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Huge Comparison of [almost] all the Best Bluetooth Headphones - post your own comparisons here

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by giogio, Dec 15, 2014.
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  1. Tony6225
    I just wanted to give a heads up to the people of this thread. Definitive Technology is going to be releasing a wireless over-ear head phone called the Symphony 1 for $399 pretty soon. It looks really sexy and one review put it up above the wireless Momentum 2 and B&O H8 in terms of SQ. Any input on these is much appreciated.
  2. Giogio
    Here amazon also offer exanges if a product is defect. It makes sense. Why should they make it so complicated to give you back the money and make you order again?
    But well, if things are so, then do not risk. Because even if Plantronics change your unit, and you discover that for some misterious reason there is an incompatibility with your source device, then in the while your time for a return with Amazon is already over.
    Better if you compare them with the Bose, and send them back Then you can compare the Bose with another thing, and so till you find what you want.
    Comparing three at least at a time would be better. But it requires more money.
    Anyway I notice that Plantronics did not suggest you to reset the headphones.
    With the Fidelio I also had problems which I almost completely solved with a reset.
    Try to search in the manual or to call Plantronics for how to make a reset of the headphone, and repeat their procedure (turn bluetooth off on the source, delete the Backbeat from the memory of the source, reset the Backbeat, repair them).
    About the H8, it is not yet a Purchase. It may go back if it does not really amaze me. I mean AMAZE. For 500 euro I need to be left like fallen in love.
    The more I try the more difficult I become.
    If I would be rich I would have kept already quite a few ones which had something unique and special.
    But I am not :)
  3. krzychnip
    Been a while since I checked in with this thread but wanted to do a follow up both as an update, but also as a thank you to the people who helped me out in making my decision since I'm an utter noob.
    @Giogio - After all your help with my decision making for a set of bluetooth over ears, I ended up buying a pair of BBP as well as the older Logitech UE 9000's. After playing around with both for a couple weeks, I ended up keeping the UE 9000's and returning the BBPs. It was a close call for me primarily because I think aesthetically the UE 9000s are kind of gross and I look like an air traffic controller wearing ear muffs when wearing them. That being said, I preferred the way they sounded and loved the heavy bass so I decided to keep them. I've been listening to a ton of house, electro house, deep house and I just really like the bass. Also because I got a fairly good price on it. Anywho, I apologize if this isnt going to be of much help to anyone else buying, but again, really wanted to come back and say thank you to you guys for the help and update things with my purchase!
  4. ruthieandjohn
    Goes without saying, but since I haven't said it yet....
    Thanks to @Giogio to getting this thread started, and to all who have contributed blue tooth headphone comparisons.  Lots of people can say "Here is my BT headphone and why I love it;"  much fewer folks can say "BT Headphone A does thus and so better than B but does these other things worse," to actually provide a comparison.
    Thanks, all... it has been most valuable to me as well as others in selecting BT headphones for purchase!
    Giogio likes this.
  5. Giogio

    To be honest, I agree with you.
    But as said, in my comparisons I try to consider all factors, not my tastes.
    I prefer the sound of the UE9000 over the BBP. Same reason mostly, the bass.
    I loved the UE9000, if they will be cheaper one day, much cheaper, I could buy them as sentimental reason.
    But they are so damn heavy, after a few hours the headband was crushing my head.
    Personally I think that the Fidelio M2BT are a better choice. They sound almost identical to the UE9000. Specially in the bass.
    But are more beautiful, have more functions, and are much more comfortable.
    Unfortunately, they are not worth 400U$D. I would never buy them for more than 300.
    And they have a few problems which I have pointed out in my review.
    But, well, enjoy your UE9000, they are a legend...
    If you will ever need another one, try the Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT.
    They have a different bass, but it is a really excellent and very powerful one. Also because the impact of the 53mm drivers at high volume is huge.
    And the sound is overall just, well, just much better than anything I have heard till now.
    The range of frequency, the way they perform in all frequencies... The detail. Really amazing headphones.
