Too much competition! What headphones should I get for $100-180?
Mar 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM Post #46 of 68

cel4145

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i'm not interested in this or that attribute of a headphone, I JUST WANT 'ACCURACY" simple, so that's what i look for when auditioning any headphone. I've said it once and i'll say it again, i have listened to nearly every lauded headphone out there, the Grados, the Sennheisers, the Denon's, the Beyer&Wilkins P5, plus any and everything ever lauded, and very few of them approach perfection, practically none of them to date, the best three i recommend for the closest to perfection that i have heard is the Ultrasone HFI 580, the Skull-Candy 'Aviator' and the Shure SRH 550, the rest can go jump in the lake where they belong.


While I appreciate them for what they are (they are quite fun for their bass response), the HFI-580 are far from an "accurate" headphone. There are a number of ways to look at accuracy, and they don't measure up to many of them. They have a very V-shaped response with very subdued mids, so their frequency response is far from accurate. If overall detail resolution is what people are looking for in accuracy, there are plenty of headphones that are better than them merely by stepping up in price; even the HFI-780s in the same line have a more refined sound (and are actually currently cheaper right now). And as far as transient response, the cheaper Grado SR-80i and all more expensive Grado headphones are definitely superior.

Other than that i can see there are some reasonable people in here who are mature minded, that's fair enough, i like that, Peace on earth! BUT DON'T TRY AND TELL ME 'HOW' TO SAY SOMETHING! Go find a murderer instead and put him on death-row, i'm not interested in walking on egg shells, just speak your damn mind, i wanna hear if you believe an opinion is sheer crap, tell me, i wanna hear it.


OK. That opinion is "sheer crap" to use your own words. Either (a) you don't know what accuracy means or (b) your listening preferences are so far off the norm that they are not valid for most people. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM Post #47 of 68
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Now to answer the important question from warrenpchi... in the past i have listened 'carefully' to the Sennheiser HD800, and guess what? Don't even bother, honestly, they are a load of junk, sheer junk, i couldn't believe after listening to them how ***** they were, i was standing there sniggering to myself about all the pretentious garbage surrounding such headphones, and the Fostex are not much better;

 
First of all, thanks for taking the time to answer my question.  Like I mentioned previously, I haven't auditioned the Ultrasone HFI 580 or the Shure SRH-550, so I don't have any particular opinion regarding their performance.  However, I would disagree with you regarding the HD 800 as I found that to be exceedingly good at detail retrieval and precision if not somewhat overly bright at times.
 
And just some fair warning, you're gonna have some rough times ahead with your assessment of the HD 800 being "a load of junk, sheer junk" in these forums.  As you probably know, the HD 800 and TH900 tend to be very well regarded here.  Not saying you should hold back your impressions, only that they will be controversial.
 
Quote:
 
And for some reason i can't understand a lot of times why the cheaper headphone in any companies headphone-range sounds better than their higher priced ones, but i have found that to be the case many times.

 
Actually, this is one assessment I would tend to agree with you.  Many times - and I think you might be surprised to hear this - a lot of us consider price to be a poor indicator of sound quality.  There are many examples of lower priced cans besting higher priced cans (Koss PortaPro, Monoprice 8323, etc.) in terms of performance.
 

 
In any case, whether I agree with you or not, I hope you continue on your journey of discovering new cans... see you around.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM Post #48 of 68

Sound Quest

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Out of curiosity..... What were you actually using to power the HD800s?
 
Sounds like a case of someone plugging them directly into the headphone jack of their computer, without having the faintest idea about what they were doing.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:19 PM Post #50 of 68

Magick Man

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Out of curiosity..... What were you actually using to power the HD800s?

Sounds like a case of someone plugging them directly into the headphone jack of their computer, without having the faintest idea about what they were doing.


Indeed. It kinda puts me in mind of an HD800 + iPod experience.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:20 PM Post #51 of 68
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Out of curiosity..... What were you actually using to power the HD800s?

 
Probably not asking me, but in my case, it was iPodPJ's astounding β22. 
smile.gif

 
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM Post #53 of 68

cel4145

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Now back to our regularly scheduled program :)

Adding more information, I'm quite a fan of the Vmoda Crossfades because of the looks and the duribility, but I'm not sure how the sound is compared to the others. The ultrasones and q40s I'm concerned about duribility as well. I listen to mostly rock and indie, if it helps.


