GMG Classical Music Forum

The Back Room => The Diner => Topic started by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 01:50:21 PM

Title: Headphones
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 01:50:21 PM
Hey GMG...I'm planning to invest on a new pair of headphones this summer since I already got a decent pair of speakers..I live in an apartment and would like to do some late night listening. I'm currently considering Sennheiser HD555's or Sennheiser 280 PRO. I've heard that the 280 is better for music and 555 for movies, But according to many reviews the 555's are more comfortable and I like the idea of open headsets. Other than that, I have also heard good feedback for AKG 701's and some other brands...so I have no idea what's the best for me. I'm a high school student and as surprising as it sounds, my budget isn't very high. I'd say about 120 Canadian is as high as I can go. ( I saw HD555's on ebay for $90 - unused !)

Thanks a lot GMG :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: orbital on June 10, 2007, 02:32:58 PM
Hey GMG...I'm planning to invest on a new pair of headphones this summer since I already got a decent pair of speakers..I live in an apartment and would like to do some late night listening. I'm currently considering Sennheiser HD555's or Sennheiser 280 PRO. I've heard that the 280 is better for music and 555 for movies, But according to many reviews the 555's are more comfortable and I like the idea of open headsets. Other than that, I have also heard good feedback for AKG 701's and some other brands...so I have no idea what's the best for me. I'm a high school student and as surprising as it sounds, my budget isn't very high. I'd say about 120 Canadian is as high as I can go. ( I saw HD555's on ebay for $90 - unused !)

Thanks a lot GMG :)
I have had the Sen 280's for about 3 years. I use them with my digital piano for hours during the weekend and they do not cause any discomfort with me at all. They are very comfortable and produce the most natural sound I've heard for the price. There are a few recent topics in the Diner section that might help you with the decision.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 02:55:12 PM
Thanks for your comment, orbital. I'm trying to decide between noise-canceling (280) and surround sound reflection (555). Also, I cannot listen to music at midnight without waking up my family with the 555 as it is open-aired.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mark on June 10, 2007, 02:58:30 PM
I'm looking into the HD 280s as well. Like Bonehelm, I need them for late night listening ... my wife is a VERY light sleeper!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 10, 2007, 08:06:51 PM
As I've said before, got the 280s and highly recommend them but you need to consider that:
-the sound of open air phones is less fatiguing IMO.
-the 280s will out perform the 555s
-the 280s produce deeper bass with an HP amp
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 08:15:59 PM
As I've said before, got the 280s and highly recommend them but you need to consider that:
-the sound of open air phones is less fatiguing IMO.
-the 280s will out perform the 555s
-the 280s produce deeper bass with an HP amp

If I don't plan on getting an amp, will the 280s still sound great?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on June 11, 2007, 06:31:26 AM
Do you listen through a portable device?  I have a pair of 280's and a pair of 580's.  I got the 280's for when I'm on road and for when the wife doesn't wanna listen to what I'm listening to.  Most of the time I listen to the 280's through a go-vibe amp and a Sony portable cd player.  The times when I've listened to them without the amp I thought they were they sounded ok but I really missed the fullness that the amp provides.  That's something I don't think I could get used to.  It's something that would always bug me. The other hard thing is going back to the 280's after I've been listening to the 580's for a while.  The amp helps a lot,  especially if they're plugged into a portable player,  you really won't get the most out of your headphones without it.  With home gear if you have a headphone jack on your amp, you should be fine even though I think it sounds better with a headphone amp.

I don't know anything about the other set you're considering.


Allan
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 07:01:05 AM
If I don't plan on getting an amp, will the 280s still sound great?

I'm going to have to agree with toledobass, you really need an amp for these guys.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 11, 2007, 07:02:16 AM
Do you listen through a portable device?  I have a pair of 280's and a pair of 580's.  I got the 280's for when I'm on road and for when the wife doesn't wanna listen to what I'm listening to.  Most of the time I listen to the 280's through a go-vibe amp and a Sony portable cd player.  The times when I've listened to them without the amp I thought they were they sounded ok but I really missed the fullness that the amp provides.  That's something I don't think I could get used to.  It's something that would always bug me. The other hard thing is going back to the 280's after I've been listening to the 580's for a while.  The amp helps a lot,  especially if they're plugged into a portable player,  you really won't get the most out of your headphones without it.  With home gear if you have a headphone jack on your amp, you should be fine even though I think it sounds better with a headphone amp.

I don't know anything about the other set you're considering.


Allan

Would you be kind enough to provide the model number for the amp?

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: orbital on June 11, 2007, 09:46:02 AM
The times when I've listened to them without the amp I thought they were they sounded ok but I really missed the fullness that the amp provides.  That's something I don't think I could get used to. 
It must have a lot to do with what you are listening to, too of course. With piano music I don't want any amplification (particularly in the bass section), so 280's flat reproduction, for me, is ideal. With Mahler symphonies perhaps some additional filling may be required.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on June 11, 2007, 11:22:16 AM
Would you be kind enough to provide the model number for the amp?

Thanks in advance.

I have the Go-Vibe v5.


Allan
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 11, 2007, 02:10:11 PM
I used the 280s on the plane across the Tasman just recently. Plugged into my MP3 player they sounded fine. However, most headphones benefit from an amp when using portable audio and the 280s are no exception with a more solid bass being evident with these. They are also very good on home equipment. However, the little amps that come out of ampifiers or CD players are nowhere near as good as a deidicated amp. The onne I use at home is a bBehringer MA400 and it is reidiculously cheap for what it does to the quality of headphone listening. You can find it  here (http://www.musiciansnews.com/be/behringer/behringer_micromon_ma400_monitor_headphone_amplifier.shtml)

Alterntively, something like the Go-vibe will give you a double solution with it's portability an added factor. Of course, it's more expensive and it appears that the V6 is now the only model available
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bonehelm on June 11, 2007, 02:15:24 PM
I used the 280s on the plane across the Tasman just recently. Plugged into my MP3 player they sounded fine. However, most headphones benefit from an amp when using portable audio and the 280s are no exception with a more solid bass being evident with these. They are also very good on home equipment. However, the little amps that come out of ampifiers or CD players are nowhere near as good as a deidicated amp. The onne I use at home is a bBehringer MA400 and it is reidiculously cheap for what it does to the quality of headphone listening. You can find it  here (http://www.musiciansnews.com/be/behringer/behringer_micromon_ma400_monitor_headphone_amplifier.shtml)

Alterntively, something like the Go-vibe will give you a double solution with it's portability an added factor. Of course, it's more expensive and it appears that the V6 is now the only model available

Holden, where can I find the Behringer MA400? $29.99 is indeed cheap as hell. Also, what do you think if I tell you I only use those 280's at home and not on portable devices? I think the amp won't matter as much, am I right?

Thanks for answering the questions~ ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 11, 2007, 06:18:44 PM
Holden, where can I find the Behringer MA400? $29.99 is indeed cheap as hell. Also, what do you think if I tell you I only use those 280's at home and not on portable devices? I think the amp won't matter as much, am I right?

Thanks for answering the questions~ ;)

This little amp (I saw one for $19.99 BTW - see 2nd URL) is mainly used by musicians as a foldback device to monitor what's going on when they are playing and using a microphone. So I went to my local muso's shop and ordered one from there. You can also get them online from the manufacturers website

http://www.behringer.com/MA400/index.cfm?lang=eng

But our beloved Amazon have a much better deal and you can possibly help Rob with sponsorship by accessing the site below via the flag at the top of the page

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Micromon-MA400-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B000H2D89G


I do not, in any way, regret adding this amp to my home system especially as it will go into my PC! And all it cost me was $40 here in Australia. The 280s are top quality phones, why compromise them for the sake of $20?

BTW, the Behringer HA400 has 4 inputs if you find that useful and is the same specs and price.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bonehelm on June 11, 2007, 07:40:57 PM
This little amp (I saw one for $19.99 BTW - see 2nd URL) is mainly used by musicians as a foldback device to monitor what's going on when they are playing and using a microphone. So I went to my local muso's shop and ordered one from there. You can also get them online from the manufacturers website

http://www.behringer.com/MA400/index.cfm?lang=eng

But our beloved Amazon have a much better deal and you can possibly help Rob with sponsorship by accessing the site below via the flag at the top of the page

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Micromon-MA400-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B000H2D89G


I do not, in any way, regret adding this amp to my home system especially as it will go into my PC! And all it cost me was $40 here in Australia. The 280s are top quality phones, why compromise them for the sake of $20?

BTW, the Behringer HA400 has 4 inputs if you find that useful and is the same specs and price.


Very helpful information you have there, Holden. I have one last question: What about the cables/wires that runs from the cd player (or my pc's audio socket) to the amp and from the amp to the 280? How many cables does that require and are they included with the amp?

Thanks again !  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 12, 2007, 09:44:06 AM
Very helpful information you have there, Holden. I have one last question: What about the cables/wires that runs from the cd player (or my pc's audio socket) to the amp and from the amp to the 280? How many cables does that require and are they included with the amp?

Thanks again !  :)

The input socket to the amp from the CD/PC is the 6.25 size so you might need a 3.5 to 6.25 connector. Both size sockets are on the front so you get a choice which is good for me as my 280s have the 3.5 plug and my Senn 545s have the 6.25. You would have to supply your own cable from PC/CD to the amp. I got a cable from the local electronics store with 3.5 at one end and 6.25 at the other. If you get a standard 3.5/3.5 cable (you've probably got one already) you just add the adaptor plug mentioned above.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mark on July 09, 2007, 11:17:20 AM
Well, I finally got around to getting my ass down to a decent hifi store (Sevenoaks in Guildford, for those interested) and trying out some higher-end cans. Happened to have a disc of Strauss' songs for soprano and orchestra with me at the time, so I popped this into an Arcam Solo (the music, not the movie, version), and tried the HD280s. And that's as far as I got. Why? I discovered something unfortunate about my head and Sennheiser's transducer couplings: they're not a comfy fit! I have quite a large noggin (cue sniggering), and this makes ALL of Sennheiser's more expensive headphones a no-no for me. Having slipped off the HD280s (didn't like these, btw - too boxed in around the bass end, like listening in a broom cupboard), I tried the fit of the HD595s and the much-praised and stupidly expensive HD600s. Still a no go. They hurt almost immediately. After an hour's listening, I could see myself having to have these cans surgically removed from my head.

Oh, well. At least AKG make great headphones with generous circumaural couplings for big heads like mine. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 06:41:07 PM
My Shure e2cs broke the other day, and it's time to get a new pair asap. If anyone's got a pair to recommend, post away.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on June 10, 2008, 07:19:55 PM
Do you want headphones, or another pair of earbuds?  How much of a consideration is price?  Portability?  Sound isolation?  How will you drive them?  Were you satisfied with the e2cs?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 07:33:34 PM
1. Noise-isolating earbuds are preferred (though I'm looking into a pair of bose headphones, but these might not be practical for city commuting).

2. Up to $200 (but I'll be happier if I dish out $100)

3. Earbuds and headphones are both pretty portable, but earbuds would be more convenient for storing when I'm on-the-go).

4. How will I drive them? Not sure what you're asking.

5. Ehh; it's hard to say. They had pretty good sound quality, but were uncomfortable (made my ears tender and irritated, and the chord was always rubbing up against my face and neck, which was also very annoying).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: M forever on June 10, 2008, 07:37:35 PM
4. How will I drive them? Not sure what you're asking.

What do you mean, "not sure"? Either you understand what he is asking or not. Since you don't (you aren't "not sure", you just have no clue), and that is one of the most baqsic questions of audio, it is clear that it doesn't matter what you get since you have no clue anyway. Just buy some cheap crap, you won't be able to tell the difference.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on June 10, 2008, 07:58:11 PM
An explanation of what driving headphones means might have helped op. 110 more than an excoriation for not knowing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: btpaul674 on June 10, 2008, 08:27:42 PM
but really,

back to headphones?

headphones anyone?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 08:28:19 PM
but really,

back to headphones?

headphones anyone?

agreed; do you have any suggestions? or care to enlighten me on this "drive"
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 08:45:44 PM
op. 110,

I'll be honest with you. I took a pair of 10 dollar sony headphones from years ago, cut off the strap that goes around the ear, and shoved 'em in a pair of shooting headphones. Other than that, I own ipod headphones.

(way off in the distance, you can hear M hammering away at the keyboard on a post claiming my hearing ability, and thus my entire musical ability, is reflective of my headphones and their quality, regardless if the majority of my listening is done live.)
 ;)

Sorry M, sorry all, that was uncalled for.

But this is really fun. Seriously. 0:)

Ummm op. 110 I do hope that you find a pair that is suitable to your needs.

Haha, ohh well, thanks anyways.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on June 10, 2008, 09:09:55 PM
op. 110,

I'll be honest with you. I took a pair of 10 dollar sony headphones from years ago, cut off the strap that goes around the ear, and shoved 'em in a pair of shooting headphones. Other than that, I own ipod headphones.


Man, you have no business recommending others what headphones they should be getting, stay away, this man doesn't know shit about audio!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on June 10, 2008, 09:16:15 PM
To OP: If you want really high-end headphones for music, I recommend the AKG 701. They are open phones that have relatively high impedance, meaning that you need a power amplifier to get the most sound out of them. I know this could be out of your budget, but when I bought my pair it was only for 215 USD. But for classical music, especially orchestral music, the 701's are second to none (maybe Sennheiser 650/600s). Try to head down to the store and give them an audition before you pay, to see if you like the particular sound stage they have.

(http://www.headphone.com/productphotos/small/0020120271_347.jpg)
http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/all-headphones/akg-k-271-s.php

I have the AKG 271S, which is a nicely built headphone. It's also mp3-friendly(i don't need to drive it with an amp to get decent sound, although you could). It fits nicely on my head, and it looks coll on top of that. It costs about half of a AKG 701, but delivers a nice sound. The bass isn't over powering like some other cheap headphones, but it is really really nice for chamber music. But, i have tried it with all kinds of classical music, and it sounds all fine really. There is also a nice mechanism where if you take the headphone off your head, you won't hear the music coming out of the headphone at all, pretty neat stuff.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 09:20:47 PM
So this Monkey Forever is acting doggy this time around? Barking shit and spilling crap on everyone's thread?


To OP: If you want really high-end headphones for music, I recommend the AKG 701. They are open phones that have relatively high impedance, meaning that you need a power amplifier to get the most sound out of them. I know this could be out of your budget, but when I bought my pair it was only for 215 USD. But for classical music, especially orchestral music, the 701's are second to none (maybe Sennheiser 650/600s). Try to head down to the store and give them an audition before you pay, to see if you like the particular sound stage they have.

Righto; I'm thinking I may have to pay a visit to J&R in Manhattan to try out different headphones.

I don't have the balls to drop a significant amount of dough on a pair of headphones only to find out that I'm completely miserable with my hasty decision.

Thanks for your suggestion.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on June 10, 2008, 09:25:39 PM
Righto; I'm thinking I may have to pay a visit to J&R in Manhattan to try out different headphones.

I don't have the balls to drop a significant amount of dough on a pair of headphones only to find out that I'm completely miserable with my hasty decision.

Thanks for your suggestion.

http://headphone.com/

this is a pretty nice website for headphones/amps/ear buds. The reviews are very helpful, but the heaphones are pricy, so just read their reviews and either buy the headphones from a store or via Amazon/ebay.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: op.110 on June 10, 2008, 09:27:38 PM
http://headphone.com/

this is a pretty nice website for headphones/amps/ear buds. The reviews are very helpful, but the heaphones are pricy, so just read their reviews and either buy the headphones from a store or via Amazon/ebay.

Awesome. Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on June 10, 2008, 09:31:18 PM
Righto; I'm thinking I may have to pay a visit to J&R in Manhattan to try out different headphones.

I'd recommend taking with you a couple of CD's that you are very familiar with and that you deem being of good sound quality for you to judge the various headphones. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on June 10, 2008, 09:37:09 PM
I'd recommend taking with you a couple of CD's that you are very familiar with and that you deem being of good sound quality for you to judge the various headphones. 

yeah, that's a great advice there. Take a couple CDs that's really challenging for the headphone. For example, music with extreme low notes and high notes; extreme loud and soft passages, and music with a few instruments and music with many instruments (orchestral) etc... just make sure that the sound quality is good or "audiophile", otherwise it would be a waste of time.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: gomro on June 11, 2008, 01:10:53 AM
1. Noise-isolating earbuds are preferred (though I'm looking into a pair of bose headphones, but these might not be practical for city commuting).

2. Up to $200 (but I'll be happier if I dish out $100)

3. Earbuds and headphones are both pretty portable, but earbuds would be more convenient for storing when I'm on-the-go).

4. How will I drive them? Not sure what you're asking.

5. Ehh; it's hard to say. They had pretty good sound quality, but were uncomfortable (made my ears tender and irritated, and the chord was always rubbing up against my face and neck, which was also very annoying).

Don't buy a set of Bose earbuds if you're planning on using them in a noisy environment. They absolutely do NOT block out external noises. I tried a set, and ended up taking them back 3 days later. Still don't have a really good set of earbuds; the things I'm using obviously have a "boxy" sound, if that makes sense, but I can at least hear music through them.
For more details of my Bose experience:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=14671423&blogID=397796116 (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=14671423&blogID=397796116)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on June 11, 2008, 03:48:24 AM
1. Noise-isolating earbuds are preferred (though I'm looking into a pair of bose headphones, but these might not be practical for city commuting).

2. Up to $200 (but I'll be happier if I dish out $100)

3. Earbuds and headphones are both pretty portable, but earbuds would be more convenient for storing when I'm on-the-go).

4. How will I drive them? Not sure what you're asking.

5. Ehh; it's hard to say. They had pretty good sound quality, but were uncomfortable (made my ears tender and irritated, and the chord was always rubbing up against my face and neck, which was also very annoying).
op.110--For use exclusively with my iPod, I've been satisfied with Etymotic ER6i buds: excellent isolation, decent sound quality, easy to drive with the iPod alone, very compact, and for $80 from Amazon they're nearly cheap enough to regard as disposable.  For about twice the price, you could get the ER4P buds with better sound quality.  Shure has revamped their line lately and there are a couple of new entries on the market that have gotten good press for around $100.  At home, when I choose to listen privately, I'm currently using AKG 701s driven by a Channel Islands headphone amp.  (As you've probably figured out by now, by "driving them" I'm referring to what I'm using to power them.  Some cans and all buds that I know of are efficient enough that they can be adequately driven by an iPod.)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mn dave on June 11, 2008, 04:08:49 AM
Don't buy a set of Bose earbuds if you're planning on using them in a noisy environment.

I have headphones, but I wear Bose buds when I want to hear music but don't want to bother anyone else around me.

[That didn't make sense, did it? Wake up, Dave. I wear Bose buds when I don't want to bother others and don't mind being interrupted. There. That's better.]
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on June 13, 2008, 12:35:39 PM

     op.110 , do you want another set of in-ear 'phones, or are you looking for something more comfortable? Closed or open? I should point out the "ear buds" is not a correct description of what you have, so you'll be looking for something much better than any buds out there. I think you'll find some good choices on the HeadRoom site. They make headphone amps, not 'phones, and they seem to be reasonably impartial in their judgments about quality. They even tell you to stay away from products they carry. (no doubt because they are carrying a line)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brewski on June 13, 2008, 12:40:42 PM
Recently I bought a pair of Sennheiser 595s from www.headphone.com for around $200, substantially less than elsewhere, and I couldn't be happier with them.  The sound is quite extraordinary.  Lately I've taken to using them with my television set (e.g., late at night so as not to bother the neighbors) and they give unbelievable realism and a sense of space.  Plus, they are extremely comfortable: the padded top rests on your head without squeezing your ears, and the phones themselves are covered with velvet.  I have worn them for 4-5 hours with no stress whatsoever.

Here (http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-manufacturer/sennheiser/sennheiser-hd-595.php) they are...

--Bruce
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on June 13, 2008, 01:08:43 PM


     One consideration is how long the cord may be. I don't mind wearing my big fat Senn's on the bus or at work but the long cord gets tangled rather quickly. The problem is that restricting your search to only short cord units knocks out many of the most attractive options. I wish I could get something like the Senn 280's with a 4 foot cord. My Pod would drive those quite easily.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on June 13, 2008, 03:47:29 PM
I got these for about ~160 CAD
http://www.gradolabs.com/product_pages/sr125.htm

I love them, but be warned: they are an open ear design, and I don't recommend them for noisy places. They might do well with an amp as well, though I never had any problems with the SQ.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bunny on June 13, 2008, 04:38:25 PM
If you are still interested in IEMs (in ear monitors), Ultimate Ears, Westone and Shure make excellent dual armature and triple armature models that you can upgrade to.  Costco carries Ultimate Ears at a very good price, too (they have the superfi on line).  Otherwise, most discount audio stores carry Shure and Ultimate Ears.  Westone is also good, but they are pricey and you can only buy them from Westone.com.  They are similar to Shures, but a bit warmer.

If the regular latex or silicon tips are irritating your ears, try out the foamy tips which conform to the ear and are extremely comfortable.  When I use the foam tips with my Shures I don't even know they are in my ears.  Also, the cords should come out of the phones pointing upwards so that they can wrap behind the ears.  When the cords are wrapped behind the ears it cuts most of the conduction noise and the cords cannot rub against the face.  Etymotics are also good, but they don't wrap around the ear (unless the 4p has changed?).  I found them to be the least comfortable fit.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Greta on June 13, 2008, 04:48:10 PM
I have the same question as the original poster, but need to know what I can get for $50 or under.

I had earbuds that came with my old I-River (worlds better than what came with my iPod!) but they recently broke, the right one kind of fell apart, so it doesn't get much sound from it. :( I really don't have any money to spend, but certainly $50 is about the max I could justify!

Was thinking of some sort of cheap Sennheiser buds or in-ear, but there are a lot of different models.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 13, 2008, 05:07:28 PM
I have the same question as the original poster, but need to know what I can get for $50 or under.

I had earbuds that came with my old I-River (worlds better than what came with my iPod!) but they recently broke, the right one kind of fell apart, so it doesn't get much sound from it. :( I really don't have any money to spend, but certainly $50 is about the max I could justify!

Was thinking of some sort of cheap Sennheiser buds or in-ear, but there are a lot of different models.

Not sure why you are committed to the idea of something that goes IN your ear. Maybe it's just me, but I find the whole concept intolerable, even if the sound is great.

I got these Sennheiser PX200 (http://tinyurl.com/6y6gk3) closed ear folding earphones for my Sansa, and they work excellently. In addition, I can fold them up to about the size of a fat pair of sunglasses, and then the whole kit, phones, player, charger and USB cable fit into one of those tiny camera cases neat as can be.

As to the cord problem that someone mentioned above, I solved it by having a friend, who is very competent in such things, cut the cord to just an inch or so longer than the lanyard for the player and solder on a gold stereo plug from Radio Shack. No excess cord now, and the whole thing is super for sound, comfort and portability. :)

8)





----------------
Listening to:
L'Arte del Arco / Guglielmo - Tartini D 113 Concerto in a for Violin 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: M forever on June 13, 2008, 05:26:55 PM
I would just forget all the cheap headphone and earphone crap, get decent headphones and use these when possible, when not, then enjoy the silence. That upgrades the actual listening experience. I don't think one has to have a constant sound sauce doodling and blaring around oneself or in one's ears. I forgot my Sennheiser HD580 and TotalBitHead USB preamplifier in the hotel a few days ago (a total value of ca. $400, pretty idiotic of me) but fortunately, they were found and sent to me but they won't be here before Mon/Tue. I panicked a little - the whole weekend without music? -, unearthed my ages old and slightly damaged Sennheiser HD530, grabbed a headphone amp from my company's inventory, hooked everything up - shit, bad hum and no ground lift switch and I didn't want to start poking around in the amp (as it was loaned from my company), so I ran back, grabbed a stereo isolation transformer, just tried to hook that up - great, I had grabbed the wrong adapter cables  ::) . So, do I go back to the warehouse and get the right adapters, do I slash the cables, go down to the car, get my soldering kit and redo the cables? My girlfriend says no, you stay here and forget about the headphones for a while we will just mix some drinks and sit in silence on the porch. That sounds good. Like I said, sometimes it's nice not to have music blaring at you constantly. BTW, I rarely ever listen to music in the car either.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on June 13, 2008, 05:43:37 PM
Sounds to me like you may have gone pretty far to have to music blarring constantly. Luckily, someone intervened. :P :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: M forever on June 13, 2008, 05:46:23 PM
Not constantly, I never do that (I also don't listen to music when I type in nonsense here, for instance). But I had wanted to listen to some stuff that I had laid aside to be listened to, some new stuff I got, some music I pulled out of storage because it was discussed here, etc. But it looks like that will have to wait for a few days.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on June 13, 2008, 05:50:48 PM
Yea I know what you mean about waiting to play music. I tried bringing my iPod into a manufacturing plant to listen to some music of mine while on the job. Funny thing is, I have to wear earplugs at all times, and that really ruins the highs. Plus the old computer speaker weren't too hot. I guess sometimes it's better to be patient and wait for the optimal, distraction-free listening environment.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: M forever on June 13, 2008, 05:57:29 PM
We have music playing at work all th time because, well, we are a professional projection and sound company, so we have speakers, processing racks, all sorts of equipment everywhere, constantly being built up, checked, aligned, tested, and we usually put all new systems completely together in the shop and run them for a week before they go out in the field. So there is always music playing in the background, but that's OK, they usually put on fairly nice music and if I don't want it, I can simply shut my office door (unless I am working on the shop floor myself). But then if my door is closed, my colleagues can't spontaneously drop in to shoot the shit, so then I would actually have to work to pass the time...so I leave the door open  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on June 13, 2008, 06:01:01 PM
Sounds like a rough life... ;D

If thinks come together with my career, I'll be working as an engineer for a major piano manufacturer. Still have a couple of years of school left though...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Greta on June 13, 2008, 11:56:10 PM
Yeah, I really don't use them that much...just for situations when really needed, so don't need to spend very much. When I want to really listen to something, I prefer not to use headphones as I don't enjoy having something on my head.  ;D So it really doesn't matter what I get much, as long as it's not total crap. ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Bunny on June 14, 2008, 06:26:34 PM
Yeah, I really don't use them that much...just for situations when really needed, so don't need to spend very much. When I want to really listen to something, I prefer not to use headphones as I don't enjoy having something on my head.  ;D So it really doesn't matter what I get much, as long as it's not total crap. ;)

Sennheiser (http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-CX-300S-CX300-S-Earbuds/dp/B000E1DSAE) makes pretty decent ones, and iems as well -- much better than the white doo-dads that come with the ipod.  They should fit into your budget.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41K4234J23L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

You should give the people at Headroom a call.  Strangely their web address is www. headphones.com; not headroom.com which is something completely different.  If you telephone their 800 number you will get a salesman who will be helpful and friendly.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Henk on August 14, 2008, 03:08:14 AM
I think about getting these headphones:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HtRc7eVWL._SS500_.jpg)

Has inline volume control. It looks nice also and it's cheap. Has someone experience with these headphones and/or recommend another pair of headphones instead?

Henk
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 14, 2008, 04:03:03 AM
If you are still interested in IEMs (in ear monitors), Ultimate Ears, Westone and Shure make excellent dual armature and triple armature models that you can upgrade to.  Costco carries Ultimate Ears at a very good price, too (they have the superfi on line).  Otherwise, most discount audio stores carry Shure and Ultimate Ears.  Westone is also good, but they are pricey and you can only buy them from Westone.com.  They are similar to Shures, but a bit warmer.

If the regular latex or silicon tips are irritating your ears, try out the foamy tips which conform to the ear and are extremely comfortable.  When I use the foam tips with my Shures I don't even know they are in my ears.  Also, the cords should come out of the phones pointing upwards so that they can wrap behind the ears.  When the cords are wrapped behind the ears it cuts most of the conduction noise and the cords cannot rub against the face.  Etymotics are also good, but they don't wrap around the ear (unless the 4p has changed?).  I found them to be the least comfortable fit.

     Bunny, I'm afraid of these in-ear 'phones, because they might be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I should give them a try, and your post is reassuring on the comfort score. Could you recommend something in the ~$100 range?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mark on August 14, 2008, 04:19:52 AM
I think about getting these headphones:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HtRc7eVWL._SS500_.jpg)

Has inline volume control. It looks nice also and it's cheap. Has someone experience with these headphones and/or recommend another pair of headphones instead?

Henk

To be honest, Henk, these suck. :( A friend has a pair which, when I was once working in an office with him and needed to block out surrounding noise in order to work, I borrowed for an hour. Truly awful! You'd be better off thinking the music than using these. ;D

Much better, though still inexpensive, are these:

(http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/images/hd215_big.jpg)

Obviously, neither can match my AKG 501's, but hey ... :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Henk on August 14, 2008, 05:40:58 AM
The Sennheiser has closed phones. I prefer open ones. I did some further research and this one looks nice too, I read some good customer reviews.
(http://images.kieskeurig.nl/images/product_big/F7E30A4600E16E50C12571E90052E8AE_big.jpg)

It's a bit more expensive but still less expensive then many Sennheisers and the sound quality may be just as good or even better.
I just ordered it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 24, 2008, 10:49:15 AM

   
     I wonder how good these are? Headroom gives them 4 bars out of 5, which is very good, and the price is nice. Does anyone know about these?

     HD 205     Under $50.00

     (http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/8995/senn205lj6.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mark on August 25, 2008, 08:45:31 AM
   
     I wonder how good these are? Headroom gives them 4 bars out of 5, which is very good, and the price is nice. Does anyone know about these?

     HD 205     Under $50.00

     (http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/8995/senn205lj6.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)


They're okay in terms of sound for the price, but a tad uncomfortable for big-headed folks like me. :(
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Don on August 25, 2008, 08:48:35 AM
The Sennheiser has closed phones. I prefer open ones.

My Sennheiser headphones are open; I didn't know that any of their models are closed.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mark on August 25, 2008, 10:11:48 AM
My Sennheiser headphones are open; I didn't know that any of their models are closed.

Yes, a fair number of them are, though not their high-end stuff, IIRC.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2008, 10:13:01 AM
Blatantly OT . . . Mark, YHM  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Don on August 25, 2008, 10:40:52 AM
Yes, a fair number of them are, though not their high-end stuff, IIRC.

Are you sure?  The most expensive Sennheiser headphones I know are their HD 650's, and they're open.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on August 25, 2008, 11:00:16 AM
Yes, a fair number of them are closed, though not their high-end stuff, IIRC.

Don,

Fixed his post

Allan
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Don on August 25, 2008, 11:28:04 AM
Don,

Fixed his post

Allan

Okay.  At any rate, I love my Senheiser 580's; did notice that they have been discontinued.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 25, 2008, 12:27:14 PM
    Sennheiser makes very good closed 'phones (HD 280 are supposed to be quite good), though I don't think they can compete with their best open ones. For even better closed headphones Headroom (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/) (main headphone page) has Denon, AKG, and Beyerdynamic. Here's their closed-back list (includes in-ear types). (http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-headphone-type/sealed-type/)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Henk on September 15, 2008, 04:12:41 AM
(http://images.kieskeurig.nl/images/product_big/F7E30A4600E16E50C12571E90052E8AE_big.jpg)

My new headphones arrived today. First impression is good.

I realize now I have to use them. Music in open space is the privilige for people who play.

Henk
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: маразм1 on September 15, 2008, 05:03:21 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Shure-Incorporated-E2C-EFS-Isolating-Earphones/dp/B000NQQ41K/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1221487162&sr=8-8

I got these for free.  They sound pretty nice and bassy but possibly are bad for one ears..., but I don't like the fact that they're jammed into my ears.  For decent sound, they have to act like earplugs, in other words be completely inside one's ear vacuum-tight. 

I like them when it gets too loud in the office, to be able to escape into the wonderful world of music.  They are completely noise/sound proof because they are earplugs!. 

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on September 29, 2008, 05:18:22 AM
Does anyone have a pair of these?  I currently have a set of Senn 580 that I love for everything *but* classical music. My favorite music to listen to on these cans is jazz. The sound is just a little removed for me for classical.  I've keep reading great things about the 701s and a friend is raving about them.  I'll get to try them out in a little while, but I wanted to see if anyone here had any thoughts on them. 

Thanks,
Allan



Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 29, 2008, 01:22:26 PM
Does anyone have a pair of these?  I currently have a set of Senn 580 that I love for everything *but* classical music. My favorite music to listen to on these cans is jazz. The sound is just a little removed for me for classical.  I've keep reading great things about the 701s and a friend is raving about them.  I'll get to try them out in a little while, but I wanted to see if anyone here had any thoughts on them. 

Thanks,
Allan





Rather than spending big bucks on a pair of 701s, spend a much smaller amount on a headphone amplifier. The reason is that the 580s need to be driven to produce their best sound and once you get that you'll never look back. I don't know your listening set up so can I suggest that you get a portable HP amp. They can be purchased for less than $100. Brands that are recommende are:

Airhead Total   http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/

PA2V2    http://www.electric-avenues.com/audio8.html

CMOY   http://mobilitysite.com/2008/02/micro-cmoy-headphone-amp-review/

These are three that immediately come to mind. The PA2V2 would probably be the best value for money. Don't throw away your 580s until you've heard them properly amplified.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on September 29, 2008, 05:10:27 PM
I've got them amplified properly, I think.  I have a Creek OBH-11 and a Go-Vibe for the portable stuff.

Allan
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: M forever on September 29, 2008, 05:26:35 PM
The headphones are OK. What you need is better cables. You need NASA approved cables and they should not cost less than $1000 per ft. Then you will have really great sound.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: imperfection on September 29, 2008, 07:34:15 PM
The headphones are OK. What you need is better cables. You need NASA approved cables and they should not cost less than $1000 per ft. Then you will have really great sound.

To add to that, if you don't have a 50,000 CD collection, there really isn't a point having any audio equipment at all. What's the point of just listening to good recordings that are carefully selected one by one?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 29, 2008, 11:08:08 PM
I've got them amplified properly, I think.  I have a Creek OBH-11 and a Go-Vibe for the portable stuff.

Allan

If you've got the amplification and are still not satisfied then you do need new phones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on September 30, 2008, 12:57:17 PM
I love my AKG 501s which I also use with the Creek headphone amp.  The 701s are supposed to be an improvement on the 501s.  The 501s have a very spacious "headstage" (soundhead?), and are about the most comfortable 'phones I've ever used.

I also have a pair of Sennheiser 650s, but the Creek amp is not an ideal combination with them; the 'phones sound a little too dark through this amp.

If you have the scratch, and do most of your listening via headphones, you might also look into the Stax Classic system. 

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on September 30, 2008, 01:38:20 PM
Does anyone have a pair of these?  I currently have a set of Senn 580 that I love for everything *but* classical music. My favorite music to listen to on these cans is jazz. The sound is just a little removed for me for classical.  I've keep reading great things about the 701s and a friend is raving about them.  I'll get to try them out in a little while, but I wanted to see if anyone here had any thoughts on them. 

Thanks,
Allan

     If you find you like the 701's you can get them at a steep discount from the $449 price.

     Click the pic.

     (http://www.compuplus.com/resizedImages/0/125/231/97.402597402597/180/images1/K701.jpg) (http://www.compuplus.com/i-AKG-Flat-Wire-Studio-Headphones-K701-1009732~.html?sid=4qh5ggg061473q7)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papageno on October 10, 2008, 10:51:46 AM
I'm planning on buying a pair of headphones (preferable from Amazon) for listening to classical music, what do you recommend?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Catison on October 10, 2008, 10:56:02 AM
I'm planning on buying a pair of headphones (preferable from Amazon) for listening to classical music, what do you recommend?

This question is almost as open as, "I'm planning on listening to classical music, what do you recommend?"

Where do you plan to listen?  What kind of CD player do you have?  How much money do you want to spend?

BTW, you might want to review these threads:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7942.0.html
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1229.0.html
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papageno on October 10, 2008, 11:48:11 AM
On my Mac, apparently I've moved and my Albarry and Roland stereo bothers the neighbours.

My budget is up to £100.
Is Sennheiser good, or should I go more mainstream with Sony or Philips?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on October 10, 2008, 11:55:58 AM
On my Mac, apparently I've moved and my Albarry and Roland stereo bothers the neighbours.

Is Sennheiser good, or should I go more mainstream with Sony or Philips?

AKG
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2008, 12:12:59 PM
On my Mac, apparently I've moved and my Albarry and Roland stereo bothers the neighbours.

My budget is up to £100.
Is Sennheiser good, or should I go more mainstream with Sony or Philips?


Sennheiser's are great.  If your budget can stand just a little more, the 595's can be had for just under £120 here (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/full-size/sennheiser-hd-595.php).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on October 10, 2008, 03:01:08 PM
Grado Labs. I haven't had any problems with my rs125's. However, they're an open-ear design, so listening in a loud environment (like a bus) is pretty much out of the question. But you probably wouldn't be doing that on the computer anyway...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gustav on October 10, 2008, 03:09:21 PM
Grado Labs. I haven't had any problems with my rs125's. However, they're an open-ear design, so listening in a loud environment (like a bus) is pretty much out of the question. But you probably wouldn't be doing that on the computer anyway...

I found that i can not use my Grado anywhere (other than at home). It's too loud in a quiet setting, and it is rather uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2008, 04:13:32 PM
My budget is up to £100.
Is Sennheiser good, or should I go more mainstream with Sony or Philips?


Sennheiser is very good. Stay away from Sony/Philips.
Buy 595
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: some guy on October 10, 2008, 04:22:49 PM
One word: audition.

I swear by my Grados. My composer son swears by his Sennheisers (ones he got from me because I didn't like them.)

So audition them, just like you would if you were buying speakers.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on October 10, 2008, 04:25:59 PM


    Don't buy expensive headphones for your Mac unless you know the SQ is very good. All that will do is make it easier to hear how bad the sound is. So, how good is the sound on your Mac? If you get something like a Total Bithead (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php), a combination USB sound card and headphone amp, then you can get any headphones you want and enjoy them to the fullest.

    So, given your budget, I'd say get the Bit Head and use your present headphones until you can afford good ones. Just how bad are your current 'phones?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kullervo on October 28, 2008, 04:36:57 PM
I've had my Bose tri-ports for about 2 years now and love them, but the left phone is starting to go out; it only works if you bend the plug in just the right way. I am wondering if I were to buy an ultra cheap set of headphones, cut off the plug and replace the old one with it, would this affect the sound quality?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kullervo on November 04, 2008, 09:38:46 AM
I've had my Bose tri-ports for about 2 years now and love them, but the left phone is starting to go out; it only works if you bend the plug in just the right way. I am wondering if I were to buy an ultra cheap set of headphones, cut off the plug and replace the old one with it, would this affect the sound quality?

*bump*

Still no ideas?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 04, 2008, 10:02:58 AM
*bump*

Still no ideas?
The short answere is no. The cable in your $140 Bose headphone is about the same quality as the cable you get in a $10 headphone. So go ahead.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Xenophanes on November 05, 2008, 07:46:16 PM
    Sennheiser makes very good closed 'phones (HD 280 are supposed to be quite good), though I don't think they can compete with their best open ones. For even better closed headphones Headroom (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/) (main headphone page) has Denon, AKG, and Beyerdynamic. Here's their closed-back list (includes in-ear types). (http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-headphone-type/sealed-type/)

I like the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro quite a lot.  As I have found that the bass is overpowering in many headphones, I thought I would try the HD 280 Pro, which rolls off the bass compared to most (HeadRoom supplies measurements for many of the phones they sell).  It is available from HeadRoom for a mere $100.00, which is half list, plus a small shipping charge. These are sealed phones with good sound isolation. They are very good indeed, quite smooth with slightly subdued extreme highs, very easy to listen to.  Evidently the pros use them a lot for recording and mixing, as HeadRoom tells us. As for basic sound quality, they are pretty much in the same class as my main speakers, which are very fine indeed.  The HD 280 Pro is very sensitive and a computer sound card will drive them with ease.  I had them for a few weeks now and am very happy with them.

http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/all-headphones/sennheiser-hd-280-pro.php
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on November 06, 2008, 02:41:27 AM
Interesting to see the HD 280s mentioned. I wasn't all that impressed by their performance when I auditioned them in a high-end hifi store using some Arcam kit. I also found them terribly uncomfortable. Quite a tight squeeze for someone like myself, with a slightly larger-than-average head.

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kullervo on November 06, 2008, 05:15:45 AM
The short answere is no. The cable in your $140 Bose headphone is about the same quality as the cable you get in a $10 headphone. So go ahead.

Thank you
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Catison on November 06, 2008, 05:25:38 AM
Interesting to see the HD 280s mentioned. I wasn't all that impressed by their performance when I auditioned them in a high-end hifi store using some Arcam kit. I also found them terribly uncomfortable. Quite a tight squeeze for someone like myself, with a slightly larger-than-average head.

FK

I'm listening to them at this very moment, and I use them all day at work.  So I can assure you, as someone with a large head, they fit quite comfortably after a breaking in period.  Plus they keep the sound sealed in (or out), so there is no threat of annoying the neighbors.

Plus they sound great!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on November 06, 2008, 05:30:28 AM
I'm listening to them at this very moment, and I use them all day at work.  So I can assure you, as someone with a large head, they fit quite comfortably after a breaking in period.  Plus they keep the sound sealed in (or out), so there is no threat of annoying the neighbors.

Plus they sound great!

Different horses, different courses, I suppose.

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 06, 2008, 12:37:30 PM
Different horses, different courses, I suppose.

FK

The HD 280s are superbly detailed headphones but they do take a little bit of driving. I've got a small Behringer headphone amp ($30) which I use to drive my phones from my PC and also the headphone jack of my CD player. The difference this makes in sound - especially the bass end - is quite large and for me justified buying these cans. The bass of the 280s is very clean, crisp and detailed and will go very low (with amplification) to the point of being able to hear the actual note of a 64' organ pipe.

I always use these when I fly and they are so good at blocking out external sound that I prefer these to Sennheiser's top end (and more expensive) noise cancellers.

I broke mine in by playing them continuously for 72 hours. I put them onto a soccer ball to loosen them up. It worked perfectly. For the price I have never heard a more detailed and clear set of cans. To get the same SQ expect to pay almost twice the price.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on November 06, 2008, 01:14:38 PM
Thanks for this, Holden.

You've given me plenty of reasons why my 'cold' audition wouldn't have been a fair trial run. And as for the football method of loosening off tight cans, I'll have to bear that in mind when breaking in my next pair. ;D

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on November 06, 2008, 01:17:01 PM
I bought these Sennheiser HD595's a few months ago and they are wonderful.

VERY comfortable with great depth and clarity to the sound. I'm hearing things in my fave pieces of music that I haven't noticed before. Quite amazing really  :)

(http://www.discountdiscs.co.uk/Merchant2/graphics/00000002/sennhd595.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on November 06, 2008, 01:39:31 PM
Oooh! Nice. :)

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brewski on November 06, 2008, 01:47:13 PM
I bought these Sennheiser HD595's a few months ago and they are wonderful.

VERY comfortable with great depth and clarity to the sound. I'm hearing things in my fave pieces of music that I haven't noticed before. Quite amazing really  :)

I am probably going to get a second pair...best headphones I've ever had. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 06, 2008, 03:15:38 PM
In 1988 I bought a pair of what was then Sennheisers flagship model the HD540 Gold MkII and they were so good they blew me away. I still have them and still use them (along with the 280s). Now I'm wondering whether I should upgrade. The 280s are  basically for travelling and to use with the PC and I still hook up the 540s to my Hi Fi for listen when I don't want to disturb the household. Do the 580s/600s/595s, etc, sound better than my trusty old 540s? Has anyone who has heard both got any comments?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brewski on November 06, 2008, 03:31:42 PM
Just as an aside, since I have not experienced the venerable 540s: what I notice about the latest Sennheiser line is that the cups are not circles but ovals, which enables them to completely encircle your ears, rather than resting ON your ears.  This is a small but significant ergonomic change, that enables the ear pads to touch the sides of your head, rather than pressing against the ears as such.

Maybe I just have huge ears (no comments, please  ;D) but I find this new development vastly more comfortable--almost a revelation.  I have never had headphones that were such a pleasure to wear, from a physical standpoint.  And that's even before the sound quality is discussed.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on November 06, 2008, 03:58:55 PM
Bruce, any ear coupling that completely surrounds the ear is called circumaural. The shape is unimportant. If the couplings rest on your ears, that's supra-aural. I don't get on with these latter types, either. Us jug-earred folks are better off with the really big cans. ;D

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on November 06, 2008, 04:32:54 PM
I've had 'cans' in the past that rest on your ears and I found them to be extremely uncomfortable.

The HD595's are circumaural  ;) and VERY comfortable  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Wanderer on November 07, 2008, 01:23:07 AM
I've had the Sennheiser HD570's for several years now and can recommend them (or their successor model:-) without the slightest of reservations. Excellent, detailed, full-bodied sound and very comfortable to listen to even for long periods (this coming from a guy who can't usually stand headphones, is extravagant praise).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papageno on November 15, 2008, 06:20:25 PM
I recently got the Sennheiser HD 280 Professional, they're nothing extraordinary in my opinion.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KTCMERA3L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 15, 2008, 10:57:37 PM
I recently got the Sennheiser HD 280 Professional, they're nothing extraordinary in my opinion.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KTCMERA3L._SS500_.jpg)

Try amplifying them - they take a bit of driving. It made all the difference for me.

Anyway, what do you think is missing in the 280s?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papageno on November 16, 2008, 03:59:04 AM
How do I amplify them?  Do I adjust the equalizer in iTunes or something?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on November 16, 2008, 09:12:21 AM


    I think it's likely that the problem is not the 'phones, which are good enough for most purposes and are highly rated. If you're plugging directly into your laptop that's where the problem is. And I wouldn't just connect a headphone amp to the audio out, because if the source is bad you can't fix it downstream.

     

    Don't buy expensive headphones for your Mac unless you know the SQ is very good. All that will do is make it easier to hear how bad the sound is. So, how good is the sound on your Mac? If you get something like a Total Bithead (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php), a combination USB sound card and headphone amp, then you can get any headphones you want and enjoy them to the fullest.

    So, given your budget, I'd say get the Bit Head and use your present headphones until you can afford good ones. Just how bad are your current 'phones?

     I know I'm repeating myself here but it's important. Good sound starts at the source, so a USB card (it doesn't have to be a Bithead) designed to be used with laptops is most likely what you need.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papageno on November 16, 2008, 09:35:50 AM
I see... a USB amplifier, I'll have to look for one of those, does Amazon sell them?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 16, 2008, 12:10:26 PM
Sennheiser's are great.  If your budget can stand just a little more, the 595's can be had for just under £120 here (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/full-size/sennheiser-hd-595.php).

--Bruce

I have the 595's little brother the 555 and the sound is (I used to own the 595) nearly the same for a fraction of the price.  And the 555 is the easiest of all of the 5xx series to drive.  I can listen to them unamped with my mp3 player without having too crank up the volume at all.  It's more comfy too, the 595 was always bonking into my ear, too uncomfy.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 16, 2008, 12:23:38 PM
Most of my listening over the past year have been on these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VdvUEPi%2BL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones (http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-ANC7-QuietPoint-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B000OMKR8E/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226866796&sr=8-1).

In my opinion they totally outclass anything by Bose, makes the QC2 sound like an expensive toy. The sound is very natural and with it's own power on 1 AA battery you don't even need an external preamp to drive it. Not sure how they compare to Sennheiser since I only have the 515 (which is an excellent pair of headphones BTW for about $80).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Catison on November 16, 2008, 04:59:37 PM
Most of my listening over the past year have been on these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VdvUEPi%2BL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones (http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-ANC7-QuietPoint-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B000OMKR8E/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226866796&sr=8-1).

In my opinion they totally outclass anything by Bose, makes the QC2 sound like an expensive toy. The sound is very natural and with it's own power on 1 AA battery you don't even need an external preamp to drive it. Not sure how they compare to Sennheiser since I only have the 515 (which is an excellent pair of headphones BTW for about $80).

What is your judgment on active vs. passive noise-canceling?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 17, 2008, 04:38:39 AM
How do I amplify them?  Do I adjust the equalizer in iTunes or something?

You can buy a little headphone amp - portable would be good in your case. The PA2V2 would make a huge difference to your listening with any headphones but particularly these Sennheisers.

http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplifiers.html

There are other inexpensive portable amps available like the CMOY, and Boostaroo.

Or you could try FiiO E3 (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2008/07/fiio-e3-headphone-amplifier-mini-review.php)

I don't have a portable amp but use this with my PC (and also directly out of my CD player)

http://www.venuemusic.com.au/Products.asp?ProdID=8028


..and that's the Australian price. It works brilliantly and is so simple.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 17, 2008, 04:56:57 AM
What is your judgment on active vs. passive noise-canceling?
Passive as in like the Senheiser 280? In general I like active noise cenceling, since the distortions caused by the noise canceling mechanism is small compared to the amount of noise it blocks out. In the case of the ATH-ANC7 you can be doing dishes and run the faucet on high and not hear it much. And it does it in such a non-intrusive manner. I also have the BOSE QC2 and it literally pressurizes your ears like you are in an airplane 40000 feet in the air. Sometimes I listen with Bose Triports and they are actually quite good, much mucn better than the QC2 but not as good as the 515.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on November 17, 2008, 02:33:13 PM
I see... a USB amplifier, I'll have to look for one of those, does Amazon sell them?

     Audiophile Products Fubar III USB DAC / Headphone Amplifier $229.99 (http://www.amazon.com/Audiophile-Products-Fubar-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0017JHYJI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226959355&sr=8-1)

     (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41m-lpK%2B-VL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

     You don't want a headphone amp, you don't want a sound card, you want this or the less expensive ($159.00) and more portable Bithead (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php):

     (http://www.headphone.com/productphotos/large/0000010013_1889.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 17, 2008, 04:53:47 PM
Or you can spend $20 and just get  this (http://www.amazon.com/Boostaroo-Portable-Audio-Amplifier-Splitter/dp/B000219896/ref=pd_bbs_11?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226969507&sr=8-11)one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31AEYZ2WMSL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)


which you can also get at Shitty Shack (or Radio Shack).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 17, 2008, 06:11:42 PM
I want to throw in something nifty about headroom which you might not get when you buy other amps-- two year warranty, any problem and they'll replace it.  I know because mine is not working right and when I contacted support they're just like send it in and we'll take care of it. :)  I just have the total airhead.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kullervo on November 17, 2008, 06:16:43 PM
My Bose Triports finally died. Does anyone have any experience with the Etymotic brand; specifically their ear canal headphones?

These (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/in-ear-monitor/etymotic-er-6i-white.php) are the ones I'm considering.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on November 17, 2008, 09:32:45 PM
My Bose Triports finally died. Does anyone have any experience with the Etymotic brand; specifically their ear canal headphones?

These (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/in-ear-monitor/etymotic-er-6i-white.php) are the ones I'm considering.

I've used the Etymotics 4s heavily when I was restricted to 'phone listening in a sometimes noisy environment.  I enjoyed them a lot.  I wouldn't bother with the rubber inserts, the foam inserts are much more comfortable, keep out more noise, and don't make your ears get hot.  I did go through a lot of the inserts because they don't seal very well once they get waxy.

However, do be careful with potential "volume accidents" with these, particularly when they are hooked up to a computer.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Siedler on January 23, 2009, 11:45:32 AM
My old (over 6 years) Sennheiser headphones died yesterday and today I bought these babies:
(http://tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:dU8_sp1-ELDGMM:http://www.verkkokauppa.com/productimages/orig/12412_02.jpg)
There's not a huge upgrade in sound but I think it might be more detailed. Anyhow I'm still just using my Macbook, I might be more impressed with an amp.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on January 23, 2009, 02:56:39 PM
I recently got the Sennheiser HD 280 Professional, they're nothing extraordinary in my opinion.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KTCMERA3L._SS500_.jpg)

Slight time-machine posting, but these are my main listening headphones, and I love their sheer precision to bits, for comparative listening.

Though for "straight" listening, I've always felt I needed to amp them, but since I've never gotten around to buying that headphone amp, I mainly compensate for it through listening effort on my part. Good practice. ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on January 26, 2009, 08:47:18 AM
My Bose Triports finally died. Does anyone have any experience with the Etymotic brand; specifically their ear canal headphones?

These (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/in-ear-monitor/etymotic-er-6i-white.php) are the ones I'm considering.
I know this is a bit late to respond to your query, Corey, but still:  I have enjoyed using the Etymnotic 6is with my iPod for the past couple of years and are completely satisfied with them for that purpose.

In addition to the Ety 6is, I currently have the Senn HD280s, the Senn HD590s, and the AKG 701s.  The latter are exceptionally good and I use them with the main hi fi system when I wish to listen critically without disturbing others in the home.  I use the 590s with my PC under the same circumstances and the 280s when the situation is reversed--namely, when others are making noise that I wish to block out. 

I know I'm repeating myself here but it's important. Good sound starts at the source...
Some things DO change!  What a pleasant surprise to find that Ernie now recognizes the virtue of this fundamental principle instead of arguing against it.  How nice to know that it's never too late for even the stubbornest of old dogs to learn new tricks!

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on January 26, 2009, 01:38:05 PM


     No change is involved. I've never had a CD player that was a bad source. I have had computers that were bad sources. All of them were bad sources from the analog outs.

     Last night the headband on my my old Senns broke, so I'll need some new ones right away. Since they must be closed the 280s are going to be it, I think. I'd like to have something with an iPod-friendly short cord but all of them are unsuitable in one way or another. Either they are the tiny ones that go in your ear or they rest on top. So I'll have to live with a long cord.

     I just ordered the 280s. If they turn out to be too cumbersome for road use they'll stay at home and I'll get something else.

     
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Peregrine on January 26, 2009, 02:34:12 PM
Anyone own the Sennheiser 650's? I've long wondered about buying them and they can be picked up for under £200 these days:

(http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/icm.nsf/resources/C1256F140044E469C1256F4F003B942E/$File/09969_pro2.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on January 27, 2009, 12:24:26 AM
Anyone own the Sennheiser 650's? I've long wondered about buying them and they can be picked up for under £200 these days:

(http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/icm.nsf/resources/C1256F140044E469C1256F4F003B942E/$File/09969_pro2.jpg)

I have a pair.  You really need good amplification for them to sound good.  I find them a little dark sounding, and prefer the AKG 501, though the 650 has much better bass.  You can find the successor of the AKGs, the 701, for $250 on the web.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2009, 05:53:49 AM
The only time I've heard the 650s they were not in my own system and were driven by the Musical Fidelity X-Can (v8, IIRC) and one of the Moon integrated CD players--quality stuff that probably did not alter the character of the sound much.  They sounded great to me but a bit lush and bottom-heavy, consistent with Daverz's report, above.  I prefer my AKG 701s, which seem more neutral with detailed and grain-free (but not coldly analytic) highs, accurately authoritative lows, and a sweet and natural midrange...but I have no doubt that I could live very happily with the 650s, had I purchased them instead!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on January 27, 2009, 07:41:29 AM
Anyone own the Sennheiser 650's? I've long wondered about buying them and they can be picked up for under £200 these days:



I have the 580s and like the other two gentlemen who posted, I find the overall sound to be dark, with nice bass. Sennehesier is great for Rock and not so great for solo piano. There's a clear drop in frequency response in the upper frequencies that I don't like. Some of this can be compensated for by boosting the treble, but the sound still remains veiled IMO. 

I was told by many people that Sennehesier was great for classical.  ??? I suspect these people were not big piano fans.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on January 27, 2009, 07:50:16 AM
I prefer my AKG 701s, which seem more neutral with detailed and grain-free (but not coldly analytic) highs, accurately authoritative lows, and a sweet and natural midrange...but I have no doubt that I could live very happily with the 650s, had I purchased them instead!

