Headphones

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tech198, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
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    Australia, Perth
    #1
    Hi all...

    Thinking about buying headphones, and thought of Dr. Dre beats, but investing i fund this from Lifehacker :

    http://lifehacker.com/are-beats-by-dre-headphones-any-good-1509805994

    I know Beats mainly is good for bass, house etc.. but thats not the *only* thing i listen to.... Are Beats any good for other stuff ?

    Not to sure about headphones in general, since i'm sitting in-between headphones only or getting audio out of my Apple TV for better sound quality for movies too.

    Any advice ?
     
  2. Asher133 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #2
    To be completely honest With you beats are not worth the price tag I have 2 pair solo HD and a Bluetooth pair of the studios don't get me wrong the sound quality is amazing but I found a cheap Chinese $20 Bluetooth headset that matched my studios in quality so if your looking for a fashion stand point I say go ahead and buy them but if I were you I would get a cheaper pair of head phones aswell as getting the audio out for the Apple TV
     
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #3
    There's a thread with over 1000 messages about which headphones people are using, and Beats headphones are quite at the end of the list.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    From what I can see, Beats represent a (depressing) triumph of marketing and hype over substance.

    They look good, and they are fashionable (and so bestow street credibility on the kids) but they are far from the best headphones in terms of audio quality.

    Personally, I use the Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), and am very impressed by the P5s and P7s, which are both excellent.

    Others on these threads will - with good reason - strongly recommend brands such as Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Grado, and even venerable names such as Marshall and Bose are all far better than Beats.
     
  5. willentrekin macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2013
    #5
    Check out http://head-fi.org.

    As other people alluded, it's a big conversation, and something to give some thought to if you want the best sound for your buck. I was about to recommend Beyerdynamic DT880s, as I just bought a pair a few months ago and they're terrific, but they're also open; that you're looking at Beats makes me think you might want closed earphones. But the DT880s closed brethren, the DT770s, are the ones Dre (and many other pro musicians) use in studio.
     
  6. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #6
  7. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

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    #7
    I bought a set of Audio Technica ATH-M50x's a few months back and they're really nice and also comfortable for long use, plus I like that you can swap the cables between a really long straight one, a short one or a coiled one. The sound doesn't impress at first but it grows on you as you hear more of the music. Only real problem I've had is with some of the lower bit rate files I've played where you can hear effects of the compression which sort of suck and huff. Most of my music on iTunes is 256 VBR AAC and that's fine but they really shine with uncompressed files and even vinyl.
     
  8. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #8
  9. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #9
    It is true that Beats headphones used to get poor reviews (partially for being bass heavy), but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. The Solo 2s have been well reviewed and the levels have been adjusted to work for more types of music.
     
  10. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #10
  11. Dave Meadows macrumors 68020

    Dave Meadows

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    #11

    I'll second this. Love B&W. Just ordered the B&W P5 series 2 to replace my series 1's. Superb sound and top class design.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    Ah, yes. Yes, great to meet a fellow aficionado of the B&W P5s.

    Hm. I have heard tell of the P5s (series 2) and have been reliably informed (by the high end audio store where I bought the P5 series 1) that they are even better by a considerable margin.

    As they are easily the best, (most comfortable, stylish and utterly portable) headphones I have ever had, I will be most interested to hear if an improvement is possible.

    Please let me know your thoughts - comments, observations, and, above all - your recommendations (i.e. are they worth getting?) when you have received them, and when you have had the opportunity to listen to music with them.
     
  13. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #13
    I own the P5 S2 and the P7 and they are both smooth as butter. I truly believe that the P5 S2 are the best on ears.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Thanks a lot for replying.

    Have you tried out the original B&W P5s? And, if so, how do they compare with the B&W P5 2?

    I suppose that I am really asking whether or not you think that the difference between them is worth heading out and buying a pair of P5 2s?
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    Like others have mentioned, B&W are pretty much as good as it gets.
    I am not a headphone afficinado, myself, but I recently bought my girlfriend a pair of P5s and since she is more familiar with sound reproduction, I trust her word. She swears by B&W but also says Sennheiser are very good.

    If Beats would cost 20$, 30$ or even 40$, and the questionable sound reproduction (even I can hear that those are bad headphones!) doesn't bother you, I'd say go for them. They look cool and feel good to wear.

    For the actual pricetag however you can get excellent headphones and beats are certainly not one of them.

    As scepticalscribe has pointed out, they only get away with the bizarre pricetag because of marketing.
    This is sad, because all major stores stopped selling b&ws here, since kids tend to spend their parents money on those ridiculous beats.
     
  16. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #16
    Before anyone buys the Sennheiser Momentum please be advised the Momentum 2 models are now coming out. The new Momentum over ears have bigger ear cups and now fold up like the V-Moda M100. Of course you'll have to pay full price as new models are never discounted. I believe a new Sony MDR1R is coming out too.

    ----------

    I have not owned the original P5. I did hear them at an Apple Store but not long enought to venture an opinion.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Thanks a lot; others have mentioned to me that the P5s 2 are a considerable improvement on the original P5s (which were - and are - themselves a superb product).
     
  18. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #19
    OP, there's some good and very bad advice in this thread. I'll add to the good side. I don't own any Beats headphones, and likely never will. I also don't own any Chinese-made headphones - because of the cheap labor rates there, any Chinese-made headphones should cost $100 or less IMO. Any BT headphones should be thrown in the trash (or never purchased in the first place...). That written, consider where you want to listen to your cans, and who you'll be around (nobody or family, for instance).

