Please help! Best headphones for my specific situation
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nipponbiki

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OK, hello everyone, I am new to this site/forum. I was hoping yall could help me out. First, my source. I just bought a Creative Zen Xtra 30G portable mp3 player. So, first of all, studio headphones obviously dont apply. I would be willing to also purchase an amp/and or other equipment if necessary.

Second, the kind of music I listen to. I listen to a variety of things, but what I mainly listen to is old school jungle/drumnbass from 1994-1996 and some of the newer stuff using analogue modeling which sounds just so great. This is what I listen to 80% of the time. I like the bass to be strong(i always hate it when a song opens with a strong bass line, but as soon as the other music kicks in the bass gets turned down a notch) but not muddying up the song. I want to hear the detail of the intricate snares, but my ears cant tolerate screechy highs. dog whistles bother me. and background harmony, like thick strings. I cant stand it when i can barely hear them, i personally like them more in the foreground if possible. I also listen to alot of Kitaro, which is kinda the opposite of jungle, so I want to enjoy every detail and feeling of warmth his music has. I also like symphony music from time to time, mostly like movie soundtrack type symphony. One of my most favorite albums is one from Kitaro and also happens to be the soundtrack to Heaven and Earth, with Tommy Lee Jones. I love the symphony with the chinese voilin/mandolin type instrument. I also listen to some trance, etc. (side note: with some instruments on aphex twin and enigma albums in particular, certain higher pitched synthesizer sounds make the speaker bleed/crackle? anyway, its very distorted and annoying. and i have yet to hear any loudspeaker or headphone to a japanese huge taiko drum properly)

Lastly, the price isnt really a concern. Like I said earlier, I am also willing to buy other equipment/upgrades if necessary. I would prefer something as portable as possible, but sound takes precedence over anything else.

Thank you so much in advance for any help you guys can give me.
 
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taylor

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Sounds like you want Grados, they fit your description pretty nicely.

They are pretty light, but do not fold.

Two good choices:
SR-225, $200. I've heard these and they seem pretty good.
MS-1, $100, I have not heard these, but the consensus seems to be that they are more musical than the SR series, but still have the detail and excellent bass of the SR.
 
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Oddball

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If you're using the headphones for a portable situation, you might want to look into higher end canalphones. The Grados would be great for your situation if you don't mind lack of isolation or sound leaking from them. Some names for you are Shure, Etymotic, Sensaphonics, and Ultimate Ears.

The cheapest ones are the Shure e2c and Etymotic er-6, next comes the Shure e3c, and the highest non-custom canalphones are the Shure e5c and Etymotic er-p/s. The best canalphones are the custom ones which are very $$$. But you can also get custom molds for some of the others. The custom canalphones are generally more comfortable.

When deciding whether to invest in a Shure or an Ety, it's mostly a difference in sound quality. Since I haven't heard an Etymotic, I can't say much about it, but Shures are generally more fun, pop/rock sort of phone while the Ety is the more neutral and accurate one. There is much debate over which is better and the best solution for you is to try them out. Headroom and Todd (both sponsors with links on the front page) have excellent return policies.

And most of all, I would really recommend setting a price limit. It's not unheard of to use $1,000 headphones with an mp3 player.
 
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BigD

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Quote:

Two good choices:
SR-225, $200. I've heard these and they seem pretty good.
MS-1, $100, I have not heard these, but the consensus seems to be that they are more musical than the SR series, but still have the detail and excellent bass of the SR.


Me,too. Taylor.

Grado's 32ohms impedance is very easy to drive from HD players. No need for amp, however, of course it's always better with amp.
Just got sr225, they're definite improvement over sr125. No grating highs, warmer and tight deeper bass make sr225 very ideal for guitar, drum, male vocal. If compared to cars, SR225=subaru impreza STi.
 
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saint.panda

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nipponbiki
Lastly, the price isnt really a concern.




Quote:

Originally Posted by nipponbiki
Like I said earlier, I am also willing to buy other equipment/upgrades if necessary. I would prefer something as portable as possible, but sound takes precedence over anything else.


Well, if you want maximum portability, then an amp might be a hassle and the Sennheiser HD 25 would be your choice: excellent and very balanced sound, very good isolation, good bass, no amp needed. 120$

If you can live with an portable amp, then the best, really portable amps (meaning it's not too big) are probably the porta corda II (around 180$) or the upcoming Xin Superdual (will be around 150$) or a Pimeta (from 150-200$ depending on the configuration although this one isn't very portable), the Xin Supermicro/Supermini (150$/120$).

