Headphones for girlfriend

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by thuswehave, Dec 12, 2011.
  1. ThusWeHave
    Hi all,
    I discovered this site looking for some headphones last month, and I've been very impressed with how helpful and knowledgeable the community is.  Head-Fi is an awesome resource.  Now I'm searching for a set of headphones for my girlfriend for Christmas with these qualities:
    1) Music genres:  While she listens to most genres, her favorite is modern R&B (Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Usher, etc.), so I'd like the cans to excel at R&B.
    2) Comfort:  If the headphones are uncomfortable, I think she will shy away from them, even if the sound quality is good.
    3) Source:  The headphones must sound good when driven by an iPod touch or nano.  No amp.
    4) Appearance:  I have a pair of Panasonic RP-HTF600s (which I learned about from this site), and she described them as "too big".  I do want to stick with headphones instead of IEMs, but if anything small-ish exists and sounds good, that might work out well.  (I understand that this might not be possible; I'll list this criterion as slightly less important than the above.)
    My budget is $60.  I looked through |joker|'s review thread, and some possibilities include the Maxell DHP-II, MEElectronics HT-21, Beyerdynamic DT235,  Pioneer SE-MJ5...I'm not limited to a choice from among these; I'm sure I've overlooked or not stumbled upon other good options.
    So, what would the experts recommend?  
  2. tmchow
    I recommend you post in the dedicated thread for these types of questions:
  3. ThusWeHave
    I was recommended the Sennheiser PX 200-ii from that thread..any other suggestions?
  4. SanjiWatsuki
    Monoprice MHP-839: ($21) [High features such as detachable cable (which means you can replace the cable for a few bucks if one channel starts to die), pretty good build quality, slightly bass heavy http://www.head-fi.org/products/monoprice-mhp-839/reviews/5568 )
    Audio-Technica ATH-M30: ($42, good build quality, low clamping force, laid-back sound, has bass impact, but it is rather controlled, less isolation and probably less detailed than some of the other headphones on this list)
    Koss PortaPro: (<$40, low isolation, portable, comfortable, good sound.)
  5. ThusWeHave
    Thanks a lot for the quick reply, SanjiWatsuki. From reading around, some have said my HTF-600s outperform the Monoprice and the PortaPros.  I want the gift headphones to be as good as or better than my own.  I see you own and reviewed the HTF-600s; how do they compare with the aforementioned?  
    The M30s look interesting, but it looks like the wires that hang out the end of the headband could potentially get caught on something in a bookbag..is this a legitimate concern?
  6. Ishcabible
    How about the AKG K518? You get to choose the color too!
  7. SanjiWatsuki
    I was just giving things in a variety of price ranges. The HTF600s are nicer headphones than the Monoprices for the most part, I don't like their build quality as much but in terms of actual sound I think they're more engaging to hear in the mids. Personally, I feel like the HTF600s are bested in terms of detail retrieval by the PortaPros, but the HTF600s have a warm tonality which is pleasant. It's kind of a sound signature call there.
    The AKG K518s are also a good suggestion, but I know that comfort is a concern sometimes with those. They are very well put together and have a good sound, though. 

  8. ThusWeHave
    Hm..if I get those in purple ("fuchsia" I guess) I'd definitely have a winner in the appearance category.  Reviewers have said they clamp hard and the bass tends to cover up the rest of the sound spectrum though...is this true?
    I really appreciate all the input.  I hope I don't sound like I'm shooting down everyone's suggestions; I'm considering and researching each and sort of playing devil's advocate.  Narrowing the choices down to one is hard [​IMG]
  9. ThusWeHave
    Thanks, I'll look at the K518s some more.  Maybe the comfort can be improved by stretching them out a bit?
    I'm not sure if she'll be a fan of the PortaPros' rather unique look.  I'll read some more reviews though.

  10. ShamanSleeve
    Shure SRH-240s or Beyerdynamic DT-235s.
  11. Marximus
    I'd recommend the Panasonic RP-HTX7s.  I had them, and they're more compact than the HTF600s, but still quite comfortable.  Available in a range of colors for about $30.  The bass is a bit bloated (she may not even notice), but you can fix that with some tape:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/449350/panasonic-rp-htx7-what-a-suprise
  12. ThusWeHave


    From reviews, multiple users have said the Shures are  bass-anemic..does this lessen the listening experience?  They are often recommended in many threads,
    The Beyers look like a potential good choice also.  Their looks might be the dealbreaker.

    In that thread, some said that the AKG518s are an upgrade to the Panasonics; would you agree?
    I'm leaning toward the AKG K518s or the Beyer 235s at the moment..has anyone listened to both?  Which does R&B better?  Both are supposed to have good mids. The Beyers are allegedly less "fun"-sounding, is this true?
    Thanks again for all the help.
  13. Marximus
    I've never tried the K518s, but I avoided them because of comfort issues.  As I understand it, they're more supraaural (on the ear) than circumaural (around the ear), and I always prefer circumaural.
  14. ThusWeHave
    @Marximus  I've never tried supraaural, but I assumed I'd prefer circumaural as well, so I went with circumaurals when buying for me.  I don't know if my girlfriend would prefer one to the other.  The K518s are listed as circumaural.. maybe for those with small ears?
    Here's the frequency response for my current options. (The Panasonics were not listed on the site that generated the graph, nor were the Monoprice or M30s.)  I'm pretty sure my girlfriend won't wear the PortaPros in public, so I'll rule them out.  
    Between the three that remain, the Shure seems to have a drop in the extreme highs and lows (although can most ears even hear 20 Hz and below?), and I haven't found too many reviews on them.  The K518s and the Beyers seem to behave similarly, other than the slight drop between 1000-3000 Hz range in the Beyers. That shouldn't make a huge difference in human vocals, except the highest notes, correct?  (I'm not very familiar with FR plots, so this is my interpretation.  What I am confused about is that if the K518s allegedly have too much bass, why isn't it apparent in the graph, like the PortaPros?)
    I thinking 70% K518s, 30% Beyers at this point..
  15. elemein
    Can most ears hear below 20 Hz? I dont know about everyone, but mine can, and I'm not even really THAT audiophile ear-trained. It's the higher frequencies you should worry about people not being able to hear. Most people can hear 20 Hz and below, and if for some reason they cant, they feel the lack of bass in contrast of a bright headphone and a warm one in the sub-bass. It's noticeable, atleast to me I notice it a lot.

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