Best headphones?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Doju, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    Basically, I'm wondering if it's better to go with wireless or wired? I know wired provide better sound for the cost, but wireless are just so much more... convenient.

    Any input, guys?

    What would you recommend? Wired, or wireless? And please provide the headphone type that you prefer of your choice. Thanks.
     
  2. guitarguy09 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Location:
    "The Good Land"
    #2
    Depends on what you want to use the headphones for (ie: exercising, quiet listening at home/office, studying, etc.). If you are looking at wired office/home or studio headphones I'll give my thumbs up for the AKG K701.

    Google them... I own a pair and they rock. So incredibly clear, transparent and accurate! Here are a few quick reviews:
    http://www.crunchgear.com/2007/04/25/akg-k-701-hands-on-sickest-headphones-ever/

    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/SuperiorAudio/equipment/1106/akg_k701.htm

    That being said, these aren't the cheapest. They'll probably be at least $200 online and I'm not sure what the max you are willing to spend is. Best of luck and let us know what you decide on.
     
  3. Friscohoya macrumors 6502a

    Friscohoya

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Oaktown
    #3
    Try These...

    While not being an audio aficionado myself, I am very impressed with both the Samsung sbh600 and the Nokia bh604 for bluetooth connections. I have the Nokia all ready to go with my iphone for the 3.0 download. Audio is great on both and the call quality is solid (more so on the Nokia).

    If you are a real high roller, you can wait for the Nokia bh905's. They are supposed to be the gold standard when they come out in August. Stereo Bluetooth plus advanced noise cancelling technology.

    Both are large "earcup" designs as I just dont enjoy jamming things in my ear...nor do I enjoy the lack of bass associated with smaller headphone designs.
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #4
    Wired. Some people are about to get burned for "noise-cancelling."

    Secondly. There is no single greatest headphones. There are plenty of people that would say that the Grado PS1000s are awful because they are bulky and require an amp. I would not be a member of that group, but everyone's needs are different.
     
  5. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #5
    Bose Triport Over the Ear Headphones are the best by far!

    I have had a lot of my friends get one after using mine.
     
  6. MT0227 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #6
    1) Shure SE530's....you will hear things you've never heard before....the best!

    2) Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5pro's.... duel drivers (not triple)....very reasonable compromise to the Shure for about 40% less...a bit big so see if you can demo them.

    I own a pair of both and they are fantastic!!!
     
  7. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #7
    I have the Sure Earphones too but it just lacks the bass though it does deliver an excellent sound quality. But for the money, I would highly recommend trying out the Bose Triport Headphones.

    http://www.amazon.com/BOSE-R-Triport-Headphone-Silver/dp/B00009MK3T

    As long as you take care of it properly, you shouldn't have any problems worrying about its build quality.

    I take care of mine really well and have had it for over 2 years now and its working perfectly. The sound quality is amazing especially on the MacBook. You can go very loud without distorting the music quality. And experiencing the bass on it with the MacBook is just amazing.

    I suggest giving it a try, if you dont like it, return it... try a local store like best buy.
     
  8. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    Head-Fi is your friend.

    Having pointed that out, I tend not to take wireless headphones seriously. Also, many people tend not to take Bose recommendations very seriously. While many Bose products are said to sound okay, many say that their offerings are often overpriced for what you get. Typically, it's said that you can get much better sound from other brands' products. I've never tried Bose, though, so I don't know. Because of all the Bose bashing that happens on Head-Fi and many other hi-fi fora, I tend to steer clear from the brand. While Bose bashing is popular in those places, Skullcandy is considered to be even worse. I've never heard any Skullcandy headphone, but their looks already make many people puke, so I don't think you'd be very interested in them anyway.

    As for recommendations: I highly recommend the Shure SE530, as I'm soon getting it myself (as a step up from my Shure SE210). I also wholeheartedly recommend most Audio-Technica headphones. They make headphones that are very easy to drive and won't need a beefy (headphone) amp. A good starting point (for semi-portable use) are the ATH-ES7 and ATH-ESW9. If you like full-size (over the ear) headphones better, look out for the ATH-AD700 and ATH-A900. They are considered to be excellent entry point headphones for getting into headphone hi-fi. A nice step up from either model are the ATH-AD900 and ATH-A900Ti. I can vouch for them both (see my sig) as being extraordinarily nice sounding headphones.

