one with the motherboard). To be honest, with my Logitech speakers now, I cannot tell the difference between a 256kbps, 320kbps, or FLAC format MP3s. I'm not sure if that's because I can't appreciate the difference in quality, or my speakers just cannot reproduce the difference in quality.
 
- I do not have any external equipment like amps or such, but if it helps in the future, I'll be more than willing to invest in some.
 
- The type of music I listen to are mainly alternative rock, and tons of electric guitar and drums. Think The Mars Volta and Muse.
However, I also enjoy acoustic guitar from the likes of John Mayer, Glenn Frey, and such. From my personal preference, I enjoy a pair of cans with a strong bass.
 
Any preferences guys?
 
Thanks in advance.
 
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM Post #2 of 20

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,596
Likes
506
From your musical tastes, I think you'd enjoy a pair of Grados - they do very well with guitars. The SR-60 is the usual place to start, so you can see if you enjoy them. You might also want to consider the HF-2, because it won't be available much longer.

Circumaural headphones go around your ears and the pads sit on your head. Supraural headphones have pads that sit on your ears. Generally, circumaural headphones are more comfortable and that's the one common complaint about Grados. Grados sit on your ears and some people find them uncomfortable. I like them fine, but others use modified pads and other tweaks to make Grados more comfortable.

If you want a good circumaural headphone, a real classic is the Sennheiser HD-600. They're great with every type of music and "scale" up nicely with better amps. There are some complajnts about clMping force with them, but they usually get comfortable as the pads break in. You might also want to look at the Beyerdynamic DT880. A very good headphone and possibly the most comfortables set on the market. A dark horse would be the Sony MDR-SA5000. People either love or hate them, but I've always enjoyed them. Be sure to read up on them if they interest you.

The three mentioned above benefit from an amp. There are several good ones out there in the $200-$300 range. The new Shiit has good reviews (I haven't heard one, though) and there's a new Dynalo on the market - I really love those. You'll also find a bunch of good used amps for sale here. Those are often the best deal - it is worth watching the forum. Same goes for headphones, since you'll save a lot with a used pair.

Anyhow, take a look around, read a lot and don't be afraid to ask questions.
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 1:01 AM Post #3 of 20

kingtz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Posts
905
Likes
37
If you're in the $400 range, be sure the check out the HD650. They are very similar to the HD600s with a few subtle difference.  Either of these will require a good desktop amp to sound their best, however, which will be an added cost to keep in mind.
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 1:14 AM Post #4 of 20

RexAeterna

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Posts
2,317
Likes
81
if it was me i'll look around for best headphones i can buy and hit up ebay,craigslist or local pawnshops for some vintage stereo receivers or amps cause you can get'em cheap compared to new ones and they can be as good or better than newer equipment. then even it out to your budget.if you know how to look around you can kill 2 birds with one stone.

as for headphone suggestion. ones that were already mentioned are a good start. can even check out the beyerdynamic dt440 or grado sr-80i.too
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 1:19 AM Post #5 of 20

KarlAgathon

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Posts
409
Likes
59
Uncle Eric, most of the reviews I have read of various Grado models have been very positive. However, even in some positive reviews, some list them being uncomftorable to wear for extended periods of time. Do you have any experience with Grados when it comes to comftorability matters?
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 2:14 AM Post #6 of 20

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,596
Likes
506
Well, I'm one of those who finds Grados comfortable, even for long listening sessions. My only comfort gripe was that the ear pads were itchy. However, I just wash them in the sink with soap and water, then let them dry overnight. That takes care of the itchiness for me. On the other hand, some people really find Grados uncomfortable and they are sincere. It's hard to say whether you'd like them or not unless you try them. That's why it's good to try the SR-60 or a used pair first. Used pairs resell for about what you paid and you'll only lose about $10 on the SR-60 if you resell them. You might want to see if there's a nearby meet soon - that's the best way to find out if you like Grados.
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 1:32 PM Post #8 of 20

TheMiddleSky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Posts
2,714
Likes
3,092
Location
Indonesia - Singapore
Vote for Beyerdynamic DT440, it has fuller midrange than DT770/DT880, which is better for rock song, note that Grado still better for rock, but DT440 has nice bass quality and quantity wise, not as good as DT770/DT880 though. And also I've found DT440 has better transparation than Grado SR series (except SR325i) or Alessandro MS1i.
 
I've found that DT440 is really a good allrounder, they can play almost all genre and you will find that nothing is bad, some cans still better for more spesific genre though.
 
I guess you can get DT440 about $150, so get the DAC/Amp combo with $250. :)
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 5:15 PM Post #9 of 20

KarlAgathon

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Posts
409
Likes
59
Thanks for your prespective on that Uncle Erik. I am currently looking at the SR225i, SR325i and possibly the RS 2. Will try to find a local music shop to audition them. I noticed they also use two cords as opposed to one. I actually like one corded cans better. Not enough of a reason for me not to buy them if I really like them though.
 
Aug 12, 2010 at 10:43 PM Post #12 of 20

Mysteek

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Posts
380
Likes
18
The sound quality was absolutely amazing.  I was blown away each and every time I listened to them... then after about 15-20 minutes my ears started hurting bad.  =(  It was because the actual driver cage thing was pressed against my ears, the pain!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top