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Author Topic: Headphones disillusions  (Read 6773 times)

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2016, 06:48:48 AM »
Ive wanted to get a HQ pair of cans for awhile now! I just got a Massdrop email for the HiFiMan 350's for $99! Seems like a great deal to me. But I've heard from other VERY reputable tapers that I want the Grado SR225E's for around $180-$200! Personally, Ive ALWAYS been a Sennheiser guy, because I loved the HD280 Pro's I owned in the past. And after hearing Tonedeaf's HD600/650/800[I forget], I was BLOWN AWAY and wanted a pair of the HD595/600/650/800 ever since then lol ;D

So now I'm not sure which way to go honestly? Senn HDxxx's, Grado SR225E's, or HiFiMan 350's? I REALLY wish that I could DEMO the different models, but that's unfortunately NOT how things work :P And I do NOT have or will spend more than $200 at the moment, since I'm ONLY using these to listen/master my recordings at home! My Monster iSport $150 earbuds are for monitoring live because they're SOOOOO much more compact than a pair of cans, and I only use them to make sure I have clean/good signals/levels :) So whatever cans I do get, should stay in pristine shape for MANY years, since they will RARELY be leaving my house, if ever ;) And I'll be buying a hardcase on eBay to fit whatever I get as well, so that should also help keep them in great shape!

I much prefer flat/neutral headphones/earbuds like the old Senn HD280 Pro's that I owned, along with the current Monster iSport's that I have now FWIW, if that'll help narrow down what yinz suggest? :) I remember the lowend/bass and mids/highs being damn near orgasmic and clean/neutral when I heard Tonedeaf's pair of HD 600/650/800's awhile back! And I'd also rather NOT have to upgrade the earpads immediately either! So a pair of cans with earpads that I'll love STOCK would also be great for me ;) My buddy Dan said that his Grado 100 earpads need replaced after 25 years of service, so that's what I'm talking about right there. Earpads that I don't need to replace for 25 years like the Grado's foam would be really nice! That's why as of right now, the Grado SR225E's have my eye, and for $180/Shipped online, not too bad at all IMO! Especially if they last for 25+ years with the stock earpads!

So overall, I want a nice/HQ pair of cans with nice STOCK earpads, that sound neutral/flat :) Thanks in advance fellas! I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts & opinions on what you think and enjoy personally!
Bean
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 06:50:59 AM by F.O.Bean »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2016, 09:03:51 AM »
I think you have 3 options:
1) Go with what you already know works for you.
2) Figure out some way to listen to whatever you are considering buying before committing. 
3) Buy something you are not familiar with but is within your cost constraint with every intention of reselling them.  If you luck out and they work well for you hang on to them, but go into it expecting to resell them to avoid disappointment. 

Both the sound and the fit of Grado is very different than Sennheiser.  Until you actually try them yourself you won't know if you'll love them or if they will constantly annoy you.
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2016, 09:13:03 PM »
Both the sound and the fit of Grado is very different than Sennheiser.  Until you actually try them yourself you won't know if you'll love them or if they will constantly annoy you.

So true.  On fit alone, Grado's are very annoying to me...something I can't ever get past in the four or five times I've sampled a pair.

Offline jlykos

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2016, 08:38:16 AM »
Bean,

If you have a hard $200 limit and want the headphones for primarily mastering purposes, I would look at the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They are well within your price range and do not need an amplifier. They're probably the best option for under $200 for mastering purposes.

If you want something for personal listening and around your price range, look at the NAD Viso HP50. They list for around $250, but you can find refurbished sets for around $200. They do not need an amplifier either and sound fantastic. More for listening rather than mastering, but can probably be pressed into service for either purpose.

