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Portable Headphones

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Whplayer65, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I am looking for a good pair of travel headphones and was hoping to get some suggestions. The first ones I looked at were the Beats Solo HD. It seemed like they got some good reviews but a lot of people weren't fans. These will mainly be used for travel so I don't want something that's mega bulky. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
  2. macrumors 65816


    What type of music do you listen to and what type of headphones do you prefer? On-ear or over-ear? I would assume On-ear since you mentioned the Beats Solo HD which is an On-ear headphone, but it's always best to confirm an assumption.

  3. macrumors newbie

    I've been using my iPod headphones for a long time. I would like to get a nice pair of over the ear that aren't to bulky as they will primarily be used for travel. That's why the beats looked good to me, they weren't to big. Music wise I listen to a little bit of everything, mainly rock and rap.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Beats Solo HD is on-ear, not over-ear. Over-ear are the ones you consider "big" and "bulky".

    In any case, around that price range, I'd recommend that you look at the following:

    Sennheiser HD25-1 II
    Audio Technica ATH-ESW9
    Beyerdynamic DT1350
    V-Moda M80
  5. macrumors newbie

    Thank you for the clarifaction and recommendations!
  6. macrumors regular

    I just picked up a set of Bowers & Wilkins P3 for exactly that purpose, after running them for 24 hours the sound was/is incredible.
  7. macrumors G3


    I can't decide between the P3 or the P5...:confused:
  8. macrumors newbie

    Those look good, are they very comfortable?
  9. macrumors regular

    +1 to this, these are hands down the four best options in this class of small, on-ear headphone. The Senns, Beyers and V Modas are particular favourites of mine.

    I would go for the P5s if these are the only two options you're going to go for, the P3s were overly dark sounding to my ears. The above list should all be considered over them both though.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Out of these, I'd recommend the Sennheiser if you are on a budget. However, the Beyerdynamics are just as good if not better. I enjoyed the Bowers & Wilkins headphones, but they weren't as enjoyable as these options in my opinion.

  11. macrumors newbie

  12. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the help guys. I think I will be going with the Sennheiser HD25-1 II or the Beyerdynamic DT1350.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    There are a number of over-ear headphones that aren't too bulky at all. Depending on the size of your ears, headphones like the Audio Technica ES7, ES10, ESW9, etc., are all over-ear and are light and small. I've got a small comparison of the ES10 and the ESW11LTD up here.

    BTW: I'm a big headphone geek. I review for magazines here in Japan and get to meet producers of some of the finest headphones around. None of those headphones come from the likes of Bose or Beats.

    But I very much doubt the OP is going to go for audiophile brands when s/he is asking about Beats first.

    OP: the Beats are fine enough headphones for what they do and are not too bulky. If you have small ears, they can even be over-ear headphones. Sound-quality wise, you should stay away from the likes of Bose and Beats for your dollar value. They work well enough, but their sound quality compares unfavourably against a good Sennheiser. The quoted HD25 is an amazing headphone.

    The new momentum even better: thicker sound more friendly to Beats and Bose users, great comfort, even better build quality.

    If you want refinement, check out the expensive, but lovely Audio Technica ES10. It can be had for sub-500$ in the USA, which is a great price. The ES7 can be had for about 100-150$ and will smack the Beats and Bose around for sound quality and construction. It looks very nice, too.

    In case you wondered, Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audio Technica, Grado, Ultrasone, and a very few others are serious headphone manufacturers, making the world's most trusted headphones, used by professionals and music lovers (audiophiles).

    Beats and Bose and Ludacris, etc., are consumer brands that look cool, but cost more because of celebrity endorsement. They do not perform up to their price points, and often include deleterious sound circuitry such as noise cancelling functionality.

    If you want actual sound quality, go with real headphone brands. If you want to fit in with popular culture, go with Beats and Bose. If you live in a place where headphones are liable to be stolen, stay away from popular culture and go for real headphone brands that regular thieves have no idea about.

    By the way, the DT1350 is a great headphone, but it is on-ear. If you wear glasses, it is rather uncomfortable, but the sound is very good. In fact, I'm probably selling my pair as I tend to use earphones for portable use and at home I stick with my DT880 600Ω.
  14. macrumors newbie

    I really appreciate the detailed response. I ended up ordering the HD25's can't wait to get them in!
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Really hope you enjoy them. They are classics in the best sense of the word.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Glad to hear you made a good choice. Shigzeo is entirely right. I use the DT990 600Ω for personal home use. For portable use I personally enjoy the ESW9, but the HD25 is just as great. Enjoy!!
  17. macrumors regular

    Yeah I think unamped the DT990s are a little difficult to drive :p
  18. nharrietha, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    macrumors member

    The Sennheiser's are a great choice. Hope you like them!
  19. macrumors 65816


    Driving a headphone is not the issue. Driving a headphone "properly" can be. Dynamic headphones aren't sensitive, so they can be driven easily. I have driven my headphone through a FiiO E10 and it sounded superb! I have even used my headphone with an iPod. What makes a headphone difficult to drive is it's dB Sensitivity. This is why Orthodynamic headphones seem low on impedance but are far more difficult to drive than Dynamic headphones.

  20. Contributor


    I bought these during the summer and find them a superb set of travelling headphones - compact, comfortable, nicely made, and offering a very good sound experience.

    I was in the same position and ended up buying both, over the course of the year. Both are excellent; the P5s are the nicest, most comfortable, (are also extremely portable) and best sounding headphones I have ever had.


    Best of luck with them; Sennheiser is a very good brand and you should get plenty of enjoyment from them.

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