A Recommendation For A First Timer
Mar 1, 2006 at 3:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

mr.riff

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Hello! I've just registered here but I've been lurking around since last December, I believe.

I'd like a headphone recommendation even though I've probably used to the search feature more often than what would be considered healthy - it just confuses me, the various opinions I've read.

The music I listen to is mostly mainstream, I haven't been bitten by the indie or classical bug - yet. I enjoy quite a few genres, here's a rather condensed list:

Metal (Nightwish & Lacuna Coil)
R&B/Rap (Mos Def & Outkast)
Pop/Vocals (Micheal Buble & Mariah Carey)
Trance/Club (Iio & Delerium)
Rock (Coldplay & A Perfect Circle)

I do also enjoy what I've heard referred to as 'bottomless bass', especially in R&B. Though, I'd say that clear sounding vocals are a higher priority for me.

My previous headphones were more or less fun at the time, though lately I think I've worn them out. The first pair was a Koss UR40 back in 2003 which I absolutely loved until I got the Sony EX71SL about a year later. I didn't like the Sony's at first (they sounded rather 'thick') but the bass was unbelievably good. I couldn't enjoy the UR40's after I got used to the Sony's. Now, after about two years, the Sony's sound horrible - harsh and brittle. I'm not sure what went wrong with them.

As for sources: While I did listen to 192kbps MP3s on PC & PDA with my previous headphones, these days I'm all out with FLAC on my iRiver H140 running the custom Rockbox firmware (I have head-fi to attribute to this).

So considering that this'll be the first time I'll be buying a substantial set of headphones, I'd like a recommendation, if you may. I'm looking for a full sized headphone for around $200.. I could always upgrade later but I really wouldn't feel comfortable spending a lot at first.

I've so far considered the AKG 501s & the Sennheiser 555s, but I've read that the 501 isn't particularly bass happy and that the 555s aren't all that good (good for what, is what I'm confused about).

Along with whatever headphone I buy, I'd get a DAC/AMP as well. Right now, I'm thinking about the Total Bithead which is on sale for $200 to use with my iRiver as well as on my PC. While this is obviously an entry-level choice, I could always get something better later. Right now, I'd like dip my toes into the audiophile arena.

Apart from listening to music, I do watch quite a lot of movies & tv shows on my PC. I'd like to have a headphone that's a 'do-all', with acceptable compromises of course.

I wouldn't have the opportunity to try out whatever I'll be buying, that's why I'm asking for your recommendation. Returns would also be unfeasible, seeing that I'll be buying online from India and having it delivered to my cousin's place in Florida from where my sister would pick it up after her vacation in the Bahamas, bringing it here.

Thanks so much for reading.

-Arif
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 3:12 AM Post #2 of 7

azncookiecutter

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How about Beyer DT770s? Massive bass, and since you're getting a DAC/amp, it benefits the DT770s. They're a bit large for portable use, though.
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 3:57 AM Post #3 of 7

glac1er

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Hmm... What you ask is a bit hard for sth under $200
biggrin.gif

Clear sounding vocals with lots of bass....

Maybe a Grado SR225 will do. They are good for watching movie, match quite well with your music preference, and the bass is quite impactful. Vocal is not bad IMO.

There are also the DT880 and HD595, pretty much perfect at everything esp vocals except that they are a bit lean on the bass.

EDIT: I also wrote this not too long ago. They are all under $200. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=163864 Hope it helps
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 5:01 AM Post #4 of 7

hekoman

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I think you should pick a Alessandro MS-1. They have the "in your face" sound of the Grados but they are more neutral and thus much less fatiguing. They have nice bass extension and impact, and the vocals just sound so lovely.

Plus they are not that hard a hit on the wallet at $100 from Alessandro website. And they are efficeint enough that they really do not need an dedicated headpone amp, though some amplifaction does improve their sound.
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 8:40 AM Post #5 of 7

Tachikoma

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Quote:

I wouldn't have the opportunity to try out whatever I'll be buying, that's why I'm asking for your recommendation. Returns would also be unfeasible, seeing that I'll be buying online from India and having it delivered to my cousin's place in Florida from where my sister would pick it up after her vacation in the Bahamas, bringing it here.


... where are you from, btw?
tongue.gif
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 4:53 PM Post #6 of 7

mr.riff

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azncookiecutter
How about Beyer DT770s? Massive bass, and since you're getting a DAC/amp, it benefits the DT770s. They're a bit large for portable use, though.


I didn't really look at the Beyer's (I'm not sure why). The 770's do look nice and comfortable, portability isn't really an issue at the moment - I'll get IEM's later on.


Quote:

Originally Posted by glac1er
Hmm... What you ask is a bit hard for sth under $200
biggrin.gif


EDIT: I also wrote this not too long ago. They are all under $200. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=163864 Hope it helps
smily_headphones1.gif



Ah well, I wouldn't mind a compromise at all, anything's better than nothing at this point
tongue.gif


That thread does indeed help quite a bit. I was starting to really like the SR225's but my ears sweat like crazy when I had the UR40's, so I'm a bit put off by that.


Quote:

Originally Posted by hekoman
I think you should pick a Alessandro MS-1. They have the "in your face" sound of the Grados but they are more neutral and thus much less fatiguing. They have nice bass extension and impact, and the vocals just sound so lovely.


Thanks! The Alessandro's appeal the most to me right now, partly because at that price point I wouldn't have much to lose if I end up wanting something more, and partly because they're a lot like the Grado's. Inconspicuous, as well!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tachikoma
... where are you from, btw?
tongue.gif



That's somewhat more complicated, but I'm typing this from India
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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