Options...too many options
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scottder

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Ok, I've been poking around this forum for about a week or so trying to decide what I want in a set of headphones. I am using this as "portables" (mostly for use at work, a relatively quiet office envoirnment) and will eventually be building my own portable headphone amp (CMoy here I come). I'd like a bit of isolation, but not if it's at the sacrifice of sound. With $150 being the absolute limit of what I can spend (my wife will probably have a stroke at that much, she just doesn't get spending this much money on headpones). Right now I have the cheapest Sony's known to man being driven by my trusty old Rio Volt SP100. I can live with something that doesn't sound it's best without an amp, since building one is definitely in the near future.

I listen mostly to rock, but other things off get slapped into my PCDP from time to time. I may be using these for other applications down the road Here are the options I think I have widdled down to:

Less expensive Options
Sony MDR-V6 $50-70
Sennheser HD-280 Pro $70-80

More Expenive Options
Grado SR-80/125 $95-180
Sennheiser HD580 $160 (hifi4less on ebay includes shipping)

Part of me wants to do this as inexpensivly as I can, the other wants to save up and go for something like the HD580's that are "upgradable" and can grow with me.

I know this is all so very subjective, but I would love to hear peoples input.


Scott
 
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dinosauract

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Wow, you've got a pretty wide selection in your list. Pretty much a cross-section of every type of sound available, all of your selections will sound very different from each other.

I like the 580's the best of what you've listed, but you're gonna have to do some auditioning. Based on what kind of a sound you like, you can get some recommendations here, but its no substitute for listening for yourself. The phones you've listed are so different from each other that its very unlikely that you would like them all.
 
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DarkWolf

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The two phones in your less expensive catagory are both good choices, and fit your description well, give or take gaining a lot from an amp. Neither of them need it very badly. In your more expensive catagory you have only open phones, which will give no isolation in or out. So they might be a poor choice for an office environment. However, if you do decide to go with open phones, you should add the HD 590 to your list and try to find a place to try them out. I like them pretty well and I'm pretty sure that they are in my near future, after some car repairs are paid for. They will also gain from an amp and/or cable upgrades. However, if spending $150 on phones puts your wife in danger of suffering a stroke, spending $120 on a cable will probably turn you into a bachelor.

Anyway, good luck, and try to audition some stuff.
 
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scottder

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I started by reading up on the Sony MDR-V6 and Senn 280's. They may fit my needs currently (as I said anything will be an imporvement) and if they can be driven well by most headphone outputs, that's great. Starting with these as my "Portable rig" and then find something nice for home as well. Like the subject says...so many options...hard to choose. I am leaning towards the Senn 280's simply because they are easier to get my hands on. Anyone have any experince with these phones?
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI: How about the koss portapro 30.00 with the 20.00 coupon from headwize or the Audio-Technica ATH-EM7 Ear-Fitting Headphone 65.00 from audio cubes?
 
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scottder

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Also this is a pretty quiet office (25-30 people, half of which are working from home mos of the time) so isolation doesn't need to be complete (in fact I'd rather it not be TOO complete, since people often have to come ask me questions and what not. In the end good clean natural (without being TOO colored) sound is what I am looking for..
 
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elnero

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First off you say you want these for portable use. The 280's are a fairly big can and personally I wouldn't go walking around with them on. Plus they just make you look too damn dorky. That said if by portable you mean just at the office and you don't mind looking like a dork in front of your co-workers then these are a good choice.

A couple of other considerations are they are one of the best headphones for isolation, I have a telephone right beside me and I can't hear it ring. On the other hand no one else can hear them in the least so I'm not annoying anyone.

The 280's should work fine right out of your soundcard or PCDP without the need for an amp. You say your planning on building an amp so that will only make them better. I use a D25S and Cmoy myself and find it a wonderful combination. The soundstage will be more closed in than an open phone like the 580's but from all accounts the 280's are one of the better closed for soundstage.

I'm not familiar with the V6's or the Grado's but own the 580's. They are definately in a different class than the 280's more laid back, great detail, much bigger soundstage and an ease to the music that the 280's just don't have. IMO they do require some investment in the rest of your gear and upgrades so that should definately be consideration. Being open they leak sound but I don't think they leak as much as some other open cans. You can definately here everything going on around you which may or may not be a good thing.
 
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scottder

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elnero,

Thanks for your input, the more I read reviews and look around I think, for now, the 280's are the best bet for price and sound. Now to learn more about electronics so I can build that CMoy.

Scott
 
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elnero

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I would suggest auditioning the 280's and the V6's and anything else you can for that matter. I didn't have the luxury but I did get to hear the 280's before I decided on them. If you can't I think the 280's are a good starting point.
 
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scottder

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Unfortunetly there aren't many places in the area that carry these phones. So auditioning them isn't really an option.
 
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Jackangel

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What about Beyerdynamic DT 250-80? It's a popular choice, and I _think_ it meets your needs.

I haven't heard them, but these are reasons why I think they'd do well for you (based on my impressions after reading on Head-Fi):

1)You can get it online for $142.95 atB&H.
2)They provide 'reasonable' isolation (12db, according to HeadRoom).
3)They don't need an amp to enjoy, but will benefit significantly from one.
4)They don't look ugly, from the pictures I've seen.
5)They have good sound. The bass, although accentuated, isn't bloated or boomy, but nice and tight.
 
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