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On ear headphone short-list

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by dimmockg, Apr 2, 2012.
  1. dimmockg
    After flirting with the sennheiser px360 and deciding I wanted 'better or more' I find I'm back to square one....

    I've tried a few over ears - denon 1100, shure srh840 etc but have decided I prefer the lighter on ear headphones. I've listened to a couple of pairs:

    Marshall's - cannot remember which ones as they failed to entertain

    Audio technica - middle of the road really not sure of the model but they were £50

    Sennheiser sp 2's - certainly the best of the bunch so far, offered a little more controlled bass than the px360's

    So as a result of listening to the sennheiser I decided I wanted on ear headphones and after reading for a few weeks and searching and searching my short list is:

    Akg k450 - like the design, style, reviews seem good and like the removable cable

    Audio technica es55 - pretty much all of the above except lacking the removable cable

    Naturally the sennheiser sp2's, but this leads me on to ask....

    Are the hd25's worth the extra (£40 in the uk) and if I purchased one of the above am I likely to wonder what would have been and ended up with the sennheiser hd25 ii's anyway?

    My source is iPhone 4
    320kbps or better
    Dance/house music
    Will be used with fiio e11 and lod cable

    Budget £160 absolute tops (nice for the hd25's)

    Is there anything else, on ear, good with the above music/source, isolate well and of good build quality etc

    Thanks all

  2. NA Blur
    Rest assured that the HD-25-1-ii is an awesome headphone.  I would have not worries about using them as portables or for home use.  They are just amazing.
    Other headphones in this genre are the V-Moda M80 and beyerdynamic DT1350.
    I rank them as follows:
    #1 :  beyer DT1350
    Very well balances
    Awesome fit
    Good seal
    Somewhat neutral from a portable with small drivers
    #2 :  HD-25-1-ii
    Tiny bit bass heavy
    Great fit and feel
    Built well
    Tried and true design and sound signature
    #3 : V-Moda M80
    Look awesome
    More bass than I prefer
    Can be uncomfortable until the ear pieces are bent
    Best case I have ever seen from a set of headphones
  3. dimmockg
    my searching and reading continues.....
    i've tried the akg k450's (have them on loan) - I generally like them but to me they're no better than the sennheiser px360 they could replace. Early days with these, but i'm certainly on the right path for the following reasons:
    portability - ideal
    folding - ideal
    detachable cable - ideal
    carry pouch - ideal
    extra's - ideal
    sound quality - not 100% sure i can pass comment, some of my tracks i love the sound, some i find i'm reaching for the skip button on the source or trying eq options to peg things (bass mainly) back a little - on my iphone i find "pop" the best option at the moment
    for everything bar the sound quality which is the most important thing these fit my needs pefectly, i'll keep looking for a pair which potentially fit all my needs but as per usual I keep coming back to the hd 25's - the only drawback I see with this set of headphones is that they don't completely fold
    i feel the search is nearing an end, but just wanted to make sure there isn't that "golden" set of phones out there!!!
    If the akg's were more consistent in their sound and a little clearer on some tracks they'd be the pair, but alas they fall a shade short in the sq dept for me
  4. OK-Guy
    I've gone for the Amperiors over the HD-25 (new improved version apparently with metal cups over plastic ones).... I'd steer well clear of the V-Moda M-80's they're very limited in soundstage & music genres, great packaging, design & case but that is clear  that is where the bulk of your money is going.
    The Audio-Technica's are very good indeed across a whole range of music genres, most of my listening has been done with the ES7  (though I also own ES55's) and they really do open up after 30-40 hrs burn-in & I don't see any reason for that to be any different for the smaller-brother version the ES55.
    Where the V-Moda is the style icon of most headphones, both the AT models have understated class about them imo good value for money.
  5. dimmockg
    Many thanks for the input, I've also added:

    Aiaiai tma1's
    Wesc bassoon
    Akg k181
    Akg k540

    And another one (cannot remember which) to investigate.

    I've also been looking further at beyerdynamic dt1350 but don't think budget permits

    Not discounted the es55's but want to cover as many bases as possible before taking the plunge.

    Used the akg 450's again today, sound wise they seemed to have settled a bit but now I'm finding they lack a little clamping force despite re-adjusting about 4 times.

  6. andyj34
    Like yourself I'm on the never-ending quest in finding the "perfect" pair of headphones. My recent acquistion is the AKG-450 which is great; has loads of bass, good mid-range and okay treble, which I bought for £60 around three weeks ago.
    They are quite portable and comes supplied with a nifty case.
    Like most on-ear headphones, you ears tend to become warm and ca lamping sensation is felt after extended use but this is applicable to most on-ear 'phones.
    The negatives; owing to the pads not completely cover your ear lugs, noise isolation could be better so one tends to compensate by increasing the volume ever so slightly. As my musical palate tends to veer from jazz, rock to hip-hop (mid 90's and earlier), electronica/future beats (Quantic, TM Juke, Mr Scruff) and neo-soul artists such as Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamiton, Bilal  bass is an important feature which the AKG delivers but at times at the expense of treble, in my opinion
    All in all the AKG 450 are highly commendable especially if you can buy them for £50 but they're not perfect so the hunt continues.
    On my hit-list is the Sennheiser HD-25-1-ii but at £160 (or thereabouts)  they're a bit too rich for me and the Marley Freedom on-ear headphones which I've just auditioned at my local HMV.
    The Marley headphones sounded very impressive and if possible visit your local HMV retailer for an audition.
  7. dimmockg
    i think i share much the same opion on the k450's seem good at what they do for their size & potential cost.
    pads that go on and circle the ear would certainly preferable, hence looking at alternative models
    i'll check out my local HMV at the weekend, it was their I listened to sennheiser px360, hd sp2's and a few other models, they tend to have beats headphones out which unfortunately tend to be swarmed by loads of teens so getting close to the other phones can be a problem :)
  8. OK-Guy


    I know HMV has a lot of convenience about it but try and find a local Richer-Sounds or Sevenoaks hi-fi branch, if you aint got one near you look in the yellow-pages for a local hi-fi dealer and phone to find out what they carry then go and listen at you leisure, be warned they all try to impress brands on you but let your ears decide & take a day out to make up your mind.... try not to listen to Cans that are outside your budget as you will probably be disappointed (in a way) with what you had to settle on..... stay away from 'lifestyle' products like Beats or V-Moda as the SQ does not reflect the price you are paying for them.
    Yes, I have both the ES55 & ES7's for sale, for their RRP price point they are excellent value for money, the difference between the two is the soundstage SQ wise there is hardly any difference so add both to your list of 'to listen to' headphones.
    I'm quite lucky I have a bit of money to play around investigating headphones to go with my new Walkman Z-Series (serious bit of kit if your into music) but even I have set budgets as the dosh I'm playing around with will soon be required for my new home set-up, so I want to sort things pdq for my on-ear cans, after my upgrade I'll try and justify to myself if I want to chuck some serious money at a portable set-up because in truth it will never ever be able to compete with a decent hi-fi set-up.


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