Recommendations please
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iEar

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Hey everyone, I'm in the market for a new set of full size phones.
 
I've read all about and sort of fallen in love with the Shure SRH940 but
think the romance is doomed failure if the plastic cracks up - that would
completely piss me off after spending the dollars on them!
 
So, it got me thinking... what do I want in a set of phone? More to the point,
it made me realise how much I have to rely on peoples' reports and recommendations
because here in Oz, we can't just return the phones if we don't like them. They can only
be returned if they are faulty...then they get replaced with the same ones - so no win!
 
The brief;
 
I like clear mid and treble, dislike sibilance and really like tight, fast, responsive
and powerful bass. I would like frequency response down to 5Hz. I'll be driving them
from my laptop (HP Pavilion dv7) or a Denon AV1311 AV receiver fed by an iMac via
optical cable. I do have an iPhone but don't expect miracles from this as it doesn't have
the power to drive full size phones. (the iPhone5 does sound nice with the new ear buds though!)
 
Budget;
 
about same ballpark as the Shures but no higher unless it is a fantastic deal!
 
Future;
 
I am interested in getting a portable amp/DAP or even a DAC/AMP in the future
but am still learning about these and really need to know how my current set ups
sound with a good pair of cans before buying more gear.
 
Any and all constructive feedback very welcome!
 
Thanks in advance,
Mark

 
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MalVeauX

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iEar /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
I would like frequency response down to 5Hz.
 
Budget;
 
about same ballpark as the Shures but no higher unless it is a fantastic deal!
 
Future;
 
I am interested in getting a portable amp/DAP or even a DAC/AMP in the future
but am still learning about these and really need to know how my current set ups
sound with a good pair of cans before buying more gear.
'Heya,
 
You will never get something that does 5hz. Largely because you'll never hear 5hz. Because you can't hear below 10hz in general. Unless you're a super mutant. Below 10hz, it's just a pressure feeling, not a sound anymore. And in general, even the best headphones cannot dip down to 5hz with authority. Not even amazingly expensive subwoofers can do 5hz flat. I think you're stuck in technical spec sheets instead of real world ability combined with physical actuality. Not trying to be rude with this, but it seems you're either misinformed or have expectations that are not possible for a few hundred dollars. For real world specs, not just tech sheets, you can probably safely claim you can hear from 15hz to 20khz relatively well. Above and below that is exceptional and likely not to last with age. Headphone and speaker specs will be way all over the place, like 5hz to 40khz which is bogus since you can't even hear that.
 
Since in the future you're interested in getting something to actually playback quality music other than your laptop's onboard circuitry, getting a nice headphone can make sense. If you're not willing to get something decent (and by that it can be as cheap as $50~150, to $300 for a great entry level source equipment setup), then I wouldn't bother wasting money on $300 headphones to playback from a low quality source. Something to keep in mind, since buying nice headphones only to hear the same thing you hear from cheaper headphones would be underwhelming and disappointing.
 
Based on what you're looking for, I think the Mr Speakers Mad Dog with Alpha Pads ($299) would be perfect for you. Alternates would be the AKG K550 and AudioTechnica A900X. And I would go ahead and get a simple inexpensive Fiio E10 to go with them, or if you want to go portable, a Fiio E07k or E17. Get something other than your laptop's onboard. And make sure your music is high quality, not compressed low quality rips from youtube or something. Rip some CD's to high quality MP3, WAV or FLAC. Visit HDtracks.com and sample some of their higher end recordings.
 
TL;DR:
 
Mr Speakers Mad Dogs with Alpha Pads
AKG K550
AudioTechnica A900X
 
With:
 
Fiio E10
Fiio E07k
Fiio E17
iBasso D-ZERO
 
Very best,
 
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iEar

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Hi MalVeauX, thanks for the detailed reply - much appreciated.
Nothing rude written so no offense taken.
 
5Hz -
I take your point on the ear/brain ability to detect frequency this low. I'd seen
the specs on cans like the SRH940 and others and decided that I wanted to
get the most from my money. Surely, and I could be naive here, if the specs sheet
indicates it'll put out 5hz it's gotta be able to deliver. Even if we can't detect it,
otherwise they manufacturers would be sitting ducks for false claims. It wouldn't take
much to test them. On another note, I had realised that many amps and digital devices
won't deliver a signal that low either - making headphones with that claimed capability
slightly redundant.
 
DAC/AMP -
I'd actually been looking at the Dragonfly or new Meridian USB devices as they can be
plugged into the laptop or iPhone. I'll read up on your suggestions - thanks.
 
SRH 940
I've read your review of these cans and appreciated the detail and effort you went to.
Have the set you got started to show any signs of cracking yet?
 
Thanks again,
MArk.
 
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