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Gear / Technical Help => Playback Forum => Topic started by: moondust.and.solitude on April 07, 2020, 06:25:24 AM

Title: Headphones Advice
Post by: moondust.and.solitude on April 07, 2020, 06:25:24 AM
I'm not able to spend a lot of money due to work being slow at the moment, but I would like to pick up a nice set of over-the-ear headphones. I'm looking at these, and I was curious if anyone has these or could recommend something in a similar price range. I understand that you get what you pay more, I'm just looking to get the best I can for what I can afford. Thanks for your help.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G74V1YP

Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: goodcooker on April 07, 2020, 09:45:56 AM

If I had $50 to spend on a pair of cans I would get these -

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M20x-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR18/ref=sr_1_3?crid=REBZ2YMGVC6V&dchild=1&keywords=audio+technica+headphones&qid=1586266883&s=electronics&sprefix=audio+technica+head%2Celectronics%2C184&sr=1-3

May not be the best for mixing and post production work but AT makes solid headphones and these come highly recommended from a friend who mixes live sound at a club that I frequent. He has a pair at every place he runs sound.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: prepschoolalumniblues on April 07, 2020, 12:20:41 PM
I mix with the HD6XX, listen to home theater (apartment dweller) with the HD58X and Meze 99 for their coloring... bass and punch.

Would love to hear more about your thoughts on these... I’m considering getting my first pair of open-backed headphones (I’ve been using ATH-M50 for a decade) and the two Sennheisers both look like compelling options. If you could have just one pair - especially for rock and jazz - would you go with the HD6XX?
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: perks on April 07, 2020, 12:37:15 PM
I totally dig my Senn HD650's for listening to tunes late at night and not piss off my condo neighbors now that the headphones have broken in. I had read all the glowing reviews here and other places but when I got them I just was not totally impressed. They sounded good but not as good as my Usher S520 book shelf speakers. Then about a month into using them they really started to come alive. I'm enjoying the bass response and they have tight mids and high end. They've been knocking my socks off but it took a while for either my ears to get accustomed to them or for the headphones to open up.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: moondust.and.solitude on April 07, 2020, 04:26:07 PM

If I had $50 to spend on a pair of cans I would get these -

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M20x-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR18/ref=sr_1_3?crid=REBZ2YMGVC6V&dchild=1&keywords=audio+technica+headphones&qid=1586266883&s=electronics&sprefix=audio+technica+head%2Celectronics%2C184&sr=1-3

May not be the best for mixing and post production work but AT makes solid headphones and these come highly recommended from a friend who mixes live sound at a club that I frequent. He has a pair at every place he runs sound.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: moondust.and.solitude on April 07, 2020, 04:30:01 PM
Save a bit more.... Buy once, cry once. 

I'd muddle through on what ever you use now and drop $200 +/- on a pair of Sennheiser HD650/HD6XX or HD580/HD58X (https://drop.com/electronics/drops).* I've got both and love what each brings. On that Drop page, which I link only for its ability to aggregate several options in one location, as well as to give you a price point to relate to, you will see other possibilities. (I've always wondered about the AKG K7xx cans but I'm done for a while.)

I confess to being something of a can junkie lately as I search for... something. (I'm not crying, but in my dotage I have to have some hobbies.) Short of spending $$$$ on Audeze LCD 4z I've been swimming in the $150-$200 pool and own/owned the aforementioned Sennheisers /OB, Meze 99 Noir /CB :headphones: , Beyerdynamic DT 770/CB, Hifiman HE4XX/OB. Not on the Drop pages are the Ts highly touted ATH M50. I used them for years and thought they were good enough at $100-$130 or the Sennheiser HD280 pro. Only the HD6XX and Hifiman benefit from a headphone amp.

I have a couple others but they are on ear or IEMs.  I will say, for the money and portability, the Koss Porta Pro X for $35 are surprising for on the go or quiet room listening. Good in a pinch. 

I listed them in the order of my preference. I bought the Beyer DT770s to maybe take to the field for their closed back/CB character. I mix with the HD6XX, listen to home theater (apartment dweller) with the HD58X and Meze 99 for their coloring... bass and punch.