How are these for solo piano? Do you get a nice sparkle in the tone through them?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2009, 09:24:07 AM
How are these for solo piano? Do you get a nice sparkle in the tone through them?
Well, George, they sound about as accurate as any transducer I've heard.  Except for the acoustical presence--the imaging in space--of the sound, their character otherwise is nearly indistinguishable from my Gallo Reference 3.1s.  In my experience, one would have to spend a few thousand dollars more for loudspeakers and amp to get sound quality equivalent to good cans and a modest headphone amp--and the latter also avoids all the issues with speaker setup and room acoustics!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on January 27, 2009, 09:39:42 AM
Well, George, they sound about as accurate as any transducer I've heard.  Except for the acoustical presence--the imaging in space--of the sound, their character otherwise is nearly indistinguishable from my Gallo Reference 3.1s.  In my experience, one would have to spend a few thousand dollars more for loudspeakers and amp to get sound quality equivalent to good cans and a modest headphone amp--and the latter also avoids all the issues with speaker setup and room acoustics!

Thanks. I'll be sure to audition them when I have the time/money.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Peregrine on January 27, 2009, 10:22:58 AM
I have a pair.  You really need good amplification for them to sound good.  I find them a little dark sounding, and prefer the AKG 501, though the 650 has much better bass.  You can find the successor of the AKGs, the 701, for $250 on the web.

The only time I've heard the 650s they were not in my own system and were driven by the Musical Fidelity X-Can (v8, IIRC) and one of the Moon integrated CD players--quality stuff that probably did not alter the character of the sound much.  They sounded great to me but a bit lush and bottom-heavy, consistent with Daverz's report, above.  I prefer my AKG 701s, which seem more neutral with detailed and grain-free (but not coldly analytic) highs, accurately authoritative lows, and a sweet and natural midrange...but I have no doubt that I could live very happily with the 650s, had I purchased them instead!

Thanks chaps. I'll have a look around for the AKG's and perhaps get to test a pair, but looks like headphone amplification s the way forward...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Peregrine on January 27, 2009, 10:30:58 AM
I have the 580s and like the other two gentlemen who posted, I find the overall sound to be dark, with nice bass. Sennehesier is great for Rock and not so great for solo piano. There's a clear drop in frequency response in the upper frequencies that I don't like. Some of this can be compensated for by boosting the treble, but the sound still remains veiled IMO. 

I was told by many people that Sennehesier was great for classical.  ??? I suspect these people were not big piano fans.

I currently own some Sennheiser 570's and whilst they sound fine, I've never been that enamoured by listening on headphones. Thought that maybe an upgrade might change my opinion.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on January 27, 2009, 10:34:59 AM
I currently own some Sennheiser 570's and whilst they sound fine, I've never been that enamoured by listening on headphones. Thought that maybe an upgrade might change my opinion.

I hear you. I just don't like HP. I much prefer to play music on speakers, even if that means playing the music quieter.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2009, 10:39:26 AM
I currently own some Sennheiser 570's and whilst they sound fine, I've never been that enamoured by listening on headphones. Thought that maybe an upgrade might change my opinion.
IIRC, the 570s were substantially better than average but still fell a bit short of audiophile quality, even several years ago.  Though I enjoy good cans better than crappy ones or not listening at all, I much prefer loudspeakers and never chose cans if some kind of noise interference is not an issue.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on January 27, 2009, 04:34:51 PM
I have the 580s and like the other two gentlemen who posted, I find the overall sound to be dark, with nice bass. Sennehesier is great for Rock and not so great for solo piano. There's a clear drop in frequency response in the upper frequencies that I don't like. Some of this can be compensated for by boosting the treble, but the sound still remains veiled IMO. 

I was told by many people that Sennehesier was great for classical.  ??? I suspect these people were not big piano fans.

Ah the Sennheiser veil.  The 555 and 595s don't have that veil, but the 580s for sure do.  AKGs don't have that veil, and I had the 501s but they were a bit dry.  Audio-Technica a900s don't have that veil and have a superb transparency across the whole range, and sound deep despite being closed headphones.  You might want to give them try, they also don't really need serious amping to sound good either. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on January 27, 2009, 05:24:57 PM


     Last night I threw away my old Senns and brought my old Grado SR-60s out of retirement. They have a cracked wire so I have to bend the cord a certain way to get both channels, but it's good to hear them again. I tortured them with some organ music and they sounded terrific. Unfortunately in addition to being crippled they offer no isolation, which I need, so I'll be happy to get the 280s, which should be good at reducing outside noise. If money wasn't a consideration I might be tempted by something from Denon.

     (http://www.usa.denon.com/AHD2000_Short_G_rdax_239x350.gif)

     Here's a nice list of "bests" from Headroom (http://www.headphone.com/):

     (http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/2300/phonesic2.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on January 28, 2009, 01:29:29 PM
Oh, that's why the AKG 701 is relatively cheap now, there's now a 702.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on January 28, 2009, 04:19:43 PM
Oh, that's why the AKG 701 is relatively cheap now, there's now a 702.
Rats!  Guess my 701s are just junk now.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on January 30, 2009, 05:19:20 PM

    My 280s have been shipped (from Nashua, N.H. it says). They should arrive in the next couple of days, meaning Sat. or Mon. Amazon really is wonderful.  :)

    Wednesday 2/4/09:

    I got my HD 280s yesterday and at the moment I don't like them. I made the mistake of spending the last week with my Grado SR 60s which no doubt prejudiced me against anything new. In time I'll adjust, but for now I'm disappointed.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on February 05, 2009, 12:00:19 PM
Gentlemen,

Grado SR-60 vs. Grado SR-80.


Opinions? Own experiences? :)

(Amped, mind you.)


Edit: I left out the ladies are there have been none in the discussion so far, from what I've seen, not out of any deeply-ingrained sexism. :P
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on February 05, 2009, 01:21:04 PM


    I think the 80s are harder to drive, and so you need that amp. I've never heard the 80s. The drivers are different, larger in the 80s and they are supposed to be cleaner sounding with more detail. The 60s are are not detail champions, though they sound glorious at what they do and are very easy to drive from a portable. The greater detail may make the 80s more suitable for classical music. As you see below there's not much difference in their FR.

     SR 60

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/iconGraph.php?graphID=393)

     SR 80

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/iconGraph.php?graphID=353)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on February 05, 2009, 02:28:30 PM
As you see below there's not much difference in their FR.

     SR 60

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/iconGraph.php?graphID=393)

     SR 80

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/iconGraph.php?graphID=353)

Indeed, that's part of why I thought I'd ask.

I will be testing both before I make my call, of course. But thank you; seems like it's going to be an interesting comparison to make. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 05, 2009, 05:08:21 PM
    My 280s have been shipped (from Nashua, N.H. it says). They should arrive in the next couple of days, meaning Sat. or Mon. Amazon really is wonderful.  :)

    Wednesday 2/4/09:

    I got my HD 280s yesterday and at the moment I don't like them. I made the mistake of spending the last week with my Grado SR 60s which no doubt prejudiced me against anything new. In time I'll adjust, but for now I'm disappointed.

I am surprised that you liked the 60s better than the 280s! :o  The 280s are not my favorite, but they are far closer to neutral than the 60s are.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 05, 2009, 05:15:09 PM
As you see below there's not much difference in their FR.

The plots actually show the opposite conclusion.  The SR 80 falls off much faster than the 60 on the low end, see it rapidly falls to -20 dB, while SR-60 rolls off to -10 dB.  And look at that funny trough in the high frequency range.  It's severe (-20 dB), and only the 60 has it.  That's a logarithmic scale for the frequency, so it's important to note that where the 80 starts performing that way, it looks not far from where the 60's funny trough is, but actually very far away from it.  Where the 80's funny troughs occur are already on the edge of hearing, and it never falls as far as the 60 does.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on February 05, 2009, 06:03:41 PM


    The 280s are more accurate. Right now I'm starting to adjust to them. They are more dynamic than any other 'phones I've used, and they also have more isolation. I'm having a hard time finding the ideal volume. They sound so clear that when the climax comes it's shockingly loud. I'm starting to turn them down a bit at a time.

The plots actually show the opposite conclusion.  The SR 80 falls off much faster than the 60 on the low end, see it rapidly falls to -20 dB, while SR-60 rolls off to -10 dB.  And look at that funny trough in the high frequency range.  It's severe (-20 dB), and only the 60 has it.  That's a logarithmic scale for the frequency, so it's important to note that where the 80 starts performing that way, it looks not far from where the 60's funny trough is, but actually very far away from it.  Where the 80's funny troughs occur are already on the edge of hearing, and it never falls as far as the 60 does.



     You're right! The 80s look bass deficient, down 5-10 dB at 30 hz. At 30 hz SR 60s are at zero.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 05, 2009, 07:10:50 PM

    The 280s are more accurate. Right now I'm starting to adjust to them. They are more dynamic than any other 'phones I've used, and they also have more isolation. I'm having a hard time finding the ideal volume. They sound so clear that when the climax comes it's shockingly loud. I'm starting to turn them down a bit at a time.

Yeah they are pretty loud!  My problem with them was that they were like a vice on my head!  I need comfort.

Quote
     You're right! The 80s look bass deficient, down 5-10 dB at 30 hz. At 30 hz SR 60s are at zero.

Yup, so there are problems with both headphones. :-\  I personally would prefer to have the bass over the high frequency.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on February 06, 2009, 03:18:22 PM

    I discovered the problem with the 280s. There's something wrong with my right ear.  I've had a cold for the last few days and it moved to my ear. I held my nose and blew causing my ear to pop (actually squish) in a nasty way. This is producing a ringing sound with the headphones. When I get better the 280s will sound great, much more detailed than the SR 60s.

   

Yup, so there are problems with both headphones. :-\  I personally would prefer to have the bass over the high frequency.

    I like the balance on the 60s. The bass is strong enough for me.

    Take a look at this:

    (http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=353&graphID[]=393)

    (http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=533&graphID[]=393)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 06, 2009, 04:02:01 PM
Sorry to hear that Ernie, I've been sick as well and the congestion gives me the same ear problems (well no ringing though).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on February 06, 2009, 04:21:12 PM
(I will be providing feedback after I compare them in practice, rest assured.)

Edit: Not that you would not otherwise be resting assured, I certainly hope. :P
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on February 06, 2009, 06:32:26 PM
Yeah they are pretty loud!  My problem with them was that they were like a vice on my head!  I need comfort.

Yup, so there are problems with both headphones. :-\  I personally would prefer to have the bass over the high frequency.

I burned my pair in for 72 hours constantly playing some heavy rock and wrapped around a size 5 soccer ball. They are very comfy now.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 06, 2009, 06:57:13 PM
I burned my pair in for 72 hours constantly playing some heavy rock and wrapped around a size 5 soccer ball. They are very comfy now.

Now that's what I call breaking it in! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on February 12, 2009, 01:33:29 PM
So today I heard both the Grado SR60 and the SR80, driven by a Pro-Ject Head Box II (http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=headbox&cat=boxes&lang=en) - the sound samples were lossless rips from my 80GB iPod, due to my lack of desire to haul compact discs across a snowy Edinburgh, today.

Now, due to the fact that I did not 'load' my iPod specifically for sound-testing, I mostly had 'lower-fi' recordings to work on - Gielen's Mahler being an exception, the rest were 1940s-1980's recordings.

However, they are recordings I know well, which is why I decided to maintain that 'payload'.

Cutting to the chase, I liked both headphones a lot: I found the SR60's sound slightly more vibrant, yet noticeably less well-defined than the SR80's. And the bass on the SR60 is indeed more prominent, but the SR80 incorporate it better into the sound picture, which is in general clearly superior in the latter model. So, though I wouldn't mind (at all!) using either, I opted for the more "luxurious-sounding" SR80, in the end.

Also, though I tested them on the Head Box II, for the moment I picked up this "pretty little thing (http://www.nuforce-icon.com/Product-Icon-Mobile)", which though not quite at the level of the Pro-Ject amp is phenomenally good for its size, adaptability and portability (the latter two great pluses for me), and which I heartily recommend. :)


Further note: Contrary to what the original iteration of the SR80 seems to have had, the current version of the headphones does not come with a "donut" style ear cushion, but with the (apparent) original SR60 design, instead.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: sporkadelic on February 12, 2009, 01:44:30 PM
Now, due to the fact that I did not "load" my iPod specifically for sound-testing, I mostly had "lower-fi" recordings to work on - Gielen's Mahler being an exception, the rest were 1940s-1980's recordings.

However, they are recordings I know well, which is why I decided to maintain that "payload'.


Important point, this.  When I'm comparing pieces of audio gear I like to have the Beatles white album handy, not because it's a hi-fi spectacular, but because I've known it for 40 years.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on February 12, 2009, 02:58:48 PM
Important point, this.  When I'm comparing pieces of audio gear I like to have the Beatles white album handy, not because it's a hi-fi spectacular, but because I've known it for 40 years.


     That's a good point. Familiar and much-loved music is a better test, though it's good to try different kinds of music.

     Now that my ear is better the 280s are sounding really good, though the highs are a little piercing. I may need to turn them down a bit more.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on February 12, 2009, 04:30:43 PM
     That's a good point. Familiar and much-loved music is a better test, though it's good to try different kinds of music.

     Now that my ear is better the 280s are sounding really good, though the highs are a little piercing. I may need to turn them down a bit more.
They'll improve after you've run them in for a couple of hundred hours.

Whoops!  I almost forgot--you don't believe in that.  But it's okay, they'll improve whether you believe or not.  They're not like Tinkerbelle.  ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Joe_Campbell on February 22, 2009, 12:50:57 PM
They'll improve after you've run them in for a couple of hundred hours.

Whoops!  I almost forgot--you don't believe in that.  But it's okay, they'll improve whether you believe or not.  They're not like Tinkerbelle.  ;)
Listen to any frequency loud enough and long enough, and it's bound to start sounding a bit quieter. ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on February 22, 2009, 01:00:50 PM


     My ears are fully "burned in" now and the 280s are starting to live up to their reputation. I also turned them down a bit more and the sound is now clearer. I really underestimated both the sensitivity of these 'phones and the difference that several dB of extra isolation makes. The shape of the cavity the phones create around the ears is another variable that could explain how they differ from my old HD270's.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on April 02, 2009, 08:32:50 AM
Anything I can get my hands on with my brand new Sennheiser 600's :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 02, 2009, 08:36:12 AM
Anything I can get my hands on with my brand new Sennheiser 600's :)

Hey, I've spotted the red-crested Stingo! A rare sight around these parts recently.

Congratulations on the purchase. I'm in the market for a decent pair of headphones myself.

Sarge
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on April 02, 2009, 08:54:18 AM
Anything I can get my hands on with my brand new Sennheiser 600's :)

What have you got those HUNGRY beauties plugged into?
Lest you happen to have the rarest case of an incredibly high-powered high-quality headphone jack
on your amp (I am not aware of one that has one, but there might be...), a fine headphone amplifier
will now prove to be the best hi-fi investment you can make.

Compared to that, matters like choice of CD or SACD source are relegated to voodoo.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on April 02, 2009, 10:03:36 AM
What have you got those HUNGRY beauties plugged into?
Lest you happen to have the rarest case of an incredibly high-powered high-quality headphone jack
on your amp (I am not aware of one that has one, but there might be...), a fine headphone amplifier
will now prove to be the best hi-fi investment you can make.

Just my PC or CD/DVD player at the moment. I was thinking of getting a headphone amp, but I have no idea what to get.

And to stay on topic: Bax: Elegiac Trio for harp, viola and flute.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on April 02, 2009, 11:14:48 AM
Just my PC or CD/DVD player at the moment. I was thinking of getting a headphone amp, but I have no idea what to get.

Do get one. Plugging your HD600 into your PC is a colossal waste of potential (and money).
After doing that a few times with mine, I waited almost a year to use them again: Until I had a headphone Amp.
They sounded OK plugged into an old amp of a friend--presumably with a somewhat decently powered jack, but they
sounded like limp and lukewarm mineral water on anything else. Far worse than headphones that are far cheaper.
And of course dismal, compared to Grados. (Which need very little power, although still more than a PC headphone jack provides.)

For such listening I've found Etymotics in-ear headphones to provide the best listening experience... although one that many listeners
might find uncomfortable.

When I finally plugged my Sennheisers into the headphone amp, my jaw dropped. WOW! UN. BE. LIEVABLE. You hear too much, if anything.
To quote Karajan (out of context): Everything else is gaslight.

I can't really recommend anything, because I've never done comparative listening... and my unit isn't commercially available (below).
One of the standard Head Phone Amps--always liked by its users, it seems--is Musical Fidelity and their X-Can series (http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/smlx/xcanv8p.html). (V8P, for example.)
I've personally heard very encouraging things about Woo Audio (http://wooaudio.com/) (Brooklyn) which goes the tube-route as do mine.

Get ready to feel every floorboard creaking with atmosphere.

ThreaDuty: listening to:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TLzL%2BdEkL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Johann Sebastian Bach - Latin Church Music v.1 (Masses) - Challenge Classics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00125ZIX6/nectarandambr-20)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 02, 2009, 11:31:46 AM
Do get one. Plugging your HD600 into your PC is a colossal waste of potential (and money).
After doing that a few times with mine, I waited almost a year to use them again: Until I had a headphone Amp.
They sounded OK plugged into an old amp of a friend--presumably with a somewhat decently powered jack, but they
sounded like limp and lukewarm mineral water on anything else. Far worse than headphones that are far cheaper.
And of course dismal, compared to Grados. (Which need very little power, although still more than a PC headphone jack provides.)

For such listening I've found Etymotics in-ear headphones to provide the best listening experience... although one that many listeners
might find uncomfortable.

When I finally plugged my Sennheisers into the headphone amp, my jaw dropped. WOW! UN. BE. LIEVABLE. You hear too much, if anything.
To quote Karajan (out of context): Everything else is gaslight.

I can't really recommend anything, because I've never done comparative listening... and my unit isn't commercially available (below).
One of the standard Head Phone Amps--always liked by its users, it seems--is Musical Fidelity and their X-Can series (http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/smlx/xcanv8p.html). (V8P, for example.)
I've personally heard very encouraging things about Woo Audio (http://wooaudio.com/) (Brooklyn) which goes the tube-route as do mine.

Get ready to feel every floorboard creaking with atmosphere.

ThreaDuty: listening to:


Johann Sebastian Bach - Latin Church Music v.1 (Masses) - Challenge Classics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00125ZIX6/nectarandambr-20)



If you haven't checked out the site, head on over to head-fi: http://www.head-fi.org/forums (http://www.head-fi.org/forums). They have both full size and portable amp threads. It's a great site for info on anything headphone related. I have the HD580 and use a total bithead amp (it's portable and just plugs into a USB). Anyway, very helpful site (people are friendly and have heeps of knowledge on the subject).  And as we say over there, sorry for your wallet!

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on April 02, 2009, 12:11:17 PM
If you haven't checked out the site, head on over to head-fi: http://www.head-fi.org/forums (http://www.head-fi.org/forums). They have both full size and portable amp threads. It's a great site for info on anything headphone related. I have the HD580 and use a total bithead amp (it's portable and just plugs into a USB). Anyway, very helpful site (people are friendly and have heeps of knowledge on the subject).  And as we say over there, sorry for your wallet!

Thanks for the info - I've heard of the Total Bithead before, and the price seems right. You're happy with yours I'd imagine?

On now: Bach: Mass in B minor.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 02, 2009, 12:30:51 PM
Thanks for the info - I've heard of the Total Bithead before, and the price seems right. You're happy with yours I'd imagine?

On now: Bach: Mass in B minor.

Since portable was critical for me (and this a couple of years ago), the bithead was one of only a few choices at the price (there are more now I assume). But it is a solid amp. It is small and light (so great for portability) and easy to use (plugs right in and sets right up on the computer).  I had a problem with the volume control within about a month or two of getting it. They fixed it right up and sent back within about a weak, so service was good too (and no problems since then). Here is a review of it: http://www.dansdata.com/bithead.htm (http://www.dansdata.com/bithead.htm)

The 600 and 580 are quite similar, so I assume it would go well with the 600 too. Lots of people use the HD600 and HD650 at head-fi too, so plenty of experience there with it.

FYI: Just finished Alfven's Symphony No 2.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on April 02, 2009, 12:48:11 PM
Since portable was critical for me...

If portable is not critical (and I don't see myself EVER, EVER leaving the house with HD600 on my head... I'd look like such an Ass, I'd probably want to slap myself back to my senses before the style police arrested me) then these portable "louder-makers" would not be a recommendation... simply based on the requirements. HD600 (and HD580) have an impedance of 300 Ohm... that's not the kind of juice any (and if so only the biggest , non-portable) Bitheads deliver. Much better to get appropriate headphones for portable listening than trying to get HD600s to perform in an environment they were decidedly not meant for.

From everything I read (and I used to devour the literature and all the ghastly hi-fi fora on this topic), Bitheads are not really audiophile gear but serve to bring low output portable sources up to greater noise levels.

Ideally you'd have a HiFi dealer in your region who happens to have two different headphone amps and will let you listen to them at home for a weekend.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 02, 2009, 01:08:54 PM
If portable is not critical (and I don't see myself EVER, EVER leaving the house with HD600 on my head... I'd look like such an Ass, I'd probably want to slap myself back to my senses before the style police arrested me) then these portable "louder-makers" would not be a recommendation... simply based on the requirements. HD600 (and HD580) have an impedance of 300 Ohm... that's not the kind of juice any (and if so only the biggest , non-portable) Bitheads deliver. Much better to get appropriate headphones for portable listening than trying to get HD600s to perform in an environment they were decidedly not meant for.

From everything I read (and I used to devour the literature and all the ghastly hi-fi fora on this topic), Bitheads are not really audiophile gear but serve to bring low output portable sources up to greater noise levels.

Ideally you'd have a HiFi dealer in your region who happens to have two different headphone amps and will let you listen to them at home for a weekend.

Then I suggest BOTH of you go over to head-fi and see what is best for you. There is just as much disagreement over which amp works best as there is as to which Mahler 5 is best. Since I do not keep up on this, I cannot say which one might be right one for you (just as I cannot know which Mahler 5 you will ultimately like most). At the time, however, several users with my setup recommended the bithead + HD580 and I can say from experience that they work just fine. Ears (and needs) differ, so this may not be the case for you.

By the way, I don't wear the 580s in public. Can't imagine it actually.  :P

And you are correct that the best way to figure this out is to listen to some if that is possible.

Edit: Incidentally, the bithead is both a DAC and amplifier, and not all amps are. It is (at least it was considered to be) very good with a computer.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 02, 2009, 01:33:56 PM
FYI there's some discussion of amps to drive headphones on the first few pages of the headphones thread here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1482.0.html)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on April 02, 2009, 06:29:58 PM
Concerning headphones, since the issue was brought up again, let me just note how happy I am with my combo of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro and the Grado SR80 - they complement each other incredibly well! Ditto on the amplifier, the NuForce Icon Mobile, which for a portable DAC/amplifier combo is fairly amazing (to my ears, and for my present requirements) considering the price. :)

[Not that I carry either headphones with me when I go outside. ;D But the portability is important to me for travelling, as well as the integrated DAC that is generally not a feature for 'unportable' headphone amps - at least in the price range I'm willing to even consider (>£500)!]

Next up for me, eventually, are an entry-level non-portable amp and a dedicated DAC, given how my most reliable present audio source is a laptop.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 03, 2009, 03:52:59 PM
If portable is not critical (and I don't see myself EVER, EVER leaving the house with HD600 on my head... I'd look like such an Ass, I'd probably want to slap myself back to my senses before the style police arrested me) then these portable "louder-makers" would not be a recommendation... simply based on the requirements. HD600 (and HD580) have an impedance of 300 Ohm... that's not the kind of juice any (and if so only the biggest , non-portable) Bitheads deliver. Much better to get appropriate headphones for portable listening than trying to get HD600s to perform in an environment they were decidedly not meant for.

From everything I read (and I used to devour the literature and all the ghastly hi-fi fora on this topic), Bitheads are not really audiophile gear but serve to bring low output portable sources up to greater noise levels.

Ideally you'd have a HiFi dealer in your region who happens to have two different headphone amps and will let you listen to them at home for a weekend.

      I've seen some technical info on the BitHead, and I think it qualifies as audiophile. Read the review by Fremer and Atkinson of the Total BitHead here (http://www.stereophile.com/headphones/1204headroom/index.html):

      As for noisy portables, I'm against them. Which ones are those? The ones I'm familiar with measure about the same as CD players, which is why they sound the same. I find that in a quiet environment I have no trouble assessing the inherent noise of a variety of recordings. The quietest ones sound significantly quieter than the average ones, which is exactly what you would expect with a device with good noise performance. For me the more important question is whether the need for an external amp is a little bit oversold considering the availability of high quality 'phones with an impedance that is near optimal, such as my Sennheiser HD280's which at 64 Ohms are just about ideal for my iPod.

     Edit: Fixed link to the review.

Concerning headphones, since the issue was brought up again, let me just note how happy I am with my combo of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro and the Grado SR80 - they complement each other incredibly well! Ditto on the amplifier, the NuForce Icon Mobile, which for a portable DAC/amplifier combo is fairly amazing (to my ears, and for my present requirements) considering the price. :)

[Not that I carry either headphones with me when I go outside. ;D But the portability is important to me for travelling, as well as the integrated DAC that is generally not a feature for 'unportable' headphone amps - at least in the price range I'm willing to even consider (>£500)!]

Next up for me, eventually, are an entry-level non-portable amp and a dedicated DAC, given how my most reliable present audio source is a laptop.

      Why do you want a non-portable DAC/amp? I would think the NuForce or Total BitHead would do just as well.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 14, 2009, 10:27:46 PM
The only time I've heard the 650s they were not in my own system and were driven by the Musical Fidelity X-Can (v8, IIRC) and one of the Moon integrated CD players--quality stuff that probably did not alter the character of the sound much.  They sounded great to me but a bit lush and bottom-heavy, consistent with Daverz's report, above.  I prefer my AKG 701s, which seem more neutral with detailed and grain-free (but not coldly analytic) highs, accurately authoritative lows, and a sweet and natural midrange...but I have no doubt that I could live very happily with the 650s, had I purchased them instead!

I'm debating Sennheiser HD650 vs AKG K701.  I had a pair of AKG K501s and was very impressed with the clarity and imaging, but found them ultimately unsatisfactory because the low end was weak.  I also had a pair of Sennheiser HD580s, found the low end satisfying, but transparency and imaging not as impressive as the AKG501. 

On specs, the AKG K701 seems to have much better bass response than the AKG K501 did.  Do you find the low end response of the AKG K701 to  be comparable to the competition from Sennheiser?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 15, 2009, 03:28:16 AM
I'm debating Sennheiser HD650 vs AKG K701.  I had a pair of AKG K501s and was very impressed with the clarity and imaging, but found them ultimately unsatisfactory because the low end was weak.  I also had a pair of Sennheiser HD580s, found the low end satisfying, but transparency and imaging not as impressive as the AKG501. 

On specs, the AKG K701 seems to have much better bass response than the AKG K501 did.  Do you find the low end response of the AKG K701 to  be comparable to the competition from Sennheiser?

I don't have the Senns available for A/B comparison, but my recollection was as above--that the 650s were were very smooth and lush and a bit bottom heavy.  The 701s seem more accurate and detailed but with natural highs--not "etched" but "airy."  (The differences I heard are probably also somewhat due to differences in character of the headphone amps used when auditioning them--the "tubey" MF V8 for the 650s vs the CIA VHP1 for the 701s.)  I don't find the 701s' bottom end deficient.  These cans sound very similar to my main speakers, a pair of Gallo Reference 3.1s, and the bottom end balance of those is very similar to what I hear at the symphony (center right orchestra).

I just looked them up on headroom to get you this frequency response chart and noted that they're selling the 701s for $289--that's $200 less than they want for the 650s, which difference will go a long way toward a decent headphone amp if needed or that new box set featuring the complete recorded works of both Andre Rieu and Yanni!
(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=703&graphID[]=853)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 15, 2009, 04:47:52 AM
Thanks for your comments, DR.  I've looked at the headphone.com data and the K701 has lower bass response compared with the HD650, but more comparable to the HD600 (probably similar to my old HD580).  The frustrating thing is that the K501 data is no longer available since they are discontinued.  I've e-mailed headphone.com to see if they can dig up the K501 data for comparison.

I assume your comparison was between the headphones and orchestra section of Davies Hall.  I remember a chronically irate contributor to another site who complained that Davies was awful because the architects had optimized it to make the orchestra sound like a digital recording.   ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 15, 2009, 05:33:29 AM
Thanks for your comments, DR.  I've looked at the headphone.com data and the K701 has lower bass response compared with the HD650, but more comparable to the HD600 (probably similar to my old HD580).  The frustrating thing is that the K501 data is no longer available since they are discontinued.  I've e-mailed headphone.com to see if they can dig up the K501 data for comparison.

I assume your comparison was between the headphones and orchestra section of Davies Hall.  I remember a chronically irate contributor to another site who complained that Davies was awful because the architects had optimized it to make the orchestra sound like a digital recording.   ;D
Actually, my comparison is between headphones & loudspeakers, the latter compared with the sound at the Mondavi Center only fifteen minutes from home.  I remember when Davies opened.  I lived in Palo Alto then and was an infrequent visitor.  The sound was generally regarded as a disaster, with the screechy highs of early digital in the same period an apt comparison.  However, an extensive and expensive acoustical retrofitting was undertaken many years ago and the sound was much improved.  Here's an article describing the retrofit: http://www.design-workshops.com/projects_pdf/Davies_chronicle.pdf (http://www.design-workshops.com/projects_pdf/Davies_chronicle.pdf)

True that headroom's response curves show the 701s down -3dB at 30 Hz (lowest note on double bass is 40 Hz, on piano is 28 Hz).  The 650s are scarcely more accurate at +2dB -- and they have a long, pronounced hump all the way from low bass to lower midrange.  The 701s are not only flatter throughout the same range, but also throughout the high frequencies, whereas the 650s are down -7dB @ 4000-5000 Hz.  Of course, as you're no doubt aware, measurable data like frequency response are helpful in recognizing egregious faults but otherwise offer little guidance in evaluating sound quality.  That can be determined only by hearing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 15, 2009, 07:14:10 AM
Here's an interesting one:

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=853&graphID[]=53&graphID[]=703&graphID[]=723)

The one I have now is the Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I like a lot).  (I need another set for a different location.) 

Oddly, the less expensive K601 seems to have a flatter response than the K701.   No bump at 10 kHz, less roll off at low frequencies.   Of course, you are right that the graph doesn't tell you all you need to know about how the thing sounds.  My experience is that the sound of the high frequencies are hard to quantify, but these graphs give a good indication of the  bass response.

BTW, the street price of the HD650 is only slightly higher than the K501 (although they are forbidden to overtly advertise it) and I am currently using a headphone amp from www.headphone.com.  Unfortunately I don't think I'll find a place to audition these locally.  I may have to impose on the vendor to order both and take advantage of their return policy to send back the one I like less.   >:D

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on April 17, 2009, 12:10:41 PM
Why do you want a non-portable DAC/amp? I would think the NuForce or Total BitHead would do just as well.

It would undoubtedly do (that is, suffice), but I would much rather employ something altogether more 'heavy-duty' for the AKG 701 / Sennheiser HD650 headphone range when I come around to exploring it - hence 'eventually', in my post above. ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 22, 2009, 03:29:07 AM
It would undoubtedly do (that is, suffice), but I would much rather employ something altogether more 'heavy-duty' for the AKG 701 / Sennheiser HD650 headphone range when I come around to exploring it - hence 'eventually', in my post above. ;)

     Would this be for the laptop, or do you have another source for the heavy duty amp/DAC. Or is it amp plus DAC in this case?

     Incidentally I do carry my HD 280s with me everywhere I take my iPod. They are the only headphones I use now, and I'm not too concerned about the fact that they look ridiculous, something I can confirm since I've seen a number of people with these 'phones on the bus and subway in recent days. There are also quite a few Grado users out in public sporting the My Favorite Martian look, which I always like to see. What bothers me is when people wear these gigantic headphones that on inspection prove to be $29.00 jobs from Radio Shack. Why bother? Maybe they are a form of reverse fashion accessory.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on April 22, 2009, 03:42:02 AM
What bothers me is when people wear these gigantic headphones that on inspection prove to be $29.00 jobs from Radio Shack. Why bother? Maybe they are a form of reverse fashion accessory.

Ha. ;D

I probably wouldn't wear my HD 280 on the street, love them as I do, but not because of the looks: it's the weight!

And the heavier duty amp plus DAC would be for the laptop, indeed; or the DAC might not have been necessary (had I a very good sound card, for instance). I'd be feeding the system via USB, as I am at the moment with the NuForce. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 22, 2009, 04:30:32 AM


     The most important thing to know about the 280's after you have turned them down is that you must extend them even more than necessary to fit over your ears. In order to be comfortable they must fit loosely on the top of your head. Only then will they not seem heavy. Heavy is IMO more a matter of fit than weight. If you prize the ridiculousness of their appearance (well, OK, not likely) then this headband ballooning out on the sides is the way to go. That's what you need to do to make them comfortable. Once I extended them the headaches went away (yes, I was getting them).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 22, 2009, 07:00:58 AM

There has been favorable mention of the NuForce icon here.  How can you explain this remark on the NuForce product page:

Caution: If you have high efficiency speakers with sensitivity > 92db, you might hear high frequency switching noise.

Sounds like an amp designed by incompetent idiots.

http://www.nuforce-icon.com/Product-Icon.htm

I'd go for the BitHead except for the fact that it can't be externally powered except with USB.  To use it as a headphone amp with analog signal input you have no choice but to run it off of batteries (no AC adapter, even as an option).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 22, 2009, 11:32:27 AM


I'd go for the BitHead except for the fact that it can't be externally powered except with USB.  To use it as a headphone amp with analog signal input you have no choice but to run it off of batteries (no AC adapter, even as an option).


     When I first read this I thought you must be mistaken. There must be a USB charger that you can use plugged into the wall so you can charge your NiMH batteries or even power the BitHead instead of batteries, just like you can do with other devices. But lo and behold, it appears you're right! None of the power supplies on the Headroom site are for the BitHead.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 22, 2009, 11:50:24 AM
     When I first read this I thought you must be mistaken. There must be a USB charger that you can use plugged into the wall so you can charge your NiMH batteries or even power the BitHead instead of batteries, just like you can do with other devices. But lo and behold, it appears you're right! None of the power supplies on the Headroom site are for the BitHead.

It gets worse.  I read on a review site that running off USB it clips at 5V (USP power supply voltage) vs 6V when run off batteries. (That is why the manufacturer says you shouldn't use rechargable batteries, which don't quite meet the spec for a proper AAA battery and only give you 4.8 volts.)   It has a power switch which is (USB power/battery power) when no analog input connected and (power off/battery power) with analog input connected.  Therefore you can't run off USB power when selecting analog source.  I have half a mind to solder a 6V power supply directly to the battery contacts to run it off an AC adapter.

http://www.headphone.com/pdfs/TheBitHeadManual.pdf
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on April 23, 2009, 11:04:31 AM
There has been favorable mention of the NuForce icon here.  How can you explain this remark on the NuForce product page:

Caution: If you have high efficiency speakers with sensitivity > 92db, you might hear high frequency switching noise.

Sounds like an amp designed by incompetent idiots.


1. The praise in this thread, at least from my side, has been for the NuForce Icon Mobile, not its big brother.


2. The switching noise applies to connecting with speakers.

2.1. The NuForce Icon seems to me more of a pre-amp or 'auxiliary pre-amp' with a headphone amp thrown into the mix, rather than a speaker amp for discrete use with 'serious' audiophile setups.

2.1.1. I would hazard a guess that the switching noise might not have been deemed a problem, as the use for that amp with speakers would seem to be mostly geared towards the 'power-hungry' crowd, who want something to boost their speakers, rather than the more 'classical' audiophile.


3. It costs ca. $200 - I wouldn't expect miracles for speaker amplification, anyway.


(And, on a personal note, I would not be buying the NuForce Icon for a DAC, either.)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 23, 2009, 12:43:30 PM


      I think this combination would be the best way to have all the power options (USB, battery, wall power) plus portability at the most reasonable price:

      (http://www.headphone.com/productphotos/large/9990001000_3639.jpg)

      Headroom Portable Micro Amp With DAC 599.00

      Along with:

     (http://www.headphone.com/productphotos/large/0060010300_2487.jpg)

      Astrodyne Switching Power Supply 119.00

      This amp/DAC does come with a wall power unit which you are only supposed to use as a recharger. If I'm reading the info at Headroom correctly the Astrodyne is a genuine AC power supply which you can use while operating the amp. (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/power-supplies/astrodyne-switching-power-supply.php)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 23, 2009, 01:05:43 PM
It gets worse.  I read on a review site that running off USB it clips at 5V (USP power supply voltage) vs 6V when run off batteries. (That is why the manufacturer says you shouldn't use rechargable batteries, which don't quite meet the spec for a proper AAA battery and only give you 4.8 volts.)   It has a power switch which is (USB power/battery power) when no analog input connected and (power off/battery power) with analog input connected.  Therefore you can't run off USB power when selecting analog source.  I have half a mind to solder a 6V power supply directly to the battery contacts to run it off an AC adapter.

http://www.headphone.com/pdfs/TheBitHeadManual.pdf


     nut-job, do you have a link to that review?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 23, 2009, 01:14:08 PM
     nut-job, do you have a link to that review?

http://www.dansdata.com/bithead.htm


      I think this combination would be the best way to have all the power options (USB, battery, wall power) plus portability at the most reasonable price:

At more than $700, not reasonable for the mid-fi purpose I have in mind.   I'm still thinking of the soldering-iron solution.  If it can run off crappy USB dc power, it should run fine of a decent 6V regulated dc supply.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on April 23, 2009, 02:29:42 PM


      Thanks, nut-job, that's the review I read. The reviewer doesn't actually say that his listening tests were done with the USB connection. He does say:

     The BitHead in USB mode, however, is a clear step up from integrated motherboard audio output - and, I'd confidently say, from the output quality of a bunch of add-on sound cards, too.

      And:

      Wind the USB-connected BitHead all the way up, though, and you don't hear the thrum of computer background activity, at least partly because the whole audio adapter is outside the computer case, not just the final amplifier. The BitHead itself is, for practical intents and purposes, silent.

      Ideally, I would want a wall power supply delivering the full 6 volts. Practically, I don't think it will matter at real-world volumes. Perhaps there would be a problem with some exotic headphones. I don't think the owners of such phones would even consider a product like this.
     
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nut-job on April 23, 2009, 02:40:45 PM
      Ideally, I would want a wall power supply delivering the full 6 volts. Practically, I don't think it will matter at real-world volumes. Perhaps there would be a problem with some exotic headphones. I don't think the owners of such phones would even consider a product like this.

Probably I could live with 5 volts.  I can't live with feeding the thing batteries if I wanted to use it as to amplify an analog signal.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on May 25, 2009, 01:46:19 AM
Had the opportunity to compare Headphones last week: Sennheiser Orpheus vs. Sennheiser HD800 vs. Sennheiser HD650. (And a few others, like Bayerdynamics DT 770, 880, 990 -- but connected to different equipment on thus not really comparable.)

I used to think that the HD 650 were excellent; in some ways a touch better than my HD580 (which I stubbornly prefer over HD600, HD595, and in certain aspects even over the 650s I had tested a while ago).

Well, compared to the HD800, HD650 sounds -- as Karajan might say -- like "Gaslight". It's like staying at luxury hotel (say Villa Hassler in Rome) for a few nights and then having to move into a Four Star hotel... which suddenly looks like a drab Best Western. Really quite unbelievable how clear, detailed, and spacious they sounded. Compared to the Orpheus perhaps a little too clean.... like pine instead of oak, but that difference was fairly small and really only one of sound character preference. (I presume that that difference could be further reduced by hooking the HD800 to a tube amp, instead of the solid state amp they had it on. The Orpheus, of course, is necessarily hooked to its own (tube) amp.)

Going back to the 650 from that was like sitting down in a musky, worn velvet covered chair. Staggering. Talk about the great being the enemy of the good.

I pine for the day I can hook them up to this baby [referring to the amp]:

(http://weta.org/fm/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/dsc00520.JPG)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kuhlau on May 25, 2009, 02:45:43 AM
I'm enjoying my AKG K-501 cans anew now that I have in my office an Onkyo CR-525UKD. Not high-end, of course, but it has a surprisingly commendable headphone amp.

Given that this little all-in-one box only outputs to speakers at 26w per channel, I didn't hold much hope of it being able to drive my AKGs. But with the volume knob turned to just a little way above 50%, I'm getting a comfortable listen, a lovely, clear mid-range presentation ... and more bass weight than critics credit to these cans.

FK
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 04:54:22 AM
I am done with headphones for the foreseeable future since I already have the Sennheiser HD600, AKG 701 and Beyerdynamic DT990, two wireless each by Sennheiser and Panasonic, AKG 240 (from my college days) and 2 older Philips models plus two portables active-noice cancellation models from AKG and Audio-Technica.  I may consider some tube-based headphone amp at some point ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on June 26, 2009, 03:14:21 PM
Anyone have experience with this DAC/headphone amp, or the company that makes it?

(http://www.audiophileproducts.com/automagic/image.img?stage.width.max=421&picture.width.max=421&picture.image.url=%2Ffiles%2F1609406%2Fuploaded%2FF3Black640x480.jpg&stage.color=FFFFE7&pid=1245603163688)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 03:46:27 AM
as a MAJOR headphone upgrade.  I'd just been grooving to the Sennheiser 555's at home.  Back in grad school I used to have the 580s, but they're not made any more. :)

Congrats!

What became of your 580s? (signed, a nervous 580 owner)

Also, which ones are those above? 650s?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 31, 2009, 03:55:56 AM
Congrats!

What became of your 580s? (signed, a nervous 580 owner)

Also, which ones are those above? 650s?

Oh I sold my 580s because I (for the most part) had stopped listening to music after grad school.  I sold my 580s, my 501s and my a900s.  They filled a musical spectrum-- 580s for the all rounder and impressive sound stage, 501s for highly detailed mids, a900s for sparkly highs and deep bass.  That's funny they were my favorite headphones and NONE of them are made anymore! :D

That's really a shame about the k501s in particular, they had the best mids, for chamber music they are unsurpassed.  I haven't heard the k601s or 701s, but general head-fi consensus was that they are a big step down for classical. :-\

 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 04:04:54 AM
Oh I sold my 580s because I (for the most part) had stopped listening to music after grad school.  I sold my 580s, my 501s and my a900s.  They filled a musical spectrum-- 580s for the all rounder and impressive sound stage, 501s for highly detailed mids, a900s for sparkly highs and deep bass.  That's funny they were my favorite headphones and NONE of them are made anymore! :D

That's really a shame about the k501s in particular, they had the best mids, for chamber music they are unsurpassed.  I haven't heard the k601s or 701s, but general head-fi consensus was that they are a big step down for classical. :-\

 8)

Thanks Dave. I love my 580s, except for piano music, when that Sennehesier veil rears it's ugly head and makes the treble notes sound dull. Luckily, much of this can be alleviated by bumping the treble up a few notches. 

I notice this dulling a lot on pop/rock stuff too, as of late, again I usually bump the treble a bit. For all those overly bright CDs though, the Senns sound great. Many historical CDs also sound less harsh through the HP too.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 31, 2009, 04:23:36 AM
Thanks Dave. I love my 580s, except for piano music, when that Sennehesier veil rears it's ugly head and makes the treble notes sound dull. Luckily, much of this can be alleviated by bumping the treble up a few notches. 

I notice this dulling a lot on pop/rock stuff too, as of late, again I usually bump the treble a bit. For all those overly bright CDs though, the Senns sound great. Many historical CDs also sound less harsh through the HP too.

It sounds like you need a complementary headphone, when the veil makes it uninvolving.  The extreme polar end is found in the Grado headphones (I used to have a pair and they are very fun, but very exhausting) which are extremely forward with very pronounced highs.  I personally use Audio Technica ath-ad700 (it's my work phone), they have pronounced mids and sparkly highs, they are very bright sounding, but the bass is rolled off, more subdued than the in your face Grado, but far brighter than Sennheisers.  They can be found for $50-$100, and might be worth it if you have the money.

Head-fiers tend to say that the dt880's are the opposite classical cans from the 580/600/650 sound signature, but they're like $300! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 05:50:40 AM
The HD580s (but only when well driven) still hold up really, really well, I find.

Do you mean with a HP amp? And do mean that the treble sounds significantly less veiled when amplified properly?

Quote
But If clarity is desired, the HD 800 is the new game in town. Tested those against the Sennheiser Orpheus and HD 650 (the latter sounded shockingly inferior in direct comparison) and they are unbelievable when it comes to detail and clarity. And, for headphones, they create an amazing space around the ears. It's less like headphone-listening than any headphones I've heard.

Those sound very nice, but I bet they are way out of my range.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on July 31, 2009, 06:36:42 AM
Do you mean with a HP amp? And do mean that the treble sounds significantly less veiled when amplified properly?

Insuficiently amplified (which is really any time you plug them directly into a non-Headphone Amp outlet), the HD 580 (or any above, 555 are specced differently) sound like crap. It's a worthless listening experience because it's a limpid, muffled mess. When first had mine and plugged them into my computer and/or amplifier and/or CD Walkman, I was horrified at the money I had just spent on such a badly performing piece of equipment. Then it dawned upon me that any headphones with an impedance of 300 Ohm might require amplification that can handle 300 Ohm. Not 16 (iPod) or ~32 (typical CD walkman, most sound-card outlets), or somewhere between 32 and 120 Ohm (typical HP outlets). X-Cans did the job well enough. Now I have dedicated tube amps from Estro Armonico and it's a dream.

Quote
Those sound very nice, but I bet they are way out of my range.

They ain't cheap... that's true. Probably around $1400,- (1000,- Euro)
Compares nicely to the Orpheus, though, which cost ten times that.  ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 06:46:46 AM
Insuficiently amplified (which is really any time you plug them directly into a non-Headphone Amp outlet), the HD 580 (or any above, 555 are specced differently) sound like crap. It's a worthless listening experience because it's a limpid, muffled mess. When first had mine and plugged them into my computer and/or amplifier and/or CD Walkman, I was horrified at the money I had just spent on such a badly performing piece of equipment. Then it dawned upon me that any headphones with an impedance of 600 Ohm might require amplification that can handle 300 Ohm. Not 16 (iPod) or ~32 (typical CD walkman, most sound-card outlets), or somewhere between 32 and 120 Ohm (typical HP outlets). X-Cans did the job well enough. Now I have dedicated tube amps from Estro Armonico and it's a dream.

Thanks Jens!

Is this the amp you mean?  (http://www.audioreview.com/cat/headphones-home-audio/headphone-amplifiers/musical-fidelity/x-cans/PRD_115996_2751crx.aspx)

It costs more than my HP.  :-[

Specifically though, I wouldn't imagine that I would hear a different frequency range with an amp. Am I wrong in this?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 31, 2009, 06:59:06 AM

Specifically though, I wouldn't imagine that I would hear a different frequency range with an amp. Am I wrong in this?

The impedance is a function of frequency and it peaks at 100 Hz with a whopping 550+ ohms!  Poorly amplified, the 580 will effectively be bloated and not neutral.  Here is a graph of the 600's impedance (same driver as the 580) which illustrates the point.

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=7&graphID[]=573)

So the headphone will interact with a poor amp in a frequency dependent way. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on July 31, 2009, 07:02:36 AM
Thanks Jens!

Is this the amp you mean?  (http://www.audioreview.com/cat/headphones-home-audio/headphone-amplifiers/musical-fidelity/x-cans/PRD_115996_2751crx.aspx)

It costs more than my HP.  :-[

Those are among the ones that are decent quality.

Yes, well... and it's still only 1/10 or less the price of similar hi-fi quality via speakers. Headphones + Amps is a very cost efficient way of enjoying some of your music (or all of your music, some of the time) in extremely high fidelity.

Quote
Specifically though, I wouldn't imagine that I would hear a different frequency range with an amp. Am I wrong in this?

Yes and no. Ever "manipulate" photos on your computer? Perhaps you had underexposed a picture and are now adding lightness or you are saturating the colors... and you realize how much information was contained with that picture, even though you didn't see it in the way it initially displayed. That's how ampification works: It doesn't add any information (well, ideally it doesn't, at any rate), it allows it to come through. (Like removing or cleaning the grimy varnish of an old oil painting.)

If you find lifting the trebles is acceptable in making the (piano) music sound better (although it is a distortion of the picture), I would think that not having to do that, because what treble there is finally comes through, would have a positive effect.

p.s. better listen to DavidW who explains it in a much more acousto-physically-appropriate way.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 08:05:03 AM
The impedance is a function of frequency and it peaks at 100 Hz with a whopping 550+ ohms!  Poorly amplified, the 580 will effectively be bloated and not neutral.

Thanks for the photo and the explanation. If I understand this properly, the higher impedance at that frequency (without ample power) would result in a less bassy sound, right? Since there is more resistance at those frequencies, less information from those frequencies will be heard. Yet, I am having the opposite effect.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 08:16:07 AM
Those are among the ones that are decent quality.

Yes, well... and it's still only 1/10 or less the price of similar hi-fi quality via speakers. Headphones + Amps is a very cost efficient way of enjoying some of your music (or all of your music, some of the time) in extremely high fidelity.

I see your point but my speakers were $300 and I love them. I prefer speaker listening, in fact. I just wish my HP sounded more like my speakers. I also wish that I could test drive some of these amps. The stores don't seem to carry them.  :-\

Quote
Yes and no. Ever "manipulate" photos on your computer? Perhaps you had underexposed a picture and are now adding lightness or you are saturating the colors... and you realize how much information was contained with that picture, even though you didn't see it in the way it initially displayed. That's how ampification works: It doesn't add any information (well, ideally it doesn't, at any rate), it allows it to come through. (Like removing or cleaning the grimy varnish of an old oil painting.)

That makes a lot of sense, actually. A lifting of the veil.

Quote
If you find lifting the trebles is acceptable in making the (piano) music sound better (although it is a distortion of the picture), I would think that not having to do that, because what treble there is finally comes through, would have a positive effect.

If I could be sure that a $200 HP amp would get my HP sounding balanced, I would seriously consider it. I agree that the treble solution is a band aid that throws the tonal balance off in other ways, but I actually don't listen to my HP that often, as I prefer to listen on speakers. My girlfriend forces me into it when she's home.  :-\   
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 31, 2009, 08:21:36 AM
Thanks for the photo and the explanation. If I understand this properly, the higher impedance at that frequency (without ample power) would result in a less bassy sound, right? Since there is more resistance at those frequencies, less information from those frequencies will be heard. Yet, I am having the opposite effect.


Well you have to remember that it's all being played at the same time, and then it takes most of the juice just to thump that bass, and the mids end up sounding weak.  If you play something that's tightly mids it won't sound as recessed, and I've noticed that. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on July 31, 2009, 08:29:36 AM
If I could be sure that a $200 HP amp would get my HP sounding balanced, I would seriously consider it. I agree that the treble solution is a band aid that throws the tonal balance off in other ways, but I actually don't listen to my HP that often, as I prefer to listen on speakers. My girlfriend forces me into it when she's home.  :-\   

Do you have anything resembling a HiFi store nearby? Or anywhere where you are planning to travel for business or leisure? Take you headphones, favorite CDs (that you don't like with headphones), and go there... listen to that CD with the phones plugged into any (lower-end, to make a point) CD player directly... and then with that CD player hooked up to a decent HeadAmp through the latter. You'll hear if it makes the right difference for you. (It will certainly make a big difference... the question is whether it can undo certain reactions/dislikes of yours to what you have right now and what your expectations are.) Once you know that, you can shop around for an Amp or new headphones... which should then be chosen with low impedance in mind (if you don't get an amp, after all.) Unfortunately Grados, among the best headphones available with low impedance, are not really suitable for making the girlfriend happy, because they don't isolate the sound well at all. (In their defense: they're not meant to.)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 08:36:09 AM
Well you have to remember that it's all being played at the same time, and then it takes most of the juice just to thump that bass, and the mids end up sounding weak.  If you play something that's tightly mids it won't sound as recessed, and I've noticed that. 

Ah, I see. That makes sense, thanks!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 08:45:34 AM
Do you have anything resembling a HiFi store nearby? Or anywhere where you are planning to travel for business or leisure? Take you headphones, favorite CDs (that you don't like with headphones), and go there... listen to that CD with the phones plugged into any (lower-end, to make a point) CD player directly... and then with that CD player hooked up to a decent HeadAmp through the latter. You'll hear if it makes the right difference for you. (It will certainly make a big difference... the question is whether it can undo certain reactions/dislikes of yours to what you have right now and what your expectations are.) Once you know that, you can shop around for an Amp or new headphones... which should then be chosen with low impedance in mind (if you don't get an amp, after all.) Unfortunately Grados, among the best headphones available with low impedance, are not really suitable for making the girlfriend happy, because they don't isolate the sound well at all. (In their defense: they're not meant to.)

All good stuff, thanks. Certainly the 580s don't isolate the sound either.

I just haven't found a shop yet in NYC that carries Headphone amps. I haven't looked very hard, but I would prefer to audition a unit that I would eventually buy. I'm going to more active search, unfortunately in New York City we have only either rinky-dink stereo places like Best Buy or Top of the Line places with equipment that I will never be able to afford.  
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on July 31, 2009, 08:59:07 AM
Thanks for the photo and the explanation. If I understand this properly, the higher impedance at that frequency (without ample power) would result in a less bassy sound, right? Since there is more resistance at those frequencies, less information from those frequencies will be heard. Yet, I am having the opposite effect.

High impedance means the headphones will draw less current.  When your amplifier produces a certain voltage at 100 Hz, the 600 Ohm impedance means the headphone will draw less current than if it received the same voltage at 1000 Hz, where the impedance is only 300 Ohms.  Since the amplifier produces a set voltage, and the sound from a dynamic speaker is proportional to current, the high impedance at 100 Hz tends to reduce the response at 100 Hz.   However, Sennheiser took this into account when they designed the headphone.

But this assumes that your amplifier is a perfect voltage source.  Suppose your cheap portable player is a poor voltage source.  It has its own impedance.  Lets say your lousy cheap amplifier has an output impedance that is a constant 300 Ohms.  Then at 100 Hz, the total impedance is 300 Ohms + 600 Ohms = 900 Ohms.  The impedance went up from 600 to 900, that's a 50% increase in impedance, and a 50% drop in current.  But at 1000 Hz the total impedance is 300 Ohms + 300 Ohms = 600 Ohms.  The impedance went up from 300 to 600, it doubled, and the current is cut in half.  The 1000 Hz signal would therefore be attenuated more than the 100 Hz signal when you use the cheap amplifier, and the treble would become weaker.

I certainly believe that an iPod or computer would be a poor driver for headphones.  But I don't believe that a headphone amp is necessary if you have a good audio amplifier.  I use old-school NAD preamps (model 1155) and I find that the headphone output on that amp sounds just as good as my headphone amp.

