Upgrading from IEMs to some cans
Nov 23, 2010 at 5:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
Nov 19, 2010
Cliffs at the bottom for those who don't want to read a book.

Hey all,
I've been lurking hard around here for the past few weeks. I've found myself wanting more out of my music experience lately and, with Christmas right around the corner, might as well let old St. Nick take care of me here
Although in lurking I've learned much, I feel as though a thread is needed now to keep information straight, and to get feedback from actual listeners/owners! A list of my current headphone candidates can be found at the end of this post.
Looking at around $200 maximum. Definitely not opposed to buying used. I am in college and want these to be fitting for public like the bus ride and the library aka good isolation and low leakage qualities (open cans are out), as well as portable enough to where it won't be a hassle. Superaural vs circumaural comes up a bunch here - anyone have anything to say? Senn HD25-1 II have good isolation I hear along with the new Klipsch One's, yet obviously something like M50s or Ultrasone Pro750s will be best. Noteworthy here would be that I enjoy a nicely styled headphone. I listen to mostly electronic music - house, trance, dubstep, etc. I enjoy strong, powerful bass, but don't want a pair of phones that are going to distort the music with such heavy bass. The other 10% of my listening is country to hip hop to alt rock.
I'm not opposed to a portable amp, but get confused with DAC being thrown in and cheaper tin can amps vs something like the iBasso P4. In addition, I have no idea whether a certain portable amp would be able to power something like the Beyerdynamics 770s. Here I wouldn't want to go past $150 unless it was truly needed and necessary. An adjustable bass control would be nice, also. I don't think this is necessarily decided until AFTER headphones have been selected.
In regards to source quality, I'll be either using my 180 gig iPod, my iPhone or my macbook (I didn't realize I was such an Apple nutswinger until now
). With an increase like this, I've decided to start buying a few select HQ songs for download to "explore" the sound and unlock the potential within my headphones. Will someone relatively new to the game, on a ~$200 pair of headphones, be able to tell the difference between a WAV format and high quality mp3? My wallet sure does. I'll be downloading from Beatport mostly. I assume a 320 kbps mp3 (only downloaded one song in WAV format so far). I can't really currently, but may grow into it..?
Also, finding a store to actually listen and compare 'phones in person has been difficult. Both the Apple store (Klipsch One) and Guitar Center wouldn't let me listen to any phones. The Klipsch weren't on display and GC had NO 'phones on display. Only on the wall all boxed up. The employee said I could only listen to one pair since they're a pain to box back up. I just left and said forget it. Maybe tomorrow I'll make my way out to the high-end mall and check out what stores they have. I have no experience beyond my Klipsch S4 IEMs.
Current list (in no particular order):
Denon AH-D2000
Audio Technica ATH-M50
AKG Acoustics K-240
Shure SRH840
Ultrasone Pro750
M-Audio Q-40
Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
Klipsch One
Shure SRH750
Beyerdynamics DT 770-Pro
Ultrasone HFI780
As you can see, this list needs to be narrowed. Please toss in whatever you find helpful! If you made it here, pat yourself on the back, you just read my entire post.

- ~$200, closed, super/circumaural phones (willing to buy used)
- must be portable, isolate noise well, and not leak sound (used in library)
- listen to electronic - house, trance, dubstep, etc
- not necessarily basshead, but like a strong bass presence
- enjoy good styling
- would consider pairing with portable amp up to ~$150 (DAC?)
Nov 25, 2010 at 2:16 AM Post #3 of 3


New Head-Fier
Nov 19, 2010

Though I've never been able to confirm this, I was advised to not purchase the Denon AH-D2000s if your source is un-amped; however, I may be mistaken. Any experts on this? 

You're absolutely right. Thanks for the tip off haha. The more I really think about this, it's questionable on my college budget that I'll be able to swing $150 on an amp - probably closer to $100. I'm going to be digging into this tomorrow when I'm escaping from the family
I'll be reporting back with (hopefully) links to reviews and such as sort of a general comparison for more people to use if they're in the same boat.

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