Yes. Your type of music definitely makes a difference.

Unless you are sure you like headphones with a lot of bass response, I would avoid the HFI-580s that have been recommended. The mids are very recessed, which is not a great choice for rock and indie. The 780s, which are currently cheaper, have a more balanced response and a little more refined sound, yet still have some good bass presence. In fact I went with the 780s exactly because they sounded better with rock and indie and because the bass was a little hot for me on the 580s even when listening to EMD and rap.

That being said, your original post indicated that you might be interested in open headphones. Grados are well know for being some of the best headphones for rock. You aren't going to get usable bass below 50hz out of them, but they are magical because of the fast transient response and soundstage. Guitar sounds awesome on all kinds of rock: classic, metal, alternative, acoustic, etc. In fact, I would choose the $100 SR80i over the Ultrasone HFI series that I have heard without hesitation. There's no sound quite like Grados, but they are open, no isolation whatsoever and you can hear your environment very well, and people can hear what you are listening to. They are definitely a listen at home kind of headphone. Still, I currently have the SR225i, and if I could only have one headphone, this would be it. Grados are definitely worth demoing for any rock fan.

I also own the M50s. I keep them in my office because I don't use them for serious listening. They are a solid, middle of the road choice, but not very engaging or exciting to me.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 1:04 PM Post #54 of 68
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Unless you are sure you like headphones with a lot of bass response, I would avoid the HFI-580s that have been recommended. The mids are very recessed, which is not a great choice for rock and indie. The 780s, which are currently cheaper, have a more balanced response and a little more refined sound, yet still have some good bass presence. In fact I went with the 780s exactly because they sounded better with rock and indie and because the bass was a little hot for me on the 580s even when listening to EMD and rap.

 
cel, have you ever heard the Ultrasone Pro 650?  I have owned that, and could probably imagine the signatures of the HFI-580 and HFI-780 with the Pro 650 as a frame of reference.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 7:23 PM Post #55 of 68

cel4145

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cel, have you ever heard the Ultrasone Pro 650?  I have owned that, and could probably imagine the signatures of the HFI-580 and HFI-780 with the Pro 650 as a frame of reference.


Sorry. I haven't. But I'd like to. Does that count? :D
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 8:49 PM Post #56 of 68
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I found one store, in the entire city, which actually has the Ultrasone range on demo (the big electronic stores surprisingly do not, but lock them away in glass cabinets). The one time I tried the HFI range I only remember a lot of bass, a hell of a lot of treble. Some people seem to like them, but I wouldn't listen with them loud as they'd be hearing-damage central in the treble. Of course, once in a while you get someone for whom the S-Logic actually does something and they end up in soundstage heaven, waxing lyrical about it.
 
Mar 31, 2013 at 10:16 PM Post #57 of 68

newphones

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I have done A LOT of research on this. I originally was just going to get the ath-m50, but once I really looked into it I found out that the m50 might not be the best buy. There are just so many competing headphones that I'm not sure what to choose!  
 
Some of the headphones:
 
Srh-840
V-Moda Crossfade
M-Audio Q40
Ath-m50???
And there's probably more -_-
 
 
Deciding is just so hard. All I'm looking for is a nice all around good headphone. Preferably neutral, but I could live with a v shaped sound signiture. Duribility would be nice too.  I'm upgrading from an XB-500 so I don't have much experience with headphones like this. I was thinking about trying a closed back headphone this time, for the sound isolation, but thats not as important as sound quality.
Thanks!

 
What headphones do you have now? If you are just starting out, I would recommend the following:
 
-koss portapro (for bass)
 
-koss ksc75: prominent but tight bass, a bit of high end sparkle (maybe a bit too much) and tons of detail
 
-apple earpods: in ear, with good overall sound quality; similar in signature to the ksc75, but a bit sloppier with detail and a bit of sibilance
 
These are all great sounding headphones which cost next to nothing, don't require any modding and sound good right out of the box.
 
You could get two sets of each PLUS a fiio e6 for $180 TOTAL. 
 
You really owe it to yourself to try one or all three of these low cost headphones; great sound and your pocket will take a very minimal hit. 
 
