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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. Kelleytoons
    No skipping on the Sony -- I *have* had that skipping issue with the Bose Soundtrue On-Ear (which is kind of what started me on this quest to find the perfect bluetooth solution) so I know what you are talking about.  But I have not had it on any other bluetooth headset I tried (and I've tried them all... mostly).
     
    Now -- make sure you do have 8.1.2 installed AND you may need to reset your phone completely (you will lose settings but not data).  Folks that have BT issues have reported these things have fixed most of them.  Personally, because the Bose is the only BT device I can't get to work with my iPhone 6+ (including the earlier Bose Over-The-Ear BT model, which works fine with it) I suspect the problem is more on Bose' end than on iOS.
     
    And note that the best BT solution, IMHO, is not a BT phone at all but using a quality set with a small BT device (like this one, which just got crowdsourced):
     
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2116595848/the-btunes-plug-in-pure-wireless-hifi-sound
     
    Nice thing about this one is it adds both NFC and AptX support to those folks who can use it (unlike us iPhone owners).  But even the cheap, $15 BT receivers I've been using with my Sennheiser 598s blow away EVERY single BT phone mentioned in this thread.  Not even a close contest.
     
    Yappadappadu likes this.
  2. Yappadappadu
    Thanks, that sounds promising. I take it you use the normal music app to play your iPhone music?
    Did you also test audio delay of the MK2 phones, e.g. by playing some youtube videos? Was very noticeable on the older MDR-1RBT model.
     
    I DID update from iOS 8.1 to iOS 8.1.2 due to the skipping issues. Didn't help, unfortunately.
     
    Day to day I am getting more pissed at Apple for screwing us iPhone users who would like to listen to their music in the best quality possible. Same goes for lack of 4K video recording. If this adds up even further, who knows what I'll do when I need a new smartphone.
     
    That bluetooth adapter looks...awkward. :D
     
  3. Kelleytoons
    I actually use Equalizer for the most part in playing music on my iPhone -- best EQ app out there and can make even a poor headphone sound good (and a good one great).
     
    There will always be a lag in audio using BT on any video application -- it's the nature of the beast.  There are some video apps that take this into account and can provide a delay (for the video) to compensate (it's common on TVs, for example, where a lot of folks like to listen to them wirelessly).  But there is no way around it otherwise.
     
    I'm not sure what you mean by awkward other than perhaps reaching up for the controls?  It only has the one button for all functions, which is okay with me (the more I use both BT headphones and/or other such devices for the control of music the more I just want one control, a play/pause button.  Then again, I've volume leveled all my music so I never have to adjust it no matter what I am playing).
     
  4. Yappadappadu
    Found two different apps under that name. Equalizer and Equalizer Pro. Which one? Do you have a link to the itunes app page?
    Have never used anything else than the Apple music app. Maybe I should start doing that, especially for FLAC files.
     
    Regarding audio delay:
    I know, but on the Samsung Lever Over lag/delay is basically nonexistent on my end. Same goes for my old Sennheiser MM400 On-Ears while with the Sony MDR-1RBT cans I experienced very noticeable delay.
    So I'd like to know how the MK2 compare delaywise. Was it very noticeable when you had them? In comparison to other blu-ray headphones you tested?
     
    The way the BT dongle sticks out looks weird to me, that was my initial reaction, though after taking a 2nd look at the video, I guess it kinda looks like a microphones attachment which makes it more acceptable to me.
     
  5. Kelleytoons
    It's just Equalizer -- there are lots of write ups on it out there about it being the best EQ app, but here's a link to it:
     
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/equalizer/id321267949?mt=8
     
    I've actually got about five EQ apps but Equalizer is the only one that still lives on my iOS devices (all of the others have issues that prevent them from consideration IMHO).  I pretty much use just the standard presets (mostly just the bass boost) but it's very easy to tweak them to your own preferences.  Note that it, like all other third party EQ apps, will only play music and not work with things like YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, etc. (But it will play your playlists and operate much like the Music app on your phone).  It's the only way I play music on my phone nowadays.
     
    I have never seen any BT headphones that did NOT have a significant delay between audio and video -- as I said, it's the nature of the beast.  I am skeptical the Samsung do not, but can't test any more since they have long since gone back.  And, frankly, I can't see how they possibly couldn't. You cannot speed up the BT transfer between devices, it's just the way BT works. (And BT 4.0 is actually worse in this regard -- now if a headphone is 4.0 compatible that might be what you are seeing in terms of it not working as well).  
     
    If you can find any proof of any BT device that does not have a delay (and I mean proof, not anecdotal evidence but someone who has done timing testing using equipment) I'd love to see a link.  I say this not to disrespect you but to note there are times when I've been convinced there wasn't a delay only to watch the exact same thing later under different conditions and realize I just hadn't noticed it carefully the first time and had missed the delay (the easiest way to confirm is to watch talking heads -- like a talk show on a network news broadcast or some such -- as then there isn't anything else to distract you like music and/or sound FX.  I also have some clips that have a gunshot synced closely to the muzzle flash that I use when I'm doing video editing and this is a good test).
     