Anyway, I also had a pair of HD580, they ended up in the trash can.  Those little jacks that connect the cable to the phones kept getting loose, the replaceable earpads didn't snap in properly anymore and were buzzing, then the response of the left side suddenly dropped off.  Finally lost my patience with them.  Could have tried to sell them on ebay but I didn't want to risk bad feedback.  Now I have AKG-701.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on July 31, 2009, 09:05:39 AM
Thanks Scarpia!  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on July 31, 2009, 12:40:15 PM


If I could be sure that a $200 HP amp would get my HP sounding balanced, I would seriously consider it. I agree that the treble solution is a band aid that throws the tonal balance off in other ways, but I actually don't listen to my HP that often, as I prefer to listen on speakers. My girlfriend forces me into it when she's home.  :-\   

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A%2BZfSU9qL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

I bought the above (ridiculously cheap) to drive my Senn 280s. I was amazed at the difference they made, especially the bass. They also made the Senns sound a lot brighter. For $30 you can't go wrong and it will give you an idea of what a HP amp can do.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on July 31, 2009, 01:15:36 PM
The impedance is a function of frequency and it peaks at 100 Hz with a whopping 550+ ohms!  Poorly amplified, the 580 will effectively be bloated and not neutral.  Here is a graph of the 600's impedance (same driver as the 580) which illustrates the point.

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=7&graphID[]=573)

So the headphone will interact with a poor amp in a frequency dependent way. 8)

     How high would the source impedance have to be? The iPods are around 5 Ohms. Most of the objective stuff I've read says that iPods are good for most headphones. The problem with high impedance 'phones seems to be they will draw more current than the player can cleanly provide. In that sense an mp3 player might be an inadequate amplifier. Most people aren't going to use 300 Ohm 'phones with their players, though. For typical phones there shouldn't be an impedance problem. There might be a "these 'phones suck!" problem which is not the players fault.  :D

     Here are 2 threads that touch on the issue of amps, player SQ, and impedance:

     Players and amps (general SQ) at AVS Forum:

     How good is the ipod's DAC? (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=824156&highlight=yuriv+ipod)

     Amps and impedance at Hydrogenaudio:

     What does a secondary headphone amp do exactly? (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=73079)
     
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on July 31, 2009, 01:29:56 PM
The problem with high impedance 'phones seems to be they will draw more current than the player can cleanly provide.

You've got it backwards.  V = I R  (V-voltage, I=current, R-resistance).   Impedance (Z) is a generalized version of resistance, which describe a situation where voltage and current have a relative phase shift.  Neglecting that for the moment we can replace R with Z, then V = I Z or

I = V/Z.

Current is voltage divided by impedance.  The issue is that the typical audio amplifier is a voltage source, and if the impedance is high it takes a higher voltage to generate the same current.  The volume control on your amplifier controls voltage, and you have to turn it up higher to get the same volume with a high impedance load.  

So it's not that high impedance headphones draw more current, they draw less current and you have to turn the volume up higher to get them to play at the same volume as a low impedance headphone.  However, high impedance headphones are less sensitive to a poor quality, high output impedance amplifier, since to get good performance the impedance of the load should be higher than the impedance of the source.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on July 31, 2009, 01:39:50 PM

    Ah, yes. You're right, they will draw less current. So efficiency would be the problem.

    Still, why do you say the iPod is a high impedance source? Is 5 Ohms high for headphones? Since the load is higher than the source why would the impedance be a problem? The links I provided indicate that it isn't. Wouldn't 'phones with an unusually low impedance (below 16 Ohms, say) be more of a problem?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 31, 2009, 01:40:36 PM
    How high would the source impedance have to be? The iPods are around 5 Ohms. Most of the objective stuff I've read says that iPods are good for most headphones.

The problem is more a matter of voltage (or power really) supplied by the dap's amp and the power sensitivity of the headphones.  High impedance cans use less current anyway (Ohms Law).  Most mp3 players do not offer enough voltage to drive every headphone well, they are designed to usually drive ear buds which have a significantly higher power sensitivity than your favorite Sennheiser 600 or akg k701 monster.

It doesn't take that much power-- order of magnitude is .01 W, but considering the impedance involved you need a minimum of a few volts for headphones like the Sennheiser 580.  A portable head phone amp will get you there but they are usually less than 10 mW (our order of magnitude threshold) and just not close enough.  I don't know about the ipod specifically.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on July 31, 2009, 01:50:50 PM
   Ah, yes. You're right, they will draw less current. So efficiency would be the problem.

    Still, why do you say the iPod is a high impedance source? Is 5 Ohms high for headphones? Since the load is higher than the source why would the impedance be a problem? The links I provided indicate that it isn't. Wouldn't 'phones with an unusually low impedance (below 16 Ohms, say) be more of a problem?

I was referring to a hypothetical poor quality amplifier with high output impedance.  I don't have any specific knowledge of an ipod.  It can be that if the ipod doesn't have sufficient power supply or output transistors the output saturates or suffers from slew rate limitations when the volume is too high.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: violinconcerto on August 06, 2009, 02:01:43 AM
Hello!

Can anybody recommend some in-ear-headphones? I am looking for something I can wear when I am travelling, which stops the noise around me and sound good for classical music. Price could be up to 100US$, but not more expensive.
Any suggestions?

Thanks and best,
Tobias
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 06, 2009, 02:31:15 AM
Hello!

Can anybody recommend some in-ear-headphones? I am looking for something I can wear when I am travelling, which stops the noise around me and sound good for classical music. Price could be up to 100US$, but not more expensive.
Any suggestions?

Thanks and best,
Tobias

I'm very, very happy with my Etymotics ER6i (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BQSGMM/nectarandambr-20) (and their customer service), but I've not had the opportunity to compare them to the direct competition such as Shure and as of late Sony and Sennheiser's in-ear models. Block noise almost completely (way too dangerous to wear in traffic, as I found out the hard way); very crisp, clear, and clean sound.

If customs lets it slip through, they'd be MUCH less expensive ordered from the US (link above) than from Germany. (This link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BQSGMM/nectarandambr-21).)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41yPy0LQPYL._SL160_AA160_.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2009, 02:53:15 AM
I received my Sennheiser 650s the day before yesterday.  That evening I tried it with the recording of Kosler, Tafelmusik on Mozart's Horn Concertos and I WAS BLOWN AWAY!  It sounded like a live concert, I was just floored.  I've listened to Frescobaldi chamber works, and Liszt piano concertos and the piano sonata as well on those headphones.  I don't think it has the bass hump that everyone says it does (on head-fi that is).  It sounded neutral, just with an extended detailed bass.  It's like the akg k501's mids but for everything: bass, mids, treble.  I really appreciated the fullness of the sound, the good separation of instruments, and the slightly rolled off treble to communicate the full information without sounding harsh and overly forward.

It makes it sound like a live concert experience, and that is just terrific!  I'm happy. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on August 06, 2009, 08:12:56 AM
Hello!

Can anybody recommend some in-ear-headphones? I am looking for something I can wear when I am travelling, which stops the noise around me and sound good for classical music. Price could be up to 100US$, but not more expensive.
Any suggestions?

Thanks and best,
Tobias

Like Jens, I use the Ety 6i and am very happy with them. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: violinconcerto on August 06, 2009, 11:35:57 PM
Thanks for your comments!
The Etymotics look good, but are they comfortable to wear? Looks like you have to "press" the ear plug into the ear canal.
I keep an eye on the Ety and the Sennheiser, but first I give it a try on ebay and there are a few nice looking Shure headphones right now. Maybe they won't rise in the price and then I go for them. Otherwise I give the Ety a try, I think.

Thanks again for your thoughts on that!

Best,
Tobias
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 07, 2009, 02:27:49 AM
Thanks for your comments!
The Etymotics look good, but are they comfortable to wear? Looks like you have to "press" the ear plug into the ear canal.
Tobias

The comfort probably differs from ear to ear. They have different flanges they come with. I use the "Christmas Tree" (triple flange) rubber tips and once I got used to them (almost immediately), I've quite liked them. Takes a few second to get them back out of the ear, but easy to insert. (Can't stand anything made of foam.)

One side note: Etymotics pretty much only have high-quality ear-phones. I don't think they even produce anything "below" ER6 -- whereas Sennheiser and Shure, while companies that make quality product by all means, service all but the super-budget market niches. Therefore a Shure may well be offered for 20,- -- but it isn't necessarily the Shure product that would most reasonably be compared to the ER6i.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 06:34:38 AM
Three month old set of Sennheiser HD600 headphones have just gone back to Sennheiser for warranty repair or replacement.  In retrospect I noticed the problem immediately but it took some time to convince myself that the headphones I had paid a lot of money for were really defective.  The problem is a buzzing in the left ear phone whenever there is significant low frequency sound.  If you listen for it you can hear it in a variety of passages, it only is obvious when the low frequency sound is fairly exposed (such as cello solo passage in a string quartet).  I will update this entry with information about how satisfactory Sennheiser repair service is.

In any case, it is very annoying to spend a lot of money and end up with nothing but the bill.  Since the problem isn't super obvious, my main concern is that I will get the headphones back with a terse note that there is nothing wrong with them. 

This experience tends to confirm my dissatisfaction with Sennheiser's high end products, they are very fragile.  I previously had a pair of HD580's which were fine at first but which developed a lot of annoying problems.  The cable is removable and the little connectors tend to get loose and cause static.  The ear pads snap in and after a few changes they don't snap in as securely and cause buzzing.  Finally one side gave out and I tossed them in the trash.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 19, 2009, 07:15:17 AM
I had a buzzing problem with my 580s and I sent them in for repair (very slow turnaround on that), and it turned out to be simply from a piece of hair that fell on the driver.  But at least they also cleaned them up and made them sound good as new again, they were years old at the time though and not just three months.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 07:18:40 AM
I had a buzzing problem with my 580s and I sent them in for repair (very slow turnaround on that), and it turned out to be simply from a piece of hair that fell on the driver.  But at least they also cleaned them up and made them sound good as new again, they were years old at the time though and not just three months.

I disassembled the offending phone (removed removable earpad and the foam cover) and inspected carefully inside and saw no sign of foreign matter.  Once they are fixed I think I will put them on ebay and get something else.
 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 19, 2009, 07:21:31 AM
akg headphones are also neutral and detailed.  The way that they are designed I think they might be sturdier than Sennheiser.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 19, 2009, 07:37:41 AM
All good stuff, thanks. Certainly the 580s don't isolate the sound either.

I just haven't found a shop yet in NYC that carries Headphone amps. I haven't looked very hard, but I would prefer to audition a unit that I would eventually buy. I'm going to more active search, unfortunately in New York City we have only either rinky-dink stereo places like Best Buy or Top of the Line places with equipment that I will never be able to afford.  
Go High End. Grace m902. It's a preamplifier too.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on August 19, 2009, 08:32:57 AM
I had a buzzing problem with my 580s and I sent them in for repair (very slow turnaround on that), and it turned out to be simply from a piece of hair that fell on the driver.  But at least they also cleaned them up and made them sound good as new again, they were years old at the time though and not just three months.

Is it easy to get replacement pads for the 580s? Mine are getting a bit...stinky.  :-\
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on August 19, 2009, 08:34:43 AM
Is it easy to get replacement pads for the 580s? Mine are getting a bit...stinky.  :-\

Nevermind, just found them for $60 at Headroom. Dang!!  >:(
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 19, 2009, 09:02:32 AM
Nevermind, just found them for $60 at Headroom. Dang!!  >:(

I think you can get them cheaper from Sennheiser.  They replaced my pads when they cleaned and repaired my headphones and the total charge for all of that was just $40 including shipping. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 09:18:12 AM
Nevermind, just found them for $60 at Headroom. Dang!!  >:(

Sennheiser has them for somewhat less.  

You can find parts here

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/serviceandsupport_part-finder

This service form has the price list

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/service/ServiceRequest_CE.pdf

Beware, it seems that Sennheiser discontinues parts like earpads for headphones they no longer produce.  They no longer list spare parts for my older HD340 headphones.  Now the HD580 is discontinued, but at least it uses the same ear pads as the HD600


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 19, 2009, 11:36:02 AM


     Sennheiser has been good to me. When a driver went bad on my 270s I sent them in and they replaced the driver and cleaned up the phones for no charge. I got another decade of good use out of them before the headband finally broke. I also replaced the detachable cord at my own expense from the Senn website for about $8. Now I'm enjoying the 280s greatly, and it turns out that their 64 ohm impedance and high sensitivity makes them an ideal match for the Pod.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 12:04:59 PM

     Sennheiser has been good to me. When a driver went bad on my 270s I sent them in and they replaced the driver and cleaned up the phones for no charge. I got another decade of good use out of them before the headband finally broke. I also replaced the detachable cord at my own expense from the Senn website for about $8. Now I'm enjoying the 280s greatly, and it turns out that their 64 ohm impedance and high sensitivity makes them an ideal match for the Pod.

I'd be curious to  know how long it took them.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 19, 2009, 12:11:14 PM
For me it took about 2 months from when I shipped it. :-\  Hopefully Ernie received faster service.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 19, 2009, 12:49:58 PM


    I went through the store where I bought them. It took a few weeks. I got the cord pretty quickly as I remember.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 01:18:12 PM

    I went through the store where I bought them. It took a few weeks. I got the cord pretty quickly as I remember.

Unfortunately the store I bought them was Amazon, which essentially leaves you high and dry after 30 days.  I sent them to Sennheiser's repair center today.  I'll see what happens, but I think I should be looking to buy another set of headphones.  I can't imagine going two months without headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on August 19, 2009, 04:39:20 PM
It looks like we have a Sennheiser Fan Club here.  I have 3 sets of Sennheisers: HD600, HDR60 and PX100.  HD600 is the real deal, one that is used for serious audition.  I have about 10 sets of headphones, starting with the almost 30 year old AKG 240 to the latest AKG K701.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2009, 07:38:07 PM
It looks like we have a Sennheiser Fan Club here.  I have 3 sets of Sennheisers: HD600, HDR60 and PX100.  HD600 is the real deal, one that is used for serious audition.  I have about 10 sets of headphones, starting with the almost 30 year old AKG 240 to the latest AKG K701.

Yes, mine was fine as long as I was willing to listen only with my right ear.  Since they couldn't get two working ear phones on the same set, my experience tends to make me think that the HD600 is garbage, taking into account the mechanical build and quality control.  Whenever Sennheiser manages to send my set back from the repair shop it is going for auction on ebay.  

In the mean time, anyone have positive experience with Denon?  Based on specs and some of the descriptions I've seen on the web the AH-2000 seems like a worthy alternative.   Anyone have experience with this or a related model?  I have an AKG-701, which I value for clarity, but I want to complement it with one with a warmer low frequency response.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 20, 2009, 01:09:45 AM
It looks like we have a Sennheiser Fan Club here.  I have 3 sets of Sennheisers: HD600, HDR60 and PX100.  HD600 is the real deal, one that is used for serious audition.  I have about 10 sets of headphones, starting with the almost 30 year old AKG 240 to the latest AKG K701.
Fan club?
I have two pairs. HD580 Precision for serious stuff and PX100 for while on the move.
But I do think that the new HD800 is way to expensive to replace the 580's. Before hearing them that is! ;D
I find the AKG K701 an interesting alternative.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 20, 2009, 06:13:26 AM
Fan club?
I have two pairs. HD580 Precision for serious stuff and PX100 for while on the move.
But I do think that the new HD800 is way to expensive to replace the 580's. Before hearing them that is! ;D
I find the AKG K701 an interesting alternative.

With its slightly greater clarity the AKG K701 is an alternative to the HD580, not the HD800...  

Having heard the HD800 in side-by-side comparison to the HD650, Sennheiser Orpheus and near-direct comparison (same day, not same setup or music) with the Beyer Dynamics 770, 880, 990, AKG k601 and k701 I find that that there is the HD800... and then there is the rest. It's simply a league of its own.
AKG k701 and top line Sennheiser's being OK, Beyers 880 (nevermind 770 or 990) not being worth even consideration. Only ones I've not yet been able to compare are some Grados.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 20, 2009, 06:31:31 AM
Maybe I should go headfi only. HD800 driven by the aforementioned Grace m902. My wife loves silence...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 20, 2009, 06:37:32 AM
Maybe I should go headfi only. HD800 driven by the aforementioned Grace m902. My wife loves silence...

HD800--like any open headphones--are not truly silent. If she likes it "fairly quiet", though, you'll be in heaven on both fronts.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on August 20, 2009, 06:46:55 AM
Oh, my.  I've been quite content with my CIA headphone amp and AKG 701s.  But now two guys I respect (regular guys--not audio shills) start praising the Senn 800s and suddenly I'm checking my bank balance and planning a trip into San Francisco...good thing I'm poor these days!   ;D

(My wife likes it quiet, too--except for when she wants to crank up the stereo!  ;)  )
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 20, 2009, 07:16:29 AM
It looks like we have a Sennheiser Fan Club here.  I have 3 sets of Sennheisers: HD600, HDR60 and PX100.  HD600 is the real deal, one that is used for serious audition.  I have about 10 sets of headphones, starting with the almost 30 year old AKG 240 to the latest AKG K701.

I currently own hd497, hd555 and the hd650.  I used to won the hd212, mx550, hd280, hd570, hd580 and hd595. :D

For other headphones I currently own Audio-Technica ath-ad700 which are my work phones.  I used to own Audio Technica ath-a900, akg k240s and k501. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 20, 2009, 11:23:16 AM


     This is interesting. This graph compares the Senn HD280 Pro with the Denon AH-D2000:

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=533&graphID[]=243)

     The Denon's are far more expensive but might be worth it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 20, 2009, 11:36:09 AM
Siegfried Linkwitz has this very interresting write-up on phones and phone amps:
http://www.linkwitzlab.com/reference_earphones.htm
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 20, 2009, 01:17:44 PM

     This is interesting. This graph compares the Senn HD280 Pro with the Denon AH-D2000:

     (http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=533&graphID[]=243)

     The Denon's are far more expensive but might be worth it.

That's the graph that got me interested, flat as a board down to 20 Hz.  The price of the Denon is not as high as it seems, there is a $50 discount coupon available on the headphone.com site (to evade the minimum advertised price requirement from Denon).

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 20, 2009, 01:53:30 PM
If you get them Scarpia, please post your thoughts.  There are times when I want a closed headphone but I currently have none.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on August 20, 2009, 01:58:44 PM


     I'm happy with the Senns so I'm not in the market right now. If the Denons can be used without an amp they might be the best closed-back choice for the Pod. The sensitivity is lower but not that low, so I think the Pod will drive them to the level I need.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 20, 2009, 02:24:12 PM

     I'm happy with the Senns so I'm not in the market right now. If the Denons can be used without an amp they might be the best closed-back choice for the Pod. The sensitivity is lower but not that low, so I think the Pod will drive them to the level I need.

I have the Sennheiser HD 240 you mentioned, but these would be to replace the defective HD600.  I don't love the HD 240 because they are too noise isolating, to the extent that you tend to hear yourself breathing and sound conducted by the cable, etc.  The Denons are closed, but not nearly as isolating, which I want.  (I like the sound of the HD600, and t I guess I really want is a version of the HD600 that would work properly.)

The one clearly annoying thing about the Denon set is that no one seems to have them.


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on August 20, 2009, 05:20:14 PM
Fan club?
I have two pairs. HD580 Precision for serious stuff and PX100 for while on the move.
But I do think that the new HD800 is way to expensive to replace the 580's. Before hearing them that is! ;D
I find the AKG K701 an interesting alternative.

The AKG 240 was the first serious pair of headphones I bought.  I was still in college at the time ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 20, 2009, 11:26:54 PM
I have the Sennheiser HD 240 you mentioned, but these would be to replace the defective HD600.  I don't love the HD 240 because they are too noise isolating, to the extent that you tend to hear yourself breathing and sound conducted by the cable, etc.  The Denons are closed, but not nearly as isolating, which I want.  (I like the sound of the HD600, and t I guess I really want is a version of the HD600 that would work properly.)

The one clearly annoying thing about the Denon set is that no one seems to have them.

If you were happy with the HD600 (probably depends on why they don't work anymore) and you don't want too much of an expense, I recommend looking around for HD580. Perhaps you can snag a pair that's new or refurbished for cheap. I find the HD580 at the exact same level with the 600, only more suitable to the way I want to listen to classical music. HD650 would be a notable, if not staggering, upgrade. HD800 has a very different sound than either of these three... much more open, much clearer... more Grado-like, almost.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on August 21, 2009, 03:39:25 AM
This is the headphones to own and currently unavailable on eBay ...    ;D

(http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/gg/hgg05/luxuries/AudioTechnicaLthrHdphn_440.gif)

Check this out ... The ultimate tech luxuries (http://www.cnet.com/1990-11456_1-6361079-2.html)  

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3333/3623250446_51c8dc2e89_b.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3341/3622433509_fca74b1f4d_b.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3367/3622438321_fec2737b43_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 21, 2009, 04:24:41 AM
If you were happy with the HD600 (probably depends on why they don't work anymore) and you don't want too much of an expense, I recommend looking around for HD580. Perhaps you can snag a pair that's new or refurbished for cheap. I find the HD580 at the exact same level with the 600, only more suitable to the way I want to listen to classical music. HD650 would be a notable, if not staggering, upgrade. HD800 has a very different sound than either of these three... much more open, much clearer... more Grado-like, almost.

The problem with the HD600 is that they were defective (buzzing in left earpiece) and are under repair.  Other posters in this forum have reported that it takes Sennheiser 2 months to process a repair.  The HD580 is out of the question because (aside from being discontinued) I am no mood to give Sennheiser more of my business.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on August 21, 2009, 04:29:03 AM
The problem with the HD600 is that they were defective (buzzing in left earpiece) and are under repair.  Other posters in this forum have reported that it takes Sennheiser 2 months to process a repair.  The HD580 is out of the question because (aside from being discontinued) I am no mood to give Sennheiser more of my business.


 

Your HD600 might have been an isolated case.  I have owned mine for at least 5 years and they sound fine to me.  I have the AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro as backups.  Actually, I can use anyone of them at a given time depending on my mood.  I tend to use the DT990 with my desktop more often.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 23, 2009, 08:17:53 PM
So no one has any experience with Denon AH-D2000 or AH-D5000?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 26, 2009, 04:36:55 AM
Unrelated question.  I find the crossfeed supplied by headroom products (such as the BitHead) to be very helpful.  Is there software (a codec, I guess) which would implement this in software so that audio streamed by Realaudio, Mediaplayer, etc, has cross-feed built in?

BTW, Denon AH-D2000 is on order, and I just heard that Sennheiser has shipped the headphones I sent in for warranty repair (a lot faster than I expected).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 26, 2009, 04:54:38 AM
Foobar2000 has a crossfeed plugin.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 26, 2009, 05:20:32 AM
That's the graph that got me interested, flat as a board down to 20 Hz.  The price of the Denon is not as high as it seems, there is a $50 discount coupon available on the headphone.com site (to evade the minimum advertised price requirement from Denon).


The graph doesn't give you the phase response which is just as important as the amplitude response.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 27, 2009, 12:47:33 AM
Any chance of abrupt phase shifts in (good) headphones?

Phase response is generally way overrated by audiophiles. We do have a peculiar talent for focusing on the minor stuff.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 27, 2009, 06:24:26 AM
The graph doesn't give you the phase response which is just as important as the amplitude response.

To say it is just as important seems inconsistent, if a frequency is absent, who cares what its phase is? 

For what it's worth, the same web site has other graphs including time domain information (square wave responses) which seem to reflect the frequency response data. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 27, 2009, 07:20:14 AM
To say it is just as important seems inconsistent, if a frequency is absent, who cares what its phase is? 

For what it's worth, the same web site has other graphs including time domain information (square wave responses) which seem to reflect the frequency response data. 

The phase info is important because it tells you how close you are to potential oscillations in the response.

The square wave response gives you ideas about the fequency response but doesn't tell you much. I think they omitted the data either because:

A) they didn't test it
B) it sucks and they didn't want people to know
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 27, 2009, 07:31:12 AM
Any chance of abrupt phase shifts in (good) headphones?

Phase response is generally way overrated by audiophiles. We do have a peculiar talent for focusing on the minor stuff.
Minor or not minor, there are parameters, figure of merits that are not up to debate, unlike "so and so is a better composer than so and so". If someone thinks a pair of headphones is better than the other pair, then plot the numbers and let the numbers speak for themselves.

Any chance of abrupt phase shifts in good headphones? Unlikely. Then again you are assuming, which is not science.

FWIW this is the graph versus the Sennheiser 280 again, a pair of headphones costing about 1/6 as much:

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=243&graphID[]=533)

Nothing really different until about 20 Khz (yes a little different at 20 hz to DC but you can't tell anyway), which I don't know about you but most people can't hear that well (especially if they are older like myself). So what exactly are you paying for? You can say you got a "better" pair of headphones (and the DENON are better as far as the numbers are concerned) but does it make any real difference in your listening pleasure, unlikely.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 27, 2009, 07:53:40 AM
I don't think that we should necessarily elevate those numbers to factual information.  The problem is that (a) headroom seems to be the only ones that have done these measurements, they haven't been widely reproduced, and (b) their methodology can be questioned.

These graphs are interesting but only tell part of the story.  I'm not an audiophile but I agree with PW that phase information should be important, the signal requires both amplitude and phase, obviously both are important.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 27, 2009, 07:55:32 AM
Minor or not minor, there are parameters, figure of merits that are not up to debate, unlike "so and so is a better composer than so and so". If someone thinks a pair of headphones is better than the other pair, then plot the numbers and let the numbers speak for themselves.

Any chance of abrupt phase shifts in good headphones? Unlikely. Then again you are assuming, which is not science.

FWIW this is the graph versus the Sennheiser 280 again, a pair of headphones costing about 1/6 as much:

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=243&graphID[]=533)

Nothing really different until about 20 Khz (yes a little different at 20 hz to DC but you can't tell anyway), which I don't know about you but most people can't hear that well (especially if they are older like myself). So what exactly are you paying for? You can say you got a "better" pair of headphones (and the DENON are better as far as the numbers are concerned) but does it make any real difference in your listening pleasure, unlikely.

You have a creative way with numbers.  The Denons are roughly 3 times the cost, not 6 times.  

The Denons are also flat through the bass response, the Sennheisers have a peak in the inaudible range but nearly 6db dip in the 60-100Hz range, which is the range perceived as deep rich bass (bass violins, etc).   I suspect they will sound quite different.  I'll know soon since I already have a set of HD-280s and the AH-D2000s are on order.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 27, 2009, 08:54:31 AM
You have a creative way with numbers.  The Denons are roughly 3 times the cost, not 6 times.  

The Denons are also flat through the bass response, the Sennheisers have a peak in the inaudible range but nearly 6db dip in the 60-100Hz range, which is the range perceived as deep rich bass (bass violins, etc).   I suspect they will sound quite different.  I'll know soon since I already have a set of HD-280s and the AH-D2000s are on order.


It's actually more like 4 (DENON = $349 on Amazon, and HD280 = $79 on Amazon). I have a pair of 280s also. Sounds fine but horribly uncomfortable. Got a pair of 555s also, again the size of Mars. Why do they make headphones like that? I have a pair of Bose (the regular non-noise cancelling one), sound isn't great, but light and comfortable, all headphones should be constructed like that.

The point is it isn't fair to compare headphones one costing $80 and the other $350. That's like saying a Lexus LS460 costing upwards of $80k is a better car than a Chevy Cobalt costing under $20K.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on August 27, 2009, 10:25:48 AM
Assuming, PW? Moi? Ha!
How did the morons manage steal the word audiophile, I wonder.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 27, 2009, 10:40:31 AM
It's actually more like 4 (DENON = $349 on Amazon, and HD280 = $79 on Amazon). I have a pair of 280s also. Sounds fine but horribly uncomfortable. Got a pair of 555s also, again the size of Mars. Why do they make headphones like that? I have a pair of Bose (the regular non-noise cancelling one), sound isn't great, but light and comfortable, all headphones should be constructed like that.

The point is it isn't fair to compare headphones one costing $80 and the other $350. That's like saying a Lexus LS460 costing upwards of $80k is a better car than a Chevy Cobalt costing under $20K.

Again with the numbers.  If you are going to use Amazon the Denon set is $280, which is close to the 3:1 ratio.  I am uncomfortable with Amazon for pricey items (return policy is weak and they often ship things that others have returned by others as defective).  On headphone.com it is $100 for the HD-280 and $300 for the D2000 (with coupon code). 

I don't like the build of the Sennheiser 280.  They give good isolation from external noise,  but a lot of noise pickup from the cable (jiggling of the cable causes a lot of noise in the headphones) which is why I rarely use them.
 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 27, 2009, 01:30:34 PM
Anyway, have the Denon D2000 and Sennheiser HD-280 Pro arrived and are in hand.  Despite similar specification, the Denon give by far the better experience.  Much more comfortable, a product with a more refined feel, and most important, a much more refined sound.  The low end is rich and satisfying, but there is no sacrifice of transparency and smoothness of the high end.  Comparing with the Sennheiser HD-280 Pro, the AKG-701, the Sennheiser HD600 (just back from repair) I like the Denon best, based on first impression.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 27, 2009, 01:34:04 PM
Does the Denon have a bass hump or is it pretty natural sounding? (That's always what I wonder when considering closed headphones)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on August 27, 2009, 02:57:29 PM
Does the Denon have a bass hump or is it pretty natural sounding? (That's always what I wonder when considering closed headphones)

My very initial impression is that the bass response is natural sounding.  But again, my impression with most recordings is that they are treble-heavy.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 27, 2009, 03:07:36 PM
My very initial impression is that the bass response is natural sounding.  But again, my impression with most recordings is that they are treble-heavy.


I have that impression too with recordings, that's why I like Sennheisers, I wanted a smooth roll off at the high end.  I want to hear what's in that region, but I don't want to feel assaulted by too bright and forward a sound.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 02, 2009, 02:28:52 AM
As some have noted the HD280s seem a bit bass shy and need to be driven. I've always wanted a portable headphone amp and to make the experience as painless as possible on the pocket I bought this which I think I mentioned earlier in this thread.

(http://www.fiio.com.cn/en/pic/_200842517544959108.jpg)  (mine's black)

It arrived today, I'm listening now and no more bass reticence for the Senns. It's so small (not much bigger than a AAA battery) and only cost me $10 inc shipping. This will revolutionise my listening - especially with my MP3 player.

I've already got it's more sophisticated younger sibling, the E5, in transit somewhere and can't wait to hear that. That cost me $22 all up.

So if you've got phones that are hard to drive then try the Fiio's. For $10 via a reputable E-bay dealer you've got very little to lose.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on September 03, 2009, 01:26:31 PM
Minor or not minor, there are parameters, figure of merits that are not up to debate, unlike "so and so is a better composer than so and so". If someone thinks a pair of headphones is better than the other pair, then plot the numbers and let the numbers speak for themselves.

I'm sure there are others here who misunderstand the value of measurements who will agree with you, but plotting impedence and frequency response curves will tell you no more about how your headphones/speakers actually sound than graphing the relative duration of play of each of the instruments in a given score will tell you how that music will actually sound.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 04, 2009, 05:12:51 AM
plotting impedence and frequency response curves will tell you no more about how your headphones/speakers actually sound than graphing the relative duration of play of each of the instruments in a given score will tell you how that music will actually sound.
I agree with that. Personally a $100 headphone and a $400 will sound "different" but I probably can't say which one is going to outperform the other if I plot the numbers. That's why I gave up trying to buy expensive headphones.

THe point is to a lot of audiophiles (and I know people like that) the numbers, graphs, mean everything even though they cannot tell that extra dB or so of difference at 15 or 10 Khz. But they search for perfection. And this I mean no disrespect towards other members of the forum.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on September 04, 2009, 10:28:37 AM
I agree with that. Personally a $100 headphone and a $400 will sound "different" but I probably can't say which one is going to outperform the other if I plot the numbers. That's why I gave up trying to buy expensive headphones.

THe point is to a lot of audiophiles (and I know people like that) the numbers, graphs, mean everything even though they cannot tell that extra dB or so of difference at 15 or 10 Khz. But they search for perfection. And this I mean no disrespect towards other members of the forum.

It takes judgement to know what you can learn from technical specs and what you can't.  I found the difference in tonal balance between the AKG-701 and Denon AH-D2000 complete predicable from the specs, the Denon has stronger low frequency response on paper and on my head.  In another case, the Denon AH-D2000 and the Sennheiser HD-280 pro look very similar on paper, but the Denon sounds much better.  The gross features do match, again tonal balance, but Denon sounds much more refined to me, presumably because of better control of mechanical resonances, less distortion and phase deviation, etc, things that can be measured but which are hard to summarize in a simple graph.  In any case, I don't see why the fact that headphone sound is not determined by simple specifications would prevent anyone from wanting to have good headphones.  The best option is to find a place where you can audition them, or buy them from a web sites that allows you to return for refund if you don't like them (such as headphone.com).

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 03:26:31 AM
The link to Siegfried Linkwitz' website (posted above by me) goes a long way in explaining how a very good headphone isn't best for all, even if "all" have the same preferences.
It also shows how a network can be made to make "any" god headphone fit your ears soundwise.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 05:13:18 AM
The link to Siegfried Linkwitz' website (posted above by me) goes a long way in explaining how a very good headphone isn't best for all, even if "all" have the same preferences.
It also shows how a network can be made to make "any" god headphone fit your ears soundwise.

That's not about headphones, it's about earphones.  Difference, those little guys that you cram into your ear have a very high sensitivity, ~120 dB/W.  Many reference headphones are closer to 90 dB/W, and are considered easy to drive if they get anywhere close to 100 dB/W.  It's important to note that because those little iem's are more sensitive, they are also more sensitive to resonant frequencies.  A 30 dB difference is like night and day because it's a logarithmic scale.

Also it's more difficult to design an earphone (also a closed headphone) with a flat response, unlike an open air headphone because a closed space (your ear) tends to reinforce resonant peaks through reflection, and as for the dips those earphones are still a newer technology compared to the headphone.

But also alarm bells ring when someone immediately compares frequency response of headphones vs speakers.  A Speaker should have a flat response.  Headphones (especially Sennheiser) are designed to match the frequency response of the human ear, and thus sound flat by NOT being flat.  Maybe he compensated for that, I don't know but it immediately disturbs me when apples and oranges are compared like that out of either ignorance or the intent to mislead.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 05:24:02 AM
Anyway that's one of those articles that demonstrates to me the veracity of what Dave is saying.  Those graphs only tell one part of the story, and can not be used to determine the quality of a headphone.  It's just a starting point.  Perhaps the biggest issue is how detailed the sound is, and those graphs simply don't reveal that.  I would certainly hope that anyone that reads that article uses some common sense and doesn't jump to a conclusion like etymotics is a waste of money without actually hearing them first.  It really is simply a form of argument with measurements thrown in to confuse and dazzle the naive reader. :-\

I don't even go by graphs anymore, I just look for popular opinion on head-fi.  If dozens of posters same similar things, I stop thinking it might be group thinking and start thinking maybe it characterizes.  And then I listen for myself. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 05:57:37 AM
That's not about headphones, it's about earphones.  Difference, those little guys that you cram into your ear have a very high sensitivity, ~120 dB/W.  Many reference headphones are closer to 90 dB/W, and are considered easy to drive if they get anywhere close to 100 dB/W.  It's important to note that because those little iem's are more sensitive, they are also more sensitive to resonant frequencies.  A 30 dB difference is like night and day because it's a logarithmic scale.

Also it's more difficult to design an earphone (also a closed headphone) with a flat response, unlike an open air headphone because a closed space (your ear) tends to reinforce resonant peaks through reflection, and as for the dips those earphones are still a newer technology compared to the headphone.

But also alarm bells ring when someone immediately compares frequency response of headphones vs speakers.  A Speaker should have a flat response.  Headphones (especially Sennheiser) are designed to match the frequency response of the human ear, and thus sound flat by NOT being flat.  Maybe he compensated for that, I don't know but it immediately disturbs me when apples and oranges are compared like that out of either ignorance or the intent to mislead.
First of all: I'm blushing.
Secondly: Linkwitz actually knows what he's writing about, and accusing the guy of intent to mislead is surely based on ignorance.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 06:09:28 AM
First of all: I'm blushing.
Secondly: Linkwitz actually knows what he's writing about, and accusing the guy of intent to mislead is surely based on ignorance.

Actually you can write to mislead ONLY if you know what you're talking about.  It's not ignorant of me to doubt his motives, it's simply cynicism born from experience.  Everyone has an agenda, and it's easy to dupe your readers if they are not as experienced as you, actually very easy.  And it happens all the time.  It obviously is happening here for the reasons I outlined above.  I actually read it and chuckled at it the first time you posted it, but didn't reply until you mentioned it again.

Criticizing high end ear phones, and throwing up one graph (out of several that are needed) to demonstrate what he perceives as poor quality, and then calling upon everyone to simply build their own is not exactly a neutral message from a noble spirit.  Designing the earphone, headphone, or loudspeaker is not difficult, it's a common high school science project, but designing a great one is certainly difficult, and a dyi will most likely sound like junk.  Saying that you could design something on par with Etymotics is highly misleading, and suggesting that the frequency response graph is a sufficient condition for assessing quality is simply ridiculous.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 06:44:39 AM
Etymotic is new to me. What's their agenda except selling stuff for iPhones?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 06:46:19 AM
Etymotic is new to me. What's their agenda except selling stuff for iPhones?

What are you talking about?  If that's supposed to logically follow from my post, you'll have to explain it, I can't read your mind. ???
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 06:59:33 AM
I had to look them up, and the first thing I see is a iPhoneGS-approved earpiece...
They seem to be a scientifically sound company, though.
Read the Linkwitz piece again, DavidW, and check for references.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 07:06:12 AM
Well they are a premiere earphone manufacturer in general, but you haven't answered my question.  I'm asking what your reply has to do with my post, telling me to reread the article doesn't answer my question.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 07:25:32 AM
Tea spoon: Your post was a general dismissal of Linkwitz' work and studies. You drop a name which I have to look up, and what I see is sales pitch.

You seem to be a hard science guy, so why should we argue? If you like an argument, find some cable worshipper.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 07:37:19 AM
Tea spoon: Your post was a general dismissal of Linkwitz' work and studies.

No it wasn't, it was dismissal of that specific article.  Don't generalize please.

Quote
You drop a name which I have to look up, and what I see is sales pitch.

Uh no did you even read that article that you posted?  That was one of the three earphones tested, and the one used as a basis for claiming that reference phones have problematic sound quality on the basis of not having a flat frequency response.  I didn't drop that name as a sales pitch. ::)

Quote
You seem to be a hard science guy, so why should we argue? If you like an argument, find some cable worshipper.

I am a science nerd, which is why I object to deceit with unsubstantiated data, which is just as unscientific as cable worshipping.  The difference is that at least the latter camp is intellectually honest.  I object to calling absolutely anything with supporting measurements, science or even objective. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 07:57:24 AM
"On the basis of not having a flat frequency response"?
He doesn't say that.

Amusing objection noted.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2009, 08:15:51 AM
"On the basis of not having a flat frequency response"?
He doesn't say that.

Amusing objection noted.

He does, you must have trouble understanding what you read.  The whole point of the article is to design and test an amp/earphone system to not have resonant curves and thus be flat.  If you find my objection to unverified measurements amusing, then you must have no true understanding of what science is or how it works.  I will disregard your claims regarding either the audio world or science in the future.

I find it amusing that your replies to each of my posts demonstrate poor attitude through condescension, but an unwillingness to actually address my points.  Even IF you are an expert on the subject, you are not entitled to simply sneer at those that disagree with you, especially without even trying to explain yourself.

Very disappointing. :-\
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on September 05, 2009, 09:11:53 AM
Reread the Linkwitz article. He doesn't say it. Sorry.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on September 26, 2009, 05:37:16 AM
Just to finish the Sennheiser headphone story, the pair of HD600 headphones that I sent back for warranty repair (for  buzzing in the left earpiece) were set back to me promptly with the statement that some part was replaced and that they were "up to manufacturers spec."  However, the obvious buzzing in the left earpiece was still there.  I think they simply replaced the earpad.

Given the cost of shipping them back and the low quality of the work done at the Sennheiser I think the frustration of dealing with this further outweighs any small hope that they will ever be fixed.  They were taken away with the trash yesterday, and are the last Sennheiser product I will ever purchase.

I'm still quite satisfied with the Denon AH-D2000 headphones I got to replace them, however.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 26, 2009, 05:58:20 AM
At the beginning of the month I bought Beyerdynamic dt-660 to have an inexpensive closed headphone, just for those times that it's noisy.  It is a bright headphone, but head-fiers exaggerated it by alot, it's slightly bright, just a little bit of sparkle.  It is just a little off of neutral, but there is practically no bass.  For an inexpensive closed headphone it's very detailed and transparent, not up to par with my Sennheiser 650 but certainly better than any other closed headphone in that price range that I've heard.  And lacking bass, it also doesn't have a nasty bass hump to color everything, and the mid-range is superb.  And these headphones isolate well.  So I'm happy.

But, when it's not noisy, which is still most of the time, I prefer the 650s which are obviously my main headphones. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on February 17, 2010, 06:52:00 PM
Today I browsed earphones and looked at frequency ranges.  Most of the standard priced headphones had frequencies which were listed up to 22?hz, but I went for ones which went up to 23?hz thinking the higher frequencies available might be better for listening to Classical Music.  Is there a tremendous difference in the range of these, or are they just fancy figures?  I bought noise cancelling earphone buds, and I already think they're tremendously clearer and brighter than even my normal on head earphones.
Can anyone enlighten me?
 :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on February 17, 2010, 07:06:00 PM
Today I browsed earphones and looked at frequency ranges.  Most of the standard priced headphones had frequencies which were listed up to 22?hz, but I went for ones which went up to 23?hz thinking the higher frequencies available might be better for listening to Classical Music.  Is there a tremendous difference in the range of these, or are they just fancy figures? 

The latter, I think. The human ear only hears up to 20k, so above that I can't imagine it matters. 

What name brand and model did you get?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2010, 07:29:41 PM
The latter, I think. The human ear only hears up to 20k, so above that I can't imagine it matters. 

What name brand and model did you get?

If you ride the subway or the underground daily, you might have already suffered from hearing loss on the high-end.  I found out when I left NYC for good over 20 years ago (during a pre-employment physical given by Big Blue, my first corporate employer).  Yes, George, I used to live in Manhattan.    :P
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2010, 07:35:33 PM
Today I browsed earphones and looked at frequency ranges.  Most of the standard priced headphones had frequencies which were listed up to 22?hz, but I went for ones which went up to 23?hz thinking the higher frequencies available might be better for listening to Classical Music.  Is there a tremendous difference in the range of these, or are they just fancy figures?  I bought noise cancelling earphone buds, and I already think they're tremendously clearer and brighter than even my normal on head earphones.
Can anyone enlighten me?
 :)

Like George said it's marketing bs.  Actually the mids and are what needs to be done well for classical.  You can't easily advertise that with a big number. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2010, 07:39:14 PM
So I have my main headphone is the 650, my alternate main (for when it's noisy) is the Beyerdynamic dt-660.  My office can is the Audio Technica ath-ad700.  I'm happy with all three... however none of them suit me for on the road gear.  I don't like ear buds or iems none of them fit me well.  I have narrowed it down to

Sennheiser px200
Sennheiser hd25
Audio Technica es7 (don't look at the amazon picture btw it's wrong)

Any thoughts on these?  Any that I missed and should consider?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on February 17, 2010, 07:44:06 PM
Ultra Sound In-ear: Earphones
Philips

Passive noise isolation for better sound at lower volume - The perfect, snug fit inside your ear stops unwanted background noise detracting from the pure pleasure of your favourite music. This means you still enjoy the headphones' superb sound quality at lower volume settings and also benefit from a longer battery life.
Neodymium magnet enhances bass performance and sensitivity - Neodymium is the best material for producing a strong magnetic field for greater sensitivity in a voice coil, better bass response and higher overall sound quality.
Copper Cladded Aluminium Wire improves sound quality - By using top-quality Copper Cladded Aluminium Wire (CCAW) in the headphone driver's voice coil, the sound quality is considerably improved.
24 k gold-plated plug ensures an ultra-reliable connection - You can rest assured that the precious metal gold finishing on the plug will give you a more reliable connection for better quality audio.

Sound - Acoustic system Open, Magnet type Neodymium, Voice coil CCAW, Diaphragm Mylar dome, Frequency response 6 — 23 500 Hz, Impedance 16 Ohm, Maximum power input 50 mW, Sensitivity 102 dB, Speaker diameter 10 mm
Connectivity - Cable Connection Two-parallel asymmetric, Cable length 0.6 m + 0.6 m, Connector 3.5 mm stereo, Finishing of connector 24k Gold-plated, Type of cable OFC
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2010, 07:50:29 PM
Yeah Philips are surprisingly good cheapos, alot of cheap phones suck but Philips are decent.  I also like JVC for cheap phones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2010, 07:54:05 PM
Yeah Philips are surprisingly good cheapos, alot of cheap phones suck but Philips are decent.  I also like JVC for cheap phones.

Philips has the size and scale to offer good values for the money compared with smaller manufacturers ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on February 17, 2010, 08:04:15 PM
Aye, okay, they're cheap, tell everybody, now I have been unmasked as el cheapo... :'(   ;D
Perhaps it is the new MP3 player I got that makes the difference then.  But I shall never reveal it, as it was cheap too.
 :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2010, 08:07:34 PM
Aye, okay, they're cheap, tell everybody, now I have been unmasked as el cheapo... :'(   ;D
Perhaps it is the new MP3 player I got that makes the difference then.  But I shall never reveal it, as it was cheap too.
 :)

Nah, nah you got a good one they are pretty transparent and not overly muddy with flabby bass.  You won't hear everything you should be able to hear with those phones, but you'll hear most of it, and they are pretty neutral.  They are a good buy. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on February 17, 2010, 08:15:47 PM
Aye, okay, they're cheap, tell everybody, now I have been unmasked as el cheapo... :'(   ;D
Perhaps it is the new MP3 player I got that makes the difference then.  But I shall never reveal it, as it was cheap too.

;D

(http://glitchbucket.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Embarrassed-300x276.jpg)

John's features when he leaves the house tomorrow with his new MP3 player.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on February 17, 2010, 08:43:40 PM
;D

(http://glitchbucket.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Embarrassed-300x276.jpg)

John's features when he leaves the house tomorrow with his new MP3 player.

You are a top man George, that had me laughing into the night at this ungodly hour.  Brilliant.   ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on February 17, 2010, 09:00:00 PM
I recently got a Musical Fidelity V-Can headphone amp.  It sounds like a definite improvement on my Creek OBH-11 (but the headphone jack on the Creek was flaking out).  Excellent bass and "headstage" (or is that "soundhead") with both the Sennheiser 650 and the Etymotic 4.  It has both a 1/4" jack and a 1/8" jack.  But no on/off switch.  I suppose you are supposed to leave it on all the time, but I have it on my bedside table, and the blue LED it has is too bright.  The volume pot seems very basic, but it actually seems to be more linear in operation than the Creek's fancy one.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: George on February 18, 2010, 04:08:55 AM
You are a top man George, that had me laughing into the night at this ungodly hour.  Brilliant.   ;D  ;D

 0:)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2010, 03:52:28 PM
I recently got a Musical Fidelity V-Can headphone amp.  It sounds like a definite improvement on my Creek OBH-11 (but the headphone jack on the Creek was flaking out).  Excellent bass and "headstage" (or is that "soundhead") with both the Sennheiser 650 and the Etymotic 4.  It has both a 1/4" jack and a 1/8" jack.  But no on/off switch.  I suppose you are supposed to leave it on all the time, but I have it on my bedside table, and the blue LED it has is too bright.  The volume pot seems very basic, but it actually seems to be more linear in operation than the Creek's fancy one.

I somehow missed this post.  I had been considering both for my 650, this might push me to finally make a decision in favor of Musical Fidelity. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2010, 03:56:35 PM
Speaking of
Nah, nah you got a good one they are pretty transparent and not overly muddy with flabby bass.  You won't hear everything you should be able to hear with those phones, but you'll hear most of it, and they are pretty neutral.  They are a good buy. :)

Speaking of el-cheapos, I got some that actually fit my ear well! :D  I have small ears and this has been a struggle.  It is cheap ifrogz, and they actually sound detailed with clean but deep bass.  In fact I'm kind of at a loss as to why so many think that the cans sound tinny, maybe it doesn't fit their ears well?  Anyway $10 well spent. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DarkAngel on February 20, 2010, 05:04:15 PM
I recently got a Musical Fidelity V-Can headphone amp.  It sounds like a definite improvement on my Creek OBH-11 (but the headphone jack on the Creek was flaking out).  Excellent bass and "headstage" (or is that "soundhead") with both the Sennheiser 650 and the Etymotic 4.  It has both a 1/4" jack and a 1/8" jack.  But no on/off switch.  I suppose you are supposed to leave it on all the time, but I have it on my bedside table, and the blue LED it has is too bright.  The volume pot seems very basic, but it actually seems to be more linear in operation than the Creek's fancy one.

(http://cgim.audiogon.com/i/vs/s/f/1210266272.jpg)
 
I have owned Musical Fidelity X-Can V8 for about 1 year now, power left on all times.
 
I also use Senn 650 & Senn 600 headphones with upgraded headphone cables (Zu & Cardas)
Very nice combo.......
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on March 26, 2010, 05:07:18 AM
Speaking of
Speaking of el-cheapos, I got some that actually fit my ear well! :D  I have small ears and this has been a struggle.  It is cheap ifrogz, and they actually sound detailed with clean but deep bass.  In fact I'm kind of at a loss as to why so many think that the cans sound tinny, maybe it doesn't fit their ears well?  Anyway $10 well spent. 8)

Okay I was real excited to hear canalphones that actually fit my ear, but I was way, way, way over the top with praise I mean really they have very grainy highs those ifrogz are just terrible.

Here is my round up on bargain buds I've tried:
JVC Marshmallows-- very, sweet fluid mids and no course grainy treble, the best sounding in their class BUT those foam tips are so uncomfy that they are unusable for me
JVC Gumy-- mid-bass hump makes it sound overly muddy, thumbs down.
Ifrogz-- screamingly bright!  Pain in your ear, thumbs down.
Philips-- I don't know model # but they go over your ear, and not bad but no bass
Skullcandy Ink'd-- I got it for $10 at staples a few weeks ago, and actually it has deep bass, but no midbass hump (so it doesnt sound muddy), but it has a grainy treble feel to it.  Not great, but adequate and worth $10.

I know you could point out that altogether I could have just bought nice iems for the price of all that cheap junk, but until recently did not know that any would actually fit my ear.  Now I feel confident enough to buy something nicer and it will fit. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on March 26, 2010, 05:11:45 AM
Anyway I'm going to get headphones that will be better for mp3 player listening, my low impedance headphones either lack in bass or are too open, I'm looking for closed headphones (for pop and classical, so I can't settle for just excellent mids) with deep bass, no midbass hump, recessed upper mids, but extended treble.  Looks like (from looking up head-fi posts and peering at graphs) that Audio Technica's M50 will be the answer.  Anyone here own these headphones and have an opinion?

Oh yeah btw where do I find that Musical Fidelity amp, what online stores carry them?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on March 27, 2010, 09:05:24 AM
Anyway I'm going to get headphones that will be better for mp3 player listening, my low impedance headphones either lack in bass or are too open, I'm looking for closed headphones (for pop and classical, so I can't settle for just excellent mids) with deep bass, no midbass hump, recessed upper mids, but extended treble.  Looks like (from looking up head-fi posts and peering at graphs) that Audio Technica's M50 will be the answer.  Anyone here own these headphones and have an opinion?



      I'll have to check out those phones. It would be nice to have a more compact alternative to the 280s, one that could match the deep bass or at least come close. Most of the better closed 'phones don't fare that well at the lower limit.

      Reviews look good....they don't need an amp! They might pass the Caractacus test.*

    *This is the test: At one point in this Elgar oratorio there's a deeep note on the pedal, very powerful. If your phones can render this you're OK. If not, life is flavorless......get thee to a nunnery. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/cheesy.gif)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on March 27, 2010, 12:13:34 PM
That's a powerful musical moment too Ernie! :)  Based on FR I kind of expect it to sound like a step up from the 280s but hopefully more comfy (that was my problem with the 280s is lack of comfort).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on March 27, 2010, 12:38:28 PM

    Yeah the 280s have to be extended waay out so they don't hurt your head, which means they look so stupid I can hardly bear to be seen with them. Once you do this though they actually aren't that bad.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on March 27, 2010, 12:45:31 PM
hehe I'm using to looking stupid with headphones-- Audio Technica ad700 used to be what I used in the office, and they are purple, for real they are purple!! :D :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on March 27, 2010, 12:57:35 PM


      (http://www.productwiki.com/upload/images/audio_technica_ath_ad700_1-400-400.jpg)

       Ah...I see. Those would definitely damage your manhood. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/tongue.gif)


       Notice how they don't show a full frontal view! Also, it's a woman so you can't properly laugh at her. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/sad.gif)

      (http://www.amazona.de/media/articles/article_images/article_158/1_SH-HD280-S.jpg)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on March 27, 2010, 01:00:14 PM

Oh yeah btw where do I find that Musical Fidelity amp, what online stores carry them?

I saw Audio Advisor carrying it not long ago ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: drogulus on March 27, 2010, 04:20:08 PM

       OK, no one will believe this but I had the original X10-D Tube Buffer (I know, ha ha ha ha......(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/rolleyes.gif)).

       (http://listeninn.com/catalog/images/Used-Others/Musical-Fidelity-X10-D.jpg)

       It's still around here somewhere buried under all the junk.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on March 28, 2010, 09:27:57 AM
I saw Audio Advisor carrying it not long ago ...

I saw the V-can but not the X-can and that along with the entry level Creeks look good at driving low impedence cans but not high impedence ones.  But the Rega Ear they had there looks like it might be promising... I'm going to see what head-fiers have said... thanks for the link. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on April 01, 2010, 10:43:32 PM
Sennheiser HD228

I bought these yesterday...working my way up to get a REALLY decent pair...still, these are great.  Nice detail.  £50.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 02, 2010, 07:03:07 AM
Haha John you totally took off that avatar from head-fi, I've seen it before! :D

I ended up buying the M-Audio Q40 headphones for my closed choice due to some head-fiers saying that it's bassier than the M50s but more controlled.  And heck yeah they are amazing!  I finally have that deep end that I wasn't getting with my Senns and isolation.  Music (as per my Handel listening) sounds full bodied yet detailed. :)  I'll actually use them for my home cans now because...

The Klipsch S4 is more comfy than I thought an IEM could be and are a perfect match with my ipod touch.  Deep bass, sparkly highs but no sibilence that I can hear (despite what others have said to the contrary) and a very smooth, warm, dark sound.  Haven't tried them with classical yet (I was listening to Marilyn Manson ;D ) but sounds wonderful and is comfy.  Good enough for full time office listening and not just for exercise phones. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on April 02, 2010, 07:16:39 AM
As I haven't a clue about these things I looked up M-Audio Q40 headphones, and it turns out they are about £80.
Right then David...thanks for the tip!  They are my next target - at least I can get them knowing from a learned source that for Classical Music, they are great.  It is stuff like this I'm greateful to learn.   :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 02, 2010, 07:28:15 AM
Ah cool beans. :)  Word of warning though some are more sensitive to bass than others, and consider what I would think of as bass anemic to be neutral.  And what they consider to be neutral, I consider to be bright (I'm sensitive to upper mids).  And I what I consider neutral they consider to be dark or veiled.  Those people gravitate towards akg for classical, else they gravitate towards Sennheiser like I do.  I'm saying this because you need to know your preferred sound signature or you can spend alot of money and still not be satisfied. :)

It's hard when there are not shops to go to (I live in the middle of nowhere) but I actually found something geeky that actually worked. ;D  I'll post it in a second.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 02, 2010, 07:46:29 AM
Okay check this out, I had this idea that if headphones had the right frequency response curve for your ears then it should sound equally loud (and thus balanced or neutral) across the board.  Assuming a neutral source and amp this site (when you use headphones):

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html (http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html)

does not just tell you your equal loudness curve, it tells you your equal loudness curve when using your headphones.