I picked up the entry level Hifiman planar magnetic driver cans to just see what that was all about. I found that that they couldn't match the Senns in sound stage or bass resolution, even knowing the Senns are not bass heavy. They are OK but not remarkable vs classic driver tech. I bought the Senn HD20pro for their supposed 32db isolation, which sadly did not out weigh the ATH M50's step up in clarity, IMO. I had two pair that I gave to my sons.

Kind of a ramble and likely not  real useful if you can't wait. 'Happy to give more or you an search other sources for comps. 

Good Luck

* = Not sure if you'll need to join the Drop community or not. Free to do so... easy to ignore if you don't dig their marketing.
 :headphones: = Very comfortable and they resolve the fun of a good action movie. Prolly too colored for mixing.
OB/CB = open back/closed back over ear cans

I joined up for the Drop group. There is some nice things on there. I currently use a set of Behringers which is on their last legs. It's a good bit more than I want to spend, but I might be able to hold off a little longer and save up. Thank you.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: voltronic on April 07, 2020, 05:14:50 PM
The 6XX really shine when you pair them with an amp that can drive them well.  Save a little more and get an amp for them.  I use this one, also from Drop, and it's a killer combo:
https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-o2-sdac-dac-amp (https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-o2-sdac-dac-amp)
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: aaronji on April 07, 2020, 05:48:03 PM
Go to a hi-fi shop with a good selection of cans and some decent headphone amps. Bring some tunes. Find a friendly salesman who will let you try a bunch of combinations and see what you like. Different hearing and different head shapes can have a HUGE influence on what you prefer and what is comfortable for you. Preferably do this more than once. Obviously, this may be difficult under current conditions, but, as Ben said, “Buy once, cry once.”

Head-fi (https://www.head-fi.org/forums/) has tons of interesting reviews and information, but, like with speakers, I think it is best to try before you buy...
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: aaronji on April 07, 2020, 06:06:53 PM
And, to add to this ^, what are your looking to do with these headphones and what is your listening environment like? You might choose something different for just pleasure listening or for editing (or both), for example. Is your environment more or less quiet or are you looking for something for commuting on a bus? I spend many hours a day on the train and prefer in-ears with very good isolation. At home, I have a quiet environment (after the boy goes to sleep, anyway) and vastly prefer open back. For what it's worth, both the in-ears and the open backs are Sennheiser, but, for me, they were both a compromise between sound and cost.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: heathen on April 07, 2020, 06:36:12 PM
Go to a hi-fi shop with a good selection of cans and some decent headphone amps. Bring some tunes. Find a friendly salesman who will let you try a bunch of combinations and see what you like.

Not an easy task, even pre-coronavirus. 
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: aaronji on April 07, 2020, 07:14:41 PM
^ Coronavirus is certainly a complication, as I mentioned. Most dedicated audio shops, though, have a "headphone guy" who might be willing to help. Go during a weekday, when it isn't busy, ask the right questions (such as, "I am looking for open back 'phones with a really flat response for mastering live recordings"), have a little bit of an idea of what you are looking for in advance, and you might be surprised. I was able to test 10 or 12 pairs when I bought my current Sennheisers. I had the same experience buying speakers. I guess it depends a little on where you are and how dedicated the staff is to actually helping a customer.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: ts on April 07, 2020, 07:29:23 PM
Back on track and closer to your price range:

Sony 7506
AT M40
Grado SR80
Senn 280

Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: Ben Turnbull on April 08, 2020, 11:04:47 AM
I mix with the HD6XX, listen to home theater (apartment dweller) with the HD58X and Meze 99 for their coloring... bass and punch.

Would love to hear more about your thoughts on these... I’m considering getting my first pair of open-backed headphones (I’ve been using ATH-M50 for a decade) and the two Sennheisers both look like compelling options. If you could have just one pair - especially for rock and jazz - would you go with the HD6XX?

Yes, and if you can audition them A-B I think you'd agree. The HD650/6XX are hi ohm cans and really should have a headphone amp. If you want an open back with a hint of coloration as in  the HD580/58X then no amp is required.

