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Need advice from audiophiles...

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by tino96, Oct 22, 2012.
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  1. tino96
    so I am new to the forum and I needed some expert advice.
    I wanted to buy a pair of headphones.
    Initially I wanted to buy Beats because they looked good but it's a big Nono now because they don't sound that great and I only pay for the brand and not the quality, and they are a rip-off.
    Now, I wanted you to suggest some of the best pairs of over-ear (possibly), but more importantly noise-isolating headphones.
    If you can please also write the online (Amazon, eBay, etc.) price. Preferrably the headphones should be available online.
    I don't want them to be TOO expensive, I guess $300 is enough for a good pair of headphones right?
    Maybe someone from the forum is selling them, that would be good as well (if, well, I can trust people from this forum).
    Thanks in advance guys.
  2. KCxSmacker
    What kind of sound are you looking for? bass, treble, highs, neutral ? Give us some examples of music you listen too. Also how will you be using these? Portable, at home, dac/amp or just right out of a phone?
  3. PleasantSounds
    What will work for you may depend on what kind of music you listen to, and on your priorities in terms of sound signature. Since you're planning to buy online (i.e. without possibility to try before you buy), chances are that what someone recommends may not really suit you.
    Tell us a bit about your preferred genres: rock? jazz? country? classical? electronic? metal? dubstep? - you can be even more specific.
     Do you prefer "flat" sound or booming bass? Do you like vocals "coming forward"? How important is clear separation of instruments and wide soundstage? (well - you won't get very wide soundstage with any closed back cans)..
    What will these headphones be plugged in to? Is it a mobile phone, a stationary AV receiver, or maybe a dedicated headphone amplifier?
    Is comfort very important to you? Weight? Clamping force? Do you intend to use them for several hours straight?
    All these factors (and perhaps some more that I have missed) would impact my selection (and recommendation). In your price range there are several headphones definitely worth checking, but there's no point listing the model names unless you want to make selection based purely on the looks.
  4. tino96
    Thanks for replying.
    Isn't there like a generic headphone type?
    Well if you want to be specific I listen to pop, hiphop, rap, rnb, rock. Mostly them but I listen to all music.
    About the sound, if it's neutral is fine, no biggie, I appreciate the booming bass though, well if you include headphones for both because it doesn't REALLY bother me.
    I would use them on a PC/Laptop and mobile phone mainly, definitely not from an amplifier, but they will still work on like a DJ mixer or console right?
    They should be comfortable preferrably.
    @PleasantSounds ... I don't know what you mean about vocals coming forward. Maybe you're getting too technical. Separation of instruments is mediumly important. Wide soundstage, no idea sorry. Let me tell you, I am a super 16 year old noob, just looking for a pair of headphones and also looking not to get crappy ones or getting ripped off (eg. Beats). I'll use them mainly for music and maybe a bit of gaming.
    I am just looking for comfortable headphones, decent design. Very important factor is noise isolation, I want them to be 'good' at that.
    Mainly the sound has to be crisp without disturbing background noises or interference that shouldn't be there in the track I am listening to (eg. Beats Studio, there was a scraping slight sound in the background).
    About the online thing, I live in Dublin, I don't really know a good place to get headphones. Wherever I went there were BOSE but not the very good models, Skullcandy but the same problem, but then,guess what... Beats everywhere!
    So I said online because I don't know where to get them really. And in any case prices would be higher but if you can suggest good music stores with nice range of items, that would be great.
    EDIT: By noise cancelling, I don't (necessarily) mean headphones with a switch to cancel the noise, I mean ones that you put on and already block all the noise out! But, if they look good, noise cancelling with switch it is! Include both if you want, so there is a broader range.
    Apologize for my attitude!
    Thanks for replying guys.
  5. PleasantSounds
    Well - there is a headphone that seems an obvious choice for you: it's the Audio-technica ATH-M50.
    Just wanted to make sure that you're not looking for something different.
    I'm not including any links as this one is fairly popular and should be quite easy to find.
  6. obobskivich

    Based on this, I'd look at:
    Bose AE2
    Sennheiser HD280 and 380Pro

    If you want to consider ANC:
    Bose QC15 (really it doesn't get better for ANC)
    Klipsch M40 (unlike the Bose above, they can be used with ANC on or off)