Alright suppose we took your headphones frequency response graph on Head room--

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=1843) (see http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/Build%20A%20Headphone%20Graph.php (http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/Build%20A%20Headphone%20Graph.php))

That curve should tell you the relative frequency response (from 1 kHz) after subtracting a generic response for a person.  Your equal loudness curve will not match this even if your ears are as generic as they get! :D  But considering that the first graph is always built around you + your headphones, and the second graph is always built from dummy person + your headphones, you can consider the first graph to be a quantity of how much different the second one is from perceived neutrality.

So this is what I did:
(1) find my equal loudness contour on that website
(2) look up graph (and print) for the headphones I used (in my case Senn 555)
(3) draw points on that headroom graph printout to match loudness contour.  For example if I find that 12 kHz needs to be 5 dB higher, then I mark a point 5 dB above the corresponding point on the curve at 12 kHz on the Senn 555 graph.
(4) trace out the new curve
(5) look for headphones (on head room) that match the curve you drew, those should sound neutral to you
(5') narrow peaks in the FR graph, no matter how tall are unimportant, only wide curves are audibly funky
(5'') if considering iems consider how relative the response is to the seal with the ear canal
(6) cross reference with posts regarding those headphones on head-fi
(7) adjust for personal preference (maybe you don't want neutral)


That sounds like alot of work, but when you can't go to a store and just listen it's a good way to blind buy off the internet, and it worked for me. :)

Edit: I should also point out that musically most of the sub-bass is not heard but felt and can't be done right by headphones anyway, and our ears are so not sensitive to high treble that unless you're young that is also not really important.  Really you just want to focus around 60 Hz - 16 kHz.

I know nobody asked but I was excited that that nerdy weird method actually had payoff! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on April 02, 2010, 09:22:54 AM
David, how superb of you to put all this stuff up.  :D  I will have to read your post again and follow the links.  I had no idea such info on these things was available.

Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Valentino on April 02, 2010, 09:33:14 AM
       OK, no one will believe this but I had the original X10-D Tube Buffer (I know, ha ha ha ha......(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/rolleyes.gif)).

       (http://listeninn.com/catalog/images/Used-Others/Musical-Fidelity-X10-D.jpg)
;D
I have a cardboard box with old cable sins in it...

On topic I have Sennheiser HD580 Presicion for home use, and Sennheiser PX100 (I like the transport box) and AKG K420 for mobile listening.
No funky headphone amps, just the one in my RME Fireface UC USB sound card.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 02, 2010, 09:33:25 AM
I hope you enjoy it John, and it's not too complicated.  Even if you grow bored with all of the graphs, seeing what your own equal loudness contour looks like is pretty neat. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on April 02, 2010, 09:36:47 AM
I hope you enjoy it John, and it's not too complicated.  Even if you grow bored with all of the graphs, seeing what your own equal loudness contour looks like is pretty neat. :)

The whole project is as geeky as I like it.  Unlikely I will grow bored with graphs!  I'm away to do some tasty analysis now...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: MN Dave on April 02, 2010, 09:38:37 AM
I like these.

(http://www.wayneschulz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/tin-can-string1.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on April 02, 2010, 03:03:10 PM
cans
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 11, 2010, 10:06:05 AM
Hey John, are those Grados on your head? :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on April 12, 2010, 02:39:08 PM
Hey John, are those Grados on your head? :)

Aye!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 12, 2010, 05:10:57 PM
Nice!  What ones did you get?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2011, 02:39:34 PM
Question please : I currently have the following combo : Arcam CD73 CD player > Project Headbox mark II > HD650

I am looking to upgrade the amp a couple of notches up (budget of around £350-400... say £500 at a biiiig push).

I was considering the following :

- Graham Slee Solo (good feedback on head-fi specifically with HD650)
- Lehmann Rhinelander
- also just saw a Musical Fidelity M1 HPA right at the top end of the budget

Has anybody got any experience with those please ? Other suggestions welcome too. thanks.


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 05, 2011, 03:18:18 PM
Question please : I currently have the following combo : Arcam CD73 CD player > Project Headbox mark II > HD650

- Lehmann Rhinelander

If the Rhinelander  (http://www.lehmannaudio.com/assets/site/home_audio/pre_amps/rhinelander/pdf/EN_review_hifi_records_04_2009_Rhinelander.pdf)is nearly as good as the Linear (the amp of choice for Sennheiser to present its products), then that would seem like a good option. I reckon the gain can be adjusted to suite the HD650; so you can switch between 600 and 300 (if you ever get the HD800. {Which I'm listening to, right now.}
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2011, 03:45:57 PM
thanks Jens. The Rhinelander was voted best buy head amp by What Hifi in 2010 for the £300-£500 range but the Solo also got quite a few recognitions along its time (also with the more recent model underneath, the Novo). I had also read that the Solo was more or less made with the HD650 in mind and was also often used by Sennheiser on displays... who to believe...  ???

there's a shop about an hour away from my place that holds the Solo in stock so I could sample it there...weirdly enough, they also hold the HD800 there too !! given your posts about this model a couple of pages back, i'd better not listen to it and let ignorance being bliss...  ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 05, 2011, 04:01:00 PM
thanks Jens. The Rhinelander was voted best buy head amp by What Hifi in 2010 for the £300-£500 range but the Solo also got quite a few recognitions along its time (also with the more recent model underneath, the Novo). I had also read that the Solo was more or less made with the HD650 in mind and was also often used by Sennheiser on displays... who to believe...  ???

there's a shop about an hour away from my place that holds the Solo in stock so I could sample it there...weirdly enough, they also hold the HD800 there too !! given your posts about this model a couple of pages back, i'd better not listen to it and let ignorance being bliss...  ;D
You might also try the head-fi forums. There is a lot of info over there and a lot of comparisons/evaluations.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2011, 04:09:49 PM
You might also try the head-fi forums. There is a lot of info over there and a lot of comparisons/evaluations.

yes, i became a member there when i was looking to get new headphones 5-6 years back ...I pop in over there whenever the upgrade bug catches me...like now  ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 06, 2011, 02:54:00 PM
If the Rhinelander  (http://www.lehmannaudio.com/assets/site/home_audio/pre_amps/rhinelander/pdf/EN_review_hifi_records_04_2009_Rhinelander.pdf)is nearly as good as the Linear (the amp of choice for Sennheiser to present its products), then that would seem like a good option. I reckon the gain can be adjusted to suite the HD650; so you can switch between 600 and 300 (if you ever get the HD800. {Which I'm listening to, right now.}

Jens,
Have you experienced the Black Cube Linear with the HD650 yourself ? or anybody else pls, specifically on classical music ?

More research since yesterday seems to give this combination as ideal (also confirming your point that Sennheiser use them on their displays). Might be worth delaying the purchase for this larger budget and going for the Linear instead on that basis...


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 06, 2011, 09:06:41 PM
Jens,
Have you experienced the Black Cube Linear with the HD650 yourself ? or anybody else pls, specifically on classical music ?

Yes, I have. But not extensively. And in direct comparison with the HD800 and Orpheus (at a HiFi exhibit), and the result wasn't so much "wow, how great does the Black Cube Linear sound with the HD650" but "wow, how crappy does the HD650 sound compared to the HD800." My idea of upgrading from my HD580 (with which I am still very happy) to HD650 died then and there. Incidentally, that was the reason that the Sennheiser people didn't actually offer that comparison and where slightly reluctant to let me plug the HD650 from their computer-setup on the side into the Black Cube Linear. At least they were honest about it: 'The 650 is, for most head-phone interested people, the top-line model that they will consider... so comparing them directly to the HD800 would be kind of like dumping on our more important model.'

Well, suffice it to say that, although perennially strapped of cash, I eventually bit the bullet, took a deep breath, said to myself: "if they give you 10% off at the HiFi store, and seeing how I'll get the tax back, I'll get the HD800" [effectively 30% off]... which is what happened. That and the HD580 (recently overhauled by Sennheiser for 70 Euros) are now plugged into a either of my two can-amps; a custom built tube amp from an Italian HiFi lab (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?attachment_id=165) (a friend arranged that deal; ended up being free) and the Black Cube USB.

Incidentally, the Ω600 models HD580, 600, and 650 are much more in need of amping than the HD800; those can be worked to reasonable, if not ideal, results from a good (either high-end or old-fashioned mid-end), healthily powered headphone jack.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on February 11, 2011, 01:59:01 PM
I am doing the majority of my listening via headphones from my home PC and my work laptop these days and am somewhat disillusioned with the sound quality. What is happening is my new Shure SRH840s are quite ruthless in revealing in issues with the source of the music. In this case this is obviously the sound card of both computers.

With this in mind I recently bid for and won this on ebay

(http://estore.nuforce.com/product_images/k/348/udacr1__94517_zoom.jpg)
(Yes, mine's red too but so what)

(http://estore.nuforce.com/product_images/i/928/udacb2__77325_zoom.jpg).

If you look at the bottom picture there are the two normal RCA plugs (red and white) but also a single very similar plug coloured orange and labelled coaxial. My stand alone CD player also has one of these.

Could anyone explain the function of this plug and what would also happen if I connected it directly to the one on my CD player. Would this bypass the CD players own DAC or is this a way of listening directly to the player without using its own HP plug. What sort vof connector cable would I need to buy to make it work.

I can't find any info that makes any real sense to me so I'm asking the gurus here.

My CD player also has a TOSlink optical digital out but I don't think I can connect that as none of my other equipment has this facility.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on February 11, 2011, 02:15:41 PM
Could anyone explain the function of this plug and what would also happen if I connected it directly to the one on my CD player. Would this bypass the CD players own DAC or is this a way of listening directly to the player without using its own HP plug. What sort vof connector cable would I need to buy to make it work.

I can't find any info that makes any real sense to me so I'm asking the gurus here.

My CD player also has a TOSlink optical digital out but I don't think I can connect that as none of my other equipment has this facility.

The coaxial digital input of the Nuforce is for accepting input from a coaxial digital output from some CD players and some sound cards.  The Toslink optical connection won't work with the coaxial connection.  There are optical to coaxial (toslink to s/pdif) converters, but they are probably not worth it for this application.  You probably want to use the Nuforce's USB input from your computer.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on February 11, 2011, 02:24:10 PM
The coaxial digital input of the Nuforce is for accepting input from a coaxial digital output from some CD players and some sound cards.  The Toslink optical connection won't work with the coaxial connection.  There are optical to coaxial (toslink to s/pdif) converters, but they are probably not worth it for this application.  You probably want to use the Nuforce's USB input from your computer.

It is the opposite.  That is a coax digital output on your NuForce.   It allows you to play a CD or audio file on your computer and send the digital data to a device which will convert it to sound (instead of the Nuforce).  It allows the NuForce to act as a USB to SPDIF converter.  Typically you would connect it to one of the digital inputs on your receiver, which would convert it to analog and sent it to the speakers.  Most CD players have digital output, but CD players with digital input are rather rare (usually the more pricey models).


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on February 11, 2011, 02:28:57 PM
It is the opposite.  That is a coax digital output on your NuForce.   It allows you to play a CD or audio file on your computer and send the digital data to a device which will convert it to sound (instead of the Nuforce).  It allows the NuForce to act as a USB/SPDIF converter.  Typically you would connect it to one of the digital inputs on your receiver, which would convert it to analog and sent it to the speakers.  Most CD players have digital output, but CD players with digital input are rather rare.

Oops, sorry for the misinformation.  Remember when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on May 27, 2011, 01:43:11 PM
I just picked these up used from Ebay

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Z81YJ34SL.jpg)

I needed a set of open cans and these simply sound magnificent. I'm afraid to try my Shure SRH840s again because I'm worried that when I do I'll never want to listen to them again at home.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on May 27, 2011, 02:45:01 PM
Nice Holden!  Those were the headphones I had in grad school.  Do you like your nuforce?  I'll be honest my udac2 I don't like. It clips unless you lower the digital volume in windows.  You shouldn't have to they designed it poorly to maximize S/N.  It overheats after about an hour and starts to sound very bad even over optical out.  I got this $30 behringer and it doesn't overheat and doesn't have any clipping problems and cost 1/3 the price.

Anyway I bought the akg k430 recently and for portable headphones they are not quite sensitive enough, but other than that awesome.  They are no super hifi compete with the big dogs but for my walks they're perfect.  I going to cull my headphone collection soon.

I'm honestly tired of the lack of treble in my Sennheiser 650s, I have decided that they are too dark, and I'm going to replace them with the more neutral Denon d2000.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on May 28, 2011, 01:12:46 AM
Hello Mozartfan

I'm not having the issues with the uDAC2 that you are, in fact I'm finding it very good. I always have my W7 volume set on max and adjust my uDAC accordingly. The vol control at the moment is set to 10:30/11:00 o'clock. Yes, my uDAC2 heats up but not overly so.

Regarding your 650s and replacing them with the D2000s, the Denons are closed back and will give a different sound signature from the 650s. Changing from my Shure SRH840s to the 580s has been a total revelation and I wonder if going to the Denon's might be a retrograde step. I don't find lack of treble to be an issue with the 580s and a quick tweak of my media player can make up for this quite easily.

Is the Behringer the UCA202? From what I've read it's an analogue sound card and not a DAC but I could be wrong here. However, if it's working for you then go for it.

If you do decide to go for the Denon's and want to sell the 650s then please let me know.

Nice Holden!  Those were the headphones I had in grad school.  Do you like your nuforce?  I'll be honest my udac2 I don't like. It clips unless you lower the digital volume in windows.  You shouldn't have to they designed it poorly to maximize S/N.  It overheats after about an hour and starts to sound very bad even over optical out.  I got this $30 behringer and it doesn't overheat and doesn't have any clipping problems and cost 1/3 the price.

Anyway I bought the akg k430 recently and for portable headphones they are not quite sensitive enough, but other than that awesome.  They are no super hifi complete with the big dogs but for my walks they're perfect.  I going to cull my headphone collection soon.

I'm honestly tired of the lack of treble in my Sennheiser 650s, I have decided that they are too dark, and I'm going to replace them with the more neutral Denon d2000.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on May 28, 2011, 02:26:26 AM
...

Regarding your 650s and replacing them with the D2000s, the Denons are closed back and will give a different sound signature from the 650s. ...
If you do decide to go for the Denon's and want to sell the 650s then please let me know.

I am positively biased toward Sennheiser 580 (especially) and even 650, but I couldn't imagine running either without a good headphone amp. I can see why they'd be described as 'dark', but bass-poor? That seems to suggest an amplification problem. 

As far as upgrading from 580 to 650... well... if 650s can be had for an excellent prize, I suppose there's merit to having both. But it might be worth a thought or two to put the money in the piggy bank as a down-payment for going all out on the HD800... because those are simply a quantum-leap better than HD650... in fact, they make them look pretty bad (http://www.epinions.com/review/Sennheiser_HD800_Premier_Headphones/content_528445116036). And, unlike HD580 or 650, HD800 are not nearly as picky as far as amplification is concerned.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on May 28, 2011, 06:37:40 AM
I am positively biased toward Sennheiser 580 (especially) and even 650, but I couldn't imagine running either without a good headphone amp. I can see why they'd be described as 'dark', but bass-poor? That seems to suggest an amplification problem. 

Who ever said anything about bass poor??  I said it lacks treble, i.e. overly dark.  Anyway my total airhead has sufficient voltage to handle the 650s, and my receiver does too.  Those that spend alot of money on amplification have a poor understanding of electronics. :-\

Hello Mozartfan

I'm not having the issues with the uDAC2 that you are, in fact I'm finding it very good. I always have my W7 volume set on max and adjust my uDAC accordingly. The vol control at the moment is set to 10:30/11:00 o'clock. Yes, my uDAC2 heats up but not overly so.

Have you tried pop music (since it has little headroom while classical has alot)?  That's the stuff that clips. Classical not so much.  Anyway the overheating is the real problem, I must have a defective model if you don't have that problem because it makes it sound absolutely terrible after awhile.  Or the model I have (which is not the same as yours) is just designed poorly.

Quote
Regarding your 650s and replacing them with the D2000s, the Denons are closed back and will give a different sound signature from the 650s. Changing from my Shure SRH840s to the 580s has been a total revelation and I wonder if going to the Denon's might be a retrograde step. I don't find lack of treble to be an issue with the 580s and a quick tweak of my media player can make up for this quite easily.

IMO the 580s don't sound like the 650s, the 580s have excellent bass and upper-midrange, slightly recessed treble, and recessed mids.  The 650s have excellent bass, excellent mids, and recessed upper-mids and treble.  Also the 580s have a wide soundstage but only moderately deep, while the 650s have a deep soundstage that is only moderately wide.  So while those two different headphones have roughly the same Sennheiser sound signature, they actually sound quite a bit different.  The 800s are apparently closer to neutral, but why by that when you can spend a fraction of the money with a different brand that is neutral.

Quote
Is the Behringer the UCA202? From what I've read it's an analogue sound card and not a DAC but I could be wrong here. However, if it's working for you then go for it.

Well I have the UCA222 which has the optical out.  So it can pass the digital signal without touching it, it also can send out an analogue signal.  I don't see what the difference would be between a sound card and a DAC, an external sound card would still have to convert the digital signal from usb to analog, which means that it literally is or has a DAC. ??? 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on May 28, 2011, 06:43:44 AM
Well I have the UCA222 which has the optical out.  So it can pass the digital signal without touching it, it also can send out an analogue signal.  I don't see what the difference would be between a sound card and a DAC, an external sound card would still have to convert the digital signal from usb to analog, which means that it literally is or has a DAC. ???

I noticed some advertising copy about this unit having 48kHz converters.  Does the digital output at 44.1kHz come at the native frequency, or is it resampled to 48kHz?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on May 28, 2011, 07:06:33 AM
Who ever said anything about bass poor??  I said it lacks treble, i.e. overly dark.

Hmmm... I thought you had, before editing your post. Or perhaps I misread.

Quote
Anyway my total airhead has sufficient voltage to handle the 650s, and my receiver does too.  Those that spend alot of money on amplification have a poor understanding of electronics. :-\
...
Well I have the UCA222 which has the optical out.  So it can pass the digital signal without touching it, it also can send out an analogue signal.  I don't see what the difference would be between a sound card and a DAC, an external sound card would still have to convert the digital signal from usb to analog, which means that it literally is or has a DAC. ???

It doesn't take a particular grasp on "electronics" to figure out what properly drives a device with Ω600, and what doesn't. (R=E²/P, actually... well... more like E=√PxR... but then that's the same.) +/- 15V isn't going to cut it...  and the headphone jacks in most current non-HiFi equipment don't have more. To suggest -- I am not sure if you do -- that matching the source impedance to the load impedance does not have audible effects on the performance of the equipment would be very novel and controversial, indeed. One doesn't need to spend a lot of money (necessarily) to drive headphones well, but one does need to take a little care in plugging the right cans into the right source.

A sound card has its own DAC, of course, but not all DACs are the same. (In fact, the DAC is pretty much the only really meaningful way in which digital devices differ from another in terms of sound quality.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on May 28, 2011, 07:09:48 AM
I noticed some advertising copy about this unit haveing 48kHz converters.  Does the digital output at 44.1kHz come at the native frequency, or is it resampled to 48kHz?

I had to plug it in to confirm with you... but my receiver says that it receives a 44.1 kHz signal from the device, so there you go! :)  And to make sure I even played some music on winamp, it didn't change though, remained 44.1 kHz.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on May 28, 2011, 07:47:34 AM
Hmmm... I thought you had, before editing your post. Or perhaps I misread. A sound card has its own DAC, of course, but not all DACs are the same. (In fact, the DAC is pretty much the only really meaningful way in which digital devices differ from another in terms of sound quality.

I would have said the opposite.  The DAC itself is normally a self-contained chip manufactured by one of the well known manufacturers, and almost all good audio equipment uses one of a few serious DACs on the market.  I am more concerned about the supporting circuitry, the quality of the analog amplification, the quality of the power supply, isolation of the digital circuit from the analog circuit.  That stuff depends on the design, the components and the manufacturing quality, not just whether the $25 or the $35 DAC chip was picked from the Cybex catalog. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 28, 2011, 08:11:13 AM
Bluetooth Headphones - I've put a lot of music on my iPod which I use while walking on a treadmill, in the airport, and reading esp. while on trips (hotel rooms, lobbies, etc.) - would LIKE to really go wireless; BUT, the reviews (like on Amazon) seem so varied - some love certain models but then there are just other poor responses, particularly regarding design, comfort, reception, quality of sound, compactness, etc.

So, are there any stereo BT headphones at a decent price that would fulfill some of my requirements above?  Thanks for any comments or advice - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on May 28, 2011, 09:07:03 AM
I would have said the opposite.  The DAC itself is normally a self-contained chip manufactured by one of the well known manufacturers, and almost all good audio equipment uses one of a few serious DACs on the market.  I am more concerned about the supporting circuitry, the quality of the analog amplification, the quality of the power supply, isolation of the digital circuit from the analog circuit.  That stuff depends on the design, the components and the manufacturing quality, not just whether the $25 or the $35 DAC chip was picked from the Cybex catalog.

I think I wasn't precise. By "DAC" I meant everything between the digital signal IN and the analog signal OUT... not just whether the actual chip is a high-end Burr-Brown or cent-ware from Taiwan Audio Garage 2000.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on May 28, 2011, 06:31:19 PM
Still lovin' my AKG 701s driven by a Channel Islands VHP 1 fed by a bel canto DAC2.  Good enough that I doubt I'll ever feel an urge to replace any of it.  And now my brief visit here has left me with an irresistible desire to hear MTT/SFS's DLVDE through this bit of kit.

Cheers, y'all!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 17, 2011, 02:06:31 PM
Quote
Have you tried pop music (since it has little headroom while classical has alot)?  That's the stuff that clips. Classical not so much.

Now I do notice a difference but only if I turn the sound up somewhat. As for the distortion upon heating that is not an issue so I suspect that you have a defective model.

Having now spent some time with the 580s I am coming to the realisation that what has been mentioned in this thread about power for high impedance headphones might just well be true. I feel this need to turn up the volume to get more detail and sparkle from the Senns yet I never felt this with the Shures.  I'm surmising that this is because the uDAC-2 does not have the power to drive my 580s well enough to get what they are capable of producing unless I increase the volume to levels that I don't really want to subject my ears to for long periods of time. My 150w HiFi amp was custom made and the headphone jack and the amp to go with it were specially added for me. Listening through that has revealed a whole new experience of these extremely good 'phones.

So now it's time to bite the bullet and look for something I can play out of my PC that will drive my 580s. I'm looking for a DAC/amp combination that will do these phones justice. As I am unlikely to take my Senns traveling with me portability is no longer a requirement. In consideration at the moment are:

Portable DAC/amps:

Audinst HUD MX-1
iBasso D6

Wall powered DAC/amps
Fiio E7/E9
Zero 24/96
Beresford TC-7520

$300 is tops

Any other thoughts or suggestions gladly accepted.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on June 17, 2011, 02:38:34 PM
Having now spent some time with the 580s I am coming to the realisation that what has been mentioned in this thread about power for high impedance headphones might just well be true. I feel this need to turn up the volume to get more detail and sparkle from the Senns yet I never felt this with the Shures.

What you are describing is the treble roll-off that Senns are known for (their dark sound signature).  It's treble that gives you that sparkle, and the upper mids that give you that sense of detail.  Your Shure 840s are neutral monitors, they have more treble.  You should try playing around with equalizer settings in your favorite media player before you spend money on amps.  A good amp will be neutral (there are plenty of audiophile amps that are not neutral though) and your Senns will still not sparkle.  Adding a few dB's on the treble frequencies will take you a minute and cost you nothing.  If you're still not satisfied then go with buying an amp.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: lisa needs braces on August 08, 2011, 07:51:07 PM
I pulled the trigger on the Sennheiser HD 555. I've been using an HD202 ($30ish) these past years and it was the only way I listened to music. Hopefully these are a tremendous improvement.

I also got this microphone:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00029MTMQ

You just clip it on a headphone and you have a gaming headset.

Now if only Amazon will ship them.

Also, it would appear that there really isn't much of a difference between the HD555 and the HD 595 except that Sennheiser deliberately hobbled the former's potential in a way that's rectifiable:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvQ8PzBrHXE

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 09, 2011, 09:08:10 AM
Enjoy the 555s Abe.  I've had mine for four years (just sold it yesterday!) and they are good headphones, excellent detail, dark and warm sound signature, easy to use with ipods, mp3 players etc

I will say this I have heard both 555 and the 595 and know about the foam mod... it doesn't turn a 555 into a 595.  The foam is most likely used to dampen a resonant frequency, which the 595 would not have since it's driver is angled (resonant frequencies will depend on the shape and size of the chamber), (in fact that was my problem with the 595... the driver bumped up against my ears!).  If you remove the foam the 555 will sound less refined than it did before and it will certainly not sound better.  Anyway my experience with the 595 is that it had a better soundstage, and more detailed as compared to the 555 with or without foam.

I'm bidding on an open box 598 right now, I look forward to hearing some bright Sennheisers for a chance of pace.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on August 09, 2011, 04:50:09 PM
Re the Senn 202's, I was absolutely floored with their audio quality, considering how much they cost! I recently got a pair of them to replace my old PX200 that I gave away (though not because I didn't like them - quite the contrary)

If there's one thing less than ideal about them, it's that they're a little bulky. But the 'slot' they filled for me, closed-back and portable, is mostly for the (hypothetical, due to my current financial state) train or plane, so that's fine.


Also, it's interesting how the μDAC2 seems to have a rather different 'identity' to the first one. By no means is the μDAC an amplifying beast, but it's clean, dependable, and I wouldn't say it burns a hole through my desk.

I know they tweaked it a bit for the second iteration, and now I feel quite happy I didn't opt for the upgrade offer.


(Headphones: the topic to break my forum hiatus for, that isn't Mahler. :P)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 10, 2011, 06:18:23 AM
To contradict you >:D here is a review where this guy objectively demonstrated the shortfallings of the udac:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/nuforce-udac-2-drama.html (http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/nuforce-udac-2-drama.html)

I have heard the imbalance at low volumes, but don't usually listen that low.  No the main concern for me is the clipping which is very evident in pop music.  Also the strange unflat frequency response with most headphones.  It's also interesting to note that nuforce was caught lieing about the total harmonic distortion and the dynamic range.

So far the only headphone amp that behaved well for me is headroom's total airhead.  If I want something better than what I have now I would probably go with either their total bithead or the fiio e7.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on August 10, 2011, 02:55:59 PM
To contradict you >:D here is a review where this guy objectively demonstrated the shortfallings of the udac:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/nuforce-udac-2-drama.html (http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/nuforce-udac-2-drama.html)

I have heard the imbalance at low volumes, but don't usually listen that low.  No the main concern for me is the clipping which is very evident in pop music.  Also the strange unflat frequency response with most headphones.  It's also interesting to note that nuforce was caught lieing about the total harmonic distortion and the dynamic range.

So far the only headphone amp that behaved well for me is headroom's total airhead.  If I want something better than what I have now I would probably go with either their total bithead or the fiio e7.

Well, it's the μDAC2 that he's bashing! I was defending the μDAC1.

Re: the channel balance issue, I have to admit I never considered it that big a deal, for the same reason you mention. Admittedly, like the guy points out, it may vary between individual units, but on mine it's on too low volume levels to matter.

Of the other stuff, the clipping seems to be an μDAC2-only issue - certainly not there in my μDAC1 unit, anyhow; and the frequency 'colouring' is a nuForce thing, surely. Compare with their Icons, too! I never said the μDAC was neutral: I said it was "clean". And it synergises well with my Grados and Senns, in particular, so I'm satisfied. One thing I'm not doing after reading the above analysis, though, is replacing my μDAC with an μDAC2, should it fail. :D I wonder if you can still get v.1.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 10, 2011, 06:24:12 PM
Yeah I wouldn't be pissed off if I had purchased the udac1 instead. :)

Well here is a goofy pic, I would post this on the pics thread but all they seem to care about are naked women these days! :D  Anyway ya headphone nerds will appreciate this:

(http://www.drmh.de/drmh2/09imm021.jpg)

How goofy!  What are those anyway?  They look like kind of like the akg k1000 but not.  Electrostatics I guess... only one of those not butt ugly is probably the Sennheiser Orpheus.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Renfield on August 10, 2011, 07:44:24 PM
Ready for lift-off? :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 11, 2011, 09:15:14 AM
Aren't those Jecklin Floats?

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSuYPvz320o9NCdJ-nNzeFI6FyMTOf5foxHO1HETXiV8ZaSKpB33Q)

Wow!  Impressive, you know your headphones. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 11, 2011, 09:18:27 AM
Ready for lift-off? :D

That's a perfect caption. ;D

I need to find some more of these...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 11, 2011, 09:29:50 AM
Surround headphones:
(http://cdn.head-fi.org/a/ac/1000x500px-LL-ac794043_1000x500px-LL-a1d5e42f_sennheiser_surrounder.jpg)

(http://www.head-fi.org/image/id/25509/width/525/height/525/flags/LL)

(http://cdn.head-fi.org/c/cc/1000x500px-LL-ccd31121_headphonesf.jpg)

Are those last ones even for real?  I don't know but it sure makes for a funny pic! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 11, 2011, 09:57:05 AM
What the heck is that?! :D  It looks like a record player... but... weird...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 11, 2011, 12:30:38 PM
Perfect for listening to the old Ludwig van! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 16, 2012, 07:54:42 AM
Need to resurrect this thread in lieu of my sudden and unexpected acquisition of monetary funds, which, in true GMG fashion will pour entirely on audio equipment!

I've been scavenging the net for every bit of information i could find, and so far i nearly settled for a Sennheiser HD 600 + Yulong D100 DAC/amp combo. From what i understand, the HD600 are a bit more neutral sounding then the more expensive HD650 model, and the DAC in the Yulong is also supposed to be extremely silent. I despise artificial coloring in my audio so this should be a good combo. Alas, from what i understand the amp paired with the D100 isn't exactly state of the art, but i'm not planning on blasting my eardrums so perhaps it might be good enough (and it is certainly convenient to have both DAC and amp in the same unit). What does anybody think here?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 08:02:09 AM
Need to resurrect this thread in lieu of my sudden and unexpected acquisition of monetary funds, which, in true GMG fashion will pour entirely on audio equipment!

I've been scavenging the net for every bit of information i could find, and so far i nearly settled for a Sennheiser HD 600 + Yulong D100 DAC/amp combo. From what i understand, the HD600 are a bit more neutral sounding then the more expensive HD650 model, and the DAC in the Yulong is also supposed to be extremely silent. I despise artificial coloring in my audio so this should be a good combo. Alas, from what i understand the amp paired with the D100 isn't exactly state of the art, but i'm not planning on blasting my eardrums so perhaps it might be good enough (and it is certainly convenient to have both DAC and amp in the same unit). What does anybody think here?

Among the Sennheiser's, only the HD 800 are truly neutral.
And when I went shopping some years back with either HD580 or the allegedly better HD600 in the running, I actually liked the HD580 better for the way I like to hear classical music. (Which is usually also very neutral, although that cannot necessarily be said of either HD580 or HD600. At least neither of them 'beautify' the sounds as do, for example, B&W Speakers which I don't like for that reason. After 10 minutes, everything sounds cloying with those.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 16, 2012, 08:18:58 AM
Among the Sennheiser's, only the HD 800 are truly neutral.

Yeah but i would have to sell my liver to get those, not just for the headphones but for the DAC/amp necessary to drive them.  :(

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 08:27:21 AM
Yeah but i would have to sell my liver to get those, not just for the headphones but for the DAC/amp necessary to drive them.  :(

If you can haggle them down to a kidney, you've got two of those. Worth it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 16, 2012, 08:50:05 AM
In all seriousness, here's a review of the Yulong:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/499562/review-yulong-d100-dac-amp-reference-quality-with-a-reasonable-price
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on January 16, 2012, 01:15:41 PM
Audiophile headphones are usually not neutral jdp.  Every brand has their own distinctive signature sound.  It's easier to find neutrality in studio monitors.  That being said most audiophile headphones do sound tonally correct and are detailed.

As for Senns I think that the 598s are closer to neutral than either the 600 or 650.  But even those are still warm and just a tad bit dark.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kontrapunctus on January 16, 2012, 04:37:12 PM
I like my Stax 407 system. It's a little light in the bass department, but boy is it transparent and revealing!

(http://www.elusivedisc.com/images/stxsrs4170.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on January 17, 2012, 03:23:12 AM
I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD598s to be honest. They didn't cost an arm and a leg and don't need a lot of amplification which is perfect for my needs at the moment.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Willoughby earl of Itacarius on January 17, 2012, 04:12:33 AM
I like my Stax 407 system. It's a little light in the bass department, but boy is it transparent and revealing!

(http://www.elusivedisc.com/images/stxsrs4170.jpg)

Agreed they are detailed and very transparent.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kontrapunctus on January 17, 2012, 02:00:33 PM
Agreed they are detailed and very transparent.

Yeah, I've considered selling them and getting a pair of either Sennheiser HD 800 or Grado PS 1000, but I don't know if any dynamic headphones can match the Stax's clarity and detail. I just wish they had a bit more bass for my organ CDs/SACDs. My main system can produce thunderous bass, but wife and neighbors don't always share my enthusiasm! :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Willoughby earl of Itacarius on January 17, 2012, 02:33:04 PM
Yeah, I've considered selling them and getting a pair of either Sennheiser HD 800 or Grado PS 1000, but I don't know if any dynamic headphones can match the Stax's clarity and detail. I just wish they had a bit more bass for my organ CDs/SACDs. My main system can produce thunderous bass, but wife and neighbors don't always share my enthusiasm! :)

Be glad about the lighter bass, that way you will not damage your ears. Stax protects your ears in a sense. I am using them for nigh almost 25 years now, never thought there was not enough bass.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 17, 2012, 02:35:35 PM
Yeah, I've considered selling them and getting a pair of either Sennheiser HD 800 or Grado PS 1000, but I don't know if any dynamic headphones can match the Stax's clarity and detail. I just wish they had a bit more bass for my organ CDs/SACDs. My main system can produce thunderous bass, but wife and neighbors don't always share my enthusiasm! :)

Well, if any headphones can match the electrostatic Staxes in terms of clarity/detail/neutrality, it would likely be the HD 800. But no point in going ahead without having first tested and compared.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kontrapunctus on January 19, 2012, 01:43:38 PM
Well, if any headphones can match the electrostatic Staxes in terms of clarity/detail/neutrality, it would likely be the HD 800. But no point in going ahead without having first tested and compared.

With demise of most high end audio salons, that would be hard to do!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 19, 2012, 02:02:56 PM
With demise of most high end audio salons, that would be hard to do!

In that case one might try to find a reputable on-line dealer that will take product back. Not that that would be much easier to find...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on January 19, 2012, 02:26:35 PM
With demise of most high end audio salons, that would be hard to do!



Where has this occurred?  The total number of shops where I live has been relatively stable.  Of course, in a mid-sized fewer crazy expensive products are available, but the stores are still around.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on February 16, 2012, 08:00:05 PM
Any suggestions for noise cancelling headphones?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 17, 2012, 08:55:10 AM
Any suggestions for noise cancelling headphones?
What kind of price range? How do you want to use them?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 08:59:47 AM
Why are you going for noise cancelling instead of noise isolating?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 17, 2012, 09:51:06 AM
I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD598s to be honest. They didn't cost an arm and a leg and don't need a lot of amplification which is perfect for my needs at the moment.

Same here. HD598 has a very nice sound field that is close to that of loudspeaker listening.

However, the impedance of HD598 varies a lot (between 50 and 250 ohms!) as a function of frequency. That's why it is VERY important the output impedance of the amplifier is as low as possible to ensure flat response. I don't own any headphone amplifier and I am using my NAD T762 amplifier (headphone socket impedance ~300 ohms) with my HD598. To make this combination work, I have soldered 10 ohm low noise resistors to my headphone extension cable between signal and ground wires. This makes the effective impedance for the headphones as low as ~9.5 ohm (and almost constant over whole frequency range) reducing the bass boost of HD598 at around 100 Hz below 1 dB (it is almost 10 dB without this modification and totally unacceptable). Because the sound level is reduced nearly 20 dB, typically higher background noise level of a home theater amplifier is reduced below hearing threshold. My amplifier is capable of producing loud enough sounds with ease so the attenuation is not an issue at all. I think the sound quality performance of this set-up is high considering that I don't need a headphone amplifier and the two 10 resistors (one per audio channel) cost much less than 1 euros.

This is how acoustic engineers save money and enjoy relatively high sound quality.  ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on February 17, 2012, 10:04:09 AM
Any suggestions for noise cancelling headphones?
Why are you going for noise cancelling instead of noise isolating?

Two different things, that... NC is good against a steady background noise (i.e. in an airplane, diffuse background noise, traffic noise, humidifiers at home et al.), NI is good against any noise but will let heavier background noises -- esp. low frequencies -- through. Most if not all NC also have a considerable NI capacity... it's not like there are open-back NC headphones out there.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 10:41:05 AM
Two different things, that... NC is good against a steady background noise (i.e. in an airplane, diffuse background noise, traffic noise, humidifiers at home et al.), NI is good against any noise but will let heavier background noises -- esp. low frequencies -- through. Most if not all NC also have a considerable NI capacity... it's not like there are open-back NC headphones out there.

Indeed. Issues are, NC is generally much more expensive and introduces a level of noise when listening that can be very annoying in situations where NC aren't absolutely necessary (i.e. on an airplane). I've used both, NC are excellent in a constant noise situation and extremely annoying in other situations. NI wins in all other situations for me though.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 10:53:52 AM
71 dB when you use red it makes it look like a mod came and edited your post! :D

Ah don't you love this forum, it's so wacky!!

Normal person: I plugin my headphones and use them, they sound great.
Gmg poster: I solder resistors to the op-amp to produce a flat frequency response.  Would you like to see some graphs of the voltage output vs frequency that I made? :D

I'm not mocking, heck I check that the volume levels are matched on my speakers with an spl meter.  It's just amusing how many here go the extra mile. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 17, 2012, 10:56:40 AM
71 dB when you use red it makes it look like a mod came and edited your post! :D

Ah don't you love this forum, it's so wacky!!

Normal person: I plugin my headphones and use them, they sound great.
Gmg poster: I solder resistors to the op-amp to produce a flat frequency response.  Would you like to see some graphs of the voltage output vs frequency that I made? :D

I'm not mocking, heck I check that the volume levels are matched on my speakers with an spl meter.  It's just amusing how many here go the extra mile. :)

I plug 'em in and turn on the player. They damn well better make a suitable sound... :)

8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on February 17, 2012, 11:10:54 AM
I'm not mocking, heck I check that the volume levels are matched on my speakers with an spl meter.  It's just amusing how many here go the extra mile.




This ain't nothin' compared to headphone sites, though.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 17, 2012, 11:42:29 AM
71 dB when you use red it makes it look like a mod came and edited your post! :D
The idea was to get people's attention because what I wrote is important. The headphone socket impedance of typical loudspeaker amplifiers is far too high for many headphones with more curvy impedance behavior. Since the amplifier manufacturers are reluctant to address this problem, self-made source impedance reduction is needed! Luckily it is relatively easy and extremely cheap to do. The trickiest part is to calculate optimal resistor values.

Gmg poster: I solder resistors to the op-amp to produce a flat frequency response.  Would you like to see some graphs of the voltage output vs frequency that I made? :D
The resistors are soldered to my 2 meters long self-made extension cable between my amplifier and my headphones. This is very safe and one can even have matched cables for different headphones!

Without the resistors the frequecy response of Sennheiser HD598 driven with 300 ohms output impedance in unlistenable because of the huge bass boost around 100 Hz were the impedance rises to ~250 ohms if I remember right.

Making this important impedance modification removes the real need of a separate headphone amplifier in my opinion because if the sound is not good enough for your headphones, it is not good enough for your loudspeakers either (it's the same damn amp!) and upgrading your amplifier is called for.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 11:47:02 AM
 Quote from: 71 dB on Today at 03:42:29 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=1482.msg602426#msg602426)
The idea was to get people's attention because what I wrote is
important
Don't trouble with the red font. We'll be the judge of what's important; we're freethinkers, after all.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 01:34:20 PM
This ain't nothin' compared to headphone sites, though.

OMG yes!! :o  Those people are crazy!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 01:36:07 PM
The idea was to get people's attention because what I wrote is important. The headphone socket impedance of typical loudspeaker amplifiers is far too high for many headphones with more curvy impedance behavior. Since the amplifier manufacturers are reluctant to address this problem, self-made source impedance reduction is needed! Luckily it is relatively easy and extremely cheap to do. The trickiest part is to calculate optimal resistor values.
The resistors are soldered to my 2 meters long self-made extension cable between my amplifier and my headphones. This is very safe and one can even have matched cables for different headphones!

Without the resistors the frequecy response of Sennheiser HD598 driven with 300 ohms output impedance in unlistenable because of the huge bass boost around 100 Hz were the impedance rises to ~250 ohms if I remember right.

Making this important impedance modification removes the real need of a separate headphone amplifier in my opinion because if the sound is not good enough for your headphones, it is not good enough for your loudspeakers either (it's the same damn amp!) and upgrading your amplifier is called for.

I just used a cheap external DAC/amp from Fiio. Works grand. No need even for this with my Macbook Pro, it has more than enough amplification in the headphone out to achieve "live" volume levels. The amp needs of speakers will be very different to that of headphones though, the latter draw far more power, so it's not unreasonable to have specialist amps here since really a headphone amp doesn't need to be expensive to do its job (i.e. increase the volume to the level you want). There's also the danger of blowing your headphones drivers if you get your maths wrong and put too much power down the line to them using the speaker out from a hifi amp. There's a reason they put a big ol' resistor in the headphone out socket after all.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 01:36:43 PM
Without the resistors the frequecy response of Sennheiser HD598 driven with 300 ohms output impedance in unlistenable because of the huge bass boost around 100 Hz were the impedance rises to ~250 ohms if I remember right.

I know, my avr has a high output impedance too, and my headphone amp has a very low impedance.  I totally followed and agree with you, I just saw the humor in the situation. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 01:40:59 PM
Normal person: I plugin my headphones and use them, they sound great.
Gmg poster: I solder resistors to the op-amp to produce a flat frequency response.  Would you like to see some graphs of the voltage output vs frequency that I made? :D

Normal person: What do you mean the stereo that came with my car isn't hifi?

Normal person: Apple earbuds sound great, sure they were designed especially for the iPod weren't they!

Etc.


I'm not mocking really. The normal person has more money in their wallet than I because of this.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on February 17, 2012, 03:23:51 PM
Normal person: What do you mean the stereo that came with my car isn't hifi?
Normal person: Apple earbuds sound great, sure they were designed especially for the iPod weren't they!
Etc.
I'm not mocking really. The normal person has more money in their wallet than I because of this.

When I am at my wife-to-be's, I sometimes just turn the music off because the speaker of that slightly-more-sightly-than-a-boom-box system is so dismal, one might as well not listen to music.

As ridiculous as the high falutin' extremes in the HiFi world, it's just as sad at what a low quality so many "normal" level people consume music.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 17, 2012, 03:26:55 PM
I just used a cheap external DAC/amp from Fiio. Works grand. No need even for this with my Macbook Pro, it has more than enough amplification in the headphone out to achieve "live" volume levels.

That's good.  ;)

The amp needs of speakers will be very different to that of headphones though, the latter draw far more power, so it's not unreasonable to have specialist amps here since really a headphone amp doesn't need to be expensive to do its job (i.e. increase the volume to the level you want). There's also the danger of blowing your headphones drivers if you get your maths wrong and put too much power down the line to them using the speaker out from a hifi amp. There's a reason they put a big ol' resistor in the headphone out socket after all.

Yes, they put big resistors (~300 ohms) in the headphone socket for protection (power reduction) but that's the damn problem! Many headphones need low output impedance for flat frequency responce. The resistors I soldered to my extension cable give extra protection because most of the power that comes out of the headphone socket goes to the resistors. Talking about math, I don't make mistakes on trivial calculations like these. I don't do things that are too difficult for me.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 17, 2012, 03:35:59 PM
As ridiculous as the high falutin' extremes in the HiFi world, it's just as sad at what a low quality so many "normal" level people consume music.

True. 95 % of people listen to abysmal sound that is so bad that the equivalent on TV picture quality would be the black and white sets from 50's. Significantly better sound is easy to achieve with todays technology but people are happy with the cheapest possible crap.  ???
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 03:39:14 PM
Yes, they put big resistors (~300 ohms) in the headphone socket for protection (power reduction) but that's the damn problem! Many headphones need low output impedance for flat frequency responce. The resistors I soldered to my extension cable give extra protection because most of the power that comes out of the headphone socket goes to the resistors. Talking about math, I don't make mistakes on trivial calculations like these. I don't do things that are too difficult for me.

I wasn't saying you'd make the mistake but others might. Especially if they're unsure of how much power the amp is putting out in the first place. The problem is if you do mess up in the wrong direction you won't know about it until a driver goes *pop*. That'd make me nervous and get me to take out an old pair of cheap headphones for testing purposes! :D

No argument about high resistance being a problem! Even the 5 Ohm out on the Fiio E10 causes problems with some headphones, never mind a resistor 60 times that resistance!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 03:40:26 PM
When I am at my wife-to-be's, I sometimes just turn the music off because the speaker of that slightly-more-sightly-than-a-boom-box system is so dismal, one might as well not listen to music.

As ridiculous as the high falutin' extremes in the HiFi world, it's just as sad at what a low quality so many "normal" level people consume music.

Agreed on both counts. I had a wonderful experience watching my wife listen to decent headphones for the first time in her life. Her face just lit up.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 03:57:33 PM
When I am at my wife-to-be's, I sometimes just turn the music off because the speaker of that slightly-more-sightly-than-a-boom-box system is so dismal, one might as well not listen to music.

As ridiculous as the high falutin' extremes in the HiFi world, it's just as sad at what a low quality so many "normal" level people consume music.

Sounds like an ipod dock!  Talk about overpriced crap.  I feel so bad I ever bought one. :-[
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 04:13:52 PM
Sounds like an ipod dock!  Talk about overpriced crap.  I feel so bad I ever bought one. :-[

What one did you buy? Out of curiosity.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 04:27:01 PM
What one did you buy? Out of curiosity.

It was an Altec Lansing.  I like the pc speakers I have of them but the dock lacks in bass, it is essentially mono and then it broke without much use.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 04:47:19 PM
It was an Altec Lansing.  I like the pc speakers I have of them but the dock lacks in bass, it is essentially mono and then it broke without much use.

I was considering a Pure Digital one that had decent enough reviews. In case I ever had to go back for a long hospital stay, it can't be much worse than laptop speakers!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 05:47:34 PM
I was considering a Pure Digital one that had decent enough reviews. In case I ever had to go back for a long hospital stay, it can't be much worse than laptop speakers!

Yes they are better than laptop speakers! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2012, 05:58:38 PM
Surround headphones:
(http://cdn.head-fi.org/a/ac/1000x500px-LL-ac794043_1000x500px-LL-a1d5e42f_sennheiser_surrounder.jpg)

(http://www.head-fi.org/image/id/25509/width/525/height/525/flags/LL)

(http://cdn.head-fi.org/c/cc/1000x500px-LL-ccd31121_headphonesf.jpg)

Are those last ones even for real?  I don't know but it sure makes for a funny pic! ;D

PC/iTunes delivering surround sound???
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 17, 2012, 06:00:31 PM
PC/iTunes delivering surround sound???

Actually many sound cards have 5.1 channel output and that's old news. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2012, 06:03:50 PM
Actually many sound cards have 5.1 channel output and that's old news. :)

But how do you exactly simulate a 5.1 experience via a two-channel headset?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 17, 2012, 06:17:37 PM
But how do you exactly simulate a 5.1 experience via a two-channel headset?

Dolby Headphone or Creative EAX processing by the soundcard (software processing really if I recall correctly). It sounds just wrong when it comes to music. Can work ok with games though for some people, I prefer stereo gaming myself.

Edit: This is the technology they use to do it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function

Works well for some people (my wife), not so well for others (me).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on February 17, 2012, 07:55:49 PM
What kind of price range? How do you want to use them?

The intention is for airline travel, so it doesn't need to be absolute premium quality. I don't know what the typical price range, but high performance at a reasonable price would be good (if that's not too general).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2012, 09:05:32 PM
Dolby Headphone or Creative EAX processing by the soundcard (software processing really if I recall correctly). It sounds just wrong when it comes to music. Can work ok with games though for some people, I prefer stereo gaming myself.

Edit: This is the technology they use to do it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function

Works well for some people (my wife), not so well for others (me).

Exactly what I meant.  While you may have a 5.1 setup on your desktop to be complemented by five speakers plus a sub to come up with 6 distinct sound sources, I just do not see how this can be accomplished by some headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 18, 2012, 02:48:32 AM
Exactly what I meant.  While you may have a 5.1 setup on your desktop to be complemented by five speakers plus a sub to come up with 6 distinct sound sources, I just do not see how this can be accomplished by some headphones.

It uses a perceptual trick used by the brain to figure out where sound is coming from to recreate 7.1. The issue is some of us tell where sound is from by moving our heads and this renders this technique useless. If you aren't one of these people then it can work ok. The problem with music especially is that it can really screw with the sound if the source is stereo (which it will be on a PC as I'm unaware of any SACD player for PC). It can work okish for movies and games that are designed to be 7.1 by default.

It's no replacement for true 7.1 or a soundbar though. It mostly comes from few people being willing to spend money on a decent 7.1 set up for their TV, never mind their PC!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 18, 2012, 03:04:19 AM
The intention is for airline travel, so it doesn't need to be absolute premium quality. I don't know what the typical price range, but high performance at a reasonable price would be good (if that's not too general).

Define reasonable. Sennheiser's (entry level) higher end NC stuff has a reputation for good sound quality but you'll pay $250+ for them. Audio Technic's lower end stuff don't sound as good but can be had for $125. Bose, the sound quality isn't the best but the NC is superb but are bloody expensive (approaching $300+ for the entry level stuff that sounds good). I'm not recommending any of these over the others, just giving you an idea of prices.

Some people then argue for and prefer IEMs to NC headphones for isolation on planes which have their advantages over NC headphones but some people can't stand having things in their ears for a long flight.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 18, 2012, 08:03:49 AM
Define reasonable. Sennheiser's (entry level) higher end NC stuff has a reputation for good sound quality but you'll pay $250+ for them. Audio Technic's lower end stuff don't sound as good but can be had for $125. Bose, the sound quality isn't the best but the NC is superb but are bloody expensive (approaching $300+ for the entry level stuff that sounds good). I'm not recommending any of these over the others, just giving you an idea of prices.

Some people then argue for and prefer IEMs to NC headphones for isolation on planes which have their advantages over NC headphones but some people can't stand having things in their ears for a long flight.
A concise summary. Thumbs up!

Bose are not what I usually recommend for headphones, but for noise cancelling they seem to work well (thinking of the QC15, but as nesf said, they'll run you $300 or so). IEM's may be a good alternative for you.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 08:06:53 AM
It's no replacement for true 7.1 or a soundbar though. It mostly comes from few people being willing to spend money on a decent 7.1 set up for their TV, never mind their PC!

I would take headphones over a soundbar.  Reflections are a dim reflection ;D to true multichannel.  And headphones can provide pretty precise 3d imaging, which is why gamers use them alot.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 18, 2012, 10:57:57 AM
I would take headphones over a soundbar.  Reflections are a dim reflection ;D to true multichannel.  And headphones can provide pretty precise 3d imaging, which is why gamers use them alot.

Have you heard what music sounds like through Dolby Headphone? :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 18, 2012, 12:42:58 PM
I wasn't saying you'd make the mistake but others might.

Sure but this isn't rocket science or even that dangerous because of the protecting 300 ohms resistors inside the amplifier. Even if you short circuit the headphone output socket, nothing happens. If there was any danger, I wouldn't be writing this on a discussion board.

Especially if they're unsure of how much power the amp is putting out in the first place. The problem is if you do mess up in the wrong direction you won't know about it until a driver goes *pop*. That'd make me nervous and get me to take out an old pair of cheap headphones for testing purposes! :D

The way to work safely is to turn volume down and increase the volume slowly when testing. In general, headphones can take much more power than our ears so as long as the sound pressure level is decent there shouldn't be problems.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 01:20:55 PM
Have you heard what music sounds like through Dolby Headphone? :D

I don't have any music in multichannel.  Even through speakers I just use pure stereo.  I don't think that music benefits from surround sound.  But movies and games do.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 01:42:24 PM
The intention is for airline travel, so it doesn't need to be absolute premium quality. I don't know what the typical price range, but high performance at a reasonable price would be good (if that's not too general).

btw for what it's worth this are the two recommended portable noise-canceling phones from consumer reports:

Expensive:



Bargain:

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on February 18, 2012, 02:01:38 PM
I saw these at Amazon from Sennheiser...

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 18, 2012, 02:10:20 PM
I saw these at Amazon from Sennheiser...


You may find this site useful: http://www.headphone.com/selection-guide/type/noise-cancelling-headphones.php (http://www.headphone.com/selection-guide/type/noise-cancelling-headphones.php). You can also read some pretty good user reviews there (as well as see all the specs). If you haven't been there head-fi (forum) is also a good resource. Ideally, you would be able to test before you buy, but that is hard to do in many places these days.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 18, 2012, 02:42:24 PM
It uses a perceptual trick used by the brain to figure out where sound is coming from to recreate 7.1. The issue is some of us tell where sound is from by moving our heads and this renders this technique useless. If you aren't one of these people then it can work ok. The problem with music especially is that it can really screw with the sound if the source is stereo (which it will be on a PC as I'm unaware of any SACD player for PC). It can work okish for movies and games that are designed to be 7.1 by default.

It's no replacement for true 7.1 or a soundbar though. It mostly comes from few people being willing to spend money on a decent 7.1 set up for their TV, never mind their PC!

I believe the unavailability of non-SACD playback on PC is by design, as Sony and Philips. the co-inventors of SACD wanted to keep the priates at bay.  While the pirates have figured out how to duplicate redbook CD's, they have not figured out how to duplicate SACD's. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 18, 2012, 02:47:38 PM
Define reasonable. Sennheiser's (entry level) higher end NC stuff has a reputation for good sound quality but you'll pay $250+ for them. Audio Technic's lower end stuff don't sound as good but can be had for $125. Bose, the sound quality isn't the best but the NC is superb but are bloody expensive (approaching $300+ for the entry level stuff that sounds good). I'm not recommending any of these over the others, just giving you an idea of prices.

Some people then argue for and prefer IEMs to NC headphones for isolation on planes which have their advantages over NC headphones but some people can't stand having things in their ears for a long flight.

I bought these Audio-Technica ATHANC7 Noise-cancelling Headphones 2 or 3 years ago and they are great headphones at very reasonable price ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VdvUEPi%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 18, 2012, 03:07:43 PM
I believe the unavailability of non-SACD playback on PC is by design, as Sony and Philips. the co-inventors of SACD wanted to keep the priates at bay.  While the pirates have figured out how to duplicate redbook CD's, they have not figured out how to duplicate SACD's.

They can (I believe), you just need an (expensive) SACD player that's hacked so it outputs the stream at a point where it is not encrypted. These are very much grey market items at best. But since SACD burners don't exist for PCs it's not a huge factor in piracy to the best of my knowledge. Rips do exist though I think, I've never seen one though.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 18, 2012, 03:08:54 PM
I bought these Audio-Technica ATHANC7 Noise-cancelling Headphones 2 or 3 years ago and they are great headphones at very reasonable price ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VdvUEPi%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Exactly the ones I was thinking of for Audio Technica. I've read some good reviews, some mixed ones but for the price it'd be hard to complain in my opinion so long as they sounded anyway decent.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 03:19:07 PM
I believe the unavailability of non-SACD playback on PC is by design, as Sony and Philips. the co-inventors of SACD wanted to keep the priates at bay.  While the pirates have figured out how to duplicate redbook CD's, they have not figured out how to duplicate SACD's.

