Closed Headphone shootout.. which should I buy?
Oct 27, 2008 at 2:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

rage3324

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Well this is my third thread, but it is also the last thread.. the end all thread. I have boiled it down to my choices.. now help me choose!

I have a set of ad700s for home use, so I am looking for something new for the road.

Requirements in order of importance:
Sound Quality: Rock (pearl jam, nine inch nails, porcupine tree).. looking for good punch, comparable to grados
Isolation: Using mainly on a plane/hotel so isolation is important, but I dont need to be on a desert island and will make a compromise for better sound quality w/ less isolation. What I care about is.. when I am on the plane and turn music on, am I going to be annoyed by the rumbling of the plane, or will a volume increase make it tolerable?
Compact/not Bulky: Just need to be able to stow them. The headphones I list are what I consider to be compact.
Leakage: Not so much concerned about sound leakage.. screw the people around me. Pay for 1st class next time.
Unamped: Will be playing them through an ipod
Price: $120-$200.. this is important of course

Contenders:
Sennheiser HD25-1s
Beyerdynamics DT250-80
Denon ah-d1000
M-Audio q40
Goldring DR150 (I think these are open.. but they got that grado sound?)

Pretenders:
Ultrasone HFI-550 (maybe.. headband is a bit bulky)
Beyerdynamics DT770-80 (cups look a bit too big)
Audio-Technica es7 (not enough isolation/too much leakage?)

Absolutely not:
Sennheiser hd280
IEMS
Anything open air

I need info for each about:
Sound (highs, mid, lows)
Bulkiness
Isolation
Leakage

Rank them, give opinions, whatever works. You guys have made me happy with every set of headphones I have bought so far..

Is there another set of cans I should be looking at?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:15 PM Post #2 of 27

BluesDaddy

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The only cans I've heard among your list of contenders is the HD25-1s, which I use as my main portable can. I like them a lot and think they are very balanced across the audio spectrum. They don't have much of a soundstage, but then most closed cans don't. They may have a bit overemphasis in the upper bass, but nothing egregious. They are not particularly comfortable, but I wear them for about an hour commuting to work without any problem.

As for your "pretenders", yeah, the BD DT770s are not a "portable". I've got the 2005 Consumer model and, even if they didn't need an amp, they are simply way too big for portable use.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:22 PM Post #3 of 27

BruteFM

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I thought my HD25-1 travelled well. The biggest problem is I wear glasses and that's a big no-no with those phones. I found them horribly uncomfortable.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:23 PM Post #4 of 27

rage3324

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Added goldring dr150s to the contenders

For some reason am not excited about the hd25-1s.. they look crummy and I feel like I could get better for the same price if I give up some isolation..

How "bad" is the isolation on d1000s?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:55 PM Post #6 of 27

rage3324

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Quote:

Originally Posted by majkel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Denons cut off high frequencies only. The train's rumble will be even louder than without them. On the other hand, pretty good headphones, marvellous after recabling.


How about when playing music with the d1000s.. will it block out the low rumbles? If not, I guess I have to cross the d1000s off the list
frown.gif
I really liked what I have read about them. Too bad
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:00 PM Post #7 of 27

scytheavatar

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rage3324 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How "bad" is the isolation on d1000s?


They have close to zero isolation, so I think you should put them in the 'pretenders' list. Also, never ever increase your volume to drown out the rumbling of the plane, cause that's going to be bad for your ears. I assume that you belong to the "all IEMS are crap" camp? If you really detest IEMs I think the Sennheiser HD25-1 is pretty much your only option, getting a closed can that has enough isolation to beat the plane hum is a massive challenge. You might also consider the active noise canceling phones like the ATH-NC7. They wouldn't work as well as IEMs, but they are the best option as you.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:15 PM Post #8 of 27

rage3324

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scytheavatar /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They have close to zero isolation, so I think you should put them in the 'pretenders' list. Also, never ever increase your volume to drown out the rumbling of the plane, cause that's going to be bad for your ears. I assume that you belong to the "all IEMS are crap" camp? If you really detest IEMs I think the Sennheiser HD25-1 is pretty much your only option, getting a closed can that has enough isolation to beat the plane hum is a massive challenge. You might also consider the active noise canceling phones like the ATH-NC7. They wouldn't work as well as IEMs, but they are the best option as you.


No active noise cancelling for me.. dont want to deal with batteries and well i hate that ANC crap.

I dont detest IEMs, My ear canals dont really enjoy IEMs unless someone tells me a set of equal priced IEMs that will sound better or equal to HD25-1s.

I dont need total isolation, I will make due with some sound leaking in. So if any of these headphones sound better than HD25 and I can make due with some sound leaking in, that is fine with me!
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 5:14 PM Post #9 of 27

rage3324

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Narrowed down to:
Sennheiser hd25-1
Beyer DT250
M-Audio q40s
IEMs (yes, i am now considering).. which will give me the best sound quality (comparable to cans) for rock
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 5:25 PM Post #10 of 27

Hiwi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rage3324 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...
Pretenders:
Ultrasone HFI-550 (maybe.. headband is a bit bulky)
Beyerdynamics DT770-80 (cups look a bit too big)
Audio-Technica es7 (not enough isolation/too much leakage?)
...



What about the newer HFI-580? I didn't hear them for myself yet.
But i am also looking for a new closed headphone, that can be used for portable players also.
Everything i read about them sounds very good. Especially for Rock
biggrin.gif


Hiwi
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 5:41 PM Post #11 of 27

rage3324

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hiwi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What about the newer HFI-580? I didn't hear them for myself yet.
But i am also looking for a new closed headphone, that can be used for portable players also.
Everything i read about them sounds very good. Especially for Rock
biggrin.gif


Hiwi



Not enough isolation
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 6:23 PM Post #13 of 27

BluesDaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zach915m /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have read good things about the Audio Technica phones, how are there closed offerings?


They'll be just about as big, if not the same, as the Beyers.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 7:10 PM Post #14 of 27

DanTheMiataMan

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I'd recommend the Q40's. They sound good to me for Rock and all that stuff. Dont know about how well they would shut out plane noise. The other good thing is they can be found for 65ish bucks on Ebay after 25% cashback.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:23 PM Post #15 of 27

ericj

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I like my DT250-80 a lot, but I'm not sure 'punchy' is how i'd describe the sound.

Also, DT250 bass goes deep but isn't very prominant. OTOH you should be able to increase the bass with nothing more than a pack of the smaller-size yard sale colored dot stickers. There's a thread here somewhere that covers a manufacturing defect they had years ago where some cups had a piece of plastic that was bigger than it should be, with the result that the baffle had a bigger vent at the bottom edge than it normally does, which increased the bass. Beyer of course recommended filing down the plastic to bring it back into spec. The guy who started the thread recommended enlarging the vent on the non-defective cup by filing down the baffle to bring up the bass to match. I figure you can recreate the original defect by putting several layers of tape on the spot on the cup that was too large in the defective pairs.

The 250-80 should be a good portable can if you have a strong enough source or any amp. It's surprisingly light and small.
 

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