Your most IMPORTANT headphone
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CantScareMe

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Well, I searched this on headfi, and thought there will be loads of threads popping up. But none.
 
Some of us spend so much time and $$$ on headphones so it'd be interesting to see some responses, if any.
 
 
What is the most important headphone that you have now And most of all, 
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
 ​
 ​
For me its the
 
Shure se315
No other headphone has had the impact this has had on me, and it wouldn't be far off to say that this is the most useful thing i've ever bought. I'll tell you why:
 
 
1) Optimal sound for listening whilst studying.
I know some of you headfiers balk at the idea of studying using headphones, but looking around my university library and sometimes more than 2/3rds are wearing headphones. And what they are studying isn't really easy stuff as this uni doesn't give anyone an easy ride.
I reckon using headphones for studying is a very overlooked topic on headfi. Can't really see why, as so so many use it sometimes exclusively for this purpose. 
 
In my view, a headphone shouldn't have agressively forward mids and portrayal of vocals, like the akg k271. The ed8's/d5000/ie8... have for me too much of a thumping bass for long term listening without fatigue. Even some proclaimed bassheads listening to monster headphones can't wear their headphones for hours on end without feeling feeling the effects- must be human. Other times a shrilly or emphasized treble (ck10/phonak) can be offputting and distracting, as too can be the soundstage. 
 
Now soundstage is a weird one because if we have a large very 3d soundstage, I feel too often wowed by the music which, errr, becomes a distraction after a while. A too small of a sounstage makes a headphone to me feel rather agressive, sharp and ultimately not relaxing enough. With the gr10, I feel that there is far too much going on in the space it gives, like a 'congested' feel and I can't use these to study at all as a result
 
Most importantly in the field of sound for studying, comes the question of suitability for different types of music. When in long sessions of study, I find I need different types of music to spur me on. NO WAY do I wanna be changing headphones. It needs to fit well many different genres. If I find the shure 940 lacking for bassy orchestral music, or the ck10 overdoing femal vocals, I won't touch them at all.
 
I can honestly say that the shure 315 with klipsch medium tips (MORESO than the shure 535 even) fits these conditions the best. That's the simple truth. Personally It's helped me SO so much in getting my degree back on track. And whatever I get at the end of it, these have been a huge huge help.
 
 
 
2) The correct blend of isolation AND wearability.
Obvious really how important this can be. This was the main reason I came into this hobby and happens to be among the most important still. It's not just important (Critical sometimes) for studying, say in libraries, trains, cafe's but in so many other ways. For me, going around london with isolating earphones has been in one word LIFE-CHANGING.
 
I seriously hated living in london and when I asked myself why- I found it to be the noise. It's rather more common than you think, this noise aversion and I thought the only solution to it was to get out of london. Where I was living was close to a metal recyling facility and a busy overgrond train station. Underground trains that I have to take are I'd say virtually illegally noisy and that's not to mention the awful noise of the traffic/ surrounding airports. Everyday I'd come back with headaches, and all in all it'll be a dreary experience.
 
Heaphones with proper isolation were the only thing that solved all this. And actually there's not that many hifi ones out there with this real noise isolation charachterstic. I mean forget vented dynamic headphones like the re0 or the ie8 (take them on the piccadilly line on the underground and you'll see why). 
And a word about safety- don't think isolation is INCREASING the volume x3/4 fold when you're out and about to drown out noise. Isn't this counterproductive as you'll end up with a headache anyway? With the shure's i'll on maximum increase the volume by 2 notches compared to normal indoor listening volume.
 
Anyway, headphones with true isolation I'd say it's limited to only closed back thick bodied iem's (although the one real exception is the edition 8). What's more using foam tips does improve isolation but I find it to be rather unsuitable as I can't really pop them in and out in a fraction of a second- quite important this.
 
Shure se315's with klipsch gel tips fit this condition perfectly.  Light, easy to wear all day, great revolving shells and great 'in built' ear guides. You can bend the wire (close to the iem body) in such a shape that once you've got a great fit, it'll retain the shape so popping the earphones back in is fast and easy. They stay put, without needing an uncomfortably deep insertion. Comfortable all day long.
With the shure looped over my ears, clipping the wire to the back of my shirt collar (to stop the earphones being pulled back) with the rest of the wire running behind my back terminating to the sansa/cowon/nokia player in my pocket, I have a hassel free, all day long permanent salvation from noisy london. No headaches. No ibuprofen. No stomach aches.
 
 
And another word about safety- Mind you, with klipsch gel tips their not ety like isolating either, which as I discovered can be deadly when a typical van driver nearly run me over wearing them.
The shure wire is completely microphonics free, but microphonics seems to be a fading problem with iem's now. Still, no love lost though.
 
I've tried around 11/12 earphones before this one for travelling and only these shures really do give the perfect blend of isolation, comfort, convenience and useability.
 