I think that is probably the entire purpose of sacd.  Ditto blu-ray.  And while they offer better quality, the intention behind the formats is trying to kill piracy by making it either hard to do or just not worth it due to file size.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 03:26:40 PM
I bought these Audio-Technica ATHANC7 Noise-cancelling Headphones 2 or 3 years ago and they are great headphones at very reasonable price ...

The new model that's much easier to find is the 27, maybe the only good name brand full sized ones.  A bit awkward for the airplane because you're only allowed one personal item, not counting iems which can be stuffed in a pocket... but full sized headphones just sacrificed your book (which is why I think that headphones are a poor choice for traveling).

Anyway here is the link for the new model:



Edit: spelling error
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 18, 2012, 07:33:42 PM
Exactly the ones I was thinking of for Audio Technica. I've read some good reviews, some mixed ones but for the price it'd be hard to complain in my opinion so long as they sounded anyway decent.

BTW, Audio Technica has been in the headphones business for many years before Bose finally jumped in a few years ago ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 18, 2012, 07:52:15 PM
BTW, Audio Technica has been in the headphones business for many years before Bose finally jumped in a few years ago ...

And I consider Audio Technica to be a much better brand.  Bose is over hyped.  Audio Technica is like the Japanese Beyerdynamic or Sennheiser.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2012, 09:24:39 PM
Since most of my listening to done on headphones and I'm in need of a better pair (only own Sennheiser PX-100), I will be purchasing these with some of my birthday money:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/product_images/b8d5189d2453aeb7/ath_m50_1.jpg)

These headphones received 371 positive reviews out of 444 total on Amazon. I know many of these reviews are from audiophiles like myself.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 19, 2012, 12:52:06 AM
Since most of my listening to done on headphones and I'm in need of a better pair (only own Sennheiser PX-100), I will be purchasing these with some of my birthday money:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/product_images/b8d5189d2453aeb7/ath_m50_1.jpg)

These headphones received 371 positive reviews out of 444 total on Amazon. I know many of these reviews are from audiophiles like myself.


Headroom think the ATH-M50 is the best mid-range price product out there.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 19, 2012, 04:40:58 AM
Since most of my listening to done on headphones and I'm in need of a better pair (only own Sennheiser PX-100), I will be purchasing these with some of my birthday money:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/product_images/b8d5189d2453aeb7/ath_m50_1.jpg)

These headphones received 371 positive reviews out of 444 total on Amazon. I know many of these reviews are from audiophiles like myself.

Exceptionally good value for money according to the people I know who have them.

My only problem with them is the exaggerated bass response:

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2851&graphID[]=2941)

They're not the most neutral of headphones. But this may not bother you. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 19, 2012, 04:59:36 AM
And I consider Audio Technica to be a much better brand.  Bose is over hyped.  Audio Technica is like the Japanese Beyerdynamic or Sennheiser.

Seconded.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 06:30:44 AM
Since most of my listening to done on headphones and I'm in need of a better pair (only own Sennheiser PX-100), I will be purchasing these with some of my birthday money:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/product_images/b8d5189d2453aeb7/ath_m50_1.jpg)

These headphones received 371 positive reviews out of 444 total on Amazon. I know many of these reviews are from audiophiles like myself.

Head-fi's flavor of the year (many posters love those headphones).  Good choice (though I still prefer open headphones). :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 06:31:59 AM
They're not the most neutral of headphones. But this may not bother you. :)

Loudness curve headphones! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 19, 2012, 06:57:50 AM
Loudness curve headphones! ;D

Eh, they're not perfect representations of sound by any means but they can give you some idea what to expect when you compare two headphones.  :P
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 07:11:26 AM
Eh, they're not perfect representations of sound by any means but they can give you some idea what to expect when you compare two headphones.  :P

No I mean those ath headphones follow the loudness curve-- they recess the mids and increase the bass and treble (what we most have trouble hearing) so that they sound louder, fuller and more energetic.  It's not neutral but sounds fun. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 19, 2012, 07:15:13 AM
No I mean those ath headphones follow the loudness curve-- they recess the mids and increase the bass and treble (what we most have trouble hearing) so that they sound louder, fuller and more energetic.  It's not neutral but sounds fun. :)

Ah, yeah, definitely agree there. Fun definitely, though personally I prefer something more neutral for classical. YMMV etc. :) 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 07:24:43 AM
Ah, yeah, definitely agree there. Fun definitely, though personally I prefer something more neutral for classical. YMMV etc. :)

Yup I agree, but for rock or pop-- ROCK OUT!! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 07:35:59 AM
Since there's so many headphones on the market, which ones do you guys prefer for classical and/or jazz?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Willoughby earl of Itacarius on February 19, 2012, 07:39:35 AM
Since there's so many headphones on the market, which ones do you guys prefer for classical and/or jazz?

Stax electro statics is a perfect choice for classical music, a worthwhile investment for your ears.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 19, 2012, 07:43:30 AM
Since there's so many headphones on the market, which ones do you guys prefer for classical and/or jazz?
It's all a price/return question. If you have the money the highend HD800's sound fantastic. But most of us either cannot or don't want to spend that (plus the amp outlay). I bought the Senn HD580 in the year they stopped making it for a great price and have loved that, but getting good value doesn't hurt. I also listen to the Beyer DT880, but don't like them as much as the Senns, though they are amazingly comfortable on the ears (and I wear glasses, so not always so easy to find). For work, I have the PX-100, which always amaze me with their sound for what they are. They have taken a bit of a beating too, and they keep on going. But there are so many choices and each produce a different sound. Remarkable really.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 07:52:48 AM
Since there's so many headphones on the market, which ones do you guys prefer for classical and/or jazz?

Sennheiser 598.  It is fairly neutral, wide and deep soundstage and works well with just about everything. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 07:53:33 AM
Head-fi's flavor of the year (many posters love those headphones).  Good choice (though I still prefer open headphones). :)

Why do you prefer open-ear headphones, Dave? Just curious...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 07:58:13 AM
Stax electro statics is a perfect choice for classical music, a worthwhile investment for your ears.

Those are totally out of my budget, Harry. I'm not going to pay $600 for a pair of headphones. Maybe if I was a millionaire...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Willoughby earl of Itacarius on February 19, 2012, 08:01:35 AM
Those are totally out of my budget, Harry. I'm not going to pay $600 for a pair of headphones. Maybe if I was a millionaire...

I ordered the Grado PS 1000, the sound is amazing, but big bucks, about 2000 dollars
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 08:01:59 AM
Exceptionally good value for money according to the people I know who have them.

My only problem with them is the exaggerated bass response:

(http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2851&graphID[]=2941)

They're not the most neutral of headphones. But this may not bother you. :)

I will be listening through a Cmoy headphone amplifier and an Ipod Classic with the treble booster equalizer, so the bass won't be too much of a concern I wouldn't think.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 08:02:45 AM
Why do you prefer open-ear headphones, Dave? Just curious...

It's the soundstage thing... open headphones sound spacious, not nearly as good as speakers but they are certainly designed to imitate the sound of speakers.  Closed headphones are for isolation and sound more intimate.  Since you live in a big city maybe you can find an audio equipment shop and listen and decide what type you like.  It's kind of like lcd vs plasma... you have to actually see them to see which type you prefer. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 08:03:10 AM
I ordered the Grado PS 1000, the sound is amazing, but big bucks, about 2000 dollars

Yeah, I've read about these. Again, just too much money for a pair of headphones for me.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 19, 2012, 08:05:20 AM
Sennheiser 598.  It is fairly neutral, wide and deep soundstage and works well with just about everything. :)

Seconded, have them and love them. Not that much more expensive than the M50s either.

Yup I agree, but for rock or pop-- ROCK OUT!! ;D

Exactly my thinking. :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on February 19, 2012, 09:37:41 AM
Seems like there's a consensus of sorts on the ATH-M50. It is better rated than the more expensive Sennheiser and Bose on Amazon.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 12:22:41 PM
Seems like there's a consensus of sorts on the ATH-M50. It is better rated than the more expensive Sennheiser and Bose on Amazon.

The M50s aren't noise cancelling btw, we're talking about headphones for MI now.  Did you decide on what you want to order?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2012, 12:23:55 PM
Seconded, have them and love them. Not that much more expensive than the M50s either.

The M50s used to be a $100 but that time is gone and past.  It must be about to go oop to be so expensive.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 19, 2012, 03:28:51 PM
And I consider Audio Technica to be a much better brand.  Bose is over hyped.  Audio Technica is like the Japanese Beyerdynamic or Sennheiser.

Agree.  On the other hand, Denon makes some pretty good headphones as well.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 19, 2012, 03:32:10 PM
Since most of my listening to done on headphones and I'm in need of a better pair (only own Sennheiser PX-100), I will be purchasing these with some of my birthday money:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/product_images/b8d5189d2453aeb7/ath_m50_1.jpg)

These headphones received 371 positive reviews out of 444 total on Amazon. I know many of these reviews are from audiophiles like myself.

These should be good headphones.  If I do not already have the Sennheiser HD600, AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, I would have gone for this Audio Technica set ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 19, 2012, 03:40:29 PM
Yeah, I've read about these. Again, just too much money for a pair of headphones for me.

I personally will not spend more than $800 on a pair of headphones since I do not use headphones enough to justify the expense.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: eyeresist on February 19, 2012, 05:38:55 PM
No I mean those ath headphones follow the loudness curve-- they recess the mids and increase the bass and treble (what we most have trouble hearing) so that they sound louder, fuller and more energetic.  It's not neutral but sounds fun. :)

... Not necessarily what you want from "professional studio monitor" phones, i.e. if you are using them in a professional sound studio situation.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 09:46:12 PM
After doing a lot of research tonight and knowing the Sennheiser brand and being overall impressed with what I've heard, I will be buying Dave's preferred choice of headphones: the Sennheiser HD 598:

(http://shop.cyes.nl/images/product_images/popup_images/sennheiser-hd-598-1-305.jpg)

I will purchase these headphones either with a: birthday money or b: tax return. One or the other.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 20, 2012, 04:12:59 AM
I've only two warnings about them MI: The cord is 3 meters (9 and a bit feet) long making them impractical for mobile use and they don't provide much isolation so you'll hear what's going on in the environment around you (all open headphones are like this). You mentioned using an iPod so I'm worried that you were planning on using them out and about which these are really not well suited for.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 05:25:13 AM
I've only two warnings about them MI: The cord is 3 meters (9 and a bit feet) long making them impractical for mobile use and they don't provide much isolation so you'll hear what's going on in the environment around you (all open headphones are like this). You mentioned using an iPod so I'm worried that you were planning on using them out and about which these are really not well suited for.

They're also the fact that he would look like a dork traveling or exercising with those on! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 06:45:37 AM
I've only two warnings about them MI: The cord is 3 meters (9 and a bit feet) long making them impractical for mobile use and they don't provide much isolation so you'll hear what's going on in the environment around you (all open headphones are like this). You mentioned using an iPod so I'm worried that you were planning on using them out and about which these are really not well suited for.

I'll be using them for home listening, so no problems with outside noise. The pair of Sennheisers I own now, the PX-100s, are open-ear. The problem I have with closed-ear headphones, besides sound pressure, is mainly of the ones I've heard don't have a wide soundstage even after burn-in. Since I mostly listen to classical music, I've read that these 598 have a great, natural sound for this music.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 20, 2012, 06:58:08 AM
I'll be using them for home listening, so no problems with outside noise. The pair of Sennheisers I own now, the PX-100s, are open-ear. The problem I have with closed-ear headphones, besides sound pressure, is mainly of the ones I've heard don't have a wide soundstage even after burn-in. Since I mostly listen to classical music, I've read that these 598 have a great, natural sound for this music.

Yup, out of the box they sound wonderful for classical and choral and it only improves as your ears adjust to them. No need for equalisation or any of that. One thing, with an iPod they need amplification (a cheap Fiio E5/E6 does fine) to get to "live" volumes. At least to my ears anyway, though I suspect I'm slightly hard of hearing because most people find my comfortable listening volumes far too loud for them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 07:06:37 AM
I'll be using them for home listening, so no problems with outside noise. The pair of Sennheisers I own now, the PX-100s, are open-ear. The problem I have with closed-ear headphones, besides sound pressure, is mainly of the ones I've heard don't have a wide soundstage even after burn-in. Since I mostly listen to classical music, I've read that these 598 have a great, natural sound for this music.

The 598s are brighter than the px100s.  You might not have to use your equalizer anymore.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 07:45:14 AM
Yup, out of the box they sound wonderful for classical and choral and it only improves as your ears adjust to them. No need for equalisation or any of that. One thing, with an iPod they need amplification (a cheap Fiio E5/E6 does fine) to get to "live" volumes. At least to my ears anyway, though I suspect I'm slightly hard of hearing because most people find my comfortable listening volumes far too loud for them.

Yes, I use a homemade Cmoy headphone amplifier for my iPod listening.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 20, 2012, 07:45:57 AM
I've read that these 598 have a great, natural sound for this music.

They have! My HD598 replaced my good old HD580 phones and after HD598, HD580's sound image seems almost primitive and non-existing. With HD580 the sound comes from left and right while HD598 renders loudspeaker-like sound so that centered sounds come ahead (rather than inside head). In some areas other headphones might be better than HD598 but these phones are good enough in everything to an extent that one just listens to the sound without even wanting to find faults. The sound simply works! I haven't found any weaknesses on HD598 and I listen to all kind of music from techno to classical.  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 07:47:03 AM
The 598s are brighter than the px100s.  You might not have to use your equalizer anymore.

This is good to hear, but I've read these headphones have good bass response too.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on February 20, 2012, 09:26:05 AM
They're also the fact that he would look like a dork traveling or exercising with those on! :D
Dorkines isn't an issue for most people visiting this site.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 10:13:53 AM
Dorkines isn't an issue for most people visiting this site.

I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 08:52:20 PM
They have! My HD598 replaced my good old HD580 phones and after HD598, HD580's sound image seems almost primitive and non-existing. With HD580 the sound comes from left and right while HD598 renders loudspeaker-like sound so that centered sounds come ahead (rather than inside head). In some areas other headphones might be better than HD598 but these phones are good enough in everything to an extent that one just listens to the sound without even wanting to find faults. The sound simply works! I haven't found any weaknesses on HD598 and I listen to all kind of music from techno to classical.  :)

I'm glad you enjoy them, 71 dB. 8)

I would say 99.9% of my listening is classical music. It is my favorite musical form and I read that many people, who enjoy classical music, find these to be the best headphones for the money. Besides having a great sound, I read that they are really comfortable.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 08:58:22 PM
Dorkines isn't an issue for most people visiting this site.

You got that right! Ha! I'm a big dork and I'm not ashamed to admit it either. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 09:17:16 PM
Another thing I admire about the Sennheiser HD 598s is the fact that the sound pressure level is 112 dB. This is very important to me, because I just don't want to be pounded in the head over and over again. :D

My Dad, who is an audio expert, is couching me on headphones 101 and said for the money the Sennheiser HD 598s seem like the best deal in their price range. I have to thank my Dad anyway for turning me onto Sennheiser headphones almost 12 years ago.

Just to give you guys some idea of my Dad's credentials, he ran one of the most successful audio/video production companies in the entire Southeast United States for 25 years. Everything he learned was from textbooks and years and years of research. How he learned all of this stuff is beyond me and all by himself. The older I get, the more I'm amazed at how much he knows about, not only about electronics, but how businesses work in general. My Dad retired at the right though, because this was before the big HD boom, which drove many video production companies out-of-business.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 09:31:42 PM
Another thing I admire about the Sennheiser HD 598s is the fact that the sound pressure level is 112 dB. This is very important to me, because I just don't want to be pounded in the head over and over again. :D

Yeah that sensitivity is high enough to be usable with portable devices, but not so high that it will pick up on the noise floor of the device.

Quote
My Dad retired at the right though, because this was before the big HD boom, which drove many video production companies out-of-business.

Do you know why?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 09:33:16 PM
Do you know why?

Do I know why my Dad retired or why the HD boom drove many production companies out-of-business or yes to both questions? :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 09:36:19 PM
Do I know why my Dad retired or why the HD boom drove many production companies out-of-business or yes to both questions? :D

the latter.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 09:53:47 PM
the latter.

My Dad retired because, while he did run his own business for many years, he just got to point of being burnt out, couldn't really compete any more, but he was able to, financially speaking, retire early. He's been retired for 13-14 years now. About many companies going out-of-business, well it costs A LOT of $$$ to upgrade all of your equipment to HD standards, especially when all US video cameras were NTSC up until that point in time. Also, many companies who relied on the services of a video production company, have found ways to bypass this by hiring someone through their own company who is knowledgeable about the many facets of audio productions, in other words, companies don't have to hire a "professional" and sign a contract, they can use one of their own employees because the video editing isn't as complex as it used to be and there are so many software editing programs that somebody who is just a little tech savvy can run them. Did any of that make any sense? Anyway, so back to my main point, there aren't really any video production companies left in the Southeast, but my Dad does know a man who is still running his company in Atlanta, but his production company had always done well plus they had the money to upgrade their equipment which my Dad simply did not, plus he found it to be a bad business decision anyway because, I imagine, he couldn't forsee himself doing it another 25 years. He, like I said, was simply burned out and couldn't compete any longer.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 20, 2012, 10:00:08 PM
That makes sense.  Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 10:03:11 PM
That makes sense.  Thanks. :)

You're welcome, Dave! :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on February 20, 2012, 11:42:00 PM
Dorkines isn't an issue for most people visiting this site.

You mean Dittersdorfines?  ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 21, 2012, 05:12:14 AM
My Dad retired because, while he did run his own business for many years, he just got to point of being burnt out, couldn't really compete any more, but he was able to, financially speaking, retire early. He's been retired for 13-14 years now. About many companies going out-of-business, well it costs A LOT of $$$ to upgrade all of your equipment to HD standards, especially when all US video cameras were NTSC up until that point in time. Also, many companies who relied on the services of a video production company, have found ways to bypass this by hiring someone through their own company who is knowledgeable about the many facets of audio productions, in other words, companies don't have to hire a "professional" and sign a contract, they can use one of their own employees because the video editing isn't as complex as it used to be and there are so many software editing programs that somebody who is just a little tech savvy can run them. Did any of that make any sense? Anyway, so back to my main point, there aren't really any video production companies left in the Southeast, but my Dad does know a man who is still running his company in Atlanta, but his production company had always done well plus they had the money to upgrade their equipment which my Dad simply did not, plus he found it to be a bad business decision anyway because, I imagine, he couldn't forsee himself doing it another 25 years. He, like I said, was simply burned out and couldn't compete any longer.

Interesting, thanks!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2012, 07:17:57 AM
Interesting, thanks!

You're welcome, nesf! :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2012, 08:41:28 PM
Turns out my parents are getting me a brand new headphone amplifier (I don't know which one) and a pair of these Samson SR850 Professional studio reference headphones, which my Dad owns a pair of and I was really impressed with the quality of the sound.

(http://www.yugster.com/uploads/image/image/6261/samson_sr850_headphones_2.jpg)

Here's the specs on them:

SR850 Professional studio reference headphones-

-Semi-open design for enhanced ambient listening environment
-50mm drivers for exceptional reproduction and wide dynamic range
-Frequency Response: 10Hz – 30kHz
-32ohm impedance
-Self-adjusting headband
-1/8-inch to 1/4-inch gold plated adapter included

After hearing these, I was amazed by the clarity of the soundstage, the richness of the highs, mids, and lows, and just the overall feel of them (they are quite light). The Sennheiser HD 598s still seem like great headphones, but I just couldn't justify paying that price for them and after reading the many negative reviews about the Audio-Technica headphones I was looking at, I just couldn't bring myself to buy those either. With my tax return, I'll probably just buy more music, because 7,000 classical recordings just isn't enough for me. ;) :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 23, 2012, 08:51:39 PM
Some subjective reviews: http://www.head-fi.org/products/sr850-professional-studio-reference-headphones/reviews

I've never listened to a pair of Samson headphones so I don't know the house sound so I couldn't tell you if they are a good match for classical. However, free headphones are always nice headphones! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2012, 09:28:04 PM
Some subjective reviews: http://www.head-fi.org/products/sr850-professional-studio-reference-headphones/reviews

I've never listened to a pair of Samson headphones so I don't know the house sound so I couldn't tell you if they are a good match for classical. However, free headphones are always nice headphones! ;D

As I said, I heard them and they have great frequency response. I listened to Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 5 straight into my iPod Classic with the treble booster EQ on, because I don't like heavy bass and I was really impressed with the clarity and seperation of all the instruments. Plus, there was still plenty of bottom end to give it a nice, rounded tone. I haven't listened to them through my headphone amplifer but I can imagine that they would sound even better.

I'm still not going to forget about the Sennheiser HD 598s, but I'll only buy them when they're $100 cheaper. This said, I'll just wait on those because I'm still anxious to hear them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 24, 2012, 04:55:39 AM
Those Samsons look like rip offs of akg headphones, perhaps the 271?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 24, 2012, 08:08:46 AM
Those Samsons look like rip offs of akg headphones, perhaps the 271?

Doesn't matter if they're rip-offs, what does matter is the sound and these sounded fantastic!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 24, 2012, 10:53:26 AM
Here's the headphone amplifier my parents bought me for my birthday: an Audio-Technica AT-HA20

(http://www.headphone-amp.jp/i/at-ha20-large.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 25, 2012, 05:17:01 PM
Here's the headphone amplifier my parents bought me for my birthday: an Audio-Technica AT-HA20

(http://www.headphone-amp.jp/i/at-ha20-large.jpg)

This is definitely a very feature-rich headphone amp.  Most headphone amps do not have the power button if I am not mistaken.  Besides, Audio-Technica has been making headphones for decades ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 25, 2012, 07:14:14 PM
Doesn't matter if they're rip-offs, what does matter is the sound and these sounded fantastic!

Sorry didn't mean to rip on them, I was just surprised at the uncanny resemble to akg monitors.  I'm glad that you found some good, neutral and comfy headphones! :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 25, 2012, 08:37:32 PM
Sorry didn't mean to rip on them, I was just surprised at the uncanny resemble to akg monitors.  I'm glad that you found some good, neutral and comfy headphones! :)

No problem, thanks Dave. :D Yeah, I see now what you mean by these Samsons looking very similar to the AKGs.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on February 25, 2012, 08:38:57 PM
This is definitely a very feature-rich headphone amp.  Most headphone amps do not have the power button if I am not mistaken.  Besides, Audio-Technica has been making headphones for decades ...

Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing it. I have seen several headphone amplifiers with a power button. I have also seem many with a switch as well. I'm glad this one has the button.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: fridden on February 27, 2012, 09:48:16 AM
After doing a lot of research tonight and knowing the Sennheiser brand and being overall impressed with what I've heard, I will be buying Dave's preferred choice of headphones: the Sennheiser HD 598:

(http://shop.cyes.nl/images/product_images/popup_images/sennheiser-hd-598-1-305.jpg)


After reading about the HD 598 in this thread and good reviews elsewhere on the net I ordered a pair together with a NuForce uDac 2. They arrived today and first impression is wow! :D  Very clear big sound with good bass and nice detail in all frequencies. My previous headphones was purchased a long time ago and have served me well, but this is really something else!

/fridden
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on February 27, 2012, 05:07:33 PM
After reading about the HD 598 in this thread and good reviews elsewhere on the net I ordered a pair together with a NuForce uDac 2. They arrived today and first impression is wow! :D  Very clear big sound with good bass and nice detail in all frequencies. My previous headphones was purchased a long time ago and have served me well, but this is really something else!

/fridden

They are rather nice. :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2012, 05:19:01 PM
Well, I've used some wireless headphones from Sennheiser for a number of years, inexpensive and running off the 900 MHz RF band - terrible but tolerable - now that I'm retired and wife (i.e. Susan, a.k.a. Harpo here) dislikes constant music, I needed a BETTER option!

So did some searching & reviewing - decided to splurge for $200 and just received the headphones below; also Sennheiser but using the 2.4 GHz band w/ Kleer Technology (http://www.smsc.com/index.php?tid=290) - ordered from Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_143RS160/Sennheiser-RS-160.html?search=Sennheiser+VENDORID143&searchdisplay=Sennheiser) just north of me in Virginia (free shipping, 2 days, and extra warranty coverage) - arrived today and used all afternoon - absolutely superb sound and NONE of the RF frequency w/ my older & cheaper phones (which will be donated to Goodwill) - I guess that one needs to just spend more $$ to obtain this 'interference free' experience - Susan will be pleased -  ;) ;D

(http://www.crutchfield.com.edgesuite.net/pix.crutchfield.com/ImageHandler/fixedscale/400/300/products/2010/6/143/x143RS160-f.jpeg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: nesf on March 20, 2012, 06:21:13 PM
Well, I've used some wireless headphones from Sennheiser for a number of years, inexpensive and running off the 900 MHz RF band - terrible but tolerable - now that I'm retired and wife (i.e. Susan, a.k.a. Harpo here) dislikes constant music, I needed a BETTER option!

So did some searching & reviewing - decided to splurge for $200 and just received the headphones below; also Sennheiser but using the 2.4 GHz band w/ Kleer Technology (http://www.smsc.com/index.php?tid=290) - ordered from Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_143RS160/Sennheiser-RS-160.html?search=Sennheiser+VENDORID143&searchdisplay=Sennheiser) just north of me in Virginia (free shipping, 2 days, and extra warranty coverage) - arrived today and used all afternoon - absolutely superb sound and NONE of the RF frequency w/ my older & cheaper phones (which will be donated to Goodwill) - I guess that one needs to just spend more $$ to obtain this 'interference free' experience - Susan will be pleased -  ;) ;D

(http://www.crutchfield.com.edgesuite.net/pix.crutchfield.com/ImageHandler/fixedscale/400/300/products/2010/6/143/x143RS160-f.jpeg)

I've been tempted by a pair of these but as you say it's a luxury and a cost thing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: classicalgeek on April 03, 2012, 04:26:33 PM
I'm in the market for a new set of headphones after my Sennheiser HD485s (purchased ca. 2008) gave out last week.

Here are the basic criteria:
1) Price under US $75 (preferably less)
2) Should work with an iPod without needing an amplifier
3) Should be closed (I use them almost exclusively at work, in a semi-open cubicle setting.  I once had a co-worker two cubes away say he could hear the end of the Saint-Saëns 'Organ' Symphony ;D)

After some initial research, the Beyerdynamic DT235s look good:
http://www.headphone.com/headphones/beyerdynamic-dt-235-black.php (http://www.headphone.com/headphones/beyerdynamic-dt-235-black.php)

Does anyone have experience with these, or have any other recommendations?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 03, 2012, 04:45:08 PM
I would worry that they won't isolate well enough.  They're not full sized to really give you that seal, but instead look supra-aural, as in lie on your ears.  Those type of headphones leak even if designed to be closed.  I would go full sized or go with in ear.

I have had closed Beyerdynamics in the past (but not that model, I had the dt660) and it sounded bright, the polar opposite of Sennheiser, but works well for classical.  Most of their lineup works well with ipods.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: suzyq on April 14, 2012, 03:29:02 AM
I have a portable coby cd player, the headphones that came with it are not the greatest.

The ones I've looked at that are good for listening to classical music are far too expensive.  Are there any
headphones ($10-20) that will work without breaking the bank.   I'm not a fan of earbuds.

Thanks for any suggestions. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 14, 2012, 04:15:14 AM
I have a portable coby cd player, the headphones that came with it are not the greatest.

The ones I've looked at that are good for listening to classical music are far too expensive.  Are there any
headphones ($10-20) that will work without breaking the bank.   I'm not a fan of earbuds.

Thanks for any suggestions. :)
Tough price range - I'd keep an eye out for some more expensive cans that go on sale or are reduced if there is a new version coming out.

If that doesn't happen, the Sennheiser 201 or 202 is ok for a closed headphone at about $20. There is also the Koss KSC 75 for the same. The Senns are bigger and the Koss are more mobile (not sure if that will make a difference).

To read more about these and others, you may find this site helpful: http://www.headphone.com/index.php (http://www.headphone.com/index.php), in particular this: http://www.headphone.com/selection-guide/top-picks/top-cheap-headphones.php (http://www.headphone.com/selection-guide/top-picks/top-cheap-headphones.php)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Marc on April 14, 2012, 04:23:09 AM
If you don't set your requirements too high:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-V250V-Monitor-Headphones-Control/dp/B00001W0DC

I bought it about 4 years ago and I'm perfectly happy with it in train and bus.

Funny review (not a classical music listener though):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX40ZfbKBRg

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 14, 2012, 04:42:26 AM
I agree with Marc (those Sony's are decent).  And I think both of those Senns and the Koss are not worth the price.

Suzyq when you say you don't want earbuds, do you mean literally earbuds or are you incorrectly describing all earphones as earbuds?  That is to say are you open to in ear?

In-ear phones:
(http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/2916/jvchafxc50red400x300.jpg)

Earbuds:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_War3WDi0Wow/S_K8g8LNruI/AAAAAAAAAHQ/KCuNEnTQRl0/s1600/Earbuds.jpg)

Earbuds are earphones that sit on the outer ear.  The other earphones are inserted into your ear.

Consider that issue, because at your price range there are not many headphones to choose from but there are earphones.

Moving on, in general for bargain buying you have to choose whether you like bass or treble because nothing at that price is neutral.  They will favor one end or the other (usually to the detriment of the mids).  I can give you more specific advise if you can answer that question.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Que on April 14, 2012, 04:51:00 AM
Earbuds are earphones that sit on the outer ear.  The other earphones are inserted into your ear.

Because of the close proximity to your eardrums, either is bad new for your ears IMO....

Q
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: suzyq on April 14, 2012, 09:04:00 AM
Thanks for all suggestions,  I think headphones are what I'll go with.   :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: hadimd on May 13, 2012, 12:14:04 PM
I have had closed Beyerdynamics in the past (but not that model, I had the dt660) and it sounded bright, the polar opposite of Sennheiser, but works well for classical.  Most of their lineup works well with ipods.

I have DT660 and it's really perfect for classical music. My portable source is iBasso DX100

There is a review about DT660:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard (http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on May 22, 2012, 07:29:05 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31bkXDz8Y-L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41tg8hLEa0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


A couple recent purchases.  The Audio Technica ATH-AD700 is for work.  The rather awful appearance is more than made up for in a smooth, nicely detailed sound.  (It’s no match for the Beyers described below, or even for my main loudspeakers, though.)  They’re well balanced and create a good, well, soundstage, at least with smaller scale fare.  I was listening to some Schubert lieder with DFD, and the presentation sounded almost as though my speakers were playing.  I assume some co-workers may snicker at the appearance, and my wife expressed her dislike of the purple cover repeatedly, but for $100 they’re hard to beat.  They are competitive with my Beyer DT880s.

The Beyerdynamic Tesla T1s are my exit level headphones for home use.  I really like the Beyer house sound, and the T1s are as good as it gets.  They have more bass than other Beyers, and the bass is as clean and detailed (and with great transient response) as I have heard from any transducer.  Mids are lusher than with other Beyers, and the highs more detailed without as much emphasis.  They are as detailed as other uber-headphone I have heard (the Sennheiser HD800, Audeze LCD2, and Grado PS1000 all got an audition, too), but the overall sound is more relaxing than the Senns or Grados, and not as dark as the Audezes.  Just about the perfect headphone for me.  I’m done.  Woo-hoo!


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on September 14, 2012, 08:29:04 AM
Ok, this might sound silly - I'm not as brilliantly clued as some of you on this subject, but my question may help others too.

When I am listening to my equipment, there is an acceptable distance between me and the speakers, and I get a good representation of the spaciousness (or not) in a recording, my distance to the speakers and their placement allow me to explore and experience the music with some sense of wonder (Rautavaara) or horror (Penderecki).  I get a sense of dimension and proportion which satisfys me from listening out of my little setup.   0:)  Oh, happy me...
 >:(  The thing is, I want to hear those same dimensions or similar naturalness when I put headphones on, but I never do.  The sound is 'too close' and I have a sense of it being clamped around my ears.  It is nothing like listening to it through open air.  I know this will lead to more expensive headphones than the lighweight, lower budget range Sennheisers I have at the moment.  But what are your suggestions...and wireless ones with the same natural spatial effect would be even better... :-\  If anyone's got an idea about this, or if there is something else I could do to achieve this effect, give us a post!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 14, 2012, 08:37:51 AM
Open air headphones + crossfeed = better but never equal to speakers.  Try Sennheiser  hd518 or Audio-Technica ath-ad700 (and not a700 which are closed) for reasonably priced open air headphones with a good soundstage.

Crossfeed you can find with a plugin from foobar (and other programs) on your pc.  Also some headphone amps have it as well.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on September 14, 2012, 10:26:17 AM
Open air headphones + crossfeed = better but never equal to speakers.  Try Sennheiser  hd518 or Audio-Technica ath-ad700 (and not a700 which are closed) for reasonably priced open air headphones with a good soundstage.

Crossfeed you can find with a plugin from foobar (and other programs) on your pc.  Also some headphone amps have it as well.

Many thanks.  I have had a look.  hd518 looks like exaclty what I am looking for, the other one also, but I like the Sennheiser design better.  Open air headphones...I'll check some more out.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on September 14, 2012, 11:46:07 AM
I constructed a "headphones adapter" that takes the signal from the B-speakers terminals of my AV-amplifier and attenuates it about 30 dB for my phones (Sennheiser HD 598). Crossfeed is implemented and the effective output impedance is only 1 ohm. The electric parts cost about 25 euros. The circuit is based on Linkwitz's and Chu Moy's acoustic simulator (impedance/signal level adaptation by me myself). The sound is damn good! Crossfeed makes most recordings sound better with headphones. Only some headphone-optimized (e.g. binaural) recordings sound best without crossfeed. The crossfeeder of my adapter has an ON/OFF switch for those.

 ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 14, 2012, 11:51:58 AM
I'll back David up on this one. From the sound of it you are using closed back headphones which let very little ambient noise in or out of the cans on your ears. They have one major plus in that bass frequencies tend to be more solid when compared to open back headphones. Alternately, their soundstage tends to be limited.

Open back phones are the opposite and give a more spacious feel to the music though bass impact tends to be lessened. I also feel that they sound far more natural but that's just my opinion. They won't match the soundstage of your speakers but they will come close in certain areas if you are prepared to spend a little bit of money.

As David has said, Sennheiser makes very good headphones but so do Beyer, Audio Technica, Shure, Sony, AKG, Ultrasone, etc.

If you want to check out what headphone users think then this is the best site.

http://www.head-fi.org/f/

I have closed and open back cans. My closed cans are Shure 840s and they are excellent. Shure now make open backed hp which have got excellent reviews - their SHR1440 and 1840 models.

For open backed cans I also own a pair of Sennheiser HD580s which were the top of Sennheisers range at one stage. They no longer make these but their HD600 is essentially an upgraded version of these in terms of sound signature. I just love their sound and ability to resolve detail. Sennheiser also has HD 650, 700 and 800 models but these are expensive. I suggest that you look into the 500s range The HD 555s and the HD 598s have been garnering praise from various quarters.

I'm not sure where you are based but you should be able to audition most of the above at a hifi specialist.

When you buy, check the impedance - especially with the Sennheisers. Any with an impedance of more than 50 ohms should be partnered with an amp so that they can be driven with full efficiency. Something from the portable Fiio range could easily suffice. Their E6 model can be had for as little as $25 and it will make a difference.

EDIT: You can also get cross feed from some media players if you use your HPs with your PC or laptop. JRiver MC17 has this facility and someone also mentioned Foobar. Will you be listening via your computer?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 14, 2012, 03:16:53 PM
btw I picked up some new headphones yesterday-- Sennheiser hd380s.  Neutral, closed headphones.  They are the best sounding and mosty comfy closed headphones I've had.  So much not like a vice that the 280s were.  I use it for early morning and late night listening.

At work I listen to Grado sr80is.  I love 'em, much better than the 60is.  (btw I didn't rec them to John because they are not good in the sound stage department, they are very forward).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 15, 2012, 12:32:58 PM
btw I picked up some new headphones yesterday-- Sennheiser hd380s.  Neutral, closed headphones.  They are the best sounding and mosty comfy closed headphones I've had.  So much not like a vice that the 280s were.  I use it for early morning and late night listening.

At work I listen to Grado sr80is.  I love 'em, much better than the 60is.  (btw I didn't rec them to John because they are not good in the sound stage department, they are very forward).

I own 280s and auditioned 380s as a possible upgrade. They initially sounded great and then I tried them with piano music. To me the piano sound they reproduced was not natural. When I moved on to chamber music I experienced the same anomaly with string timbre. Orchestral works, voice, other instruments, rock music, were all reproduced beautifully but as 65% of my collection is piano I didn't feel I could live with these cans. It may be that I got a set of phones with a fault or that they needed burning in. It didn't matter anyway because I also auditioned a pair of Shure SRH840s at the same time and they won the contest hands down. These are so good for the money you pay for them I don't know how Shure does it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 15, 2012, 01:38:59 PM
Holden, I haven't tried 'em with piano yet.  But outside of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Chopin I don't listen to piano music.  I'll be listening to Beethoven string quartets soon though, maybe I'll hear what you're talking about.

So what is the problem, too dark (not enough treble extension or treble is rolled off)?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 15, 2012, 06:14:19 PM
Holden, I haven't tried 'em with piano yet.  But outside of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Chopin I don't listen to piano music.  I'll be listening to Beethoven string quartets soon though, maybe I'll hear what you're talking about.

So what is the problem, too dark (not enough treble extension or treble is rolled off)?

David, it wasn't that, it was the instruments tone. I play piano and am used to the sound. This sounded different, it's hard to describe. The timbre of a string instrument also didn't sound like it should.

All that said, I did audition these using 256 kbps MP3s from my Sansa View.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on September 15, 2012, 06:22:37 PM
I own 280s and auditioned 380s as a possible upgrade. They initially sounded great and then I tried them with piano music. To me the piano sound they reproduced was not natural. When I moved on to chamber music I experienced the same anomaly with string timbre. Orchestral works, voice, other instruments, rock music, were all reproduced beautifully but as 65% of my collection is piano I didn't feel I could live with these cans. It may be that I got a set of phones with a fault or that they needed burning in. It didn't matter anyway because I also auditioned a pair of Shure SRH840s at the same time and they won the contest hands down. These are so good for the money you pay for them I don't know how Shure does it.

I've been using these:

(http://www.yugster.com/uploads/image/image/6262/samson_sr850_headphones_3.jpg)

Fantastic audio quality. Whether it be classical, jazz, or rock, these babies sound great. Here are specs for these (very affordable) headphones:

Specifications:

Type:
Around-Ear, Semi-Open

Frequency Range:
10Hz - 30kHz

Impedance:
32 Ohms

Connectors:
Gold-Plated 3.5mm Stereo Mini Plug with 1/4" Adapter
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 16, 2012, 02:08:43 AM
All that said, I did audition these using 256 kbps MP3s from my Sansa View.

A rinky dink portable doesn't have enough power for those headphones.  Those headphones sounded significantly better plugged into my receiver than they did my iphone. 

But still with the same player and the same files did the 280 sound more natural?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 18, 2012, 12:29:48 AM
A rinky dink portable doesn't have enough power for those headphones.  Those headphones sounded significantly better plugged into my receiver than they did my iphone. 

But still with the same player and the same files did the 280 sound more natural?

Yes, but to get the best out of the 280s I use amplification. I plugged my Sansa into a Fiio E7 and ran the 280s out of that and WOW! The Shure SRH840s can do it by themselves but they leak some sound. The 280s are the best cans I've ever used on a plane. Virtually no aircraft noise at all. The 280s are my traveling overseas headphones combined with a portable amp. The Fiio E5 works very well with them. The E6 is probably better but I haven't tried it. I have the PA2V2 and while it's a fraction bulky it gets the best sound out of the 280s and has amazing battery life while conserving the battery life of your MP3 player or phone.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 19, 2012, 02:18:31 AM
You're right Holden, the mids are sucked out.  The piano sounds unnatural, and on top of it the cans so trebly that I can hear the hiss of the noise floor on my receiver, when I never ever could hear it before.  It's not a flat response like the 280s.  I think that the 380s are more of a loudness curve response, which do a great disservice to classical music.  I have to drive back and return these.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on September 19, 2012, 05:05:02 PM
Can I suggest that you audition the Shure SRH840s. They are a very neutral (to my ears) set of headphones. They are similar to the 280s in that way but with a far more solid bass and perform happily without amplification which the 280s don't.  They are almost perfect for classical music and seem to have a relatively wide sound stage for closed cans. The only downside, if you could call it that, is that they are very revealing of the recording source. If it's poor, such as a low bit rate MP3, you will definitely hear it. Some people also describe them as a bit heavy but it doesn't bother me.

Other GMGers may have other recommendations.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 28, 2012, 08:04:39 AM
So I finally received new headphones in the mail this week... I went with the 518s and they sound better than the 390s.  They are the only audiophile series (5xx) that I've heard that have the same dark, warm sound signature that the reference series (6xx) excepting the 580s.

They certainly have the bass but unlike the 380s the mids are not muddy, but clear and detailed, and the rolled off treble makes the sound not exciting, but certainly refined.

The soundstage is narrow but deep.  You can hear the layers of depth to the sound and it is awesome.  It is also works as well with my iphone as my Grados do.

(http://www.productwiki.com/upload/images/sennheiser_hd_518.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Xenophanes on September 28, 2012, 12:59:18 PM
So I finally received new headphones in the mail this week... I went with the 518s and they sound better than the 390s.  They are the only audiophile series (5xx) that I've heard that have the same dark, warm sound signature that the reference series (6xx) excepting the 580s.

They certainly have the bass but unlike the 380s the mids are not muddy, but clear and detailed, and the rolled off treble makes the sound not exciting, but certainly refined.

The soundstage is narrow but deep.  You can hear the layers of depth to the sound and it is awesome.  It is also works as well with my iphone as my Grados do.

(http://www.productwiki.com/upload/images/sennheiser_hd_518.jpg)

Since May, I have been using the Sennheiser HD 598s. I like them quite a lot.  They are more open sounding on voices than the HD 280Pro, and more spacious on orchestra and movies. 

My wife wanted me to get some open backed phones so I could hear better.  She now uses the HD 280Pro phones. She sometimes puts them on the pillow next to her and listens to them as speaker. So far, they have stood up to this just fine. They are very clear on voices and quite good on music.

The response measurements at HeadRoom look very similar to those for the HD 518, but I really like the look of the HD 598s. Some think it looks old fashioned, including my wife.  But I think they are beautiful, as well as being very fine headphones.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on September 28, 2012, 01:15:55 PM
I hate the look of the 598s myself! :D  But yeah awesome huh?  Sennheiser really has something good going on with their new headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on October 07, 2012, 02:28:02 PM
I've been using these:

(http://www.yugster.com/uploads/image/image/6262/samson_sr850_headphones_3.jpg)

Fantastic audio quality. Whether it be classical, jazz, or rock, these babies sound great. Here are specs for these (very affordable) headphones:

Specifications:

Type:
Around-Ear, Semi-Open

Frequency Range:
10Hz - 30kHz

Impedance:
32 Ohms

Connectors:
Gold-Plated 3.5mm Stereo Mini Plug with 1/4" Adapter

Really do not know much about Samson as a headphone manufacturer, though I have seen the brand mentioned.  This set looks a bit like my 30+ year old AKG-240 ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on October 07, 2012, 02:29:30 PM
Because of the close proximity to your eardrums, either is bad new for your ears IMO....

Q

Over the next ten years, ear doctors will be seeing many more patients ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 05, 2012, 02:50:24 AM
I bought these for a great price on ebay and was very worried that they were fakes. My research suggests definitely not. All I have to do is find the best set of ear tips for my ears. Theye do sound amazing and I no longer have sweaty ears at work from my Shures. I am burning them in as I type and they are already getting progressively better

(http://distilleryimage8.s3.amazonaws.com/1ea1de9026ef11e1a87612313804ec91_7.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 05, 2012, 04:18:53 AM
I only use earphones when I'm the go, and headphones when I'm in the office (speakers at home).  I don't like having earphones crammed into my ears for long amounts of time.

btw I ultimately enjoy the Grado's more than those Senn's but sometimes those Grado's are insanely bright, and the Senn's are too gassy.  The true great sound lies at a higher price point but more than I should spend to just listen with my iphone.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on November 11, 2012, 05:29:31 PM
I'm sure it has been asked before but what in your miscellaneous views are the best headphones for classical especially the ones whose prices still orbit planet earth not those that have gone intergalactic.

From my recent research the AKG's like the K550 or Q701 offer a lot of quality for the money spent. I realize that the best idea is to first listen before you buy but this also has its impracticalities since to really listen would require a few hours considering all the formats inherent in classical.

...so would anyone care to state some preferences based on many hours of listening?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on November 11, 2012, 05:44:47 PM
I'm sure it has been asked before but what in your miscellaneous views are the best headphones for classical especially the ones whose prices still orbit planet earth not those that have gone intergalactic.

From my recent research the AKG's like the K550 or Q701 offer a lot of quality for the money spent. I realize that the best idea is to first listen before you buy but this also has its impracticalities since to really listen would require a few hours considering all the formats inherent in classical.

...so would anyone care to state some preferences based on many hours of listening?

Thanks!

You'll find 27 pages of discussion here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1482.0.html

I have AKG 701's and the are wonderfully transparent, but I wish they had a stronger low end.  I prefer Beyerdynamic DT-880

This site is great:

http://www.headphone.com/

They sell headphones, but also have measurements of everything they sell, so you can check basic features such as frequency response.  (No substitute for listening, but a good guide.)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on November 11, 2012, 05:56:25 PM
Appreciate the response! It will be interesting to read what the preferences are.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: xochitl on November 12, 2012, 12:31:28 AM
ummm

head-fi, anyone?

but i have some etymotic ER4s and they're nearly perfect with some crossfeed and a decent amp

outside of personal preferences i would recommend any headphone that measures close to flat.  Er4s, HD600s, and heavily modded Grado SR225s are the only ones i've heard personally that can satisfy my ears outside of the mega-expensive ones

if you have access to a good parametric EQ you can make almost any headphones more than decent for classical by correcting the frequencies to as flat as possible with sine waves
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 12, 2012, 12:56:06 AM
You have a choice of open or closed back, depending on your listening environment. My Sennheiser HD580s are wonderful for classical and while they are not available any more the HD600s, already mentioned, are very similar in sound. These are open back and give a great soundstage.

If you need to use headphones in an environment that you share with others who don't want to hear your sound then can I recommend the Shure SRH 840s. A very neutral presentation with a natural reproduction of strings and piano. For closed back phones the sound stage is very good.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2012, 03:51:31 AM
I have had Sennheiser HD 580 for about 15 years and newer HD 598 for almost 2 years. The latter has significantly better sound image. HD 580 has more relaxed but also more "foggy" sound. HD 598 has sharper, more energetic sound.

Anyway, for most recordings using crossfeed is the secret that makes listening with headphones enjoyable. Sennheiser HD 598 + headphone amplification with crossfeed + well recorded performance = insanely good sound. One can extrapolate what HD 800 would mean!

Depending on how a recording is done (microphone setting, acoustics etc.) a certain level of crossfeed is needed. The crossfeeder I build for myself (the so called headphone adapter, see http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/headphoneadapter.htm (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/headphoneadapter.htm)) has three crossfeed levels:

- The weakest crossfeed (-8.5 dB) works best for those recordings that have limited channel separation. Solo piano music is often recorded this way.

- The "normal" crossfeed (-6 dB) works very well with most recording and is the best compromize if only one crossfeed level is available.

- The strongest crossfeed (-1.1 dB) is needed with pathological recordings (eg. early stereophonic "ping pong" recordings). This setting reduces reverberation and creates very calm and intimate atmosphere. Some "wide" recordings of string quartets benefit from this strong manipulation of stereo image.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: KeithW on November 12, 2012, 04:12:28 AM
I have had the HD598s for a year and have been very happy with them.  I couple them with a Schiit Asgard (honestly) headphone amp.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 12, 2012, 05:48:22 AM
I have had Sennheiser HD 580 for about 15 years and newer HD 598 for almost 2 years. The latter has significantly better sound image. HD 580 has more relaxed but also more "foggy" sound. HD 598 has sharper, more energetic sound.

I agree completely with everything said here.  The 598 retains the signature Senn dark, warm sound but is dialed down and closer to neutral than the other 5xx and 6xx series.

This is based on previously/currently owning and listening on the 518, 555, 570, 580, 595, 598, and 650.

I still have to check out those Shure's that Holden likes.  Those Senn 518s turn out to be too muddy and I've gone back to the Grado sr80i's.

I have to de-rec head-fi, the forum is populated increasingly with people that just excitedly pump the one single headphone that they've heard, or they parrot what they've read, recing headphones that they haven't even heard.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2012, 06:33:53 AM
I agree completely with everything said here.  The 598 retains the signature Senn dark, warm sound but is dialed down and closer to neutral than the other 5xx and 6xx series.

This is based on previously/currently owning and listening on the 518, 555, 570, 580, 595, 598, and 650.

I still have to check out those Shure's that Holden likes.  Those Senn 518s turn out to be too muddy and I've gone back to the Grado sr80i's.

I haven't heard HD 518 or 558 but I have read that 558 is actually pretty close to 598 and can be modified to have almost identical sound while 518 has
significantly cheaper sound. So, modified 558 is "black 598" if someone doesn't like the color.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on November 12, 2012, 07:22:41 AM
I have had Sennheiser HD 580 for about 15 years and newer HD 598 for almost 2 years. The latter has significantly better sound image. HD 580 has more relaxed but also more "foggy" sound. HD 598 has sharper, more energetic sound.

Anyway, for most recordings using crossfeed is the secret that makes listening with headphones enjoyable. Sennheiser HD 598 + headphone amplification with crossfeed + well recorded performance = insanely good sound. One can extrapolate what HD 800 would mean!

Depending on how a recording is done (microphone setting, acoustics etc.) a certain level of crossfeed is needed. The crossfeeder I build for myself (the so called headphone adapter, see http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/headphoneadapter.htm (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/headphoneadapter.htm)) has three crossfeed levels:

- The weakest crossfeed (-8.5 dB) works best for those recordings that have limited channel separation. Solo piano music is often recorded this way.

- The "normal" crossfeed (-6 dB) works very well with most recording and is the best compromize if only one crossfeed level is available.

- The strongest crossfeed (-1.1 dB) is needed with pathological recordings (eg. early stereophonic "ping pong" recordings). This setting reduces reverberation and creates very calm and intimate atmosphere. Some "wide" recordings of string quartets benefit from this strong manipulation of stereo image.

Does your crossfeed implement delay of the signal to the contrary channel?  The circuit used by the Headroom amp delays the crossfeed signal because sound coming from the right reaches your left ear with a slight time lag, due to the finite speed of sound propagation.

For people using foobar, you can try out crossfeed by putting a crossfeed plugin into your DSP chain.  I don't think foobar is distributed with one, but there are several that can be downloaded free (I forgot which one I used).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2012, 08:30:52 AM
Does your crossfeed implement delay of the signal to the contrary channel?  The circuit used by the Headroom amp delays the crossfeed signal because sound coming from the right reaches your left ear with a slight time lag, due to the finite speed of sound propagation.

Yes it does. The circuit is basically same as the one in Headroom amp. The difference is that my (passive) circuit is used between loudspeaker terminals of an audio amplifier and headphones while the Headroom amp is an active amplifier itself. In my implementation the impedance levels are much lower. The delay for contra-lateral channel is about 0.25 ms for low frequencies and it diminishes slowly at higher frequencies.

For people using foobar, you can try out crossfeed by putting a crossfeed plugin into your DSP chain.  I don't think foobar is distributed with one, but there are several that can be downloaded free (I forgot which one I used).

Yes, I know but I have never used foobar (is it even available for OSX 10.7?). A headphone adapter ensures that the crossfeed is available for all sound sources attached to my amplifier, not only sounds from computer.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: ralfy on November 12, 2012, 08:35:19 AM
I also found this site:

http://bestheadphonesforclassicalmusic.com/

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 12, 2012, 10:12:06 AM
For me, I've had nothing but pure enjoyment with these headphones:

(http://www.samsontech.com/site_media/legacy_docs/SR850_mirrored_straight.jpg)

These headphones handle classical and jazz incredibly well. I haven't really tested them out on rock music, but I imagine there being no disappointments. You can buy a $1,000+ pair of headphones or you can buy these quite cheap ones and still have a great sound.

Here's a few sites that have reviews of these headphones:

http://www.amazon.com/Samson-209995-SR850/dp/B002LBSEQS

http://www.head-fi.org/t/546544/samson-sr850-superlux-oem-review-a-50-budget-champion

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jut1972 on November 12, 2012, 02:43:47 PM
I have some sennheiser HD650s which are excellent but they are open backed, no good for anything except home listening.  I would also have a look at the B&W P5s or P3s if you want some closed back headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on November 12, 2012, 03:59:00 PM
Mine are Audio-Technica ATH M50s. I've never heard of the brand and don't know much about how they compare to Sennheisers or Beyers; I've never purchased from those brands. Even these were a Christmas present. But they're the best headphones I've had yet: plugged directly into my laptop, I get clear highs, good representation of the string sections, audible and impactful bass, and a soundstage that on a good recording (now: Eschenbach conducts Tchaikovsky on Ondine) sounds like my chair is hovering above the orchestra.

I'm sorely tempted by the Senn HD598s and Shure 840s, but really don't speak audiophile lingo and don't know how they would differ from my current set.

EDIT: The website linked to above, http://bestheadphonesforclassicalmusic.com/ , rates the Audio-Technica line decently - they don't have this model reviewed but they say of the M30s that it's a very isolating experience that puts you in the middle of the orchestra. Sounds about right.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: KeithW on November 12, 2012, 05:01:35 PM
I should have mentioned that if you are in the US you will find good Black Friday bargains on many headphones.

I got mine in one such sale last year.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: xochitl on November 12, 2012, 08:42:13 PM
here's a little challenge
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html

find out how well your headphones measure up against your hrtf
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2012, 10:55:23 PM
here's a little challenge
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html

find out how well your headphones measure up against your hrtf

That page has nothing to do with HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function). It is about loudness contours.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: xochitl on November 13, 2012, 01:21:49 AM
:facepalm:
find out how well your headphones measure up against your hrtf

"The chart will now show the sounds that you have chosen as having equal loudness. We repeat that, while this curve roughly approximates the frequency response of your ears, it is modified by the frequency response of your sound card and headphones."

i shoulda specified i guess, but doesnt hrtf pretty much determine your own frequency response when talking about headphones?

correct me if im wrong
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 13, 2012, 03:47:32 AM
:facepalm:
"The chart will now show the sounds that you have chosen as having equal loudness. We repeat that, while this curve roughly approximates the frequency response of your ears, it is modified by the frequency response of your sound card and headphones."

i shoulda specified i guess, but doesnt hrtf pretty much determine your own frequency response when talking about headphones?

correct me if im wrong

HRTF is about how sounds coming from different directions around us are shaped due to our body (head, shape of pinna, sholders etc.) Sounds coming in front of us have different HRTF than sounds coming above or behind as and that's how we can locate them to those directions.

So, our hearing system has it's own "frequency response" (changes with sound pressure level) but HRTF tells what happens just before the sound enters our ears. With headphones this HRTF part is actually bypassed since sound is fed directly into our ears, everything from the same direction.

