Best Portable Headphones?
Jun 4, 2004 at 1:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 76

Aman

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Hey Head-Fi!

I have a question. I have gone through a few portable headphones such as some crappy clip-on Sony's and a Koss behind-the-head headphone, but they were uncomfortable in some way or another and the sound quality was just not up to par. I am now going to be serious about my portable audio, and I have this question to ask:

With approximately a $100 USD budget, what would be the best portable headphone for me?

I will be playing under the following:

A Rio Karma 20gb MP3 Player
I will be playing everything from 128kb - 392kb MP3s, 392kb OGGs, and FLAC sound files.
I want comfort. That is one large factor, and possibly the most important. Also, let me point out that, if necessary, they must fit in my pocket. I looked at the Shure headphones, but I heard they were a bit uncomfortable and that they were hard to stick in your ear like most other in-ear headphones. Are there any headphones out like this with ear-support possibly?
And obviously, I want a headphone that will be able to be driven well without an amp

Well, those are my boundaries. I hope I can conclude towards an answer. Again, they don't HAVE to be able to fit in my pocket, but it would be desired. Thanks in advance for any replies/answers/opinions!

Aman
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 2:22 AM Post #2 of 76

Thaddy

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I think as far as sound quality goes, the E2's are your best bet. I found mine to be slighty uncomfortable the first few days while my ears adjusted, but now I can wear them for 6+ hours at a time without any discomfort. Plus, these phones are extremely portable, I just wrap mine up and keep them in a round altoids container and I'm good to go. The insertion process takes a bit to master also, but after the first few days you will be a pro. Y

Your Karma will drive them good too, no need for an amp
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Jun 4, 2004 at 2:28 AM Post #3 of 76

austonia

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e2c suck, IMO. dark and muddy-sounding.

sounds like the Koss KSC-35 would suit you for being pocketable. don't blow them off because of the brand name, if you check the headphone forum you'll see these get a lot of praise (considering thier price/performance). deep bass, clear midrange. only $35. best value.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 2:49 AM Post #4 of 76

PodMan

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I find the ER6 to be a pretty good portable phone for around $110. It's small, isolating, provides lots of detail, and is easy to drive off of portables. i find them to be pretty comfortable although with these types of phones it varies from person to person.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 3:07 AM Post #6 of 76

UltraJ

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i haven't tried them before, but a lot of people seem to like the sony ex71 canal phones. They say that they're more comfortable than shures are and they cost about $40. The rubber tubes for the shure e2s are supposed to be uncomfortable, but that the foam pads are fine. there's also quite a few mods for the e2's that create more comfortable pads. I haven't tried either one of them, but if you're considering sennheiser px200's, don't get em. they have no base, are hard to seal right, and don't block out much sound. they may look kinda cool, but once you get them on you'll look pretty stupid, they fit badly enough where there are large gaps between your head and the headband.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 3:24 AM Post #7 of 76

Pappucho

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Well, since easy to find isn't in your criteria, I put in my vote for the MDR-E484's.
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Jun 4, 2004 at 3:44 AM Post #8 of 76

rt297

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For my money it would be either the Etymotic ER6 or Shure E3 in this price range. The Ety's can be had from Kmart.com for a hundred bucks now, and the E3's from eCost.com are $130.00, Of the two, I prefer the Ety's, but the Shure's are more comfortable and easier to drive.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 6:18 AM Post #10 of 76

Ticky

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A word of caution about the canalphones. They pick up microphonics and the need to keep the tips clean can make em a pain-in-the-butt for active portable use. I have the ER-4S and frankly I got sick of hearing the wires bounce again my shirt and the "thump, thump, thump" sounds of my own footsteps when I use it on the move.

Everytime I pull the phones out of my ears to hear someone speak, the silicon tips dangles and frequently rub against my shirt or coat, picking up lint or dust in the process. It feels abit dirty to be shoving the tips back into your ears right after.

The Etys are great for passive portable use (i.e., seated on a plane or in the park). But, if you are walking around doing errands or out for a jog, these phones aren't very ergonomical. I would go with the Koss recommendation or the Sennheiser PX-100 if you plan to move about while using the phones. Personally, I just bought the Audio Techinca earbud phones for portable use. Ain't Hi-Fi, but I want something inconspicious and has a short cord for external remote connections.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 7:20 AM Post #12 of 76

was ist los?

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I had a listen to the E2 the other day so the sound is still in my head. I don't know if i would pay the price they are asking for. I feel the same way as austonia. They sounded muddy, distant. Just like the MX500s, maybe a bit more refined, and a whole lot more isolation.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 7:38 AM Post #13 of 76

halcyon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ticky
A word of caution about the canalphones. They pick up microphonics and the need to keep the tips clean can make em a pain-in-the-butt for active portable use.


Word.
 
Jun 4, 2004 at 1:15 PM Post #14 of 76

Aman

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Actually, these new replies have got me to change my mind...

I would like to hear more options, but let me ask this question:

I am going to be using these headphones around campus, walking in hallways and etc. I will not be jogging with them, or any other sports/physical activities, but I will be just walking around normally.

Should I still get the E3s?

Thanks guys
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Jun 4, 2004 at 1:31 PM Post #15 of 76

Big D

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aman
Actually, these new replies have got me to change my mind...

I would like to hear more options, but let me ask this question:

I am going to be using these headphones around campus, walking in hallways and etc. I will not be jogging with them, or any other sports/physical activities, but I will be just walking around normally.

Should I still get the E3s?

Thanks guys
smily_headphones1.gif



Well seeing as things are wide open again!!
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I think you should consider the Ety ER6 as they will be slightly cheaper than the E3 and will give a sound almost as good as the ER4, but at half the price.

I can't say how disappointed I was with the E3s. Just for the sound quality alone I would take the Shure E2 are fantastic if you want an all round earphone - sitting, walking, running,etc. If you aren't doing anything but walking or sitting then the microphonics of the ER6 will be less troublesome.

I am one of the few dissenting voices against the Shure E3 so maybe you should take my opinions with a pinch of salt!
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The Karma will have no problem driving any of these earphones so don't worry about that.

Take your time.....
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