Closed portable suggestions?: Step up from AKG K26P (or 414P)?
Nov 19, 2008 at 5:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

jonathanjong

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So, my K26Ps might soon be retired, if I can't figure out how (or be bothered to) fix it (see DIY forum for details). I'm ready for an upgrade! The K26Ps weren't great headphones, but they were good for the price and the pros (size, fit, isolation) outweighed the cons (sometimes boomy bass, lack of detail and soundstage) for me. So...where to from here? I'm hoping to get something with the same pros but with better SQ, and I expect to pay more than the ~$50 I paid for these.

The natural one step up are Sennheiser HD280 and AKG K81DJ, AFAIK. I'm a bit more reluctant to go for the Senns because they seem to be one of those "hit and miss" cans. Are there any more candidates?

Sub-question: Should I skip the one step up and go for something higher end? I probably wouldn't find the ES7 isolating enough or the Q40 portable (read: small, discrete) enough. The ESW9s are, sweet though they may be, a little beyond my current budget. Maybe some day.

Now, information:
Music preferences
I listen to mostly alternative rock (e.g., Muse), indie pop rock (e.g., Death Cab for Cutie, Belle & Sebastian), and classical (orchestral and chamber); I also listen to easy listening stuff (e.g., Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer) and jazz (e.g., Miles, Coltrane).

Sound signature preferences
I'm no bass head, but I've always preferred a dark over bright. This might not be all the suitable for my classical listening, though...so, advise away.

Other preferences
The headphones has to be relatively small, preferably supra-aural. So, think AKG K414P, Sennheiser PX100, etc. As I said earlier, I want these to isolate well, say in the gym or in an airplane. Price is an issue, and I think I'll stop at ~$150. A little bit more is fine.

So, what say you, Head-Fi?
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 7:06 AM Post #3 of 19

jonathanjong

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The HD25 1 IIs were within budget until the NZD dropped, and now it's NZ$1.82 to each US$1. Used to be closer to NZ$1.5. If the HD25s are still far and away the best option, I'd still go for them though.
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 7:37 AM Post #6 of 19

Rednamalas1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jonathanjong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't do hard rock and metal anyway, so that's cool. Maybe I should just save and wait and splurge on the ESW9s huh? US$300...golly. What's the best place to score these, anyway?


here, on FS forum. They've been going at 225$ these days.
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 7:43 AM Post #7 of 19

jonathanjong

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Gah, I need to get paypal! I guess I could do a telegraphic transfer, but I'd have to really trust the seller... thats NZD400, and it's about $30 for shipping, I think. Hmm...NZD100 less than from Headphones.com.au (and they're out of stock!).

OK, but if not the ESW9s, then the HD25s?
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 7:51 AM Post #8 of 19

Rednamalas1

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yeah, I preferred ESW9s much better, especially if you like syrupy presentation in the mids and overall warmth.

Considering new HD25-I are around 180 and used ESW10s are around 220-230. Why not? Just start packing few more lunches to work
wink.gif
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 8:02 AM Post #10 of 19

Rednamalas1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jonathanjong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
US$50 is...a lot of packed lunches! But, yea, I'll prolly wait it out. First, I'll sign up for a credit card, though. Here's to finding EWS9s for $230!


I'm putting out a review of ESW10. That probebly doesn't help you though
wink.gif
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 9:24 AM Post #15 of 19

psyllium

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I don't know if the HD25's would really satisfy you immediately... at least without a recable. I mean they are nice well made headphones but still not the best bang/buck.

The ESW9's sound really nice, although they really don't isolate that much. I have some AH-D1001's and I found the ESW9's to only be a little bit better at keeping external noise out.

If you aren't looking to spend too much, I'd look at a pair of second hand K81DJ or K581DJ... get some HD25 velour pads for them and off you go... for a little while at least :p.
 

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