Convoluting raw sounds with HRTF we can create sounds with very realistic localization when listened with headphones, especially if the HRTF is your own! If the HRTF is measured from another person it's like using another person's glasses with similar vision. It works but not perfectly.

I guess you have read some jumbo jambo headphones marketing and missunderstood things. I know what I am talking about (I'm an acoustics engineer by education). My friend is an expert of this field and you can check his pages here: http://www.kar.fi/KARAudio/Services/KARAcoustics_3DAudio.html (http://www.kar.fi/KARAudio/Services/KARAcoustics_3DAudio.html). He did TONS of HRTF-measurements for Nokia in his dissertation some 10 years ago.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: xochitl on November 13, 2012, 04:43:26 AM
"crawls with tail between legs, cursing every phony hype headphone article he ever read, into corner in shame"

ignorance is something, innit
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 13, 2012, 04:52:24 AM
I haven't heard HD 518 or 558 but I have read that 558 is actually pretty close to 598 and can be modified to have almost identical sound while 518 has
significantly cheaper sound. So, modified 558 is "black 598" if someone doesn't like the color.

I've read that but it's just nonsense.  Some misguided souls think that removing the foam in the 55x makes a 59x.  This myth has been propagated from the earlier generation and is still wrong.  All you get is a headphone that no longer sounds like it is supposed to sound.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 13, 2012, 06:36:43 AM
I've read that but it's just nonsense.  Some misguided souls think that removing the foam in the 55x makes a 59x.  This myth has been propagated from the earlier generation and is still wrong.  All you get is a headphone that no longer sounds like it is supposed to sound.

I have been wondering that myth also but without hearing a modified 558 I can't debunk it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on November 13, 2012, 07:13:55 AM
Mine are Audio-Technica ATH M50s. I've never heard of the brand and don't know much about how they compare to Sennheisers or Beyers

Audio-Technica is a quite reputable Japanese audio company which was one of the leading manufacturers of phono cartridges during the LP days (I still have an Audio Technica catridge on my turntable, which these days is used for transcribing the few LPs I own which have never been released on CD).   I don't have experience with their current line of headphones.

 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 13, 2012, 10:05:04 AM
Audio-Technica is a quite reputable Japanese audio company which was one of the leading manufacturers of phono cartridges during the LP days (I still have an Audio Technica catridge on my turntable, which these days is used for transcribing the few LPs I own which have never been released on CD).   I don't have experience with their current line of headphones.

Audio Technica headphones are pretty good, and their expensive ones have pretty nice build quality.  Their open headphones are bass anemic, and their closed headphones have recessed mids.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on November 13, 2012, 11:19:11 AM
Audio Technica headphones are pretty good, and their expensive ones have pretty nice build quality.  Their open headphones are bass anemic, and their closed headphones have recessed mids.
These are closed and I think that's probably fair. I don't know what the effect is though; would I tell an improvement if I got something like the Senns?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on November 13, 2012, 11:22:30 AM
These are closed and I think that's probably fair. I don't know what the effect is though; would I tell an improvement if I got something like the Senns?

I have had problems with Sennheiser quality of build.  The last pair I owned had a defective driver, and after multiple rounds of sending it back for repair, which meant they changed the ear-pad and sent the same defective driver back to me, I gave up and threw it in the trash.   Not a satisfying way to spend $300.  Since then, I've been listening with Beyerdynamic, AKG and Denon.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 13, 2012, 08:35:43 PM
These are closed and I think that's probably fair. I don't know what the effect is though; would I tell an improvement if I got something like the Senns?

You can find more neutral headphones. But take my word, no matter what you choose there will always be at least one thing you don't like about 'em.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2012, 08:53:41 PM
You can find more neutral headphones. But take my word, no matter what you choose there will always be at least one thing you don't like about 'em.

Not always the case my friend. My Samson SR850s sound fantastic and I can't find one thing wrong with them. In fact, I've long since burned them in and they sound better than ever.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on November 13, 2012, 09:01:04 PM
Thank you for all your replies. I'm still doing research but now with more info and that's certainly welcome. I don't want to get too picky or over complex with all the options available but there are always those that stand out. Living in Canada though limits a lot of those options. There just isn't that much choice up here as in other places.

Take Amazon.ca. Compared to the U.S. it's absolutely pathetic. Case in point, I was really interested in the Samson SR850 as posted by Mirror Image. I never heard of it before being mostly aware of only the brand names. I looked at the US site first. The accolades were impressive and the price exceptional, an irresistible combination! Planning to eventually purchase another headphone - possibly the AKG 701 -  I figured it unlikely to go wrong starting with this one even if, as usual up here and currencies being at par, it's still more expensive except in this case "expensive" meant twice the amount plus shipping!  This is not unusual. Often prices are three or four times those paid by Americans. What's worse you cannot order it from amazon.com because they won't accept it. Why these exclusions between "amazons" I don't know. Anyways, enough of my rant! It's my problem.

Just curious, but has anyone here ever had the great pleasure of listening to both the AKG Q701 and the Sennheiser HD800? The latter is not an option for me but evidently that AKG "came in second place in the May 2011 Hi-Fi News group test". If true the difference in price would much greater than the difference in sound which would make it an extraordinary purchase but it's still the Samson I want to get first.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2012, 09:33:08 PM
Thank you for all your replies. I'm still doing research but now with more info and that's certainly welcome. I don't want to get too picky or over complex with all the options available but there are always those that stand out. Living in Canada though limits a lot of those options. There just isn't that much choice up here as in other places.

Take Amazon.ca. Compared to the U.S. it's absolutely pathetic. Case in point, I was really interested in the Samson SR850 as posted by Mirror Image. I never heard of it before being mostly aware of only the brand names. I looked at the US site first. The accolades were impressive and the price exceptional, an irresistible combination! Planning to eventually purchase another headphone - possibly the AKG 701 -  I figured it unlikely to go wrong starting with this one even if, as usual up here and currencies being at par, it's still more expensive except in this case "expensive" meant twice the amount plus shipping!  This is not unusual. Often prices are three or four times those paid by Americans. What's worse you cannot order it from amazon.com because they won't accept it. Why these exclusions between "amazons" I don't know. Anyways, enough of my rant! It's my problem.

Just curious, but has anyone here ever had the great pleasure of listening to both the AKG Q701 and the Sennheiser HD800? The latter is not an option for me but evidently that AKG "came in second place in the May 2011 Hi-Fi News group test". If true the difference in price would much greater than the difference in sound which would make it an extraordinary purchase but it's still the Samson I want to get first.

This is certainly great to hear you've gone with the Samson SR850s. You can't beat these headphones. Believe it or not, I'm in the market for another pair of headphones too. AKG and Sennheiser are both headphones I've come to enjoy. For traveling, I still take my Sennheiser PX100s with me. They're not the best headphones in the world, but they do sound quite good and these things have taken quite a beating, especially in 2008 when I took a trip to New Orleans. Anyway, the Samsons sound great and they came highly recommended to my Dad who bought a pair for himself first and then a pair for me for my birthday (also received a fantastic headphone amplifier, an Audio-Technica AT-HA20, that day). I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better headphone for the price range. In fact, I would wager that these sound just as good, if not better, than many of the $1,000 headphones that seem to clutter the market. I could never justify paying this much money for a pair of headphones. Anyway, please report back to this thread once you have received these Samsons and listened to them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on November 13, 2012, 10:44:17 PM
Anyway, please report back to this thread once you have received these Samsons and listened to them.

I intend to after first checking out and hoping for a more 3 dimensional sound experience of Siegfried's Funeral Music - a dynamic range that's virtually unbeatable - and also the space displacements between instruments in a late Beethoven string quartet. The sound of emptiness makes the strings sound deeper. With the headphones I got now they all sound as if they're sitting on each other's lap with the tallest one on the bottom and the shortest one on top. In short, very constricted!

Thanks again for your suggestion!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2012, 11:53:57 PM
I intend to after first checking out and hoping for a more 3 dimensional sound experience of Siegfried's Funeral Music - a dynamic range that's virtually unbeatable - and also the space displacements between instruments in a late Beethoven string quartet. The sound of emptiness makes the strings sound deeper. With the headphones I got now they all sound as if they're sitting on each other's lap with the tallest one on the bottom and the shortest one on top. In short, very constricted!

Thanks again for your suggestion!

You're welcome, Max. Give these headphones a work out! The more time you spend listening to them, the sooner the burn in will take place. :) By the way, you mention you're from Canada. We have several Canadian members here. I've never been, but I've been fascinated by your country. From the pictures I've seen alone, you have a beautiful country there. Whereabout do you live?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scarpia on November 14, 2012, 05:56:07 AM
I intend to after first checking out and hoping for a more 3 dimensional sound experience of Siegfried's Funeral Music - a dynamic range that's virtually unbeatable - and also the space displacements between instruments in a late Beethoven string quartet. The sound of emptiness makes the strings sound deeper. With the headphones I got now they all sound as if they're sitting on each other's lap with the tallest one on the bottom and the shortest one on top. In short, very constricted!

Thanks again for your suggestion!

If you want an open sound-stage I think the AKG-K701 is the best in it's price range.  (Maybe electrostatics headphones are better, but I've never heard an electrostatic, and they are pricey.)  One distinguishing thing about the K701, the phones sit farther off your ear than the typical full-sized headphone, which makes them more open than most open headphones, more like listening to speakers.   

A drawback of the K701 is that it requires a strong driver.  If you intent to use it with a portable player, a headphone amplifier will probably be required to get good sound.

I strongly recommend the site www.heaphone.com.  Unlike amazon, they specialize in headphones, and have detailed reviews and data on every headphone they sell.

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/akg-k-701-white.php

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 14, 2012, 11:37:13 AM
I found a player for OSX with crossfeed: Vox

http://voxapp.didgeroo.com/ (http://voxapp.didgeroo.com/)

Seems to be a nice little player! There's three presets for crossfeed: Default, Chu Moy and Jan Meier.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on November 14, 2012, 04:05:29 PM
From the pictures I've seen alone, you have a beautiful country there. Whereabout do you live?

The province with the most "Valhalla" scenery namely British Columbia on the Lower Mainland - Vancouver, Burnaby, etc. However, I can't say I like it anymore with the big city congestion, over population. When I came approximately 30 years ago it was a much smaller city with a big village kind of ambiance. Obviously that wasn't going to last! But no question! The majesty of the land in almost all directions is staggering and even now I'm not or ever will get completely used to it! When compared to music it would remind me of Wagner's Ring.

Scarpia ~

I'm considering these as a possible "final" upgrade to whatever I get now. Compared to what I currently have the Samson is my first choice but definitely contemplating another purchase within a year. I have to upgrade my amp as well so that too will add to expenditures. It's one step at a time for now.

I realize the K/Q 701 are a different animal both in power requirements and sound. My ears are past their prime so what I like about the AKG's is that they boast an extremely clear sound, one without padding so to speak. I think as one's ears get more muffled a straight edge delineated sound is preferable to the sensual warm kind seemingly inherent in the Senns.

I can't do it with the Samson and for the price it wouldn't be critical but if I'm going to spend $250 to $400, I'll want to try them out first regardless of all the accolades. The one thing I'm not fond of regarding the AKG's is the exceptionally long preconditioning time they "supposedly" require. 300 to 1000 hours to really make them sing? Well if anywhere near as good as reported, I can live with it! But still it seems weird. The Senns don't require anywhere near that long! I've heard it said that play-in time is bunk. What you're really doing is preconditioning your ears. I thing it's 50% of both.

Thanks for the link!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2012, 04:11:46 PM
The province with the most "Valhalla" scenery namely British Columbia on the Lower Mainland - Vancouver, Burnaby, etc. However, I can't say I like it anymore with the big city congestion, over population. When I came approximately 30 years ago it was a much smaller city with a big village kind of ambiance. Obviously that wasn't going to last! But no question! The majesty of the land in almost all directions is staggering and even now I'm not or ever will get completely used to it! When compared to music it would remind me of Wagner's Ring.

Ah, yes, British Columbia. I long to visit there some day. In fact, BC would be one of the places I would love to live in if I were to move to Canada, which may very well happen one day, but there's something that attracts me to Ontario and Quebec. Obviously, I would have to learn to speak good French to live anywhere in Quebec, so this thought is kind of daunting to me, whereas Ontario I don't have to learn another language.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on November 14, 2012, 06:30:51 PM
Ah, yes, British Columbia. I long to visit there some day. In fact, BC would be one of the places I would love to live in if I were to move to Canada, which may very well happen one day, but there's something that attracts me to Ontario and Quebec. Obviously, I would have to learn to speak good French to live anywhere in Quebec, so this thought is kind of daunting to me, whereas Ontario I don't have to learn another language.
Vancouver left an indelible impression on me. I've been a lot of places in the decade since, but it may still be one of my five favorite cities in the world. London (#1; others unranked), Antwerp, Istanbul, Sydney, Vancouver. Yep.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: xochitl on November 14, 2012, 07:35:10 PM
is BC much different from western Washington state?

i live in eastern WA and whenever we cross the Cascades it's awesome after awesome sight
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: KeithW on November 14, 2012, 07:45:12 PM
Ah, yes, British Columbia. I long to visit there some day. In fact, BC would be one of the places I would love to live in if I were to move to Canada, which may very well happen one day, but there's something that attracts me to Ontario and Quebec. Obviously, I would have to learn to speak good French to live anywhere in Quebec, so this thought is kind of daunting to me, whereas Ontario I don't have to learn another language.

Interesting, and off-thread. I'm a Brit with passable French. I visited Quebec City - loved it - truly.  But my French was useless. They speak with a distinctive accent. Not a problem, John, but pick your lessons carefully

My other Canadian trip was to Ontario. My French didn't factor!



Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 15, 2012, 04:20:05 AM
I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better headphone for the price range. In fact, I would wager that these sound just as good, if not better, than many of the $1,000 headphones that seem to clutter the market.

This is exactly why I de-rec'd head-fi was for posts like this.  You've heard almost no headphones and yet feel qualified to make this kind of broad, sweeping assertion.  I've probably listened to ten times the number of headphones that you have, and I wouldn't feel qualified to make a broad, sweeping assertion like that!  I find it unlikely that those headphones are even the best in their price range let alone the best sub-$1k cans.

The semi-open design in the Samson's automatically don't allow it to have a soundstage as open as other headphones.  They also allow for the possibility of more resonances which color the sound.  It also means that they won't isolate as well as closed headphones.  Meaning that they are neither as good as open headphones, nor as good as closed headphones.  I've never heard semi-open headphones that sounded great, I doubt this will be the exception.

Those earmuffs look like they'll get hot and sweaty in no time.  The cheap headband looks like it will be vice-like.  I've seen better designs.  Also the over the ears approach to the headphones make it not the best choice for those looking for portable options.  That automatically means that headphone can't be the default best choice for all people.

No offense, I just need to stamp out this kind of ignorant fan boy nonsense when I see it.

Anyway my point is that it's hard to find truly neutral headphones on a budget.  Either the bass will be too pronounced, the treble will or both or one or the other will be recessed.  The mids (most important for classical) are treated poorly on most sub-$100 headphones.  In general headphones are designed to sound pleasing and not accurate.  Even studio monitors are commonly overly bassy.  I doubt that you've found the perfect headphone, I have a feeling that if I put down money on those cans I will find that they sound colored, have poor bass reproduction or have recessed mids.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 15, 2012, 04:25:23 AM
I have been wondering that myth also but without hearing a modified 558 I can't debunk it.

I would be interested in seeing your take on it either way.  But I understand you not paying money just to take out the foam and compare the two.  I think that the magnetic coils are subtly different between the two headphones, which is not what common wisdom says.  It's a subtle difference but I think enough to make the 59x headphone sound just a bit more refined.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2012, 07:54:46 AM
This is exactly why I de-rec'd head-fi was for posts like this.  You've heard almost no headphones and yet feel qualified to make this kind of broad, sweeping assertion.  I've probably listened to ten times the number of headphones that you have, and I wouldn't feel qualified to make a broad, sweeping assertion like that!  I find it unlikely that those headphones are even the best in their price range let alone the best sub-$1k cans.

The semi-open design in the Samson's automatically don't allow it to have a soundstage as open as other headphones.  They also allow for the possibility of more resonances which color the sound.  It also means that they won't isolate as well as closed headphones.  Meaning that they are neither as good as open headphones, nor as good as closed headphones.  I've never heard semi-open headphones that sounded great, I doubt this will be the exception.

Those earmuffs look like they'll get hot and sweaty in no time.  The cheap headband looks like it will be vice-like.  I've seen better designs.  Also the over the ears approach to the headphones make it not the best choice for those looking for portable options.  That automatically means that headphone can't be the default best choice for all people.

No offense, I just need to stamp out this kind of ignorant fan boy nonsense when I see it.

Anyway my point is that it's hard to find truly neutral headphones on a budget.  Either the bass will be too pronounced, the treble will or both or one or the other will be recessed.  The mids (most important for classical) are treated poorly on most sub-$100 headphones.  In general headphones are designed to sound pleasing and not accurate.  Even studio monitors are commonly overly bassy.  I doubt that you've found the perfect headphone, I have a feeling that if I put down money on those cans I will find that they sound colored, have poor bass reproduction or have recessed mids.

David, how do you know what I've heard and what I haven't heard? Making this assumption alone cancels out the rest of your post IMHO. I really don't know what has gotten into you, but since you've moved to SC, you've been nothing but a jerk to me for no good reason.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on November 15, 2012, 08:56:14 AM
Reading David's post, I knew it would offend you, but I thought it was totally fair. If you like your pair of headphones, they satisfy you, and you don't see a need to buy any others, that's one thing, but don't tell people it's the best headphone in the price range unless you know that.

I mean, there's no need for it. If people read your post and see you really like them, that's good enough, right? Why try comparing them to 30 kinds of headphones you haven't heard?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Kontrapunctus on November 15, 2012, 06:12:29 PM
For the last word in clarity, transient response, imaging, lack of coloration, and just uttter realism, Stax electrostatic 'phones are hard to beat--pricey, though! Here's a picture of mine:

(http://www.guitarrum.net/Stax.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2012, 07:49:14 PM
Reading David's post, I knew it would offend you, but I thought it was totally fair. If you like your pair of headphones, they satisfy you, and you don't see a need to buy any others, that's one thing, but don't tell people it's the best headphone in the price range unless you know that.

I mean, there's no need for it. If people read your post and see you really like them, that's good enough, right? Why try comparing them to 30 kinds of headphones you haven't heard?

But did you read mine, Brian?

Here's what I wrote:

Quote
This is certainly great to hear you've gone with the Samson SR850s. You can't beat these headphones. Believe it or not, I'm in the market for another pair of headphones too. AKG and Sennheiser are both headphones I've come to enjoy. For traveling, I still take my Sennheiser PX100s with me. They're not the best headphones in the world, but they do sound quite good and these things have taken quite a beating, especially in 2008 when I took a trip to New Orleans. Anyway, the Samsons sound great and they came highly recommended to my Dad who bought a pair for himself first and then a pair for me for my birthday (also received a fantastic headphone amplifier, an Audio-Technica AT-HA20, that day). I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better headphone for the price range. In fact, I would wager that these sound just as good, if not better, than many of the $1,000 headphones that seem to clutter the market. I could never justify paying this much money for a pair of headphones. Anyway, please report back to this thread once you have received these Samsons and listened to them.

Where in this paragraph did I write that the Samsons were "the best" in their price range? Do you know how much these headphones even cost, Brian? They're $60 headphones. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with somebody praising something they're proud of and enjoy. The bottom line is simple: I didn't deserve that post from Dave. I've done nothing wrong here. Dave could have used a little more tact. I've been wrong a lot and I always apologize if I've been called out on it, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, I'm still the bad guy, so, inevitably, I can't win.

P.S. My Dad has quite a collection of headphones that he has acquired over the years (he was in the audio/video production business for 25 years). I have listened to a lot of headphones. Everything from Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, AKG, Beyerdynamic, among others, so I'm not some "ignorant fanboy." ::)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 16, 2012, 04:32:59 AM
I apologize if you thought that I was describing you as an ignorant fanboy.  You misread my post, I described your post as ignorant fanboy nonsense.  I attacked the content of your post and not you as a person MI.  Please don't feel put upon.  I don't want people taking out their wallet based solely on your gushing review of your favorite headphones.  FYI briefly surveying headphones is not the same thing as owning and living with headphones.  It takes a while to really get to know the sound qualities of your gear.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: max on December 08, 2012, 03:35:38 PM
This is to report on the Samson SR850 as promised. Not to make a long story just to say these headphones are excellent and for the price beyond expectation. I can't imagine even audiophile headphones much exceeding these in clarity. By report the Samson impressed a lot of people. One thing that was pointed out was that the treble sounded a little harsh not without justification. Playing them in more will likely mellow those upper registers a bit but if you apply a cheap headphone amp like the fiio E6 the treble becomes noticeably smoother and overall amazingly full. Strange to say with a $60.00 headphone and a $20.00 amp I feel I already have one foot in audiophile land. If these ever broke, regardless of what else I have, I'd get them instantly replaced.

Another thing these headphones make clear at least for me, is the steep incline in the cost of diminishing returns for any additional improvement which isn't to say that such cost can't be justified. Certain types of music just sound better on one than the other regardless of how good either is.

I never heard of Samson headphones before MI mentioned it. I'm happy he did and thank him for pointing them out!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 08, 2012, 07:54:31 PM
This is to report on the Samson SR850 as promised. Not to make a long story just to say these headphones are excellent and for the price beyond expectation. I can't imagine even audiophile headphones much exceeding these in clarity. By report the Samson impressed a lot of people. One thing that was pointed out was that the treble sounded a little harsh not without justification. Playing them in more will likely mellow those upper registers a bit but if you apply a cheap headphone amp like the fiio E6 the treble becomes noticeably smoother and overall amazingly full. Strange to say with a $60.00 headphone and a $20.00 amp I feel I already have one foot in audiophile land. If these ever broke, regardless of what else I have, I'd get them instantly replaced.

Another thing these headphones make clear at least for me, is the steep incline in the cost of diminishing returns for any additional improvement which isn't to say that such cost can't be justified. Certain types of music just sound better on one than the other regardless of how good either is.

I never heard of Samson headphones before MI mentioned it. I'm happy he did and thank him for pointing them out!

This is excellent news! :) I'm really glad you're enjoying them. Trust me when I say they sound even better after burn-in. My praise for these headphones wasn't "fanboy gushing," it was pure, honest feedback and enthusiasm for the product. Like you, I use a headphone amplifier. I own a Audio-Technica HA20 which sounds fantastic, especially with these Samsons. Anyway, I'm happy to hear you have been enjoying them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on January 02, 2013, 07:15:49 PM
I only use earphones when I'm the go, and headphones when I'm in the office (speakers at home).  I don't like having earphones crammed into my ears for long amounts of time.

btw I ultimately enjoy the Grado's more than those Senn's but sometimes those Grado's are insanely bright, and the Senn's are too gassy.  The true great sound lies at a higher price point but more than I should spend to just listen with my iphone.

All I can say is people who habitually cram earphones into their ears will make those makers of hearing aids real happy ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2013, 12:58:18 PM
Max, wherever you may be, I hope you're still enjoying those Samson headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on February 01, 2013, 07:08:57 AM
All I can say is people who habitually cram earphones into their ears will make those makers of hearing aids real happy ...
Is there a factual basis for claiming that earbuds damage hearing more than alternatives?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: ElliotViola on February 01, 2013, 07:39:37 AM
Sennheiser CX-300 II. Great bass response, really nice rounded sound. Not too expensive as well, got them on sale from HMV (R.I.P) for about £15 reduced from £39.99..

(http://img.tootoo.com/mytootoo/upload/48/483368/product/483368_4d30a78c3fa3ededb4ed0383774f8715.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on February 01, 2013, 08:24:20 AM
Sennheiser CX-300 II. Great bass response, really nice rounded sound. Not too expensive as well, got them on sale from HMV (R.I.P) for about £15 reduced from £39.99..

(http://img.tootoo.com/mytootoo/upload/48/483368/product/483368_4d30a78c3fa3ededb4ed0383774f8715.jpg)

SHIT!  I'm off to HMV tomorrow to scour the shelves for this.  Only 15 quid?

***STAMPEDES OUT OF THE ROOM***
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 02, 2013, 01:48:39 PM
Is there a factual basis for claiming that earbuds damage hearing more than alternatives?

Here is an article published by a medical foundation located in your state - Teen Hearing Lose Related to MP3 and iPod Listening ...[/ (http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/diseases/mp3hearing.html)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: ElliotViola on February 03, 2013, 03:04:47 PM
SHIT!  I'm off to HMV tomorrow to scour the shelves for this.  Only 15 quid?

***STAMPEDES OUT OF THE ROOM***

Bad luck Scots, I bought these about a year ago ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 10, 2013, 05:57:11 AM
I bought the Beyerdynamic dt880s, and wow are they neutral and such a wide and deep sound stage.  I actually tricked myself into thinking that I was accidentally listening to my speakers.  I feel that the Sennheiser 650s are more resolving of detail, but like how uncolored and flat the dt880s sound.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 10, 2013, 06:04:19 AM
I bought the Beyerdynamic dt880s, and wow are they neutral and such a wide and deep sound stage.  I actually tricked myself into thinking that I was accidentally listening to my speakers.  I feel that the Sennheiser 650s are more resolving of detail, but like how uncolored and flat the dt880s sound.
Funny how we hear things. I was quite disappointed by these. I find them excellent for voices (jazz and classical both), decent for pinao, but totally underwelming with orchestral sounds. I've even plugged them directly into my big rig thinking that perhaps I had an issue with the amp, but absolutely no difference. I find the Senn 580 much better. I think the thing you like is what dislike. I find them colorless and bland (and neutral is not the word I'd use, though they are more that than the Senns).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on February 10, 2013, 06:18:04 AM
I had to warm up to the sound, I didn't actually like it out of the box.  What is your favorite headphone mc?  Oh wait never mind you answered that.  It's been along time since I've had the 580 and was thinking of picking up the 600 for home.  As it should be as I recall closer to neutral as compared to the 650 but still having that dark, warm sound Senn is known for.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 10, 2013, 06:52:00 AM
I had to warm up to the sound, I didn't actually like it out of the box.  What is your favorite headphone mc?  Oh wait never mind you answered that.  It's been along time since I've had the 580 and was thinking of picking up the 600 for home.  As it should be as I recall closer to neutral as compared to the 650 but still having that dark, warm sound Senn is known for.
Yes, I believe that is the signature, though I have not heard them myself. The 580 is the best I've heard so far (of course, getting a tremendous deal on them just before they were discontinued didn't hurt!). I also have the Senn 280 (ok for what it is) and the ATH-AD900, which I really disliked. I have pulled back a bit in terms of headphones as you can just spend and spend and spend and I'd rather focus on getting more music, since what I have is pretty good. Perhaps one day I'll just go all in and get the HD800 and a great amp and call it a day for 20 years! :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2013, 06:56:19 AM
I bought the Beyerdynamic dt880s, and wow are they neutral and such a wide and deep sound stage.  I actually tricked myself into thinking that I was accidentally listening to my speakers.  I feel that the Sennheiser 650s are more resolving of detail, but like how uncolored and flat the dt880s sound.

I have the Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO and am quite satisfied with the sound.  I also have the AKG K701 and the Sennheiser HD600.  I have not modded any of these headphones, as a number of folks in another forum specialized in audio system modded their AKG's and Sennheisers with special cables, which I am not sure if they are worth the money ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2013, 06:59:31 AM
Yes, I believe that is the signature, though I have not heard them myself. The 580 is the best I've heard so far (of course, getting a tremendous deal on them just before they were discontinued didn't hurt!). I also have the Senn 280 (ok for what it is) and the ATH-AD900, which I really disliked. I have pulled back a bit in terms of headphones as you can just spend and spend and spend and I'd rather focus on getting more music, since what I have is pretty good. Perhaps one day I'll just go all in and get the HD800 and a great amp and call it a day for 20 years! :)

I have heard Yamaha makes pretty good headphones.  After all, the company has been making musical instruments for over a 100 years.  Yamaha audio equipments are also quite well regarded.  I rate Yamaha higher than the regular Sony audio line.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Fafner on February 10, 2013, 07:29:37 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BkwFwtDpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I bought Beyerdynamic DT440 as my first pair of serious headphones. I don't have much comparison to higher level models, but I am quite satisfied with them. Although next time I might rather buy closed headphones. I am currently living in a one room appartment and you would not believe how much noise a fridge makes when I want to listen to music.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2013, 07:33:08 AM
Where are the Sennheiser headphones made these days?  My HD600 headphones were made in Ireland.  My AKG K701 headphones were made in Austria but I heard the model is made in China these days - no doubt the decision of its American parent company Harman International.  My Byerdynamic headphones were made in Germany.  I prefer my audio equipments made in the US/Canada, Europe or Japan, even if it means I have to pay up for them ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2013, 07:34:52 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BkwFwtDpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I bought Beyerdynamic DT440 as my first pair of serious headphones. I don't have much comparison to higher level models, but I am quite satisfied with them. Although next time I might rather buy closed headphones. I am currently living in a one room appartment and you would not believe how much noise a fridge makes when I want to listen to music.

It appears there are many more open or semi-open headphone models out there than closed ones ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on March 30, 2013, 07:05:52 PM
Mine are Audio-Technica ATH M50s. I've never heard of the brand and don't know much about how they compare to Sennheisers or Beyers; I've never purchased from those brands. Even these were a Christmas present. But they're the best headphones I've had yet: plugged directly into my laptop, I get clear highs, good representation of the string sections, audible and impactful bass, and a soundstage that on a good recording (now: Eschenbach conducts Tchaikovsky on Ondine) sounds like my chair is hovering above the orchestra.

I just bought these Audio-Technica ATH M50s headphones and it's good to hear your feedback here, Brian. I've heard nothing but good things about these. I definitely can't wait to give these a crash course. They will be used mainly as my iPod headphones. I run my iPods through an Audio-Technica HA20 headphone amplifier which sounds great.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on March 30, 2013, 09:06:43 PM
I just bought these Audio-Technica ATH M50s headphones and it's good to hear your feedback here, Brian. I've heard nothing but good things about these. I definitely can't wait to give these a crash course. They will be used mainly as my iPod headphones. I run my iPods through an Audio-Technica HA20 headphone amplifier which sounds great.

I plug 'em straight into my laptop to listen to MP3s or (much more commonly) CDs in the disc drive... haven't used any headphone amplifiers before, as that's something I don't know anything about.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on March 31, 2013, 01:18:29 AM
I plug 'em straight into my laptop to listen to MP3s or (much more commonly) CDs in the disc drive... haven't used any headphone amplifiers before, as that's something I don't know anything about.

Headphone amplifiers ensure low output impedance. Damping factor is calculated as load impedance/output impedance. The higher the damping factor is the stronger control the amplifier has over the headphones. Better control means better sound quality (lower distortion and faster transients). Damping factor should be at least 8.

If the output impedance of your laptop is 100 ohms and the impedance of your phones is 38 ohms, damping factor is 38/100 = 0.38 which is very poor. If the output impedance is only 10 ohms, you get a damping factor of 3.8 which is still under the recommended value 8.

Now, if you use a headphone amplifier that has output impedance of 2, your damping factor becomes 38/2 = 19!

Some headphone amplifiers have crossfeeders that mix left channel to right channel and vice versa at lower frequencies reducing channel separation that gets easily unnaturally large with recordings that are optimized for loudspeakers (crossfeeding happens acoustically as right year hears sound from right loudspeaker). Crossfeeding is ESSENTIAL with headphones since most stereophohic recordings don't really work well with headphones. The sound image is broken and annoying. Ever since I found out the bliss of crossfeeding I have called headphone listening without crossfeeding madness because that's what it is with most recordings.

I don't use a headphone amplifier but a self-constructed headphone adapter that is used with my amplifier (it's connected to the B-speakers terminals). The passive adapter has output impedance of 1 ohms, attenuates the signal about 30 dB (louspeakers need about 1000 times more power than headphones) and creates the crossfeed-effect (three different levels for different kind of recordings for best results). My damping factor is about 60 with Sennheiser HD-598 and the sound is sooo clear. Crossfeeding makes listening extremely enjoyable. Construction of the headphone adapter cost about 30 euros.  :)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 05, 2013, 09:14:49 PM
Received the Audio-Technica ATH M50S today and they're going straight back to Amazon for a complete refund. Some of the most uncomfortable headphones I've ever worn. The sound also isn't all that impressive. I know you have to burn in all headphones but I've read many reviews where the reviewers say they sounded great right out of the box. Well, not to me. They sounded just 'okay.' Nothing really special. After I gave these headphones a test drive through some music selections, I got back out my Samson SR850 and the difference was like night and day and it's not because I'm used to my trusty Samsons, it's just because the overall frequency and soundstage was just much fuller and natural sounding.

I'm quite disappointed, but if you don't take a risk every now and again, you'll never know what you're missing or not missing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on April 06, 2013, 01:50:05 AM
Just a couple of thoughts. I've not heard the M50s but just about everyone talks about the good sound quality, even out of the box. General comments on comfort lean towards the positive side but this is a personal thing. I don't think they are a great headphone for classical music based on what people say about the sound.

The again, regarding the sound quality - have you possibly been sold a fake? Who was the Amazon Seller? There are threads out there about his very subject. What is it about the sound that makes it ordinary?

Have a read of these for more info.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/601236/ath-m50-felling-uncomfortable
http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-technica-ath-m50-studio-monitor-headphones/reviews

http://www.head-fi.org/t/546544/samson-sr850-superlux-oem-review-a-50-budget-champion

Just a last couple of thoughts. The M50s are closed back phones and will have a very different sound signature to the Samsons which are semi open. If you need closed back with good isolation have a look at the Shure SRH840s. I own a pair of these and their neutral (though slighltly warm) presentation makes them very easy to listen to. Their clarity, faithful reproduction of strings, voice and piano make them great classical phones. One caveat though, they are a bit heavy. I love them and use them at work via my laptop. They also handle rock music very well.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/shure-srh840/reviews

I now use the Sennheiser IE80 in ear monitors as my closed back phones but they are expensive. They blow the Shure's out of the water  but then again they blow my Senn HD580s out of the water as well. For the price, they should.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2013, 06:29:26 AM
Hey Holden, no I wasn't sold a fake. I bought these directly from Amazon and not a MP seller. Regarding the sound quality, I just thought the mids were too recessed, the bass didn't have much depth, and the treble didn't have the kind of bite that I'm more accustomed to hearing, but, like I said, I obviously didn't give them adequate amount of time for a burn-in but I'm certainly not going to keep wearing, or own, a pair of headphones that are uncomfortable because I listen to music for long stretches of time (sometimes an hour, sometimes two hours).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on April 06, 2013, 09:09:44 AM
Hey Holden, no I wasn't sold a fake. I bought these directly from Amazon and not a MP seller. Regarding the sound quality, I just thought the mids were too recessed, the bass didn't have much depth, and the treble didn't have the kind of bite that I'm more accustomed to hearing, but, like I said, I obviously didn't give them adequate amount of time for a burn-in but I'm certainly not going to keep wearing, or own, a pair of headphones that are uncomfortable because I listen to music for long stretches of time (sometimes an hour, sometimes two hours).

I still prefer to listen to music through speakers and my full-sized sound system and rarely ever listen through headphones for more than an hour at a time ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2013, 05:36:18 PM
I still prefer to listen to music through speakers and my full-sized sound system and rarely ever listen through headphones for more than an hour at a time ...

This is my preference too, but I live with my parents so there's not much time I have to crank up my stereo, but thankfully when my Mom is at work and my Dad is home (he's a huge classical fan and fully retired) he doesn't mind. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on April 06, 2013, 06:39:23 PM
This is my preference too, but I live with my parents so there's not much time I have to crank up my stereo, but thankfully when my Mom is at work and my Dad is home (he's a huge classical fan and fully retired) he doesn't mind. :)

I actually have a pair of Sennheiser wireless headphones that allows me to listen to FM classical stations located in NYC.  But the signals required a rooftop antenna to be picked up and the stereo tuner is located on the top floor, the only way I can listen to any FM broadcast outside the top floor music room is via this pair of wireless headphones since I do not want to blast my sound system.  Well, that was almost 10 years ago and before the time of internet tuner, which I now have in my study ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2013, 07:51:38 PM
I actually have a pair of Sennheiser wireless headphones that allows me to listen to FM classical stations located in NYC.  But the signals required a rooftop antenna to be picked up and the stereo tuner is located on the top floor, the only way I can listen to any FM broadcast outside the top floor music room is via this pair of wireless headphones since I do not want to blast my sound system.  Well, that was almost 10 years ago and before the time of internet tuner, which I now have in my study ...

Nice, Coopmv. I'm pretty satisfied with my headphone listening as I have a headphone amp and can run a CD player through it, but I do love to listening to music through a good stereo. No question about that. What do you think about internet tuners? Any you can recommend? I've been looking into getting one.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on April 07, 2013, 08:46:29 AM
Nice, Coopmv. I'm pretty satisfied with my headphone listening as I have a headphone amp and can run a CD player through it, but I do love to listening to music through a good stereo. No question about that. What do you think about internet tuners? Any you can recommend? I've been looking into getting one.

I like my Grace Internet Tuner.  It allows me to connect to my stereo system via RCA type jacks, which I have not done yet.  I have been listening through headphones.  The headphone output quality from the tuner is actually quite good.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 07, 2013, 06:33:00 PM
I like my Grace Internet Tuner.  It allows me to connect to my stereo system via RCA type jacks, which I have not done yet.  I have been listening through headphones.  The headphone output quality from the tuner is actually quite good.

I'll check the Grace out. Kudos, Coopmv.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Coopmv on April 13, 2013, 02:02:15 PM
I'll check the Grace out. Kudos, Coopmv.

You will enjoy those classical music broadcasts from the likes of BBC, etc. that much more when you can listen to them through your stereo system.  IMO, the sound of the internet radio just does not cut it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 16, 2013, 08:39:49 AM
I bought these Audio Technica ATH-AD700 today on Amazon for $99:

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o34/emoners/HeadFi/emon_head-fi15.jpg)

Here are the specs -

Type: Open-air Dynamic
Driver Diameter: 53 mm
Magent: Neodymium
Voice Coil: Copper-clad aluminum wire
Frequency Response: 5 - 30,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power: 500 mW
Sensitivity: 98 dB/mW at 1 kHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Weight: 280 g
Cable: 3.0 m (Single/Hybrid-PCOCC)
Connector: 1/8" (3.5 mm) mini stereo, gold-plated
Accessory Included: Detachable 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter

I've read the pros/cons on these headphones and the good seemed to outweigh the bad here. The frequency response and the fact that I read numerous times that these have a wide soundstage, due obviously to it's open-air design, immediately attracted me to this model. The comfort level is of course very important for me since I do a lot of listening at night and these look quite comfortable. I love these types of earpads. Anyway, I hope they're good ones and if I have any problem, I can always send them back.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 16, 2013, 09:00:46 AM
I bought these Audio Technica ATH-AD700 today on Amazon for $99:



I'm using those as I type this.  Very easy to listen to for extended periods.  Not the last word in detail or bass performance, but a really fine performer at the price. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on April 16, 2013, 09:38:57 AM
I bought these Audio Technica ATH-AD700 today on Amazon for $99:

1. What happened to the ATH-M50s you ordered very recently?
2. If I have the ATH-M50s, would there be a reason for me to buy these?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 16, 2013, 10:04:26 AM


I'm using those as I type this.  Very easy to listen to for extended periods.  Not the last word in detail or bass performance, but a really fine performer at the price.

Yes, the lack of bass is something I've read about, but I have a headphone amplifier that helps me beef up the bass end quite a bit. Thanks for your feedback.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 16, 2013, 10:11:43 AM
1. What happened to the ATH-M50s you ordered very recently?
2. If I have the ATH-M50s, would there be a reason for me to buy these?

1. I posted a message awhile back about the ATH-M50s. In that message, I detailed how uncomfortable these were to wear (they almost gave me a headache), plus, I should've known better to buy a closed-back headphone in the first place as I never have liked the sound of these kinds of headphones. But sometimes you have to take a chance on something and see what the hype is about. I can safely say I'll never buy another pair of closed-back headphones. But I would never recommend open-air or semi-open headphones be used for traveling because of sound leakage.

2. I really can't answer this question because I don't know what you're looking for in a pair of headphones. The semi-open and open-air designs are geared towards music with a wider sonic spectrum, thus giving you a larger soundstage which is ideal for classical IMHO.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 16, 2013, 10:14:05 AM
Yes, the lack of bass is something I've read about, but I have a headphone amplifier that helps me beef up the bass end quite a bit.



Headphone amps won't make up for the frequency response curve, unless they have a tone control.  I know, I listened to it with three headphone amps, none of which added anything to the bass.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 16, 2013, 10:28:41 AM


Headphone amps won't make up for the frequency response curve, unless they have a tone control.  I know, I listened to it with three headphone amps, none of which added anything to the bass.

I see. Well, like I said I've weighed in the pros/cons of these headphones and I look forward to hearing them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 16, 2013, 11:16:22 AM
Headphone amps won't make up for the frequency response curve, unless they have a tone control.  I know, I listened to it with three headphone amps, none of which added anything to the bass.

You have not addressed the claim.  A headphone amp may improve bass response over a typical digital media player with a poor quality output stage.  The iPod, for instance, is notorious for having a relatively high output impedance, which can lead to depleted bass response when used with low impedance headphones.   A well designed headphone amp could certainly avoid that problem and give more satisfactory bass response.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 16, 2013, 11:30:33 AM
You have not addressed the claim.


Gibberish. 

The cans in question have a measured frequency response that will always result in comparatively weak bass.  You can head over to HeadRoom and compare the ATH-AD700 to any number of models you want, and you'll see why.  They were designed that way.

I have hundreds of hours with these headphones, mostly with an old Sony Discman and PC, but also with a Creek OBH 11, Schiit Asgard, and Woo WA6-SE.  I know how they sound with a variety of pieces of equipment, and sure enough, the measured frequency response doesn't lie.  These are not for fans of bass.  I enjoy them immensely, but I can't miss the sonic signature they produce.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on April 16, 2013, 11:38:07 AM
I do most of my critical or Serious listening with my headphones (the aforementioned ATH-M50s) plugged into a PC. Should I be looking at any sort of amps or other headphone accessory equipment? This is a field I know nothing about.

(I realize this is a big/beginner question.)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 16, 2013, 11:46:52 AM
I do most of my critical or Serious listening with my headphones (the aforementioned ATH-M50s) plugged into a PC. Should I be looking at any sort of amps or other headphone accessory equipment? This is a field I know nothing about.



A headphone amp will produce better sound, but as with all audio, diminishing returns sets in, and rather quickly.  I'd recommend going used, so you can save some money.  (Audiogon is a good place to start.)  I picked up my Creek for around $100, and it was money well spent.  Topping is good for not much money, though at least paired with Sennheisers it sounded bright on top, and it was working hard to drive my 600 Ohm Beyers.  Schiit is superb if you can swing it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 16, 2013, 12:43:58 PM
Gibberish. 

I don't see why it is necessary to punctuate what could be a civil discussion with an expression of contempt.

Quote

The cans in question have a measured frequency response that will always result in comparatively weak bass.  You can head over to HeadRoom and compare the ATH-AD700 to any number of models you want, and you'll see why.  They were designed that way.

I have hundreds of hours with these headphones, mostly with an old Sony Discman and PC, but also with a Creek OBH 11, Schiit Asgard, and Woo WA6-SE.  I know how they sound with a variety of pieces of equipment, and sure enough, the measured frequency response doesn't lie.  These are not for fans of bass.  I enjoy them immensely, but I can't miss the sonic signature they produce.

It is true that the ATH-AD700 has a frequency response which decreases in the far low frequencies.  It also has a rather low impedance of 32 ohms.  The iPod, to mention one example, is known to produce attenuated low frequencies when driving low impedance headphones because of the design of the output stage.  (Perhaps Apple engineers wanted to preserve batter life by suppressing what they consider excessive currents at low frequency).   As a result I would expect the already weak bass response of these headphones to be further weakened if used with in iPod or device with similar output, and substitution of a better amplifier could restore the lost bass response.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 16, 2013, 01:22:32 PM
It is true that the ATH-AD700 has a frequency response which decreases in the far low frequencies.



You'd better go back and reread the graphs.  The ATH-AD700 is between 3 dB and 10 dB down between 50 Hz and 200 Hz compared to most headphones; the drop in bass is not only in the low bass (ie, <40-50 Hz).  Most headphones have boosted bass output right up to 200 Hz because a flat response, like what is theoretically preferred in loudspeakers, makes headphones sound decidedly bass-light, irrespective of impedance.  That's the case with the ATH-AD700.  A headphone amp cannot and will not change that.  What Apple's designers did is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2013, 06:06:04 PM
So I received the ATH AD700 headphones on Saturday and they're going back on Monday. Extremely comfortable headphones, sub-par sound. 'Nuff said. I'm still having trouble finding a pair that beats my Samson SR850. If these Samson's ever malfunction, I would replace them in a minute. They sound that good.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on April 22, 2013, 03:07:53 PM
Funny how we hear things. I was quite disappointed by these. I find them excellent for voices (jazz and classical both), decent for pinao, but totally underwelming with orchestral sounds. I've even plugged them directly into my big rig thinking that perhaps I had an issue with the amp, but absolutely no difference. I find the Senn 580 much better. I think the thing you like is what dislike. I find them colorless and bland (and neutral is not the word I'd use, though they are more that than the Senns).

After spending more time with these headphones, I feel as you feel.  I think that the mids are slightly recessed, for classical you need those mids.  I now put the Senns above the dt880s.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 22, 2013, 03:18:45 PM
After spending more time with these headphones, I feel as you feel.  I think that the mids are slightly recessed, for classical you need those mids.  I now put the Senns above the dt880s.

Beyerdynamic DT880s are my overall favorite, I would say, above any of the Sennheisers I've owned.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 22, 2013, 03:38:53 PM
Is there a factual basis for claiming that earbuds damage hearing more than alternatives?
Here is an article published by a medical foundation located in your state - Teen Hearing Lose Related to MP3 and iPod Listening ...[/ (http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/diseases/mp3hearing.html)
So the answer is "no"?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 23, 2013, 09:43:30 AM
So the answer is "no"?
I was not in on this discussion, but it is a topic of interest for me. I found one link to research that does seem to indicate some preference for over the ear headphones to earbuds, but it does seem that volume is a far more important factor (regardless of type).
Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-2109712.html (http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-2109712.html)

Here's one that says it has almost nothing to do with it: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827159,00.html (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827159,00.html)

One more: http://archive.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=69832 (http://archive.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=69832)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 23, 2013, 09:51:40 AM
I was not in on this discussion, but it is a topic of interest for me. I found one link to research that does seem to indicate some preference for over the ear headphones to earbuds, but it does seem that volume is a far more important factor (regardless of type).
Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-2109712.html (http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-2109712.html)

Here's one that says it has almost nothing to do with it: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827159,00.html (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827159,00.html)

One more: http://archive.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=69832 (http://archive.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=69832)

Yep, there's a well-established correlation between exposure to high spls and hearing loss, but if anything that should suggest well-designed earbuds that seal out extraneous sound and thus permit hearing adequately at lower volume might even be a wiser choice than buds or cans that don't.  As Maria Muldaur famously said, "It ain't the meat, it's the motion." ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 23, 2013, 09:55:07 AM
I find it plausible that earbuds are worse than over-ear are worse than speakers.  It has to do with transients.

Consider a sharp transient like a stroke on a drum.  Listening to speakers, your ears receive the primary impulse via direct propagation, and some time later multiple secondary impulses via reflection from walls, ceiling, floor, etc.  For a perceived volume level, there is less power in the transient.  With earbuds, there are no reflections, the transient is received raw.  For over-ear, there at least might be some softening of the transient as the sound bounces around your outer ear.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 23, 2013, 09:58:32 AM
but it does seem that volume is a far more important factor (regardless of type).



It seems to me that volume is the only parameter that matters when it comes to headphone-related hearing loss.  The recommendations as to "percent of the maximum" seem misleading or pointless.  If 70% of max on one device delivers 90 dB average volume and 90% of max on another device delivers 80 dB average volume, the former will cause hearing loss and the latter will not.  (Here's a handy guide for safe volume limits and exposure periods. (http://www.lowertheboom.org/trice/safedblevels.htm)) 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 23, 2013, 12:36:56 PM
Your url got dropped, Todd. I presume it referred to a chart like this one from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/noise/signs.htm
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 23, 2013, 12:54:41 PM
Your url got dropped, Todd. I presume it referred to a chart like this one from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/noise/signs.htm



It's similar, and I updated the post.  The url is http://www.lowertheboom.org/trice/safedblevels.htm.  It includes OSHA proposed time limits at various SPLs.  One of the prior article links claims that young people will listen at 110+ dB.  Anyone dumb enough to do that will lose hearing quickly, irrespective of what type of headphones or speakers are used.  (And I do believe these types of concerns are what prompted the local orchestra to put angled plexiglass reflectors in front of the horn section.)


85 dB and higher - prolonged exposure will result in hearing loss
90 dBA - no more than 8 hours per day (examples - lawn mower, truck traffic, hair dryer)
95 dBA - no more than 4 hours per day
100 dBA - no more than 2 hours per day (example - chain saw)
105 dBA - no more than 1 hour per day
110 dBA - no more than ½ hour per day
115 dBA - no more than ¼ hour per day (preferably less)
140 dBA - NO EXPOSURE TO IMPACT OR IMPULSE NOISE ABOVE THIS LEVEL (examples - gunshot blast, jet plane at takeoff)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2013, 02:47:14 AM


It's similar, and I updated the post.  The url is http://www.lowertheboom.org/trice/safedblevels.htm.  It includes OSHA proposed time limits at various SPLs.  One of the prior article links claims that young people will listen at 110+ dB.  Anyone dumb enough to do that will lose hearing quickly, irrespective of what type of headphones or speakers are used.  (And I do believe these types of concerns are what prompted the local orchestra to put angled plexiglass reflectors in front of the horn section.)


85 dB and higher - prolonged exposure will result in hearing loss
90 dBA - no more than 8 hours per day (examples - lawn mower, truck traffic, hair dryer)
95 dBA - no more than 4 hours per day
100 dBA - no more than 2 hours per day (example - chain saw)
105 dBA - no more than 1 hour per day
110 dBA - no more than ½ hour per day
115 dBA - no more than ¼ hour per day (preferably less)
140 dBA - NO EXPOSURE TO IMPACT OR IMPULSE NOISE ABOVE THIS LEVEL (examples - gunshot blast, jet plane at takeoff)

Since the noise exposure doubles for every 3 dB increase in sound pressure level, this listing isn't reliable in my opinion. For example, 115 dB A-weighted noise for 15 minutes per day is really BRUTAL for ears! For A-weighted equivalent noise levels LAeq the limits for workers are like this:

85 dB - 8 hours
88 dB - 4 hours
91 dB - 2 hours
94 dB - 1 hour
97 dB - 30 minutes
100 dB - 15 minutes
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 04:39:55 AM
Since the noise exposure doubles for every 3 dB increase in sound pressure level, this listing isn't reliable in my opinion.



I dare say the folks at OSHA knew all this when compiling the list.  I am thus forced to decide whether to believe OSHA or you.  I'll go with OSHA on this, unless you can point to your special credentials in this field, or the work of some other government agency (Finnish? EU?) that has different standards. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 05:39:32 AM
But googling OSHA and "absurd" is great fun and an entertaining lesson in the fallibility of any organization that doesn't have to justify its existence or its conduct on a regular, rigorous basis.



OSHA certainly has its shortcomings, but when faced with a choice between the recommendations of an agency that has experts at its disposal and a random poster on an internet forum, I must say that OSHA is probably the better bet.  Now, if there are any audiologists on the board who can cover safe SPL levels, that would be most interesting and informative. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 24, 2013, 09:29:44 AM
Loudspeakers, earbuds, or cans: the question is which best represents Elgar's complex vibrational fields at SPLs adequate for self-induced prefrontal lobotomy?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2013, 10:06:59 AM
I dare say the folks at OSHA knew all this when compiling the list.  I am thus forced to decide whether to believe OSHA or you.  I'll go with OSHA on this, unless you can point to your special credentials in this field, or the work of some other government agency (Finnish? EU?) that has different standards.

By all means believe who you want. As an acoustics engineer with an university degree I don't "need" to make you believe what I say. Just don't say I didn't warn you if 15 minutes of A-weighted 115 dB per day makes you deaf.  ???

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/index.html (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/index.html)
OSHA uses 5 dB exchange rate*. The page mentions that NIOSH uses the same rules and limits I mentioned here. In Finland, the 3 dB exchange rate is the only one as far as I know.

* Exchange rate: The relationship between intensity and dose. OSHA uses a 5-dB exchange rate. Thus, if the intensity of an exposure increases by 5 dB, the dose doubles. Sometimes, this is also referred to as the doubling rate. The U.S. Navy uses a 4-dB exchange rate; the U.S. Army and Air Force use a 3-dB exchange rate. NIOSH recommends a 3-dB exchange rate. Note that the equal-energy rule is based on a 3 dB exchange rate.

Source: PREVENTING OCCUPATIONAL HEARING LOSS — A PRACTICAL GUIDE — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 1996.


Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 10:57:16 AM
Just don't say I didn't warn you if 15 minutes of A-weighted 115 dB per day makes you deaf.



Why would I need a warning from you regarding exposing myself to 115 dB sounds?  What a strange reply.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2013, 12:00:14 PM
Why would I need a warning from you regarding exposing myself to 115 dB sounds?  What a strange reply.

Following OSHA limits means significantly higher "allowed" noise exposure.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 24, 2013, 12:19:49 PM
OSHA certainly has its shortcomings, but when faced with a choice between the recommendations of an agency that has experts at its disposal and a random poster on an internet forum, I must say that OSHA is probably the better bet.  Now, if there are any audiologists on the board who can cover safe SPL levels, that would be most interesting and informative.

Perhaps you should consider the fact that 71dB has formal education in the scientific discipline of acoustics and is more qualified to interpret the OSHA rules, since he has a detailed understanding of the concepts involved.  Of course, this would violate your life philosophy, which holds that anyone who disagrees with you obviously doesn't know anything.   ::)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 12:20:12 PM
Following OSHA limits means significantly higher "allowed" noise exposure.


Hmm, "allowed" is an interesting word choice.  To be honest, I still place far more faith in the estimates of OSHA than in your opinion, but irrespective of whether one follows professional guidelines or amateur guidelines, listening to music at 115 dB (or 110, or 100 for that matter) is something only dunderheads do.



DBAD!


I had to look this particular abbreviation up.  It is very clever. 



Of course, this would violate your life philosophy, which holds that anyone who disagrees with you obviously doesn't know anything.


This from the person who writes about "raw" transients.  What are those, exactly?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 24, 2013, 02:12:48 PM
The energy transfer in a complex signal is not uniform.   It varies with time. 

For instance, if someone presses a key on an organ the pipe starts oscillating and there is a steady transfer of energy until the key is released.  If someone hits a key on a piano there is a very intense burst of energy as the hammer hits the string, then the tone trails off.  You could characterize both by the average energy transfer rate, but the piano note has a higher peak energy.  It is not clear whether the peak energy or the average energy is more significant in determining ear damage.

Another factor is that stapedius muscle, which acts as a volume control in the ear, can protect your inner ear from very loud sounds.  However, a very brief pulse of sound could damage your ear before the spapedius muscle has time to react.  That is why explosions can be especially dangerous to hearing.  The "white noise" machines that people sometimes use to mask sound work by keeping your stapedius muscle engaged, making your ears less sensitive to ambient noise.

