Need recommendation for good but portable over/on ear 'phones for rock/metal!

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by robcfunnell, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. robcfunnell

    robcfunnell New Member

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    Hey hifiheadphones,

    I've only previously had in ear headphones: my most expensive pair being the Phonak Audeo 122s IIRC, and also had the Klipsch Image S4i before. While both were certainly good, they are rather unreliable on build quality, with my Phonak ones being prone to losing earbuds and even cutting out sound entirely (I even sent them to hifiheadphones for repair but embarrassingly had them described as perfectly fine when prior to sending them back one ear had pretty much died - when I got them back that same ear has occasionally cut out but they're certainly tolerable enough), and the Image S4i actually broke completely on me.

    Recently I've kind of regressed into using some cheap Skullcandy in ear headphones and the standard Apple ones (the new ones, the older ones are beyond intolerable). So considering I have too much savings in my bank atm and my ears are beginning to hurt from the nasty design of the aforementioned 'phones I've decided to go and buy some expensive, over ear headphones for listening at home, on planes; anywhere I wouldn't risk them.

    I'm looking for ones which provide a strong treble; bass doesn't have to be overpowering as my music isn't really oriented towards that. I mostly listen to rock and metal which is very vague as metal can get extremely heavy while some rock can be light, almost pop type sounds. I would like headphones which are somewhat portable (not necessarily for moving around a lot while they're on but not too use they become unwieldy and too bulky to carry in some bags; ones with cases are nice too but you can probably buy cases separately). Closed back is probably best as well but I'm not exactly an expert in this field but may be working near others so don't want too much leakage.

    I'm a student so bear that in mind xD Don't know if I'd bring them to college and I would be a lot better at looking after them so any of that isn't an issue. I have quite a lot of money to spend and while I could afford some of the more expensive headphones (Sennheiser Momentum, I'm looking at you) the fact that I haven't exactly come from audio prowess before and most of my music, while I attempt to get most at a general 320kbps and even my favourite albums at lossless, there are a few 256 or lower tracks but these are a minority. I'd be listening through an iPod too, so don't want to spend too much where it is beyond noticeable the difference or they'd be too good for my music etc and probably too valuable.

    I have literally no background in this sort of thing but am looking to spend around £150 but there is quite a bit of leeway there - £200 is the ultimate limit really. My friend has the Bowers and Wilkins P5 headphones and listens to basically the same as what I do and waxes lyrical about them but they're too far out of my price range, so I've been looking at the P3s and while they look amazing and are probably the ideal size, price and portability for my needs, the sound isn't meant to be amazing so I'm not too sure, but that's all I really have to go on so far. Similar style to the P3 headphones or ones which share similar attributes in regards to portability etc would be nice, or further opinions on them comapred to similar priced stuff, but please recommend similar or completely different headphones so I at least have something to go on and start.

    tl;dr Need portable, over ear headphones for metal/rock from iPod at around 320kbps on average. Are P3s good? Please recommend ones in £150-200 price range.

    I hope that made some sort of coherent sense, if you have any questions please ask so I can clarify. I just need recommendations to help me get started in regards to looking at headphones as I have no prior experience and trawling through forums and stuff is hell and this site and customer support is amazing. Thanks.
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Soundmagic HP100 or Shure SRH940 fit your description, offering 98.5 percent of the quality of the £1000 headphones at a fraction of the price.

    I would recommend that you go to the reviews topic of this very forum and read Quadpatch's review and my review of the HP100, then scroll down to my review of the Shure 940.
     
  3. robcfunnell

    robcfunnell New Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation! Both do look like nice headphones; can't find too much on the Shures outside of your review but quite a lot of positive things on the soundmagic headphones. Definitely will give them a look.

    Just curious, if I could go up to about £250 budget to something like the P5s or probably better the Sennheiser Momentums, is this something you'd recommend? Spending so much on a pair of headphones is quite daunting so what are the positives and negatives of doing so?

    Will they last for a long time, and does that extra £80 or so make a noticeable difference? Thanks.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    For durability, the Momentum would be highest, followed by the 940 or HP100. The Momentum sound however is very different from the other two. The Momentum is fairly emphasized in the upper bass/lower mids and the other two are not. The Momentum's midrange in terms of vocals is slightly recessed and the other two are not. That said, my listening is not prioritized toward classical, jazz, acoustic etc. - it includes rock, house music, even a bit of hip-hop. I find that the Momentum, because of its overall detail and clarity and warmth, plays all genres pretty well. If you were highly sensitive to accurate tone in reproduction of instruments and harmonics, you might find one of these better than the others in that regard, but that's something I can't make guesses about at this point.

    EDIT: The ATH ESW9a is a much better headphone than the P5, and only 2/3 the price in the U.S.
     
  5. randomkid

    randomkid New Member

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    If you're fine with on-ear sennheiser HD25-1 II would also be good for your taste, also built like a tank and all parts are replaceable.
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I described the Momentum as significantly emphasized in the upper bass, but the HD25-1-II is WAY emphasized there.

    Edit: And we never were able to find a carrycase for the HD25.
     
  7. robcfunnell

    robcfunnell New Member

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    Thanks guys for the advice. Been hard at work researching things and trying to try things out to get a better opinion.

    Since then I've decided that I would like smaller or even on ear headphones; smaller than the hp100 for sure even though they look very nice.

    The Momentums are probably the right size yet unsure of their suitability for metal. Found the V-Moda M80 headphones which are small and good looking but are quite a bit cheaper - does this mean they aren't as good as headphones that are £250 as they're only like £120 (I know this isn't exactly great logic but still), and are they good for metal?

    Any other suggestions of those sort of size headphones? Thanks.

    EDIT: also are the vmoda m100s any good? From reviews only heard the m80 has a better sound and the m100s are bigger and so less desireable for me and also overly bass orientated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The M80 is an excellent quality headphone, physically and sonically, and the only ding against perfection with it is a soft treble. That probably would work very well, for metal especially.

    The M100 I really like, but for indoor listening where it's quiet and I hear more details, I do turn the bass down slightly. Purists will offer reasons why that's not a good idea, but I just hit the button and enjoy the heck out of the sound.

    I wasn't sure about the Momentum and metal, so I fired up Enslaved - Sleeping Gods and turned up the volume. Sounds great!! The Momentum has good presence which brings out the instrument details well, and instead of peaks around 8-10 khz like so many headphones have that irritate with this kind of music, the Momentum eases off some. Delightful.
     
  9. robcfunnell

    robcfunnell New Member

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    Thanks so much for doing this! I will try my hardest to get to some momentums to try out myself but if they're good with enslaved that's definitely a good sign :)
     
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