What are high(er) quality portable headphones?
Jul 12, 2008 at 10:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

SawaFish

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Hey people,

I'm looking for some new portable cans to use mostly while cycling to work. I currently use a K81DJ and ATH-SJ5 though I use the SJ5 more. I also use a ATH-CK7 sometimes, mostly when it rains (fits under my hood
smily_headphones1.gif
). I'm pretty happy with all three of these though I seem to prefer the SJ5 over the K81.

I want a new headphone that's portable, closed and offers better sound quality, so far I've seen the ATH-ES7, the HFI-780 and the ATH-ESW9. I really can't decide, the ES7 seems nice but there are lots of fakes.
From what I read I think I'll prefer the ESW9 over the HFI-780 but it's a quite expensive headphone, especially when I have to pay import taxes.

So please tell me what's good or not and guide my decision
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 2:37 PM Post #2 of 14

alitomr

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Those headphones you mentioned are considered portables but i dont even know why. Maybe it is because they sound close to their full potential out of a DAP? They are quite bulky.

If the answer to the question is positive, then I think you should also add the Denon d2000, which seems to be the BEST among those you listed. Some people find the d2000 better than the HD600 and HD650. They seem to be quite enjoyable. I would like to try them once.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 2:41 PM Post #3 of 14

4saken

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Good luck taking the Denon D2000 as a portable. I think most agree that the Sennheiser HD25-I is a killer portable/durable headphone, though it is incredibly ugly compared to the Audiotechnica models mentioned. I actually saw the Audio-Technica ESW9 today, and they are much smaller than I thought!
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM Post #4 of 14

tpc41

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haha i dont think the d2000 is a good cycling headphone. Closed headphones are dangerous when riding a bike, you need to be able to hear cars coming and be aware of your surroundings. Open headphones would be much safer.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 3:25 PM Post #5 of 14

SawaFish

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tpc41 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
haha i dont think the d2000 is a good cycling headphone. Closed headphones are dangerous when riding a bike, you need to be able to hear cars coming and be aware of your surroundings. Open headphones would be much safer.


Safer for what part of the body?
tongue.gif

Since I live in the Netherlands we have special made roads or parts of the road for cycling almost everywhere so it's pretty safe. With open headphones I have to turn up the volume so high though that my ears start to hurt after a few minutes if not immediatly.

From the pictures I saw the D2000 is quite big, so I'm not sure about the portability of it and I read some threads saying that the D2000 might be considered a downgrade from my K271s' I use at home so if the D2000 is indeed quite big I might as well use my K271s'. Which I don't want to. So if somebody can give me a comparison of the size with any of the headphones I already own?
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 3:34 PM Post #6 of 14

tpc41

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SawaFish /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Safer for what part of the body?
tongue.gif

Since I live in the Netherlands we have special made roads or parts of the road for cycling almost everywhere so it's pretty safe. With open headphones I have to turn up the volume so high though that my ears start to hurt after a few minutes if not immediatly.

From the pictures I saw the D2000 is quite big, so I'm not sure about the portability of it and I read some threads saying that the D2000 might be considered a downgrade from my K271s' I use at home so if the D2000 is indeed quite big I might as well use my K271s'. Which I don't want to. So if somebody can give me a comparison of the size with any of the headphones I already own?



oh wow i had no idea you guys had special roads for bikers, i am used to watching people riding on the side of the road and having to be very careful about oncoming traffic.

For great size comparison photos go over to HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears where they have pictures of all their headphones on fake heads.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 3:52 PM Post #7 of 14

boomana

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SawaFish /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hey people,

I'm looking for some new portable cans to use mostly while cycling to work. I currently use a K81DJ and ATH-SJ5 though I use the SJ5 more. I also use a ATH-CK7 sometimes, mostly when it rains (fits under my hood
smily_headphones1.gif
). I'm pretty happy with all three of these though I seem to prefer the SJ5 over the K81.

