Portable Headphones for Rock/Electronica/Hip-Hop/Pop - MS400 vs TMA-1 vs ESW9
Mar 15, 2011 at 11:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

EndlessMike

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I'm looking for some good portable headphones and I came down to:
 
Phiaton MS 400 - AIAIAI TMA-1 - Audio Technica ESW9/A
 
So which one do you think is better and would be a better fit for the type of music I listens to?
 
Mar 15, 2011 at 12:03 PM Post #3 of 7

EndlessMike

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I did but I don't think they're all that good for Electronica (?) and they have a pretty high impedance which means they might not be driven all that well through a Sansa Clip+ without an Amp..
 
Mar 15, 2011 at 1:30 PM Post #4 of 7

kyuuketsuki

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 Alright! So I have heard 2/3 of these... I have heard the ESW9s and own the TMA-1. I'll be honest with you and say that the ESW9 to be sound slightly better. I love the TMA-1s, don't get me wrong, but the sound reproduction on the ESW9s are one notch higher. However, the TMA-1s are no slouch either. It has been a while since I last heard the ESW9s, so my impressions might have changed. But I really recall loving the ESW9s.
 
However, if you find the right EQ settings the TMA-1s are brilliant as well. I'd suggest EQing both for rock to bring out the treble.
 
If I were you, I'd probably go with the ESW9s. Really the only reason why I don't have them and have the TMA-1s (which actually have a wide range if they are properly EQed) is because I was able to get the TMA-1s for 150 as opposed to 250 for the ESW9s. That $100 was really the deciding factor for me.
 
About the HD25s... My goal is to eventually hook up with my friend Roma101, and hopefully we can try out both and make a nice comparison review between the both of us. I have the TMA-1s and she has the HD25-1 IIs.
 
Mar 23, 2011 at 5:59 PM Post #6 of 7

MorbidToaster

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Sadly I can't comment on much other than durability. Although I will say this. You should be considering the HD 25-1 IIs as well. If you listen to Electronic music, they're brilliant.
 
I only sold mine because I have a big head and they smashed my ears. I purchased a pair of TMA-1s because I heard they were a little less deathgrippy.
 
TMA-1s, and HD 25-1 IIs are probably the most durable headphones ever made, honestly. TMA-1s are probably a little more durable, but the 25s are REALLY easy to replace parts on (if they ever actually break) which is a big factor for portacans. As said earlier, the ESW9s are a great can, but much more brittle.
 
Quote:
I'm looking for some good portable headphones and I came down to:
 
Phiaton MS 400 - AIAIAI TMA-1 - Audio Technica ESW9/A
 
So which one do you think is better and would be a better fit for the type of music I listens to?



 
 
Nov 1, 2011 at 5:34 PM Post #7 of 7

IanK

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Old thread, but I'm going to answer anyway.
 
 
I don't know about the TMA-1 (never tried them), but I've tried the ESW9, and I own the Phiaton MS400, and personally, I think depends on your sound preference.
 
The Phiaton MS400 sounds fantastic.  It's very portable, very comfortable, comes with a great hard case, and looks stunning.   The sound is perfect for dance, dance-rock, electronica, and good for a genre like hip-hop.  They produce great mid-bass, but not for deep, low-end bass.  The bass is tight, and punchy, but not very deep.   Overall, they're certainly less bass-y than the Denon D1100s, but in a good way.  Trebles are good, with no sibilance.  Mids are warm, and IMO, a bit forward, something I happen to like.
 
I drive my MS400 with my Samsung Galaxy S2 (no amp), and used to with my iPhone 3Gs, and it was very easy for my phones to drive. The cable is too short for home use unless you use an extension, but it's the perfect length for portable use.  The cable gives the impression that it's a bit fragile, but I haven't had any issues over the 6 months I've owned the MS400.    Also, I don't know if you can simply replace the cable!  They're non-detachable.
 
 
I have far more experience with mid-priced ($100-200) IEMs, but from my limited experience with closed cans, the MS400 haven't disappointed me one bit. 
 
 
 
The ESW9s also sounded fantastic, but not for the price difference.  As to sound quality, I remember them sounding "different", but not necessarily better for the type of music I listen to.  I remember the mids not being so forward and prominent, but I really don't mind this characteristic.
 

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