Buying advice. Open, no amp, listen to music of all sorts...
Feb 18, 2015 at 9:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

wmute

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Hi there! I come here again for advice. I will try to be as specific as possible.
 
I am looking to buy some open headphones, because after some reading it is my understanding that if I have no problem of sound isolation that is where i can get the best quality/price. Correct me if I am wrong, as this is a fundamental assumption.
 
I listen to a few varieties of modern music (jazz, acoustic and electric rock, blues, hip hop, soul, funk, electronica...) and some classical (piano and chamber, rarely orchestra, never opera). No games.
 
I do not plan on using an amp.  My sources will be laptops, computers, smartphones. All music is above 320kbs but only some of it is lossless.
 
I would like them to not be too unpleasant to wear, but I will rarely spend more than a consecutive hour wearing them.
 
They should not be too fragile, as I plan to use them in particular in hotel rooms, office(s) when I travel for work for more than a few days. They do not need to be super sturdy though as they won't be in my backpack everyday.
 
The only nice headphones I had where etymotic research er6i IEMs. I liked the detail (is this the right word?) of their sound. I was ok with the bass, although I read many on these boards pointing out at the lack of bass.
 
What should I get? Budget is always important but not yet set in stone, but I am interesting in hearing about both sub 100-200$ and sub 100$ options.

[As Dr. Grado died I was thinking of celebrating him by buying a pair SR60e, am I in the right direction?]

thank you thank you thank you for all the wisdom and advice which is typically poured to help noobs like me!
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 9:27 AM Post #2 of 17

jsanfilippo5

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I am not an expert by any means, but I have 2 pairs of open/semi open headphones that I love for everything you mentioned above and to me they sound fantastic -
 
AKG K240 studio
Samson SR850
 
Both of these are awesome and under $100. 
 
I have beaten the hell out of the k240's using them as studio monitors for 10 years now and they are still rock solid. I also replaced the ear pads with velour pads I found on amazon and they are extremely comfortable with these.. 
 
Good luck! 
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 9:58 AM Post #3 of 17

wmute

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thank you. i am reading that the k240 need a proper amp (and i would be playing them out of a laptop many times -sometimes even out of an iphone). what is your experience there?
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 10:05 AM Post #4 of 17

billybob_jcv

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I applaud you for wishing to celebrate the life of Joe Grado - he was truly one of the founding fathers of our hobby.

However, if you don't appreciate the lack of emphasized bass in the Etymotic, then you might not like the Grado SR60e. It will have more midbass, but the SR60e bass drops off steeply below that.

There are pros and cons to open vs closed headphones, especially at the lower price points. You will typically get more bass from closed headphones, so IMHO it's really not correct to generalize by saying that open is better value than closed - it's simply not that easy.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 10:11 AM Post #5 of 17

wmute

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I applaud you for wishing to celebrate the life of Joe Grado - he was truly one of the founding fathers of our hobby.

However, if you don't appreciate the lack of emphasized bass in the Etymotic, then you might not like the Grado SR60e. It will have more midbass, but the SR60e bass drops off steeply below that.

There are pros and cons to open vs closed headphones, especially at the lower price points. You will typically get more bass from closed headphones, so IMHO it's really not correct to generalize by saying that open is better value than closed - it's simply not that easy.


Thank you. I need to correct my post. I actually meant that I was ok with the bass in the Etymotic.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM Post #6 of 17

jsanfilippo5

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I have never used a dedicated headphone amp with 240's. I use them directly on my iPad, iPod, laptop, and my desktop and never had an issue. They sound awesome and are plenty loud with all these sources and can go louder if I need. As with anything on the internet your mileage may vary, but this is my 10 years experience with these headphones.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 10:42 AM Post #7 of 17

wmute

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I have never used a dedicated headphone amp with 240's. I use them directly on my iPad, iPod, laptop, and my desktop and never had an issue. They sound awesome and are plenty loud with all these sources and can go louder if I need. As with anything on the internet your mileage may vary, but this is my 10 years experience with these headphones.


thank you! I asked because you mentioned studio. I am now leaning towards the k240, also because they seem to be among the most comfortable by most reports.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 11:08 AM Post #8 of 17

jsanfilippo5

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I personally find these to be extremely comfortable, I have worn them for hours when working at the computer. Im sure there are other options out there, and some other recommendations form other members - but for the money I don't think you can go wrong especially for what you plan to use them for. 
 
Good luck!
 
Feb 19, 2015 at 9:15 AM Post #9 of 17

wmute

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I personally find these to be extremely comfortable, I have worn them for hours when working at the computer. Im sure there are other options out there, and some other recommendations form other members - but for the money I don't think you can go wrong especially for what you plan to use them for. 
 
Good luck!

any idea of the difference between original and mk2? thnx
 
Feb 19, 2015 at 9:22 AM Post #10 of 17

Centropolis

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I have not owned too many headphones so this is just based on my current ones.
 
For the sub-$100 option, I think the Grado SR-60 will be your best option for open.  I don't listen to electronic music but I feel they were fine with some of my Radiohead stuff so I don't think it'll be too bad.  The range of music you listen to is very wide so covering all those genres you will probably have to compromise on a few areas.  However, I don't feel Grado headphones can take a beating as much as others.  I feel I need to be gentle with them.
 
For sub $200, maybe try a pair of Senn HD598.
 
Feb 25, 2015 at 6:47 PM Post #12 of 17

kramer5150

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Hard to argue against any of the SR60 models.  I think you should also consider an HD558.  Smooth, warm-ish character without being bass-bloated.  Very balanced overall presentation with a slight tilt towards a warmer signature.  I don't get the sensation of spikey or peakey-ness at all in its frequency response.  Sounds a lot better than its price point, plugged straight into my macbook pro, iPhone or Sony home theater amp.  I honestly would have a hard time picking between the HD558/598 or a 55 ohm K240s.  I think the latter has slightly more pronounced "U" curve.
 
Feb 27, 2015 at 10:06 AM Post #13 of 17

wmute

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I ultimately went by price between sr603 k240 558... and i got the k240studio (55ohm) for $72+taxes delivered.
 
they arrive today. looking forward to trying them.
 
thank you everyone for the help!
 
Feb 27, 2015 at 6:40 PM Post #15 of 17

wmute

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Sound like some of the 80bucks I better invested. External construction quality below expectation. Sound quality well above. 
 
So far I listened to some Aphex Twin and Billy Cobham :)
 
grazie a tutti!
 

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