£150 budget, looking for the best I can!

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by M Vortex, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. M Vortex

    M Vortex New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Hello HiFiHeadphones,

    I've always enjoyed reading the forums on here, which led me to buy my Soundmagic PL30's and Comply Foam Tips which unfortunately failed on me recently and again after sending it off for repairs (should have bought from you people ^_^ ) .

    I noticed that SoundMagic has updated it's range but felt it was about time to upgrade anyway. I was initially looking at Phonak Audéo Perfect Bass Earphones 012 but then read through some of the posts here and am tempted to go for Studio or Full sized headphones.

    I'm looking for comfort in usage and clarity in sound. The music I mainly listen to is older Rock (Like the Beatles, Kinks, Doors, Animals ^_^), Orchestral soundtracks, and some more random electronic music like Susumu Hirasawa. I also loved watching movies with my PL30's but found there to be a slight lack of detail, I'm also planning to listen to some vinyl's and play electric guitar with them so an included phono adapter would be much appreciated.

    The budget I'm aiming for is under £100, but could push it to £150 or above if the headphones are good enough :D

    On a related note I'm also looking for a portable FLAC player for as cheap as possible, but obviously sound comes first :)

    Many thanks in advance to all the experts at HiFi,
    James

    P.S. I do believe I'm leaning towards the Germanmaestro 8.35 D Monitor Headphones
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi M Vortex

    A budget of £90 - £150 is perfect for getting the type of headphone you are after. At this price the best headphones are the same quality (or just the same headphones) they use when they make TV, Radio and films.

    The GMP 8.35 D has a better impedance for portable use.
    GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.35 D Monitor Closed Headphones
    £159.00

    These are a great choice - Size, weight and sturdy design make these brilliantly portable. Isolation is great and sound is superb with the right range of impedance to match portable devices.

    These are a perfect example of what you are looking for, so you are barking up the right tree:).

    These also would work well for your needs, they are in order from Brightest to Darkest.

    Ultrasone HFI-580 Closed-Back Foldable Headphones (HFI 580)
    £119.95

    Denon AH-D1100 Closed Back Stereo Headphones (AHD1100)
    £99.95

    Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Closed Monitor Headphones Coiled Cable
    £134.95

    Shure SRH840 Professional Closed-Back Headphones (SRH 840)
    £149.95

    These are great headphones but are quite large to be a portable set, also slightly high impedance can make them a little difficult to drive from less powerful MP3 Players.

    Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO Closed Back Headphones 80Ω (DT 770)
    £129.96

    Have a look at the COWON players which are great, better sounding than an iPod but not complex.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  3. M Vortex

    M Vortex New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the links RobinHiFi, I really like the look of the Denon especially as it's the cheapest on the list ^_^ . I'm also looking into Cowon players.

    One thing about the links though, I noticed they all came up page not found because of ...headphones.co.uk/forum/ultraso... As they worked after I removed forum/.

    Would a headphone amp be needed for use in my laptop, or perhaps a usb soundcard you could recommend?

    Also, how are the mentioned headphones in terms of build quality? I was drawn to the GermanMaestro's virtual indestructibility and the Beyerdynamic's replaceable parts which is a massive plus for me, but how are the rest?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    They are all really tough with no known problems - The D1100 are pretty impressive for the price These wouldn't require an amp but would probably be improved by one. If a laptpo is your primary device I would think about adding this excellent DAC amp -

    FiiO E7 Headphone Amplifier & USB Audio Decoder (DAC) in Black
    £64.99

    This should seriously improve quality and massively reduce noise from the average laptop.

    The DAC in the E7 has an almost identical spec but the amp is not quite as nice with a lot of components being a real compromise compared to the D2. Surprisingly there is very little difference in the final quality with the E7 only just losing out.

    iBasso D2 Portable Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC in Silver
    £179.00 - Not as good value for money as the E7 but nicer quality.

    The GMP 8.35 D is probably the best all round fit, as the Denon are larger and not as accurate, but the Denons would do a great job and the price is right.:D
     
  5. M Vortex

    M Vortex New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    5
  6. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The Fiio E7 will certainly power 250 ohm impedance headphones. Once you get over 80Ω you hit a grey area. For instance, an iphone has a much stronger signal output than, say an ipod nano. Around the 80Ω threshold you may find that some portable battery powered devices don't have enough drive to power the headphones properly, and subsequently the volume level drops off or they sound weak..

    However, a unit like the Fiio E7 is also a DAC, (Digital to Analogue Converter) as well as an amp. Things like laptops and computers often have unshielded components, disc drives and fans whirring around inside, etc, and they create noise that bleeds into what you are listening to. Regardless of giving you an extra power option, an external Amp/DAC reduces that noise bleed.

    Even on lower impedance headphones that don't necessarily need an amp to drive them, they still benefit from an external DAC.
     
  7. M Vortex

    M Vortex New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks much for you help over the last couple of weeks :)

    I'm currantly getting funds together for the GermanMAESTRO, but then came across another thread here, talking about the Ultrason HFI-780

    Out of the two, I'm a little confused as to which to go for!

    It seems the Ultrasone will be better for watching movies whereas the GermanMAESTRO is more durable and accurate.

    I will be sure to report back here and review whichever one I go for eventually :D
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    I like the way you are making the decision - Practical concerns, such as how the headphiones will mostly be used, are the best guide to deciding between two models that appeal.:)
     
Loading...

Share This Page