Best in-ear and over ear headphones + Amp set up for iPod

Discussion in 'Headphone & Earphone General Discussion' started by mart3, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. mart3

    mart3 New Member

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    Hi everyone

    I'm newish to phones since i found out that the one's you get with your ipod are rubbish. I've slowly been buying better and better phones and now looking at an amp to better my ipod listening experience. So after looking at various threads on here i have a new problem. Do i need new phones to go with my amp?

    So i'm looking for advice on the best in-ear and over ear + amp set up for my ipod.

    At the moment i've got an iPod Touch 4th Gen, and been looking at the Fiio e7 for home and e6 for outdoors. Will just the e7 do or do i need the e6 aswell for being outdoors? I also need advice on headphones to use with these amps. At the moment i'm using Sennheiser headphones, HD380pro for indoor and CX 980i for out doors. I've come across the impedance issue which i didn't understand at first but think i do now. I've noticed that the impedance is low both of these (are all in ear one's low?) and wanted to know if these will do? If not could anyone advise me on some that would go well with my ipod and e6/e7 amp. My budgit is approx £200 per headphone.

    Many thanks
    Mart
     
  2. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

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    The E7 should be fine. The design has been thought out with iphones in mind. Both in size and shape. Very often see photos of them held back to back with a black elastic band

    iphone & Fiio 7

    It's a cool idea. Means you haven't got two bits of kit loose about your person, and you can use your iphone normally.

    The basic thing with impedance is that the higher it is, the more drive they headphones need. Something like an ipod nano had a pretty low output so it would really have trouble powering a set of cans over, say, 80 ohms. iphones have much stronger output. Basically, the higher the headphone impedance, the more signal they need to drive them well.

    High Impedance in-ear headphones are very few and far between. They would need to be uber engineered to carry the signal. Also, the isolation aspect of in-ear means they don't really need to be such a high impedance to get a big powerful sound.

    I note that you mention indoor and outdoor use. Give me a bit more info on how you use your headphones and maybe we can direct you towards something that might well cover both bases.
     
  3. mart3

    mart3 New Member

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    Well since buying my first no Apple headphones about a year ago i've become pretty much addicted to headphones, been trying to find the perfect pair for all occasions. At the mo i've got. Sennheiser HD205 II & HD380 pro, Sony MDR XB700, and just got some Klipsch X10i. I'm happy with all these and there all different, and i'm still looking to buy more. The problem now is though i've started looking into portable amps and it's opened a whole new world to me so just trying to find the perfect set. I do know what's perfect for one may not be for the other so i'm looking for advice rather than an answer + if using a amp will i still be able to use the controls on my headphones.

    When it comes to indoors/ outdoors i'll list what i mean.

    INDOORS,
    in bed
    on the PC
    DJing
    over ears for use with a hifi system.

    OUTDOORS,
    in ears
    over ears but not big ones.
     
  4. Ian Hifi

    Ian Hifi Super Moderator

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    Great to read such a passionate and enthusiastic post. You certainly have a broad range of headphones with contrasting attributes.

    We have just been passing a pair of Westone UM 3X 's around the office. If you are looking towards expanding your in-ear collection, these are fantastic. As you will see by the spec, they use a tripe driver technology which operates by way of 3 balanced armatures, as opposed to the more common dynamic driver.

    In simple terms, a normal dynamic driver is handling bass, middle, and top end, all in one driver. Westone UM 3X ‘s and also the Shure 535's have 3 separate drivers that are calibrated towards specific frequency ranges, as opposed to one driver handling them all. It's a very different type of headphone to any that you currently have in your collection.



    [​IMG]
    Westone UM3X True-fit High-Fidelity In-Ear Isolating Headphones

    £249.95

    [​IMG]
    Shure SE535 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones in Clear (SE 535)

    £329.95

    In relation to an interesting indoor headphone, you might want to investigate some open back models. The only draw back with open backs is that there is an amount of spill that can be heard by other people in your immediate vicinity. Also ambient sound gets in so you couldn't use them for DJ'ing as you would be hearing the front of house speakers too.

    However, if you are listening alone, on the PC, watching a movie, or enjoying some tunes, open backs give you a massive sense of space. They create that cinematic surround-sound feel. It feels like the music is all around you. Loads of models and prices on the Open Back Headphones web page, but these are a nice examples. The German Maestro's are great all rounders. They have the kind of weighty and accurate sound quality you get with Sennheiser's, but also that great openness of sound that BeyerDynamic do so well. Well built (handmade in Germany), comfy on the ear, and practically indestructible.


    [​IMG]
    GermanMAESTRO GMP 240 Open Back Hi-Fi Headphones (GMP240)

    £119.00

    [​IMG]
    GermanMAESTRO GMP 400 Open Back Headphones (GMP400)

    £219.00


    In relation to headphone amps, there is a whole range of good units on the market, ranging from basic, through to iphone specific, to hand wired boutique models.
    A basic rule of thumb would be to look at models that incorporate a DAC. (Digital to Analogue Converter) Regardless of the extra signal you will get from an amp, an external DAC gets rid of the background noises that are generated by spinning fans, disc drives, or worn shielding within your computer. You can see the kind of range available HERE


    A popular one for using away from the house is the Fiio E7. Light, robust, and the DAC unit inside is built by a company called Wolfson, who are top drawer in the world of DAC's.



    FiiO E7 Headphone Amplifier & USB Audio Decoder (DAC) in Black
     
  5. mart3

    mart3 New Member

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    Hi, thanks alot for your reply. I'll be defo getting the Shure's at some point in the future, but I've only had the X10's a short while so will wait a bit. So at the mo i'm intrested in getting some over the ears for in the house + amps. Firstly in the house one's. I tried the link for open backed phones but the link didn't work. So i'm looking for ones with the best sound quality to use with my PC I don't mind that they leak sound or what they look like, it's all about the sound. So any other reccomendations would be great thanks + what would i gain for getting phones with higher ohms. I'm also a bit confused when it comes to amps. I read that the E7 is for your PC and the E11 for your mp3 device. What would you reccomend, is the E7 ok for the 2 jobs or should i get both? I'm also worried about the remote on my headphones. I understand that there's 2 ways to connect an amp to my ipod, through the headphone socket and through the 32 pin slot, and was wondering i could still use the controls on my X10's if i use an amp.

    many thanks
     
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