Amazing headphones

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by UBS28, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. UBS28, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #1
    After doing some research, it appears that the HD-800 is going to get very costly ($2000+) to make them sound great. For that kind of money, I'd rather buy a pair of speakers such as Adam S2X's.

    I want a pair of headphones that:
    - blow away the Shure SE535
    - amazing soundstage
    - amazing details in the bass, mid and highs
    - not difficult to drive.
    - very comfortable to wear.
    - Excellent quality bass ( clean, tight and responsive bass )
    - Can be open or closed, because on the go I'll be using the Shure SE535.

    What headphones should I buy? :p
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Grado's. Super tight Bass. Super easy to drive.
     
  3. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    Personally, I'm a fan of the B&W P5s - superb, exceedingly comfortable, excellent build quality and an extremely good audio experience.

    The B&W P3s are more stylish, (and fashionable) but, to my mind, the P5s are the better product.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

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    #4
    My only complaint on the P5s is they get a bit steamy on the ears after some time wearing, but excellent headphones. I use the P3s nightly for a few hours and enjoy the comfort and fit, but they do give up a bit in sound to the P5s. Either way its a great choice.
    Both are outstanding at their price range. They won't have the Bass response some people want these days but for my taste in music they are fantastic. Others may be as good or better but its a personal choice. Test as many as you can before buying. The Apple store has a great selection to listen to, that is how I came to purchased the P5s and P3s.
     
  5. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    I've had both for the best part of two years, and while I love the P3s, I will state that the P5s are easily the best headphones I have ever owned.

    As it happens, I travel a lot, and the P5s are sufficiently small to be very portable, and are exceptionally comfortable; I take your point about the 'steamy' aspect, but it is nothing that a quick wipe of the headphones - and consequent resting of ears for a few minutes - won't cure......
     
  6. macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Amazing headphones

    Surly there are more choices,and more comments. With the wide array of headsets and new versions coming out every year. In fact this should be its own, stand alone product topic where we can get more input. For example you have over the ear, on ear, ear buds, wireless ear buds, wireless over the ear, headset amps, eq'ing and voice quality. How about the new A2DP Cd quality blue tooth? All of these topics I would expect there to be a lot of input from other members. Where are they?
     
  7. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #7
    Well, if you want an energetic response on this topic, the thread title needs to be adjusted to something utterly breathtakingly original along the lines of "Beats' are the Most Brilliant Ever and Your [sic] Morons If You Dont Agree", or else, a thread which offers the (wholly subjective if quite possibly unnervingly accurate) opinion that "Beats' Headphones Are Overpriced Junk, A Triumph Of Marketing Over Substance".

    That would provoke a guaranteed - and robust - response, but, unfortunately, one which might run the risk of degenerating into vigorous exchanges of abuse as proponents of each perspective reiterated their strongly held views, impervious to anything observed or remarked upon by anyone else.

    Genuine audiophiles might respond to this thread, or might feel the topic has been adequately covered elsewhere, as this is a subject which regularly features as a topic for discussion.

    For myself, I have already mentioned my love of the B&W P5s. I have had them now for nearly two years and they are easily the best I have ever had.

    Grado and Technica also make some excellent headphones, and Sennheiser is justly renowned for the quality - especially at the top end - of some of their products.
     
  8. macrumors G4

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    #8
    Many people over spend on headphones. But if you look at the pros in the recording industry or in the movie business they never buy $1000 headphones, not even $400 headphones. So all the music you buy and all those moves are produced mostly on plain, every day studio headphones, it might be disappointing that you only need to spend $150 or so, I mean that hardly gives you bragging rights on Internet forums but on the other hand you could pass yourself off as a professional sound guy or engineer if you have a well used pair of maybe one or both of these.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MDR7506/

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/K240S/
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #9
    Studios have dedicated monitors (speakers), so they practically don't really need to use headphones that much.

    Anyway, good sound quality on a budget? Grab yourself a Beyerdynamic DT880, get a Little Dot Mk.III for amping, and then you can call it a day.

    If that's not rich enough for your blood, Hifiman HE-500 + Schiit Valhalla should do the trick.

    Or if the above two are way past your budget, and you are really looking for something in the lower price range, then you can either get a Brainwavz HM5, or Audio Technica ATH-M50 for kicks. Neither of which really requires any amping (or even benefit all that much from higher-end gears).

