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Please help me get out of this hell (I'm suffering)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by weddingnails, Oct 21, 2012.
  1. WeddingNails
    Hello Head-Fi community. I'm desperatly seeking your help to finish this excruciating pain my ears are suffering. I'm currently listening to my music with iphone headphones (imagine). I think it's high time I finally buy some quality cans for my ears. As "background info", I've owned several "skullcandy" headphones (don't judge me hahaha), but each of them broke due to cheap quality (what a surprise...).
    I'm looking for some headphones which will provide durability and quality, and also serve me for 2 main purposes: gaming and enjoying music.
    Music is a big part of my daily life, I listen to lots of albums on a daily basis. All my music is in mp3 320 kbps, DVD's with 5.1 mixes, blu rays, and some FLAC files. I've seen several posts, and people who look for advice put the genres they listen to (I figured that's for the bass and mids of each particular headphone): mainly progressive rock and metal, indie-mellow music, some hardcore-screamo and sometimes a bit of electronica. I really love paying attention to what's happening musically inside the songs, so the headset must be "clear".  To name a few of my favourite bands and musicians, and to give you guys an idea what I'll be listening to the most, I would say Porcupine Tree, Between the Buried and Me, Gojira, Converge, Radiohead, Regina Spektor, Animals as Leaders, Arctic Monkeys, Crystal Castles, everything Steven Wilson...
    As for the gaming part, I have some doubts with my computer. In audio terms, I have an integrated chip (Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC ), and when I was trying to choose a "gaming" headphone, I came with all these "7.1", "surround sound" and such terms. I know the sound provided by these headphones is emulated, but will my actual computer setup serve well for headphones like these (I've seen they require an expensive  sound card)? As a side note, I've reserched a bit and learned that I should stay away from "gaming headphone brands" (razer and such). I don't really need all that fancy "positional audio emulation" as I don't really play FPS. I enjoy adventure games, RPG, MMO (League of Legends), etc.
    Summing up, I'd love to buy a headset which will sound excelent (like surround, would be awesome if you guys could clear me up the 5.1/7.1 thing with headphones), not "flat", be comfortable, have a little bass, and will make me able to enjoy my music (the most important for me) and playing a few games once in a while without hurting my ears (before the iphone headphones I was using sound-proof cans for playing drums... After long sessions my ears would literally be really red and swollen. Btw, my budget is 170, but depending on the features and your advice I would extend a bit. Anddd they must be somehow soundproof, No sound filtering to the outside (to get more "inside the music, you know)
    I will buy these online as I live in a town where I don't have access to much "testing" of what I buy. That's why I'm asking for advice here and of course trusting you guys. Thank you very much, and hope to not have bored you.
  2. obobskivich
    Do you need for the headphones to provide any isolation of external sounds, or can they be open-backed (they will leak noise in from outside, and leak noise to the outside world)?

    If they can be open-backed, I'd suggest the Ultrasone HFI-2400 or Grado SR-225i, if they must be closed and provide isolation, the Sennheiser HD 380Pro, Bose AE2, Koss TBSE (or DJ100), or Creative Aurvana Live! are all good choices.

    Regarding 5.1/7.1 headsets, they normally have many drivers, and usually don't sound as good as a quality pair of stereo headphones as a result. Some of them are also incredibly uncomfortable. The surround imaging you can get from a good pair of stereo headphones is fairly good though (it won't replace 5.1 speakers, but it's still pretty good). The bulk of the models I suggested have "tricks" to improve the surround experience.
  3. WeddingNails

    Thanks for your response. After writing my post, I just realized it lacked information about that particular preference, I need them to be closed. Sorry. Also, what about "amps"? in which situations would you advice the use of these things? hahaha, I expect this purchase to be a rebirth for me :p.
  4. ayaflo
    Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro will suit most of what you crave for however an amp might be necessary 
  5. ayaflo
    a closed pair would be the dt 770 pros..however theres a great difference between that and the dt 990s ...
    If you are planning for inside house listening, simply get the dt 990 pros.. they are an experience in itself .. and isolation wont matter with the huge soundstage they give..very immersive experience
  6. McPatD
    Shure SRH840 serviced me nicely in early times of "discovery".  They are my reference for all intents and purposes.  I just play Van Halen's "Push Comes To Shove" and all becomes clear and they are the yardstick. 
  7. ayaflo
    the 840s are not as spacious as the beyers and won't fulfill the 5.1/7.1 experience as much as the beyers .. imho! 
  8. WeddingNails

    Hi, the thing with these phones is that they require an amplifier... For what I've read, they seem really good, but what turns me down is the need of an amp, which can be way more expensive than I tought. Thanks for your advice though. So far, and taking into account all your recommendations, I got to decide within these headphones:
    1. Sennheiser HD 380Pro
    1. Koss TBSE (or DJ100)
    2. Creative Aurvana Live!
    3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
    4. Shure SRH840
    The first 4 ones seem a little too "light" for my taste, I want perhaps something more "robust". The Shure seems right to me. If you guys have more suggestion, I'm more than glad to hear them. I wish I had a way of tasting each headphones you guys are suggesting. Sigh. Thanks again!
  9. ayaflo
    I would not even think of including the AE 2 in that list. 
    To my ears they have a fake kinda clarity appeal that might wow you at first and bad resale value.
    the dt 770 pro 80 ohms with a fiio e6 is much inside your budget. they have a huge bass, mids that are not very recessed, slightly distant but dry (to my ears) ..and a bright treble..very good build quality
    the dt 990 pros with the fiio e6 are my best bet. i dont think isolation would matter once you get those beasts on. they have superb build quality and extremely good value for 150 bucks ...
    everytime i searched for stuff on a budget, i always found a better deal for a few dollars more.
  10. ayaflo
    the CAL! is also something special. very less isolation whatsoever but superb sound for the price ( if you can get them at 60 bucks)
  11. Loevhagen
    The CAL! is my default headphone on travel (save airplanes; QC-15) and whenever I am not able to use my fixed headfone rigs. The CAL! is a fantastic headphone. The only drawbacks are that they do not isolate that much (factual) and that they are quite small and has a form factor that is something between over / on ear (subjective). I paid less than $70 for mine in Norway. VFM in practice. 
  12. Roller
    Ultrasone HFI-580 or HFI-780, both closed, both punchy, the first having more emphasized bass, the second being more balanced.
    And do stay away from any "5.1" or "7.1" headphones/headsets, those are all garbage when compared to proper headphones.
  13. WeddingNails

    I can't really seem to find those deals here in Canada... Either Beyerdynamic headphone alone would cost me roughly around 170-190$. The list now:
    1. Sennheiser HD 380Pro (quite expensive for my budget though)
    1. Koss TBSE (or DJ100)
    2. Creative Aurvana Live! (CAL!)
    3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
    4. Shure SRH840
    5. Ultrasone HFI-580/HFI-780
    Really loving the design of each of these headphones. Been reading some reviews also, and they are all totally worth it. I will surely have to give up on a couple of those because of the price though. Thank you all for the participation. If you have experience with any of the cans listed, feel free to drop me any info I should know, and the same way if you feel one particular headphone must be on this list or the opposite.
  14. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
  15. Roller
    About amps, I think you should get something like a PA2V2, Fiio E11, O2 or Fiio E9. Don't get anything below that level, like Fiio E5/E6, as they will add little to the sound, but will add more background noise.

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