Overwhelmed
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

subwoofer

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Dear All

I am new to Head-Fi and have been browsing extensively. I am a music lover first and listen whenever I can, however poor quality sound bothers me and so I would like to get the best I can for the money.

I have just bought an Archos XS202. It has opened my ears to portable music. A previous cheap mp3 player did nothing for me and is in a drawer now.

I have had many sets of headphones over the years, but have now only got three. I list them here in order of preference

Sony MDR-E747 - Best sounding earbud type I have experienced
Sennheiser HD 320 - Past their best I feel
JVC HA-F7 - Ok as a backup in case the E747s die

I want to buy two sets of headphones, one I think is call the 'canalphone' type and one to replace the HD320s.

There is so much choice and opinion. I don't have much to spend, and I am feeling completely overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

From all my reading it seems like the Sennheiser CX 300 would be good for a canalphone but am completely lost for headphone ideas, is the HD465 any good.

Please help

Thanks
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:12 PM Post #2 of 14

MaxAudioMax

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It would be good to say your "max price" and types of music you listen to to aid people in telling you which ones might be the ones for you. Ultimately the best way is to try them yourself (if you can).

Also, keep looking in the forums if the replies don't keep coming.

I don't know much so I don't want to voice my opinion
orphsmile.gif


Good luck
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM Post #3 of 14

subwoofer

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As suggested, my saying I don't have much to spend doesn't help much. My max price would be about £30 for the canalphones (I have found the CX 300s for £32 delivered) and maybe £50 for the headphones.

I like all types of music, so I don't want headphones tuned to one type of music, I want something that plays the sound as it should be, if that is possible. I can always fiddle with an equaliser later to change the tone.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:41 PM Post #4 of 14

padi89

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Hi,If your looking at Sennheiser 465s you may as well go up to the 485s.I just bought a pair of 485s recently on ebay for absolutely nothing.The seller is great to deal with and she seems to still have a few pairs.They are brand new boxed and the seller is open to offers, i got mine for £32 inc P&P to Ireland,had them in two days.They have a nice fun sound,a bit basey for my liking at the start but it evens out over a weeks listening.Im recommending them to you because they are a steal at the price.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM Post #5 of 14

Elephas

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Welcome to Head-Fi, subwoofer (and padi89).

Have you considered combining your budget for one headphone? Canalphones such as the Westone UM1 (about US$110) Shure E2c (US$100) or Etymotic ER6i (US$100) are OK, but a bit more than your budget. Note that I've never heard the UM1. Earbuds such as the Sony EX71 are good for exercising with, but have too much muddy bass and don't sound very good.

I suggest spending US$100 for an Alessandro MS1. It's an open headphone that may not look stylish, but I think it's the best-sounding headphone around its price range and better than the canalphones mentioned above.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 1:35 PM Post #6 of 14

subwoofer

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Hi Elephas

I take your point of combining the budgets, but I do really want both types. The canal phones to reduce background noise while out and about, and the headphones for more rounded sound while at home (and not having to have things stuck inside my ears).

I may be making a wrong assumption, but would it be fair to say that a cheaper headphone can more easily match or exceed the quality of a canalphone? (due mainly to the size of the driver, bigger being better).
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 2:39 PM Post #7 of 14

sgrossklass

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I'll second the HD485 suggestion in case of full-sized cans - it has been noted that these sound similar to the old HD4x5s (455/465/475) which in turn were updated HD3x0 models, and they provide better comfort due to the circumaural earpads. The HD320 is known to suffer from driver (and thus sound) deterioration after several hundred hours so your observation may well be correct.

As for the canalphones, the CX300 looks like a decent choice; from what one reads it appears to be a Sharp MD33 OEM (like the Creative EP630) tuned for European ears. It's a bit of a FOTM here right now.

I would say that yes, inexpensive headphones tend to fare better than inexpensive canalphones, but canalphones have been improving and become more diverse lately. They do offer some notable advantages over classic earbuds - since they seal the ear canal, smaller drivers can be used while still providing good bass response, and for the same reason they offer a medium reduction in outside noise levels. On a tight budget, I might still prefer, say, a HD205 to an EP630 or the more expensive CX300.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 2:11 AM Post #8 of 14

LaBreaHead

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Hi, Subwoofer. If you do get canal phones, keep in mind that the Sennheisers have the "L-shaped" "neck chain" cords (the cord for the right earpiece drapes around the back of the neck ... maybe it was originally designed for skateboarders, I don't know), while the Creatives have the traditional "Y-shaped" cords, in which the cord is the same length for each ear piece and the cords meet in a "Y" shape somewhere below your chin. Of course, this might not make any difference to you.