I'm not sure if I would master recordings with a set of Grados. Actually, I am sure, I would not do this. There are better options out there for the money. Also, I don't know what is your reference, but those Monster iSports are far from neutral. I had a pair briefly (despite their name, they are ill-suited for sport), and found them to have very overemphasized bass. You may want to look at some of the models by Etymotics for location mastering, although I have found headphones or earphones totally useless for rock concert monitoring because the SPLs pumped out by the PA systems usually completely overwhelm the earphones and you need to jack up the earphone volumes to dangerous levels to monitor. I would keep a pair on me to see if sound was coming out from the recorder and that was about it. Set levels visually at that point.
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Offline nolamule

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2016, 12:06:39 PM »
Anyone have any experience with Ultrasone? I have been looking at pair of Pro 900i. I will be in NYC this weekend and will try to test drive a pair at B&H or Adorama.

Also has anyone seen this: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 12:12:03 PM by nolamule »

Offline noam

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2016, 12:12:48 PM »
Anyone have any experience with Ultrasone? I have been looking at pair of Pro 900i. I will be in NYC this weekend and will try to test drive a pair at B&H or Adorama.

I got the Ultrasone Edition 8 RUTHENIUM Closed-Back Headphones for $950 in 2012. They were metallic, complete garbage, worse than $50 cans I had and I returned them despite a 15% restocking fee.

Noam

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2016, 07:13:09 PM »
I've been comparing a lot of high-end cans in the past 2 years and have been consistently underwhelmed. This morning I pulled out my old Sennheiser HD600 - what do these headphones lack? They are as good as it gets. They have an overall better tonal balance than the HD800, the HiFiManHE1000 or any of the $1,8000 and up Audeze. The sound-stage is as good as it gets, the bass perfect, they are not thin, veiled, distant, dark, bright, muddy or empty and are very revealing. Is it possible that an entire consumers' market has been bamboozled into believing that everything that followed was better? I believe only my ears. I use cheap cables and hook them up to a Benchmark DAC1 Pre. I listen only to classical/opera.

Noam

One thing you didn't mention is whether your listening is to your own live recorded music or studio recorded and/or commercial music. 

I find that my higher end cans don't sound a whole lot better/different on the recordings I've captured with my live recording/Schoeps rig, but on my best sounding studio recordings they do differentiate themselves...at least when I do side-by-side A vs B testing.  For example, when listening to Dark Side Of the Moon on my HD700 before selling the HD600, the sound difference was definitely there...especially in the low end.  Whether that difference is worth the price difference is a completely different subject.  That said, when I'm not comping cans side-by-side, I'm not sure I can get any more or less enjoyment out of...say the HD600 vs HD700s.  They're both fantastic sounding products.


Offline noam

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2016, 07:46:03 PM »
One thing you didn't mention is whether your listening is to your own live recorded music or studio recorded and/or commercial music. 

Both.

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2017, 12:48:43 PM »
If you want something for personal listening and around your price range, look at the NAD Viso HP50. They list for around $250, but you can find refurbished sets for around $200. They do not need an amplifier either and sound fantastic. More for listening rather than mastering, but can probably be pressed into service for either purpose.

Jamie, could you try describing (or comparing to other manufacturers) the sonic characteristics and fit of the NAD Viso HP50? Someone at the office finally broke the hot glue job on my old Sony MDR-7509HDs which had finally outgrown their plastic creaking stage of life, so it's time to move on.

Offline Moke

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2017, 01:38:50 PM »
I listened to a pair of these at a chamber music event, during intermission, listening thru a Mac laptop playback chain. 
Let me say,.... that you could easily go way worse with more expensive cans. They were suggested to have been purchased for $15'ish
I've not given them anymore than a five minute listen. But i was quite impressed.
The guy that had them had purchased numerous pairs of them for session work, in "studio" work (live, remote, same room recordings w/o audience).
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Offline zhianosatch

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2017, 02:21:03 PM »
I listened to a pair of these at a chamber music event, during intermission, listening thru a Mac laptop playback chain. 
Let me say,.... that you could easily go way worse with more expensive cans. They were suggested to have been purchased for $15'ish
I've not given them anymore than a five minute listen. But i was quite impressed.
The guy that had them had purchased numerous pairs of them for session work, in "studio" work (live, remote, same room recordings w/o audience).
https://www.amazon.com/TASCAM-TH02-B-Closed-Back-Stylish-Headphone/dp/B00B1N06PO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483986843&sr=8-2&keywords=tascam+headphones

Hi Armen!

