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New phones for mostly alternative and metal

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by bartian, Mar 6, 2013.
  1. bartian
    Hi there,
    Im looking for a new pair of headphones. I mostly listen to alternative rock, metal, and more like that. My budget is around E200.
    At the moment I have Shure SHR240A, but I noticed they give me a headache after around an hour or so. I don't exactly know why. It feels like there is a lot of pressure on my ears, really annoying. Music volume isn't the problem since I alway use low volume, and even when music is off the feeling stays. 
    Therefore, and because I want better sound quality, I'm looking for new phones. After some research I stumbled upon Grado, which is praised everywhere around the internet. I thought about ordering some sr225i but they are really(!) hard to get here in the Netherlands. Also, I prefer circumaural, plus, mostly when everyone is full of praise of something it appears a great deal of this praise is just "oh everyone says it is good, let's agree so it's like I know everything of it". I really have no idea if this is the case, but I'm careful when there's only positive opinions. 
    Are there more people out here with the same preferences but with a matching pair of headphones? Any opinions about Grado or are there other phones better matching my preferences? 
    Thanks in advance! 
  2. paaj
    around ¹£÷ÉÄÅÞÜÚÍÓÖÁ? You wan't to scream at the salesman in the hope he'll just give them to you?
    Where will you use them? What have you heard (and liked/disliked) before?
  3. bartian
    Lol, sorry, I was looking for a euro-sign using ctrl, alt and more like that, when suddenly I apparently found a shortcut for posting :p
    I will mostly use them at home. I'm an audio-noob, so I don't know  lot of phones. I want them to separate guitars, voices and everything, so I can hear what they are doing. For instance, listen to Dinosaur Jr with your PC-speakers and try to listen what he is singing. It's a mess, and I want that mess to be somewhat more organized.
    Oh, and I don't have an amp or whatever. Didn't even know there were headphones needing them O_o
  4. paaj
    You can find Grado here, but they are very expensive compared the the US prices. For Grado's, your best bet is getting them from the FS section here on Head-Fi, a webshop in the US that 'forgot' the Grado shipping embargo, or the Alessandro versions (which do ship straight from manufacturer).
    Getting a used one (Grado or other) also reduces your risks as you can resell with only a small loss.
    I've had the SR125, 325i, HF2 and RS1i. RS1i was by far the best of the lot, the SR125 was lean, the SR325i much better but piercing highs, the HF2 a bit dull. I hear the SR225 is actually pretty close to the RS1 sound.
    Something they share in my experience is that they do sound very good with good recordings and especially guitars and the like, but I found them struggling a bit with louder 'congested' music. That's with hindsight though, I really liked them at the time and would love to have the RS1i around.
    You'll be fine without an amp at first if you have an amplifier or anything to put them into. A basic soundcard may struggle a bit though.
    If necessary a decent starting amp like the O2 is very affordable at about €100
    BTW, Sony's MDR-1R can now be found for a €100 on Marktplaats since many people got one for free with a smartphone. Just got one yesterday so I need some getting used to but so far it has a very addictive sound. 
    Just put up some of that Dinosaur Jr. and I think that's exactly the type of music (well... mastering) that I found Grado to struggle with.
  5. bartian
    Hm, better no Grado then? 
    Do you know how they do with music like System of a Down, The Birthday Massacre, or less heavy music like Simon&Garfunkel?
  6. paaj
    System of a Down was decent in my memory, certainly the older albums, and they will really shine with S&G and other (older / well recorded) guitar-based music.
  7. bartian
    Do you have any idea about what could cause the pain in my ears I described in the OP? I heard something about people being sensitive to certain sounds, could that be the problem? Or can closed phones cause too much pressure? In that case, open ones would probably be better, so a point for Grado. 
    By the way, my guitar amp should do the same as a portable amp, shouldn't it? 
    I also came across some Beyers(dt770-dt990), how do those do? And what about AKG Q701?
  8. bartian
    After some more research I problably need the Grados. Are there circumaural equivalents to these? If not I'll get the sr225i. 
  9. Tsujigiri
    Reviews of Grados are not all positive. Plenty of people don't like them. I liked mine when I first got them, but after being exposed to other headphones, I found them to be far too fatiguing and ended up selling them. They hurt my ears sonically and physically. They're very uncomfortable and the build isn't that great. But if you like that really aggressive sound signature they work. I got the Beyerdynamic DT770-80s for closed headphones and like them much better. The DT880's are more neutral, or you could go for Sennheisers with their warm, laid back sound signature. I hear that they're cheaper in Europe than here.
  10. Zashoomin
    If you find Shure to be fatiguing than I don't think Grados are the right choice for you.  They are on ear so in my expirience you will not be able to wear them for long periods of time.  Also they are one of those headphones that you either love or hate because they have a very unique sound signature.
  11. bartian
    Thanks for the answers!
    Which Senns do you recommend then? Today I tried some hd598, but they really have too weak mids. I actually like the sound of my Shures, but want something less fatigueing, more comfortable and with better sound quality. I also tried some open-back Shures, and I think I like open phones. Problem is Shure lacks bass in my opinion. 
    I found a store(Hobo Hifi, dat name XD) in my city selling both Beyer and Grado, so I'll go and hear them if they're in stock. 
    Just tried all phones they had, and I have to say I'm really impressed by the Beyer DT880 ! Response seems quite similar with the Grado sr325 I tried, but the Beyers have a much wider sound and are less sharp but sound somewhat polite. They're like: hi there, listener, have a nice warm cup of tea and listen to this music I put up for you, while I go mind my own business. They are not as hot and sweaty like a lot of Senns, but really cosy and comfortable. In contrast, the Grado sound really sharp and accurate, but are more like: HERE HAVE THIS CUP OF TEA!!! HAVE IT!! I understand some people like that, but I don't. Even with heavy metal it still sounds too agressive. This seems fine at first since the music is agressive too, but then you hear the phones are angry with you instead of with the rest of the world, like the music is. Not my cup of tea, as the Beyers would say if they could talk. Both Beyers and Grados sound like they feel, interestingly.
    I also tried some other Beyer, Denon and Grado. I have to say I prefer my cheap-ass Shures above $200 Denons. 
    What I also noticed is that Dinosaur Jr is really "meh" on both dt880 and sr325. On dt990 it was a lot better, but those lack the mids I want for my other music. 
    I got them to order a pair of DT880, which I can pick up next week. 
    Thanks for your opinions. 

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