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Portable Headphones For Listening to Rock/Hard Rock music mainly

  1. G_T_J
    Hi everybody.
    I'm after a pair of portable, lightweight headphones that I'm planning to use for listening (mainly) to rock/hard rock/metal music.
    I want them portables but probably I'm going to use them indoors equally much as outdoors as I only own a pair of Porta Pros and I would love to expand my sonic experience a bit. Apart from the Koss Porta Pros, I've never had any other pair of portables or full sized headphones.. I've always had IEMs instead and, as you could expect, my knowledge in this field is rather limited.
    I'm sitting between Brainwavz HM3, AKG K450 and B&W P3. The P3s are my favourite by far in terms of looks & easthetics and this is why I would be ready to pay a bit more.for them.
    Of course, I'm open to any other suggestion within a reasonable price tag.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    JVC HA-S500 folding headphones.
    G_T_J likes this.
  3. vsls
    I'm quite happy with the JVC HA-S500 they may seem a tad bassy sometimes for these genres but the 3D imaging and the fullness of sound especially for live concerts is more than impressive.
    I use them consistently for 6 months listening to similar genres
  4. G_T_J
    Thanks for your suggestions guys.
  5. hatefulsandwich
    I personally don't think the S500 are brilliant for Rock music. Sorry to be contrary, just my experience. They're decent all-round performers, but I think their strength lies in Electronic music. They ARE NOT bad earphones at all, in fact they're excellent especially considering the price. I just wouldn't make them a top recommendation for Rock music.

    Since getting the Alessandro MS-1, I haven't used the S500 for... Well, anything since. I actually even enjoy electronic through them. I keep the S500 in case I need closed cans again. Granted, the MS1 is quite a different price and quite a different application considering it's open. This might not make it suitable for you wanting to use them portably and I don't actually know what your price range is.

    The S500 are a more V-shaped sound signature while I personally think that Rock music really lives in the Mids, hence why Grado are so commonly touted for genres involving distorted guitars (actually, even non-distorted ones are great). Good news, however, is that the JVC S400 are often recommended for stronger mids and they're cheaper than the S500s. I can't personally recommend them as I haven't heard them, but it's something to consider. If you're into bass, though, apparently they can be disappointing in comparison to the S500s.

    Chances are the S500 will be just fine, but DO remember that they are well-known for requiring a large amount of burn-in to sound right and many prefer them with different earpads because they find the originals uncomfortable. I personally found that the original pads gave the best sound (for me) and the comfort improved after some time. I still have to take them off due to pain in ear piercings, but I don't imagine that's a common problem for people.

    EDIT: I see the Bowers and Wilkins are quite pricey 'phones. If your budget extends that far, you might be interested in something like the Sennheiser HD-25s or Amperiors if you can get them refurbished or scond-hand. While I've not heard them, I have read many times that they're some of Sennheiser's most aggressive cans and sometimes get compared to Grados, which I can only assume means they're great for Rock genres.
  6. G_T_J
    Thank you very much for the detailed reply full of useful info.
    Which Grados are actually those who come close to Sennheiser HD-25s? They got to be another interesting choice that I might want to keep in mind.
    In fact, I haven't specified my budget yet but I'm willing to pay a bit more for something exceptional in both terms of sound and looks. I haven't got any other pair of headphones as I already said, except from the Porta Pros and therefore, I would love to obtain a good pair.
  7. vsls
    I haven't heard the Grados since I'm in Europe and they are quite pricey here. IMO they seem to be the best affordable Rock HPs around but they are not portable and of course they don't offer any kind of isolation so these are already 2 disadvantages for my needs. I would buy anytime a Grado-esque closed affordable HP!
  8. hatefulsandwich
    Your affordable Grado is called an Alessandro :wink:. Yeah, there's VAT, but that doesn't come close to what you'll pay for a Grado outside of the USA.

    As I mentioned, I have the MS-1, which is an Alessandro. I simply love it. Indeed, the open design does limit use and I'll be pretty sad when I go back to work in a studio and won't be able to wear them because of it. Then I will go back to the S500, which is not a terrible thing but I will miss the amazing mids and detail.. After a while, when I've made some moola, I will look into upgrading my closed portables and in that case my current interest lies in the following cans (I'm sure the list will change as time passes and new releases happen):

    Sennheiser Amperior/HD-25 (depending on availability)
    Audio-Technica ES700
    KEF M500

    I suppose OP could consider that a recommendation list in itself, but it's not rooted in any actual experience.
  9. marko93101
    The MS-1i was a fantastic piece of kit. It blew me away for a long time with Metal. Sadly, not portable but in saying that the guy I sold them to walked down the street rocking them. Nothings impossible :p S500 are a capable set by all means, I don't think I've reached the euphoric level of "burn in" some maintain exist, but I've grown to enjoy them with everything. At first I felt they were clustered but they really have picked up. They're cheap they're portable and they sound damn fine.

    In regards to the MS-1i I got them for the 99$ shipped to Ireland and didn't get hit with Customs! So happy hunting!
  10. hatefulsandwich

    Sorry, I completely missed this post. I have no idea which Grados in particular; I think it just resembles the overall aggressive house-sound of Grado. Sennheiser are often darker-sounding, so the Hd-25 is a departure from that in resembling the more in-your-face sound of Grado. Again, I haven't actually heard them, so I'm just spouting second-hand knowledge here. Apply piles of salt :).

    Grados are just kind of love-it or hate-it both in terms of sound and looks, really. The HD-25 are relatively handsome, I'd say, but nothing too spectacular. I must say those KEF M-500 are particularly striking and piqued my interest after all the positive reviews. It has a removable cable, which is always a plus. They're potable, but apparently not in the sense of being used on-the-go if that matters to you because they have low clamp. Again, salt.
  11. Monsterzero
    I demo'd the KEF 500s today listened to FLAC/lossless files mainly hard rock and they were the best portable HPs Ive tried so far...wasnt as impressive as HD600/650s or T1s but for closed can/portable HPs they were very nice
  12. G_T_J
    Sorry for reviving my thread but I'm still undecided.
    I have added more choices to my considerations.
    I would like a headphone mainly for use at home but at the same time one that will not be forbidding in use outdoors.
    I'm planning to invest on a headphone amplifier in the future but in the meantime, I'm going to use them straight out of my Cowon D3. In a few words, if my potential pair will benefit from amplification it will be a plus but not an essential parameter.
    I'm considering the Amperiors, the Momentums (both versions), the HD25-1 and maybe one from the HD598, HD600 and HD650 knowing of course that if I pick one of the last 3, I won't be using it outside. :)
    The music I mainly listen to is slower rock and classic heavy metal as stated above.
  13. audiohurric4ne

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