Alternates to the Sennheiser PX200 headphones
Dec 29, 2008 at 5:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Mejilan

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It's been a long time, head-fi.
You guys were so good to me in my last advice/product request thread, so many years ago, that I find myself coming back for more advice now that I'm in a quandary, once again.

Old thread here, for reference:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/qua...nt-ipod-44650/

As I mentioned once in that very old thread, I have little knowledge to share here at head-fi, so I've basically been a passive and only occasional lurker. So I know how awesome and helpful you guys are!

Basically, I've been very happy with the Senns PX200s I've been using for the past 4 or so years. I know that their status here at head-fi has declined significantly since I first came for help, but I've generally loved them. But I've finally reached my limit.

Here's the deal: For the past 4+ years, I've basically been using the Sennheiser PX200 headphones with my various iPods. In just about all respects, they've been near-perfect portable solutions for my day-to-day use (including heavy mass transit train commutes). Excellent sound quality, small and comfortable build, better-than-usual isolation keeps my music out of the ears of others, and their babble out of mine; just enough isolation to significantly boost my enjoyment, yet still allow me to be sufficiently aware of any alerts or warnings that might sound through the trains/streets/planes/etc. And at $40-50, they've simply been an awesome value.

I say "near-perfect" because the cable quality sucks balls. 4-5 years of awesome music, but an average lifespan of about a year per set. I've literally gone through 4 of these babies, and after anywhere from 9-15 months, music in one side of the headphone, the other, or both eventually cuts out. I've researched the issue, and it seems to be a common theme that the cable quality is lacking and normal wear-and-tear tends to cause them to fray and sever around the jack. All 4 have died on me in exactly the same way. Ideally, I'd find somewhere that offers modded Senns like these with a total re-cabling job. I'm not brave enough to perform the surgery myself.

I'm trying to find alternative headphones that marry a similar feature-set (portability, small size, great sound quality, and solid-but-not-excessive isolation), and I'm striking out. Considering that I'm sick of shelling out ~$40-$50 a year, I am willing to dip into a higher (and pricier) category of headphones. What I do not want are ridiculously over-sized professional studio headphones that'll run me $300+. Also, while not an audiophile (I am listening to compressed music on an iPod, after all), I've tasted what good headphones can do to music, so the usual cheapie pack-ins or similar $10 headphones are instantly out of the equation. As are earbuds. As is anything that requires battery-guzzling portable amps or noise-canceling technology to reproduce what these Senns are capable of doing natively. They'd have to be truly magical to sway me, because I hate how small and invasive they are.

In summary:
Want:
Great sound quality
High-grade portable traditional headphones
Durable build quality (especially the cabling)
Some kind of free isolation is a must
< $100 if possible

Do not want:
In-ear buds (might consider IEMs/canalphones, however)
Massive professional studio 'phones
Requires portable amp
Relies on powered noise-canceling technology

If I cannot find something comparable to the PX200s in feature-set and price (I'm willing to budge a bit on this category, so long as the rest is quality), then I might consider IEMs. I'm new to IEMs, but previous experience with earbuds have been disastrous. Crappy isolation, crappy sound quality, poor fits, extreme discomfort... etc. Please help. Any recommendations? Thanks again for your patience.
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 5:53 PM Post #2 of 18

Morph

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I'm currently looking for a pair of nice, portable closed-back headphones so I can give you some ideas:

AKG K450
Denon AH-P372
Or maybe you'll find ATH-ES55 or ATH-ES7 below 100?

Anyway, it's really hard to find nice headphones with this pricetag, I'm seriously considering buying Ultrasone HFI 450 as portables.
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM Post #4 of 18

Mejilan

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I certainly appreciate any and all recommendations. But I would appreciate links to reviews/product pages even more! Also, it'd be awesome if you could include the type of headphone you're recommending, and the price ranges, if you know them. I'll probably be Googling all of these up in any event, so don't stress it if you don't have the details.

Thanks!
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 8:59 PM Post #5 of 18

Towert7

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Why not make use of the 2 year Sennheiser USA warranty?
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 9:17 PM Post #6 of 18

Mejilan

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Alas, I cannot find the packaging and receipt...
Also, I'd like to order something for this week.
Finally, I just don't want to deal with the continued hassle of this awesome headphones' crappy wiring.
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 11:05 PM Post #7 of 18

limpidglitch

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SQ5
I know they're available for 70-80USD at ebay
my little sister just had a listen to my set recently, and simply fell in love. she ended up with buying a pair herself.
there aren't to much info in them here on head-fi, most people seem to add 20-30usd and go for the es7 (also audio-technica). i went for the sq5 myself much because of the (in my eyes, and the red version) devilishly sexy aesthetics. when they finally arrived from hong kong and ca 24h of burn-in, they were by far the the best i've listened to in the 50-100USD cetegory (haven't listened to the es7, sorry, but i consider them 100+ anyway).
a little thread (sq5 vs. es7) i found
 
Dec 29, 2008 at 11:21 PM Post #8 of 18

Mejilan

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I've been looking into the ones posted here so far. It's a bit overwhelming, so I really need to parse through the info. Are there any that are stand-outs for having solid, durable wiring?
 
Dec 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM Post #11 of 18

limpidglitch

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one thought. you might think about what you'll prefer of circum aural and supra aural. sq5 and es7 is of the former, k81dj and px200 is of the latter. circum=around, supra=above (on), aural=ear. in general terms, the circum aurals will isolate more and sit more steadily on your head, the supra aurals will be more compact.
(personally i have completely stopped buying new supras)
 
Dec 30, 2008 at 7:25 PM Post #13 of 18

Mejilan

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Now I'm eyeballing the ATH-ES5s. Possibly the ES7s... How do they compare to the PX200? And are there any decent options for purchasing them in the US? I see that Amazon has them for $100, but I'm not having much luck anywhere else...
 
Dec 30, 2008 at 7:29 PM Post #14 of 18

Towert7

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audiocubes.com
 
Dec 30, 2008 at 7:38 PM Post #15 of 18

compuryan

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Regarding an earlier question, the HD25-1 is built like a tank and the wiring is replaceable. You can really be rough with them. But after deciding the K81DJ was too big, I'm not sure if you'd like them or not. Because the K81DJ is rather small, if I remember.
 

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