Narrowing it down...advice?
Oct 23, 2009 at 6:22 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

thrand1

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Hi everyone,

I've tried to narrow my headphone criteria to be as specific as possible, and your thoughts/advice are very welcome...

Budget: ~$200 (see notes below on amped vs. unamped)
Uses (% of the time): Workstation listening with portable player/laptop soundcard (90%), some portable on-the-go usage while traveling (10%).
Type of headphone: Closed, preferably circumaural. I already have earbuds.
Headphone features: Great leakage prevention so work neighbors don't hear me. Isolation/noise cancellation is not super important.
Sound signature: "Neutral" is the first word that comes to mind. I want it to be close to my home theater speakers, here are some frequency graphs for reference. Bass quality and speed over quantity. I don't mind more detail/treble as long as it's not too overbearing.
My music tastes: Rock & metal (311, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, Megadeth, Alice In Chains); Occasional jazz, classical, folk music.
Sources: 320kbps MP3 files.
Amped versus non-amped: Since I am using a portable player, I would prefer headphones that don't need an amp so I don't have to carry anything with me. However, might add something like a HeadRoom Total BitHead in the future for use at work with USB port. So budget would be $250-300 overall. I am bebating between $150-200 for headphone now + BitHead later or $250-300 now for just headphones that meet my criteria.

Should I buy more expensive headphones like the AKG K271/Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 ($275-300) with no amp, or do I look at something like the Shure SRH840/Audio-Technica M50 with the Bithead?

In summary, here are my questions:
1. Would you go for a more expensive headphone at $200-300, or a less expensive headphone at $150-200 with something like the Total BitHead?
2. Recommendations for my requirements presented above?

Let me know if I left out anything or if you need more information. I look forward to reading your recommendations. Thanks again!
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 1:52 PM Post #3 of 11

MrGreen

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SR225 or MS1 for rock/metal and a "natural" soundstage/balance rather than neutral (although theres a thread about a mod that reportedly makes them quite neutral)
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM Post #4 of 11

thrand1

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MrGreen, thanks for the feedback. As much as I wish I could go Grado, since this is for a workplace environment primarily I can't use open 'phones. My initial research pointed squarely to the Grado family, but due to the sound leakage that is a no-go
frown.gif
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 4:35 PM Post #8 of 11

thrand1

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Great, thanks for the feedback mythless. It's hard to decide between getting a phone like the ESW9 or going for the a phone like the M50s plus something like the Bithead. A lot to think about...
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 5:00 PM Post #10 of 11

Romulus1

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Just as a note, your $250-$300 price for the AKG 271's is a bit inflated. I just picked up a pair off Amazon for $99.

I'm very fond of them so far but I am fairly new at this so my recommendation doesn't carry much weight.
 

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