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Two Q's; 'loudness' + 'headphone comfort'

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by pevsfreedom, Feb 27, 2013.
  1. pevsfreedom
    Hi there,
    had two questions for you guys.
    1) I just bought Sennheiser HD598s (my 5th or 6th pair of headphones, I only keep one at a time though). I have a Cowon Z2. I have to have these at 45 (for loud music) or 50 (for quiet music) and it's actually still pretty quiet. Not quiet but not really loud. Why is this? Do I need an amplifier? I don't generally listen to **** too loud but I like to have it really loud for certain songs (Pink Floyd stuff mostly, you know...)
    2) I've noticed I have a trouble with headphones and comfort. They either start to make behind my ears feel weird or 'pinch' the top of my head. I've had this problem with ALL headphones. Should I switch to IEM's? I Like the piercing highs that IEM's can deliver... I mean I love it, and they're great for canceling out sound too. They're not exactly comfy either though... my ears are very sensitive. What are some "grado sounding" IEM's that you guys would recommend at a fair price? ($~150) that could potentially replace my 598's (if I decide to get rid of them due to comfort, etc.)
    Also: one important thing to keep in note. The headphone/IEM's main use will be in transcribing music. For any musicians out there, do you prefer IEM's or headphones? Thanks.
    3) I lied, there's 3 questions. I know the 598's aren't quite rock and roll headphones but they're the most comfy I've found. I had grado's and ---HATED--- them comfort wise. Couldn't use them. Is  there anything out there that sounds like Grado's but not as intensely uncomfortable? I'd sell my 598's and get em.. The 598's are quite nice though with hip-hop, the snares and bass drum sound absolutely fantastic.
    Thanks guys, love this forum, everyone's always very helpful.
  2. fraseyboy
    1. It sounds like your Cowon doesn't have enough power to drive the HD598's. If you want it to be louder you will probably need an amp. Even something cheap like a Fiio would probably do the job. Spending more money will further improve your sound, along with the volume.
    2. I doubt you'd find IEM's more comfortable than full sized headphones. IEM's tend to make the inside of my ears ache after wearing them for an hour or so. If your HD598's are pinching maybe they're clamping too tight? The old trick for fixing clamp pressure is to leave your headphones over something wider than your head (like a football or something) overnight so they loosen up. Full sized headphones can do piercing highs too if you want.
    If you want IEM's for transcribing music I'd recommend something by Etymotic. They are INCREDIBLY detailed. You can focus on a single instrument and hear every little nuance. 
    3. Grado's are definitely not comfortable, however in my experience the only thing that sounds like Grado is Grado. You could try something like the Beyerdynamic DT880 which has very sparkly highs and a huge amount of detail overall which would help with transcribing. The only drawback for me was the recessed midrange. 
    But if you like the sound of the HD598 there's not much point upgrading. There's no such thing as rock and roll headphones, it all depends on your own personal preferences as to how you like things to sound.

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