For headphones: If you want BASS, then the Beyerdynamic 770 is probably for you because this one has (most likely) the most bass among almost all headphones. However, the sound isn't too balanced from what I remember. And it isnt' really small...
other choices with lots of bass: Ultrasone HFI 700 (aka 650 DVD Edition, around 180$), or the Sony V6 (around 60-80$haven't heard this one personally but it's supposed to have a lot of bass, but not very balanced bass).

All the headphones mentioned are closed headphones that provide isolation.
If you want open headphones, then that's a completely different story.

And the alternative is, as has been said, always the canalphones, although from my experience (short audition of all the Shure headphones) you won't feel the bass impact as much as on a full-sized headphone.
 
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toaster

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sounds like the e5's would be right up your alley.
 
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taylor

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Canalphones have bass, but from what i've read the bass is not really felt. Many people find them uncomfortable.
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by taylor
Canalphones have bass, but from what i've read the bass is not really felt. Many people find them uncomfortable.


Dual driver canalphones has plenty of bass, just as much as any full-size headphones. However, you do need to move to dual-driver canalphones to get that type of bass, single-driver just won't do.

It takes some adjustment to get used to wearing them, but they're not always uncomfortable for everyone.. it's personal preference.
 
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bangraman

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E5's are good but you might end up wanting for something. Slightly too chopped off highs is the #1 annoyance of this phone, otherwise it'd be pretty much perfect IMO. Perhaps it's a good idea to have a chat with the custom earphone guys here (Lindrone for a start, and someone else who got the other one? Welly Wu???)


Headphone wise, you could do a lot worse than the (I'm in broken record mode) Sennheiser HD25-1 for this type of music while retaining portability.
 
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PinkFloyd

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AKG 141 S (studio) will fit the bill nicely (55ohm). http://www.akg.com/products/powersla...nguage,EN.html

Oh.... and...... welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet (standard Greeting
)

Doesn't anyone welcome newcomers anymore??

All the best.

Pinkie.

PS: for sheer portability and high quality sound on the move be sure to check out the Jecklins: Portability
 
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thermota

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Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda




Well, if you want maximum portability, then an amp might be a hassle and the Sennheiser HD 25 would be your choice: excellent and very balanced sound, very good isolation, good bass, no amp needed. 120$



Sorry for sidetracking, but where in the world do you get HD25's for anything less than 160? I think those froogle hits that were mentioned a while ago upped their prices. Not to mention you'd prolly want a reliable merchant.
 
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nipponbiki

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well, thanks everyone for all the feedback. first, about the grados. from what i have read on other sites and stuff, the grados tend to be better geared for rock. is this true? if so, i cant see the same thing being good for rock and drumnbass. any ideas?

second, maybe a should clarify a bit more. i cant buy studio phones as i will be going out with these phones. i will mainly listen on my commute to work and home, which is by public train, so maybe the ear plug type with the sound isolation would be good. could anyone give me more info about those, especially the custom type? at any rate, full size phones are out.

also, i am not a basshead, but my music has bass, its not complete without it, so it has to be there. i just want to hear it as its supposed to be heard, not more or less.

thanks a bunch, everyone!
 
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taylor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nipponbiki
well, thanks everyone for all the feedback. first, about the grados. from what i have read on other sites and stuff, the grados tend to be better geared for rock. is this true? if so, i cant see the same thing being good for rock and drumnbass. any ideas?

second, maybe a should clarify a bit more. i cant buy studio phones as i will be going out with these phones. i will mainly listen on my commute to work and home, which is by public train, so maybe the ear plug type with the sound isolation would be good. could anyone give me more info about those, especially the custom type? at any rate, full size phones are out.

also, i am not a basshead, but my music has bass, its not complete without it, so it has to be there. i just want to hear it as its supposed to be heard, not more or less.

thanks a bunch, everyone!



Grados are detailed with good bass, by no means a rock-only phone.
With canalphones, the bass is there but is not felt.
 
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hottyson

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nipponbiki
I like the bass to be strong(i always hate it when a song opens with a strong bass line, but as soon as the other music kicks in the bass gets turned down a notch) but not muddying up the song.


All of the reccomendations so far have been really good. YOu may also want to consider the Koss PortaPro. It is very portable, works pretty good unamped, and has LOTS of bass. The only problem is that the bass of the Koss PortaPro has no definition (muddy) whatsoever. On the plus side it sounds pretty good for the price.
 
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