Over ear headphones circa £150...for commuting!

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Samuel H, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Samuel H

    Samuel H New Member

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    Hi there clever headphone people,

    My first post (in fact on any forum ever) but would appreciate some help. I have a 3 hour round commute each day to work (involving walking, tube and overland train) and the only thing that makes it bearable is listening to music. I'm into mostly classic rock, acoustic, jazz and blues.

    I only thought about getting some proper headphones a couple of years ago, when i purchased some sennheiser HD448's for about £100. Not sure where they'd rank in a review by a professional, but i loved them. Unfortunately they broke and my fiancee took the opportunity to buy my a new pair for Xmas.

    She got me some wireless on-ear Supertooth Melody's for about £70, which to be honest i wasn't mad about - not fussed about wireless (at the expense of sound, which was clearly worse), and they made me realise i preferred over-ear rather than on-ear. So these...'broke', shall we say, allowing me to get a refund and choose a new pair.

    I want to get this right. What i know is that i want over-ear, i don't mind a relatively chunky design but not ludicrously so as they are for commuting, i'd prefer volume control (unless there's a good reason not to?), sound quality is obviously key, and i'd like to spend between £100-£150.

    Any suggestions would be massively appreciated!

    Many thanks
    Sam
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Here's what I think is the best bet. It's slightly more than the limit you posted, but it has all the best of Sennheiser sound (even the more expensive models I think), plus superb comfort. Stepping below that are the German Maestro 8.35D, which sounds nearly as good, but has much less comfort. The ATH M50 is another full size option, a step below the GMP 8.35D in sound, but about the same comfort as the 8.35D. When I put the HP100 on, it's like a velvet glove. The other two I mentioned make you very aware of a headphone on your head with earpads impacting your ears. Those two do work OK for experienced headphone users.

    SoundMAGIC HP100 Closed Back Headphones (HP-100)
     
  3. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    I second that HP100 recommend, if you can stretch the extra £20, well worth it. Although they are out of stock for a few weeks more I think. The GermanMAESTRO 8.35D is a gorgeous sound (almost as good as the HP100, actually between that and the DT770 LE signature wise), but even if you can live with that lesser comfort, it's just not for portable use I find. The cable is the last straw. I would recommend the Beyer DT770 LE as well, but it's getting hard to find and probably will be even more than the HP100. I find it OK for portable use, but I think you don't really like it for that do you Dale?
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Thanks for the extra detailed info Edd, and sure, I'm fine with portable use on the DT770 because the cable is sturdy and I just coil it up and pocket it. But, it really looks big and somewhat intimidating. Come to think of it, the HP100 is about that size too, so maybe my reluctance to wear the DT770 outdoors is the darth vader aesthetics, where the HP100 has a brighter metallic look. Personally, I'd recommend both for anyone who could see their way to get both of those, since they'd complement each other on a wide range of musical genres. As a point of interest, even though the GMP 8.35D is the same color as the 770, matte black more or less, the 8.35D has a slimmer profile on the head, so there you are.
     
  5. randomkid

    randomkid New Member

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    The HP100 are very good headphones, another good pair would be the Shure SRH840.

    Look both pairs up and find which you think suit you best.
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Not a very good comparison. The SRH940 is very close in signature and quality to the HP100 - the SRH840 is not.
     
  7. randomkid

    randomkid New Member

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    Never said they were similar, just another good model to look at, for his music taste.
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    It's not necessary to be defensive here. I think of HiFiHeadphones U.K. as more of a customer service application for me than a chat forum. In fact, at the software company I work for I'm just a programmer, not involved with outside customers. But our company (based in the U.K.) teaches us to treat everyone like a customer, so the QA people I pass my work onto for testing are my customers in effect. To me, this forum is a perfect opportunity to improve my customer skills, so I do try hard to suggest items that match people's requirements.
     
  9. randomkid

    randomkid New Member

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    Yep, I understand, sorry to sound defensive. I was just suggesting another model the the OP
     
  10. Samuel H

    Samuel H New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, i already had a shortlist and the SoundMagic HP100's were on there. The only think that put me off was the coiled lead which i thought might be a pain for commuting...but maybe that's not really an issue.

    The other ones in that price range on my shortlist were:
    - Audio-Technica ATH M50
    - Sennheiser HD 25-1 II

    ...or a cheaper selection:
    - Sennheiser UK - HD 449
    - AKG K81 DJ
    - Sennheiser HD 205

    So do you think the HP100's are the best choice from the more expensive range, and worth the extra price over any in the cheaper range?

    Thanks again
    S
     
  11. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The cheaper selection are basically low fidelity and I don't think there's a way to compare them. The ATH M50 is the bottom of the class of high fidelity headphone (that's what my ears say, not judging by price), and below that the limitations are in the ability to reproduce instruments with reasonable timbre and separation. The M50 has a decent bass, an uneven midrange that you can get used to, and an uneven treble that's OK for most music. The HD25-1-II has a very heavy upper bass/lower midrange suitable for action (DJ'ing, listening to action TV film, gaming etc., and rock music, metal perhaps). The HP100 is the opposite of the HD25 - very lean in upper bass/lower mids, strong lower bass, clean midrange, and sparkly treble. I would not select the HP100 for metal or rock music, but for classical, acoustic, jazz, folk etc.
     
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