Help decide on new headphones, please

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by dangostin, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. dangostin

    dangostin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Hey guys.
    I'm a newbie regarding brands and models of headphones. My criteria has always been: brands I know(Sony, Panasonic, Philips, etc.), cheap-mid range price, 20Hz-20kHz.
    Now I'm looking to buy some midrange price, mostly for home use, listening to music on my laptop (maybe an mp3 player at some point).
    Things to consider:

    1) I'm a music freak, so I need clarity for any type of music: i want to hear all the instruments in rock music, good bass punch for house, clarity for classical, etc.
    2) I need comfortable on-ear phones (open or closed ?). Got in-ear Panasonic RP-HJE600 at the moment, but ear-buds are not quite comfy for extended periods, although the clarity is amazing.
    ( AudioCubes.com - Panasonic RP-HJE600 Canal Type Earbuds - RP-HJE600 - )
    3) I will mostly use them with my laptop ( Asus G74S with "3D Audio with EAX Advanced HD 4.0" soundcard, if it makes any difference)
    4) Some decent 50-200£ prefferably.
    5) I'm considering some wireless, for maximum COMFORT, but i've got no idea of pros - cons regarding these, never used wireless. This is the least important factor.

    And another question for the guys at Headphones & Earphones | Headphones for iPod, MP3 player and Hi-Fi, including wireless headphones, running headphones,DJ headphones and more from Sennheiser, Grado, Shure and the best manufacturers. : what's the delivery time & price to US ?

    Thanks a lot for you time guys. Your help will be greatly apreciated by a newbie like me.
    I'll have a beer in your honour later today. :)

    Daniel
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi Daniel

    It sounds like you have already worked out that a pair of open backs will be mostly house bound. Headphones always do a little better with some music than others but the key to being good with several very different styles is to get a reasonably balanced headphone.


    Wireless headphones are not really comparable to wired headphones in accuracy or quality. Wireless headphones will always introduce some compression and will also have a lot less money spent on the drivers as the more expensive part of the headphone has become a wireless system. If quality is your focus I would not go for wireless as you are then focussing your money on convenience.

    If you were standing next to me, the first headphone I would offer you to try is this -

    Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium Semi-Open Headphones 32Ω
    £209.95 - These are very neutral and are used by sound engineers for mix when monitor speakers are not available. These could not be much more comfortable - at first they may clamp a little but they need a couple of weeks for the pads and headband to settle.

    This headphone is very balanced and gives a really accurate idea of what is actually there. There is obviously the choice to pick a unit which does not do this but instead reflects a personal view of what you would like the music to sound - Normally warmer or darker than balanced.

    The other thing here is the impedance, as you have not mentioned a headphone amp I am assuming you would like to be able to power these from normal output devices.

    Here are some similar others which also characteristics which work across different genres. I have put them in order bright to dark (or warm) with the DT880 being the mid point of a reasonably flat EQ.


    Grado SR125i Open Back Headphones (Grado SR 125i)
    £162.00 - Bright and brash punchy but not heavy bottom end

    Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 Open Back Hi-Fi Headphones (AD 700)
    £134.95 - Big and spacious sound, great for music, films or gaming

    Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium Semi-Open Headphones 32Ω
    £209.95 - Very balanced and comfy


    GermanMAESTRO GMP 435S Open Back Headphones (GMP435S)
    £219.00 balanced and comfy but slightly more powerful at the bottom end

    Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Closed Monitor Headphones Coiled Cable
    £134.95 - Reasonably bright and accurate for a closed back


    Sennheiser HD598 Open Back Dynamic Headphones (HD 598)
    £184.96 - Warm, nice sound but probably the least detailed here


    Shure SRH840 Professional Closed-Back Headphones (SRH 840)
    £149.95 - Warm and bassy, really fun sounding, contemporary and gutsy.

    Delivery to the USA seems to be taking longer these days, about 2 weeks is normal but it can be as quick as one week or as long as 3.

    Cost of postage is normally under £20 but is very dependant on the item you buy and its size and weight.

    Let me know if you have more questions:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  3. dangostin

    dangostin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
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    Thanks

    Hey Robin,

    First of all, thanks a lot for your time, your reply has been really helpful.
    In the end, I will probably stick with the Beyerdynamic DT880 32ohm you recommended.

    There was another issue though, that i've forgot to address: will these headphones work with a portable mp3 player, or will they drain the battery after 10 songs ?
    Any idea what would be a good output quality portable player ?

    Again, thanks a lot!

    Daniel
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
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    The DT880 32ohms shouldn't vastly reduce battery life - it may reduce it a little in comparison to very small drivers efficient drivers but not prohibitively.

    I really like the Cowon Players as they sound great, I also liked the way the HiFiMAN player sounds but they are quite chunky and the menu is more clunky than the Cowons or iPods. The nicer Sony Players sound great but in Europe they are limited on purpose and are a bit too quiet for most decent headphones. You might find it is different for your territory so it is worth testing one if they are sold locally.
     
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