    They even have a cable with mic, and with volume and track control.
    Only two problems: they leak some sound, and they have thin earpads which make people with protruding ears have the ear touching the plastic of the driver. For those people an upgrade of earpads is needed.
    Unfortunately there is no other perfectly compatible earpad, so, most people use the Brainwavz HM5 which are actually oval, so on the vertical axis they do not seal perfectly. But people say they are much much more comfortable so, the ear fit entirely inside, the velour is much better than the leatherette, and for some people the sound even improves a bit.
    I personally have found another one which I am going to try before I eventually go with the HM5. If it works, I will let people know, because it is round and have exactly the same measures. But it is not much thicker.
    So, its bass... It is more powerful than the Fidelio and the UE9000, but have just a tiny less body and depth on the very low sub bass.
    Still, I am very satisfied.
    Then there is the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8, I have it here now, so I could compare them side by side.
    The H8 is, well, similar to the Fidelio, very much. The bass is just a tiny bit less warm and less amazing, but is still very very good.
    Before suggesting them anyway I must wait for the replacement.
    Mine has got a very bad distortion on heavy bass tracks at loud volume when the ANC is active (and with cable is always active).
    WIth this problem, it is a no go. Specially at 500 Euro!
    I'll write a brief review now and will keep it updated.
  6. n00b2
    @Giogio What is the internal dimensions of the ear pads of the ATH-WS99BT. I can see very little information on it anywhere on the net and most available seems to be in Japanese.
  7. mackie8
    i have tried the sol republic tracks air... amazing BT connectivity i think 100ft .. but not so comfy on my ears.  sound is almost same as beats solo 2.. 
  8. Giogio
    It is 47mm on the smaller point, then it becomes bigger again, so I think you can consider 50mm where the ears will really be.
    The problem is, anyway, the thickness of the pads. it is 20mm, but the plastic of the driver as a curve, like a "dome", which protrudes 8 to 10mm. So it is very likely that unless you have very flat ears they will touch the driver. Mine do. I don't have very sensitive ears, so I feel no problem for a couple of hours, but then I start feeling something, and after another couple of hours I have to take them away.
    I am still searching for better pads but it is not easy, big shops have them organized for model of compatible headphones, not for dimensions, and people are too lazy to get up and measure.
    Customer I don't care.
    Then Chinese sellers on Amazon and Ebay are more willing to take measures. But I did not find anything thicker.
    A solution would be to use something with a smaller opening and transform them into on ear. I will try that.
    Another solution are oval pads which only seal on the shorter size. many people do that with the wired version of these cans and are very happy. I will buy a pair.
    If you decide to buy one, the best price is on Rakuten but the seller does not provide a Return Policy for "I do not like", only for defects (but he could always say that he will replace it but not refund it). I mean. It is not probably that anybody can not like these cans. But, who knows. So, the only option is Ebay. A seller have a decent price, 280 USD.
    I have found a shop, yodobashi.com, they have 250 like the guy in Rakuten, but they did not answer when I asked if they ship oversea.
    100ft is just not possible. That is Class 1 and there is no single source which is class 1, so even if the Sol are Class 1, they would not reach the 100ft. Like the BBP did not, even being Class 1.
    With a very very good antenna a Class 2 can reach 50ft. Then all depends on if you are in a room, open air, or with walls in the middle.
    You mean the solo 2 wireless? Could you compare the 2?
  9. Giogio

    AAAAAhhhhh, now I understand! Yes, I think the emotional factor may play a role.
    But it is also true that tastes are tastes, and also that different ears (yes, ears, anatomically, before than the tastes come in) perceive the sound differently.
    Could you explain to me a bit more what do you exactly mean with all those terms like bass finger pluck etc? It would help understanding your interesting comparisons.
    Maybe you could write a description of what each term mean and of how you test that (with which songs, for example).
    I have a series of song which I always play when I test headphones, songs which can be very demanding on certain frequencies for example. And I have many for different kind of bass, but I have never created such a disciplined method with this precision of aspects like "bass finger pluck" (I like this term, it sounds like a karate move).
