Talk to me about headphones...

MadCow809

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So I'm in the market for a pair of high quality headphones, since my current set, Technics RP-F350, offers very little bass and too much treble :mad:

My budget is around $150, and I'm not really picky about the brand, as long as its comfortable. It will be mainly used for mp3 playback (from PC & cellphone), and occasional bit of gaming.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

Shawn

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Couldn't have used one of the other headphone threads?

I don't know anything about good headphones, but do yourself a favour and go wireless. Especially if you go Bluetooth, you can probably use it with your phone. Listening to wireless music off my phone still hasn't lost its novelty a year later. :D
 

MadCow809

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Couldn't have used one of the other headphone threads?

I don't know anything about good headphones, but do yourself a favour and go wireless. Especially if you go Bluetooth, you can probably use it with your phone. Listening to wireless music off my phone still hasn't lost its novelty a year later. :D

I don't have bluetooth on my PC. Wireless isn't really a big issue for me, but then again.. I've never tried any wireless headphones.

And thanks Crazyjeeper. One more question, what does 80 ohm mean in terms of headphone quality?
 

Shawn

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Well you can always buy a Bluetooth adapter, probably cost you under $20 for one that supports stereo audio.

I had never tried wireless either, but it's unbeatable. I'm not sure if the quality of wireless will be up to your standards, but there is definitely something to be said for wireless headphones. It's awesome to be able to walk around my place listening to music when its late (or any other time I fancy listening to 'phones).
 

MadCow809

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Well you can always buy a Bluetooth adapter, probably cost you under $20 for one that supports stereo audio.

I had never tried wireless either, but it's unbeatable. I'm not sure if the quality of wireless will be up to your standards, but there is definitely something to be said for wireless headphones. It's awesome to be able to walk around my place listening to music when its late (or any other time I fancy listening to 'phones).

while I love the mobility and convenience of wireless headphones, I prefer a pair of high quality headphones. I think it might be out of my price budget to have both wirelss and high quality output.
 

Crazyjeeper

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I don't have bluetooth on my PC. Wireless isn't really a big issue for me, but then again.. I've never tried any wireless headphones.

And thanks Crazyjeeper. One more question, what does 80 ohm mean in terms of headphone quality?

The higher the Ohm rating, the more sensitive the cans are, but conversely, the higher the ohm, the more power you need to drive them.

For more info about headphones then you will ever have time to read, check out www.head-fi.org
 

the Interceptor

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Uh oh headphones - love'em! :)

What to get depends on what you want. I suppose these are intended for home use? If you're after high quality sound, forget wireless. I see the practicality, but there simply is no affordable, good sounding wireless headphone.

As for the good ones in this price range, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 certainly is one. I personally don't like them, because they tend to sound loudness-ish, which means that they emphasize the lows and the highs slightly - spectacular, but not everybody's kind of thing. If you are looking for a more neutral approach, try a Sennheiser HD 595. Or if you're into "in your face" sounds, check out the mid-class Grado models.

Gotta go, will check back later...
 
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Hercules286

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The higher the Ohm rating, the more sensitive the cans are, but conversely, the higher the ohm, the more power you need to drive them.

For more info about headphones then you will ever have time to read, check out www.head-fi.org

Efficiency (SPL per watt) is dependent on the total moving mass (cone+voice coil), surface area and magnet strength.

Sensitivity (SPL for a given voltage) is dependent on efficiency and impedance (lower impedance - higher SPL).

Of course, inverse square law still applies (volume decreases 6 dB for each doubling in distance), so the closer to your ear drum, the louder it sounds. IEMs (in-ear monitors) are very loud even though they have tiny magnets and tiny cones.

But I suggest that you shouldn't be worried about how loud a modern headphone set will play - they should all go loud enough, and if you use a dedicated amp - obscenely loud will be within reach.
 

nsx_23

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Beyerdynamics have always been known as bass monsters, so they aren't a bad option if you don't mind carrying something massive around.

As an Ultrasone fanboy, the HFI-780 or even the entry Proline headphones are very good for portable duty. I started with Pro 550s, and now I have Pro 900s that I love (in face I'm listening to them with my Pimeta and iRiver H130 right now).

May I suggest getting a pair of good IEMs for portable use though? I find that IEMs in general tend to be much nicer than cans on the go, and for $150 you can pick up some Phonaks (http://www.phonak.com/professional/productsp/com_professional_earphones.htm) which kick ass, especially once you throw in an amp. Browsing the 2nd hand section in head-fi could net even better stuff!

What music do you plan on listening to most of the time and what kind of sound are you after? Are you after a wide soundstage, deep, rich bass or nicely resolved vocals? Also, I suggest using a dedicated MP3 player since I've never found a cell phone that has good sound quality......even a cheap Sansa Clip will blow cell phones out of the water for good sound quality. I have an 8GB Sansa Clip, and it is possibly the best bang for buck player on the market atm.
 
