Very Portable, Very Analytical, Very Cheap?
Dec 19, 2004 at 4:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

aliasfox

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Hey, time to buy another set of headphones. I'm getting an iPod soon, and I already know I'm going to hate the stock buds... Therefore, I've been on a quest to find new headphones- yay for my ears, nay for the wallet.

These headphones have to be very portable, which means no mention of full size cans. My Senn HD-497 headphones sound great to my ears (unamped... that's the next step...), but their size and 10 ft cord makes them very cumbersome to walk around with. I had considered the Senn PX-100, but I'm thinking that a) the bass won't be what I like, and b) they'll leak too much in a library environment. Because of this, I've been looking at earbuds. Isolation from outside sound, and everyone's isolated from my music.

Next issue: I don't want to spend too much money on these headphones, $50-ish being my upper limit, which cuts out Etys of any sort, and Shures barely make it if someone's having a fire sale on them. For under $50 or so, I've found:

- Apple In-Ear
- Senn MX450, MX500, MX550
- Sharp MD33
- Shure E2c
- Sony EX71SL

Nobody here ever mentions the Apple In-Ear, so I'm not seriously considering those- they probably fit poorly and sound worse. Of the remaining entrants, I don't know which one I should take the plunge with. I've heard the Shure's have rolled off highs and are a pain for many people to put in their ears, so that's already two strikes against them. The Senns aren't canal phones, so they'll leak more and have weaker bass response, correct? I've found the Sony on eBay in white (jumps at the thought of matching headphones to iPod), but they seem to have fallen out of favor on these boards, and everyone's been recommending the Sharp's instead, which I haven't found yet.

Currently, I have Senn HD-497s which I drive out of my PowerBook, in addition to a set of Monsoon MM-1000 speakers from the same source. I like how they both sound, and with the exception of bass handling, they actually sound rather similar, with the Monsoons being somewhat brighter. If I get something new, I'd like bass to be a bit more pronounced than I get with an unamped HD-497, and I would like it to extend lower than the Monsoon's woofer can go- other than that, I'd like my new set to sound similar. As for types of music, I listen to everything- from classical to classic rock, from Shubert to Snoop Dog.

So... any suggestions for more models I should consider? Or is there not a headphone out that satisfies what I want? In brief:
- No more than $50
- Sounds like Senn HD-497 or Monsoon MM-1000
- Isolating
- Very portable

Thanks y'all!
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 6:14 AM Post #2 of 20

kramer5150

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IMHO if you like bass and treble, with mellow mids the EX71 might suit you well. I have to use a 5db parametric mid-boost at 3200Hz to get the most out of my 51s.

Garrett
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 8:23 AM Post #3 of 20

DigDub

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of the lot suggested, i would go with the md33. e2c is muddy, it is anythin but analytical. the bass of the ex71 has boomy bass, and is not helped by the lack of mids. the mx series do not isolate, but they may fit what you are looking for.
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 10:23 AM Post #4 of 20

dthiep

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first you wont get Shure E2c for under $50 (if you do share with me the info plz)
second, Apple In-Ear, Senn MX450, MX500, MX550 will leak, no isolation and there bass is a little missing,
so the choice is only between Sharp MD33 or Sony EX71SL, form what I know you cannot go wrong with either of them.
But if I were you, I would stick with HD 497 (I actually, go out with mine HD 655, so believe me yours HD 497 is nothing
tongue.gif
)
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 11:39 AM Post #5 of 20

Andrea

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Edit: OOps! You'd already mentioned these, and complained about leakage...
Well, just let me say, as it obviously depends on the volume you listen to music at, in a library you might just keep it lower...
About the bass, it's punchy, but doesn't sound overstated.
For 'on the move' it should be perfectly balanced.
---------------------------------------------------------
You simply just made an identikit of Sennheiser PX100 !

I have also HD497 and, if you trust me, PX100 is far better, more musical, more portable, and with more present and likely more extended bass.
Also, cheaper.
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 4:16 PM Post #8 of 20

aliasfox

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Thanks to all of you that replied.

Ok, so down to two, with the Sharps being the overwhelming favorite. Just out of curiosity, are y'alls recommending the Sharps based on reputation or do you own them (and the EX71SL) and can give me a detailed overview of what I should expect? Because they're In-Ear, I'm not expecting an audition anywhere, so I want to be as sure as possible that they're what I want.

Yeah, I'd love to keep my HD-497s for portable use... if I can stuff that 10 ft cord in one pocket and the headphones in another... too much of a mess, and kind of negates one of the iPod's biggest benefits (size).

Also, where do you find the Sharps? The usual sources (eBay, Amazon, Headroom, Sharp homepage) didn't show the MD33.

The Shures never quite make it below $50, but if they were good I would've been willing to shell out an extra $10 to buy them- they can be found for $60 from time to time.

And as for volume... depends on what I'm listening to. I'm occassionally the guy conducting to the Beethoven Violin Concerto that's cranked up in my ears. Yeah, I'm that guy. Loud enough for the guy next to me to complain about the leakage from the HD-497s.
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 9:29 PM Post #11 of 20

aliasfox

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Well, the reviews at audiocube.com sold me. I'm just not quite sure of the four-pole thing- someone want to clarify that for me? In addition, it lists cable length at 0.65 meters- 2 ft. I need an inelegant extension cord then, don't I... maybe I'll just buy the iPod remote...
 
Dec 19, 2004 at 11:26 PM Post #12 of 20

DanT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aliasfox
I'm just not quite sure of the four-pole thing- someone want to clarify that for me? In addition, it lists cable length at 0.65 meters- 2 ft. I need an inelegant extension cord then, don't I... maybe I'll just buy the iPod remote...


Check This Tread The ground is separate in 2 channel one for left and one for right you either have to get the appropriate extention cord or simply solder both ground together
 
Dec 20, 2004 at 12:20 AM Post #13 of 20

number1sixerfan

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Vote for the shures.
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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