What's the best headphone out there?
Apr 22, 2002 at 2:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

Prototype

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Sorry I'm a noob, and followed a link to delenda est Sony's
review of the Philips 890, which sound perfect for me, but I'm just wondering is there a general consensus on what are THE best headphones?
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 2:44 PM Post #2 of 27

JMT

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Hi Prototype and welcome to Head-Fi.

Your question is difficult, if not impossible, to answer for a few reasons:
  1. We all hear things differently, what is the best to me may be crap to you.
  2. In my opinion, different headphones sound best with different types of music. So your musical tastes become a factor.
  3. Value of price. What is too expensive? The laws of diminishing returns come into play. The Sennheiser Orpheus runs $11,000+/- while the Sony MDR-V6's can be had for under $80.00. Will you find $10,920.00 more enjoyment out of the Orpheus?
    wink.gif
  4. How will the headphones be amplified? Portable CDP, intergrated amp, or dedicated headphone amp. If a dedicated headphone amp, solid state or tubes?
Those are just a few things to think about when asking/answering that question. I know this doesn't help.
frown.gif


All of that said, The Sennheiser HD600/HD580, Etymotics ER-4S/P, Grado SR-325/RS-1/SR-80, Sony MDR-V6/CD1700/CD3000 are mentioned a lot here.
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 4:43 PM Post #3 of 27

Prototype

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Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for the brief primer... what would you say is best value for money overall? I can't afford to form subjective opinions as I'll pretty much only be able to afford the one pair of headphones, so I'm looking for some expert input from you guys.
smily_headphones1.gif
I've read some of the comprehensive reviews but am still a bit lost... but I will read reviews of those models you mentioned, thanks again JMT
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 5:07 PM Post #4 of 27

JMT

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Again, a few questions need to be answered before we can make a recommendation from a value/price perspective.
  1. What is your budget (probably the most important factor)?
  2. What type of music do you primarily listen to?
  3. What will be your primary source?
Here is the short list:
- Sennheiser HD600 - New for around $300 +/-
- Sennheiser HD580 - New for around $200 +/-
- Grado SR-80 - New for around $95 +/-
- Grado SR-325 - New for around $295 +/-
- Grado RS-1 - New for around $695 +/-
- Etymotic ER-4S/P - Around $269 +/-
- Sony MDR-V6 - Around $70

I better mention AKG-K501s or Neruda will hurt me. Also, many here also like the Beyerdynamic line. Check out HeadRoom and Meier Audio for further information and pricing.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 5:10 PM Post #5 of 27

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by Prototype
what would you say is best value for money overall?


Honestly? The KSC-35 for $30 is, IMO, the best value in headphones. There are a lot of "better" headphones, but you have to pay a lot more for them
wink.gif


Now, if you mean what is the best value for the money in higher-end headphones, there are lots of choices, but before you can get a good recommendation, you need to answer some of the questions JMT answered, and tell us if you're willing to buy an amp? Some of the really good headphones aren't that good without a dedicated amp.
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:31 PM Post #8 of 27

Neruda

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Quote:

Originally posted by JMT
I better mention AKG-K501s or Neruda will hurt me.


very_evil_smiley.gif


actually, I don't mind if the K501 is not mentioned, because it only reaches its top-tier level with a really good, high quality/high powered amplifier. but after you have that, they're pretty tough to beat IMO.
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:39 PM Post #9 of 27

kelly

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Usually when people ask questions like this, they really want to hear "Just buy the Sony."

So buy the Sony. It's all about the V600.
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:46 PM Post #10 of 27

fiddler

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
Usually when people ask questions like this, they really want to hear "Just buy the Sony."

So buy the Sony. It's all about the V600.


That's not very helpful to newbies, Kelly...
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:49 PM Post #11 of 27

nifu

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Don't you mean the Sony MDR-V6's kelly? I just ordered the V6's two days ago and I can't wait for them to come!

Oh yeah and I have a question cause I didn't want to start a new Thread. What does "easy to drive" or "drive" mean in headphone terms? Not in the car, heh.
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:54 PM Post #12 of 27

kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by fiddler
That's not very helpful to newbies, Kelly...


Aww, but you just don't know how many times I've had someone ask me what the best headphone was and then after determing their budget, the best place to order and the headphone that best matched their needs, they went to the closest electronics store and bought whatever Sony was in stock... usually the V600. There must be something to it. I think the Sony name makes people happy. Happiness is the goal after all.
(Yes I do think this is somehow useful--maybe if I ridicule my friends, the noob won't buy the Sony. It's worth a shot.)
evil_smiley.gif
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 8:54 PM Post #13 of 27

fiddler

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No nifu, he was just kidding about the V600. See the confusion you've caused, Kelly? Jeez...
wink.gif
 
Apr 22, 2002 at 9:03 PM Post #15 of 27

joelongwood

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Well, I don't believe there is a "best" headphone out there, but for me, the "best" headphone I've ever heard is the Stax Omega II.......the sound of its clarity, transparency, and impact is indelibly stamped on my brain. I've just begun to investigate and acquire some electrostatic headphones and I think, for me, that's the sound I'm after. I'll get there eventually, but half the fun is the journey.
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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