Suggestions for Level 2 Listener
Dec 2, 2008 at 3:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 54

he3

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I have been researching audio and gear info the last couple of weeks and found most relevant info came from head-fi.org. Hope you have a minute for me.

I currently use Etymotic ER6is with WMA Lossless through a Zune. I consider this Level 1 and have been wanting to move up to the next level of earbuds/headphones. I have four kids and I only get to listen to my music after they are off to sleep, so I am limited to headphones, but this pleases me anyway.
So with that in mind, I have been researching ER4S, SE530pth, and the UE Triple.fi 10 pros as my next candidates. But then it hit me, I dont necessarily need in ear headphones. So im here to ask, the best source in my opinion, for advice or suggestions:

a. Better sound quality: In Ear vs Over Ear?
b. Any other options I should consider than the three above in the same price range? BTW, Im leaning towards the Shures, but desire the TF10's more.
c. I would like to sometimes use my amp instead of my zune to test out SACD,DVD-A, etc... Would a extension cable, about 10 ft, degrade the sound quality of headphones?
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:00 AM Post #2 of 54

TheMarchingMule

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Hey he3, welcome to Head-Fi.
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1.) In the end, full-size headphones absolutely trample in-ear 'phones in terms of "price:sound quality" ratio. Also, I feel that full-size headphones are always more natural than IEMs, because you don't get that claustrophobic feeling, and that nobody masters stuff seriously with IEMs in the first place.

2.) If you like the way the ER6i sounds, why not try the ER4P? But if you want to really try something different, then you'll probably greatly prefer the sound signature of the triple.fi 10 Pro over the SE530. Although the mids of the 10 Pro are slightly recessed, and may not be noticeable at first.

3.) 10 ft. should be fine; I think it's 100ft where you start to really notice a downgrade of sonic quality.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:06 AM Post #3 of 54

he3

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Ok, this is what I was afraid of, looks like i'm in for a lot more research!

May I append a couple questions now?

a. Could you suggest some sub $350 models to start my research?
b. Should I look into "surround sound" headphones for DTS 5.1 cds, SACDs, etc or is that just a novelty and the quality is not really there?
c. I would like to use the new phones with my zune, so is the headphone jack size a problem?

Thanks for any replies in advance.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:08 AM Post #4 of 54

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by he3 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
a. Better sound quality: In Ear vs Over Ear?
b. Any other options I should consider than the three above in the same price range? BTW, Im leaning towards the Shures, but desire the TF10's more.
c. I would like to sometimes use my amp instead of my zune to test out SACD,DVD-A, etc... Would a extension cable, about 10 ft, degrade the sound quality of headphones?



Welcome to Head-Fi!

a. I only have limited experience with IEMs, but greatly prefer full-sized headphones. I do like IEMs for air travel/mass transit, but go for full-sized, open headphones when I can.

b. If you listen to SACD and DVD-A, is it fair to assume that you enjoy classical and a lot of acoustic music? You might really enjoy some headphones like the Sennheiser HD-600 or AKG K-501. The AKG K-701 and Beyerdynamic DT880 might be good for you, too.

c. A 10' extension is fine. I occasionally use a Grado extension cable around that long and haven't noticed a difference.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:27 AM Post #5 of 54

he3

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
b. If you listen to SACD and DVD-A, is it fair to assume that you enjoy classical and a lot of acoustic music? You might really enjoy some headphones like the Sennheiser HD-600 or AKG K-501. The AKG K-701 and Beyerdynamic DT880 might be good for you, too.
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Yes, I do like classical and the AKG K701's seem to be quite nice (10-39,8), Im starting my research, but im already convinced im going to get over the ear.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:48 AM Post #6 of 54

smashing

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Quote:

Originally Posted by he3 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ok, this is what I was afraid of, looks like i'm in for a lot more research!

May I append a couple questions now?

a. Could you suggest some sub $350 models to start my research?
b. Should I look into "surround sound" headphones for DTS 5.1 cds, SACDs, etc or is that just a novelty and the quality is not really there?
c. I would like to use the new phones with my zune, so is the headphone jack size a problem?

Thanks for any replies in advance.



a. There are plenty of cans that cost less than $350. I personally will not recommend maxxing your expenditure on the first full-sized headphone. Just go try phones that people usually rave about like the SR325i, Denon D2000, DT880, HFI780, etc. to find out each phone's pros and cons, and make a decision based on that.

b. No need for "surround sound" headphone, as sonically they don't really make much differences when the driver is that close to the ears.

c. Choose a headphone jack size that you use most often. You can always put a adapter to swap one with another. There's degradation, but it should not be audible.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 7:29 PM Post #7 of 54

Zodduska

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One thing to consider when making the leap from small in ear headphones to full size headphones is that most of the higher end full size headphones require an amp to sound their best. You might look into Grado which are reported to sound nice straight out of a portable device such as your Zune.

Since you like classical, if you don't mind the feel of IEMs, from what I've read the ER4P or ER4S are hard to beat
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 8:34 PM Post #9 of 54

he3

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I have decided on over the ear headphones for comfort and bang for the buck audio quality thanks to you guys. Im still trying to determine which ones I want so...
A couple bits of info to add, and by the way, you guys are awesome for helping me.

a. I dont care about isolation other than for comfort/audio quality. I can take a little discomfort for better quality heh.
b. The music I listen to most often is medium quality electronic (techno, trance, etc...) and lossless rock (floyd, tool, etc...) then lossless classical (Mozart, Hayden, etc...) and Jazz (Blue Note especially)
c. Should I even attempt looking for used HPs to purchase to save money or is there too much risk?

Because of my rock priority it looks like im going away from the 701, unless I have a big amp or a head phone amp to use with the zune, and moving towards Grado or Sennheiser or Beyer. What do yall think?
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 8:47 PM Post #10 of 54

digger945

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Bugdet:used Mini³ ► used Denon 2000's(all purchased on HF, of course
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)

Middle of the Road: Let me think, maybe a Pico amp only and maybe ESW9's, both used.

Cost no Object:RSA SR-71a ► ESW10's or Denon 7000's(I have not heard the 7000's so...)

Just my 2¢, ESW9's and 10's are both "on the ear", and considered by some to be portable. Denon's are over the ear, and mucho comfy to me.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM Post #11 of 54

Punnisher

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Here's a vote for the Beyerdynamic dt880.

Not too pricey, very comfy and imho does nicely with any type of music.

It's my favorite headphone for piano music.

It's lighter on the bass but it goes very deep. I think it's better to be on the lighter side of the bass spectrum, as too much can kill the music completely. I think they sound very natural.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 8:59 PM Post #12 of 54

he3

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Punnisher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Here's a vote for the Beyerdynamic dt880.


Yes. And my spreadsheet tells me they dont necessarily need an amp. Good for the Zune. But after headphones my next purchase is prolly a headphone amp. heh.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 9:03 PM Post #13 of 54

digger945

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Quote:

Originally Posted by he3 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But after headphones my next purchase is prolly a headphone amp. heh.



Spoken like a true Head-Fier
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Oh, sorry about your wallet
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Dec 2, 2008 at 10:27 PM Post #15 of 54

he3

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Quote:

Originally Posted by digger945 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Bugdet:used Mini³ ► used Denon 2000's(all purchased on HF, of course
icon10.gif
)



Ah I went to create a WTB: Beyerdynamic dt880 in the correct HF forum, but alas, I cannot! darn.
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