    The AKG K701 is highly regarded by many audiophiles. That doesn't mean it's loved by everybody, though. Many people think it's too analytical, bass-shy and sterile. The K601 and even the K501 are loved by at least as many people and are said to be a bit more forgiving and to offer more bass as well. While they are all supposed to be wonderful headphones, they won't shine unless you pair them with a good headphone amp. Even most home amplifiers and home theater receivers won't feed them enough current to make them give their best. The same is true for many beyerdynamic headphones. Sennheiser, while not my cup of tea, might also be a good starting point if you're indeed interested in delving into headphone hi-fi. Don't start anywhere below the HD555 or HD595, though, if you're truly serious about headphones. And while the HD6XX-series are a whole lot better than the HD5XX-series, they will definitely need an amp, just like the AKG K701.

    Another recommendation is for Grado and Ultrasone headphones. Many people consider the Grado SR-60 and SR-80 to be incredible value for their money. The can both be had for under $100 and are said to be very nice sounding headphones. Like Audio-Technica headphones, they tend to be a little bass-shy, though, so that's something to keep in mind. If you like bass, Ultrasone might be a better choice. The HFI-780 is widely loved and is known to be a good headphone for bass-heavy music.

    Now for musical styles. Sennheiser is said to be very good for (female) vocal and jazz music. Grado is considered to be the best brand for rock, while beyerdynamic and Ultrasone seem to be the dance lovers' brands. AKG is regarded to be a very good, if not the best brand for classical music. Audio-Technica has headphones for nearly all styles (they offer many, many models in many lines), while most are true jacks of all trades. Of course there's also Sony. They have offered headphones with such different sound signatures, that it's hard to pinpoint them to one or two genres.

    But the best advice is to post your question on Head-Fi. People there are truly knowledgeable and will help you out. Watch your wallet, though, as headphones as a hobby (and it will become a hobby once you register at Head-Fi) will cost you dearly. As an indication: I've lost nearly $1000 since joining Head-Fi about two or three years ago.

    That's a quality that doesn't impress me one bit. I'm much more interested in and impressed by headphones that still sound good when you turn the volume down.
     
  9. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #9
    You cannot seriously recommend that the SE530s are worse then the Tri-Ports. I doubt Dr. Bose himself would make a claim like that. It is trying to compare a Miata to a Ferrari, they are in two totally different: categories, price ranges and leagues.

    BentGT is right if you are trying to find the "best." I stay away from Head-Fi and have still spent five or six times what Bent has spent on my hobby. Although, I'm currently satisfied with what I have now (a couple of Grados, a couple of SE530s, some other stuff, including the Panasonic RPTX <- Best headphone for <$35 IMO.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    I have Koss Porta Pros and I love them. Very good sound and price isn't too high (~40€). Almost everyone in Finland have Porta Pros and I think it tells how good they are.
     
  11. Andy348 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #11
    I've had personal experience with Bose and I've vowed to never use them again.

    I like my Sennheisers a lot more :)
     
  12. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Honestly you want the best headphones?

    Sennheisers HD 800 but will set you back around £1000

    I have 2 pairs of sennheiser headphones (wired/wireless) and one pair of sports sennheiser headphones. I wouldn't chose any other!

    I'd go for wired, Sennheiser HD 205 (I got mine for £18 delivered off amazon as I waited till a company had them in stock and vigorously watched until they did) otherwise you'd be looking to pay £45 from Apple or about £35 elsewhere.

    Highly recommend most Sennheiser headphones.

    Watch this in HD :)

    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/accessories/0,39101000,49300537,00.htm


    http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/spec_hd800
     

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  13. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #13
    I have the Shure SE530's, and Etymotic HF2's (among several other pairs of headphones -- Sennheiser HD580, HD25-1, Grado SR60, Etymotic ER6i, ER4P), and I prefer the HF2's over the SE530's.

    The SE530's are a bit muddy compared to the Etymotics, no mic (I'm almost always listening to music on my iPhone nowadays), have less sound isolation, and the cable is about 1' too long.

    But to be honest, I find myself using the Apple iPhone stock buds more and more lately. It's a bit inconvenient to walk around with total sound isolation, and if I'm shopping / paying attention to other things, crystal clear sound is not really my top priority. For critical listening, I have my Dynaudio monitors at home.
     
  14. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #14
    Koss and Grado make great budget cans.
     
  15. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #15
    The latter also makes a pair of $2000 cans.
     

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