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  1. #1
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    Off-topic: headphones

    My old headphones have to be retired so, I'm in the market for some new ones.

    Any advice ?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I don't now how much you wanna spend, but I've used 2 kinds that I've really liiked over the last couple years for around the hundred dollar mark. There are Grado SR-80s, which sound great, but are open air and thus leak sound around like crazy. And, there are Shure SOMETHINGORTHEOTHER-2 which are in-ears that seal. They also sound really good and seal almost all noise out and are great for doing stuff like cut the grass or listen when you don't want to bother others.

    Depending on which you would want, they are both really nice. I use the Shure's right now because I use 'em cutting the grass and with my wife in the room and in public when I want the music in and external sound out. They do a great job keeping outside sounds out and the music in. They are really sensitive too because of this design so you can drive them really loudly with any old portable, although it takes a bit of getting used to having them inserted into your ears, and if you don't ge them sealed up good, they sound like crap.

  3. #3
    C-Z
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    What is your $$$$ range?

    Grado phones are excellent. Their $69 or so SR60s are the best IMO in the lower range. They make a whole slew of models, SR80, SR125's are great and many think the best value in the line at $150 retail, SR225, 325, RS2, RS1 - all good, but uncomfortable for some people.

    Sennheiser has some great phones, especially IMO the 580, 600 and 650 ($200 to $500). personally, I have been considering a pair of 650s.

    Phones can sound pretty wildly different. Grados are more live sounding, Seenheisers a bit less in your face/ears, softer. Personal preference important - ya gotta listen and try them on for comfort.

    Etymotic and Shure make some nice in ear models, which had advantages and disadvantages. I liked the Ety's better than a very early production Shure I tried at CES a few years ago, but they have improved from what I understand.

    Beyerdynamic and AKG have phones worth listening to and trying on also, althiugh for me, these never make the final cut..

    http://www.headphone.com/ is a good website for general info and sales of headphones and accessories (amps, bags etc.) If you call them, they are also helpful adn full of information.

    Was I too vague?

    CZ

  4. #4
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    I don't now how much you wanna spend, but I've used 2 kinds that I've really liiked over the last couple years for around the hundred dollar mark. There are Grado SR-80s, which sound great, but are open air and thus leak sound around like crazy. And, there are Shure SOMETHINGORTHEOTHER-2 which are in-ears that seal. They also sound really good and seal almost all noise out and are great for doing stuff like cut the grass or listen when you don't want to bother others.
    I'm listening to my Grado SR-60's as we speak. I've had 'em for 6 years and I love 'em to death. Probably one of the best audio purchases I've ever made. I think they were around $70. Best 'phones I've ever owned. And these are their bottom model. I can't imagine what the higher ones sound like..

    -jar
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  5. #5
    Forum Regular audiobill's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    My old headphones have to be retired so, I'm in the market for some new ones.

    Any advice ?
    Hey, MC.

    I, too, own Grado 80's and am absolutely pleased. The other cool pair that I like to wear when sound leakage is an issue is a closed-design: the Sony Studio-pro Monitor series of cans (I would give you the exact model #, but I'm away from home, as I type this). Many of the recording studios and their sound engineers swear by the Sonys)

    You can't go wrong with either. Btw., I had to order the Sonys from a US internet distributor, since they are not available here, in Canada.

    Hope this helps.

    audiobill

  6. #6
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    125s

    I have the Grado 125s. Had em for about 6 years also. I paid $150 with a 20 foot extension cord from Audi Advisor. I put $6 Radio Shack foam ear pieces on them for a little more comfort. The Sennhiesers are usually more comfortable because they surround your whole ear. The Grados are "open air" style. You can hear what goes on around you but the detail and bass of the 125s is as much as you need. All the factors also depend on what you drive them with. A dedicated headphone amp will surely sound better than your walkman.

    Your going to want to find a store and feel them for yourself. If not make sure you can send them back when you decide they hurt your ears (and not from the sound).

    Hyfi

  7. #7
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    I just picked up a pair of Grado SR 125's for 100 bucks at the local hifi store. I had the SR 80's first (65 bucks) but after I got home and read some reviews I took back for an exchange. Obviously this was an impulse buy and my first pair of "real" headphones. I like them OK, seem comfy enough but I don't know how much I'll use them. Open air design annoys the L out of everyone around me and it lets in too much noise to use them when I mow (I'm just assuming here). But hey, at least I finally have some, right? They are clearing them out since everyone is turning to the earbud design and sales have disappeared. Since you can't really demo the in ear things, they decided to just surrender.

    OT/ is listened to the Wilson Audio Sophia's while I was there. I just happened to have the RR demo disc, Sounds Good! Wowzers. The guy actually asked for a copy of it.

    jc
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  8. #8
    In perfect harmony DarrenH's Avatar
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    I bought Sennheiser's HD-590. Paid around $200 for them. I think they sound great. Open air design. Buying headphones is like buying speakers though. Try before you buy.

    http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite...transid=004590

    Edit: I need to add that I could wear these all day and not even know they were on my head. So very comfy. The open air design has some advantages.
    Last edited by DarrenH; 06-24-2005 at 07:33 PM.
    Let the midnight special shine a light on me.

  9. #9
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    YECH recommended these.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    My old headphones have to be retired so, I'm in the market for some new ones.