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Offline scrtaper

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2017, 09:06:51 PM »
I had a very reputable hifi audio store, JSG Audio in binghamton Ny suggest with the grados if you buy any model above the sr80 to buy replacement foams for the SR60 and put them on, I have them on the 225s because the stock foams are so uncomfortable and hard
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2017, 09:37:34 PM »
I had a very reputable hifi audio store, JSG Audio in binghamton Ny suggest with the grados if you buy any model above the sr80 to buy replacement foams for the SR60 and put them on, I have them on the 225s because the stock foams are so uncomfortable and hard

My experience with Grado ear pads was quite the opposite.  I had a pair of original SR60's (before the "i" version) and I was never a fan of the stock soft foam ear pads.  When they started wearing out, I read somewhere about using the larger firm foam ring/cup style made for the SR80.  They fit, the pads made them more or less circumaural which for me made the headphones much more comfortable, and the removal of the foam layer in front of the drivers improved treble detail.

Some people out there suggest a compromise of using the soft foam SR60 pads, but cutting a hole in the middle.
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Offline jlykos

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2017, 03:59:38 AM »
If you want something for personal listening and around your price range, look at the NAD Viso HP50. They list for around $250, but you can find refurbished sets for around $200. They do not need an amplifier either and sound fantastic. More for listening rather than mastering, but can probably be pressed into service for either purpose.

Jamie, could you try describing (or comparing to other manufacturers) the sonic characteristics and fit of the NAD Viso HP50? Someone at the office finally broke the hot glue job on my old Sony MDR-7509HDs which had finally outgrown their plastic creaking stage of life, so it's time to move on.

Armen, great to hear from you. I used to own the Sony MDR-7506, so I can make some comparisons. The HP50 is tuned to sound like home stereo speakers and it does a good job of that. It has a very pleasant curve that is quite neutral and realistic. I found the 7506 to have a forward midrange that could sound harsh with some material. The HP50 has a very smooth midrange with great detail, but is not as punishing on your ears as the Sony cans. The NAD also has a slight midbass hump that adds a touch of warmth, but does not color the sound too much. The 7506 are true mastering headphones where that forward midrange is necessary to pick up as much detail as possible and their extended low end is needed to pick up low end rumble from the equipment. The HP50 are more relaxed and allow you to listen to more of the music than the recording, if that makes any sense.

The HP50 fit very nicely, but look really weird on your head. It's strange, because they are made to be taken out and about (low impedence, have an iPhone cord, etc.), but the sides stick out so much that I would not feel comfortable walking down the street with them. They are very comfortable, however. Some people complain about small earpads on them, but they cover my ears nicely so it's not a problem. I use mine in the home and in hotel rooms when I travel; I have the Westone W4 for airplanes and walking around.

I found the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x to have an exaggerated midbass hump that swallowed certain types of music, especially in relation to a slightly recessed midrange. As said above, the HP50 also has a midbass hump, but a very slight one that accentuates, rather than swallows the music. High-frequency extension is better in the HP50. It does not have the bottomless bass of the M50x, but that's OK with me. The HP50 is like sitting in my living room; the M50x is like being in the bottom of a well. Fit on the M50x is better than the HP50, but the headband started coming apart after a year and would shed black plastic material on my head and in my hair, which eventually drove me nuts and caused me to get different headphones.

Hope that this helps!
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2017, 04:38:19 PM »
The HP50 are more relaxed and allow you to listen to more of the music than the recording, if that makes any sense.

I wouldn't have understood this until I started sampling headphones.  Although as a group, I find Head-fi to be overly anal about this stuff, but they do have a good ability to describe concepts that are difficult to describe.  Anyway, on Head-fi they use terms analytical and fun as terms that seem like they might be the analogy to your 'listen to the recording' versus 'listen to the music' concepts.  I once had Sennheiser HD800 for a month or two and thought they were the most fantastic monitoring and mastering headphones ever, but at the same time it was almost like they're analytical to a fault.  For enjoying music, I think I prefer my HD700 or, if I still owned them, HD600 or HD650.

 

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