Headphones to use at home with macbook/ipod
Jun 20, 2009 at 9:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


Nov 12, 2005
Im looking for a pair of headphones that I can use with my macbook and ipod. I would prety much only use headphones when I'm at home working at my computer. Currently I'm using my grado SR-60's which are prety good, but not great. They also get uncomfortable after a while since they press against your ears.

I've been thinking about getting a pair of HD 650's what do you guys think about those? and what type of an amp would you need? (I'm a student so I dont intend on spending too much...)

Jun 20, 2009 at 10:08 PM Post #2 of 16
The HD-650s are excellent headphones. However, they're going to sound really different from your SR-60s. If you're looking for a similar sound signature, you won't find it with Sennheisers. Something like the Beyerdynamic DT880 will give you a closer match to the Grado sound, while being more neutral and smoother. You'll also much prefer the comfort of Beyerdynamics much more.

Give those some thought, read up on them and try to get to a meet if one is going on near you.
Jun 20, 2009 at 10:34 PM Post #4 of 16
Erik: well I'm not an expert on headphones, but I'm not sure that I need something exactly similar to the SR-60. I have a a shure e4c and i really enjoy how i get the feeling that the music is being played in my ears, don't get that as much with the SR-60s. Ill check out the DT880, thanks

1Time: I was hoping not to spend more than 400$ (trying to find some used headphones)
Jun 21, 2009 at 12:17 AM Post #7 of 16
Open phones I've used with my Macbook include the HD555, K701, and AD700. I enjoyed all three, but would first recommend the AD700. They're easily the most comfortable, and are just plain awesome.
Jun 21, 2009 at 1:21 AM Post #8 of 16
Hi, foges. I copied this out of another thread, but it might hopefully be helpful to you now. There are other great suggestions and tips by other members in that thread (stickied) if you're interested:


Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Before buying headphones

1. Think about the whole system and budget for that. I can’t stress this enough. There are really good sounding headphones to suit almost any budget and any system requirements, but you really need to know what you’re getting into. Don't just think about the headphone. If you’re looking to buy a headphone, you also need to know what else you need (or don't need) to make it sound good. If you’re buying a reference quality headphone, they most often (not always) require dedicated home components to bring out the qualities that people talk about. That’s just the way it is. They require a well-matched amp that can drive them well. Many will be revealing of poor quality recordings and low bit rate downloads if you’re using your computer. If, for example, you're interested in the HD650 because you’ve read it’s good, just know that you might be disappointed if you don’t amp it properly, and if you amp it properly, you might be disappointed in the sound you’re getting if your source and/or recordings don’t cut it. On the other side of things, there are really good headphones that sound just fine without an amp and straight out of an ipod or computer soundcard if that’s what you want. You can get good sound in a lot of different ways at almost any price point, but research what you’re looking for, and put what you need in your budget before you decide on anything. It will actually save you money in the long run.

$400 is a decent budget, but some points to consider are if you want to use an amp or not, if you're interested in an external dac, etc. Some headphones that folks are recommending, like the 650s or 880s, are going to have different requirements than many other headphones, and you need to think about that when planning. For $400, if I were you, I'd raise the budget slightly, and get HF2s for $430. They sound quite nice unamped, but do even better once amped (a portable will do), and though I'm not really a Grado fan at all, I consider these one of the best headphone purchases I've made (and I've bought way too many...eeek). I'm really enjoying them, and they're definitely more comfy than SR60s. Because only 20 of us have gotten them so far (distributed at CanJam), you'll have to wade though a bunch of noise (my own included) to find some pretty accurate impressions hidden in the HF2 thread in this forum. There's a bit of a waiting period now with only 50 being shipped out per week, but as they're limited edition, and sound great, they're worth the wait and will retain their value. My other suggestion is to try ATH-ESW9s (do not buy off ebay as there are too many fakes there). They're impressive sounding portable headphones that also do not require amplification, but improve slightly with an amp. They go for around $250-280, and you can buy new music, and/or pick up an amp with the extra money. If you want to go into higher-end full-size cans, just do your research as to what they'll need to shine. Hope you enjoy whatever you'll choose.
Jun 21, 2009 at 8:07 AM Post #9 of 16
boomy3555: the AHD5000 seems a little expensive, can it be used without an amp?

boomana: Thanks, yeah I've read that good headphones without a propper amp is a no go. Thats why I'm looking for suggestions for the whole package, ie. anything that is between my macbook and my ears.

re. the HF2s, I already have an in ear headphone, I'd really like to get some big comfortable headphones
Ill read up on the ATH-ESW9

can you guys recomend me amps that would be suited for the headphones listed in this thread? (or should i make a new thread in the amps section). And do you think that an amp would be enough or would i need a DAC as well (hopefully not if i want to run the headphones from an ipod for example)?
Jun 21, 2009 at 9:57 AM Post #10 of 16
the HF2 is on-ear, just like the esw9. The esw9's will probably be more comfortable.

for amp/dac you could look at the portable solutions from iBasso.
Jun 21, 2009 at 3:22 PM Post #11 of 16
Jun 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM Post #13 of 16
Ok, I just did a couple of tests (equip. below) and this is my conclusion:
I want something that is clear like the e4c's but with more bass. I also found that my iAudio sounds better than my macbook :s Does that mean i should be using an amp with my macbook?

What headphones/amp would accomplish this?

Ive been reading up on the D2000s they look prety good and are also quite reasonably priced. Dont really know if I'd like to do that whole mod. I have no idea where I'd get Dynamit (or whatever it was called) here in europe.
Jun 21, 2009 at 9:44 PM Post #14 of 16
Primary use of Dynamat is for sound insulation in car audio installations so a car stereo place would be a good start. I got mine really cheap on Amazon. <20.00. It's a very simply procedure and takes only a small phillips head screwdriver, a pair of scissors, and a hole punch. and if you don't like it you can reverse the mod in a heartbeat.
Everyone says to upgrade the cable but I've had the cables apart on all three (2K,5K,and7K) and they are real quality as is. OFC copper in a 4 wire configuration.
and a solid build. ( Just try to desolder the TRS plug off of the cable....) I did once....... Once!
Jun 21, 2009 at 11:09 PM Post #15 of 16

Originally Posted by paaj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the HF2 is on-ear, just like the esw9. The esw9's will probably be more comfortable.

for amp/dac you could look at the portable solutions from iBasso.

They are equally comfortable. The HF2s are more comfortable the other Grados I've owned or tried.

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