Apr 1, 2013 at 12:15 AM Post #58 of 68
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cel, have you ever heard the Ultrasone Pro 650?  I have owned that, and could probably imagine the signatures of the HFI-580 and HFI-780 with the Pro 650 as a frame of reference.


Sorry. I haven't. But I'd like to. Does that count?
biggrin.gif

 
Oh, so close!  I can *almost* hear it...  Nope, the thought dissipated.  I'll have to try harder next time.  I know, do or do not, there is no try. 
wink.gif

 
Quote:
I found one store, in the entire city, which actually has the Ultrasone range on demo (the big electronic stores surprisingly do not, but lock them away in glass cabinets). The one time I tried the HFI range I only remember a lot of bass, a hell of a lot of treble. Some people seem to like them, but I wouldn't listen with them loud as they'd be hearing-damage central in the treble. Of course, once in a while you get someone for whom the S-Logic actually does something and they end up in soundstage heaven, waxing lyrical about it.

 
That's pretty much the understanding I have about them as well, since they're usually recommended as basshead cans.  In accordance with the "bass-to-treble-to-mids" theory of audiophile progression, I can definitely see how new Head-Fiers would like them very much. 
 
These days, I find myself hearing between-the-lines so to speak, inexplicably drawn to sub-bass, lower mids, upper mids and that wispy gossamer air at the very top.  They seem to be the greatest trouble spots for lower end cans that are prone to congestion.
 
I can definitely say that S-Logic did something for me, I'm just not thrilled about what it did.  I'd have to boil it down to a physical displacement based largely upon frequency kind of thing, with mids expanded out to the far corners of the universe.  Not slighting anyone else's impressions at all, but it all seemed a bit artificial (and arbitrary) to me.
 

 
BTW tydus, there is a pair of cans that I think would be good for you, but I have not made the recommendation so far as it lies outside of your pricing criteria.  Still, should you ever get a chance to audition a set of Mr. Speakers's Mad Dogs, I think you would like what you hear.  I have found it to be both balanced and detailed beyond most cans in it's price range.
 
Apr 1, 2013 at 2:40 AM Post #59 of 68

zardak

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Alright, so some people are on the Sennheiser and Grado bandwagon, well here's the thing, i have several Headphone specialist shops in my area and they stock the whole range of Grado and Sennheiser and Ultrasones, so i got to try them all, through the FiiO E11, and the HD800's sounded very ordinary, actual, shockingly bad from what i can remember, pure garbage, same ole Sennhesier sound displaying skewed frequencies as usual, just middle of the range garbage, and don't get me started on the HD25 MKII, they are merely OK, and have a narrow soundstage with recessed  dark sounding mids, if you don't believe me then just take a listen to Shure 550's.
 
I also tried all the Grado's, every one of them, and it seems to me that people who like them need to go listen to their preferred music on proper studio Monitor speakers, the Grado's don't give anywhere near the truth of the original sound source. I am a music producer and i have $3000 Mackie monitors which are dead-accurate, so then after listening to those, plug in the Grados's and tell me if they are accurate, there's no way the Grados are accurate, and you will wonder where the hell is the bass and what is all that shrill treble and anorexic-sounding audio spectrum, the Skull Candy Aviators beat the legs of any Grado headphone, the Aviators display all that is good about the Grados without their flaws, especially the SR80i, i had a careful listen to the SR80i and man oh man, no way, there's no way that 80i is accurate.
And what is all this about V-shaped response, yeah i know, the EQ frequency-plot being exhibited, well the Ultrasones 580's  might be ever so slightly V-shaped, but not to any significant extent, they still sound very detailed and well-balanced overall, and to my ears the S-Logic does not sound unnatural, it just presents a real-life sound-stage that sounds realistic and pleasant, more so than other headphones that are purported to have a good stereo soundstage, ahhhmm, if you want a headphone that is almost dead-flat then grab the Shure 550's, simple.
 
Apr 1, 2013 at 3:02 AM Post #60 of 68
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There may be something to what you say about the 580s actually.
 

 
 
By the way, what kind of music do you produce? What kind of music did you listen with? It helps a lot with impressions to know what was being listened to.
 
FYI I don't recall anyone saying that Grados are accurate (the out-of-production HP1/2/1000 excepted which are the only ones that were made for producing music with). The Aviators are definitely more "flat" than average for Skullcandy.
 

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