  6. Kelleytoons
    Well, now I have to apologize to you.
     
    I went back and checked my BT receivers (the ones I'm using on my "wired" phones) and, sure enough, there was almost no lag on any of them.
     
    Since they aren't BT 4.0 I'm going to -- tentatively -- assume this is the main difference.  I'll have to look further at the specs of BT headphones to see.  But that would explain a lot.
     
    BT 4.0 has more lag because it does more -- one of the main advantages it offers (besides low power) is the ability to link to multiple devices (so you can send your signal to more than one headphone at once, for example).  But IIRC, this also increases latency and lag periods.  So it might be as simple as seeing if the device you are using supports 4.0 and, if so, assume that it will lag more than one that doesn't.
     
    The only time I've tried to watch some serious video over BT headphones was with my Powerbeats, which definitely lagged (it was okay -- it was an action film so I didn't mind).  But now that I see my portable BT Receivers work fine I may expand this (so, thanks -- one more reason why my solution is perfect for me).
     
    Yappadappadu likes this.
  7. Yappadappadu
    No problem.
    I remember being pleasantly surprised noticing almost no delay when I first used my Sennheiser MM400 four years ago with my iPhone 4. Those were my first BT phones and I had always read about the noticeable audio delay of those wireless headphones. The Samsung Level Over are even better, I would say perfect. I actually DID test by using "talking heads" videos (mostly "The Final Bosman") and other clips.
    And this is where the Sony MDR-1RBT fare very poorly, unfortunately. Would love to know if the newer MK2 do better in that regard. Without aptx of course due to the iPhone restriction.
     
    Thanks for the equalizer link. And this also plays FLAC files? Will check it out.
     
  8. n00b2
    Fair calls. I prefer high level of detail, clarity and a neutral sound in my music and prefer bass to be present but not overpowering which is why it was my favourite. Bass is present and the AKG can certainly rumble and go deep when the situation demands it, such as explosions in movies but yeh it won't make music lively or punchy. Stays very true to the original sound. Didn't try EQ but surprised it doesn't do anything, unless they designed it not to EQ which would be odd.
     
    Of the higher end ones I tried the Sony MDR 1RBT MKII, MDR 10RBT MKII, Harmon Kardon BT, Sennheiser MM450X, MM550X, and the original Parrot Zik as well as the AKG. Of all those I felt the AKG was definitely the best sounding overall apart from when playing high quality FLAC. Wanted to try the Philips Fidelio M1BT or M2BT but haven't found them here in Australia yet.
     
  9. Giogio
    So, well, I would kinda like to challenge you to listen to Dubstep with the Akg and tell me if they stay "true to the sound".
    I do not think so.
    I was sincerely not able to feel any rumble in the AKG.
    They were among the most severely bass lacking bt Headphones I have tried.
    But it may be that this is more of a subjective thing, maybe we have different tastes and expectations about bass.
     
    Yes, they did not EQ well on bass.
    I always test Headphone without and with EQ to see all their potential.
    If not I would miss a lot of what they can say.
    Take the House of Marley Liberate XLBT. Without EQ they so severely lack highs, that I cannot imagine anybody wanting to use them so.
    But give them some highs with the EQ and they become one of the most surprising and beautiful BT Headphones I have tried.
    Most BT Headphones can EQ Bass well at least in quantity (most do it NOT well in quality).
    The AKG were not showing any particular improvement in bass after the EQ.
     
    About neutrality, I understand what you mean, or I think so.
    My point of view is that music producers do not EQ tracks with a neutral end user equipment on their mind.
    They do it so that tracks will sound well on the most used equipments, which can be balanced, but not really neutral.
    So if you use neutral headphones, like the ones used for monitoring in Studio, you will not experience what the producer wanted you to experience.
    Besides, we all have different ears. Some people are more sensitive to bass than other people. Some people find highs to be easily aggressive.
    And then tastes.
    And then finally also objective facts. All together makes so that there cannot be ONE perfect headphone for all musical genres and for all people. Less than ever a neutral and "true to the sound"  one.
    Each person should find the Headphone which make music sound like he/she wants it to sound.
     
    About the Fidelio, I doubt you will like them. They have very much more bass than the Akg. They are also very well detailed and have a very good clarity. But bass is intense. It is not a matter of quantity (digitalversus measured the frequency response, and found it to be almost perfectly balanced. I was surprised myself).
    Though, some people feel it like too much.
     
    Besides, if you liked the AKG more than the Sony MK2, game over.
    I could compare the Fidelio to the Harman Kardon, but more lively, with more clarity, more presence, more punch.
    more punch.
     
    Why did you give the Akg back?
     
  10. Giogio
    I had a similar skipping thing with the three headphones which support multipoint, Bose, Plantronics, Fidelio.
    So i suspect is a problem of this technology.
    It happened to me with android and windows.