I won't tell you how to spend your money (right -- like that's not why we're here
evil_smiley.gif
), but try to think ahead and consider whether you're the sort who might upgrade soon, and frequently, to the detriment of your wallet. I happen to have overloaded on low-end stuff, and it's fun to try out different things. But I can't justify Sennheiser 555's right now, and certainly not anything above that level. Maybe late in the year ... So I miss out on some of the really good stuff.

Anyway, if you're incredibly disciplined (but then, why would you be here?), perhaps you can stick to your plan of getting one set of canal phones and a modestly good set of headphones. Then in a year or two, you can start upgrading. But if you're the type to second-guess yourself just six weeks from now, why not go for the upgrade sooner, rather than later?

If I never upgrade past my current collection of IEMs/canal phones, I'll have done far better than I would have before stumbling onto Head-Fi. But I know I'll be upgrading further -- perhaps I should have gotten into the "deep end" a little sooner.
_______________________________

PS: Let me propose a possible alternative. Get some more "serious" IEMS now (don't get me wrong, I hope to get either the Creatives or the Sennheisers someday), and tide yourself over with the bargain-priced Koss PortaPro's (check the threads) or perhaps the Sennheiser 100's until you've saved up for and settled on some killer headphones for home use. That's one idea. (Where would you be listening the most?)

Or, get the Sennheiser canal phones as planned, but still get one of the "big bang for the buck ... or pound ... or Euro" portable headphones now. They'll sound fun and provide listening enjoyment while you plot your "serious" headphone acquisition. Just a couple of thoughts ...

Enjoy whatever you end up with!
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 9:38 AM Post #9 of 14

subwoofer

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I won't be upgrading in a few weeks time so want to get something good.

The canalphones are sorted as I have now ordered the CX300s (for £32.99 delivered).

Missed out on the HD485s on ebay, someone had them before me. So still don't have a final choice for headphone.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM Post #10 of 14

nickchen

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We've "equipped" almost a dozen newbees with the HD485 in the German hifi forum, none of them was ever disappointed of the HD485. Kinda "mini-legendary" cans meanwhile over here.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 12:13 PM Post #11 of 14

allenf

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Quote:

Originally Posted by subwoofer
and maybe £50 for the headphones.


£50 for the headphones is only £8 short of the $99 Alessandro require to supply AND ship a new pair of MS1s to your door. That is what I would do if I was starting over
wink.gif
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 4:52 PM Post #12 of 14

subwoofer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by allenf
£50 for the headphones is only £8 short of the $99 Alessandro require to supply AND ship a new pair of MS1s to your door. That is what I would do if I was starting over
wink.gif



Aren't Alessandro based in the USA? Is it really £58 including delivery, to the UK? How long does it take to arrive?

Are the MS1s also comfortable to wear, as well as sounding great? If they sound really good they will have to be comfortable as I will end up wearing them for a long time
wink.gif
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 5:20 PM Post #13 of 14

Cyrilix

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Quote:

Originally Posted by subwoofer
Aren't Alessandro based in the USA? Is it really £58 including delivery, to the UK? How long does it take to arrive?

Are the MS1s also comfortable to wear, as well as sounding great? If they sound really good they will have to be comfortable as I will end up wearing them for a long time
wink.gif



I think that the MS-1s are quite comfortable. They use the comfy pads. I've never worn bowls, so I wouldn't know about the comfort of other Grados, but the MS-1s are decent (not as good as my Beyer velour of course).
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 7:53 PM Post #14 of 14

allenf

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Quote:

Originally Posted by subwoofer
Aren't Alessandro based in the USA? Is it really £58 including delivery, to the UK? How long does it take to arrive?

Are the MS1s also comfortable to wear, as well as sounding great? If they sound really good they will have to be comfortable as I will end up wearing them for a long time
wink.gif



Whatever $99 is at today's exchange rate.
If you search this forum for MS1 you will find a lot of threads on 1) sound, 2) comfort, and 3) delivery time.
The answers tend to be 1) fantastic value for money 2) love 'em or hate 'em and 3) a few days to a couple of weeks or three.
 

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