    Decent staging, good bass impact, good comfort (especially on the Bose and Creative cans, the Senns can be a bit clampy, and the M40 are a bit heavy), and fairly balanced sound. CAL! is probably the cheapest option.
  7. KCxSmacker
    This guide is pretty up to date:
    The reviewer tried many headphones so you can see how they sound and he gives a good basic idea what the headphone will sound like. 
    That being said, I would truthfully wait for the v-moda m100 to release. It should be coming by the end of the year, and is said to improve on the sound of the already very good vmoda line. They are said to be 300 dollars so that should be right at your price point. 
    I would say if you can get the ath-m50 for say 100-125 then that would be a decent headphone that will sound better then any beats, but its not my favorite headphone.
    If you need one NOW I would suggest getting the vmoda m80s. They sound pretty good and I like them over the ath-m50. They are however on ear but provide darn good isolation. The lp2 by them also gets decent reviews but my top suggestion would be to wait for the m100 model. I would have many more suggestions if an amp was in your realm of use, however for right out of a headphone it gets a bit narrow on your headphone choices. 
    hope this helped
  8. tino96
    Nice selection.
    But sorry CAL! are too cheap to be as food as the other ones mentioned!
    Man I love the Klipsch M40. That's the kind of max price I would pay but they look really good as well.
    Got any more? Thanks so much.
    Vmoda m100 seem to be good and the design is decent.
    Thanks for the link but wow, that's going to take some time!
    They seem to be good but do you think that V-Moda m100s and the ones posted by obobskivich are better?
    Thanks for helping. I mean, I don't want to spend 130 when I can spend a bit more (+ Xmas gift), for something that will last me longer and I'd me happier with.
    Thank you very much guys.
    Do you think FannyWang are good or there are headphones with similar design? What do you think about Vmoda and other headphone customs?
    EDIT: Are there any good ANC headphones which also look good?
  9. linglingjr
    I wouldnt get the fannyWang just because everyday people will see you with them and think "oh he has some inferior beats knock off."  I would look at the AKG K550 since you listen to a lot of genres.  AKG K272 were my first pair of "good headphones" and are also good at blocking noise.  Both can be driven right out of your phone/ipod/computer and sound great 
  10. jackwess
    AKG have the K-495 ANC headphones, but they have few weeks on the market. No personal experience yet, judging only by looks and specs. 
  11. obobskivich

    Price is not an indicator of quality or performance as you're insisting. It's a bad metric (especially if we're talking about $20 differences). The CAL! are a very good value in the world of headphones. The Bose are probably more comfortable (they're more comfortable than most headphones), while the Sennheiser options are going to be more monitor-esque. The Klipsch cans really aren't "head and shoulders" better than these (just like the QC15 aren't), most of the price is for the ANC functionality - you gain some SQ, but you're doubling the price for diminishing returns (and if you don't need the ANC feature, it's not worth the money imho).

    Define "look good" - there's not a whole lot of ANC headphones on the market in general, basically you can pick between:


    And they all kind of follow a similar aesthetic to the Bose, except for the Beats and Klipsch. I guess just look at them and figure out which one works for you. :)
  12. tino96
    I guess it's a bad metric but up to a certain point. They might be the best value-quality, but I think you have to give up some things that other headphones would have (comfort, good noise-cancelling. Don't Vmoda have noise cancelling ones?
    Yeah I think for the moment it's better to stay put. I don't want to spend a big amount of money for headphones that maybe aren't right, but thanks.
    AKG550 look really good. Thanks for the find.
    Now I shall decide between the Klipsch and those...
    Anyway are there headphones without digital noise cancelling but that still, when you put them on, don't hear anything from outside? They isolate you from the noise without digital aid?
    EDIT:Which are the top 5 headphones (for good crisp music) from here (page 1) http://www.akg.com/site/powerslave,id,2,nodeid,2,pcategory,33,_language,EN,country,ENUS.html
    And from page 2 here http://uk.akg.com/akg-uk/brand_akg/akg-headphones.html
    BTW I said my budget is $300 but if the headphones are $370 or even $400 (that's max) but they are really worth it (I have to trust you on this one though, can I ?), it's fine I can do $400.
    If you can suggest audiophile headphones within that price that are really worth it (Sennheiser, etc) and better than the ones listed in the previous posts, that would be awesome.
    Thanks you very much again.
  13. PastaChief
    In terms of isolating noise, studio headphones like the KRK KNS 8400 do a good job. Sound good too, very comfortable. They're well under your price range (and don't have a whole lot of bass) but they are very nice headphones.
    If you're getting into $400 territory, you might start needing a headphone amp (or at least people will start recommending one [​IMG]).
  14. tino96
    Headphone AMP? Can you explain what it is? Can I use it with a mobile phone? And how much is one?
    I would like to be able to use my headphones with my laptop and my mobile phone, so I don't know what an AMP is (well, I kinda do, but...), but it would be better if I could do without it.
  15. ostewart
    Soundmagic HP100
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