I want a new headphone that's portable, closed and offers better sound quality, so far I've seen the ATH-ES7, the HFI-780 and the ATH-ESW9. I really can't decide, the ES7 seems nice but there are lots of fakes.
From what I read I think I'll prefer the ESW9 over the HFI-780 but it's a quite expensive headphone, especially when I have to pay import taxes.

So please tell me what's good or not and guide my decision



The HFI-780 are large and need mods to sound halfway decent. The ESW9s are wonderful, but you'll sweat all over the leather pads. The ATH-ES7s might be what you want (I've no experience with them), and if you want to go that route, just buy from an authorized dealer (i.e., headroom, audiocubes) and you won't have to worry about getting a fake. The HD25-I someone mentioned would be worth checking into. For a closed headphone for biking (want good sound, but aren't critically listening), I'd go for the HD25, or the old stand-by, the Sony MDR-V6. You can get it new for about $80, it sounds good, is comfy, and can take a bit of a beating as far as tossing in a bag or even dropping it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by alitomr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Those headphones you mentioned are considered portables but i dont even know why. Maybe it is because they sound close to their full potential out of a DAP? They are quite bulky.

If the answer to the question is positive, then I think you should also add the Denon d2000, which seems to be the BEST among those you listed. Some people find the d2000 better than the HD600 and HD650. They seem to be quite enjoyable. I would like to try them once.



The D2000 is far from the best of anything, especially for the use the op is suggesting. From your words, it doesn't sound like you've even heard it. Why recommend it then? Plus, it would be horrible on a bike. The build quality alone eliminates it.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 4:19 PM Post #8 of 14

alitomr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The HFI-780 are large and need mods to sound halfway decent. The ESW9s are wonderful, but you'll sweat all over the leather pads. The ATH-ES7s might be what you want (I've no experience with them), and if you want to go that route, just buy from an authorized dealer (i.e., headroom, audiocubes) and you won't have to worry about getting a fake. The HD25-I someone mentioned would be worth checking into. For a closed headphone for biking (want good sound, but aren't critically listening), I'd go for the HD25, or the old stand-by, the Sony MDR-V6. You can get it new for about $80, it sounds good, is comfy, and can take a bit of a beating as far as tossing in a bag or even dropping it.



The D2000 is far from the best of anything, especially for the use the op is suggesting. From your words, it doesn't sound like you've even heard it. Why recommend it then? Plus, it would be horrible on a bike. The build quality alone eliminates it.




You might benefit JUST A BIT from improving reading comprehension and I shouldnt probably recommend headphones I havent listened to. Ive discovered that when you read from good reviewers, the definition of sound reproduction can be quite consistent and easy to understand, and is apart and differs from personal tastes. That is why, even without having listened to many headphones, I know what to expect from them and they dont surprise positive or negatively.

There are a lot of sad/hostile people around the forums lately... why?
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM Post #9 of 14

boomana

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alitomr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You might benefit JUST A BIT from improving reading comprehension and I shouldnt probably recommend headphones I havent listened to. Ive discovered that when you read from good reviewers, the definition of sound reproduction can be quite consistent and easy to understand, and is apart and differs from personal tastes. That is why, even without having listened to many headphones, I know what to expect from them and they dont surprise positive or negatively.

There are a lot of sad/hostile people around the forums lately... why?



I'm neither sad nor hostile, though you've launched into the latter, I see. The point is that I value this website as a community and as a resource. The op asked a great question. Why not let others who can help him answer it? From your post, it's obvious that you haven't owned or even heard the D2000s or you would never have recommended them as a headphone for biking...but you recommend them anyway. Why? Why do you feel the need to throw in your two cents when it only interferes with other, genuinely helpful recommendations? It's really a question of how you value head-fi as a community, and as a helpful resource for people wanting answers. You can help dumb it down, as your two posts in this thread have done, or participate in a more respectful way.

