Headphones for MP3?
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ROK3

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Hello Head-Fi members!

I stumbled across your site a few days ago and have read many of the message threads about portable headphones. I was wondering if you could clear something up for me. I use a jukebox style mp3 player (RIO Riot) and was wondering if is worth it to spend a couple hundred dollars to upgrade the headphones to listen primarily to mp3 music. Most of the MP3s I listen to are my own CD's recorded in variable bitrate using the high quality setting.

For me storage space of the headphones is a big issue because I live on a boat (hence the reason I use mp3 instead of CD). I listen primarily to Jazz (Miles Davis) and Rock (U2 and the like).

Most of my listening is conducted in a stationary spot that is relatively quiet.

From what I've read so far on the message boards I've become interested in the Etymotic line of products. Their small size and high performance I find very intriguing. I am still open to other suggestions however.

I've tried to think of all the questions you could ask but I'm sure there's something I've left out.

While we're at it, however, would an amp be a good investment also? One of the portables like Airhead, Total Airhead, or FIXUP's new one coming out in a few weeks?

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!


--ROK3
 
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JaZZ

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Welcome to Head-Fi, ROK3!

MP3 portable, quiet environment (living on a boat...!!! aahh!)... sounds like a Koss Portapro would be a good choice. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one either way – it doesn't cost much.

If you want to go one step further, try the Etymotic ER-4. The «P» works well with portables, but may cause a bass roll-off with the Riot (which I don't know) due to its low impedance – many MP3 players have this issue. The «S» would avoid this problem, but maybe its sensitivity is too low for the Riot (not sure).

An amp (META42, Fixup Mini...?) would improve the sound (hoping the Riot has a line out) and solve the problem to decide between P and S: The S is known to sound better. Alternative: On behalf of versatility you can chose the P and add a (Fixup or Etymotic) adapter cable which converts the P into an S.

JaZZ
 
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Peddler

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The Riot does work very well with the Etymotics and from what I remember of the sound is very rich and rewarding.

Whilst I suspect that the S model could be driven from the Riot to fairly high levels, I think you would be better off with the P model and a home-made cable to increase impedence as well.
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

Originally posted by JaZZ
Welcome to Head-Fi, ROK3!

MP3 portable, quiet environment (living on a boat...!!! aahh!)... sounds like a Koss Portapro would be a good choice. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one either way – it doesn't cost much.

If you want to go one step further, try the Etymotic ER-4. The «P» works well with portables, but may cause a bass roll-off with the Riot (which I don't know) due to its low impedance – many MP3 players have this issue. The «S» would avoid this problem, but maybe its sensitivity is too low for the Riot (not sure).

An amp (META42, Fixup Mini...?) would improve the sound (hoping the Riot has a line out) and solve the problem to decide between P and S: The S is known to sound better. Alternative: On behalf of versatility you can chose the P and add a (Fixup or Etymotic) adapter cable which converts the P into an S.

JaZZ


Right on the money, JaZZ!
 
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Rizumu

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Quote:

Originally posted by JaZZ
An amp (META42, Fixup Mini...?) would improve the sound (hoping the Riot has a line out) and solve the problem to decide between P and S: The S is known to sound better. Alternative: On behalf of versatility you can chose the P and add a (Fixup or Etymotic) adapter cable which converts the P into an S.


Just adding that the Riot does not have a line out. =^/

I've never heard Etymotics and can't comment on how they sound with MP3s, but I'm currently using the Portapros with my Rio MP3 player and am very satisfied. Great sound, portability, and comfort - a very economical choice
The Portapros are open and do let a lot of sound in, but it doesn't sound like you need a closed phone, being on a quiet boat. The Portapros have an adjustable headband, can fold up, and come with a small bag for storage, so that takes care of that. I think they're a great first step up from stock phones.

Hope that helps.
 
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ROK3

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Thank you very much for your advice!

I've decided to try thr porta pros and see how much of a difference they make before splurging on the Ettys.

Poor poor wallett...

Thanks again,

--ROK3
 
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TheeeChosenOne

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Porta Pros DO NOT even compare even close to the Etys. That's another league altogether.

Koss is a decent headphone for an enthusiast, but remember....you get what you pay for.
 
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LobsterSan

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Quote:

Originally posted by TheeeChosenOne

Koss is a decent headphone for an enthusiast, but remember....you get what you pay for.


This isn't always necessarily true... *ahem* bose triport *ahem*

The Koss portapros are really nice. if they are your first headphones up from crappy stock then you'll be blown away by the amount of detail you've been missing. good choice!

from there, if you get curious... then try the more expensive headphones. you will then be in a world of financial hurt, but your ears will be happy
 
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