Ety & HD25-1: what next?
Jul 18, 2005 at 11:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


New Head-Fier
May 11, 2005
I know similar questions have been asked before – I have searched but not found a solution that meets my needs. So here goes – any suggestions/thoughts welcomed. Oh, and apologies for the length of this post. I just wanted to give some background.

I’m looking for great portable headphones. I have a suspicion that what I want may not exist. Here’s the background.

My quest led me first to Ety ER-4Ps, then a Supermacro V3 amp, then HD25-1 (with OFC cable replacement).

I like the Etys for some music, but can find them a bit thin and unrealistic. And they’re very dependent on the amp to sound good. Also, I just find over-the-head cans more convenient sometimes.

The HD25s are great for convenience. Nice bass too. They improve slightly with an amp, but sound good straight out of my iPod. Sometimes I want to be able to just grab the Pod and a pair of cans and go. Their size and neckability is a big plus.

But… much as I wanted these to be the answer, I find that, in the words of U2, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. So what’s the problem? Well, they sound good. But I’m looking for great. I just don’t find them quite involving enough. I want more transparency, better mids, and more low bass would be nice (like my HD280 pros have).

So what I’m after is something with the features of the HD25, i.e. a closed can, light weight, reasonable size (HD280 is too big), works well unamped from a portable. They key thing is sound though. I am willing to make concessions for really great sound. Size considerations are probably more important than unamped performance.

Little bit more background: other phones I own include Grado SR225. These don’t fit the bill for me as portable phone, but I love the transparency and naturalness they give on acoustic instruments particularly. I can find them a bit edgy and sharp at times though. Would prefer more soundstage too.

Oh, and I listen to a wide variety of music, including rock, jazz, acoustic/vocal, and some classical (instrumental rather than orchestral).

I was considering Ultrasone Proline 750, but reviews are very mixed. If I don’t find what I want in a headphone, I’ll probably go for custom IEMs (been considering that for a while anyway).

Sorry again about the length of this post. Any ideas??? Or am I looking for something that doesn’t exist?


Jul 18, 2005 at 4:34 PM Post #2 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Sep 20, 2004
Hmmm portable...
More forward / exciting than 25-1, step UP from 25-1
already have SR225, but Grados are not portable enough.
unamped preferably

was going to suggest an amped DT770, but that blows your portability requirement.
Hmmm... maybe a high end eggo, and mod it to improve bass?
MDRV6 perhaps?

Jul 19, 2005 at 2:50 PM Post #4 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Apr 29, 2005
Yah, I think custom IEM is your best bet. Most of the best headphones above $200 USD are not really that portable.
Jul 19, 2005 at 6:19 PM Post #5 of 5

Mr Iriver

1000+ Head-Fier
Oct 17, 2004
I agree get a custom molded IEM. If you like the grado house sound the WEstone ES3 may be your best bet. I remember reading a comparison comparing the UE10, Sensas, and ES3 and the reviewer said he preferred the ES3 due to it's exiting grado like sound.

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