    About the little adapter, you still miss the Fidelio.
    :D
     
  11. Kelleytoons
     
    I'm not sure what you mean other than I haven't tried the BT Fidelio?  If so, that's true, but given how much better my Sennheiser 598s are compared to even the Plantronics Pro I'm going to guess they will still be significantly better than it.  But I'm definitely willing to give it a try when it's available here.
     
    Now, if you mean the wired Fidelio I'm using with my adapter -- it's a tough call.  It's not as good as the Sennheiser, to be sure, but it's comfortable and *almost* as good.  I'm tempted to keep it as well, and may if Amazon allows me to return the last set of phones I bought but that's a whole other story.
     
  12. WDitters
    First impression of a side by side comparison of the Logitech UE9000 versus Fidelio M2BT over APT-X :

    The Fidelio M2BT cans have a much tighter bass, better clarity, ever so slightly better placement and keep it slightly better together, more coherent in louder and more complex parts. In pure sound quality I prefer the M2BT to the UE9000. The UE9000 have a much muddier bass, a tad less clarity and placement, but boast a bigger rumble.

    Where the UE9000 sends the Fidelio packing however is comfort and bluetooth stability.. I found the Fidelio cans unreliable in their bluetooth stability, slow in connecting and somewhat erratic in combination with my HTC One M8. Slight glitches and crackling... Regardless of the better quality, I found that to be a highly annoying aspect of the Fidelios....
     
  13. CameronCrazy
    Well I've narrowed it down to the Plantronics BB Pro and the Sony MDR-1RBTMK2 ...leaning slightly towards the Sony's. Both obviously get very good reviews sound-wise so a few other factors are holding things up.....I'm ready to buy too so this is frustrating :)


    Plantronics Concerns:

    1. I've read in a couple different places about the cups being slightly smaller than normal. I've looked extensively at my sweet looking ear lobes in the mirror and am convinced mine are normal sized. But I am 44 and a bigger fella (6'1 220lbs) so proportionally speaking they may not resemble that of shrek but they're certainly not small. Smaller cups may end up annoying me or they may not...but comfort is important....I'll likely have them on for a good amount during the day with movies while I'm working so comfort is paramount.

    2. No place to really try before I buy...this is an issue with both pairs but at least over tried on other over-the-ear Sony's and love how they feel.

    Pros:

    1. Cost: Plantronics BB Pro are $246 on Amazon

    2. No concerns about warranty since they are from US.


    Sony MDR-1RBTMK2 Concerns:

    1. Ambiguity about warranty...if it's from overseas (I'm in US btw) so a little unsettling if the seller is overseas. It's being sold by someone in the US called "UTC" and is shipped via Amazon prime - I emailed them asking about the warranty but have not received a response as of yet.

    2. Some concerns about how well it works with Iphone 6. Have not been able to get firm answer on this.

    3. Cost vs Plantronics - Sony's are $100 more. If sound is very comparable then paying $100 more is an issue, especially if the Plantronics have more features.



    Is the only difference between the MK2 and the MDR-1RBT the APTX? My iOS devices doesn't have it anyway so I wonder if I should search for the 1RBT....Amazon has it for $270. If no other differences and sound is the same as the MK2 then maybe that is the way to go?


    Help! Thanks for all the info....there is much music and many good movies to watch so I'm currently floating in the Dark Astor with nowhere to go (sorry Guardians of the Galaxy reference :))

    CC
     
  14. n00b2

    Yes it does come down to taste in the end. You are probably right about the AKG for dubstep. Might well lack punch there. Don't really listen to dubstep though. For what I listen to the AKG was definitely the most balanced and the one which didn't really boost or intensify any particular frequency, which is what I was after. if anything, most reviews I have seen have said that the bass has been boosted on it compared to AKG's other headphones!
     
    As for how music producers EQ tracks, again that would vary based on genre or by producer. Beats may well sound exactly like how Dr Dre intended his music to be listened to but a lot of other producers would not like its signature sound, and wouldn't want you to listen to their music using Beats. Comes down to taste and type of music you listen to again.
     
    I didn't actually return the AKG, I hadn't actually bought them. In Australia you pretty much cant return headphones just because you didn't like them. Hygeine reasons I believe. Very different to big stores like Amazon and many places in the EU i imagine. I tried out the AKG after getting in contact with the local importer who let me come to their place and try it. Was going to buy it once the first shipment arrived but the guy I had been talking to who was giving me a good deal promptly quit his job and the new guy would only sell it to me at retail price which was like $200 more. I liked the headphones but not that much
     
    I actually quite liked the Harman Kardon and that is what I am using atm. Bought it cheap off a basshead mate of mine who complained they lacked bass and bought the Beats. The bass was definitely stronger and fuller in it than the AKG but not really enough to be overpowring I felt. Also wasn't boomy either which seems to happen to most headphones I've tried when you EQ them which I hate as well.
     
  15. n00b2

    From what I read the MKII had a few upgrades over the original. Aptx was one feature, there was also some bass boosting and a few other small things I can't remember now that were discussed early on in the other bluetooth headphones thread. Most people there seemed to think there was a pretty decent upgrade in sound quality between the 2.
     
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