Good retail location (and recommendations)?
Mar 29, 2006 at 3:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

phendric

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Hi everyone,

I'm new here, and fairly new to the idea that one can have headphones that sound really good (as opposed to some of the junk that comes with some portable players today). I'm looking to get a decent pair of headphones ($50-$100 range).

My first question is the following: to me, the ability to listen to the headphones is important, but thus far, I have not been able to locate a retailer who has phones out for customers to listen to. Where in the Pasadena/Arcadia/LA area is a place that I can test high-quality headphones before buying?

Finally, which headphones would be good for my needs, which are the following:
  1. Need ability to be driven by portable player (I have a Dell PDA with a very good mp3/ogg/AAC/FLAC player, including a good equalizer)
  2. I need to be able to hear them both in quiet and loud places (the loudest place is on the 45-min bus/train ride home)
  3. I prefer something that's not huge, so that I can carry them with me (ie, portable), and so that I don't have these huge things on my head.
  4. I need something with good sound distribution (I think) - I listen to lots of classical music, with some country and some pop thrown into the mix, but nothing that's too imbalanced in terms of bass levels.

What's out there that you can recommend? I was looking at the Sennheiser PX100s, but I might not be able to hear my music on the bus...

Thanks,
Phillip
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 3:16 PM Post #2 of 8

jagorev

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Etymotic er-6i - sounds quite well-balanced with classical and pop and most other kinds of music, ultra-portable, highly sensitive and easily driven by a PDA, and extremely high isolation from external noise.

You may be able to find them at your local Apple store, but I doubt if they will let you try it out.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 5:42 PM Post #3 of 8

phendric

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jagorev
Etymotic er-6i - sounds quite well-balanced with classical and pop and most other kinds of music, ultra-portable, highly sensitive and easily driven by a PDA, and extremely high isolation from external noise.


So your recommendation is in-canal headphones, not something that covers my whole ear?

Quote:

You may be able to find them at your local Apple store, but I doubt if they will let you try it out.


I don't think so. I've been there, but there aren't headphone stations...

Anyone here from the Pasadena area that knows a place?

Phillip
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 5:45 PM Post #4 of 8

creyc

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I too am in your area and would like to know where to test out some headphones. It's been hard enough just finding Hi-Fi shops that carry decent speakers...
rolleyes.gif
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 10:54 PM Post #5 of 8

phendric

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Wow. Nobody on this site lives in Southern California?

Or if you do, but don't check out headphones in person, what do you do if you purchase a pair you really don't like? Take them back?

P
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 12:32 AM Post #6 of 8

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by phendric
Wow. Nobody on this site lives in Southern California?


Sorry I can't be more helpful, but it would have worked better if you had specified your location in the thread title.
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 12:34 AM Post #7 of 8

Ruppin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by phendric
Wow. Nobody on this site lives in Southern California?

Or if you do, but don't check out headphones in person, what do you do if you purchase a pair you really don't like? Take them back?

P



There are reputable on-line dealers who will take back headphones if you aren't happy (it is almost a requirement of on-line retailing). I'm not suggesting that any retailer will be thrilled, and all would prefer that you get information before ordering. A satisfaction guaranteed policy is a good thing, and should not be used for comparison shopping (i.e. plan to buy 3 and keep 1).

Having said that, I can recommend Todd (the Vinyl Junkie) as an excellent source for audio, vinyl and headphones. If you call and tell him what you are looking for, he can certainly recommend headphones. I can also recommend HeadRoom who also will help you on the phone. Both are sponsors of these forums.

Going back to your first post, where you state your needs, I have two suggestions. If you want to block out noise, you should seriously consider in ear canal headphones. They can be surprisingly good, especially if you can up your budget just a little. I am very fond of the Shure E4C headphones which can be found for around $199. Others here may prefer Etymotic or Super Fi. Using these does encourage one to upload one's CDs at higher resolution than 128 bit MP3.

Oh yeah, since no one seems to have mentioned it yet, sorry about your wallet.
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 5:57 AM Post #8 of 8

lostbobby

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruppin
There are reputable on-line dealers who will take back headphones if you aren't happy (it is almost a requirement of on-line retailing). I'm not suggesting that any retailer will be thrilled, and all would prefer that you get information before ordering. A satisfaction guaranteed policy is a good thing, and should not be used for comparison shopping (i.e. plan to buy 3 and keep 1).
.



I have some super.fi 5pros that I've spent a lot of time messing with the fit, and some E3c's that i just shortened the triple flange stem and never had to mess with them after that. Also some ety 6is. So with IEMs you'll probably need a few days to decide if you like them, wahtever you choose.

Apple stores: they're all over Hollywood and BH, and they sell E3cs, (sometimes E4cs,) and ety 6is at full retail with no questions asked if you return them, and no restocking fee (14 day returns). But no demos, and call to make sure they're in stock. You can demo the Bose noise-cancellers ($300 and sound like caca!) and the B&Os (I don't see how they hold the drivers close enough to anybody's ear canals for decent sound)

Online retailers: check froogle for their merchant ratings, read the return policy carefully and then ask a manager if you can return IEMs after you've used them and what restocking fee will be. Make absolutely sure you can retur them.
 

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