As a result, I think that a criteria that says that so many decibels is dangerous is approximate at best, because a given level of noise might be more or less dangerous depending on whether it is continuous or contains strong impulses.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 02:21:39 PM
As a result, I think that a criteria that says that so many decibels is dangerous is approximate at best, because a given level of noise might be more or less dangerous depending on whether it is continuous or contains strong impulses.



Do you have any measurements to support your hypothesis, particularly regarding earbuds?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 24, 2013, 02:50:33 PM
Do you have any measurements to support your hypothesis, particularly regarding earbuds?

The hypothesis is easy to verify using widely accepted mathematical tools.  The impulse response function can be constructed by tabulating all of the possible paths that sound can propagate from a source to your ear.  After a minute or two of googling I found a page by someone who measured the impulse response function for their living room.

http://pcfarina.eng.unipr.it/Aurora/SAW/RoomSim.html

See Figure 3.  It shows how a sharp impulse gets smeared out by reflections.  Once you know the impulse response function, the effect on a waveform can be found using convolution.  This is how audio processors that simulate the acoustic of a concert hall work.  Based on the graph in the link above, there is no doubt that a room would smear out transient impulses compared with headphones.  Now, since an over-ear headphone is just a little "room" that you put over your ear, the same effect would apply, in principal.  The question is the degree.  Whether the smearing of over-ear headphones compared with earbuds would be significant is not obvious and would require measurement, which I obviously have not done.    However, smearing of transients would only occur for wavelengths which are smaller than the room size, and this means that only relatively high frequency sounds might have their impulses smeared out by over-ear headphones.  So I suspect the difference between over-ear headphones and earbuds would not be large.

The biggest unknown is not the acoustics, which are very straightforward.   The main question is the physiology of the ear, since the NIH not going to allow researchers to experimentally determine how much sound makes people deaf.  All they can do is ask deaf people how much noise they listened to and for how long.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 03:54:38 PM
The hypothesis is easy to verify using widely accepted mathematical tools.



So the answer is no, you do not have any measurements to support your hypothesis, particularly as they pertain to "raw" transients, earbuds, and the impact on hearing.  You can suspect all sorts of things; you can prove nothing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidRoss on April 24, 2013, 04:19:48 PM
I got yer raw transients right here:

(http://www.offuhuge.com/files/M3SbFGx4n.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 24, 2013, 04:20:09 PM


So the answer is no, you do not have any measurements to support your hypothesis, particularly as they pertain to "raw" transients, earbuds, and the impact on hearing.  You can suspect all sorts of things; you can prove nothing.

That is correct, I can prove nothing to someone who has no training in mathematics. 

To someone who is trained in mathematics I have given compelling evidence.  Impulse smearing will affect sound waves whose wavelength is smaller than the size of the room.  People are more accustomed to describing sound in terms of frequency, and this will affect frequencies above v/L, where v is the speed of sound and L is the size of the room.  Since the speed of sound is about 1000 m/s, and if we assume 10 m for the room, frequencies above 100 Hz would have their impulses smoothed out compared with headphones.  That is substantial.  For the headphone vs earbud comparison, we would set L to be the size of the earphone chamber, perhaps 10 cm at most.  Then we get (1000 m/s)/(0.1 m) = 10,000 Hz.  Only the very highest frequency transients would be smoothout out, which is probably not very significant.  So loudspeakers could provide substantial smoothing of transients, and headphones would probably provide very little smoothing of transients compared with earbuds.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 24, 2013, 05:43:09 PM
For the headphone vs earbud comparison, we would set L to be the size of the earphone chamber, perhaps 10 cm at most.


You can fancy yourself a scientist, or whatever, but the fact that you write about what you would do rather than what you have done tells me all I need to know.  You have no empirical evidence to support your claims, as I suspected.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 24, 2013, 06:12:42 PM

You can fancy yourself a scientist, or whatever, but the fact that you write about what you would do rather than what you have done tells me all I need to know.  You have no empirical evidence to support your claims, as I suspected.

I must admit your ability to defeat any argument by not understanding it is quite impressive.   :D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 25, 2013, 04:01:26 AM
Perhaps you should consider the fact that 71dB has formal education in the scientific discipline of acoustics and is more qualified to interpret the OSHA rules, since he has a detailed understanding of the concepts involved.  Of course, this would violate your life philosophy, which holds that anyone who disagrees with you obviously doesn't know anything.   ::)

A person with a formal education can be wrong too. I don't consider myself #1 expert on hearing protection field. It's been some 15 years since I actually studied these things in university. Anyway, I encourage people to follow the 3 dB exchange rate rule instead of the "weird" 5 dB exchange rate rule because it's much safer, logical (3dB = double power) and widely used.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 25, 2013, 04:43:56 AM
I must admit your ability to defeat any argument by not understanding it is quite impressive.



Will you be posting the results from your research here?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 25, 2013, 07:48:24 AM

Hmm, "allowed" is an interesting word choice.  To be honest, I still place far more faith in the estimates of OSHA than in your opinion, but irrespective of whether one follows professional guidelines or amateur guidelines, listening to music at 115 dB (or 110, or 100 for that matter) is something only dunderheads do.

I posted that in a hurry. I should have put my words better. If I have time I may study OSHA's reasoning (I already read something but that didn't really explain anything). Placing faith in something (OSHA) is kind of religious. Use your own reasoning man.

When listening to music one has to keep in mind that music is dynamic. The highest peaks can be even 115 dB but the equivalent sound pressure level is much lower. I mention this just in case so everyone understands we are talking about equivalent levels.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 25, 2013, 07:58:24 AM
That is correct, I can prove nothing to someone who has no training in mathematics. 

To someone who is trained in mathematics I have given compelling evidence.  Impulse smearing will affect sound waves whose wavelength is smaller than the size of the room.  People are more accustomed to describing sound in terms of frequency, and this will affect frequencies above v/L, where v is the speed of sound and L is the size of the room.  Since the speed of sound is about 1000 m/s, and if we assume 10 m for the room, frequencies above 100 Hz would have their impulses smoothed out compared with headphones.  That is substantial.  For the headphone vs earbud comparison, we would set L to be the size of the earphone chamber, perhaps 10 cm at most.  Then we get (1000 m/s)/(0.1 m) = 10,000 Hz.  Only the very highest frequency transients would be smoothout out, which is probably not very significant.  So loudspeakers could provide substantial smoothing of transients, and headphones would probably provide very little smoothing of transients compared with earbuds.

The speed of sound in normal pressure and room temperature is about 345 m/s. You must be confucing feets and meters. Your theory about transient smoothing is more or less valid but told in laymans terms. At low frequencies the things get complex as we have standing waves. Also, the room affects also when the wavelenght is larger than the room.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 25, 2013, 08:00:55 AM
Use your own reasoning man.



I don't use my own reasoning when it comes to setting listening levels.  I use my own preferences.  As it turns out, I generally don't listen very loud.  I knew about the 85 dB being a baseline for hearing damage, so first thing I did when I finally bought a cheap SPL meter was measure how loud I listen to music.  Turns out most of the time I listen at around a 70-75 dB average volume, with peaks hitting 80-90 dB, depending on the recording.  I then did a rudimentary test using headphones, and it's roughly the same.  When I feel like listening loud, I almost never go above 90 dB average, and then usually for only short periods.  A better SPL meter and sophisticated software would yield more precise results, of course, but I have no reason to spend the dough.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on April 25, 2013, 08:02:27 AM
The speed of sound in normal pressure and room temperature is about 345 m/s. You must be confucing feets and meters. Your theory about transient smoothing is more or less valid but told in laymans terms.

You are correct, of course, so using the correct number the frequency cutoffs would be about 3 times lower.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 25, 2013, 09:02:18 AM
I don't use my own reasoning when it comes to setting listening levels.  I use my own preferences.

Yes, when listening to music, one can set the levels accordings to comfortable (often safe) preferencies.

As it turns out, I generally don't listen very loud.

Loud is a subjective term.

I knew about the 85 dB being a baseline for hearing damage, so first thing I did when I finally bought a cheap SPL meter was measure how loud I listen to music.  Turns out most of the time I listen at around a 70-75 dB average volume, with peaks hitting 80-90 dB, depending on the recording.

My listening happens at similar levels. This kind of listening doesn't damage hearing even if one listen to music all day long.

Cheap SPL meters aren't very accurate. What weighting did you use? A? C? Linear? How about time-weighting? S, F or I? These choices affect a lot for what the dB value means.

I then did a rudimentary test using headphones, and it's roughly the same.  When I feel like listening loud, I almost never go above 90 dB average, and then usually for only short periods.  A better SPL meter and sophisticated software would yield more precise results, of course, but I have no reason to spend the dough.

Measuring headphones isn't that easy. People tend to use higher sound pressure levels when using headphones because:

- Distortion makes the sound appear louder. Since headphones can produce very high levels without significant distortion, headphone sound seems quieter compared to loudspeakers.

- Reverberation makes the sound appear louder. Since headphohes lack reverberation, people compensate turning volume up. This is the "transient mearing effect told by Parsifal".

- Headphone listening doesn't disturb others as much as loudspeakers do. So, headphone people turn the volume up!

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on April 25, 2013, 09:27:58 AM
Cheap SPL meters aren't very accurate. What weighting did you use? A? C? Linear? How about time-weighting? S, F or I?


I know they aren't accurate, but they are accurate enough for my purposes.  I used A weighting and F time weighting last time I measured.



Measuring headphones isn't that easy. People tend to use higher sound pressure levels when using headphones because:


I didn't claim I performed sophisticated measurements.  What I did was set the volume to what I normally listen at and then place the SPL meter mic right up to the earpiece.  It was about 1 dB higher than my speakers from what I recall, at least using my Beyers.  If memory serves, I actually prefer listening to Grados at a lower volume due to the additional energy in the 1-3 KHz region.  (I very rarely listen to Grados anymore as I find the sound too aggressive.)  In general I tend to prefer about the same volume in domestic settings.  When I drive, that's a different story.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on April 28, 2013, 06:44:05 PM
Just bought these Beyerdynamic DT 770 250 Ω closed-back headphones -

(http://origin-static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/204/986/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_272024.jpg)

Specs -

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dynamic
Operating principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Closed
Nominal frequency response . . . . . . . . . 5 - 35,000 Hz
Nominal impedance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Ω / 250 Ω
Nominal SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 dB SPL
Nominal T.H.D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.2%
Power handling capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 mW
Sound coupling to ear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Circumaural
Ambient noise isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 18 dB(A)
Nominal headband pressure . . . . . . . . . approx. 3.5 N
Weight (without cable) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 g
Length and type of cable
80 Ω version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 m / straight cable
250 Ω version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 m / coiled cable
Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gold plated stereo
jack plug (3.5 mm) and
1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on April 29, 2013, 09:16:14 AM
I Studied things. OSHA requires hearing conservation program. That's why it allows higher levels. The difference between 3 dB and 5 dB exchange rates is due to different ways of predicting the noise levels outside that highest exposure. OSHA claims that in typical occupational environments the 5 dB rule gives almost the same results as the 3 dB rule.

If we talk about safe levels in music listening, we must take this into count. OSHA is taylored in noisy factories etc. were hearing conservation devices are used if needed. In music listening I would recommend the Criterion Level = 85 dB(A), Exchange Rate = 3 dB rule.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 03, 2013, 07:00:49 PM
Received the Beyerdynamic DT 770 250 Ω closed-back headphones earlier today and tested them out. They're going back to Amazon for a full refund. Way too tight on my head. Great sound quality, but comfort is so important to me. I know I didn't give these headphones anywhere near enough time to 'break in,' but I listen for long periods of time, so comfort is just as important as the sound quality.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on May 03, 2013, 11:00:08 PM
Have you considered IEMs?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on May 04, 2013, 12:08:54 AM
Way too tight on my head.

Brand new headphones tend to be tight. Also, your head needs to get used to the pressure pattern caused by the phones. When I bought Sennheiser PX-200 for my iPod (outdoor use) years back, at first they felt uncomfortable but then something happened and I can "forget" I am wearing them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Brian on August 15, 2013, 07:28:30 AM
USB headphone amp in production.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavn8r/geek-a-new-usb-awesomifier-for-headphones

I'm considering jumping in while it's $140, but honestly, I don't know the first thing about headphone amps or what else is out there. The USB aspect sounds pretty useful since my laptop is my "sound system".
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Pat B on August 15, 2013, 08:29:04 AM
I'm considering jumping in while it's $140, but honestly, I don't know the first thing about headphone amps or what else is out there. The USB aspect sounds pretty useful since my laptop is my "sound system".

I don't see any indication that they're in production yet. Their delivery estimate is in January. Claiming to "support" mp3, flac, and aiff (!) is a bit of a turn-off for me since all of that is handled before it gets to their product. As far as what else is out there, here's a start:
http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers.php (http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers.php)

I have a Total BitHead which apparently is now OOP. :(

The first question is probably whether you need one at all. I bought mine to go with ER-4S phones since they are moderately difficult to drive. I don't always use it. My other phones are Grado SR-60's and I rarely use the amp with them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 15, 2013, 08:34:15 AM
USB headphone amp in production.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavn8r/geek-a-new-usb-awesomifier-for-headphones

I'm considering jumping in while it's $140, but honestly, I don't know the first thing about headphone amps or what else is out there. The USB aspect sounds pretty useful since my laptop is my "sound system".

That is stupid.  Sorry but kickstarter is for helping fund something innovate that doesn't currently exist.  USB headphone amps exist from several brands and are not that expensive.

I'm sure Brian you know and understand how kickstarter works, but for everyone else... don't consider it an investment.  Alot of kickstarters don't pan out and the money is just gone.  You have to be willing to put money towards a project with no expectation of seeing that money back, in hopes of seeing a product make it to market that otherwise would not exist.  It is as simple as that.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on August 15, 2013, 08:57:16 AM
I don't see any indication that they're in production yet. Their delivery estimate is in January. Claiming to "support" mp3, flac, and aiff (!) is a bit of a turn-off for me since all of that is handled before it gets to their product. As far as what else is out there, here's a start:
http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers.php (http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers.php)

I have a Total BitHead which apparently is now OOP. :(

The first question is probably whether you need one at all. I bought mine to go with ER-4S phones since they are moderately difficult to drive. I don't always use it. My other phones are Grado SR-60's and I rarely use the amp with them.

I also have a Total BitHead.  I did not find the sound it produced to be outstanding, but it looks like HeadRoom discontinued a lot of its product line.  Disappointing because I liked their crossfeed feature.

The kickstarter campaign doesn't sound viable since there are many similar products already available and I don't see anything unique about the product they propose to make.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Opus106 on August 15, 2013, 09:33:38 AM
I'm sure Brian you know and understand how kickstarter works, but for everyone else... don't consider it an investment.  Alot of kickstarters don't pan out and the money is just gone.  You have to be willing to put money towards a project with no expectation of seeing that money back, in hopes of seeing a product make it to market that otherwise would not exist.  It is as simple as that.

There are some projects which refund the money if their respective goals aren't reached. So read the terms carefully is what I'd say.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on August 17, 2013, 08:54:56 AM
They more than reached their goal. If there are similar products on the market, are there any recommendations for what's available, not OOP?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on August 17, 2013, 09:20:21 AM
They more than reached their goal. If there are similar products on the market, are there any recommendations for what's available, not OOP?

An audiophile friend of mine swears by this:

ahh... actually I forgot. I'll inquire.

inquired:
Quote
there was M2tech (http://www.m2tech.biz/hiface_dac.html) dac the orange stuff
http://www.m2tech.biz/hiface_dac.html
headphone amp look in amazon they range around 50
geek look good too
http://www.theawesomer.com/geek-dac-headphone-amp/248144/

For non-mobile travel he likes the PA-10.1d (http://earmass.com/2013/07/07/trends-audio-pa10-1d-hybrid-headphone-amplifier/)...

What you want, Brian, is--from the sound of it--a DAC/Amp combo, though... otherwise the direct USB connection makes little sense...

There are plenty of those around, too... quality makers from reliable sources. If you are into audiophile downloads, you'll have to look at the specs like a hawk... otherwise you can be pretty safe that all newer pieces of equipment will serve your needs just fine.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Parsifal on August 17, 2013, 11:35:00 AM
There are plenty of those around, too... quality makers from reliable sources. If you are into audiophile downloads, you'll have to look at the specs like a hawk... otherwise you can be pretty safe that all newer pieces of equipment will serve your needs just fine.

The bottom line is power.  No DAC/Aamp that that is powered by the USB is going to sound very good because USB power is anemic and noisy.  For a mobile solution you may have no choice, but if you are going to be plugging you computer in to AC power you will want to plug your DAC/Amp in to be driven by its own independent power supply.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on August 17, 2013, 11:54:20 AM
The bottom line is power.

Yes. That's why I use a self-constructed headphone adapter connected to the B-speaker terminals of my NAD amplifier. No sortage of power!  ;D

Specs: Effective output impedance 1 ohm, three crossfeed levels (+off), mono switch and the parts cost about 25 euros. Design + construction work many many hours but it was a fun project.

Now I am working on a better headphone adapter with six crossfeed levels because it's fun.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 18, 2013, 06:00:23 AM
They more than reached their goal. If there are similar products on the market, are there any recommendations for what's available, not OOP?

By oop I think you mean the classic total bighead?  Yeah that's sad.  Fiio has at least one, and there is a $20 Behringer, and the Nuforce udac (I personally didn't like this one but Holden or someone else here did if I recall).

Those are inexpensive solutions.  You can also get a dac and then a desktop amp separately as well. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 27, 2013, 09:04:09 PM
Just made a purchase of these Sennheiser HD 598 for $189:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0042A8CW2.01.L.jpg)

These come highly recommended from DavidW.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Wanderer on November 28, 2013, 12:47:56 AM
Good choice.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 28, 2013, 07:42:24 AM
Good choice.

Thanks Wanderer. They were on sale and it's not very often this happens with Sennheiser.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on November 28, 2013, 08:56:16 AM
Cool beans MI.  If you don't like it, you can resell it at a markup after the sell is over! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: aquablob on November 28, 2013, 10:42:36 AM
Just made a purchase of these Sennheiser HD 598 for $189:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0042A8CW2.01.L.jpg)

These come highly recommended from DavidW.

I was considering those recently. For around the same price, I ended up purchasing the HD 558 and the Fiio E10 DAC/amp, giving me the added benefit of better sound out of my desktop speakers. Quite happy, although those 598s are definitely prettier than my 558s (presumably they sound a little better, too).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 28, 2013, 05:49:59 PM
Cool beans MI.  If you don't like it, you can resell it at a markup after the sell is over! ;D

I'm a pretty loyal fan of Sennheiser, so I hope they're right up my alley. :) I know you've mentioned before these cans fit classical music like a glove.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 28, 2013, 05:58:23 PM
I was considering those recently. For around the same price, I ended up purchasing the HD 558 and the Fiio E10 DAC/amp, giving me the added benefit of better sound out of my desktop speakers. Quite happy, although those 598s are definitely prettier than my 558s (presumably they sound a little better, too).

Excellent. For listening at home, mostly at night, I run one of my iPods through an Audio-Technica HA20 headphone amplifier. This has turned out to be a great sounding combo for me. I use various headphones, but one of my mainstays in the past year or so has been a pair of Samson SR850. They sound really great, but they're quite uncomfortable for long listening periods.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 29, 2013, 02:53:57 AM
Just made a purchase of these Sennheiser HD 598 for $189:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0042A8CW2.01.L.jpg)

These come highly recommended from DavidW.
Nice purchase MI! I bought my HD 598 for 179 euros ($240) two and half years ago.

I wrote this in another thread but it belongs in here better:

(http://s22.postimg.org/6ntsx0a8t/headphone_adapter_2_02.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/6ntsx0a8t/) Click for larger

Finally I finished the "deluxe" headphone adapter I have been planning to construct for months. Headphone adapters are connected to the speaker output terminals of an audio amplifier to attenuate the signal about 30-40 dB for headphones. Headphone adapters are passive headphone amplifiers Benefits:

- Low output impedance meaning high damping factor (the headphone outputs of audio amplifiers have too high impedance).
- Possibility to shape the signal more suitable for headphone listening (e.g. crossfeeding)
- inexpensive to make if you have the skills.

The effective output impedance of my new headphone adapter is 1 ohm. That's comparable to quality headphone amplifiers.  With Sennheiser HD 598 headphones the damping factor is 60, much higher than the recommendation of 8 or more. Higher damping factor means tighter and cleaner distortion free sound.

Almost all stereophonic recordings are produced for loudspeakers. They have wide "superstereo" sound because of acoustical crossfeeding that happens because both ears hear sound from both loudspeakers. Room acoustics futher blends the audio channel information. When listening with headphones this stereo image narrowing doesn't happen and the resulting sound is tiresome and unnatural. Sounds are located near ears on the left and right side of the head rather that in front of the listener where they usually belong. Stereo image is also tangled because  psycoacoustic cues of the sound are too strong. This is called spatial distortion. How to get rid of it? Well, (electrical) crossfeeding is the obvious answer since lack of it gave us this problem in the first place!

My new headphone adapter has no less than 6 crossfeed levels to accommodate with different kind of recordings from mild -9.9 dB up to pretty strong -1.1 dB. Frequencies below 800 Hz are crossfeeded to the other channel at these levels delayed by about 250 µs to simulate the longer distance to the ear. Most headphone amplifiers on the market do not have crossfeeding and those models that have it give only one or two options for the level. Crossfeeding is extremely important because spatial distortion is nowadays the biggest problem of headphone listening, people just don't realise that and are happy with the unreal and tiresome superstereo sound optimized for loudspeakers.

My new headphone adapter has also mono and "blurred mono" options for problematic soundtracks. Works well with Youtube where stereophonic sound is often f*cked up. When people upload videos of themselves speaking about something, they should acquiesce to mono sound. "Blurred mono" is near-mono. It preserves a small part of channel separation.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: toledobass on November 29, 2013, 12:53:27 PM
Wow...great!

Just made a purchase of these Sennheiser HD 598 for $189:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0042A8CW2.01.L.jpg)

These come highly recommended from DavidW.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 29, 2013, 06:51:10 PM
Nice purchase MI! I bought my HD 598 for 179 euros ($240) two and half years ago.

Great to hear, 71 dB. I look forward to giving them a test drive. According to the Amazon tracking they should arrive on Tuesday.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 29, 2013, 06:52:32 PM
Wow...great!

Just out of curiosity, do you own these? I'd like to read your opinion of them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 30, 2013, 05:16:16 AM
Great to hear, 71 dB. I look forward to giving them a test drive. According to the Amazon tracking they should arrive on Tuesday.

Yeah, interesting to hear about your impressions. HD 598 (and other newer Sennheisers I suppose) have forward sound (sounds arrive more from the front and less from the sides which is a plus). With a crossfeeder the sounds "bend" further to the front and sometimes it's like listening to a pair of ultra-high quality loudpeakers without the problems rendered by rooms acoustics!  :)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 01, 2013, 11:31:30 AM
Yeah, interesting to hear about your impressions. HD 598 (and other newer Sennheisers I suppose) have forward sound (sounds arrive more from the front and less from the sides which is a plus). With a crossfeeder the sounds "bend" further to the front and sometimes it's like listening to a pair of ultra-high quality loudpeakers without the problems rendered by rooms acoustics!  :)

Sounds great, 71 dB.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on December 02, 2013, 08:44:35 AM
Sounds great, 71 dB.

Your HD 598 hasn't arrived yet MI?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 02, 2013, 09:02:56 AM
Your HD 598 hasn't arrived yet MI?

It's funny you asked this because it's out-for-delivery right now. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 02, 2013, 11:08:20 AM
Well, I'm giving the Sennheiser HD 598 headphones a test drive right now! They sound awesome! Great treble, mids, and bass. The full sound spectrum is represented realistically. The only problem I have with them is they're a bit tight on my head, but I imagine these will loosen up in time. Anyway, they sound fantastic right out of the box! Very pleased with them so far.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on December 02, 2013, 02:07:59 PM
Well, I'm giving the Sennheiser HD 598 headphones a test drive right now!
Exciting!

They sound awesome! Great treble, mids, and bass. The full sound spectrum is represented realistically.
Well, they are pretty impressive phones.

The only problem I have with them is they're a bit tight on my head, but I imagine these will loosen up in time.
You are absolutely right about them being tight. I was a bit shocked when I put them on the first time. Even the padding felt very hard. They loose up in time but not completely. Even after 1 and a half years later they feel tight but in a good way (they stay on head even when you shake it fast). It's kind of getting used to them and the padding feels somehow softer too.

Anyway, they sound fantastic right out of the box! Very pleased with them so far.
Good to hear you are happy with the sound quality MI.  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 02, 2013, 02:24:45 PM
Exciting!
Well, they are pretty impressive phones.
You are absolutely right about them being tight. I was a bit shocked when I put them on the first time. Even the padding felt very hard. They loose up in time but not completely. Even after 1 and a half years later they feel tight but in a good way (they stay on head even when you shake it fast). It's kind of getting used to them and the padding feels somehow softer too.
Good to hear you are happy with the sound quality MI.  :)

I'm sure they'll just take some to 'mold' to my head so speak as most headphones I've owned had to do. One thing that I love about them is nothing within the spectrum of sound is accentuated or 'processed' to emphasize an extreme that just doesn't exist. Like I said earlier, they're realistic and very natural sounding. They breathe with the music. Thanks for all the feedback you've given about these headphones and thanks to DavidW, too. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on December 02, 2013, 02:33:21 PM
Here is a good page where you can listen to crossfeeded sound samples (and unprosessed versions for comparison):

http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm (http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm)



I'm sure they'll just take some to 'mold' to my head so speak as most headphones I've owned had to do. One thing that I love about them is nothing within the spectrum of sound is accentuated or 'processed' to emphasize an extreme that just doesn't exist. Like I said earlier, they're realistic and very natural sounding. They breathe with the music. Thanks for all the feedback you've given about these headphones and thanks to DavidW, too. 8)

Yeah, HD 598 has a sound that "just feels right" so that you don't feel the need to worry about whether the frequency response is flat or not.

You are welcome MI.  ;) Nice to talk with someone who has the same headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 02, 2013, 03:02:56 PM
Here is a good page where you can listen to crossfeeded sound samples (and unprosessed versions for comparison):

http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm (http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm)



Yeah, HD 598 has a sound that "just feels right" so that you don't feel the need to worry about whether the frequency response is flat or not.

You are welcome MI.  ;) Nice to talk with someone who has the same headphones.

I'll have to check out that website at some point. Yes, they're certainly a great sounding pair of cans.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 05, 2013, 07:13:36 PM
Another report: I'm really loving my Sennheiser HD 598 headphones. Such great sound quality and comfort. These may be some of the best sounding headphones I've heard. These are absolutely great for classical music as the headphones cover such a wide range of sound. I was worried initially about them being open that there wasn't going to be hardly any bass in them and I read plenty of negative reviews about the lack of bass, but let me put this to rest here once and for all: these have PLENTY of bass. In fact, of all the open headphones I've heard, these have the most. So forget what the naysayers have said, these are spectacular sounding cans. Worth every penny.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Scots John on December 05, 2013, 08:33:59 PM
Roll on Xmas when these Sennheiser HD 598 headphones come my way.  My ears are bloody well crying for them after reading such excitement based on the experience of not one but TWO GMG'ers.   ;D ;D  I can't wait.  I am throwing Beethoven discs around in sheer discontent until I get the damn things... ??? ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 05, 2013, 08:41:32 PM
Roll on Xmas when these Sennheiser HD 598 headphones come my way.  My ears are bloody well crying for them after reading such excitement based on the experience of not one but TWO GMG'ers.   ;D ;D  I can't wait.  I am throwing Beethoven discs around in sheer discontent until I get the damn things... ??? ;D

:D Actually, these headphones came highly recommended to me by DavidW. He certainly was right in saying they're great for classical. Everything is so crystal clear and articulate. There's not a sound from an instrument I don't hear unless the recording's audio didn't catch the instrument playing. That's how accurate these headphones are. You're going to love them, John.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 06, 2013, 05:10:32 AM
Roll on Xmas when these Sennheiser HD 598 headphones come my way.  My ears are bloody well crying for them after reading such excitement based on the experience of not one but TWO GMG'ers.   ;D ;D  I can't wait.  I am throwing Beethoven discs around in sheer discontent until I get the damn things... ??? ;D

And here we thought that Beethoven-hurling was an annual solstice ritual . . . .
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 10, 2013, 09:31:17 PM
My Dad bought the discontinued Sennheiser HD 595 last night and they're the same specs as my 598:

(http://www.gearnuts.com/images/items/1800/HD595-xlarge.jpg)

Specs for the HD 598/595 -

Nominal impedance: 50 Ohm
Contact pressure: 3,5 N
Weight w/o cable: 270 g
Jack plug: 6,3 mmstereo (3,5 mm Adapter)
Transducer principle (Headphones): open, dynamic
Ear coupling: circumaural
Cable length: 3 m
Frequency response (headphones): 12-38500 Hz
Sound pressure level (SPL): 112 dB(1 kHz and 1 Veff)
THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0,1 %
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on December 16, 2013, 06:27:55 PM
Glad to know that you love those 598s MI!

The 595s had a problem that I didn't like-- the angled drivers would bump up against my ears.

71 dB-- nice amp you've got there.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on December 17, 2013, 09:40:53 AM
71 dB-- nice amp you've got there.

Thanks David  ;)

Technically it is not an amp. It's a passive adapter connected to the B-speaker terminals of my amplifier. My amplifier thinks it's driving weird loudspeakers having 10 times higher impedance than normal loudspeakers (very easy for the amplifier). The adapter drops the signal about 30 dB since loudspeakers need about 1 000-10 000 times more power than headphones. The adapter is based on Linkwitz-Moy circuit but is impedance matched and modified (more crossfeed levels and other features) for this use. I spend my last summer vacation designing it carefully. It replaces my previous headphone adapter that had "only" three crossfeed levels to choose from.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 17, 2013, 07:42:40 PM
Glad to know that you love those 598s MI!

The 595s had a problem that I didn't like-- the angled drivers would bump up against my ears.

Thanks, Dave. Yeah, I'm really enjoying these headphones a lot. And let's face it, I was going to buy them anyway. I just knew that these headphones were for me based off the specs alone. As for the 595s, I listened to my Dad's the other night and they sounded fantastic. :) I experienced no problems with them whatsoever, but our ears and how we react with each headphone is going to be different.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 27, 2014, 02:19:02 PM
I have been enjoying the Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm quite a lot in the last 4-5 months.

(http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/images/beyerdynamic-dt880-premium-32ohm-220x220.jpg)

The DT880 was one of the contenders with the Sennheiser HD 650 and the AKG K701 seven years ago or so when I looked at "proper" headphones back then. I have lived very happily with the HD650 and got engrossed in their warm and comforting sound signature all these years for hours on end. Curiosity eventually got the better of me last year, wanting to try a different sound style.

The DT880 are much brighter, clearer also (I can see why people would feel the HD650 had a "veil" in comparison) and wider spacious feel. I particularly enjoy it more on orchestral works. You're positioned further away from the orchestra itself but the clarity between instruments is much better. I find it spot on as well for string quartets also, so much more detail there too (Vegh LvB or Mosaiques Haydn). Superb balance and impact on rock albums like Dire straits, Elton John, Depeche Mode, etc... Coming from Sennheiser however, it may be sound a bit too harsh at times or depending on the recordings, it takes some getting used to.

Comfort is as good as the HD650, with very soft pads, although I do actually prefer the tighter grip of the Sennheiser. The DT880 could easily fall off your head if, ahem, for instance, you get carried away into some air guitaring of some kind...you know...if that's your kind of thing... then go for the grippy HD650...you don't want to hold back on the air guitaring now, would you...  8)

HD650 remains my headphones of choice for piano music, lieder and choral works. I prefer the closer and warmer feel with those types of works.

All in all, I enjoy them both and they both serve complementary purposes. This obviously relates to my ears and my system only (Arcam CD73 > Graham Slee Ultra Solo Linear + PSU1) . My ears are happy as pig in sh.. but your impressions may vary  :).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 07, 2014, 10:27:27 AM
Needed to replace my old on ear Senns. These showed up at a superb price, under $80 delivered, so I decided to try over ear. I have bad memories of hot ears from when I was in radio, but these are opn, so we shall see.
Waiting on my doorstep today. They sound great so far.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 07, 2014, 10:54:10 AM
The 518s are so bassy that they verge on muddy, fine for pop and rock, not listenable (for me) for classical.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 07, 2014, 11:37:33 AM
The 518s are so bassy that they verge on muddy, fine for pop and rock, not listenable (for me) for classical.
That is what I am discovering now, listening to Watchorn's WTC.  :(
And some Savall.  :(
And Glass,s Tympani Concerto  :(
The Brahms Violin Sonata 2 sounds great but the cello sonata 1 rumbles.  :(

I can return them and will.  :'(
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on July 07, 2014, 12:42:50 PM
The cheaper Sennheiser models are targeted at young bassheads and are bass heavy. HD-558 and HD-598 are much more neutral (bass is similar to HD-600).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 07, 2014, 02:35:45 PM
That is what I am discovering now, listening to Watchorn's WTC.  :(
And some Savall.  :(
And Glass,s Tympani Concerto  :(
The Brahms Violin Sonata 2 sounds great but the cello sonata 1 rumbles.  :(

I can return them and will.  :'(

You'll pay more money, but get the Sennheiser HD 598s or HD 600s. You can't go wrong here IMHO.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 07, 2014, 02:37:40 PM
Sorry to hear that.  I agree with 71 dB and MI about the 558 and 598.  If you're on a budget, I rec the Shure 440s which are great for classical.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on July 07, 2014, 02:49:23 PM
The Shure 840s are even better but they are closed back. They are superb with classical music and are easy to drive. If you decide to go with the 600s then you will need a headphone amp IMO.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 07, 2014, 03:12:17 PM
Thanks all for the comments.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on July 08, 2014, 12:59:56 AM
If you decide to go with the 600s then you will need a headphone amp IMO.

With HD-598 especially low output impedance ( 10Ω or less ) is also important for flat bass response.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on July 08, 2014, 01:43:12 PM
I have the Shure 840 and Sennheiser 598.  The latter gets my vote.   
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 09, 2014, 04:46:43 PM
btw if you haven't returned it yet, these are my settings to make the 518 sound neutral and good for classical.  Sorry I didn't think to share them earlier.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 04:56:57 PM
btw if you haven't returned it yet, these are my settings to make the 518 sound neutral and good for classical.  Sorry I didn't think to share them earlier.
Thanks! I returned em. Thinking Senn 598 or shure 440s.
Is the 598 just the 595 restyled?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 09, 2014, 05:15:24 PM
Is the 598 just the 595 restyled?

Pretty much. They both boost the same specs IIRC. Forget about the Shure. I would go with Sennheiser 598s. You'll thank me later. I certainly thanked Dave after highly recommending them to me a few years ago. They sound great with classical, jazz, or rock, but I imagine they would handle anything you pit the against quite well. I would think of getting a headphone amplifier, though. What will you be listening to music through with the headphones?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 05:24:50 PM
Pretty much. They both boost the same specs IIRC. Forget about the Shure. I would go with Sennheiser 598s. You'll thank me later. I certainly thanked Dave after highly recommending them to me a few years ago. They sound great with classical, jazz, or rock, but I imagine they would handle anything you pit the against quite well. I would think of getting a headphone amplifier, though. What will you be listening to music through with the headphones?
I have a couple uses in mind.
Late night plugged into my amp. The open back isn't a problem.
Spotify connected to the ipad.
Not thinking of work.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 09, 2014, 05:31:29 PM
I have a couple uses in mind.
Late night plugged into my amp. The open back isn't a problem.
Spotify connected to the ipad.
Not thinking of work.

I prefer open back headphones to closed any day of the week. You would think because the Senn 598s are open back that they would lose bass but this isn't the case at all. I prefer a natural soundstage. Anyway, if you listen some like an iPod through a headphone amplifier be sure to not have any EQ turned on. The EQs on the iPod are some of the worst I've ever heard.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 05:41:56 PM
I prefer open back headphones to closed any day of the week. You would think because the Senn 598s are open back that they would lose bass but this isn't the case at all. I prefer a natural soundstage. Anyway, if you listen some like an iPod through a headphone amplifier be sure to not have any EQ turned on. The EQs on the iPod are some of the worst I've ever heard.
Feeling tempted. Can get new 598s for $125. Seems a decent price. Is it?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 09, 2014, 05:45:29 PM
Feeling tempted. Can get new 598s for $125. Seems a decent price. Is it?

That's a great price. Cheaper than what I paid actually.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 06:00:19 PM
That's a great price. Cheaper than what I paid actually.
Sigh. Sore wallet syndrome. You oughta be in sales John.  ;D
Thanks, and thanks to all, 598s for 125 it is.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 09, 2014, 06:13:16 PM
Sigh. Sore wallet syndrome. You oughta be in sales John.  ;D
Thanks, and thanks to all, 598s for 125 it is.

Lol...well I hope you enjoy them. No joke. That's a great price. I believe I paid $185 for mine. Let me also say that if something happened to my pair, I would replace them in a heartbeat. That's how much I love these.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on July 09, 2014, 06:56:44 PM
$125!? I just bought mine for about $200. ??? 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 07:18:46 PM
$125!? I just bought mine for about $200. ???
eBay. New. I lost the auction, my last bid being 125, but then i got, on my eBay page, a "second chance". So maybe the winning bidders dropped out, which seems ublikely as it ended just today and I was significantly outbid, or maybe they had several in stock and took the top n bidders. Anyway, seems like the best price I am likely to get.
It is being shipped from Taiwan I think ...  ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 09, 2014, 07:29:02 PM
Thanks! I returned em. Thinking Senn 598 or shure 440s.
Is the 598 just the 595 restyled?

No they have different drivers.  Funny enough though the 518, 558 and 598 all have the same drivers!  It's just the casings that change the sound.  The 518s are semi-closed on one end, and the 598s are fully open on the other.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 09, 2014, 07:32:52 PM
eBay. New. I lost the auction, my last bid being 125, but then i got, on my eBay page, a "second chance". So maybe the winning bidders dropped out, which seems ublikely as it ended just today and I was significantly outbid, or maybe they had several in stock and took the top n bidders. Anyway, seems like the best price I am likely to get.
It is being shipped from Taiwan I think ...  ;D

Cool... um... except did you check that they were an authorized dealer?  Chinese knockoffs are very common for Sennheiser headphones.  I mean very, very, very common.  Almost every headphone and earphone they make.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 09, 2014, 07:51:29 PM
Cool... um... except did you check that they were an authorized dealer?  Chinese knockoffs are very common for Sennheiser headphones.  I mean very, very, very common.  Almost every headphone and earphone they make.
I was just teasing Al who lives in Taiwan. These are coming from Texas, and should be here Wed the note says.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 09, 2014, 08:11:40 PM
eBay. New. I lost the auction, my last bid being 125, but then i got, on my eBay page, a "second chance". So maybe the winning bidders dropped out, which seems unlikely as it ended just today and I was significantly outbid, or maybe they had several in stock and took the top n bidders. Anyway, seems like the best price I am likely to get.
It is being shipped from Taiwan I think ...  ;D

Yes, that's the best price you'll get for these headphones. I've rarely seen them go for what you've paid, so consider yourself one of the 'lucky ones.' :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on July 10, 2014, 01:42:37 AM
Yes, that's the best price you'll get for these headphones. I've rarely seen them go for what you've paid, so consider yourself one of the 'lucky ones.' :)

  I agree. I was checking on ebay a lot just weeks ago and didn't see any new ones for less than $188, as I recall.  I came very close to ordering some from Hong Kong, but ended up buying a pair out of a shop while I was in Japan... 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 10, 2014, 04:37:41 AM
I was just teasing Al who lives in Taiwan. These are coming from Texas, and should be here Wed the note says.

Coming from Texas doesn't mean that they are not counterfeit.  You might want to carefully inspect them when they arrive.  That is why I only buy Sennheiser headphones new from amazon.

This video will help you, it provides multiple visual tests for authenticity: http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc (http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc)

You might think "so what?"  But you don't want to pay more than a $100 for cheap, fragile headphones that sound like $20 headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 05:27:29 AM
Coming from Texas doesn't mean that they are not counterfeit.  You might want to carefully inspect them when they arrive.  That is why I only buy Sennheiser headphones new from amazon.

This video will help you, it provides multiple visual tests for authenticity: http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc (http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc)

You might think "so what?"  But you don't want to pay more than a $100 for cheap, fragile headphones that sound like $20 headphones.

Thanks for linking this video, Dave. I'm thankful I have a real pair of Sennheiser HD 598s. I, too, will only buy Sennheiser or any kind of headphones directly from Amazon.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Henk on July 10, 2014, 05:29:59 AM
Thanks for linking this video, Dave. I'm thankful I have a real pair of Sennheiser HD 598s. I, too, will only buy Sennheiser or any kind of headphones directly from Amazon.

Welcome back, John! :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 05:36:37 AM
Welcome back, John! :)

??? Was I gone somewhere? I've hanging out in 'The Diner' a lot lately, Henk, and I've been taking a hiatus from classical for awhile.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 10, 2014, 06:03:32 AM
??? Was I gone somewhere? I've hanging out in 'The Diner' a lot lately, Henk, and I've been taking a hiatus from classical for awhile.

Yeah that was funny! :D  I've seen you posting all the time, and then someone says welcome back! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on July 10, 2014, 07:17:25 AM
Is the 598 just the 595 restyled?

I wouldn't say so. I have heard only 598, but I have understood 598 has better sound stage than 595 thanks to  more forward driver placement. 598 does well any kind of music (I listen to electronic dance music, pop, rock, classical, jazz, etc. and everything works with HD-598) and the sound stage is great (with crossfeeding pretty amazing). For the price ($200) 598 must be one of the best headphones on the market at the moment.

The problem of 598 is the VERY curvy impedance which means you HAVE TO drive them from a low impedance (10 Ω or less) source.  Doing so is important anyway for high damping factor (clean, accurate and distortion-free sound)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 03:20:53 PM
Yeah that was funny! :D  I've seen you posting all the time, and then someone says welcome back! ;D

 :P Well, it's good to be back! ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 10, 2014, 05:01:05 PM
??? Was I gone somewhere? I've hanging out in 'The Diner' a lot lately, Henk, and I've been taking a hiatus from classical for awhile ever.
I don't want to say "fixed" that. Still ...

 :(
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 10, 2014, 05:18:57 PM
Coming from Texas doesn't mean that they are not counterfeit.  You might want to carefully inspect them when they arrive.  That is why I only buy Sennheiser headphones new from amazon.

This video will help you, it provides multiple visual tests for authenticity: http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc (http://youtu.be/C7m4ZvED6pc)

You might think "so what?"  But you don't want to pay more than a $100 for cheap, fragile headphones that sound like $20 headphones.
Great vid, thanks. I still have  certainly real 518s, which I requested a return for but have not mailed yet, so will keep a few more days for comparison.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 10, 2014, 05:19:16 PM
I have the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone, and no I did not pay full price for them. They are the best sounding headphones I've owned, received them for an incredible discount because of my employer, but I think they are worth it. Although I don't think I would have bought them without the discount. They are one of the highest rated headphones on Amazon (I believe they are the 4th highest), 497 of the 617 reviews are 5-star reviews.
Here's some more info from their website... V-MODA CROSSFADE-M-100 (http://v-moda.com/crossfade-m-100/)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/610%2BGBofYqL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 10, 2014, 06:23:27 PM
Cool Greg! 

I'm receiving some akg q701 headphones as a gift.  I'm looking forward to receiving those.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 10, 2014, 06:57:08 PM
Cool Greg! 

I'm receiving some akg q701 headphones as a gift.  I'm looking forward to receiving those.

Just looked it up, never heard of those headphones before. That's a nice gift!  8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 07:14:36 PM
I'm receiving some akg q701 headphones as a gift.  I'm looking forward to receiving those.

I believe these are open-back, Dave? I think these were one the headphones I was considering around the time I bought the Sennheiser HD 598s. Let me know what you think about them. If I remember correctly, they had quite similar specs to the 598s.

Edit: One thing that kind of bothers me about those AKG Quincy Jones models is the headband, but it may be pretty comfortable...who knows.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 07:15:53 PM
I don't want to say "fixed" that. Still ...

 :(

Well, I did listen to Barber's Symphony No. 2 a few nights ago, but I suppose this doesn't really count as a 'comeback' per se. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2014, 07:17:35 PM
I have the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone, and no I did not pay full price for them. They are the best sounding headphones I've owned, received them for an incredible discount because of my employer, but I think they are worth it. Although I don't think I would have bought them without the discount. They are one of the highest rated headphones on Amazon (I believe they are the 4th highest), 497 of the 617 reviews are 5-star reviews.
Here's some more info from their website... V-MODA CROSSFADE-M-100 (http://v-moda.com/crossfade-m-100/)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/610%2BGBofYqL._SL500_.jpg)

I remember you telling me about these headphones, but I could never see myself buying anything but Sennheisers now, but those AKG Quincy Jones Dave was gifted look quite nice.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 11, 2014, 09:58:20 AM
Just looked it up, never heard of those headphones before. That's a nice gift!  8)

Yes indeed.  Que and a few other forumites own the k701 (only difference is the color).  They like them a bit.  I've owned the little brothers (now extinct) k501s in the past.  Great for classical except needing a beefy amp.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 11, 2014, 10:01:55 AM
I believe these are open-back, Dave? I think these were one the headphones I was considering around the time I bought the Sennheiser HD 598s. Let me know what you think about them. If I remember correctly, they had quite similar specs to the 598s.

Edit: One thing that kind of bothers me about those AKG Quincy Jones models is the headband, but it may be pretty comfortable...who knows.

I'll keep you posted!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gordo on July 11, 2014, 02:05:17 PM
I needed to buy a hard shell for my MacBook, but I finally acquired these Sennheiser Momentum headphones (ivory color):

(http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/files/img/2013/07/Sennheiser-Momentum-On-Ear-side.jpg)

Especially made for iPod, iPhone and iPad, the soundstage of my iPod improves dramatically with them. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2014, 05:00:27 PM
I needed to buy a hard shell for my MacBook, but I finally acquired these Sennheiser Momentum headphones (ivory color):

(http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/files/img/2013/07/Sennheiser-Momentum-On-Ear-side.jpg)

Especially made for iPod, iPhone and iPad, the soundstage of my iPod improves dramatically with them.

The frequency response doesn't look too good on these (16 - 22,000 Hz). They do, however, have a good sound pressure level (110 dB). One thing I wouldn't like about these is the fact they're closed headphones and I prefer a more natural soundstage (i. e. open or semi-open).
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gordo on July 11, 2014, 07:05:35 PM
The frequency response doesn't look too good on these (16 - 22,000 Hz). They do, however, have a good sound pressure level (110 dB). One thing I wouldn't like about these is the fact they're closed headphones and I prefer a more natural soundstage (i. e. open or semi-open).

Interesting... I bought these headphones exclusively to use them with my iPod and iPad (at home I use a pair of Sennheiser HD650 and sometimes an old AKG K 240 semi-open). This was an impulsive purchase after 30 min. of hearing, but after several hours this afternoon, I would say it was an excellent impulse. They really do a nice work with iPod, by far the best sound quality I have gotten from this device.

I usually also prefer open or semi-open headphones, but here (iPod and iPad), I think closed headphones are probably a better choice considering  the noisy ambiances where I will use them.

Additionally, they are really comfortable and have a great look.   
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2014, 07:08:42 PM
Interesting... I bought these headphones exclusively to use them with my iPod and iPad (at home I use a pair of Sennheiser HD650 and sometimes an old AKG K 240 semi-open). This was an impulsive purchase after 30 min. of hearing, but after several hours this afternoon, I would say it was an excellent impulse. They really do a nice work with iPod, by far the best sound quality I have gotten from this device.

I usually also prefer open or semi-open headphones, but here (iPod and iPad), I think closed headphones are probably a better choice considering  the noisy ambiances where I will use them.

Additionally, they are really comfortable and have a great look.   

Ah, I see. Personally, I never listen to music in a noisy place. Most of listening is done either on one of my iPods (w/ a headphone amp) or through my stereo.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gordo on July 11, 2014, 07:24:53 PM
Ah, I see. Personally, I never listen to music in a noisy place. Most of listening is done either on one of my iPods (w/ a headphone amp) or through my stereo.

As my apartment is completely silent, perhaps I gave a wrong idea, when I used the word "noisy". To me a quiet park and my own office are noisy places, but people wouldn't usually consider them noisy in absolute terms. People walking and chatting (or simply breathing  :D) do a lot of annoying noises.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2014, 07:27:17 PM
As my apartment is completely silent, perhaps I gave a wrong idea, when I used the word "noisy". To me a quiet park and my own office are noisy places, but people wouldn't usually consider them noisy in absolute terms. People walking and chatting (or simply breathing  :D) do a lot of annoying noises.

Oh, okay. Thanks for the clarification. :) How do you listen to music in your apartment?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Gordo on July 11, 2014, 07:47:18 PM
Oh, okay. Thanks for the clarification. :) How do you listen to music in your apartment?

Generally, through my main system, without headphones because, fortunately, my apt has very good insulation and the neighbors don't listen to anything. Sometimes, I also use the iMac which has a very good sound card and a lot of material on my iTunes library. The second way has increased a bit the last months because there is a good amount of sites offering lossless archives and digital booklet.  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2014, 08:00:57 PM
Generally, through my main system, without headphones because, fortunately, my apt has very good insulation and the neighbors don't listen to anything. Sometimes, I also use the iMac which has a very good sound card and a lot of material on my iTunes library. The second way has increased a bit the last months because there is a good amount of sites offering lossless archives and digital booklet.  :)

Very nice indeed. My dad recently bought him an iMac and absolutely loves it.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Rinaldo on July 11, 2014, 09:29:58 PM

(http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/files/img/2013/07/Sennheiser-Momentum-On-Ear-side.jpg)


Oh, I've got my eyes ears set on these. A friend bought them so I had the chance to try them a few times and it was instant love. Best sound / comfort I've yet experienced in the portable department.

I'm a Beyerdynamic guy - perfectly content with my DT 990s at home - but I'm getting these for my mp3 player when I'll have the money to spare.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on July 12, 2014, 02:22:56 AM
The frequency response doesn't look too good on these (16 - 22,000 Hz).
Why? The range of human hearing is about 20 - 20,000 Hz. The frequency response of these cans is actually extremely flat between 20 - 2,000 Hz. Above 2000 Hz it's the same stuff you get from most good cans (some diffuse field compensation included). These cans are definitely not bass-shy. The shape of the frequency response probably makes 1,500-2,000 Hz area stand out.

They do, however, have a good sound pressure level (110 dB). One thing I wouldn't like about these is the fact they're closed headphones and I prefer a more natural soundstage (i. e. open or semi-open).
Sound pressure levels can't be compared just like that. 110 dB with what power and at frequency? In this case it's 1 kHz/1 Vrms. At 1 kHz the measured impedance is about 22 Ω and the phase of it is very close to 0 degrees (almost pure resistance). So, at 1 kHz and 1 Vrms we have (1 Vrms)2/22 Ω = 45 mW power. With 1 Wm of power at 1 KHz we have 110 dB + 10*log10(1 mW/45 mW) dB = 110 dB - 17 dB = 93 dB.

So SPL is 110 dB (1 kHz/1 Vrms) or 93 dB (1 kHz/1 mW)

Portable players are often listened to more or less noisy environment and therefor closed headphones have an advantage to compensate the disadvantage of often compromised soundstage.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: EigenUser on July 12, 2014, 02:42:45 AM
Why? The range of human hearing is about 20 - 20,000 Hz. The frequency response of these cans is actually extremely flat between 20 - 2,000 Hz. Above 2000 Hz it's the same stuff you get from most good cans (some diffuse field compensation included). These cans are definitely not bass-shy. The shape of the frequency response probably makes 1,500-2,000 Hz area stand out.
Sound pressure levels can't be compared just like that. 110 dB with what power and at frequency? In this case it's 1 kHz/1 Vrms. At 1 kHz the measured impedance is about 22 Ω and the phase of it is very close to 0 degrees (almost pure resistance). So, at 1 kHz and 1 Vrms we have (1 Vrms)2/22 Ω = 45 mW power. With 1 Wm of power at 1 KHz we have 110 dB + 10*log10(1 mW/45 mW) dB = 110 dB - 17 dB = 93 dB.

So SPL is 110 dB (1 kHz/1 Vrms) or 93 dB (1 kHz/1 mW)

Portable players are often listened to more or less noisy environment and therefor closed headphones have an advantage to compensate the disadvantage of often compromised soundstage.

Geez, why must you make me feel like I have to refer to Bode plots and transfer functions just to enjoy some Bartok? ::) :laugh:
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 12, 2014, 05:02:52 AM
71 dB raises a good point, some headphone companies (I think just the German ones) use dB/V which is quite a bit different from dB/mW.  That is how people pick up akg headphones, plug them into their phone and can't get reasonable volume.  They misread the sensitivity.

According to sound and vision though the sensitivity in dB/mW comes to 100 dB, which is good enough for portable use.
http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-sennheiser-momentum-over-ear-headphones-0 (http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-sennheiser-momentum-over-ear-headphones-0)

That should come as no surprise, the Momentums were designed for use with mobile devices.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on July 12, 2014, 07:41:22 AM
According to sound and vision though the sensitivity in dB/mW comes to 100 dB, which is good enough for portable use.http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-sennheiser-momentum-over-ear-headphones-0 (http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-sennheiser-momentum-over-ear-headphones-0)

The article isn't very clear about that. "Average sensitivity from 300 Hz to 6 kHz, calculated for 18 ohms rated impedance is 100.7 dB"

Above about 2 kHz the sensitivity drops so that at 6 kHz the sound pressure level is about ~15 dB lower than at 1 kHz. This makes the average sensitivity from 300 Hz to 6 kHz significantly lower than at 1 kHz. So, I suppose it's 100.7 dB / 1 Vrms on average from 300 Hz to 6 kHz what they mean. 100 dB / 1 mW is too high for this product at any frequency imo.

22 Ω versus 18 Ω means less than 1 dB difference on "calculated" levels.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on July 13, 2014, 10:32:40 AM
Geez, why must you make me feel like I have to refer to Bode plots and transfer functions just to enjoy some Bartok? ::) :laugh:

You have inadvertently put your finger on the essence of Darmstadt: listening is neither necessary nor sufficient.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2014, 10:44:42 AM
A friend of mine (no, but really) is looking for good-but-not-terribly-expensive open headphones.  Any recs?

TIA
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 14, 2014, 11:31:37 AM
I received my q701 headphones today.  They sound AWESOME!!!  I listened to Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto and then some rock.  There is tremendous sound stage.  It sounds slightly bright of neutral.  Sounds more natural than the dt880s.  Will continue later-- have to hit chamber, organ, piano, and vocal to get a good complete sense of these headphones.  They are also very comfortable.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Rinaldo on July 14, 2014, 12:36:11 PM
A friend of mine (no, but really) is looking for good-but-not-terribly-expensive open headphones.  Any recs?

TIA

If 100 $ still falls into the not-terribly-expensive category, I'd wager Grado SR-80e (http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Prestige-Series-SR80e-Headphones/dp/B00L1LXOWS/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405373357&sr=8-1&keywords=grado+sr80e) might be the best bang for your friends' buck. They're not very pretty and some people find them uncomfortable after prolonged sessions but otherwise than that, it's entry audiophile level for non-audiophile money.

