someone help me choose
Mar 30, 2002 at 12:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

torbaap

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Alright, I just bought a very nice portable mp3/cd player, and now I want good headphones to go with it. I'm a student so I don't have too much money to spend, especially after buying the player itself. I'm willing to spend a max of $70 on headphones. Amps are not an option, too expensive for me.

So, after much search and research, I have narrowed my choices down to the Senn HD-497 and the Grado SR-60.

I would have bought the Grado but a couple of things I noticed in user reviews of the product unnerved me. Firstly, almost everyone said that they are uncomfortable, some said even with the new ear pads. Secondly, they said that there is a lot of sound leakage. This is more a problem than the comfort factor. I don't particularly mind if sound comes in, but sound going out may be a slight problem, especially in the library or on the LONG plane flight back home when everyone is asleep.

So, what I want to know is this:

1) are the grados really uncomfortable? I don't plan to be wearing them any longer than a couple of hours at a stretch. Maybe three hours on the plane...

2) Is the sound leakage unique to the Grado or is it because they are open, like the Senns? So is leakage the same on both or do the Grados leak more?

3) Since sound quality and price is more or less the same for both 'phones, which one do you recommend? Why?

4) Are there any other 'phones you would recommend, keeping my conditions in mind (portable, no amps, price) ?

Thanks a lot for your time,
Saurabh
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 12:51 AM Post #2 of 23

kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by torbaap
Alright, I just bought a very nice portable mp3/cd player, and now I want good headphones to go with it. I'm a student so I don't have too much money to spend, especially after buying the player itself. I'm willing to spend a max of $70 on headphones. Amps are not an option, too expensive for me.

So, after much search and research, I have narrowed my choices down to the Senn HD-497 and the Grado SR-60.

I would have bought the Grado but a couple of things I noticed in user reviews of the product unnerved me. Firstly, almost everyone said that they are uncomfortable, some said even with the new ear pads. Secondly, they said that there is a lot of sound leakage. This is more a problem than the comfort factor. I don't particularly mind if sound comes in, but sound going out may be a slight problem, especially in the library or on the LONG plane flight back home when everyone is asleep.

So, what I want to know is this:

1) are the grados really uncomfortable? I don't plan to be wearing them any longer than a couple of hours at a stretch. Maybe three hours on the plane...

2) Is the sound leakage unique to the Grado or is it because they are open, like the Senns? So is leakage the same on both or do the Grados leak more?

3) Since sound quality and price is more or less the same for both 'phones, which one do you recommend? Why?

4) Are there any other 'phones you would recommend, keeping my conditions in mind (portable, no amps, price) ?

Thanks a lot for your time,
Saurabh


1. Grados are unparalleled in their discomfort.
2. All open headphones leak.
3. Neither. Save money for better headphone.
4. Expect several people to respond "Philips."

Do I get a cookie?
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 12:57 AM Post #3 of 23

oldguy

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1) are the grados really uncomfortable? I don't plan to be wearing them any longer than a couple of hours at a stretch. Maybe three hours on the plane...

2) Is the sound leakage unique to the Grado or is it because they are open, like the Senns? So is leakage the same on both or do the Grados leak more?

3) Since sound quality and price is more or less the same for both 'phones, which one do you recommend? Why?

4) Are there any other 'phones you would recommend, keeping my conditions in mind (portable, no amps, price) ?

Thanks a lot for your time,
Saurabh

1)No

2)Both leak sound.

3)Grado. More impact/ clarity/ easy to drive without an amp

4)Etymotic ER6. More money, $110 or so, but terrific sound and no leakage. Ideal for air travel. The Ety's will sound waaayyy better than either of the other choices!

Save your money and get the Etymotic ER6. They are also very compact/ easy to transport.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 1:00 AM Post #4 of 23

joelongwood

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Sony MDR-V6.........closed cans (minimal sound leakage), within your price range, comfortable for most people, excellent bass response, no amp necessary, and built to last. They also fold up rather small for portability.
smily_headphones1.gif

BTW, I don't find Grados uncomfortable at all, but sound leakage is a problem
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 6:03 AM Post #5 of 23

delenda est Sony

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Hi Saurabh---

I have both phones. Grados are not uncomfortable in my opinion. Most who find them too tight get good results by stretching them overnight. Sound leakage is severe, more so than the 497s, though the Senns are not exactly stealthy. I would say if you like rock mainly, get Grado. Other types of music preferred or a mix, get 497. Be aware that neither one makes an ideal portable as they are not easily stored, leak sound, and are not built all that sturdily. Also, the 497s are quite ugly so others may laugh at you!
wink.gif


The ER6s mentioned would be fine, if you like ear canal phones and if you can pay $129 for em. (cheapest price that I know of; online vendors that used to sell em cheaper no longer do or no longer exist, at least to my knowledge.)