  10. Giogio
    I have found this in the user guide of the BBP:
    You may need to reset the sensors if they are not working as expected.
    Connect your headphones to the USB port on your computer using the charging cable.
    Lay the headphones on a non-metallic surface and wait at least 10 seconds.
    Disconnect the headphones and try the sensor features again.
    Now, I think that by "lay" they mean with the speakers turned flat and the opening down toward the surface of the table.
    But, just try all variations, one should work.
    I did not find any mention to how to reset the headphones itself (or the bluetooth chip). It is a different procedure, which delete all devices in the memory and reset the chip so to solve some problems.
    It is definitely something which each headphone should be able to do, I would ask plantronics.
  11. cehowardNote3
    I am looking to try the Def Tech Sym.1 too. Also, the Sennheiser M2BT and the Sony 1ABT..
    Also, I found out the Definitive Technology office is within walking distance of my house. I plan on visiting with my Sony MK2s on and if they have a pair on hand, try them out right then and there..
  12. Giogio

    It would be cool if then you post here your opinion about how they compare!
  13. cehowardNote3
    I see your question has been answered. Let me take it just a tad further, since I am a  Sony Mk2 fanboy.. [​IMG]
    The Sony MK2 is GREY MARKET in the USA, or should I say, any place outside of Japan..
    Also, they look IDENTICAL to the Sony MDR 1RBT,  and there are no markings on the headphones to tell you that they are the MK2 version. 
    The markings are on the box, and the MK2 has aptx, and can be activated by holding down the volume + and the power button at the same time. The MK2 bt version will respond with 3 blue led flashes letting you know the headphones are in aptx mode..
    When purchasing the Mk2 version, one must get a clear understanding from the seller/vender.. Only Sony Japan will honor the warranty. My seller assured me that if any warranty work 
    is needed on my Mk2s, the procedure would be to send them back to them in original packing (important), they in turn will send them back to Sony Japan either to be repaired or replaced. Then they will get them back from Sony of Japan, and shipped them back to you..They must be sent back in the original packaging. 
     I felt very comfortable with that arrangement, and from what I read on the MK2s, they were worth the trouble to go through to get them. Right now, I am on my 2nd  pair. My 1st pair were stolen, I ordered another pair the very next day!! So far, my MK2s have been perfect. The Sony MDR 1RBT is below the MK2 version. The MK2 has about 4 to 5 fixes over the MDR 1RBT.. 
    BTW, I got my MK2s from AccessoryJack. Don't think they carry them anymore..
    Right now, I am drooling to try out the Sony 1ABT. Anything that claims to be a upgrade, successor or better than the MK2, they got me quickly..[​IMG]
    Hope this helps...
  14. ruthieandjohn
    Yes, ears vary from person to person.  Entrepreneur that I am, I have been developing a standard ear pinnae and transplant procedure, mimicking the pinnae of the Neumann KU 100 dummy head used in frequency response measurement.  This transplant allows:
    1. Standardized acoustic response across various listeners so that different folks' ears perceive the sound the SAME;
    2. Use of universal fit IEMs instead of expensive custom fits;
    3. Avoidance of problems with ears not fitting into various over-ear headphones.
    Details in the ad below (and if anyone believe this, I have for sale the bridge that leads to the Grado shop in Brooklyn, NY!!!)
    (click to enlarge)
    More seriously, as for the 10 sound features, they are pretty specific comparisons at the same points in the same songs.  For example, "bass finger pluck" listens to the initial attack of the string bass at the start of "Spanish Harlem" as sung by Rebecca Pidgeon on the Chesky recording The Ultimate Demonstration Disc."    Can you clearly tell it is a plucked string, with an initial scrape, a pop, then the tone, varying slightly from one pluck to the next?  Or does it sound like an attack of a bow instead, or (worse still) a stationary tone in which the beginning sounds just like the middle.
