Closed Back ear-cup phones Sub £50

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Nickster, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm looking for a pair of Closed back ear-cup Headphones, I have tried both ear buds and on ear but i appear to have odd shaped ears and they just fall out or don't fit.

    I currently have some JVC's that my wife got me, but the sound is awful, they make my ears hurt and they squeeze my glasses against my head and the bridge of my nose meaning i can't use them for long.

    I'm not quite an audiophile but like good quality sound, i normally listen to music on my iphone/laptop or on the rare occassion i'm home my stereo.

    One of the most important things to me is too not leak sound as i spend a lot of time commuting and i hate hearing others music.

    ideally i'd like something that cocoons my ears but not monstrous, not too fussed about fashion (rather have better sound quality), like the idea of a single lead.

    i've only really seen Sennheisers, Denon and audio technica.

    really like the look of Sennheiser HD448 (probably out of my price range)
    HD 215ii
    HD 428
    HD 418
    HD 212 Pro
    Denon ADH 310
    Audio technica SJ5's

    but i'd really like to know what you think and any others that are worth considering, i'd like HD 280 pros in a ideal world!

    Nick
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Nick

    What kind of music do you like? Also do you prefer a warm, smooth presentation or do you like a clean, clear and crisp presentation with a lot of detail?:)
     
  3. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    Hi,

    I listen to all types of music - my iphone has adele/alicia keys/Metallica/Hendrix/radiohead/Estelle/cheesy eighties electropop/faithless/Dave matthews band/jools holland/Kinks/massive attack/pink floyd/public enemy/chilli peppers..... mixed bag. I really don't like distortion or noise leaking, not keen on fake base, like the song to sound how it is.

    i've since come across the sennheiser HD205ii, Pioneer SE-M390's that seem good, AKG K512, audio technica ATH-T400 and sony mdr-v500
    too much choice, but don't know how good they all are?
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Ha ha! That is the problem, too many great products!

    So you are looking for a closed back that is not too large, not too bassy and in fact well balanced. Cups should be around the ear for comfort and about £40 - £80 at the most(?)

    It sounds like you love your music - there are a few on ears which would work well but I think you would get more enjoyment and comfort from full size - a decent set of headphones can last 10 years plus so going to the top end of this budget could work out cheaper (and more comfy) in the long run.

    Here are two that I think you would love -

    Ultrasone HFI-450 Closed-Back Foldable Headphones (HFI 450)
    £79.96
    and
    Denon AH-D1100 Closed Back Stereo Headphones (AHD1100)
    £99.95

    Denon ADH 310 - are great for the price!

    AKG K512 - Good at price

    Audio Technica ATH-T400 - Good at price

    Pioneer SE-M390's - Not tried these but love SE-MJ51

    From the list you have been looking at and from what you have said, you should avoid -

    HD 428 - Do not sound good enough for the price

    HD 418 - Do not sound good enough for the price

    HD 212 Pro - sound good but not comfy enough

    Audio technica SJ5's - Good at price but probably not comfy enough

    HD 215ii - Do not sound good enough for the price

    HD 205ii - Do not sound good enough for the price


    I am not saying that these are not good it's just that I don't think you will fall in love with them with what you have told me :)
     
  5. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    Hi Robin,
    Thanks for the feedback
    Following on from your information I have narrowed it down a bit........
    some feedback i have read has confused me somewhat.
    Pioneer se-m390 apparenlty weigh a lot and not very portable, although very strong and amazing sound,
    really like the pioneer SE-MJ51's you mentioned are they over ears or on ears? are they different to the SE-MJ5?
    what difference does driver size make as the audio technica ath-t400's have 53mm drivers, i am very interested in these.
    I nearly purchased the K512's as they are a great price but i read some really poor reviews about them which surprised me, i can only assume that they hadn't given them enough time to burn in?
    are the denons over the ear?
    finally have you ever heard of samson? are they any good?
    thanks nick
    Getting closer to purchase!
     
  6. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Pioneer SE-M390 I have tried briefly, a customer brought these in (just looked at a pic) he replaced these with DT770 - I didn't think they were that heavy but they were surprisingly good. SE-MJ51 (great sounding lightweight on ear) are completely different to SE-MJ5 (not yet out, full size around the ear DJ styled).

