Classical & Jazz
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

jgwhmisc

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Hello everyone.

I'm very new to headphones and I intend to buy one. The reason i'm getting a headphone is because i'll be studying abroad and i'll be ripping all my classical and jazz musics, so that i do'nt have to bring all my cd collection over.

some of friends suggested Bose's QC2, some recommended Sennheiser's HD 650 or HD 595, some also said Sony's MDR-3000/4000. By end of the day, i really have no idea which one to buy. I have never really used headphones for music listening purposes.

My budget is somewhere around USD 250. I'm hoping you all can help share some of your experience here and also proffer some advice on which brand and model i should be getting.

thanks a lot.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:23 AM Post #2 of 16

granodemostasa

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I would say the Sennheiser 580 did a great job with both, the 650 i think sounds a bit better for classical (bhrams), nevertheless both are great cans. i wouldn't expect to find a 650 for 250, but they certainly sell the 580 for around 150, you could get an upgrade cable by getting the Senn 650 cable, it costs 12 dollars.
warning: both cans require a lot of power to drive them and may sound a bit soft from a laptop/cdplayer/portable audio player, but great nevertheless.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:29 AM Post #3 of 16

jgwhmisc

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thanks Grand. what's the reason to change the cable to Senn 650's?
Does it improve the sound quality? or the transmission? etc etc etc...

Well, better than using the 2 cheapo speakers of the laptop for music!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:45 AM Post #5 of 16

granodemostasa

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around here people will argue that the cables that come with the 580 and 600 are cheap, noisy, and loose information. the cable from the 650 is suppose to be a lot better. honestly, i've only heard the 580 and 600 with upgraded cables so i can't say for sure; but from my testing with my 650s i do know they make a difference.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:57 AM Post #6 of 16

jgwhmisc

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Sth that blocks outside noises? talking about noise cancelling features?
Well, i suppose i'll be enjoying music in my room. Unless you are looking at the hissing sound. not exactly the hissing sound. I really don't know how to describe that. it's the sound that disappears when the noise cancelling feature is turned on. sry, i don't know what i was talking..

thx again grand. i'll take note of that. i would have to travel down to singapore to check out the models. i've checked with the local distributor before, they don't have the full range. and also it's slightly cheaper in Singapore. any other brand or model that you will recommend?
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 6:15 AM Post #7 of 16

fewtch

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Most better headphones handle classical and jazz well... basically you want neutrality and naturalness for both (particularly classical). IMO Sennheisers are the "safe" choice, but not necessarily the best for a particular person. If I were just looking for an easy pick I'd go for HD580 or HD600 in that price range. More research might tell you if you'd like the Beyerdynamic DT880, AKG K501/601, etc.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 7:05 AM Post #8 of 16

granodemostasa

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on noise cancelling. most of the headphones described hear are open, meaning open back, as in they emit almost as much noise out of the can as they do to your ears. actually its not much of a problem unless someone is right next to you (this has to do with the naturalness of the sound and soundstaging, that's why they design them like that) given this alot of sound will pass from the outside to what your listening to, meaning that to enjoy the HD580 one would need to be in a relatively quiet environment. Now, noise cancelling phones like the Bose QC2 and the Sennheiser PXC300 are not open have microphones on their outside that are used by the headphones to alter the soundwaves to counteract the noise comming from the outside; the result is rather good, but somewhat altered sound with poor bass response. Seeing the not so great quality of the sound from these headphones some companies offer different solutions to noisy environments: closed DJ headphones physically block out sound (the AT ES7 Sennhesier HD25, HD280 come to mind), while others work like earplugs that go inside your ear (Ultimate Ears Super fi 5 pro).
if you feel as if you will listen in a moderately quiet enviornment then the HD580 should be fine, other wise you might be force to turn up the volume to drown out the other sounds.
the Hiss: these usually have to do with the source and the amplifier that is driving the headphones, some are better than others. sadly headphones like the 580 have a habbit of revaling quite alot of detail, ipods give off a noticable hiss for example. the good thing is that they are not as sensitive as other headphones, such as ear-phones like Ultimate ears and Shures, so it shouldn't be an block to your music enjoyment unless you are listening for it.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 10:43 AM Post #9 of 16

jgwhmisc

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Yup, I want to hear the difference in origin of each instrument, and of course the naturalness. A headphone that provides better sound image and a clear treble. & not too much hissing.

I think an open back will be fine, because I’ll be listening music in my room. I think Senn HD 580 isn’t too bad and it falls right within my budget. I’ll also try out the Beyerdynamic DT 880 before deciding on Senn. Can’t seem to find a distributor in Malaysia/Singapore though. How much is Beyerdynamic DT880, roughly?