You claim you should be able to post recommendations to others after only having read reviews. How the heck can you determine the value of those reviews if you have no base by which to judge their value? How the heck do you know which reviewers are inexperienced enthusiasts caught up in FOTMdom and which ones might actually know something. In the case of the D2000s, many (not all) fall into the former category. Tell me how you know which is which, who is who, and what is what? I wouldn't want a recommendation from someone who couldn't answer all those questions and also tell me why. And, if you'd actually really read a range of D2000 reviews yourself, you still wouldn't have recommended them for biking, especially when the op asked for portable recommendations. I can just see one of the cups falling off three kilometers down the road. So, your argument is crap. You're double-crap posting. Stop it.

So, to change this around....what quality portable headphones have you heard that you can recommend to the op? That's the question. What comparisons have you made between different portable headphones, maybe even some iems or full-sized ones, so that you can tell him about the differences in build, comfort, sq. That's what the op is looking for before putting good money down. Why not make those recommendations? If you don't have experience with closed portable headphones, no biggy, but for gawd sake stop posting for the sake of posting, which is what you've done. Head-fi has more than enough members who know what they're talking about here. Why not let them help, and stay out of the way if you don't have experience with the answers the op wants? And please don't get in a big ole bratty-snit for being called out on making recommendations on gear you haven't heard, when the recommendations are both ridiculous and potentially harmful. You deserve being called out for dumbing down the thread and adding more noise to the forum. That's on you, not on people who object to it.

Back on topic: op, the one thing about closed headphones and any kind of exercise is the sweat factor. I don't know about you, but I don't like it much. If you're not interested in iems, and are willing to consider open, I like the PX100s a lot for working out. No, they don't isolate all that well, but they don't get hot on your ears, can handle sweat, are lightweight and comfy, have decent sq, and are under $50, so you don't have worry too much if something happens to them. Just another thing to consider.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 6:41 PM Post #10 of 14

3X0

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What kind of sonic signature do you prefer? The ATH-ES7 and HD25-1's are both excellent choices but dish out totally different sound signatures. The ATH-ESW9 might be worth looking into as well, but I can't make that recommendation as I haven't heard a pair yet.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 8:41 PM Post #12 of 14

SawaFish

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
*text*


I totally agree with what you just wrote in your post, there's too many people saying what they read from others and present it as self experience or facts. You write good
wink.gif
.

I tried the PMX100 and PMX200 (don't know if I've got the model right, it's the PX but with a behind the neck band) and didn't like them that much, too small and the isolation was no good as I recall. I found a similar headphone in the K27i which is now renamed to K416p and though I liked the sound at that time I soon bought a K81 because of the big comfort issue.
I sweat some when I use my SJ5 or K81 but I don't mind that much, I cycle in the open so there's wind enough to cool my ears when I lift the pads every now and then
smily_headphones1.gif
.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3X0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What kind of sonic signature do you prefer? The ATH-ES7 and HD25-1's are both excellent choices but dish out totally different sound signatures. The ATH-ESW9 might be worth looking into as well, but I can't make that recommendation as I haven't heard a pair yet.


I can't really say, I find it hard to tell. I like my K271s the most which are described as analytical, detailed headphones with a superb midrange. I listen mostly to indie, rock and classic rock, stuff with drums, guitars and vocals.

Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
By the way, we have a separate forum for portable headphones, earphones and IEM's.
wink.gif

Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors - Head-Fi



Really? Since when? I don't see a link when I go to the front page. Good thing though, for future portable headphone questions I'll go there.

The D2000 is crossed of my list, I'm leaning towards the ES7 but gotta find a good comparison with the HD-25-I II. And if I can scrap the money together then the ESW9 is very tempting, though awfully expensive for a student like me
tongue.gif
.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 10:03 PM Post #14 of 14

3X0

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I think the MDR-V6 and HD25-1 would actually be closer to the sound signature of the K271s than the ES7. The ES7 is a very energetic headphone and its sheer body makes it seem less analytical or detailed than it actually is. The HD25-1's, at the very least, sound more detailed although I found them less versatile towards music genres and less enjoyable overall (then again, I am slowly leaning away from analytical sound, so the HD25-1's may indeed be what you will prefer).

The ES7 is a wonderful set but analytical is one of the last terms I'd use to describe its sound.
 

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