Recommendations for listening to spoken word.
Sep 2, 2015 at 9:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Jan 16, 2012
Baltimore MD
Hello all,
I have over thirty audiobooks in Audible and was wondering what people are using to listen to spoken word. I usually use my iphone and Xiaomi Pistons 3 when walking and my macbook with Sennheiser HD 202 what at my desk. What would you guys recommend for an upgrade.
Sep 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM Post #2 of 6
I'd say that you don't need to spend much on headphones if audiobooks is your thing. What are the bitrates like? Going up in quality may work against you as better headphones may just highlight any flaws in the encoding or recording.
Perhaps focus on headphones/earphones which give a clear midrange and are more neutral in terms of tuning (not so much of the bass and treble).
Sep 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM Post #3 of 6
I haven't heard the Xiaomi Pistons, but my understanding is that their sound signature leans toward bass emphasis. Something more neutral would likely work better for listening to audio books.

Update: SteveHiFi beat me to it by a few seconds. :)
Sep 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM Post #4 of 6
Hmm this is tricky. Any price range? IEM or headphones? You didn't specify anything. I could recommend you a HD800, but those clearly won't be what you're looking for.
Do you care about comfort?
I think something like HD558 would be a really comfortable upgrade that does well with voices.
Sep 2, 2015 at 9:41 PM Post #5 of 6
Audio books can be enjoyed at almost any sound quality level. I think that comfort is going to be the key issue here. I've owned several pair of Sennheiser with cushy foam ear pads and I feel like I could wear them all day. 
Sep 3, 2015 at 1:30 AM Post #6 of 6
Agree with comfort, I'd also worry about isolation to an extent (IME spoken word tends not to "block" as much noise as music may). Bose AE2 come to mind - they're light, comfy, forgiving of not-so-flawless encoding, easy to drive, provide decent isolation, and have clean mids. Might also consider nicer Sennheisers, as has already been suggested.

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