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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015)

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  1. ljokerl Contributor
    No separate thread yet, but posted a brief round-up of the Bluetooth wireless sets I've tried so far here: http://theheadphonelist.com/wireless-audio-11-bluetooth-headphones-iems-compared/
  2. ozyx
    Thanks! That looks like a good start. What equipment (BT transmitter) did you use to test them?
  3. Wildcatsare1
    @LjokerI, great thread, I am working my way through the Thread and theheadphonelist in search of an iem to use while traveling that doesn't make me look quite as dorky as my PSBM4U1's (I look pretty dorky on my own). My portable amps are the iDSD Nano, Fiio E17, at home I use a Lyr 2 as an amp or per-amp with a belles One/B & K 125.2 Ref. II, Uber Bifrost, HE560/Alpha Dogs, Draug 2 or Vanquish Cabling, and listen to a wide variety of music. My only experience with iem's was a Sony XBA-4A, that I didn't care for, they sounded unnatural and the soundstage was too small.
    I would love to find an iem with a similar sq to my HE560's, neutral, large soundstage, excellent imaging and accurate tone. I am looking to spend $500 or less, considering the DN2000, Primo 8, W40, Se535 or maybe some of the lower end ciem's from 1964, Eartech, etc. 
    Any advice i appreciated!!!!
  4. ljokerl Contributor
    Missed this before. I use an Azio BTD-V400 USB transmitter (CSR chipset, aptX-enabled). Lately I've also been using a Creative W1, which is similar in performance but a hell of a lot easier to use.
    I can relate to the "unnatural" partwhen it comes to the XBA-4 but it would be a good start to figure out whether you thought the XBA-4 sounded to small because it's the XBA-4, or because you're so used to larger headphones and speakers that IEMs won't do it for you. Some people have a very hard time adjusting to IEM sound, especially the presentation.
    If I were you, I'd consider trying an inexpensive but fairly spacious-sounding IEM first to see if you can get used to the presentation before investing $500 on a universal or even more so a custom. You can get a very decent IEM for $50-60 - I'm thinking Sony MH1C, LG Quadbeat, VSonic VSD3S, Ostry KC06, etc, - and if you give it a fair chance and still hate the presentation maybe there's no point in spending more. This will also help you narrow down your preferred sound signature with IEMs. There have been many instances of people preferring a different sound with IEMs - for instance enjoying balanced full-size headphones but missing that air movement with IEMs and needing a bassier sound signature.
    Anyway, if you want to jump off the deep end I would suggest going with something with a fairly conventional sound signature to start with - the SE535 is a good one.
  5. Wildcatsare1
  6. Wildcatsare1

    OK, shopping with my Girls, without my reading glasses, please forgive the blind typos!!!
  7. ljokerl Contributor
    The DN-1000/DN-2000 have a somewhat "v-shaped" sound signature. It's a pretty popular sound for IEMs but not the first thing I think of when trying to find a "natural" sound opposite the XBA-4. Just not the safest option to determine if an IEM can sound good to you. That said, both DUNUs are good earphones. The DN-2000 is likely a better fit for you than the 1000 because it has a wider presentation. 

  8. Wildcatsare1
    Again, thank you for your advice, OK, I think I have reviewed your and "Average Joe's" reviews, asked a few "ears I trust" and honed my list down to Fidue A83, JVC Kenwood's FX850, and Earsonics SM64, in no particular order, though I believe your suggestion of starting with a lower price point is solid. Also exploring the more natural, slightly less "V" shaped SQ's you recommended as starting points.
    The sources I will be using are thief iPhone 6+, iDSD Nano, E17, and a Lyr 2. Though mostly the former, have my eye on a iDSD Micro down the road.
  9. ljokerl Contributor
    Haven't tried the FX850 but the A83 and SM64 are both solid options.The A83 is a lot more efficient but you shouldn't have any problems driving either (unless you want ear-splitting volumes straight out of your iPhone, which the SM64 won't do).
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  10. Prognathous
    Any plan to review the JVC HA-S500 or the Noontec Zoro? I think these two are the only truly popular portable headphones that are missing from this shootout. It would be great if you found the time to review them.
  11. ljokerl Contributor
    I think there's a bunch of stuff missing but I don't have those two. I did write up reviews for a couple of others but just haven't found the time to proof and post them. Nothing too interesting, just stuff that came across my desk - UE 4000, Harman CL, etc. 
  12. justgotlucky123

    You should post the harman CL review then! Please...
    What's your brief impressions? How does it compare to ath-m50 ?
  13. ljokerl Contributor
    Warm tone, good bass extension, punchy but not overbearing low end. Mids are a little dry, but otherwise good. Top end has a bit of tizz (a-la HD25) but otherwise is smooth and extended. Good soundstage for a warmer-sounding on-ear, too. Oh and very nice construction.
    M50 is still better IMO, but the CL has been down to like $60 which the M50 hasn't. Plus the CL is truly portable. 
  14. SolidMusic
  15. NadejdaStoikova
    Hi every one! I am realy tired from in ear expreriense and i dont liked a pair i tried completely. I want some on-ear or over-ear! Source smartphone! Ambiance : busses, trains, the homecar, at office! That means i am ok if i hear the engine of the car but i dont wan anyone else to be bothered. I like the look of
    Audio thechnica t3000 sj11 or sj33,
    Senheiser hd219(they are the only one in my contry from all hd for my budget),
    Sony zx 100-600, v55(whit some extra money maybe?),
    Philips Oneil and cityscape,Philips SHL5205PP,
    Akg k511-518,
    Koss UR22 Koss KC25.
    I am a girl whit ball face and my hair is colored dark copper. Wear glasses an dont want my face sides to hurt from the pressure! http://open.spotify.com/track/47Fl0T52NvHkYaFbEOCW2Z
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