In my "quest" I've found these sites helpful

http://www.digizoid.com/headphones-power.html

https://www.headphonesty.com/headphone-power-calculator/

Of course, with more info the specter of more confusion rises... Have fun!
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: bhtoque on April 08, 2020, 09:31:53 PM
I'm not able to spend a lot of money due to work being slow at the moment, but I would like to pick up a nice set of over-the-ear headphones. I'm looking at these, and I was curious if anyone has these or could recommend something in a similar price range. I understand that you get what you pay more, I'm just looking to get the best I can for what I can afford. Thanks for your help.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G74V1YP

In that price range, I'd suggest you try wish.com I got $3 generic bluetooth buds from Wish that sound better and have longer life than the $25 Anker I got from Amazon around same time.

JAson
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: ts on April 09, 2020, 10:02:48 AM
Here’s another great Massdrop deal:

https://drop.com/buy/drop-hifiman-he-35x-headphones?utm_placement=16&referer=MDQR5F&mode=guest_open&utm_campaign=Automated%20Daily%20Promotional%202020-04-09&utm_source=SparkPost&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%20Promotional&utm_content=1586416175835.421248271565541837050883
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: Gutbucket on April 09, 2020, 11:19:48 AM
A heretical view on my part perhaps, but I don't feel a headphone amp is necessary for the Senns.

Most of the time I simply plug my HD650/600/700 directly into whatever is playing the music.  Sure, a nice headphone amp can improve things, but not nearly as much as the headphones themselves and I don't consider use of one necessity for satisfactory use.  They all sound great plugged directly into any of the audio recorders I've used over the past decade, including R09, R44, DR680, R88, and Zoom F8 (F8 benefits from selecting a higher headphone gain setting in the menu) among others, various stereo and home theater receiver/amps, as well as straight out of the built-in headphone jack of computers. Granted all of my 'phones are very well broken in / "loosened up" with lots of playing time.

If I really feel I need to hear the Nth degree of detail and linearity I'll pull out the Mytek DAC, but most of the time I don't bother and am happy with the direct simplicity.

Others may disagree, but this works for me and avoids complication.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: voltronic on April 10, 2020, 02:49:10 PM
A heretical view on my part perhaps, but I don't feel a headphone amp is necessary for the Senns.

Most of the time I simply plug my HD650/600/700 directly into whatever is playing the music.  Sure, a nice headphone amp can improve things, but not nearly as much as the headphones themselves and I don't consider use of one necessity for satisfactory use.  They all sound great plugged directly into any of the audio recorders I've used over the past decade, including R09, R44, DR680, R88, and Zoom F8 (F8 benefits from selecting a higher headphone gain setting in the menu) among others, various stereo and home theater receiver/amps, as well as straight out of the built-in headphone jack of computers. Granted all of my 'phones are very well broken in / "loosened up" with lots of playing time.

If I really feel I need to hear the Nth degree of detail and linearity I'll pull out the Mytek DAC, but most of the time I don't bother and am happy with the direct simplicity.

Others may disagree, but this works for me and avoids complication.

For me, my other sources just didn't have enough juice to drive the 6XX loud enough for my tastes.  That was the main reason for the amp purchase.  Although the one source I did try them direct with that was more than loud enough was my Galaxy S8 phone, surprisingly.

Also, I'm a bit envious of your Mytek.  I hear they are oustanding.  Brooklyn?
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: Gutbucket on April 10, 2020, 06:07:07 PM
Maybe I just don't listen that loud.

My Mytek is an older gen, probaby 10 years old, bought in the yard sale here.  Can't remember the model off hand, but probably 2 generations prior to Brooklyn.  Sounds great.  No analog input is its primary drawback.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: audBall on April 10, 2020, 06:14:41 PM
I sold you that Mytek in 2011, Lee.  Where's the time gone?!  Stereo96 DAC blue model.  That box opened my ears up to details of recordings I had never heard before.  My go to these days is a Grace M903 that I purchased used a few years back.  It's great, with tons of clean gain.
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: Gutbucket on April 10, 2020, 06:31:15 PM
That's the one. Thanks Horus! 
Dang, was it really that long ago? 
Title: Re: Headphones Advice
Post by: voltronic on April 11, 2020, 02:02:23 PM
Grace makes good stuff, but has always been out of my price range.  That's why I jumped on the 02+SDAC because Grade made the DAC side. 

Here's some detailed explanation of the design:
https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-grace-design-standard-dac/talk/1862815 (https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-grace-design-standard-dac/talk/1862815)