 
 
3) Doesn't leave me wanting
I often see headfiers start out with popular entry iem's like klipsch s4 for travel or something. But when they get their hands on hd-650's they can't go back to the klipsch and they look for something 'more hifi like the hd-650' in the iem world. The gap between how their best headphone sounds and the klipsch is just too big. 
 
Because the se315 lack in nothing SQ wise and do everything not the worst, not the best but to a consistent very good standard, this gap between the best i've heard and the shure is very bearable indeed. 
 
 
 
 
Conclusion
The shure 315 is in no way the best sounding headphone I've come across. 
not the most impressive sounding
not the cheapest 
not the most expensive
not the most comfortable 
not the one I use the most 
 
BUT.....funnily enough
 
It's by far and away the most important.
I'll trade in all my headphones and electrical entertainment items without question if I had to for one.
 
 
 
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Edoardo

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Woah man,  bought the shure se315 a couple of weeks ago, agree on every single word!
 
The most important headphones I currently own are my AKG k141, though.
 
Why? My first Hi-Fi piece of gear. Everything started from there... :) sorry for being so brief!
 
 
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andrewberge

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My Panasonic RP-HT722s.
 
They cost me $20, but they're more important than my Shure SRH840s.
Mainly because they were my first decent headphones, i still like their sound to this day and like Edoardo they brought me into the music hobby.
Also, though, because i use them the most, they're light and open, so i can use them at work and when i'm walking.
 
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tmars78

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My most important headphone is my Philips SHE 9550. I picked them up for like $15.99. Not the best sounding, not even close. But they are what I use whenever I am on the go. They have been used for about 20 hours/week every week for the past 18 months. I wanna step up and get some nicer IEMs, but until these kick the bucket, I won't. 
 
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My HD-650's are my most important HP's. Why? I get the *most* enjoyment from them, and enjoyment is the reason I have *any* audio equipment.
 
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CantScareMe

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It's weird how many of our most important headphones are very different from our most hi-fi.
 
Can it help kill, yes kill, the urge to upgrade? Do you really need akg k3003 (£1000) or wait a few months for sennheiser's ie10 (~£800) when you're so settled with your workhouse shure 315's??
 
The best sound overall I can get from my stuff is denon cdp-ultrason edition 8. These really give the power to the ultrasones that they need. But I can't remember the last time i listened to this system!!
 
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ib1dance

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The headphone that allows me  to hear the best quality music  without being restrained by cable or weight .
 
Move like the music !
 
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cifani090

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SE535's with Compy Tips and DHC Symbiote Cryo Cable with all music ripped in 320kbps.
 
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kckc

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My most important earphones are my Unique Melody Merlins, with the TWag v2 being equally important. Why? Simply because they are my top pair of earphones and sound better than anything else I've ever owned. 
 
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IMAWolf

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My most important earphones are the Dunu Crius, astounding bang for buck... because i got'em for free. 
 Despite having Some decent 'other gear' the Dunu Crius is still my go-to IEM when i'm too lazy to lug a holy brick'o HiFi around.
 
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ianmedium

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My Audeze LCD2's I think, it was tough though as my Etymotic ER4S does a similar thing for me. The LCD's have allowed me to enter into that rarified atmosphere of detail, musicality and ease of listening which only well designed headphones or HiFi can deliver I feel.
 
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RexAeterna

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my AKG 240DF. nothing brings you closer to the realism they can offer and offer the most chameleon like transparency that allows you to hear the color in the music. power them right and music will talk to you.

 
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Edoardo

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Quote:
It's weird how many of our most important headphones are very different from our most hi-fi.
 
Can it help kill, yes kill, the urge to upgrade? Do you really need akg k3003 (£1000) or wait a few months for sennheiser's ie10 (~£800) when you're so settled with your workhouse shure 315's??
 
The best sound overall I can get from my stuff is denon cdp-ultrason edition 8. These really give the power to the ultrasones that they need. But I can't remember the last time i listened to this system!!
 
the fact is that to me, 150 EUR for the Shure 315 were already a huge investment, not for the 150 EUR themselves, but for the quality/price ratio of any pair of IEMs and for the use I make of IEMs. Can't spend a lot of money on a piar of headphones I use for commuting, or as earplugs in clubs that pass their own music too loud.
 
For serious listening, well-amped, full-sized headphones are the must. and with 700 EUR you get a couple that beats any IEM in both fidelity and comfort by far.
 
 
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FlatNine

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Quote:
Can it help kill, yes kill, the urge to upgrade?


I think so. Since I got these HD650's, I don't think I'll be upgrading anytime soon. Now, as I add to my collection of gear, it is more for *practical* reasons than anything. For example, I'm going to add a small lightweight DAP for workouts and such. I may also grab a pair of "workout" phones. I also see myself getting in to non-portable gear in 2012, since I have none. All practical reasons.
 
 
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Il Mostro

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Stax 404 Sig's for me.
 
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