Looking for decent set of phones for my Ipod Mini
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lifeinabox

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I've been struggling to find a decent set of cans to mate with my Ipod Mini. It seems the Mini presents a unique problem given its size and limited capacity. For example, it would be a bit physically unbalanced to use an ATH-A** series phone. Similarly, I'm not sure a Shure E5c or Ety ER4P is appropriate given the fact you either can only hold a few songs at a high enough bitrate to do these phones justice or have to compromise and play lower/lossy bitrate that will sound pretty poor through them.

I have already tried the Shure E2c, Sony V6, and Senn HD280. The Shures were ok but a bit too lean in the bass and soundstage dept, the V6s too much bass and bright in the upper range, and the Senns overall sounded lean with little bass and midrange. So now I'm left scratching my head wondering what to try next. The aforementioned ATH-A** sound like the type of phone for me soundwise if not for their size. The Senn HD25-1 has gotten good reviews and aren't too unwieldy. Not sure what open phones might work but I'll probably give the lower-end Grados a try.

Generally, I prefer a wide soundstage, warm midrange, and a decent and punchy lower end. Obviously, form factor is a big but not an overriding factor. Associated music would be stuff like Radiohead, Flaming Lips, down tempo/ambient, alt-country, and some jazz.

Sorry for the long post. Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
 
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I wouldn't stop considering the ER4 series. You'll still have the soundstage issue, but even at 192 AAC, the ER4P or ER4S sound very nice with the iPod/iPod mini (prefer the former when unamped, but it's close). I have a first gen (5GB) iPod, so similar space concerns, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Etys. I've tried the SR80, V6, PX200, etc. in a search for truly portable phones, and I think earphones (and specifically Etys as I prefer them over the Shures - at least in short trial) should be considered heavily. Only other phones I was happy with, the KSC35s, didn't fit my small ears right, but you may want to give them a go. Very good sound for the price, still small, and will work well with your musical prefs.
 
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TheMuffinMan_01

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if you thought that the e2's were lacking in bass then i don't think you would like the er4's...
 
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Jorg

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Have you seen how Etys ER-4 look on a person. Personally, I don't like it
But e5c has 110 ohms, so... may be Sensaphonics?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jorg
Have you seen how Etys ER-4 look on a person. Personally, I don't like it
But e5c has 110 ohms, so... may be Sensaphonics?



yes, the etys do look might goofy. the e5's, despite their high impedance work magnificently right out of an ipod. do not let that stop you from getting them.

i absolutely love my e5's.
 
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lifeinabox

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Thanks for the responses. Toaster22, your recent review is really steering me towards the E5s.

I should clarify that I'm not against considering full-sized phones as this will primarily be an "at home" phone. I just don't want anything massive that would seem contrary to the whole point of the Mini.

Any comments on the HD25-1, especially in comparison to the E5?
 
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Jorg

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I thought that iPod Mini has much less output power than regular iPod. Decide yourself.
 
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lifeinabox

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In the end, I guess I'm searching for a "groovalizer" to borrow a head-fi term. My only hesitation with the Shures is that I didn't find the E2s all that "groovy." I don't know if the characterization is correct, but I've read that the E3s are generally less groovy than the E2s in terms of the low end, pace, etc... So now I'm concerned that, despite the excellent reviews, I will not find the E5s groovy as well. Thoughts?
 
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muhahahaha....the e5's....will rock you. i promise.

i have never heard the e2's, but that doesn't change the fact that the e5's have some serious low-end kick.

