headphones for Xmas

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Nelly, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Nelly

    Nelly Casual Listener

    Dec 12, 2012
    Hello Experts,

    I would like to buy a headphone for my husband for christmas, but I find it hard to choose the right one. I have been surfing and searching much too long now, and still don't know which one would be best suited. I myself know not much about audio equipment...

    This is the audio installation we have at home:
    Rotel "Stereo integrated amplifier RA-1070"
    CEC "belt drive CD player TL 51 Z"

    This is the music my loved one likes:
    Bill Laswell
    John Zorn
    DJ Shadow
    DJ Krush
    PJ Harvey

    We are also building an audiophile Record collection (L.P.) but have not yet bought a decent record player. Right now we're using my father's very old Sony record player. My husband has most recently bought :
    Dome 1-4+5
    Some audiophile edition of Maxinquaye by Tricky
    Some very good Scorn albums like "Plan b" (which can be played at 45 AND 33, really cool)

    And many more of course, but I think this is a good selection.

    I can spend about 200 Euro.

    If there is any other information that would be important to make a choice, please ask.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi Nelly

    You beloved has great music tastes and a very cool other half as you are obviously really looking to get this one right. Your question is in many ways similar to the recent question from andy888 who sounds like he might get on well with your other half!:)

    Here is the advice I gave to him - Please come back to me if I have this slightly wrong - I am imagining your other half wants to sit in a comfortable chair at home and listen to his fabourite albums without waking everyone up or bothering them too much. I am also assuming a little bit of leaked noise into the room is acceptable to get better sounding headphones? if you want him to be completely shut off so he can use the same room as others without hearing them or them hearing him let me know as I will have different suggestions.

    Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 Open Back Hi-Fi Headphones (AD 700)
    £124.96 - I really like these with their huge airy sound, for me they suit Classical, Jazz and Acoustic and Choral better than contemporary music. Great for gamers too.

    GermanMAESTRO GMP 435S Open Back Headphones (GMP435S)
    £189.00 - I actually prefer these to the HD650, much easier to drive (GMP400 is a higher impedance version for those with a powerful amp) lighter weight, handmade in Germany with a 3 year Warranty. Not as pretty as the HD650 but every bit as technically accomplished. As I said I prefer the bass on these as they reach low but have a much smaller bass hump so feel smoother and less fuzzy.

    Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium Semi-Open Headphones 32Ω
    £208.96 - Another handmade in Germany, 2 year warranty headphone which I prefer to the HD650. The HD650 is very warm with a shorter soundstage, next come the GMP435s which feel warm but cleaner and sharper than the HD650 and then these are a little lighter at the bottom end (still plenty of bass) but feel really accurate and detailed. Again no amp necessary for these.

    Let me know if the headphones cannot leak noise out or if there are other requirements I havent considered here:D
  3. Nelly

    Nelly Casual Listener

    Dec 12, 2012
    Hello robinHiFi,

    I think your description matches the situation pretty good. This narrows down my choice a bit, and I had indeed noticed these three.
    Besides listening at home, I think however that my man may want to use them to plug in to his mp3player too, for going to work, but I'm not sure. Maybe this is important too.
    I mostly prefer the German handcrafted headphones...
    The Beyerdynamic you mentioned is out of stock. Would the DT 880 Pro be a good alternative?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    I will change my recommendations a little so he can take his new headphones anywhere he wants:)

    These are all serious German brands, each has its own special feature but all three are really nice -

    Ultrasone HFI-780 Closed-Back Foldable Headphones (HFI 780)
    £159.00 - Cleverly created surround sound effect with no digital processing. These sound very 3D, which is tough to achieve in a closed back.

    GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.35 D Monitor Closed Headphones
    £149.00 - These are the toughest headphone we have ever tested! More than that, handmade in Germany they also sound incredible.

    Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Closed Back Studio Headphones
    £169.96 - Beyers new supercool customisable headphone. Serious headphone with a bit of fun to the look of the cups. Excellent 4 step bass control with no digital technology, best bass boosting systen I have used, perfect if you like Electronic music with massive bass to wake you up and a bit of Classical in the evenings.:D

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