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mcdoob

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i'm 19 and have a portable cd player, sony. i listen primarily to jazz, but some ska and punk and classical (instrumental is usually the most important to me). what headphones should i get?

i've heard good things about sennheiser HD 580 and AKG K 501. anything worth knowing here? i'm on a budget of around $200 here, so nothing too steep.

thanks for any help you can give.
 
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Guyferd

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If Hd580 is really 95 percent of hd600... I think you should go for hd580.. i have heard the 600 and the sound is very good for your type of music.
havent heard the akg though
 
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acs236

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If you're planning on using the headphones directly out of the portable, which it sounds like you are, I wouldn't recommend the 580s (I don't know enough about the AKGs to comment either way). I have a pair of 580s, and while I think they're pretty good overall, they require a bit more power than a portable is likely to provide. That's not to say they'll be unlistenable, but without an amp, I can't imagine them sounding worthy of their pricetag.
 
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john_jcb

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Welcome to Head-Fi

Both of the HPs you mention are very good but really require an amp to perform at an acceptable level. I would not recommend either for use with a portable player on their own.

One of the best from reviews that I have read are the:
Beyerdynamic DT 250-80
 
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Tomcat

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mcdoob,

both the HD580 and the K501 won't work too well with a low-powered PCDP. The K501 seems to need more power than most dedicated headphone amps can provide.

Headphones which combine low impedance with high efficiency ought to be a lot better for your needs. The Beyerdynamic DT 250-80 has a very nice, non-fatiguing and musical sound, and - reportedly - so has the Audio-Technica ATH-A55. I only know its predecessor, the ATH-A5, but I like it even more than the DT 250-80. The Audio-Technica has a bigger soundstage which comes in handy if you listen to symphonic orchestras.
 
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JaZZ

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It's worth trying if the PCDP output (power) matches with the HD 600. In my case (Archos MP3 Jukebox) I'm lucky: there's more than enough power, and the sound is great for a portable! Try the HD 600 out!

A low-budget alternative: Koss Portapro. A lot of sound for the money.

JaZZ
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI: For portable use it is very hard to beat the koss-35 or koss portapro and they are very inexpensive and very portable but they sound like full size headphones.
PS
Ant this great I use the new spell check and got it all spelled right with it.
 
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darkclouds

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My opinion is to get a pair of Grado SR-325 used. I believe they retail for about $300, but I do see them go for about $200 used. They will be the best that you can get without needing an amp, for that price.
Otherwise, get a pair of sony V6 for about $65 bucks, if you can find them, or their twin, the 7506 for a little more. I'm sure you'll love them, great for portable use, very solidly built.
 
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ArChaos

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Both Senns and AKGs are great cans but ONLY when AMPed...the 580 sound VERY lousy from the "usual" portable headphone out...for this you shoud take the KOSS Portapros or KFC-35, as already suggested by others before - I second this from personal experience - cheaper and better. If you decide on a portable amp - Senns580 are a good choice.
 
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kerelybonto

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By the way, the Koss KSC-35 is an out-of-production model. If you want to go with this headphone, you should do it fast, since they're becoming very hard to find. You best option is to search Yahoo! Shopping, where you can find them for around $30. Recently there's been a seller on eBay starting bidding at about $15 with a Buy It Now option at about $25. There aren't any on eBay at the moment, though.

If you're looking for the Grado SR-325, also check eBay. They usually go for between $205-230 new.

kerelybonto
 
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I would like to second Audio technica. you can find them at www.audiocubes.com Get as good a headphone as your budget can provide. I do highly recommend the w100. The A55 is good, but not nearly as good. The a9x is in your price range. I would recommend saving up the extra money and just getting the w100. Don't waste the extra money by getting a lower end model, and then letting the upgrditis get you later on. Get something great and stick with it.

Welcom to head fi, sorry about your wallet
 
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Which Sony pcdp do you have? My Senn 580 sound almost as good with classical and jazz in the headphone jack of the d-25s as they do with an amp. I suspect the same would be true of the AKG 501.
If you have a newer, wussy Sony, then the suggestion to get Grado is a good one.
 
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I have the AKG K501 and a Sony portable cd player. The Discman does not have the juice to drive the 501s to decent levels. It works only if you listen at night in near total silence. Now coming out of my tube preamp, things are different. I have plenty of power for the 501s that way. Both the Sennheiser HD580s and the AKG K501s are excellent headphones, both tough to drive from a portable as stated earlier. If you get a headphone amp, either of these is a great choice. If not, the Grado 325 suggestion is a good alternative, as the 325s are excellent as well, just a different sound.
 
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JaZZ

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The Grados indeed sound very good and seem to be an ideal combination for portables. But take care: there are a lot of portable devices that have an early bass rolloff with low-impedance headphones such as the Grados (32 ohms). On the other hand, some of them can manage the high impedance of the HD 580/600 (300 ohms) and even benefit from it in terms of bass extension. Therefore: no generalisations!

JaZZ
 
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