Let's talk about headphones...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by urweirdmister, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. urweirdmister macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2012
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I posted a little while back that I was in the market for some new toys, including headphones. I just wanted to hear some opinions, or just what is well liked in general. Preferably not Beats, I've used them and they're nothing special, but something in the over the ear category.

    So let's hear it! What do you guys use/own/like?
  2. jj48 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2011
    I picked up a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50s in January. I am listening to some music on them right now in fact! I couldn't recommend them more, great pair of headphones without the feeling that you're getting ripped off. Hopefully a few other people will back me here, they are some of the best over-the-ears out there for $100-150.
  3. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    +1 to this chap. The ATH M50s are going to be my next headphones when my current ones break. I've used a pair for a few days in the past and they are extremely good.
  4. urweirdmister thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2012
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Thanks for such a quick reply! You made me look them up and they look pretty comfortable, what would you say on a scale of 1-10? I guess I should have specified a little more, I am looking for two sets, a pair of noise-cancelling for travel something more on the expensive and high end side, and a pair of everyday use, like the ones you recommended.

    So who has a pair of noise cancelling, high-end over-the-ear headphones they love?

    Also, for the everyday use, I've been looking at the new AKG K550s, saw some good reviews online. Anyone have these/care to comment on them?
  5. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    for the every day use - would you be using them indoors or outdoors?
    There are two types of full size headphones. Open and closed. Closed back isolates the sound, from outside and in, meaning that the guy next to you shouldn't hear your music. The drawback is that the quality of the sound, per dollar, is noticibly less.

    For excellent open back headphones, I would look no further than the Alessandro Ms1 (2009 version):
    It may not look like much, but these are hand built in Brooklyn by the Grado family - a small family business well regarded in the audiophile community.

    look them up :)

    If you want closed, then the above are right. Few can beat the ATH-m50 at that price.
  6. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    B & W P5's are very good over the ear headphones, and very well balanced. They're also not boomy in the bass like most current over-ears.
  7. Ein2015 macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2010
  8. xRedBaronx macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2012
    I also have to recommend the B&W P5's. I've had the Beats Solo's and the Bose QC-15's and the P5's are the clearest for mids and highs.
  9. jj48 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2011
    I would probably give them an 8 out of 10. I'm not an audiophile by any means but the sound quality is top notch in my opinion. In terms of comfort they are pretty good, I have noticed a bit of discomfort after long sessions when I don't quite have them in the right position (pressure on the top of my head) but that's not a problem with the headphones themselves. I like the closed style and didn't need anything discrete-looking so they fitted my requirements precisely. However you might be looking for something a bit different than me.

    Can't say I've tried any AKGs but when I was looking for mine a few months back I did consider going that route because I'd read some good things too.

    EDIT: Also the P5s have a LOT of fans. If you want something a bit more discrete and lightweight they could be a good option.
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    A lot of very good and warm responses about the B & W; I've looked them up online and they seem to have received very good reviews and responses from people who have used them.
  11. urweirdmister thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2012
    Los Angeles, Ca
    For some reason I really like the aesthetics of the P5s, I'm not sure what it is but the square shape is appealing for some reason. They have a ton of them for use with iPods at the Apple store so I'm gonna have to test a pair out. I think that might be my biggest setback; testing them before I buy.
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    It's also convenient that the P5's are small enough to easily pack and carry along. Mine easily fit in the little pouch for my iPad case (Waterfield).
  13. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    The Sennheiser HD 518 is worth a look and listen.

    P5's are double the OP's budget. When I demo'ed the high end Beats and P5's at an Apple store, I really wanted to like the sound of the P5's better because of all the audiophile praise for them and their superior build quality. On that day in that store, my ears liked the fuller sound of the higher end Beats with the jazz, rock, and blues that I favor at the relatively low volumes that I prefer.
  14. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Shure SRH 840 are really good headphones for pretty much any music, Clean, Crisp, and very comfortable, although they do seem to feel heavy after a couple hours of use. These are a closed back design and can be used with or without an amp.