    If you are on even lower level of budget, Creative Aurvana Live! should be a default choice.

    And if you are on an even lower level of budget that you can't afford CAL!, then I'd say... why not just stick with Apple's Earpod? They actually don't sound half bad.

    Alternatively, vintage Pioneer headphones coupled with vintage receivers/amplifiers can occasionally be salvaged for cheap from flea markets or Craigslist. And trust me, those things sound way nicer than stuffs multiple times their price range now.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #10
    Check out head fi.

    What's your budget btw?

     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I didn't really have a cap on my budget, but at some price points I rather buy new speakers which are probably better than the HD800.

    I decided to go with the Shure SRH 1840, as it was the best headphone for what I was looking for.

    While the HD700 sounds amazing, my IEM Shure SE535 is a lot better regarding transparancy which I found a huge disappointment for a $700 headphone. And also I didn't like how coloured the HD700 headphone is when comparing it to the Shure SRH 1840. But the HD 700 has amazing details though, I could hear things that I didn't hear with my Shure SE535 and the soundstage is incredible. (there probably doesn't exist IEM with the soundstage of high end open headphones)

    In the end, the Shure SRH 1840 is basically a Shure SE535 but better in every single way. It's also more neutral than all the AKG and Sennheiser headphones (except for the HD800 perhaps but the sound character depends alot of the amplifier used).

    However, I"m still doubting rather I made the right choice. I still have an itch for the Sennheiser HD800. :(
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #12
    If you have an unlimited budget, try the electrostatics. Stax supposedly makes the best headphones in the world.

    Personally, I've been thoroughly amazed by my under $100 headphones. My koss ur-40 are neutral and beautiful (and detailed) for around $30. My portapro's are my go-to movie headphones at around $40. Koss ktxpro1's are fabulous for pop and rock at around $15. I have phillips 3580's which are too bright, but still fun paired with older 70's tracks, giving them a bit of punch and sparkle. At $8, can I really complain?

    I bought a budget headphone amp at around $30 and they make an appreciable difference with most headphones I've tried.

    I would think that the hd800's plus a quality amp would run you close to $2K at least. I trust that there's a noticeable difference compared to the gear I'm using, but I'm very, very pleased with the quality of headphones I have at approximately $40 or less.

    Wouldn't it suck if there were only minor differences between my gear and headphones that cost $2K?????


     
  13. macrumors 603

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #13
    The Senheiser HD800 are amazing, if paired with the correct amp. They really are that good.

    Also, at the same price point there are no speakers that beat a headphone (okay.... Beats do break this rule :p ). To beat the HD800 + quality amp, your talking about a really really really expansive setup.

    For anyone that can afford them, I would say get the HD800. There are alot of good headphones in this price range, its comes down to the kind of music you like to listen.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Uofmtiger

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    #14
    I am a big fan of the Shure SRH 940s, so I bet these sound really nice. I have several headphones (HD580s, AKG K701s, ATH M50s, some old school electrostatic Realistic HP-100s, etc.). However, I stopped buying headphones a while back when I got the Shures.

    They don't require an amp, but because of the amazing detail, you can pair them with different amps to get a sound you like. A tube amp will enhance the bass notes and give it a more liquid sound, while not giving up much in the way of detail. Also, I prefer the closed headphones, since they can go anywhere. The k701 have a wider soundstage, but they REQUIRE an amp that works well with them. I have a Heed Canamp that is perfect for them.

    Anyway, please let us know your impressions after using them for a while.
     
  15. macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2013
    #15
    I always read about the upper tier headphones, but unfortunately will not sniff the ear sweat on their cups anytime soon. $$$$ purchases for my $ pay.
     
  16. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Earlier this evening, I had been reading through this thread, and, prompted by some posts, read some online reviews of the Shure headphones, mainly the Shure SRH 1840; (the SRH 940s I have not heard of, and, of course, the SE 535s are justly renowned).

    I have posted here, and elsewhere, that I am an admirer of the B&W headphones (and sound systems). Trawling online tonight, I noticed that they have released a 'flagship' product, an over ear earphone/headphone (rather than an 'on-ear' product which is what both the P3s and P5s are).

