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supraaural vs circumaural

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by pantocrator, Apr 26, 2008.
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  1. Pantocrator
    Which do you think is better? First off, I am going to be using these headphones in college in a dormitory, so there might be some noise issues, and also i might use these in public where I do not want other people to hear my music... But I am a music nut and want the highest possible audio quality. But, again on the other hand, I want comfort.

    I am looking at (supraaural)
    grado Sr225
    grado Sr325i
    and (circumaural)
    senn. hd595
    AKG stuff
    Bose

    I have heard in a lot of places that the grado are the best quality, but they are not comfortable (a problem) and they are open air style. I assume that that means that other people will easily hear my music and any external noise will ruin sound quality, but the circumaural models, although comfortable and good at noise reduction, are not as good sound quality wise...
    What should I do??

    if it matters, I am thinking of using the setup of an iphone> line out> meier 2move or mini3> one of the above headphones

    Thanks.
     
  2. Zorander Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pantocrator /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Which do you think is better? First off, I am going to be using these headphones in college in a dormitory, so there might be some noise issues, and also i might use these in public where I do not want other people to hear my music... But I am a music nut and want the highest possible audio quality. But, again on the other hand, I want comfort.

    I am looking at (supraaural)
    grado Sr225
    grado Sr325i
    and (circumaural)
    senn. hd595
    AKG stuff
    Bose

    I have heard in a lot of places that the grado are the best quality, but they are not comfortable (a problem) and they are open air style. I assume that that means that other people will easily hear my music and any external noise will ruin sound quality, but the circumaural models, although comfortable and good at noise reduction, are not as good sound quality wise...
    What should I do??

    if it matters, I am thinking of using the setup of an iphone> line out> meier 2move or mini3> one of the above headphones

    Thanks.




    The named Grado and Senns are open-backed and you definitely don't want them either. The AKG K81, Sennheiser HD-25 series and Ultrasone HFI-780 are good, isolating choices.

    Cheers!
     
  3. Punnisher Contributor
    For me, Grado bowls are entirely circumaural and comfies supraaural.

    Just something to consider. I don't have extremely small ears, but they're not gargantuan either.
     
  4. Exediron Contributor
    I'd say you probably want circumaural, for the requirments you stated. The sound quality isn't really different, you just have to choose models with good sound quality. Rather it's open or closed has more effect on isolation and quality.
     
  5. krmathis Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pantocrator /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    supraaural vs circumaural
    Which do you think is better?




    I prefer circumaural, since they put no pressure on the ear itself.
     
  6. asuka10456
    i wouldn't even consider bose... i have the hd595's and the sr325i's and i haven't touched the 595's since i got the sr325's. Alot of people are saying grado's hurt their ears, that has never happened to me and i have some big ears(lol)
     
  7. Chri5peed
    SQ of Circums is not inherently better than Supras, just that most Grado's are SA.
    You'll find the majority of top headphones are open circum-aural.
     
  8. Pantocrator
    Yeah, there doesnt seem to be much of a consensus...
    So- the difference in sound quality really doesn't matter between the two styles, and comfort is really just a matter of opinion.
    I don't need "noise reduction," but it would be nice if not everyone could hear my music as if it were coming from normal speakers, and I would like to be able to enjoy the music in a dorm room, so what are the recommendations for this set up?
    Again, to reiterate the choices
    Grado 225
    grado 325i
    Senn hd595
    AKG whatever.
    Rank them if you can... maybe a reason why would be nice too.
     
  9. pomme de terre
    Being supraaural or circumaural doesnt really have anything to do with blocking out noise.

    Being closed or open back does have to do with blocking out noise.

    So maybe if youre looking to use them in transit, you should look for some closed headphones. OR, get a pair of open for dorm use, closed for outside use.
     
  10. Chri5peed
    Actually I'd stick my neck out and say 'Circum' is superior to 'Supra'.

    From the fact Circum-aural cans can fit in larger drivers.
     
  11. Fitz Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chri5peed /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Actually I'd stick my neck out and say 'Circum' is superior to 'Supra'.

    From the fact Circum-aural cans can fit in larger drivers.




    You're saying you think larger drivers == better / superior? [​IMG]
     
  12. Chri5peed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fitz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    You're saying you think larger drivers == better / superior? [​IMG]




    In general yes.

    Its a simple engineering principle.


    Obviously assuming well driven, but take a standard 650 driver and compare it to a 40ft one. The huge one is going to have a hell of a lot more ability to move/reproduce sound.

    Why you don't get a lot of high-end IEMs.
     
  13. Exediron Contributor
    Wouldn't a 40ft driver be too large to accurately reproduce pretty much anything? It'll move more air, sure. But will it actually sound good?
     
  14. Fitz Contributor
    More ability to make sound (volume) does not have any direct correlation to how good it sounds. A couple of the worst drivers I've heard are ~50mm, whereas many of my favorite ones are ~32mm.
     
  15. Chri5peed
    Eer, the 40ft was an example. It could have been a 5ft 650 driver.

    I purposefully did not mention volume, as thats not the point.


    Anyway, it is an engineering principle, more often than not a bigger item will do a better job over an identical, but smaller one.

    Also smaller headphone drivers have to vibrate a lot more, so have shorter life-spans.


    edit - Anyway, its your opinion how you prefer smaller drivers. Do you prefer smaller ones because they're smaller or because they sound different?
     
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