Headphones, the best.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by crazycat, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    Could i have some help in buying my new headphones, i would like the very best. I use my headphones a lot to play computer games, watch movies on my PC and listen to music. I would like something very very (cant stress enough) comfortable, i have them on a lot. I would say that it being comfortable is more important then sound quality but sound quality is also important.
  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    You do know that the best is going to cost way over a thousand dollars i am pretty sure.
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Also, what type of headphones do you want, Circumaural, Supra-aural, Earbuds/Earphones, IEMs/Canalphones? :)
  4. crazycat thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    Well posting a link to it wont :)
  5. crazycat thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Well, I haven't worn any of those for more than 20 years, because since I got my ear pierced and started wearing earrings, those all-covering aren't very comfortable, but Koss makes good, and affordable, headphones in most sizes... :)
  7. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
  8. derajfast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2004
  9. Brilopad1 macrumors newbie


    Jun 3, 2006
    Landenberg, PA
  10. playm0de macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I seriously suggest the Shure E2C's or E3C's. They are not noise cancelling, they are sound isolation. Instead of creating a sound to block out existing noises, they isolate your ear from hearing outside noises...think of them like ear plug headphones. I have the E2C's (about to return them for the E3C's just because I started working and have the cash) and they are wonderful.
  11. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    i have the Bose Quiet comfort 2's. cover the whole ear, great sound, and very comfortable.

  12. Yossarian80 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2005
    I've had a pair of Sennheiser HD590's for five years now, and they're great. Even when I have to wear them for a whole day (I work with music), they're never straining to the ears or the skull.

    The other good thing about them, is that they are "open". This means that everybody in the room will know what you're listening to, but the sound gets a full, wide quality that you just don't get with "closed" headphones.

    If you're planning on using them for hours at a time, I don't recommend Shures. They block up the ears completely, and if you're unlucky this can lead to infection (happened to me). I don't think they're comfortable enough to wear all the time either.

    For indoor use, get the HD590's. Or just splash out for the 650's if you're feeling rich.
  13. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    I'm suprised the Grado's haven't been mentioned yet...
  14. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
  15. mugtastic macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2006
    i have found in ears too blocking, a little harsh and not super comfy.

    i have higher end big sennheisers - comfy, sound great not good to wear around town

    also have closed sennheiser hd280 - block sound, detailed for production work inexpensive also big.

    have grado sr80 - cheap intro to hi-fi phones but not comfy for long periods, can accentuate harshness of mp3s

    use most for comp, ipod, and gifts - koss porta-pros - small comfy cheap and i love the way they sound on everything. LOVE IT!
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I have a pair. It satisfies both the comfort and all-purpose sound + 'the best' requirement but at a high cost. If your budget won't accomodate it then the Sennheiser HD650 already mentioned above is a good poor man's choice (relatively speaking) for a do-everything headphone, but it won't work hugely well directly out of a Mac - you'll need a headphone amp of some sort. If you have an Intel Mac then you can use that onboard SPDIF optical output and get a DAC+amp for better results. The previous amp link also lists a DAC.

    Grados are relatively uncomfortable and their main schtick is offering an upfront (rock-y) but comparatively unrefined sound, as well as being unsuitable for gaming and movie watching. This is true for almost the entire range of Grados. The SR60 and SR80 are really good phones for the money but the higher up you get, the less Grados offer compared to other makers.
  17. gwimby macrumors member

    May 6, 2005
    I'll throw my hat into the ring here:
    Audio-Technica ATH-A500

    Audiocubes is a great site to purchase stuff from too.

    The A500s have great sound, and being closed cans put a impressive soundstage on.
    Great buy for the price, and are very low impedence, so no headphone amp required if you've got a decent output (Turtle beach audio advantage, iPod, mac, decent soundcard) havn't tested them w/ a macs headphone out.
  18. MattyMac macrumors 68000


    Oct 6, 2005
  19. onthat macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2006
    Ruston, Louisiana
    bose triport are fabulous

    PX100's are equally fabulous and you'll save 50 bucks.

    If you think you'll need noise cancellation/isolation I'd suggest shure e2c's

    Cans don't usually require noise cancelling technology...not that the difference is really obvious.

    I guess it all depends on your listening environment.

    The BEST generally require an external amplifier. (the sony R-10 for example)
  20. Mackeyser macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well, I respectfully disagree that the triports are fabulous. Fabulous for language lab headphones, maybe..."yo aprendo español en escuela...repitan, por favor..."

    Also, the Bose QC3 are supra-aural and I avoid them like the plague. I tend to listen for long periods of time and when my ears get to hurting, all the joy of listening is lost. I prefer Circumaural (surrounding the ear, not resting on the cartiledge). The Bose QC2s are circumaural, though small, so big ears won't fit. Mine do, but I've seen others with pretty big ears and they wouldn't. The sound is pretty good. However, for 300 bucks you can get the DT880s or if you like the sound, the DT770 80ohm version (less resistance makes them easier to drive so portables and computer headphone jacks are able to power them) and have money to spare with MUCH better sound. So unless you take the bus, train, or plane alot and noise cancelling is actively important to you, I don't see the QC2s as having that much value. Now, since I DO use the bus alot (don't drive) and fly often enough, the QC2s will likely be my next headphones until I can decide on the right headphone/amp combo.