    Anyway, this product has been called the 'P7', and has attracted excellent reviews, which write warmly about its excellent audio quality, its (predictably) superb and stylish build quality, which features much metal (and yes, sheepskin leather features again, a big plus for me, as I find it extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time), that folding refined elegance they introduced with the P3s, and also - a key point for me - how comfortable it is to wear. The only drawback noted in the reviews posted is the price.

    Not sure if anyone else has come across them, but, given how much I enjoy their other products, I imagine that I shall succumb before too long and purchase a pair.
     
  17. macrumors G4

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    #17
    They write about the high priced stuff but if you look at what the people in the music and movie business, who MAKE the stuff you listen to use, they rarely spend over $100 for a pair of headphones. It is not that they are cheap because you'll see that same guy who uses the $100 cans owns a crate filled with $1,000+ microphones.
     
  18. Uofmtiger, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Uofmtiger

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    #18
    Steve Hoffman says "headphone mixing is a sure way to make a stinky mix." He is mainly known for producing high quality recordings, so there may be engineers that are using headphones, but I trust his opinion on this subject.

    He owned modded HD600s and modded AKG K701s (for home listening), but I am not sure what he owns these days.

    Scepticalscribe, below is a small comparison of the Shure 940s vs the P5s:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-20101025-47/a-sure-bet-shures-new-flagship-srh940-headphones/

    Personally, I prefer accuracy because it is easier to pump up the bass via EQ than it is to pull detail out of headphones that are warm or over-emphasize bass.
     
  19. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    Thanks a lot for posting that comparison; it made for an interesting - and thought-provoking - read.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    The professionals mix on studio monitors which easily go for $2000. They certainly have headphones that are more expensive than $100, such as the DT 250-80 for example. But they don't use their headphones alot as it's only used for checking that their music translates to headphones also, or zooming in on bad parts.

    For people who do some mixing outside of their studio for time to time ... a $100 headphone like an AKG 240S really falls short since it's coloured, lacks details and lacks the imaging. You need a real reference headphone like a Shure SRH 1840 which is probably one of the flattest headphones ever made with incredible imaging and soundstage.

    ----------

    I believe it's not that bad. Just make sure you check on your Studio Monitors later that it sounds ok when you are done. Imaging on headphones vs studio monitors can be a bit off.

    ----------

    I have the B&W P5. They are really great looking and the sound is descent considering it's a portable headphone. The cables breaks easily though, I had to replace my cable due to wear. I'm not sure if they use different cables for the B&W P7. If they use the same cables as the B&W P5, you better consider buying something else in my opinion.
     
  21. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    I've just bought the B&W P7s - they arrived today in a nice parcel, delivered by post. Given that it is B&W, they look absolutely stunning, are beautifully constructed, and fold away nicely, (as do the P3s).

    Will let you know how they sound when I have 'burned' them in - most of the reviews agree that this is needed.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    twietee

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    #22
    I was eyeing the P5s for quite some time now and while pleasantly surprised by the P7, which use black colour instead of silver for the metal parts (not important but I'd prefer it that way) now if I remember correctly, had noticed an also very welcome price drop for the P5 for almost 1/3 following the introduction of the new model. :)
     
  23. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Well, I have posted a lot about the P5s over the past two years; I love them.

    Others may have different preferences, desires, and needs, but, for me, using comfort, portability, audio quality and sheer design aesthetic and high standards of actual construction (leather and metal) as criteria for making a judgement or offering an opinion, I have to say that the P5s are easily my favourite headphones ever.

    On first listening, this evening, the audio quality of the P7s is superb. Yes, agreed, the use of the black metal is very attractive in the P7s, but I also find the P5 look to be very stylish.
     
  24. macrumors regular

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #24
    i have a lot of headphones that i love. akg 701, ath m50, even koss porta pro. i also have a tube headphone amp and a solid state.

    From the description of what you want though, i would recommend the denon AH-D2000 (or higher if you would like to spend more). exciting sound, great bass super comfy.

    i love them - but they are heavy, big and loose so i'd only recommend them for home (or at least stationary) use.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    twietee

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    Jan 24, 2012
    #25
    Couldn't resist at a price point of 220€ for a new pair of P5s. Will be my first pair of decent headphones ever. Hope my hearing works good enough for them!


    Now chewing fingers til shipment arrives...:D
     

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