I've got so far trying to work out the best setup for music on the go, now i'm stuck!

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by nickharambee, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. nickharambee

    nickharambee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Hi,

    Though I have benefitted from the conversations I have come across on the hifiheadphones forums a number of times (a very valuable resource), this is the first time I have started a thread.

    My situation is that I am looking for a great music listening setup for on the go, with lossless files on my iPhone. I should say at this point that my ears aren't the best (some hearing loss/tinnitus) so this should be factored in to anything I say (our ears being perhaps the most important bit of hardware in any hi-fi setup!).

    I have owned a couple of hi-end Shure IEMs (E5c and SE-530) and enjoyed them a lot, but managed to trample one pair and lose the other (ouch). Perhaps for this reason I am now looking at bigger headphones, i.e. full size, but with a nod to portability. It seems to me that there was less pressure on my ears with IEMs though, and as I need to be particularly careful with my ears, perhaps I should be persisting with IEMs (do others find more pressure with over the ear headphones?)

    I am looking for something solely for the road, as I prefer listening through speakers at home, so sound isolation is an important factor. Of late I have been looking at full size headphones, for the reasons mentioned above, and my initial searches around the internet narrowed it down to Sennheiser HD-25 II, B&W P5 and Shure SRH-840.

    I bought the Sennheiser HD-25 II and burned in for 100 hours. Good sound isolation, but I found them generally too harsh, with not as much warmth/musicality as I would like (sorry my knowledge of the technical language needed to convey the experience is limited).

    Then I demoed the B&W P5's in a store and found them to have better warmth/musicality, but to be generally a bit dull and underwhelming (and, for the money, I don't want to be underwhelmed!)

    So now I am thinking of getting hold of the Shure SRH-840s, and wonder what I can expect relative to the other two headphones I have tried to date.

    In trying to work out the best set up I now realise that I need to get a Line Out Cable, instead of using the headphone jack on the iPhone (the i-Basso one seems good quality, or perhaps one of the Qables iPod cables). Then I imagine that a portable headphone amp would improve matters, though this would of course depend on the combination of headphone and amp, and I am in the dark here. Size would be significant, so perhaps I would lean towards the i-Basso T3/4, but I would also consider the Pico Slim if it was worth it, or bigger portables such as the iQube or i-Basso D10/12 if there was good reason.

    So, would others recommend I get the Shure SRH-840 and if so, which amp should I go for? Or are there other headphones with decent sound isolation that I should look at? Perhaps the B&W P5's would come to life with a LOC and suitable amp?

    In terms of my music tastes, they are very eclectic, from reggae to folk to repetitive beats to rock, so an all round set up would be the order to the day.

    Thanks in advance for any helping me on my way,

    Nick
     
  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    589
    Best setup for music on the go

    Hi Nick. Welcome to the forum!

    The HD25 is an excellent headphone, but it does have quite a forward midrange that is not to everyone's taste.

    I agree with your observations about the B&W P5. Quite a disappointment. The sound is smooth and warm, but really is missing out on detail. I'm not sure an amp would help this, but I'm afraid I can't say I've tried it.

    The Shure SRH-840 is an excellent choice. Plenty of punch at the bottom end, but lots of detail and separation. They are quite a bit bigger than the B&W P5, although it could still be used portably. The SRH-840 sounds great without amplification on most portable players (works great on my iPod Touch), but a LOD and amp will give you a better signal in the first place and a decent amp will be an improvement over the headphone socket of the iPod.

    The reason to go with a bigger amp like the iBasso D10/D12 is that they offer DAC functionality that you can use with a computer (PC or Mac).
     
  3. nickharambee

    nickharambee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for your message Shaun.

    I have a Cambridge Audio DAC that I use at home with my Mac so the emphasis would be on size/portability with the amp. Am I likely to notice a significant difference between say the iBasso T4 and the Pico Slim to justify the big price jump?

    In the last couple of days I have also been looking into the Audio Technica ESW9s and ES10s. Both get good reviews, though there seems to be an issue with the build quality of the ESW9s. Some have suggested that though the overall sound on the ES10s is better, the ESW9s are a bit warmer. Do you have experience of these headphones, and if so, how would they compare to the Shure SRH-840s, both in terms of sound and sound isolation?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  4. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    589
    iBasso T4 v Pico Slim

    I would say it's going to be difficult to justify the price difference between the iBasso T4 and the Pico Slim. The Pico does look beautifully made. Another portable headphone amp worth considering is the SoundMAGIC A10.

    I've not heard either of those Audio-Technica models. We don't have access to those models in the UK. :confused:
     
Loading...

Share This Page