    There's a post about Beyerdynamics DT880 headphones in this thread, but the poster didn't offer which version to buy. There's a 32-Ohm, two 250-Ohm versions, and one 600-Ohm versions - not including the custom version you can build for yourself on the manufacturer's website. To me, that's tantamount to FUD - offering uneducated advice. (Get the 32 Ohm version if you're using an iPhone/iPod...).

    Then, there's the whole matter of burn-in that's not mentioned in this thread. I recently purchased a pair of Grado SR325e headphones at Fred's Sound of Music - I also bought a pair of SR80 headphones from them, some 10 years ago. Both demo headphones were burned in, with some 250 hours of music piped in the demos - my new 325e cans sounded much better after a 100-hour burn in than they did right out of the box. IMHO, find a local reseller that has a display of headphones that suits you that is burned in that you can try for yourself. Fred's is convenient for me - here in Portland OR, but for you not so much. Burn your cans in for at least 100 hours after buying them, at a minimum.

    I use a pair of Grado SR325e cans attached to a ***** Modi 2 DAC for music around the house/office, Beyerdynamic T51i cans for music while out and about, and Sony MDR-HW700DS (the Japanese version, not the castrated US/UK version) headphones for movies/TV viewing). I'd put my choices up against anyone in the world, and I didn't spend a fortune. I do have to fend off my GF often from stealing my cans...
     
  19. willentrekin macrumors member

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    #20
    As I mentioned in that post, I had inferred from the OP's Beats mention that OP was looking for closed headphones.

    But that was why I included the link to http://head-fi.org and mentioned that it could potentially be a much bigger conversation; the impedance would have been part of that bigger conversation. The 32 Ohm version would be easily driven by a mobile device -- but there are also lots of portable DAC/amps that would drive the 250 Ohm version easily enough. And that's not even to mention the source -- I've been using Spotify lately but last night gave Tidal a try, and I'm seriously considering canceling Spotify now.

    Just noting it wasn't exactly "uneducated advice" -- the other guidance was more than I thought the OP was looking for at the moment, and all of it's easy enough to find given the myriad links already in the thread.

    Also, honestly, best bet is to do some research and then visit a showroom. No matter how much one reads, the perceived quality of the listening experience ultimately comes down to the listener. Some like a neutral sound while others like one less analytical. It's really worthwhile to read and hear as much as one can.
     
  20. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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    #21
    I'm glad I read this post. I didn't know about the Tidal service. I'm giving it a shot tonight.
     
  21. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2013
    #22
    From my experience using them, they really only are good for house music, even hip-hop is pretty bad on Beats headphones. Do to the overemphasized bass, the treble and especially the mids suffer greatly, I found listening anything with piano sounded painful. Classical/orchestral music do not sound great at all on these headphones. Movies were generally acceptable especially ones with explosions. Personally use Panasonic RP-HTX7 which are fairly decent to listen to. They are what people consider 'fun' headphones which have great soundstage, works on most devices, sound quality well above average, and a sound that pleases the users (rather than be accurate).
     
  22. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Good post, and to be fair, since you mentioned the DT-880 cans I was offering a bit more of an explanation, only if to supplement and not contradict your information. A pair of DT-880 cans are on my shortlist for two birthday gifts.

    I'll take your last bit of input and build on it with my own twist. When I shopped for the Grados (R.I.P. Joseph Grado :(), I asked if the cans I wanted to demo were burned in - they were - and I brought my own iPod with a playlist that ran from Rush to Miles Davis to Nina Simone to Shania Twain. I then asked for a room to listen to the demo units - as the Grados are open headphones, I was allowed to take them into a sound room and close the door so I would have to listen to the din in the main room. The dealer's accommodation helped make the sale, and I'll go back again for my next purchase. Cheers!
     
  23. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    I picked up two pairs of headphones in the last month or so. The Status Audio HD One headphones are probably the best $ for sound quality you can find. They look like Beats knock off but they have more clarity and slightly less bass, while still being very punchy and boomy. Very good spatially for on ear headphones. They're only sold direct to consumer so check them out at www.thestatusaudio.com. They cost $49 bucks, but look a little cheap though they have been pretty durable.

    I also picked up a pair of Audio Technica ATH m40x. These are over the ear headphones that are known as the best/most neutral headphones under 100 bucks. Debatable if they at are better than the sony mdr-7506 which have been around for 30 years or so for studio use. While the m40x is known as a neutral I found that it has pretty good bass, much better than I was expecting when someone tells me that they sound neutral. They are not bass head headphones though. They retail for $99 but I found them sold for new on Amazon at $99 with a Fiio portable amp and a clip on computer microphone. About a $40 value, so they end up being 59 bucks if you subtract the value.

    Compared to the Status Audio headphones the m40x sounds better and more clear with great punchy bass. But the Status Audio headphones have more bass but in turn have less crisp and clear vocals. But they are more on the go portable and sleeker.

    Cons of both:
    The Status Audio feel cheap but aren't as flimsy as they look they include 2 flat cables that both feel cheap and light. One cable has a 1 button remote for iOS and android controls. I broke the remote 2 days after I bought the thing. Replaced it with a very sturdy iOS cable from Maxinity on Amazon. They are red Beats cable knock offs

    The m40x has a proprietary plug on the headphone end. It's neat but stupid. The included 2 cables are really long and do not have controls. I've ordered an iOS remote cable from China that has the proprietary plug on the headphone end for 17 bucks.

    For sound the m40x are the better sounding of the two, but the Status Audio looks nicer, doesn't have a proprietary cable and is cheaper. For the money though I personally prefer the m40x more.

    Hope that helps.
     
  24. beany boy macrumors 6502

    beany boy

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