Quick opinions asked. Portable Headphone for Sony CJ01. Help, Xmas gift!
Nov 13, 2002 at 9:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

chadbang

Headphoneus Supremus
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Hey guys. Okay, I'm a bit out of it. Haven't really been snooping around for headphones since I bought my Senn 600s (why bother? Sniff, sniff) Now I'm looking for a set of cans for my brother. I'm also giving him a Sony D-CJO1 CD/MP3 player and I want to throw in some headphones that will be a nice match. My brother WILL NOT WANT earbuds (claims they fall out all the time. Maybe he has big ears?) and I know he won't want to use a headphone amp (nor will he want to wear monster cans). What might be a good match for under $75 (yeah, I'm cheap but I already bought the player - gimme a break!). And er, (risking flame) I'd like to avoid Grados.

Should we consider what headphones MP3s sound best through?
I know, I know, none.
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Any help would be appreciated. And an early Merry Xmas to you for helping!
 
Nov 13, 2002 at 10:39 PM Post #3 of 15
Quote:

Look at sennheiser's new lineup... they have some new open and closed ones out...


???

Quote:

or that oh-so-sexy audio-technica everyone is drooling over.


'nuff said
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.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 12:21 AM Post #6 of 15
The Sony D-CJO1 has a decent, strong amp so it should do OK with just about any phones that work with portables. The amp has a bit of a dark sound, so phones with a relatively open, somewhat brighter sound might work well. If you change your mind about Grado, I've found the SR-60 to be an excellent match with this source. Koss KSC-50 also works well if he'd like something smaller, though he might get miffed if they fall apart oh him. I also think that the Sony V6/7506 is well matched to the D-CJ01.

Sounds like a pretty nice gift.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 2:09 PM Post #7 of 15
Hmm, this is harder than it seems.
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I went through the entire Sennheiser line and there doesnt seem to be one to fit the bill. The HD 470 Headmax was the size I had in mind, but the review are too mixed (if half the people think they suck, then something must be up). The HD-25 SP also looked promising, but again very mixed reviews. Can anyone tell me different?

There are, of course the OLD Koss Porta Pros but, man, they must not have changed the design on those for 15 years! I also remember those baby's used to clamp on the head like an steel anaconda! Sound pretty good I remember.

I must compliment Headroom on it's buying guide, though. First time I've seen it really nice and informative. Great job, Headroom.

So no more leads, guys? Yes, the new clip on the ear Audio Technicals looks sweet (Call me, Data) but Moo the Cow pooh-poohs them and he's old school so I'm listening.

Anybody know any phones in they style of the HD 470 Headmaxes, just your good old over the head, lightweight headphones, that actually sound good?

Are the Koss KSC-50s pretty decent, Davie? I guess the refined keywords in my search are SMALL, LIGHTWEIGHT, Non-Earbud and, of course, great sound.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 3:04 PM Post #9 of 15
chadbang,

The 50's do sound pretty good. They, like most clip-ons, reguire a bit of a hassle to put on or take off. So I guess you kind of have to figure how much that would bother your brother. Another one to consider would be the Koss KTX-Pro1 ( not the older KTX Pro). Border's sells them for $20 or you can order from Koss, 2 for $20. Reportedly they are very comfortable and sound good.

If you want to spend a little more, the Sennheiser HD497, which I own, are terrific phones and will sound great with the PCDP. Pretty readily available for about $50, and Senn has a small rebate on them too. They're a medium-size phone, quite a bit bigger than the Pro-1's, so you'll have to see if you think they are too big.

IMO, the 50's at $15 and the 497's at $50 are the biggest bargains in phones right now.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 3:05 PM Post #10 of 15
I should have mentioned I have a big a** head.
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Thanks Dino, I'm going over to headroom to check out the size of the 497s. I like the fact that headroom puts their phones on a dummy head so you can get an idea of their size. Nice touch.



Yes! (I just came back) the 497s were one of the phones giving me serious consideration. Maybe they're not TOO big. Still, smaller would be nice, as my brother will be wearing them on the streets of New York - as if stranger things haven't been seen on the streets of NY.
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Nov 14, 2002 at 4:29 PM Post #11 of 15
Quote:

Originally posted by chadbang

Are the Koss KSC-50s pretty decent, Davie? I guess the refined keywords in my search are SMALL, LIGHTWEIGHT, Non-Earbud and, of course, great sound.


