Earphone buying advice

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by MansfieldMatt, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. MansfieldMatt

    MansfieldMatt New Member

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    Hi forum!
    I'm after some buying advice for in-ear headphones. I've been using a pair of Sony in-ears for many many years now but they've given up the ghost and so I'm in the market for some new ones.

    While the Sony headphones have been fine I want to upgrade to something a lot better but there are so many choices I'm rather lost.

    So, what do I need. I predominantly use my headphones in two scenarios:
    1) Sat in front of my computer for long hours
    2) While running loud wood working equipment under ear defenders

    So while sat in front of my computer I want really good audio quality. While running the wood working equipment sound insulation becomes as important. They also need to be pretty rugged and dust resistant in the wood working environment.

    I drive my headphones from either my MacBook Air or my iPhone.

    I predominantly listen to drum&bass, dubstep, trance, etc. but my music tastes stray far and wide to Queen, Rage Against the Machine through to jazz and some classical.

    In terms of budget I'm flexible. I have taken a look at the ACS T1 Live headphones as I felt the custom moulding would be good in the wood working environment for sound insulation but I worry that I would be paying over the odds for my needs.

    I also worry that answering the phone with a custom moulded headphone would be a pain taking them in and out all the time. That said I only really get about 2 to 6 calls in a working day so it isn't the end of the world.

    Ideally I would love to have a set of headphones with built in microphone for iPhone hands free but this is only a minor requirement.

    I don't mind spending a good chunk of money on something if I get a return on my investment and what I'm buying lasts. I look after things and so I think if it is noticeably better but costs an extra £100, then over say a 5 year life that works out at 5p per day; if vs. something £100 cheaper I can tell a noticeable difference then 5p per day of listening is well worth it. If I can't tell the difference though, why not save the money.

    So I guess my budget is anywhere from £80 through to £600 but if I buy something at £600 I want to know that it is WAY better than something costing say £300.

    Thanks in advance,

    MansfieldMatt
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Matt,

    I will sstart with the mic problem because this is getting easier for people and therefore you have a bit more choice. With your iPhone you can still answer a call with headphones, the iPhone knows what is happening and keeps call sound going to the earphones whilst activating the mic on your phone. It's a bit weird at first and you will feel a bit like a football comentator with the way you hold the phone to your mouth but it works.

    Fiio will release a new portable amp called the E02i soon. This will be a very small lapel clip on amp with bass boost and iPhone controls so you can use any earphones with the iPhone - Priced under £30.

    Do you want suggestions based on a bass heavy sound or do you like a more balanced headphone with flatter EQ? I know you like bass heavy music but you might need to compromise a bit so that the Classical and Jazz can breathe a bit too.
     
  3. MansfieldMatt

    MansfieldMatt New Member

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    Hi Robin,
    Great news on the mic issue.

    I suppose if pushed to it I do love my bass. I'm happy to compromise slightly my less listened to tastes in exchange for some good bass.
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Matt

    What do you think of the Shures?:)
     
  5. MansfieldMatt

    MansfieldMatt New Member

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    Hi Robin,
    Very happy with them. They are much much better quality than what I was running. My only slight niggle with them is that while the bass is very well formed there is a lack of punch compared to what I was running which I have morned the loss of for a bit, but not too long. I'm certainly not picking fault with your advice though as you were very clear on the phone that these weren't bass heavy earphones and I having listened to some of my wider music tastes I think the trade off is worth it.

    It is so so sooooo nice to find a company willing to spend the time understanding my needs and offering very informed advice while selling things at very competitive prices. I wish you and your colleagues all the success for the future and will be pointing my friends in your direction.

    Many thanks,
    Matt
     
  6. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Matt

    You have made me blush:p

    Thanks Matt for your custom and your kind words. If you ever have any problems please let us know - it was a pleasure helping you!
     
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