Which Headphones???

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by donski, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. donski

    donski New Member

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    Hi...Can someone please advise on which headphones I should consider buying? I would like....

    1. Excellent detail and clarity
    2. 50/50 split between use with portable devices and home/Hi-Fi
    3. Low noise leakage so as not to upset people around me...Though I tend not to have the volume too high anyway
    4. Headphones not Earphones
    5. Solid Build Quality
    6. Not sure about Active Noise Cancellation....Most sets I have tried do dull the sound even when NC is off...also...If on a plane/train there is always going to be some noise so maybe a good over ear fit will suffice. In any case I don't do a huge amount of travel.
    7. Best for £0-300; £300-600; £600+

    Tried to research on internet but opinions vary so wildly it's hard to build a case for any one set. HiFiMan HE-5LE seem to have consistently good words for them but at the more expensive end of the market.....Got to ask myself if I really am such an audiophile that I need to spend that much....then again I do like to try and get the best I can.

    Any help gratefully received.

    Thanks.....

    P.S. Was contemplating the Fiio E17 which might I guess open up the choice.....but then it's more kit to carry and plug in on the go......
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Headphones

    German Maestro 8.35D.
    Denon AH-D5000
    Beyerdynamic T5P.

    I really like good headphones, and these would be my choice in the 3 price ranges.

    Closed Back Headphones

    Edit: I don't think you can make the HiFiMan suitable for portable use. Too inefficient.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. donski

    donski New Member

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    Thanks Dale. I Just read your fantastic review of the GM 8.35D and noted that you used a headphone Amp with the iPOD Touch...."and an iPod Touch connected through the line out dock to a Cute Beyond "Class A" headphone amp."

    Would I therefore need an AMP with these headphones or was that just for the purposes of your testing?

    Looking at your review - For the price I think these would be my best option in terms of bang for buck.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Gmp 8.35

    Running the 8.35 from an iPod alone will work just fine and give you 98 percent of the sound quality of the dedicated headphone amp. The 8.35 is efficient enough that even when I'm playing a low-volume track there is enough power to play it loudly. Now that I've said that though, I do suggest avoiding most low-cost headphone amps should you ever decide to buy one, because the 8.35 produces excellent detail and you would hear any colorations or other imperfections added by that amp.
     
  5. donski

    donski New Member

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    What would you consider a "low cost AMP" price wise? or perhaps a better question would be...What AMP(s) do you recommend?

    Thanks for all the advice BTW.

    Regards
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Headphone amp

    Headphone Amplifiers & DACs - Headphone Amps

    The above link lists a lot of amps. If I were looking at a FiiO, I would ask Robin or one of the other people who run the amp section about the new FiiO E17.

    Another choice might be the low-end Graham-Slee Voyager. I haven't heard it but they have a great reputation. Another thing I see that's interesting is the Pro-Ject Head Box II, which looks very similar to the "open source" O2 amp I bought recently.

    Of course depending on how much you want to spend I could recommend something else such as a better Graham-Slee or Musical Fidelity. I think you'll get better advice from someone who has them and is able to recommend based on actual experience. Mostly the purchase is a safe bet, but there may be some specific features that you need to know about. You need to make sure the amp supports your input device(s) and that you have the correct cables, for example.
     
  7. UndefinedMemory

    UndefinedMemory New Member

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    It also really depends on the headphones that you get. My girlfriend's V-MODA M-80 and my mate's Sennheiser HD-25ii are both driven very well by ipods. My Beyerdynamic DT1350, on the other hand, while driven well by the ipod sounds VASTLY better with a headphone amp. I have the JustAudio uHA-120, which is an excellent match for these 'phones, but that amp doesn't do much for either of the others. The Senns actually sound really boomy through it, so it's just not a good match. My guess would be the same for the Denon's, cause those are known to be quite bass heavy as well.

    The FiiO amps are really well priced, have decent output (volume wise) and have a lot of good features, like built-in DACs, in a lot of the models. They're quite neutral, but improve the soundstage and the clarity of the sound, and a few of them have a nice bass boost which is really handy. The E17, from what I've read, combines the best of all of these features and really improves on the sound. I doubt you can go wrong with it!
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    New Fiio E17 will be available from HiFiHeadphones in the very near future - Exciting stuff!:D
     
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