Portable closed headphones for iPod
Feb 26, 2006 at 4:28 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

JMBrown

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I am aware that this question or one similar has been asked a rediculous number of times. I spent the last day or so going through those threads, but didn't really find what I was looking for. Basically, I use my iPod (unamped) for travel a lot, and I would like a decent pair of closed headphones. I have used Shure e2c's and I'm not a big fan of IEMs, so those are out. I do enjoy quite a bit of bass, but nothing overwhelming. I listen to punk/alternative/some classical/occasional hip-hop. I would like to limit it to around $70 dollars, though I've been reading this forum for quite sometime and know you guys will slowly try to push my limit to about $1000 dollars
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. My only other criteria is I would like these to be at least decent looking, as I will be using them entirely in public.

Right now I think i've narrowed down to Audio Technica ATH-FC7, Sennheiser EH250, and the AKG k81 DJ (which I'm currently leaning toward). The HD 280s seem to be a little large, and slightly more than what I would like to spend. Again, they must be pretty portable by most standards.

I appologize for posting the same crap everyone else has so many times, but I appreciate your help.

JB
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 10:36 PM Post #2 of 12

Globetrekker

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I also do quite a bit of travelling (work & pleasure) and went through the same dilemna as you did about a year ago. A year later (in no small part to this site!), I have owned Senn PX100, PX200, 212, AKG 26p, and the ATH-FC7. I've now sold or given away all but the FC7. They are all in the same price range and I believe still current production. Of the above, I only did not like the PX200...thin, threadbare, and a nasal coloration on vocals...YMMV. The 212's have the most and deepest bass, but at the expense of everything else. The 26p also has impressive bass, but there is a veil there that I can't live with.

In my experience, the best on-the-go, unamped, under $75. cans...are the PX100 or FC7. They are both on the "darker" side of the sonic spectrum. Between the two, the FC7 has the darker tonal balance but mids sounds cleaner and slightly less grainy. I'm a tube home-audio person and am aversive to grain in my music. The mid-bass is prominent on the FC-7. But if you're constantly on the move or on the plane, the dark tonality and mid-bass "fleshes-out" the music with all the extraneous noise going on. Most other phones sounded thin on the go. I've tried, but not owned, several noise-canceling types and didn't like the noise signals introduced into the music.

The PX100's are also excellent, but are open-air and has virtually no noise isolation...it is also more open sounding then the FC7. The FC7 is closed and provides the best seal without moving up in size. They're fairly small, portable (Ipod drives it fairly well) and well made.

Please keep in mind that my comments are for "on-the-go". At home, when things are much quieter, the above headphones may not be to your liking.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 12:18 AM Post #4 of 12

spraggih

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JMBrown
I am aware that this question or one similar has been asked a rediculous number of times.
...
Right now I think i've narrowed down to Audio Technica ATH-FC7, Sennheiser EH250, and the AKG k81 DJ (which I'm currently leaning toward). The HD 280s seem to be a little large, and slightly more than what I would like to spend. Again, they must be pretty portable by most standards.

I appologize for posting the same crap everyone else has so many times, but I appreciate your help.

JB



JB,

Actually this is a very good, timely post... as many new portable closed headphones have recently come out we need people to weigh in. Unfortunately I have not heard any of the above headphones (I have heard the AKG 26P - too much bass that muddied up the mids but that's me).

Also JJCHA (I think) reviewed the FC7s or ES7s - can't remember. I tried a quick search and a number of hits came up - some explaining why some recently are selling their FC7s.

I would recommend my Eggos but they are a bit lean and given your need for bass... Wish you the best.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 12:55 AM Post #5 of 12

JMBrown

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Thanks. From what I have read, the FC7s are very good. However, before I pull the trigger, I would love to know about the k81 DJs as well. These headphones look very nice and received a great rating from Headroom. To those of you have have already purchased the AKG K81 DJ, if you own the FC7s as well, how do the two compare?

EDIT: I'd like to throw AKG K26p into the mix as well, any thoughts?
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 1:57 AM Post #6 of 12

nsjong

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The AKG closed portable series is considered great...

BUT there is the often worry of durability.
The drivers are connected to the hedband by a very weak piece of plastic (who the hell designed this anyways?) so it might be a good choice to get this.

If you want, also try the HP460's from Philips.
These are mysterious cans, as they only have been reviewed on Amazon.com by 2 people; niether of them giving a good description of the sound.

But I ordered one and it'll arrive in a few weeks...
If you want, you can wait and let me compare it to the PX100's.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 2:21 AM Post #7 of 12

JMBrown

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nsjong
If you want, also try the HP460's from Philips.
These are mysterious cans, as they only have been reviewed on Amazon.com by 2 people; niether of them giving a good description of the sound.



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that may be the least encouraging thing anyone has ever said: "here, try these! but just so you know, the only others to try them said the sucked."

I think I have it narrowed down to the k26p or k 81 dj really. The FC7s are pretty ugly IMO. I know it's a bad reason to not buy headphones, but oh well.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 2:34 AM Post #8 of 12

BigD

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I had ATH-FC5 which were terrible. However the FC-7 seems to get much better rating. As the comfort goes, both supraural FC7 and K81 have considerable clamping force. Actually both use metal band with somewhat rubber parts integrated. Personally the audio technica and akg are very good in terms of fit and finish. No need to worry about cheapo plastic here.

The FC-7 has a self-curling mechanism on the headband design. Very cool indeed. The entire headphone collapse with the natural headband tension and curvature. They're about the same size in cup size and headband.

These two headphones were very comfy due date. As for the sound, there's nothing thin about the k81. It's boooombastic! At www.bluetin.com has the FC7 for $37. Of course k81 can be found at todd and headroom.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 3:33 AM Post #9 of 12

zutme

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I haven't tried any of the headphones mentioned in this thread except the Senn HD 212 Pro. They have a ton of base and have pretty good isolation. Also they sound fine unamped.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 5:46 AM Post #10 of 12

Globetrekker

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As a follow-up to my above comments...from direct experience, I cannot recommend any of the headphones I've owned for travel to be good for home use.

Every one of them are highly colored, and probably designed that way for people on the move. With the exception of the PX200, they all solidly in the Yin (as HP of The Absolute Sound calls it...for old time home-fiers) or the "dark" side. They are far from neutral and accurate.

IMHO, there should be a very clear distinction in the entire headphone industry between home and portable use. And it should be marketed as such. There are companies that try to market a phone that will best serve both purposes. Given the extremely different use environments, I can't see how a company do that without serious compromises. That may explain why many people who buy them, try using portables for critical home listening, then disappointed...end up selling them.

If you want sonic accuracy, the phones won't be portable and probably require an amp (a home one, if you're serious) to sound its best.

Happy Listening..and all the best in your phone quests!
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 8:39 AM Post #11 of 12

timmins

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HI, I own a pair of 26Ps, after about 4 days of use the plastic covering at the plug fell apart to leave exposed wires, also the headbad has lost a considerable amount of force. I hope they've improved with the 81Ps
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 1:37 AM Post #12 of 12

JMBrown

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From what I have read, it would seem that the Audio Technica ATH-FC7s are one of the best non-iem, closed partable headphones for under 100 (obviously the Senn HD-25 and AT ATH-ES7s are much better, but are much more expensive).

Does anyone know of anything that sounds better (for mostly rock) than the FC7s? I've read that the new K26p's suck, and not enough people have heard the 81 DJs to have any solid impressions. So at the time, is there anything better?
 

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