help out a newb (ultrasone hfi780s?)
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

the sway

New Head-Fier
Jun 23, 2009
i have been a music enthusiast for some time now, but have never been an audiophile by any stretch. a friend referred me to this site, and i must say, it is a tremendous resource, however searching the forums is a bit overwhelming, so i thought i'd go to the source

i am looking a for a new pair of high quality over ear headphones for daily use. a few things to note about my current listening situation:

-i currently have a pair of bose over ear headphones (which i am not satisfied with) and shure e3g in ears (which i was very impressed with upon first buying them, but may upgrade in a few months)
-i listen to a wide variety of music, but i prefer a headphone that can handle a lot of bass (subwooferish on certain songs, but also i don't want headphones that would completely drown out any tonality)
-i rip mp3s onto itunes (i know, its probably not the best program), not sure if its 128 or 192 kbps, and listen on a 1st generation ipod video (80 gb)

in terms of what i am looking for:

-my upper price range is around $300...there may be a bit of upward wiggle room on that number if it is worth the quality
-i want something i can wear in public...therefore, no open air design, nothing so fragile i couldn't wear on the street, and nothing so ugly that i would be embarassed to be seen with them on (i don't mind wearing over ear headphones in public, but there is a line that can be drawn...i don't plan on wearing these in the house all the time, mostly while walking to work/on buses/on subways)

i first became interested in buying some high quality headphones while at the best buy demo of the infamous beats by dre headphones. i was blown away at the sound quality of them, and wanted to buy them on the spot, but decided it would be prudent to do some research. in my research, i came across so many options, i wasn't even sure what made sense anymore! reading a lot of audiophile forums, it seems like the general consenus is the dre headphones are overpriced for the quality provided...i'm also not a fan of the fact that they take batteries. i DO like how they look though (minus that they say "beats by dre" over the top)

after doing some research, i feel like the best headphones i found, for my purposes, were the ultrasone hfi-780s, which can give that booming bass, but also handle other sounds quite well. like i said, about 40-50% of what i listen to is hip hop, and i do like the "bump," but i also listen to a lot of other music as well (rock, acoustic (think johnny cash), jazz, ect.), and i want a versatile headphone.

so, head-fi, what say you? any suggestions for a consumer like myself?
Jun 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM Post #3 of 8
The bass on the 780s is pleantyful and enjoyable to me, however they do look goofy when worn due to the big hinges on the headband. Before you get anything new I would recommend getting better quality audio, itunes' default is 128kbps I think, which means that with more expensive headphones, with more detail, you will be losing out. Other cans I would mention are the Audio Technica M50, es7 and esw9 , and the denon d1001.
Jun 23, 2009 at 7:48 PM Post #5 of 8
i'll do my research on those, thanks for the replies
Jun 23, 2009 at 9:07 PM Post #6 of 8
OP, the 780s will fit the bill just fine and you get to save some money (if saving is important... many people feel better spendind) off your budget to buy music or whatever. Now, re wearing them in public... I'm not sure if I can recommend them. I've done it around the neighbourhood and do take them on long trips. Just bear in mind these are full sized cans and aren't small when compared to the ATs. Just pick up a nice sized can - 780s are shiny silver so they do call some atention upon themselves - and look at yourself in the mirror and try picturing yourself with them out on the street. How cool or good it looks only you (and your mates...) will know. The good sound is in them however, with a forward presentation, punchy bass they are certainly fun, and they do very well with most genres.
Jun 23, 2009 at 11:28 PM Post #7 of 8
If you can sacrifice a bit of detail while retaining the same sound sig as the HFI-780 in a less flashy package, try the HFI-550s. Got mine for $119 + S&H off eBay a few months ago, and they're very good cans for the price. They're still on the large side of the spectrum, but are much more "wearable" outdoors.

They retain pretty much the same qualities of the HFI-780s: Forward presentation with plenty of bass.

Jun 24, 2009 at 7:10 AM Post #8 of 8
HFI-780s have very nice bass. I'm not that much into hip hop, but something like Black Eyed Peas or Gorillaz will sound excellent straight out of an ipod. They are not very forgiving in general though, pretty big, heavy, and not too comfortable.
If only one could fit 780 sound and price into ESW9s

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