Headphone buying/advice (over the ear)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by max2, May 11, 2017.

  1. max2 macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
    I am looking to buy new headphones. Currently have the Denon AHD 2000. Looking for something similar or a lot better please ?

    Any recommendations ?
  2. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I wear Sennheiser PXC 550 all day long

    What I like:
    • comfortable
    • sound quality
    • noise cancelling only softens outside sounds, not deadens them
    • long battery life
    • easily syncs with multiple devices: I typically have it connected to MBPr for slacker (tears for fears channel now) while coding, iPP9.7 for movie during lunch and iPhone7 during break for podcast or music

    What I don't like:
    • touch sensitive right ear: often turns on iTunes while adjusting headset ( taking off to listen to someone in office )
    • not good for working out: a little too bulky and moves around just enough to be annoying

    They are pretty amazing.
  3. Pearl Wisdom macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    I really like the Sennheiser HD 650. It looks like it is on sale right now at Amazon or B&H for $316, which is a good price. I do use it with a headphone amp usually though; it is specified as 300 ohm which may be a little hard for some devices like phones to drive directly. I've used it some just plugged directly into my MacBook Pro, but not very often.
  4. Dc2006ster macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    I have Grado SR60 and Grado SR 80 for a detailed well balance sound. These are quite old now and may have been replaced by newer models but Grado is definitely worth checking out. Great customer service also. I replaced the head band and ear cushions on the 60s for a reasonable price.
  5. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
    Thanks guys!

    Is it worth getting a DAC and Headphone Amp too ?
  6. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2016
    It depends on your budget and expectations. For example for a HD 650 a headphone amp is a welcome addition.
    I use oppo pm-2 with ha-1 (dac and headphone amp) streaming Tidal.
    It sounds really nice but it costed me close to 2 grands....
  7. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015

    How does YouTube music sound with the HD 650 headphones and that amp ? Curious.
  8. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2016
    Dont know cause never tried youtube on it.
    Be aware though, many high end headphones will reveal every shortcoming of the record so a ****** source will sound really bad.
  9. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
    Can you try now if possible? Any music video is fine give me the link please. I don't care if its not in English the music.

    I wonder what sound quality YouTube videos are in ?

    btw is the Denon AHD 2000 considered high end headphones ?
  10. apolkowski macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Poland, Warsaw and Masurian Lake District
    I use Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus with AKG 701 connected via USB to my PC. For me the sound is great, specially when playing HD audio files. I am not sure if AKG 701 is any better than your Denon headphones.
  11. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
    Cool so how does YouTube sound?
  12. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

    Apr 13, 2017
    YouTube? Compressed beyond help,low resolution video,crappy sound.
    I prefer to look up music videos (I guess it's those you're after,if sound quality matters) from Apple Music,generally better sound quality than YouTube.
  13. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
  14. apolkowski macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Poland, Warsaw and Masurian Lake District
    I would not generalize. There is a lot of content in HD or even 4K with high audio quality. If you have fast connection, then you can enjoy nice sound.
    I would not differentiate between YT or other sources. I am confident all of us know well, that if the recording is crap then you hear crap even with highest quality gear. If the source can deliver HD audio, then your equipment starts playing main role.
  15. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Headphones are very personal. Do you like a lot of bass, or a totally neutral sound? Do you like it somewhat muted, or strident? Ultimate Ears can create a custom in-ear monitor that exactly matches your preferred sound. How much do you want to pay?

    There's a lot of activity in the headphone market these days. See the following reviews:


    I was considering the Audeze iSine 10 in ear ("the Audeze iSine 10’s sound crushes the competition—it’s more dynamically alive, more spacious, and more transparent than any other in-ear headphone I’ve heard so far.") from the reviews above. I liked the fact that it is planar, but finally decided no since it doesn't have noise cancellation or isolation.

    My current headphones:

    Over the ear:

    Oppo PM-1 (Planar) My current favorite headphone. I prefer them to my

    Grado GS1000's (predecesor to the Oppo). Very well reviewed. Need to sell now.

    Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless Headphone System These were a bit of a surprise. I got them to watch television at night without disturbing the neighbors. Amazing bass, but somewhat tinny upper ranges.

    In ear:

    Ultimate Ears (forgot the model) Custom build to fit in your ear. I normally only use in ear when I travel, but they are so expensive that I'm afraid of losing them so I don't take them so I end up not using them.

    Etymotic Research ER4SR Studio Reference Earphones Top pick of the year: (https://www.soundandvision.com/content/2016-top-picks-year-headphones-headphone-amps). I have an earlier version. You can get custom earpieces made if you send them an impression from an audiologist. These are the ones I used to travel with.

    Sennheiser Momemtum In-Ear. I forgot my Etymotic ER4's on a trip overseas so had to quickly purchase earphones at the airport. I was very surprised at how much bass these put out. So usually travel with these now so I don't have to worry about losing the customer ER4 ear pieces.

    For a headphone amplifier/DAC I use an Oppo HA-1. Looks as if it's no longer available.

    For Tidal MQA streaming from my computer I use the Meridian Explorer2 Digital to Analog Converter. There's a lot of press about the Dragonfly Red. Maybe I'm missing something, but the Explorer 2 seems to have better specs and includes a small cable which goes into your USB port. That way you don't have to worry about damaging your USB hub or the DAC if you forget you've got your headphones attached and walk away. Here's a forum that talks about Tidal MQA and the Red:

  16. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2016
    Hi max, sorry for the very late answer but I was away from my computer a few days.
    I tried some files to compare. For example this:

    It sounds decently on youtube but it is absolutely gorgeous on tidal.

    In my humble opinion if you restrict yourself to youtube its a vaste of money to upgrade your denons.

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15 May 11, 2017