    Ive also owned a pair of Beats Studio, if you can get them for 250 or less they're worth it, other wise not so much. Pros, they are extremely comfy and fun to listen to. Cons, the price, they leak sound at high volume, require batteries.

    The Sennheiser HD 598 are also EXQUISITE headphones, but are open, which make them not adequate in locations where your music needs to be heard only by you. They sound good unamped, but really shine when hooked up to a quality amplifier.
  15. ericface macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    I own the Shure SRH940. I went into Guitar Center to try out the SRH840, and ended up walking out with the SRH940.
    I tried on all the Beats (and they are comfortable), but I think SRH940 is more comfortable.
    Until I bought SRH940, I only used earphones...you see, I have relatively large head and none of the headphones I tried were comfortable.
    Now, I never travel without my SRH940. It is comfortable enough to keep on my head for 13 hours flight (only take them off to go to the bathroom). For me, sound isolation is good enough that I don't really see a need for a noise cancelling headphones. But that could be just me.

    I'm not a audiophile so sound-wise, it is more than good enough for me (better than my in-ear Shure215, for sure).

    I think most of the headphones being recommended on forums will be of similar sound quality (of course one of them will be better than the others), but most importantly, it should be comfortable on your head.
    I suggest going into guitar center or other audio store and try on as many pair as possible before deciding.
  16. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    If you are on a budget, you will do a lot worse than consider Creative WP-300 Wireless Headphones. I picked up a pair in Amazon's Black Friday deals despite initial hesitations about Bluetooth headphones, and now can't imagine doing without them
  17. Starfighter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2011
    I just bought a pair of Koss Porta Pro, I've heard many nice things about them considering the price range (<$30).
  18. wshuff macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    Here's another vote for the Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They were recommended to me by a friend who owns several pairs of headphones, including some of the brands discussed here (Shure, Sennheiser). Of them all, he preferred the Audio Technica, and for the price, they are hard to beat.

    I saw a pair on The Sound Professional website for $120, and was tempted to by a second pair. But then I remembered I only have two ears.
  19. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Where did the OP state a budget?
  20. TMRaven, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012

    TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Stop by head-fi and they can really help you out.

    I started out with an AD700, then went to M50, DT990, D2000, HD650, HE-400 in that order. I've also tried out HD555, 595, 558, 595, 600, 650, 800, DT770-80Ω, HFI-580, and Beats by Dre Studios :puke:

    Head-Fi guided me along the journey.
  21. urweirdmister thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2012
    Los Angeles, Ca
    wow I'm glad this thread has gotten such a great amount of responses. I definitely need to go somewhere to try a few of these out, hopefully i can find somewhere that has the AKGs I was looking at, or a large array so I can do some comparisons. Thank you all for your input, keep it coming!


    I never really did so its pretty loose at the moment. I probably wont spend any more than $500 on a single pair, depending on what I find and like of course.
  22. Schunn99 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2012
    I have a Phillips-o'neal stretch over the ear headphones. I love them. Bestbuy has them at around $70 dollars at my local store, not sure about the online price - it listed at 79.99. They are comfortable for hours of listening and pretty noise insulating.

    There are is my 2 cents
  23. FeaRThiS macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2011
    Shure make really good headphones I have had a few sets. Not much. In the way of bass but they are much more realistic in their sound reproduction.
  24. alexjholland, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2012

    alexjholland macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
    Head-Fi's a great place to find out more: You'll quickly learn that Beats are the whipping boy of that forum; and the entire pro-headphone community. (second only to Skullcandy)

    Beats are a complete joke amongst the music production community and regarded as one of the most overpriced, poorly performing pieces of tat on the market and a sure-fire way of telling the world you have no idea about sound quality.

    The general consensus is on Beats having extremely overpowered, poorly-defined bass. As a big NWA and general tech fan I was very excited to read an interview with Dr. Dre discussing the prospect of an HD revolution in music.. Sadly this is NOT it.

    Check out AiAiAi, a Danish company who manage to make headphones that sound fantastic, with great sound reproduction and clean bass - whilst looking great (if industrial and understated is your style) too.

    I have the Tracks (every time someone tries them they ask where to get a pair) and look forward to getting a pair of their TMA-1s too!


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