Requesting advice: selecting good affordable headphones for mainly rock music
Nov 1, 2007 at 4:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

l2yz

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Hi everyone, thanks for taking sometime to help me. I have read some reviews on various websites and many threads on this forum in trying to get an idea of what I would like to purchase. Right now I am considering the grado sr60 and sr80 and sennheiser hd555 but I am open to other suggestions as well. I've read that there are really distinct differences in sound between the two brands but am not sure which is suitable for what kind of music. Here are the constraints:

Budget: <150 US Dollars, no headphone amplifier please but perhaps in the distant future
Portability: I am not really concerned about this aspect.
Type: Super-aural or circamural only
Kind of music: Almost exclusively rock music, this might the most important factor in helping to pick out some headphones. Can I receive suggestions based on my favorite bands? (listed in no order)

i think many of my musical interests lie in 80's/early 90's indie rock & alternative but I am trying to become a musical connoisseur in general.

smashing pumpkins, nirvana, alice in chains, soundgarden, pearl jam, sonic youth, fugazi, dinosaur jr., radiohead, pink floyd, pavement, led zeppelin, jimi hendrix, cocteau twins, rage against the machine, ween, mission of burma, sublime, the pixies, sebadoh, sex pistols, the clash, the beatles, meat puppets, slint, jane's addiction, my bloody valentine, aphex twin, red hot chili peppers, boredoms, the pillows, siam shade, x japan, weezer, jesus and mary chain, the cure, penpals, interpol, white stripes, ramones, dream theater, stevie ray vaughn, miles davis, the seatbelts

Sorry for the long post, but I really want to cry when after I burn them in and have a great experience listening to music. Right now I listen to my music through $25 sony full size headphones/$40 sony fontopia earbuds/crappy laptop speakers. Please show this poor fellow a new life! Enlighten me with your insight. If you have other headphones to suggest besides the ones mentioned above please do so. Thanks! SHOW YOUR MOVES
 
Nov 1, 2007 at 4:50 PM Post #4 of 23

GlendaleViper

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You wanna cry over good sound? Look no further. Keeping in mind the full-size requirement, these babies are life-changers...

...be warned, they have been known to infect with the upgradeitis bug:

Grado: SR60, SR80, SR125

SR60 is my choice out of those. The SR80 and 125 are very bright cans (detailed, but can be fatiguing) and, to be honest, I didn't see the value between the models until you hit the SR225 and above. For the record, the SR225 can be had used for your budget. Consider trying a pair before you buy. Many people find them uncomfortable.

Goldring: DR150

Can't comment on their other models, but this is a full, bassy, rockin' beast and a hell of a lot of fun. Very comfortable (much akin to Sennheiser's designs including the HD555).

Sennheiser: HD595, HD25-1

In my opinion, the 595 is so far above the 555, it shouldn't even be considered. The HD-25 will not sound as good as the 595, but it has so much going for it otherwise (isolation, portability, durability, etc.) it's a great, versatile option. You would have to buy used to afford either model.

Ultrasone HFI-2200 ULE

Might be pushing it on this one, but I suppose you could find one of these used within your pricerange. A presentation very much akin to loudspeakers and a very fun listen, though slightly muddy. Very musical.

AKG: K81DJ, K601

Can't personally stand the K81 because of the ridiculous amount of bass, but if you like to tinker, this can be modified (if you feel it needs it). LOTS of fans of this headphone and a great performer at it's price. The K601 is a lot of fun as well (kind of the naughty younger sister of the company's flagship, the K701) but you'd have to look for a deal on used, and these tend to be hard to find in the classifieds. I also question its performance without an amp.



Crapload of info, sorry about that. I've tried to stick to your criteria as closely as possible and have not recommended anything I haven't heard personally. For your music tastes and form-factor needs, there's a LOT to choose from, so I'll just leave you with a "happy shopping" and apologize about your wallet.
wink.gif


Try to get out to a meet if you can and try some out. You can read forever and never truly know until you hear for yourself. Cheers!
 
Nov 1, 2007 at 9:48 PM Post #7 of 23

facelvega

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Concur with much of what has been said above, SR-60 if you want to save cash, DR150 or used SR-225 if you want to blow the budget. I'd avoid the Senns, they can't compete for strictly rock.

Also, if you're coming straight out of your laptop, you should really think about moving up on that front as well, as laptop headphone outs tend to be among the worst sources there are. Even a $30 TBAAM will be an audible improvement.
 
Nov 1, 2007 at 10:41 PM Post #8 of 23

tjohnusa

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Go for the K81 DJ and that will leave you some cash for an amp....try a PA2V2
 
Nov 1, 2007 at 11:44 PM Post #9 of 23

apnk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by facelvega /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Concur with much of what has been said above, SR-60 if you want to save cash, DR150 or used SR-225 if you want to blow the budget. I'd avoid the Senns, they can't compete for strictly rock.


I agree with the SR225, you can get a used one for $150 (cheapest I've seen here) to $180ish. I would save $30 more to just get used SR225's.
 
Nov 2, 2007 at 2:32 PM Post #11 of 23

GlendaleViper

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DesmondDavidH /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Try the Alessandro MS1 (99$). Absolutely great for rock.


I agree with you, and there's really no question that the MS1 is the superior phone compared to the SR60, but I'd have to give the edge to the Grado here. The Alessandro is simply too bass shy (volume, not quality) and loses some of the fun-factor as a result. Just my opinion of course. I'd say if you're looking for entry-level WOW factor, the MS1 is a good choice, but for entry-level FUN factor, the Grados have it.

If we're talking about the SR225 over the SR60 compared to the MS1, the contest isn't even close.
 
Nov 2, 2007 at 4:49 PM Post #12 of 23

azncookiecutter

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MS-1s are an awesome choice, and if you're concerned aout the bass, then grab a pair of HD414 pads and use them reversed. Brings out a bit of bass to them, compared to bowls and comfies.
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 1:27 AM Post #14 of 23

l2yz

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wow thanks for the help everyone, now to somewhat summarize and include my views:
ive reconsidered my budget to be ~100 dollars. Therefore I cannot afford the SR125,SR225 and any higher grado models, the hd595 and any higher senn models, neither of the AKG models listed.
So I think out all the models listed the plausible ones are grado sr60,sr80,ms1,dr150and hd555. What are the pros/cons of each one? are there any glaring headphones missing from this list for a budget of around 100 dollars? Also, open models only, I dont like the sound of the closed designs.
Thanks and keep the info coming!
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 1:43 AM Post #15 of 23

Superpredator

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If you want to spend close to nothing, the Koss KSC75 is another option. Similar in presentation to Grado, about as comfortable, very good for rock, even improves noticeably with amplification if you go down that road.
 

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