I like the KSC-50's a lot. In fact, at the moment I'm enjoying them more than the KSC-35's or Portapros. In the past the portapro series has generally suffered from a slight to extreme upper bass hump, which finally seems to have been tamed with the KSC-50's. People complain that the 50's don't fit well for use when exercising, but I find that they fit well enough for other circumstances and are quite comfortable. For bopping around NYC they should be fine. People complain because they're bulkier and heavier than the 35's, which they definitely are, but I still think they fit the criteria of small and lightweight. And I would be surprised if you could find anything that sounds nearly as good in your price range that could be described as small and light. In fact, since you're ruling out earbuds, there's probably nothing else at any price. My main problem with them has been build quality. When i tried to adjust the earclip on my first pair it broke off (it's composed of two pieces, unlike the 35's where the clip was a single piece). Also, I've had bad luck with "grattle" on the 50's. But for $20 ($15 at Circuit City) you can hardly go wrong. If you get a lemon, just return it get a replacement.

Quote:

Originally posted by dinosauract

The 50's do sound pretty good. They, like most clip-ons, reguire a bit of a hassle to put on or take off. So I guess you kind of have to figure how much that would bother your brother.


I figured out a trick to get these things on and off with little hassle. I just line them up on either side in the position they'll be in on my head and then slip them over the tops of my ears. It's kind of hard to explain, but it is possible to put them on and off quite easily.


Quote:

Originally posted by chadbang

Maybe they're not TOO big. Still, smaller would be nice, as my brother will be wearing them on the streets of New York - as if stranger things haven't been seen on the streets of NY.


I saw a guy wearing them around Union Square in NYC awhile ago and he pulled it off, but he was one of those tall model-esque types who inhabit lower Manhattan and can pull of things the rest of us had better not try. I don't know why Sennheiser decided to make them silver. To me they look like something out of Flash Gordon.

chadbang,

I'm curious to know why the Grado SR-60s's and Sony 7506's are ruled out, since in my experience these are the best sounding headphones for use with a portable.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 4:51 PM Post #12 of 15
Davie,
I just had a bad experience with Grado, although I admit they are excellent phones. They were just a bit bright for me, to make a long story short. Also, they're also a bit large for city wearing.

Now I'm thinking about tracking my bro down a set of KSC-35s (if it's a hassle I'll grab some 50s). I had completely forgotten about Koss. I had a pair of Porta pros years ago when I sold audio and kind of wrote them off as uncomfortable and not as good as some Sonys I had back then. (I wish I could remember which Sonys they were. No idea, anymore. I remember that was when these 20mm or 22mm neo-something-or-other drivers started appearing. That would have been around 1984-85. Used to run them with my WMD-6 Walkman, great combo and great phones back then.)

But maybe Koss. Like I say I wrote them off back then, I seem to remember they sounded a little bloated compared to the Sonys- but it was really that metal headband that put me off - pure torture. Maybe its been improved over the last 15 years
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Thanks for your help, BTW.
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Nov 14, 2002 at 4:54 PM Post #13 of 15
davie,

I agree with you on likng the 50's more than the 35's. All of these Koss phones have too much upper bass, but the 50 definitely is the least offensive. I've also had problems with durability. I've broken two of the earclips already. Fortunately, both happened within 30 days, so I could just exchange them at Circuit City.

chadbang,

unfortunately, good looks and good sound usually are inversely related. Neither the 50 nor the 497 look great, or even decent, when wearing. The 50's are pretty bulbous, they really stick out from your ears. The 497's wide band sticks out from the head pretty far and looks strange. How bad it looks depends a lot on the head shape. If you have a big, round head like I do, they don't look so bad. But both say "geek" pretty loudly, if that's a concern.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 10:01 PM Post #14 of 15
davie, they're probably silver so that you don't sit on them. my remote is black and it blends in too much with my brown sofa, and i've sat on them a few times. me, i'd just take a permanent marker to them and put a cool design on them. like an old nyc subway token. or the jets logo.
 
Nov 14, 2002 at 10:24 PM Post #15 of 15
Quote:

Originally posted by wallijonn
davie, they're probably silver so that you don't sit on them. my remote is black and it blends in too much with my brown sofa, and i've sat on them a few times. me, i'd just take a permanent marker to them and put a cool design on them. like an old nyc subway token. or the jets logo.


That's not a bad idea. There must be plenty of starving artists here in New York who'd come up with something pretty cool. Or maybe I could take the Flash Gordon aspect and run with it -- put lightning bolts or something on the sides.
 

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