Grand, is it ok if you explain a little on impedance?
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 2:15 PM Post #10 of 16

sionghchan

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It sounds like you will be going overseas for university. Where? If you are coming to North America at all (Canada or US), then I would suggest that you wait till you get here before buying your headphones. Much cheaper here as compared to Malaysia or Singapore. If you are going to Europe, check out Meier Audio as well. If you are going to Australia, sorry dude... it's expensive there as well.

Okay, as for headphones, if you listen to only classical and jazz, I would highly suggest the K501 (GREAT deal right now and up until very recently, they are the highest cans from AKG). These are GREAT with Jazz and Classical for a mere US$120+. This one, you NEED to run with an amp.

HD580 is GREAT as well. You can run this without an amp for now and add an amp later. Although they are higher impedence compared to the K501, they seem more efficient than the K501.

If you are willing to go a little more upscale, then check out the DT880. Great pair. I have heard great things about the AKG K601 and K701 as well.

Good luck in your future studies (I did the same 16 years ago - originally from Malaysia).
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 7:30 PM Post #11 of 16

BluesDaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sionghchan
It sounds like you will be going overseas for university. Where? If you are coming to North America at all (Canada or US), then I would suggest that you wait till you get here before buying your headphones. Much cheaper here as compared to Malaysia or Singapore. If you are going to Europe, check out Meier Audio as well. If you are going to Australia, sorry dude... it's expensive there as well.

Okay, as for headphones, if you listen to only classical and jazz, I would highly suggest the K501 (GREAT deal right now and up until very recently, they are the highest cans from AKG). These are GREAT with Jazz and Classical for a mere US$120+. This one, you NEED to run with an amp.

HD580 is GREAT as well. You can run this without an amp for now and add an amp later. Although they are higher impedence compared to the K501, they seem more efficient than the K501.

If you are willing to go a little more upscale, then check out the DT880. Great pair. I have heard great things about the AKG K601 and K701 as well.

Good luck in your future studies (I did the same 16 years ago - originally from Malaysia).



Dittos on the K501 recommendation. Use the other $120 to buy a headphone amp.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 8:42 PM Post #12 of 16

granodemostasa

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http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ight=impedence
this thread seems to give a good explanation about impedence: the basic fear is that a high impedence can will put too much strain on your headphone amp (if it's like a weak headphone amp found in laptops and CD players), another issue relating to it is that the dyanmics won't be as great, since these headphones require alot of power in sections of music that go from piano to double forte very quickly.
soundstaging may be harder to really get, while the 580s-650s from sennheiser are capable of producing a soundstage, not every source is capable of giving you a good soundstage, for example on my sound card a string quintet might get a soundstage but it wont do so well with an orchestra (which is why i'm currently looking for a new dac, (dac is a digital to audio converter, they range from the ones included with cheap CD players to full out components costing thousands of dollars). same goes for amplifiers, since they are the final stage before the informatoin goes into the headphone's cable they could also be a help or a hindrence to producing a soundstage.
the K601 is also pretty good; however i never found it that great for classical...however it's a fine can, but then again my experience with AKG headphones is really only a few hours...
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 12:06 AM Post #13 of 16

zachash

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if u like the idea of in ear monitor go for the etymotyc research 4p ( er4p )
it's the perfect iem for classic and jazz music ( for every detail )
if not, try the audio-technica ath-a700. amazing!! ( not for prtable use unless u
like to walk around with big cans on your head...
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 11:03 AM Post #14 of 16

jgwhmisc

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Shionghchan, I’m going to UK – Uni. of Liverpool. Nope, nowhere near US/Can. You were saying I need an amp to run the K501 (does it mean that K501 requires a lot of power to function, tat’s why I need an amp), can PA2V2 (like yours) do the job? Sorry for all the questions.

I’m not too sure if I can get the AKG from M’sia/Sing. Btw, if you don’t mind, can you please help me to find out the best price for AKG K501 & Senn HD 580 & PA2V2 & DT880 in Canada? Read a little about PA2v2, learned that the "manufacturer" is from Canada! I have a friend who’s currently in Canada for holiday. She might be able to bring them back for me. I hope this doesn’t trouble you too much… You are a Malaysian too, but moved to Canada permanently?

Since I’ll be using a laptop to listen music, do you suggest that I buy an amp? So that I don’t strain the headphone amps on the laptop? I’m not quite clear about the impedance thingy yet, I’ll try to read up more myself. Btw, sry about your nick, “grando”.
 

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