Headphones for Movies and music £200-£250

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by emdoc, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. emdoc

    emdoc New Member

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    Hi, in a couple of months I'll be moving to a flat for a period of time and need to buy some headphones so as not to disturb others with high volumes.

    Main priority is movies (surround sound provided by software player on pc) in a home theatre. Music is also important but comes second to watching films. Hence I thought (semi)openbacks to be best choice.

    I have read about the beyerdynamic DT880 and GermanMAESTRO's GMP 435 S as having an open sound that would be of value in a home theatre. What else could I consider?

    Second question, how would something like the wireless Sennheiser RS 180 compare to the wired phones above, much worse? Is the convenience of wireless overshadowed by the sound quality of equivalent priced wired?

    Thanks for any input
     
  2. john-hifi

    john-hifi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi emdoc,

    The DT880 and GMP 435S will both be great choices! They have a similar sound signature, with the GMP 435S being a bit warmer than the DT880 and will have more bass to them - The DT880 have more sparkle at the top.

    The RS180 sound great! They are warm sounding headphone and as they are not a reference model they won't provide as much detail as either the DT880 or GMP 435S. That being said they will be great for movies and the wireless technology now is very clear.

    The one model I would suggest is the SoundMAGIC HP200. These will do it all as they have great quality bass - especially for an open back - and they have real sparkle when it comes to detail.

    I hope that helps!
     
  3. emdoc

    emdoc New Member

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    Thanks for the information about the phones I mentioned and suggesting the Soundmagic HP200. From the reviews I managed to find, the HP200 as you say seems to have it all.

    If I were to get 2 of them, so as not to alienate my wife, would it be wise to also get an amp/DAC like for example the FiiO E17 Alpen to drive them? And would the use of an extension cable/splitter greatly affect the sound quality when listening to music?

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  4. john-hifi

    john-hifi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In my opinion the E17 is always worth getting when you use headphones with a PC, the sound quality will be greatly improved thanks to the built in DAC - A great upgrade from the standard sound cards fitted in most PCs. The HP200s are very easy to drive so they don't need a lot of power, but having that extra bit of punch won't hurt and the built in EQ can be useful.

    Using a splitter cable shouldn't lessen the sound quality, but it will reduce the amount of power going to each headphone - not by too much though.
     
  5. emdoc

    emdoc New Member

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    I just realised that if we use only a splitter cable the volume would be the same for both listeners, which eliminates a desirable possibility of setting volume levels to suit individual preference. What would you recommend to be the best (in terms of sound quality) yet most economical way to have independent control over volume settings when both wife and I are listening?

    I’ve thought of two possibilities: one, simply to buy a second amp like the FiiO E06 to add between the E17 and the headphones for when two of us are listening, but I don’t know if that would noticeably degrade the sound for the person listening through 2 amps; second, to use a cheaper DAC/amp like the FiiO D5 as the sound card and have two separate E06s one for each headphone? Or are there any other options I could consider?
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Amazon has those short little extensions that have an embedded volume limiter in them. I can try to look it up if you can't find one.
     
  7. emdoc

    emdoc New Member

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    Hi Dalethorn,

    Thanks for the suggestion, I suppose I didn’t seriously consider a volume control cable, even though it seems like an easy and inexpensive solution as many of the ones I’ve seen have reviewer comments about flimsy build quality and unreliability in the long term, and the more expensive ones are around the same price as the lower end FiiO DAC/amps I’ve seen. Also because I am considering spending what is for me not an insignificant amount of money on headphones and an amp, and I don’t have the experience in the field I didn’t wish to deliberately introduce something that may degrade the sound quality particularly with all the (often heated) arguments that rage about cables/connectors etc. affecting sound quality.

    That said I’d welcome looking into some control cables you have knowledge or experience of and can recommend. Are for example the Sennheiser (HZR-62), Shure (EAADPT-KIT) and Koss (VC20) fine or are they not what you were thinking of?
    regards
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Those look like the right thing, yes.
     
  9. emdoc

    emdoc New Member

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    Okay thanks
     
  10. ath-888

    ath-888 New Member

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    yep,Sennheiser (HZR-62) +1
     
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