    I have some Senns and like them alot. However, I've always been a fan of old-school cans so my current inkling is the BeyerAudio DT880s. They are very neutral (which is audio-speak for "crappy in, really crappy out...great in, even greater out). Either them or the AKG K701s. Both are exceptional headphones with tremendous staging. However, both really require amps and I want to spend time finding the right pairing for me. I think I'm leaning toward the headfive, but we'll see.

    Headroom (http://www.headphone.com) is a great place for getting hi-end cans and even have the Cardo cables for upgrading the Senn 650s (many consider the $185 cable upgrade to be mandatory for getting the Senns to behave).

    As a starter set, I'll likely go with either the DT880s or the K701s with a headfive headphone amp (most to all of the hi fi cans REQUIRE amps to be driven properly and it isn't just a function of volume). If you need portable the Sennheiser HD280s are pretty amazing and less than half the cost of the QC2s.

    If you are looking for the ULTIMATE gaming headphones and/or Trance/electronica headphones (neither is my bag), the BeyerAudio DT770 Pro 80ohms (found here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=rec/product/reviews/base_pid=272025/rpp=10/) are the best, EVER. The bass is ridiculously rich and omnipresent. They don't work all that well with say light jazz or classical (I guess you could power them with a solid state, really neutral amp to cool down the sound as the phones, themselves, have a REALLY warm sound to them), but with games? They rock. Your ears will sweat after many hours of playing, but every hardcore gamer already sweats...lol. Just crack another Mountain Dew and load the next level.

    You don't need to sweat any of the "woody" mods or other crazy stuff. That said, Head-fi.com has active forums with REALLY knowledgeable folks. I learn stuff there every visit.
  21. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    Sennheiser HDR 110.

    Studio quality sound. 150 m range (wireless). $75. So comfy.

    THE BEST!;)
  22. mulletman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2004
    Los Angeles.
    I've been involved with high end headphones for about 5 years or so, and have listened/used a ton of different pairs.

    As for the people reccommending Grados -- he said he wants a circumaural not supraaural, and also some people don't find them to be too comfortable.

    I'll keep this short and to the point -- if you want something REALLY comfortable, you may want to look at a set of BeyerDynamic DT-880's. They are best with an amp (even a small one), but they will work fine without one.

    The Sennheiser HD-650s that were reccommended earlier are great, but almost require an amp and don't fare too well with games or movies as well as they do with music. Plus they are $250+.

    In the Sennheiser line go with the HD-555 or HD-595, they are the most comfortable and they are the most forward. Great with movies and games, while still having enough detail for music.

    As for the people that reccommended the Bose 'phones... I'm not going to say they are bad headphones, but for the money you can find something MUCH better sound quality wise, as well as build wise. The Bose phones are pretty overpriced for what they are.

    Also you may want to check out head-fi.org if you get serious about headphones.

    Also to the people that suggested the Shure's, those are in-ear headphones, and tend to get uncomfortable after long listening periods. They are great earphones no doubt, but the OP wants a circumaural and also seems like he will wear them for a long time.

    Any questions or anything feel free to PM me.
  23. Shortsord macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2005
    Recetly arrived on the can scene, so I might be able to help some.

    I echo the idea of the HD650's, but do keep in mind any of the higher end Senn's will require a nice little amp. Headroom(headphone.com) and headamp.com are both excellent and moderately priced, just stay away from headrooms mobile line, they can't give enough power. If you want to save a botu a hundred bucks, go for the HD600's instead, as the only difference is a little bit more shallow bass and a tghter soundstage. Either way, you'll need some good cables for them as wel, and I recommend highly either the Cadas or Zen Mobius. Cadras gives a more pure sound, while Mobius offers tighter highs.

    That will run around 650-850, so it's a nice intro setup, but it doesn't include a DAC which you'll want to upgrade to eventually, and that will be about another 200-400.

    If you want to spend less, Grado Rs-2's sound excellent, though there is certainly some disagreement with me here, without an amp or at least without a costly amp.
    Same with the HD595's from Senn, but I'm not a fan of these personally as they seem a little too pushy for my tastes. But for tv and gaming, the 595's are where the sweet spot.

    I haven't tried many AKG's yet, but the 601 and 701 sound amazing, but they really just aren't that comfortable or attractive, and require a ridiculous amount of break in.

    BT's have a wonderful rep for sound and comfort, but I can't comment here because my only experience with them is the 770's, which aren't what you are going for.

    I'd stay away from Bose, as their headphone rep seems to follow their speaker rep.
    And Keep in mind that these are all open headphones, so while they cover the ear completely, sound will leak around you, not great in a library.

    Heaf-fi.org is great, and any good headphone amp site, like the two I mentioned, which sell headphones as well, all tend to have great staff. They're a lot like high-end speaker company's, in that they aren't very pushy at all and are very knowledgeable. Give a call, you'll be surprised by the help you'll get.

    Agh, I just noticed I've been spanked above, but nonetheless, as someone who's only been into headphones for a year or so, I'm happy to offer any help I can.
  24. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    I highly recommend the Sony MDR-7506 phones. I've had my pair for 11 years and they still sound fantastic!! Clear sounds, strong bass, and comfortable ear pads make for a nice music experience. They are very good when hooked to a receiver for watching TV through the receiver, or for most types of music. These phones are used in a large number of recording facilities around the country, as well as for broadcasters, etc. Another huge plus is that they sound great when hooked to an iPod or other portable device.


    Some reviews:

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