    Here are the four songs and the descriptions of all 10 terms that I use:
    I used four songs, all encoded in Apple Lossless Format at CD quality (I actually bought the CDs and ripped them... no internet download involved) and played by my Apple iPod Touch 5th Gen via its bluetooth.
    • "You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone," by Band of Heathens, from their album One Foot In The Ether (used for fidelity of drum sound, positional resolution of two vocalists, and ability to discern pitch of string bass passages);
    • "Spanish Harlem," by Rebecca Pidgeon, on The Ultimate Demonstration Disc of Chesky records (used to assess female vocals, transparency, the attack of finger on bass string, and high resolution discrimination of differences in shaker shakes);
    • "Symphony No. 3 in C Minor Op. 78 (Organ Symphony) - IV" by Camille Saint Saens played by Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Sympony Orchestra (used to assess the "ripping" sound of well-rendered lower brass and organ reed pipes, and the ability to hear a very small entrance amidst a bombastic chord of orchestra and organ at full tilt);
    • "Throwback" by B.o.B. on Underground Luxury (used to assess ability of a bass tone, specifically lowest C on piano at about 32 Hz, to pick me up by the throat and shake me!)
    The 10 tests were as follows:
    • Transparency:  What is between me and the music?  A felt cloth?  A "Sennheiser veil?" A frosted window?  Dirty window?  Clear Saran wrap?  or nothing?  At its best, makes me forget I am listening on headphones and am in room with musicians.
    • Width of sound stage:  How far to the left and to the right, (yes, AND up and down in best cases) does it seem the musical sources are arranged?
    • Positional resolution:  Can I distinguish a difference in position of two singers in Song 1?
    • Bass visceral:  Does the bass in third verse of Song 4 actually shake me? Or do I just hear it?
    • Drum "twang":  At start of Song 1, do the bass and tom tom drumhead have a tone and a pitch, rather than just a thump?
    • Bass pitch perception:  For the complicated bass runs in Song 1, do I hear a pitch with sufficient accuracy to sing or transcribe the part?
    • Bass finger pluck:  Do I hear the actual impact of fingers on the bass string just before hearing its sound on Song 2?
    • Shaker variation:  In Song 2, verse 3, do the various shaker shakes sound a bit different from each other, as they should?
    • "Ripping" of organ / brass:  In Song 3, is there the sensation of hearing each vibration of the French horn and low organ reed tones (sort of the tonal counterpart to hearing a "pitch" from a drumhead in Test 5);
    • Discern added chord:  About 1:38 into Song 3, after the full orchestra and organ hold a chord at the top of a passage, can I hear a small number of orchestra instruments join in, as sort of an echo, in the second measure of that chord?
    These tests generally emphasize what I find most pleasing in a headphone, namely high-frequency-related features including transparency, upper harmonics of sounds from drum-head, brass, organ pipe, and string bass, and high-resolution effects such as fine detail of each shaker sound and the finger on the bass string.
    The problem with this way of rating is that each of the 10 features is weighted the same.  I know that transparency is really important for me (that is why I LOVE Grado headphones!), but bass response, huge sound stage, and the like are of lesser importance.  So I will end up preferring a headphone that is more transparent even if it only wins in that one of 10 categories, and only earns a point (out of a possible 30) in total score!  Conversely, someone who hates muddy bass will only have test 6, "Bass Pitch Perception," to downgrade a headphone, yet that may overpower all other observations of the headphone.
    But the advantages of the measures are:
    1. It is regular, applying the same tests over time to different headphones;
    2. It is relative rather than absolute, ranking the headphones as 1st 2nd, and 3rd place on each feature rather than the more subjective "excellent good fair poor."
    3. They include features that I find important to headphone enjoyment (your mileage may vary!).
    So far I have performed and posted at various places 12 such 3-way comparisons (including the one I did on the Parrot Zik, Parrot Zik 2.0, and Jaybirds Bluebuds IEMs). 
  15. Deckardk

    I'm concerned about the noise isolation on the MKII cans (and the 1ABT). How do you find that aspect of them?
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