Step up from 10USD 'headphone
Oct 8, 2009 at 12:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 32

OneSec

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I'm a newbie from Malaysia (South East Asia), no doubt about it. I have been living with 'phones that are less than 10USD, an old labtec on-ear for 10 years, then now a Philips SHM3400 on-ear for couple years *dont bother looking it up*.

I'm currently looking for some upgrades,
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*yeah sorry for my wallet*. I have been introduced by a friend to this site, and only 2 weeks, I already felt home. Very lively forum with supportive and warm people. Love it.

The reason I want to upgrade 'phone is to
1. get rid of the muddy low and muffled highs on my current 'phone, and
2. get as much details from classical music (especially able to distinguish every instrument in the orchestra - :p)
3. no needing to turn the volume to 100% when the entire orchestra is quite, building the tension and turn down the volume again as they build it. (you know what I mean)

I have seen a lot of post and recommendations here, but I don't see questions that directly match mine. So I proceed to register, and here comes my first posts:

and aiming to get 2 pairs of 'phones. 1 for on the go, and 1 for home and office use.

For on the go headphone I pretty much settle for PX100, but some comment on it's brother, PX200 would be nice.

However I'm stuck with the home and office use 'phone. Before you start throwing HD800, RS1 or similar suggestions to me (I dont mind if you throw be the 'phone itself though), I need to emphasize that this 'phone is for office use as well, so I cant really go for a full-size 'phone that makes me so noticeable, unique and stands out among my colleagues *for the wrong reason*... So here are my criteria:

No IME/Earbud - I just dont like them
Headphone type: on-ear / earpad
Couple size: Preferably small, but medium is *okay*
Source: Computer WMP *hide* / Sansa / Ipod
Music: Classical 95% Mostly direct rip from CD to 320kbs MP3 or lossless WMA. Once I got my hand on Sansa I will probably convert to FLAC. I have low bit rate MP3 but hey I still have my Philips!
Quality: Depth, Detailed, Balance, good staging. *asking for impossible? but again I'm a newbie. Forgive me*
Open/Close: Doesnt really matter, as long they match the quality I'm looking for.
Local service in Malaysia: Preferred but Singapore is fine too...
Global warranty: Yes, I might buy from HK / Singapore if its pricey over here.
Amp: Not required, but would be nice to leave an upgrade path.

There are the one I short listed...
ATH-FC700A
AH-D1001 variants
SR 80i
SR 125i (yes the forever ongoing internal war within Grado)
eh350
HD238,

These are full-size so most like out...
ATH-M50
ATH-AD700
HD 448

I have yet to find a place with demo sets in Malaysia where I can listen to them, so I'm counting on your recommendations. Thanks guys and I know you will definitely help this little lose sheep find his home!!
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 9:15 PM Post #3 of 32

Galesden

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Is comfort a major factor for you? If it isn't I would suggest the Alessandro MS1 (it is a more neutral sounding grado) since ordering grados outside of the US can get expensive.
If comfort is important go with the D1001, it sounds great and feels like its not even there.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 11:52 PM Post #4 of 32

OneSec

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Thank you Galesden.

Yes indeed long hour listening and comfort are 2 other major factors I forgot to mention.

I have got my hands on a pair of Grado 60i today from my friend. Good stuff. I went complete silence and hide *under* my cubicle for a while lol... Sound is fantastic - very forward sound right on my face. Sad they are rather big to use in office. And not so comfy
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I'm going skip Grado due to their size but if I'm going for 3rd pair I will consider them.

I'll keep D1001 in loop! Thanks.

P.S. Registered yesterday and discovered the search button
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now spending even more time here. God pray my boss don't come behind my back lol.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 3:25 AM Post #6 of 32

cyberidd

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You will have a hard time finding many phones that are smaller than the Grados and fit all your requirements. If the Grados are too big/on the fence, then the D1001 are out for sure, and probably all the others as well. I personally would choose a can like a used ESW9 if you can find it within your price range, but I think that will be hard to do with shipping. The ESW9 are smaller than the Grados IIRC and are reasonably comfy IMO. You may also want to look into the ES7, although I can't tell you anything about it since I have never tried it.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 7:16 AM Post #7 of 32

OneSec

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Thanks Jinnh and Andrew.
I'm a very clumsy person and my on the go earphone WILL most likely lost / misplaced / get steped on. I wouldn't spend a lot on something that might get replaced frequently.

ES7 priced about 170 and a little pricy for on the go. I might consider them for home/office use.

HD238
eH350
ES7
D1001 variants

I think HD238 is the smallest among them. I saw a pair in apple store acouple days back but didn't have a chance to listen to them. Hopefully I can get my hands on them soon. eH350 I heard is very comfy and good for long hours listening.

Mostly listening to classicaly peices like symphonies, violin cello / piano concertos
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 8:03 AM Post #9 of 32

HCeline

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If the SR60 still is too big for you, you might consider asking in the portable Headphones subforum.

Anyways, from what I read in your post, some of the Koss portables might be quite right for you. Take a look at the PortaPro and KSC75 - surely not top notch but quite a good deal.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 8:34 AM Post #11 of 32

TheMarchingMule

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Quote:

Originally Posted by VALIENTE /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The headphones in the list below will open your ears in the audiophile world.
Buy them and be happy.

The Top 10 Headphones for 2009.

Click: Top 10 Best Headphones - 2009 Gear Guide | HeadRoom Audio



I really wish you would start speaking for yourself already, instead of being a parrot all the time with that link.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 9:22 AM Post #12 of 32

VALIENTE

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I really wish you would start speaking for yourself already, instead of being a parrot all the time with that link.


I am a parrot and you are a horse.
ksc75smile.gif
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM Post #13 of 32

OneSec

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Thanks all for the comments.

Did some shopping again and D1001 is probably out - the headphone is insanely overpriced at about 230 here - and the shop didn't let me test it.

Tried a pair of HD228 and I would say they are great for their size. Its comfy - very light weight, and soft pads. Could use it for long hours without much problem.

I have no experience in describing the SQ but I'll try - Bass has more punch than any of my old 10 dollor headphones or the even the expensive IEM I tested along (Weststone but I cant recall the model). Slightly sharp/bright on highs, somewhat thin. Definitely sound better than PX100 and PX200. Wonder how it will sound after some burn ins.

I think I can say they have more details than my current headphone, but still lacks the depth and soundstage I'm looking for. I hope the HD238 / eH350 fills this gab.

Don't like the plastic look though. They look fragile.

But next time I will bring my own Beethoven symphony no.5 CD for testing...

Gonna search more shops tomorrow. Will probably settle with one of those Sennheiser cans if I don't spot any Grados / AT around Malaysia.

Very tempted to test AT.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 12:59 AM Post #14 of 32

OneSec

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Very sad indeed. No trace of Audio Technica or Grados. I guess I would then limit my selections to Sennhieser for now.

Much appreicaite on all the recommendations given, and you guys has been very helpful.

Took sometime to visit computer shops and audio shops for usb DAC+AMP but seems like there is only 1 DAC product available here from Cambridge Audio, and it will cost me a leg - 450. Guess will be doing internet shopping on this.

Have some questions on AMP but I'll post it on other sessions. Thanks.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 4:58 AM Post #15 of 32

jjinh

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well i have a pair of es7s and I can tell you they are great for on the go. If they're a bit expensive the audiotechnica sq5 are a bit cheaper.

Not many places sell Grado outside of the US.

I've heard headphones are very reasonably priced in singapore - maybe you could head there for a day trip!
 

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