The V6s for roughly $60 would serve nicely in that price range. Everything that joe Longwood said. Though be aware that soundstage is flat, mids a bit recessed, and some listeners (though not me) find treble to be harsh and fatiguing. I like the Sennheiser 280s better, but these go for $80-$100 on the net which may exceed your price range. The 280s correct all the problems of the V6 and maintain its strengths, though they are bigger. The V6 would be fine though if you can't affored the Senns.

if you need more detailed info just ask, as I have all the phones I mentioned except for the ER6.

happy hunting!
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Mar 30, 2002 at 6:29 AM Post #6 of 23

taoster

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Quote:

Originally posted by torbaap
the new ear pads. Secondly, they said that there is a lot of sound leakage. This is more a problem than the comfort factor. I don't particularly mind if sound comes in, but sound going out may be a slight problem, especially in the library or on the LONG plane flight back home when everyone is asleep.


all open phones leaks sounds and its not just a tiny leakage its alot. If you are planning to use it in the library or LONG plane flights you are better off investing on a pair of closed cans or the etys.
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 7:15 AM Post #7 of 23

RMSzero

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Quote:

4. Expect several people to respond "Philips."


Not if you're thinking of the HP890 -- not at all for portable usage and anyone who uses them on an airplane is crazy.

I vote for the Sony MDR-v6 because it is within your budget (get it at www.shopsunshine.com) or possibly the Sennheiser HD-280 pro (www.buy.com is the cheap place for these i think) which is a bit above your budget. You want a closed headphone.

I own the sony but not the senn. I like it very much for when i go to the library or somewhere to work, and it would be great for an airplane.
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 8:21 AM Post #9 of 23

torbaap

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delenda est sony, it's funny that you said that both the Grado and the Senns don't make ideal portables, because they were touted to be the best portables on headphone.com....now I don't know whom to trust.

As for buying er6s or any headphones that expensive....let me put it this way, my $8/hr job working in the computer labs in college for 8 hours a week won't pay for them, and I find it almost impossible to justify paying that much for headphones with my father's money.

I have to find out how much open headphones leak. Maybe I'll borrow someone's and try them out or something.

So considering that I have to buy closed cans. My choices, at least from headphone.com are: Senn Hd-202 (too cheap to trust?), HD-212 Pro (good price, good review, opinions?), EH 2200.

The 280s are a tad bit too expensive for my blood...maybe I can hunt a pair down on Ebay or something.

Any suggestions among the above? Or anything else?

Thanks,
Saurabh
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 8:54 AM Post #12 of 23

RMSzero

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Yeah, but skippy, what do you suggest that is in his price range? Most of this thread seems to be saying "spend more" which I don't agree is a good idea for someone in his situation.
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 9:12 AM Post #13 of 23

MooGoesTheCow

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Another vote here for the V6. They suit your criteria better than any other headphone that I'm aware of. They're under $70. They're comfortable (although you might want to get a pair of the Beyer pads which make them even more comfortable). They block out sound and more importantly, don't leak sound. They're portable. They can be driven easily. They sound good. Bass is phenomenal. A little coarse in the other frequencies, but hey, it's $60.

The Grados are also reasonably portable, however they're about the worst headphones for planes or libraries, due to their sound leakage.
 
Mar 30, 2002 at 6:01 PM Post #14 of 23

delenda est Sony

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Saurabh---

headphone.com is concerned solely about the sound of the phones rather than other characteristics like portability and whether or not the guy in the next carrel in the library will come over and strangle you as you blast Slayer on your SR60s....
biggrin.gif
Headphone also does not sell the V6, so we will never know their opinion of it...

The V6 as you see has its fans and detractors. I like mine better than the Senn 202s which I also have, but the 202s are fine phones as well. They are not as well built as the Sony, and lack its amazing bass and ready portability (due to the V6 foldup feature and the coiled cord), but have a broader soundstage and more balanced midrange. I have not heard the 212s and have seen no reviews on here from Headfiers on them. The Headroom reviews are usually pretty accurate, but occasionally they do something odd like recommend the Koss UR20, so I usually like to see Headfi reviews on a set of cans before I buy em.

If you can listen to any of these phones than do so before buying. If you want a really safe buy, get the 202s, as they are well balanced for everything except classical, and have no controvery around them. I personally think the V6 would be a great buy for you. but as you can see there would be some higher risk involved as a few people fell strongly opposed to their sound. And the 212 is a completely unknown risk, that may work out well for you nonetheless.

I've heard the 2200s and they're mediocre---not worth the price. The 280/202/212 are meant to replace these phones. I wouldn't recommend em.

hope this helps!

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Mar 30, 2002 at 10:16 PM Post #15 of 23

torbaap

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well, i finally ended up buying a Senn Hd-212 Pro from headphone.com. I considered the Sony a lot, but the couple of strongly negative posts held me back. Anyway, I hope the Senns can be driven well enough with a portable without an amp?

I'm not an audiophile like the people on this forum, i don't earn enough to be! but i like my music to be nice to hear. So unless the Senns suck I'll probably keep them. Anyway, I hope I made the right choice...

Saurabh
 

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