    Any advice ?
    So I got a pair. The new Dream Theater sounds boffo on them.

    fp
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    In perfect harmony DarrenH's Avatar
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    LOL.....

    There you go MC...

    LaBrie never sounded better (according to Yech) on these.
    Let the midnight special shine a light on me.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    re

    I have a number of phones including some fancy electrostatics. Agree that a lot depends on personal taste & use. And a lot depends on what's driving them, not only the output stage (FET's, tubes or Solid state) but the stages before it (the kind of DAC or other electronics (LPs) you're using). If you're concerned about background noise you might want to try the Etymotic's, but they might irritate some people if used for long periods. A lot depends on what's "comfortable" to you... something that varies from head to head (LOL).

    I have 2 diff types of Grados, and have used still another (through a friend who's actually related to Joe Grado). Grado's are nice, but the pads can be hard on the ear (as Brian mentioned). I put my own pads on and covered em in silk (from stockings). I've also tweaked them myself... there are some online pages that offer various possibilities (if you're into that kinda thing & handy with a soldering iron etc). I have a cheap pair (80's) hanging next to the computer and use them when editing audio or listening to music on the PC. They're a good match for this, especially as long as you're sitting still in one place.

    Sennhiesers would be my pick though. They are very comfortable because they surround your ear, yet are (partially) open-backed. They have a nice dual mini/Phone plug so you can use them for ANY output jack. My model was the top of the line many years ago (580's?) and although their flagship is now the 600(?), I've read where the inards are essentially the same... don't know how accurate that is... but I'd imagine that means you could probably find their next lower model (not top of the line) a lot cheaper, especially online.

    Probably worth the effort to go to a HiFi store & try out a few.
    You don't know... jack

  12. #12
    Forum Regular audiobill's Avatar
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    Wink Details on the Sonys....

    Okay, MC.

    I'm typing from home, now.

    The Sony's I refer to in my earlier post are .... Professional Sony Dynamic Stereo Headphones MDR-7506.

    They are a fully-closed design and Very surgical in their sound repro.

    I've used these extensively while djing weddings and various "lounge" gigs, where I've needed to block-out noise. They perform flawlessly. Another cool feature is that they fold neatly into a handy carrying bag.

    For late night listening, however, I prefer my Grados. They have a fairly long burn-in period (about 4 mos. for me); hence, they sound better two years from when I bought them.

    Good luck & let us know what you buy.

    audiobill

  13. #13
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    www.head-fi.org -- all you need to know

    But be prepared to answer the following questions:

    How much do you want to spend (always lowball -- they always say something like...well, if you say US$100, they always say, well, for only US$39 more, you can get these...but at least it puts you in the right ballpark)?
    Do you want open or closed?
    How imporatant is the comfort factor (I listen to headphones for as much as 8 hours a day and more, and I think the Grado's are inappropriate for this)?
    Do you want on-ear, around-the-ear, or in-ear?
    Are you going to listen to them unamped (this is a big deal, most advice you will get is for amped headphones -- the Sony's already mentioned [MDR-7506/MDR-V6] are one of the few that sound alright unamped -- I have several pair myself on which I mix)?
    What kind of music are you going to listen to on them?
    What are you looking for in the music?

    For example, I listen to mostly pop/rock on my headphones -- I look for a full-frequency spectrum coverage (believe it or not, not all headphones are good in all octaves), I'm not a detail freak, or a midrange freak, but neither do I want any frequency bands to be missing, and one of the other most important things for me is that it handle "busy music" well, as I listen to a lot of that. I need a lot of isolation in several of my environments, and comfort is important.

    So I go with an amped DT770 at work.

    Feel free to answer those questions here, as well, and I'll be happy to offer additional advice.

    Hey, Jack -- which electrostatics do you have?
    Eschew fascism.
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  14. #14
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    wow

    Thank you all for the replies and the great advice -- looks like I need to get out and do some sound checks.

    The set I need to retire is a pair of Sennheisers -- they must be about 12 years old.
    They still work but the ear pads (closed design) are shot -- completely disintegrating.

    I assumed since they were so old that the technology had advanced to the point I need a whole new pair but, maybe all I should do is replace the ear pads ???

  15. #15
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    Thank you all for the replies and the great advice -- looks like I need to get out and do some sound checks.

    The set I need to retire is a pair of Sennheisers -- they must be about 12 years old.
    They still work but the ear pads (closed design) are shot -- completely disintegrating.

    I assumed since they were so old that the technology had advanced to the point I need a whole new pair but, maybe all I should do is replace the ear pads ???
    You should definitely do that first. You should at least check out the price. What's the model number?

    Try here.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenH
    I bought Sennheiser's HD-590. Paid around $200 for them. I think they sound great. Open air design. Buying headphones is like buying speakers though. Try before you buy.

    http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite...transid=004590

    Edit: I need to add that I could wear these all day and not even know they were on my head. So very comfy. The open air design has some advantages.
    Ditto here. Except I find the open-air design to be both a blessing and a curse at times, as do the people around me. But the overall sonic experience and physical comfort are both excellent.
    Mr. MidFi
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular DiscoRage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    My old headphones have to be retired so, I'm in the market for some new ones.

    Any advice ?
    I've been using a pair of Sennheiser PX100s for around a year now. They're inexpensive and they sound amazing. I'm still impressed by the amount of bass they put out, considering the size of them. I really love the folding design. They can be folded and hidden in a shirt pocket without a bulky looking bulge.

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