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MadCow809

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What music do you plan on listening to most of the time and what kind of sound are you after? Are you after a wide soundstage, deep, rich bass or nicely resolved vocals? Also, I suggest using a dedicated MP3 player since I've never found a cell phone that has good sound quality......even a cheap Sansa Clip will blow cell phones out of the water for good sound quality. I have an 8GB Sansa Clip, and it is possibly the best bang for buck player on the market atm.

I only listen to hard rock and metal, which is why I want a pair of high quality headphones that can deliver crisp sound without hurting my ears with the treble. A rich bass sound is also what I'm after, although it doesn't have to be over the top.

And I have a dedicated mp3 player at home, but it's only 1gb in size : ( My cellphone holds up to 8gb of music so thats the logical choice for me.

I'm not a big fan of earphones, since they are no where as comfortable as headphones. So that's out of the equation.

Thanks for all the suggestions, keep them coming : )

If you are looking for a more neutral approach, try a Sennheiser HD 595. Or if you're into "in your face" sounds, check out the mid-class Grado models.

Gotta go, will check back later...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106390

SENNHEISER HD 595 6.3 mm stereo (3.5 mm Adapter) Connector Circumaural Stereo Headphone

$250

Hm.. it's $100 over my budget but it does look very comfy and gets great reviews. I'll think about it but I'm not sure about paying 250 bucks for a pair of headphones.
 
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nsx_23

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Hmm, I found the 595 very lacking to be honest. Very flat, rounded sound overall (kind of like AKG actually), so I don't think they'll do well for rock/metal.

Get an 8GB Sandisk Sansa Clip. I bought one from the US when they were on sale for only $49USD and had it shipped over by a friend. I have mine hooked up to a portable amp that I use with my Sennheiser IE8 on the go.

HFI-780 review: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2008/04/ultrasone-hfi-780-review.php

I know its over what you'd like to spend, but save up a bit more and they'll definitely be worth it. I wonder if anything form Audio Technica might suit your needs...

From head-fi, 2nd hand ones:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f10/fs-ultrasone-hfi-780-aus-pics-up-426684/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f10/wts-ft-ultrasone-hfi-780-worldwide-shure-530-tri-fi-10-pro-427962/

I suggest browsing head-fi to see what other options are open to you. (I post there under the same username as well).
 
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the Interceptor

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106390

SENNHEISER HD 595 6.3 mm stereo (3.5 mm Adapter) Connector Circumaural Stereo Headphone

$250

Hm.. it's $100 over my budget but it does look very comfy and gets great reviews. I'll think about it but I'm not sure about paying 250 bucks for a pair of headphones.
Sorry, that it isn't worth. It is much cheaper here, seems like prices are not directly comparable for some reason. In Germany, it costs just the same as the DT 770. Strange...

I listened to an Ultrasone for some time, don't remember exactly which one it was. It was one of the midrange models. Although I found it a tad to thin at first, it grew on me big time with fluent, crisp, detailed and direct sound without going on my nerves. Nice cans that!
 
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smib

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I have to wonder if spending $150 for mp3 playback from a cell phone is worthwhile. Also, I had sworn off earphones until I tried a decent set of IEMs, and will probably never go back.
 

Hercules286

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I have to wonder if spending $150 for mp3 playback from a cell phone is worthwhile. Also, I had sworn off earphones until I tried a decent set of IEMs, and will probably never go back.

Earbuds and IEMs are like bicycles and motorcycles. They kinda look alike, but the performance is universes apart.
 

katwalk

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I have to wonder if spending $150 for mp3 playback from a cell phone is worthwhile. Also, I had sworn off earphones until I tried a decent set of IEMs, and will probably never go back.

Lets put it this way, My last phone was an LG chocolate, Now it is a Flare. :lol:
From my experience the more shit they put on the phone the worse the phone is, so I bought the cheapest phone I could find and it is awesome.
 

nsx_23

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I have to wonder if spending $150 for mp3 playback from a cell phone is worthwhile.

No, its not.

Which is why I suggested to the OP a Sansa Clip will be a monumental leap in sound quality over any cellphone out there.
 

MadCow809

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No, its not.

Which is why I suggested to the OP a Sansa Clip will be a monumental leap in sound quality over any cellphone out there.

Like I said, I've got a small 1gb mp3 player. So is it an overkill to buy a $150 headphone just to play music off a mp3 player or PC with onboard sound?


Lets put it this way, My last phone was an LG chocolate, Now it is a Flare. :lol:
From my experience the more shit they put on the phone the worse the phone is, so I bought the cheapest phone I could find and it is awesome.

eh? how is your phone relevant to headphones??
 

BlitzR

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Like I said, I've got a small 1gb mp3 player. So is it an overkill to buy a $150 headphone just to play music off a mp3 player or PC with onboard sound?

Not necessarily, there are plenty of good headphones in that price range that are easy to drive from a portable device like few of the headphones in the Grado range (though those are more suited for music then gaming or movies) or the Audio Technica A700 or AD700.
 
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