    The Denon's are over ear and Samson are a bit like Behringer (if you have heard of Behringer) they make good inexpensive rip-offs of Hifi and Pro-Audio products. I have a Samson vocal mic which is incredibly similar to my Shure SM58 but was half the price - It's the one I let really aggressive singers who insist they need to abuse microphones to perform use:) Never used any of their headphones though.
     
  7. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    And the driver sizes, what difference will that make?

    one last question.....

    will the On ear phones leak sound a little bit or alot in comparison to around the ear or is it not noticeable as i don't want to be the person on the plane/train that everyone hates?
    Thanks
    Nick
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Closed back on ear headphones should not leak noise to a greater extent than full-size, some do but these tend to be fashion brands and this is ultimately a sign that the cups are not well designed and have not been dampened properly. In other words a good sounding closed back on ear or around the ear should isolate really well as part of the design and if not this is probably part of the reason they don't sound good!

    Not that I have ever designed any drivers or had a long conversation with someone who has but I believe there is always an optimum size for a driver depending on it's job - for a full size headphone, depending on the materials used, it is usually between 40mm and 60mm. There seems to be a correlation between quality and size (as you go up the price range in a brand the drivers tend to get bigger) but I would imagine materials used are just as important.

    I hope that is a good answer:)
     
  9. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for all your feedback, in the end i opted for the Audio Technica Ath-t400's. Wow what a fantastic pair of cans, they are so comfortable and the natural bass is amazing, can listen to my ipod now without EQ. I'm going to let them bed in then re-listen to my entire record collection and rediscover it!.

    thanks,

    Nick
     
  10. mephisto

    mephisto New Member

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    oval size?

    Just a quick question about the Audio Technica Ath-t400
    Does it completely cover the ears and not rest on top of it? I'm afraid that the rounded pads will touch the top and bottom of my ear.
    Also is there any alternative on this price rang that is oval? I had a very comfortable Nokia bluetooth headset in the past that used a oval design and completely covered my ears, it was the best bluetooth headphone I've ever owned but I need something again closed, confortable but wired for gaming/british rock listening.

    The gaming sessions are just racing games, so the main thing is I like closed headphones because of the bass feedback and I love bass. Perhaps I'll start playing bass on the headphones to not mess with my wife too.

    Can you guys advice me if the AT T400 fit on my needs?

    By the way the nokia headphone was the BH-604

    Regards,
     
  11. mephisto

    mephisto New Member

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    Ow, my budget is around £40-60
     
  12. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Mephisto

    Audio Technica T400 are designed to be worn around the ear. The cups are quite big but if you have been rewarded with generous ears you may find it's a little squeeze to get them in. Despite lukewarm reviews these are great for the price. Bass heavy and a bit of definition with full size cups is hard to acheive in this price range, sticking to a closed back will help with bass.

    I would take the AT T400 over the similar Sennheisers.

    Sennheiser HD428 Closed-Back Stereo Headphones (HD 428)
    £49.96
     
  13. Nickster

    Nickster New Member

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    hey Mephisto,

    I got my Audio technica's and have been breaking them in over my entire music collection and they sound awesome!, they completely cover my ears with room around, I have quite big ears (used to be a wing nut as a kid) and they fit easily, Be aware these are big cans.
    They do get quite warm after a few hours, the drivers are massive 53mm, sound is great, bass is phenominal. i listen to my music with EQ off and the bass that comes through is good. Apart from them getting a little warm I don't want to take them off as they cocoon my ears and are so comfy. The headband adjusts automatically to fit as you put them on.
    i'd definately buy them again, they are £39.99 on iheadphones and delivered in two days.
    I also have a cheap pair of sony MDR-v150's for walking around town in with my iphone, which are pretty good for the price - bit clamp like though......

    hope that helps.

    Nick
     
  14. mephisto

    mephisto New Member

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    I've seen some people saying that sennheisers on this price rang are not exactly worth it compared to other brands like AT. The only draw point in my opinion for AT T400 would be the rounded and not oval shape, but perhaps it is big enough for my ears. They are not that big, but I'm afraid of any small part of it being pressed by the earcups. Bad memories from a plantronics headhone... 45 minutes with it was like be using clamps on my ears.
     
  15. mephisto

    mephisto New Member

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    Hi mate, I'm quite confident on your opinion about it, nearly deciding to buy one. Would you mind to take measures of the inner and outer side of the earcups please? With that measurements I'll be sure it fit. Thanks for the feedback!
     
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