SKIP THE E3's. do yourself a favor. for what you're looking for lifeinabox, i don't think they'd satisfy you. for a groovalizer, the er-4's do it better for me. (i know that's harsh, but it's what i experienced) i don't know if you read my post from a while ago on what happened to me with the e3's...i'll recap it here:

i had the e3's. i do like to groove. the only way for me to even START to get grooving with the e3's, was to blast the volume. unfortunately, the e3's, when pushed to loud volumes, and when i say loud, i mean "full" on the ipod, (crazy maybe, but that's how i like to listen to music) creates piercing treble. because of this, i eventually ended up losing hearing in my right ear for 3 days. not cool. i just couldn't get enough groove out of the e3's. in all fairness, hearing loss-levels will most likely only occur with the e3's if you blast the music, like i like did. but if you wanna groove with your e3's and think blasting the music will help, think again...

so after my short term hearing loss, i quickly, for my own safety, sold the e3's and moved on to the e5's. not only do the e5's groove like there's no tomorrow, (not to mention that they sound so much better than the e3's in every regard) but with the TRI-FLANGE tips, which i think are obligatory if you own the e5's, there are NO piercing highs, and the sound is just too smooth for words. the bass is also best with these tips.

i'll say this last thing in an attempt to reassure you about the e5's groove capabilities:

i'll argue with anyone who wants to say the e5's don't groove, because i know the truth...oh i know...


*if what jorg said about the mini having less output power than the original ipods is true, then you could potentially have a problem running the e5's.
however, i don't know, even if the mini had less output, the e5's are VERY SENSITIVE, and i don't think it would be a problem, considering half volume with the e5's on an original ipod is fine.

hey jorg, where did you hear about the mini having less output?
 
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I love my ER-4P's out of the headphone out on my Sony E720 minidisc player, I'm going to buy the S cable adaptor soon when I upgrade to either an Hi-MD or Ipod with line out, using the Headroom Total Bithead.

Best wishes,

Paul.
 
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If you like a good amount of bass and still get portable headphones you might like the Sennheiser PX100 or Koss Porta Pro. I never heard the latter but after reading what feels like a thousand good things about them I thought I should mention them too.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jorg
I thought that iPod Mini has much less output power than regular iPod. Decide yourself.


I think they have the same power output, but I'm not sure about that anyway. However, in reference to the earlier conversation about using an E5c with the iPod Mini... it's not an issue at all.

Even though E5c has 110ohm of impedance, it is extremely, extremely sensitive. It is very easily driven out of just about anything. The downside is that it is also susceptible to picking up any and all noise produced by your source & amp.
 
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I run my e5 at the same voulme level out of both my 3G 30GB iPod and my mini. I tend to leave it at roughly 1/3 in a quiet room, 2/5 in a noisy room, and closer to 1/2 on an airplane. Sound quality is also the same between the two.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lifeinabox
Similarly, I'm not sure a Shure E5c or Ety ER4P is appropriate given the fact you either can only hold a few songs at a high enough bitrate to do these phones justice or have to compromise and play lower/lossy bitrate that will sound pretty poor through them.

Generally, I prefer a wide soundstage, warm midrange, and a decent and punchy lower end. Obviously, form factor is a big but not an overriding factor. Associated music would be stuff like Radiohead, Flaming Lips, down tempo/ambient, alt-country, and some jazz.



The ER4 is revealing to your source and if your mp3's are encoded poorly, they will reveal that too much. ER4s are very analytical (as opposed to warm). The ER4S has a very well defined deep bass.

Based on your description, the E5 is probably what you are looking for. It has the boosted bass, a midrange hump (referred to by some as the fun factor) and rolled off highs (preferred by some for being less harsh to their ears). In other words, it can sound very warm. The E5 has a very high impedance (110 ohms) which is compensated by its sensitivity. It easily pickups noise. In that case, it helps to use a line attenuator and an amp to feed the audio. You can run the audio material louder and attenuate to comfortable listening levels.

The Ultimate ears UE-5 Pro is also an excellent choice for you. It has the boosted bass, a midrange hump, but the highs extend to 16kHz. You will get all warmth of the mids and the detail. I have not tried this one though, so I am relaying you what I have heard. It has low impedance. It should be quieter and should not require an amp.

The HS25-1 is nice, but it requires a lot of burn in. I have been using mine for a couple months in more of a monitoring setting rather than just to listen to music. The midrange is not warm. Don't think you will be happy with them.
 
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