(there's also a cheaper-yet-still-competent 60e variant which can be had for 20 $ less)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 14, 2014, 02:47:12 PM
If 100 $ still falls into the not-terribly-expensive category, I'd wager Grado SR-80e (http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Prestige-Series-SR80e-Headphones/dp/B00L1LXOWS/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405373357&sr=8-1&keywords=grado+sr80e) might be the best bang for your friends' buck. They're not very pretty and some people find them uncomfortable after prolonged sessions but otherwise than that, it's entry audiophile level for non-audiophile money.

(there's also a cheaper-yet-still-competent 60e variant which can be had for 20 $ less)

+1  The 80s are best bang for the buck.  They do have elevated bass and treble, makes them sound fun but tiring.  But the midrange does sound tonally correct and detailed.  Poor build quality though.  Still nothing sub $100 and open currently competes with it.  Also I don't like the 60s, I think the 80s are much more articulate and have better bass reproduction as well.

Open air headphones are an audiophile thing, so you don't find too many at cheap prices.  I will also put out the Sennheiser px100-ii for your consideration.  They are ultra portables meant to be worn on the go, they are open air, and have the same sound signature as their higher end cans, but not as detailed.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2014, 02:57:48 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 14, 2014, 04:07:35 PM
I received my q701 headphones today.  They sound AWESOME!!!  I listened to Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto and then some rock.  There is tremendous sound stage.  It sounds slightly bright of neutral.  Sounds more natural than the dt880s.  Will continue later-- have to hit chamber, organ, piano, and vocal to get a good complete sense of these headphones.  They are also very comfortable.

I know what my next headphones will be. :) But I don't know, I might go with some higher end Sennheisers, but I look forward to the rest of your report, Dave.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 19, 2014, 07:19:13 PM
On the q701:

So I've listened to orchestral from each era, chamber, piano, harpsichord, organ, choral, rock, pop, metal, prog... these headphones sound great.  These are the first akg headphones I've heard that actually sound right.  I haven't spent enough time to compare them to other headphones, or describe their sound signature.  But they make it to my short list.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 19, 2014, 07:38:15 PM
On the q701:

So I've listened to orchestral from each era, chamber, piano, harpsichord, organ, choral, rock, pop, metal, prog... these headphones sound great.  These are the first akg headphones I've heard that actually sound right.  I haven't spent enough time to compare them to other headphones, or describe their sound signature.  But they make it to my short list.

Thanks for the follow-up report. Sounds like these are some good sounding cans.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on July 20, 2014, 02:21:39 AM
What about these?

(http://www.hifisentralen.no/forumet/attachments/bransjenyheter/269951d1405189979-abyss-model-ab-1266-kan-na-oppleves-hos-oslo-hi-fi-center-abyss-model-ab-1266-headphones-1.jpg)

http://www.cnet.com/news/abyss-ab-1266-headphones-run-5495-but-theyre-worth-it/ (http://www.cnet.com/news/abyss-ab-1266-headphones-run-5495-but-theyre-worth-it/)
 
Only 5.500 $ but they seem to be worth it!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on July 20, 2014, 05:47:38 AM
Thanks for the follow-up report. Sounds like these are some good sounding cans.

Yes my short list btw is

Sennheiser hd558/598
Sennheiser hd580/600
Sennheiser hd650
Beyerdynamic dt880
Akg q701
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on July 20, 2014, 06:12:58 AM
What about these?

(http://www.hifisentralen.no/forumet/attachments/bransjenyheter/269951d1405189979-abyss-model-ab-1266-kan-na-oppleves-hos-oslo-hi-fi-center-abyss-model-ab-1266-headphones-1.jpg)

http://www.cnet.com/news/abyss-ab-1266-headphones-run-5495-but-theyre-worth-it/ (http://www.cnet.com/news/abyss-ab-1266-headphones-run-5495-but-theyre-worth-it/)
 
Only 5.500 $ but they seem to be worth it!

No headphone is worth that much money. Sorry.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on July 20, 2014, 06:53:46 AM
No headphone is worth that much money. Sorry.
Just quoting the review. As I hate listening on cans I agree. No cans are worth any money at all to me. Though my 12.000 USD speakers are definitely worth it (just making a point that value, as opposed to price, is subjective),
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on August 01, 2014, 03:40:58 PM
Well the headphones I bought on eBay were clearly a fraudulent listing. Nothing has arrived and another customer has left a complaint.  Ebay has "removed" the item and the seller is no longer an eBay member. EBay has not yet agreed to refund my money, but hopefully that should happen next week. If not I will take it to PayPal.
Still I wasted 30 minutes on the phone with eBay and will be closing my eBay account once this is finished.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 01, 2014, 04:26:55 PM
Well the headphones I bought on eBay were clearly a fraudulent listing. Nothing has arrived and another customer has left a complaint.  Ebay has "removed" the item and the seller is no longer an eBay member. EBay has not yet agreed to refund my money, but hopefully that should happen next week. If not I will take it to PayPal.
Still I wasted 30 minutes on the phone with eBay and will be closing my eBay account once this is finished.

I hate hearing about that, Ken. I gave up on eBay a long time ago because of a few unsatisfactory transactions. I mainly shop through Amazon and still get some crappy items with inaccurate descriptions or items getting lost in the mail from the MP, but I have never had an issue with Amazon taking care of me.
Hopefully you'll get your money back. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on August 01, 2014, 07:06:24 PM
Well the headphones I bought on eBay were clearly a fraudulent listing. Nothing has arrived and another customer has left a complaint.  Ebay has "removed" the item and the seller is no longer an eBay member. EBay has not yet agreed to refund my money, but hopefully that should happen next week. If not I will take it to PayPal.
Still I wasted 30 minutes on the phone with eBay and will be closing my eBay account once this is finished.

Sorry to hear about this, Ken. Why don't you just buy the Sennheiser HD 598s directly from Amazon? I mean you're going to pay more, but it seems like you're just going through one headache after another whenever you could end the headache once and for all by buying from Amazon.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on August 01, 2014, 07:13:46 PM
Sorry to hear about this, Ken. Why don't you just buy the Sennheiser HD 598s directly from Amazon? I mean you're going to pay more, but it seems like you're just going through one headache after another whenever you could end the headache once and for all by buying from Amazon.
I expect I will, once the dust settles on this and I get back from vacation. I always get good service from Amazon.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on August 01, 2014, 07:21:31 PM
I expect I will, once the dust settles on this and I get back from vacation. I always get good service from Amazon.

And you will get a legitimate pair of them and nothing fraudulent if you buy directly from them. Sometimes the MP sellers can be fishy, though. You know, it's interesting, I used to buy from Amazon a lot, but it seems I'm using eBay more and more these days. Of course, you have to be more careful on eBay, but it's worth the effort to find a good price and hopefully a good seller to offer that price.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 02, 2014, 06:44:58 AM
Well the headphones I bought on eBay were clearly a fraudulent listing. Nothing has arrived and another customer has left a complaint.  Ebay has "removed" the item and the seller is no longer an eBay member. EBay has not yet agreed to refund my money, but hopefully that should happen next week. If not I will take it to PayPal.
Still I wasted 30 minutes on the phone with eBay and will be closing my eBay account once this is finished.

I guess you don't have to worry about receiving a Chinese knockoff! But yeah sorry to hear about that.  It should be pretty easy to get your money back.  The seller has to show proof of shipment to contest your charge, else you should receive the refund.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on August 02, 2014, 06:50:27 AM
I guess you don't have to worry about receiving a Chinese knockoff! But yeah sorry to hear about that.  It should be pretty easy to get your money back.  The seller has to show proof of shipment to contest your charge, else you should receive the refund.
Listed as shipped weeks ago but no tracking number ever provided.
But after years of using eBay with no issues at all, in the past year this will be the fifth problem. Two misdescribed items the sellers accepted returns on quite politely and professionally, and two misdescribed CDs a little less so. So I really don't think I want the hassle of such a high failure rate.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on August 05, 2014, 09:58:24 AM
Listed as shipped weeks ago but no tracking number ever provided.
But after years of using eBay with no issues at all, in the past year this will be the fifth problem. Two misdescribed items the sellers accepted returns on quite politely and professionally, and two misdescribed CDs a little less so. So I really don't think I want the hassle of such a high failure rate.
EBay has issued a refund. I cannot say I am very happy though as I found their call line support crappy, and this is third straight order that has been totally bogus, and the 5th straight where I was not happy with what I ordered (in the other two cases the vendors were great so no issue). Starting to seem like more effort than it is worth.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2014, 04:19:31 AM
EBay has issued a refund. I cannot say I am very happy though as I found their call line support crappy, and this is third straight order that has been totally bogus, and the 5th straight where I was not happy with what I ordered (in the other two cases the vendors were great so no issue). Starting to seem like more effort than it is worth.

That's why I don't use ebay much anymore.  Amazon MP for me.  Amazon has much better customer service.  And since they are so strict, sellers are much less likely to screw you over in the first place.  Ebay is too shady imo.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on October 02, 2014, 06:41:32 AM
EBay has issued a refund. I cannot say I am very happy though as I found their call line support crappy, and this is third straight order that has been totally bogus, and the 5th straight where I was not happy with what I ordered (in the other two cases the vendors were great so no issue). Starting to seem like more effort than it is worth.

  So, did you ever get a pair of the headphones (Senn 598s, right?)? I'm finding I really love mine. When it gets a bit too late to use "appropriate" volume, they are pretty sweet.  I think a legit "bargain" price is around $180.  That's a lot of money, but probably worth it for what you get, IMO.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on October 02, 2014, 06:43:32 AM
  So, did you ever get a pair of the headphones (Senn 598s, right?)? I'm finding I really love mine. When it gets a bit too late to use "appropriate" volume, they are pretty sweet.  I think a legit "bargain" price is around $180.  That's a lot of money, but probably worth it for what you get, IMO.
Not yet. I did get a bluetooth soundbar for my TV so I am using that for now when streaming.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Artem on December 01, 2014, 06:03:11 PM
I want to try to listen to music on my stereo system with headphones. However, there's no headphone input in the system. There're some free things on the back, including a usb port. Does anyone know if I need to buy an adapter or something like that?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on December 01, 2014, 09:09:17 PM
EBay has issued a refund. I cannot say I am very happy though as I found their call line support crappy, and this is third straight order that has been totally bogus, and the 5th straight where I was not happy with what I ordered (in the other two cases the vendors were great so no issue). Starting to seem like more effort than it is worth.

Ken, those Sennheisers have been made available by a couple of places for $100 recently.  Much better than even the fraud deal, and for legitimate new ones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on December 02, 2014, 08:45:08 AM
Ken, those Sennheisers have been made available by a couple of places for $100 recently.  Much better than even the fraud deal, and for legitimate new ones.
They were in my shopping basket on Amazon ... But then that vendor sold out.
Having just replaced my amp and speakers though I am a bit relieved ...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on December 02, 2014, 11:55:02 AM
What sort of system, amplifier specifically, do you have? If you have a CD player it will surely have a headphone jack, or does it? If it does you can listen through that.

The alternative is to buy a headphone amplifier that will connect to the RCA connectors at the back of your stereo amplifier. There are quite a few available that don't cost too much.

Here's an example

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/291306668289?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107&chn=ps
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Artem on December 03, 2014, 05:39:20 PM
I don't have an amplifier. It is just a 5+1 cd player and there's no headphone jack. Now, I'm wondering if I can get some kind of simple adapter for headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Jay F on December 03, 2014, 05:46:16 PM
I don't have an amplifier. It is just a 5+1 cd player and there's no headphone jack. Now, I'm wondering if I can get some kind of simple adapter for headphones.

How do you listen to it without amplification?

Maybe you could point us to your actual player.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Artem on December 03, 2014, 09:25:28 PM
It is basically something like this: http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater (http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Jay F on December 04, 2014, 06:11:33 AM
It is basically something like this: http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater (http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater)

If the amplifier has typical RCA inputs in the back, do what Holden suggested, and hook up a headphone amp.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on December 04, 2014, 06:50:38 AM
If the amplifier has typical RCA inputs in the back, do what Holden suggested, and hook up a headphone amp.
You mean outputs?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 04, 2014, 07:50:21 AM
Getting back on topic for a bit, I'm REALLY enjoying my Sennheiser HD 598s. They really sound superb and the drivers are nice and burned in now (I've owned these for little over a year now). Ken, you MUST get you a pair of these ASAP!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Jay F on December 04, 2014, 07:57:37 AM
You mean outputs?

Yes. I suppose I do. I'm a terrible audiophile.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2014, 08:30:17 AM
Getting back on topic for a bit, I'm REALLY enjoying my Sennheiser HD 598s. They really sound superb and the drivers are nice and burned in now (I've owned these for little over a year now).

I have been enjoying My Sennheiser HD 598s for 3 and a half years now. Driven from a source with low output impedance ( less than 10 ohms) and using crossfeeding, these cans produce awesome sound for their price.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on December 04, 2014, 08:56:56 AM
Getting back on topic for a bit, I'm REALLY enjoying my Sennheiser HD 598s. They really sound superb and the drivers are nice and burned in now (I've owned these for little over a year now). Ken, you MUST get you a pair of these ASAP!

I had a pair in my basket at $100! No warning about low stock or anything so I hunted for more stuff. Should I buy two pair I thought, one for my son? Came back and *poof* it was back at $178  :'(

PS I was told Gruppen sounds just awful on the HD-598s. (I think that was meant as praise of the HD-598s)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on December 04, 2014, 12:03:06 PM
It is basically something like this: http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater (http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Home-Theater-System-HT-SS380/dp/B004TEO8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670670&sr=8-4&keywords=sony+home+theater)

I've had a look at the manual for this model and Artem you are right - there is no headphone jack or RCA audio out. The only audio output appears to be via HDMI.

However, I might have a solution. This is specifically a home theatre system which means it is hooked up to your TV and you can play any connected source via your TV speakers if you wish. Now if your TV has a headphone jack (most do) then you can listen via that after selecting the correct source on your TV menu.

Does this help?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Artem on December 04, 2014, 08:31:04 PM
Holden, thank you very much for your advice. It may sound strange, but there's no tv at my present home.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Jay F on December 04, 2014, 09:09:40 PM
Holden, thank you very much for your advice. It may sound strange, but there's no tv at my present home.

Would listening to headphones at your computer make sense? Do you have music on your computer?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Artem on December 04, 2014, 09:18:14 PM
I can, but it'd be less comfortable than on stereo system.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on December 04, 2014, 09:54:30 PM
I had a pair in my basket at $100! No warning about low stock or anything so I hunted for more stuff. Should I buy two pair I thought, one for my son? Came back and *poof* it was back at $178  :'(

PS I was told Gruppen sounds just awful on the HD-598s. (I think that was meant as praise of the HD-598s)

Hah, Gruppen sounds awful on any headphones, Ken. ;) ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Jay F on December 05, 2014, 07:04:22 AM
I can, but it'd be less comfortable than on stereo system.

Then you need a new stereo system, one that will work with headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on December 05, 2014, 07:35:53 PM
Needing Bluetooth headphones for my cell phone/Spotify I bought a pair of Soul SV3SLV headphones. Partly for the greatly reduced price I found them at. I am very impressed. They are perhaps a touch base heavy but nor irksomely so. Even over bt they are better than the Senn 518 s were in that way. The soundstage is okay, and it's a clear warm sound. Not audiophile cans but quite good for an inexpensive wireless headset.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Moonfish on December 05, 2014, 08:19:03 PM
Needing Bluetooth headphones for my cell phone/Spotify I bought a pair of Soul SV3SLV headphones. Partly for the greatly reduced price I found them at. I am very impressed. They are perhaps a touch base heavy but nor irksomely so. Even over bt they are better than the Senn 518 s were in that way. The soundstage is okay, and it's a clear warm sound. Not audiophile cans but quite good for an inexpensive wireless headset.

Some reviewers complained about the plastic coming off. However, I think you helped me to find a Christmas present for my wife!  8)
Thanks Ken!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on March 11, 2015, 08:32:53 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VXlU318nL._SY300_.jpg)


Every year to year-and-half I end up buying new mid-price headphones for use at work.  This time I decided to swap out Beyerdynamic DT-1350s for Audio Technica ATH AD900x cans.  Prior to the DT 1350s, I used the ATH AD700.  The AD900x is step up.  The high are cleaner and more extended, and the bass is improved, though still on the light side.  Piano sound is definitely better.  The AD900x is also the most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever encountered, bettering the AD700 with a superior clamping mechanism.  The sensitivity is given as 100 dB/mW, and the impedance is 38 Ohms, so they are easy to drive.  When I A/Bd them with my Beyer T1s, themselves super-sensitive at 102 dB/mW but rated at 600 Ohms, the AD900xs were noticeably louder at every setting, as expected.  I should get a good year out of these before getting bored and moving on.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2015, 06:44:16 PM
Ken B. asked me to give a review of my new Philips SHP9500 headphones:



I haven't owned these but for two days but what I can say with a good deal of confidence is they sound great. One of the things I like about these headphones, and this goes for the Seinnheiser HD 598s as well, is the sound is rather neutral. Nothing is accentuated and every detail seems to fall where it should. These headphones are also open, which I prefer to closed, and, as the case with open-back headphones, the soundstage is wider which is ideal for the music I listen to the most: classical and jazz. I haven't listened to any rock music with these Philips but I imagine them handling that style with no problems. These Philips, like the Seinnheiser, are also very light, but the construction is much better than the HD 598s. The price was right on these and I highly recommend them. I'm not sure what the burn in time on these are, but they sound fantastic right out of the box, which only proves that they'll sound even better as I begin to burn them in. The only negative I have is the detachable audio cable that comes with these is rather cheap and is prone to tangle, so I replaced this cable with an iXCC audio cable. All is well now! 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on May 23, 2015, 07:06:43 PM
Ken B. asked me to give a review of my new Philips SHP9500 headphones:



I haven't owned these but for two days but what I can say with a good deal of confidence is they sound great. One of the things I like about these headphones, and this goes for the Seinnheiser HD 598s as well, is the sound is rather neutral. Nothing is accentuated and every detail seems to fall where it should. These headphones are also open, which I prefer to closed, and, as the case with open-back headphones, the soundstage is wider which is ideal for the music I listen to the most: classical and jazz. I haven't listened to any rock music with these Philips but I imagine them handling that style with no problems. These Philips, like the Seinnheiser, are also very light, but the construction is much better than the HD 598s. The price was right on these and I highly recommend them. I'm not sure what the burn in time on these are, but they sound fantastic right out of the box, which only proves that they'll sound even better as I begin to burn them in. The only negative I have is the detachable audio cable that comes with these is rather cheap and is prone to tangle, so I replaced this cable with an iXCC audio cable. All is well now! 8)

Are they as good as the 598s?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2015, 07:10:52 PM
Are they as good as the 598s?

I would say, yes, they're as good as the 598s, but one must remember that not all headphones are the same. I'm lucky to own these and the 598s. I'll be receiving the Seinnheiser HD 600s this week, so I'm definitely looking forward to test driving those.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on May 23, 2015, 07:37:30 PM
I would say, yes, they're as good as the 598s, but one must remember that not all headphones are the same. I'm lucky to own these and the 598s. I'll be receiving the Seinnheiser HD 600s this week, so I'm definitely looking forward to test driving those.

Good enough for me. Just bought a pair from Pricefalls for $50.50 shipped.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2015, 07:50:59 PM
Good enough for me. Just bought a pair from Pricefalls for $50.50 shipped.

Very nice, Ken. Hope you enjoy them. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 27, 2015, 05:59:51 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VXlU318nL._SY300_.jpg)


Every year to year-and-half I end up buying new mid-price headphones for use at work.  This time I decided to swap out Beyerdynamic DT-1350s for Audio Technica ATH AD900x cans.  Prior to the DT 1350s, I used the ATH AD700.  The AD900x is step up.  The high are cleaner and more extended, and the bass is improved, though still on the light side.  Piano sound is definitely better.  The AD900x is also the most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever encountered, bettering the AD700 with a superior clamping mechanism.  The sensitivity is given as 100 dB/mW, and the impedance is 38 Ohms, so they are easy to drive.  When I A/Bd them with my Beyer T1s, themselves super-sensitive at 102 dB/mW but rated at 600 Ohms, the AD900xs were noticeably louder at every setting, as expected.  I should get a good year out of these before getting bored and moving on.

Those are some damn good headphones, Todd. My dad has a pair as well. They sounded great.

(http://www.softshellwebshop.nl/media/catalog/product/cache/6/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/e/sennheiser-hd-600-koptelefoon_1.jpeg)

In other headphone news, I received my Seinnheiser HD 600s tonight and here's a few impressions I have so far:

-They are a bit tight on my ears, but I imagine them loosing up a bit as time goes on. I mean these are right out of the box.

-They have a neutral sound, which is what I'm looking for in a pair of headphones. There seems to be no kind of coloring to the sound whatsoever.

-The soundstage doesn't seem as large as my other Seinnheisers (HD 598s) or my newer Philips (SHP9500), but, again, these are straight out of the box.

-Not that the look of a headphone matters much in the grand scheme of headphone listening, these phones look awesome nonetheless.

-The cord seems to be good quality, so I won't even think about replacing as quickly as I did with my Philips.

That's all I have for now as I've only been listening to these for about an hour. :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 27, 2015, 08:17:29 PM
Okay, I listened to these Seinnheiser HD 600s for about three hours now and they're not very comfortable. I don't think I would even bother giving them time to break in, so I sold them to my dad. :) When something is uncomfortable to me right out of the box then I usually pass them onto someone else. As much headphone listening as I do, I can't have something that isn't pleasing to wear for long periods of time. My dad found them very comfortable. He'll certainly enjoy them as they have a great sound but a great sound means nothing to me without the comfort.

So with the money I have now from selling these HD 600s, I just bought these as an upgrade to my current pair of Philips SHP9500:

Philips Fidelio X1/28 Premium Over-Ear Headphones -

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00B3QD94O.01.L.jpg)

Specs for these Fidelio X1/28:

Frequency response: 10 - 40 000  Hz
Impedance: 30 Ohm
Maximum power input: 500 mW
Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW
Speaker diameter: 50 mm
Distortion: <0.1% THD
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on May 27, 2015, 09:00:28 PM
Okay, I listened to these Seinnheiser HD 600s for about three hours now and they're not very comfortable. I don't think I would even bother giving them time to break in, so I sold them to my dad. :) When something is uncomfortable to me right out of the box then I usually pass them onto someone else. As much headphone listening as I do, I can't have something that isn't pleasing to wear for long periods of time. My dad found them very comfortable. He'll certainly enjoy them as they have a great sound but a great sound means nothing to me without the comfort.

So with the money I have now from selling these HD 600s, I just bought these as an upgrade to my current pair of Philips SHP9500:

Philips Fidelio X1/28 Premium Over-Ear Headphones -

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00B3QD94O.01.L.jpg)

Specs for these Fidelio X1/28:

Frequency response: 10 - 40 000  Hz
Impedance: 30 Ohm
Maximum power input: 500 mW
Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW
Speaker diameter: 50 mm
Distortion: <0.1% THD

Too bad. But yeah, comfort is the most important thing.
Doubly so if you're playing a lot of Delius, where the listening can provide no compensating pleasure.  ;)
Uncomfortable earphones can make me feel ill actually, especially if they are hot.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 27, 2015, 09:09:19 PM
Too bad. But yeah, comfort is the most important thing.
Doubly so if you're playing a lot of Delius, where the listening can provide no compensating pleasure.  ;)
Uncomfortable earphones can make me feel ill actually, especially if they are hot.

Actually, I decided to cancel the order for those Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones as I read something rather discouraging: the ear pads are not replaceable! The new Philips Fidelio X2/27s, however, have replaceable ear pads, but these are currently in the $300 price range. I might wait awhile on those and just enjoy what I own for now. I'm really enjoying my Philips SHP9500 (the ones you also bought). These are lightweight, but pack quite a punch. It's going to be hard for me to take these off my head especially since I'm quite used to them now. 8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on May 31, 2015, 04:54:13 PM
My order got cancelled. The merchant refunded through Paypal, so no muss no fuss.
Unless I am buying through Amazon I only use paypal merchants, just for reasons like these. I had a bogus hotel on my credit card. Visa investigated and accepted a bogus reason. I finally had to talk to the hotel manager who tracked down the error, and issued a refund (and a free night coupon). It all worked out but it was a hassle.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on May 31, 2015, 05:44:36 PM
My order got cancelled. The merchant refunded through Paypal, so no muss no fuss.
Unless I am buying through Amazon I only use paypal merchants, just for reasons like these. I had a bogus hotel on my credit card. Visa investigated and accepted a bogus reason. I finally had to talk to the hotel manager who tracked down the error, and issued a refund (and a free night coupon). It all worked out but it was a hassle.

Sorry to hear about this, Ken. I would still try and get a pair of these. They're that good.

It's time for a small rant:

What never quite clicked with me is why sellers don't understand the simple concept of supply vs. demand. If a seller is out-of-stock or doesn't have the item, then don't list it. It seems pretty logical to me. I always leave negative feedback when a seller can't fulfill my order. It's like walking into a store and seeing something you want behind a glass counter that's for sale and then when you go ask the clerk that you'd like to buy the product, they say it's not for sale. What in the world? Don't put a product in a display case that isn't for sale. Duh!!!! The same basic principle applies to online shopping.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on May 31, 2015, 05:48:00 PM
Sorry to hear about this, Ken. I would still try and get a pair of these. They're that good.

It's time for a small rant:

What never quite clicked with me is why sellers don't understand the simple concept of supply vs. demand. If a seller is out-of-stock or doesn't have the item, then don't list it. It seems pretty logical to me. I always leave negative feedback when a seller can't fulfill my order. It's like walking into a store and seeing something you want behind a glass counter that's for sale and then when you go ask the clerk that you'd like to buy the product, they say it's not for sale. What in the world? Don't put a product in a display case that isn't for sale. Duh!!!! The same basic principle applies to online shopping.

Yes. Sometimes you pass up one seller for another who promises a better price. Then he cancels. Not really a case of no harm no foul since I passed up another good price, now gone.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 05, 2015, 08:20:01 AM
Lately bought the 600ohms variant of the Beyerdynamic DT880 Edition, an old classic that is for 15years or so on the market. The old ones (Sennheiser HD595 - 50ohms) simply did not fit to my headphone amplifier that really longs for high ohmic phones.

 
I'm quite happy with them. The sound really improved and in many recordings I now notice details, I did not with the Sennheisers. Of course those were also much cheaper, but I think also the better adaption phone-amplifier plays a role.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 05, 2015, 12:00:55 PM
The old ones (Sennheiser HD595 - 50ohms) simply did not fit to my headphone amplifier that really longs for high ohmic phones.

The trick is to use impedance reduction (=extension cable with resitors between signal and ground reducing the impedance seen by the phones) with low impedance phones. The output impedance of the headphone amp should be 1/8 of the impedance of the phones at most. 50 Ω cans need an amp with output impedance of 6 Ω or less.

Say your amp has an output impedance of 50 Ω. Using reduction resistors of 6.8 Ω gives effective output impedance:

50 Ω*6.8 Ω/(50 Ω+6.8 Ω) = 6 Ω.

I'm quite happy with them. The sound really improved and in many recordings I now notice details, I did not with the Sennheisers. Of course those were also much cheaper, but I think also the better adaption phone-amplifier plays a role.

It's good you are happy. It's damping factor thing. You blamed your Sennheiser cans when your headphone amp is to blame. The Sennheisers have all the detail when driven from low output impedance amp (e.g. Corda Jazz). My selfmade headphone adapter has an output impedance of 1 Ω + crossfeed at 6 different levels and my Sennheiser HD 598 produce insane amount of detail. There is no need to spend much money when you know what you are doing.  ;)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 12:31:07 PM
The trick is to use impedance reduction (=extension cable with resitors between signal and ground reducing the impedance seen by the phones) with low impedance phones. The output impedance of the headphone amp should be 1/8 of the impedance of the phones at most. 50 Ω cans need an amp with output impedance of 6 Ω or less.

Say your amp has an output impedance of 50 Ω. Using reduction resistors of 6.8 Ω gives effective output impedance:

50 Ω*6.8 Ω/(50 Ω+6.8 Ω) = 6 Ω.

It's good you are happy. It's damping factor thing. You blamed your Sennheiser cans when your headphone amp is to blame. The Sennheisers have all the detail when driven from low output impedance amp (e.g. Corda Jazz). My selfmade headphone adapter has an output impedance of 1 Ω + crossfeed at 6 different levels and my Sennheiser HD 598 produce insane amount of detail. There is no need to spend much money when you know what you are doing.  ;)

It costs money to learn what you are doing though!  :)

You recommend a low impedance headphone amp in general? I will need about 15 -20 feet of cable to use headphone comfortably. But could put one in the middle.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 05, 2015, 03:30:10 PM
It costs money to learn what you are doing though!  :)
Actually in Finland university studies are free.  :)

Anyway, it takes time and time is money as they say...

You recommend a low impedance headphone amp in general?

Yes, I do. The lower impedance the amp has, the bigger is damping factor meaning the amp has better control of the phones meaning more precise and distortion-free sound. Not only that, but low output impedance also mean smaller frequency response errors due to not-so-flat impedance curve of the phones.

I will need about 15 -20 feet of cable to use headphone comfortably. But could put one in the middle.
Middle, end, ... ...whatever works best for you.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 03:55:23 PM
Thanks.
Free university? How unfortunate. That means the average taxpayer subsidizes lawyers, actuaries, lasik surgeons, and the children of the rich. That this is seen as a good thing by many I attribute to tribalism -- we with degrees are superior beings -- and snobbery -- degrees produce superior beings. I prefer government spending to help the poor and those who fall between the cracks; I'm a cold unfeeling right-winger that way.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: North Star on June 05, 2015, 04:06:37 PM
Free university? How unfortunate. That means the average taxpayer subsidizes lawyers, actuaries, lasik surgeons, and the children of the rich.
And they all pay much more taxes than the average taxpayer, and also subsidize free health care, libraries etc. It's all very sad. Especially considering that the poor can attend university just as easily as the rich.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 04:56:42 PM
Especially considering that the poor can attend university just as easily as the rich.
Which is no argument for subsidizing the rich.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 05, 2015, 05:21:01 PM
Which is no argument for subsidizing the rich.
There's never an argument; it just kinda ... happens ....
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 05:25:54 PM
There's never an argument; it just kinda ... happens ....
EXACTLY!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: North Star on June 05, 2015, 06:18:14 PM
Which is no argument for subsidizing the rich.

You're right! It isn't! It has nothing to do with 'subsidizing the rich'. Offering all people an equal opportunity to get an education, a job and to make money (some 50% of it for the society) is not the same thing as subsidizing the rich any more than scholarships for poor American kids are subsidies for the rich.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 07:27:02 PM
You're right! It isn't! It has nothing to do with 'subsidizing the rich'. Offering all people an equal opportunity to get an education, a job and to make money (some 50% of it for the society) is not the same thing as subsidizing the rich any more than scholarships for poor American kids are subsidies for the rich.
Nonsense. Scholarships for the poor are for ... The poor. Free tuition for Bill Gates Jr is for ... The rich.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 05, 2015, 07:48:25 PM
Good lord! Let's not turn this into a political discussion. Let's get back to discussing headphones. Leave it to Ken to derail a thread. ::)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 05, 2015, 07:53:59 PM
Good lord! Let's not turn this into a political discussion. Let's get back to discussing headphones. Leave it to Ken to derail a thread. ::)

As long as no-one suggests free headphones for the rich, I'm down with that.  >:D

My set at work are not great. I wonder though if I need closed not open ones, due to the presence of pesky co-workers.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 05, 2015, 08:28:58 PM
As long as no-one suggests free headphones for the rich, I'm down with that.  >:D

My set at work are not great. I wonder though if I need closed not open ones, due to the presence of pesky co-workers.

You would need closed-back headphones for a work environment, Ken. If you don't mind people being able to hear what you're listening to, then open-back headphones are the way to go. Personally, I wouldn't buy a pair of closed-back for the simple reason that I like headphones that breathe and that have a natural soundstage.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 12:19:42 AM
Thanks.
You are welcome.

Free university? How unfortunate. That means the average taxpayer subsidizes lawyers, actuaries, lasik surgeons, and the children of the rich. That this is seen as a good thing by many I attribute to tribalism -- we with degrees are superior beings -- and snobbery -- degrees produce superior beings. I prefer government spending to help the poor and those who fall between the cracks; I'm a cold unfeeling right-winger that way.
Well, we finns see this as the secret of our success. Poor people can be extremely talented, so for a nation it's wise to make it possible for those telanted people to get themselves educated. Rich people can pay taxes, they have monet, they are the fortunate ones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on June 06, 2015, 12:28:18 AM
Thanks.
Free university?
in Norway too

That means the average taxpayer subsidizes lawyers, actuaries, lasik surgeons, and the children of the rich.
That could be said of every state service. That's why we have a tax system with progressive taxes. You should try it. As an added bonus we have an educated work force with the highest labor participation in the world. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 06, 2015, 12:33:39 AM
The trick is to use impedance reduction (=extension cable with resitors between signal and ground reducing the impedance seen by the phones) with low impedance phones. The output impedance of the headphone amp should be 1/8 of the impedance of the phones at most. 50 Ω cans need an amp with output impedance of 6 Ω or less.

Say your amp has an output impedance of 50 Ω. Using reduction resistors of 6.8 Ω gives effective output impedance:

50 Ω*6.8 Ω/(50 Ω+6.8 Ω) = 6 Ω.
Having a technical background too, I also thought about solving the problem in a similar way, but I don't think it is this simple. The 50ohms are the dc impedance of the phones, otherwise the impedance of the HD595 is highly frequency depended, having a peak of around 220ohms at 100Hz. If I would insert a resistor network I would dent the characteristics of the phones. Also putting a 6.8ohms resistor in parallel to the phones would mean quite an enormous load for the amplifier, which in this case could be overdriven at higher volume. Thereby also the effectiveness of the phones would decrease considerably, which however should not be such a problem, because the amplifier is mains supplied.

As for the amplifiers (Asus Xonar Essence One) output impedance I would assume it is very low, because there is an opamp-circuit used which naturally has a very low ohmic output, when not overdriven. However I did not find a specified value there.

Quote
It's good you are happy. It's damping factor thing. You blamed your Sennheiser cans when your headphone amp is to blame. The Sennheisers have all the detail when driven from low output impedance amp (e.g. Corda Jazz). My selfmade headphone adapter has an output impedance of 1 Ω + crossfeed at 6 different levels and my Sennheiser HD 598 produce insane amount of detail. There is no need to spend much money when you know what you are doing.  ;)
I do not blame the Sennheisers but rather the combination of Xonar Essence One and HD595. However I think the problem is not in the output impedance of the amplifier but in the high output voltage range it is designed for (7Vrms) with the goal to even drive high ohmic phones. With low ohmic phones you just use a very small part of that output voltage range and therefore the SNR gets limited.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 12:40:23 AM
Personally, I wouldn't buy a pair of closed-back for the simple reason that I like headphones that breathe and that have a natural soundstage.

Open cans leak more noise from the environment and that noise "augments" the soundstage. That's my theory. Technically I can't think of a reason why open cans would "breathe" more of have a more natural soundstage. Some people speculate open cans crossfeed themselves a bit acoustically leaking sound to the other ear making them sound more open, but that effect is much weaker than proper crossfeed.

The best headphones tend to be open. I think it's more of a design philosophy than a technical thing.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 06, 2015, 12:58:48 AM
You would need closed-back headphones for a work environment, Ken. If you don't mind people being able to hear what you're listening to, then open-back headphones are the way to go. Personally, I wouldn't buy a pair of closed-back for the simple reason that I like headphones that breathe and that have a natural soundstage.
I'd go for open for a totally different reason - I find they are generally more comfortable. In a work environment, I also prefer to hear the sounds around me if I need to (so no one sneaking up on me) and to wear smaller cans on the head.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 01:50:38 AM
Having a technical background too, I also thought about solving the problem in a similar way, but I don't think it is this simple.

Believe me, it is this simple. It works in theory and it works in real life.

The 50ohms are the dc impedance of the phones, otherwise the impedance of the HD595 is highly frequency depended, having a peak of around 220ohms at 100Hz.

This is one reason you need as low output impedance as possible with such headphones. If the output impedance was zero, all the voltage would always be over the cans and the frequency dependent impedance of the cans wouldn't matter at all. If the output impedance is say 47 Ω, you have a frequency response error of

20*log10((220*50+220*47)/(220*50+50*47)) dB = 4.1 dB,

and that is a lot, about 5-10 times more than what is accebtable.

The impedance curve of my Sennheiser HD 598 is even more frequency dependent (varies between 60 Ω and 280 Ω). Having an output impedance of just 1 Ω in my headphone adapter takes care of this and the frequency response error is 0.1 dB.

If I would insert a resistor network I would dent the characteristics of the phones.
Yes, you would, to the better, what the phones are supposed to sound. Sennheiser says their phones are supposed to be driven from low impedancies.

Also putting a 6.8ohms resistor in parallel to the phones would mean quite an enormous load for the amplifier, which in this case could be overdriven at higher volume.
Possibly, if your amp is weak, but then again you are planning to use that amp with high impedance cans which tend to be insensitive.

The resistors cause large drop in sensitivity:

20*log10(6/(6+47)) = -18.9 dB, compared to 20*log10(50/(50+47)) = -5.8 dB. About 13 dB difference. In most cases this is no issue.

Since the output impedance of your amp is rather high, the load isn't much of a deal. You could short-circuit the terminals without problems, the current would not get that high.

Thereby also the effectiveness of the phones would decrease considerably, which however should not be such a problem, because the amplifier is mains supplied.

Yes, correct. We don't listen to sensitivity, we listen to sound quality. Almost always in audio high sensitivity means compromises in sound quality.

As for the amplifiers (Asus Xonar Essence One) output impedance I would assume it is very low, because there is an opamp-circuit used which naturally has a very low ohmic output, when not overdriven. However I did not find a specified value there.
I do not blame the Sennheisers but rather the combination of Xonar Essence One and HD595. However I think the problem is not in the low output impedance of the amplifier but in the high output voltage range it is designed for (7Vrms) with the goal to even drive high ohmic phones. With low ohmic phones you just use a very small part of that output voltage range and therefore the SNR gets limited.

I found this:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/asus-xonar-essence-one-muses-edition-da-processor150headphone-amplifier-measurements

It says the output impedance of your amp is 11.1 Ω. So, it's not very high nor is it very low. It's a bit too high for Sennheiser HD 595.

Now you say the SNR was the problem. Well, this kind of SNR issues are well corrected with the parallel resistors I have been talking about. In this case where the output impedance is 11.1 Ω, the parallel resistors could be 12 Ω giving an effective output impedance of

11.1*12/(11.1+12) Ω = 5.8 Ω (damping factor criteria fulfilled)

This causes 4.9 dB attennuation meaning the noise floor drops down this much hopefully becoming unnoticed. If not, then smaller paraller resistors are needed (10 Ω...8.2 Ω...)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 06, 2015, 05:13:09 AM
Believe me, it is this simple. It works in theory and it works in real life.
Sorry - I'm still sceptical.
Quote
This is one reason you need as low output impedance as possible with such headphones. If the output impedance was zero, all the voltage would always be over the cans and the frequency dependent impedance of the cans wouldn't matter at all. If the output impedance is say 47 Ω, you have a frequency response error of

20*log10((220*50+220*47)/(220*50+50*47)) dB = 4.1 dB,

and that is a lot, about 5-10 times more than what is accebtable.

The impedance curve of my Sennheiser HD 598 is even more frequency dependent (varies between 60 Ω and 280 Ω). Having an output impedance of just 1 Ω in my headphone adapter takes care of this and the frequency response error is 0.1 dB.
Yes, you would, to the better, what the phones are supposed to sound. Sennheiser says their phones are supposed to be driven from low impedancies.
Ok - seems you are right there, but having a 12times higher ohmic phone would also solve the problem. Besides the impedance of the DT880 changes much less with frequency than that of the HD595.
Quote
Possibly, if your amp is weak, but then again you are planning to use that amp with high impedance cans which tend to be insensitive.
Yes the sensitivity of the HD595 with 104dB is considerably higher than that of the DT880, which however has the same sensitivity for all versions 32, 250 or 600 ohms.
Quote
The resistors cause large drop in sensitivity:

20*log10(6/(6+47)) = -18.9 dB, compared to 20*log10(50/(50+47)) = -5.8 dB. About 13 dB difference. In most cases this is no issue.

Since the output impedance of your amp is rather high, the load isn't much of a deal. You could short-circuit the terminals without problems, the current would not get that high.
I would not be so sure about it. The maximum voltage range of the amplifier is 7Vrms. A full-scale signal would produce a RMS-current of 412mA through the 6 ohms load + 11 ohms amplifier output impedance which is pretty high imo.
Quote

We don't listen to sensitivity, we listen to sound quality. Almost always in audio high sensitivity means compromises in sound quality.

Yes - that would be more relevant for portables.
Quote

I found this:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/asus-xonar-essence-one-muses-edition-da-processor150headphone-amplifier-measurements

It says the output impedance of your amp is 11.1 Ω. So, it's not very high nor is it very low. It's a bit too high for Sennheiser HD 595.
Ok thanks for checking this. In fact I don't have the muses edition, but let's assume the output impedance is the same.
Quote
Now you say the SNR was the problem. Well, this kind of SNR issues are well corrected with the parallel resistors I have been talking about. In this case where the output impedance is 11.1 Ω, the parallel resistors could be 12 Ω giving an effective output impedance of

11.1*12/(11.1+12) Ω = 5.8 Ω (damping factor criteria fulfilled)

This causes 4.9 dB attennuation meaning the noise floor drops down this much hopefully becoming unnoticed. If not, then smaller paraller resistors are needed (10 Ω...8.2 Ω...)
4.9dB is not that much considering the fact, that switching from a 50ohms to a 600ohms phone would bring a SNR improvement of 10.7dB, because it increases with the driving voltage that rises with the sqaureroot of the impedance at fixed volume. To get the same SNR-improvement with an inserted parrallel resistor, this one would have to be considerably lower than 12ohms and a full-scale signal would produce a quite a high current, stressing the output drivers and the output resistors (I assume they used some for protecting against shorts, hopefully adequately dimensioned) of the amplifier. This seems to me the price for the simple solution.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 06, 2015, 05:20:20 AM
Open cans leak more noise from the environment and that noise "augments" the soundstage. That's my theory. Technically I can't think of a reason why open cans would "breathe" more of have a more natural soundstage. Some people speculate open cans crossfeed themselves a bit acoustically leaking sound to the other ear making them sound more open, but that effect is much weaker than proper crossfeed.

The best headphones tend to be open. I think it's more of a design philosophy than a technical thing.

Ah, but when you go hear a live concert can you hear the noise around you, can you not? This creates a more natural listening experience. I never have liked closed headphones and it is my belief that the soundstage is wider. This is especially evident when I listen to classical music. If I were to listen to the pop music you listen to, then it wouldn't matter what kind of headphones I used as most pop records sound like crap to begin with.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 06, 2015, 06:46:48 AM
in Norway too
That could be said of every state service. That's why we have a tax system with progressive taxes. You should try it. As an added bonus we have an educated work force with the highest labor participation in the world.

Actually no. It is not true of every state service. It is not true of a guaranteed income implemented by a progressive negative tax.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 08:45:26 AM
Sorry - I'm still sceptical.
What exactly are you sceptical about? You haven't demonstrated errors in my calculations (please do so if you find any). What I am speaking about is based on my own experiences with these parallel resistors, my insight of the issue. It takes 2 resistors, a headphone extension cable and 5 minutes with a soldering iron to verify my words.

Ok - seems you are right there, but having a 12times higher ohmic phone would also solve the problem. Besides the impedance of the DT880 changes much less with frequency than that of the HD595.
Your solution is probably very effective (nothing wrong about it!) but my solution costs maybe 1 % of your solution. Those who are not interested in saving money can pass my suggestions.

Yes the sensitivity of the HD595 with 104dB is considerably higher than that of the DT880, which however has the same sensitivity for all versions 32, 250 or 600 ohms.
Beyerdynamics seems to give the sensitivity of 96 dB/mW @ 500 Hz. Voltage sensitivity of course is not the same. 1 Vrms means 31 mW to 32 Ω, 4 mW to 250 Ω and barely 2 mW to 600 Ω meaning 32 Ω version is almost 13 dB louder with the same voltage as 600 Ω version.

I believe the sensitivity of 50 Ω HD595 is 112 dB/1 Vrms => 112 dB/20 mW = 99 dB/mW, which is only 3 dB more than DT880, but where HD595 gives 92 dB/0.1 Vrms, 600 Ω DT880 gives "only" 78 dB/0.1 Vrms! 

I would not be so sure about it. The maximum voltage range of the amplifier is 7Vrms. A full-scale signal would produce a RMS-current of 412mA through the 6 ohms load + 11 ohms amplifier output impedance which is pretty high imo.

First of all, you damage your hearing long before the amperes cause problems. Secondly, music is dynamic signal, especially classical music. the average power is less than 1 % of the peak power. The resistors don't mind if you heat them up 1 ms every now and then.

The 6.8 Ω parallel resistors were suggested for 47 Ω output impedance. Since the output impedance is 11.1 Ω, I revised the resistors to 12 Ω. Theoretically 7 V would mean 337 mA and about 3.3 V over the phones (117 dB). Nobody in their right mind turns the volume that high when listening to sensitive cans.  ::)

Yes - that would be more relevant for portables.
Portable devices need low impedance phones, typically 32 Ω. 

Ok thanks for checking this. In fact I don't have the muses edition, but let's assume the output impedance is the same.

Oh, not exactly the same device. I'm sure 11.1 Ω applies to your amp too. It's the same assembly line making these models.


4.9dB is not that much considering the fact, that switching from a 50ohms to a 600ohms phone would bring a SNR improvement of 21,5 dB. To get the same SNR-improvement with an inserted  parrallel resistor, this one would have to be roughly 1/12 of the amplifiers output impedance - so around 1 ohms. In that case a full-scale signal would produce a RMS-current of 583mA through the 1 ohms load + 11 ohms amplifier output impedance would be flowing, stressing the output drivers and the output resistors (I assume they used some for protecting against shorts, hopefully adequately dimensioned) of the amplifier. This seems to me the price for the simple solution.
I don't follow your calculations (how did you get 21.5 dB?) or what you mean about SNR. Do you hear noise caused by the amp when you listen to HD595? Now, how many decibels does this noise exceed threshold of hearing?

Above I calculated that 50 Ω HD595 is 14 dB louder than 600 Ω edition of DT880. Now, there is source impedance attenuation of 1.7 dB for HD595 and 0.2 dB for DT880 meaning HD595 is 12.5 dB louder than DT880 when driven from your amp. If you used the 12 Ω parallel resistors with HD595, the source impedance attenuation is 6.6 dB meaning it would be 7.6 dB louder than DT880 directly.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 09:07:19 AM
Ah, but when you go hear a live concert can you hear the noise around you, can you not? This creates a more natural listening experience. I never have liked closed headphones and it is my belief that the soundstage is wider. This is especially evident when I listen to classical music. If I were to listen to the pop music you listen to, then it wouldn't matter what kind of headphones I used as most pop records sound like crap to begin with.

Well, the best way to have a live concert experience is to go to a live concert. Headphone listening is by default "unnatural", but it can be made pretty natural using good phones, crossfeed and low enough output impedance to drive the phones accurately.

A small fraction of my listening is "pop music". I agree with you most pop records sound like (complete) crap, but the best ones can sound spectacular.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 06, 2015, 09:57:25 AM
What exactly are you sceptical about? You haven't demonstrated errors in my calculations (please do so if you find any). What I am speaking about is based on my own experiences with these parallel resistors, my insight of the issue. It takes 2 resistors, a headphone extension cable and 5 minutes with a soldering iron to verify my words.
Thank you for the detailed answer. To keep it short: I'm just a bit sceptical about the fact, that most of the amplifiers output power is used for heating resistors and not to get transformed into soundwaves. Also the Amplifier is optimized for high ohmic phones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 11:08:16 AM
Thank you for the detailed answer. To keep it short: I'm just a bit sceptical about the fact, that most of the amplifiers output power is used for heating resistors and not to get transformed into soundwaves.

You are welcome.  :)

As long as there is enough power to waste this doesn't matter. Did you know that typical hifi loudspeakers use only 0.1 % of the power to produce sound and the rest 99.9 % goes to heating the voice coils etc.?

In practise "heating resistors" is not that dramatic as you would imagine because the signal levels are rather low on "safe" listening levels. I use 0.6 W precision (1 %) resistors and I can't feel them heating up at all even if I play music insanely loud.

Also the Amplifier is optimized for high ohmic phones.

So it seems, at least it should be capble of driving high impedance phones well. I didn't get 100 % clarity of what your problem using HD 595 with it was, but I can say:

- Damping factor criteria is not fulfilled without 12 Ω (or smaller) parallel resistors.
- Frequency response error is 1.3 dB without paraller resistors and 0.7 dB with 12 Ω paraller resistors.
- In case you suffered from amp noise, the parallel resistors would reduce the noise by 4.9 dB

Perhaps my suggestion sounds too cheap and not stylish or cool enough to you? This is not snakeoil. This is rational engineering based on scientific facts. That's why it works.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: merlin on June 06, 2015, 11:35:13 AM
Been enjoying the exchange of information very much.  You guys are definitely the experts!

Wondering if there is a commercial crossfeed appliance available for listening to my cd/sacd player through headphones?

BTW, my Bryston BHA-1 claims it has 2 ohms output impedance, so according to what I have been reading on this thread, that should be perfect for my headphones???  Or are there other variable to consider?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 01:20:58 PM
Been enjoying the exchange of information very much.  You guys are definitely the experts!

Nice! Thanks!

Wondering if there is a commercial crossfeed appliance available for listening to my cd/sacd player through headphones?

Unfortunately there aren't much such appliances to my knowledge. Some headphone amps have crossfeed, but that's pretty much it. People make their own crossfeeders, which is a fun hobby imo.  :)

Here are nice step-by-step instructions how to make a crossfeeder: http://www.rock-grotto.co.uk/x-feed.htm (http://www.rock-grotto.co.uk/x-feed.htm)
Here is another: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-Acoustic-Simulator-Crossfeed-for-Headphone/?ALLSTEPS (http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-Acoustic-Simulator-Crossfeed-for-Headphone/?ALLSTEPS)

BTW, my Bryston BHA-1 claims it has 2 ohms output impedance, so according to what I have been reading on this thread, that should be perfect for my headphones???  Or are there other variable to consider?

Your Bryston should drive any phones (sorry, what do you use/have Merlin?) without problems.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: merlin on June 06, 2015, 02:39:43 PM
Thanks for the links, but building one of those is far beyond my skills. :-[

I have been using a very old Sony MDR-V6, and am about to replace it with a Fostex TH900.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 06, 2015, 10:54:01 PM
You are welcome.  :)

As long as there is enough power to waste this doesn't matter. Did you know that typical hifi loudspeakers use only 0.1 % of the power to produce sound and the rest 99.9 % goes to heating the voice coils etc.?
With external resistors only 0.01% of the power are used to produce sound then  ;)

Quote
In practise "heating resistors" is not that dramatic as you would imagine because the signal levels are rather low on "safe" listening levels. I use 0.6 W precision (1 %) resistors and I can't feel them heating up at all even if I play music insanely loud.
As I wrote I see the problems rather at the internal resistors, which would see the largest power drop.
Quote
So it seems, at least it should be capble of driving high impedance phones well. I didn't get 100 % clarity of what your problem using HD 595 with it was, but I can say:

- Damping factor criteria is not fulfilled without 12 Ω (or smaller) parallel resistors.
- Frequency response error is 1.3 dB without paraller resistors and 0.7 dB with 12 Ω paraller resistors.
- In case you suffered from amp noise, the parallel resistors would reduce the noise by 4.9 dB
I don't know the daming factor criterium you cited. Can you give a source there?

Redarding the weaker resolution with my old phones: In my opinion there are only two factors that could weaken the clarity - noise and nonlinearities. Since I have no idea where the nonlinearities would come  from, I would tip noise.
Quote
Perhaps my suggestion sounds too cheap and not stylish or cool enough to you? This is not snakeoil. This is rational engineering based on scientific facts. That's why it works.
It has nothing to do with cheapness or stylishness, but I really meaned what I wrote. I don't like the technique of reducing the amp noise by increasing the voltage drop on the output resistors. Also I would prefer a solution that gives me the full SNR my amplifier provides. Maybe that would also be possible with a very small parallel resistor, but then I do see the problem of stressing output-amp and resistors. Maybe it also is a matter of taste, as always. Even in engineering descisions are not always fully determined by the facts, are they?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2015, 11:22:03 PM
Thanks for the links, but building one of those is far beyond my skills. :-[

It's not actually that hard if you follows someones design. Using a soldering iron is the hardest part.

I have been using a very old Sony MDR-V6, and am about to replace it with a Fostex TH900.
Fostex TH900 has low impedance (25 Ω @1000 Hz), but this should not cause problems to you.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 07, 2015, 12:48:46 AM
With external resistors only 0.01% of the power are used to produce sound then  ;)
I was talking about loudspeakers.  ;)

As I wrote I see the problems rather at the internal resistors, which would see the largest power drop.
The internal resistors should be ok unless their are the weakest in the history of humankind. A $600 audio device is protected against short circuits and that's much worse than what I am proposing.

You are right that if the paraller resistor was very small, say 1 Ω, the power requirements would increase too much. But I am not suggesting that even if that would provide excellent damping factor.

I don't know the daming factor criterium you cited. Can you give a source there?
Damping factor criteria here is simply that the output impedance should be 1/8 of the impedance of the phones or less. Your 11.1 Ω amp can drive phones with impedance about 90 Ω or more fulfilling this criteria.

Technically the phones store acoustical and mechanical energy and when this energy is released it is transformed into electrical error current in the voice coil. The larger the output impedance, the bigger error voltage is formed over the output resistors meaning the voltage over the phones is not an exact portion (say 80%) of the amp voltage. This means distortion. The sound is not accurate or clean. It's not high fidelity.

http://nwavguy.blogspot.fi/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html (http://nwavguy.blogspot.fi/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html)

Redarding the weaker resolution with my old phones: In my opinion there are only two factors that could weaken the clarity - noise and nonlinearities. Since I have no idea where the nonlinearities would come  from, I would tip noise.It has nothing to do with cheapness or stylishness, but I really meaned what I wrote. I don't like the technique of reducing the amp noise by increasing the voltage drop on the output resistors. Also I would prefer a solution that gives me the full SNR my amplifier provides. Maybe that would also be possible with a very small parallel resistor, but then I do see the problem of stressing output-amp and resistors. Maybe it also is a matter of taste, as always. Even in engineering descisions are not always fully determined by the facts, are they?

Lack of resolution or clarity can be as simple as rolled off treble. Noise as I understand it technically is noise, what you hear between FM radio stations for example. You hear it when the music is quit and you don't hear it when loud music masks it. I doubt that's the case?

Too low damping factor causes distortion and "fits" your words about resolution and clarity.

My solution doesn't suppress the SNR, it only transfers it. When both signal and noise is lowered the same amount, SNR stays the same.

I don't recommend very small parallel resistors in your case (see above).

Engineers tend to go with the facts. If not, that's bad engineering.

Since I can't remove your skeptisism conserning my insight of parallel resisitors, I have another solution to you, but it costs serious money: Buy a low output impedance (2 Ω or less) headphone amp with crossfeed and you'll get stunning sound out of HD595 (or any other quality phones). Here is one suggestion: http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/ (http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: chadfeldheimer on June 07, 2015, 01:48:20 AM
Ok - thanks again for the detailed answer. Perhaps we should leave it at that. In the end I already bought the new phones and am still quite happy with them. However it was an interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on June 07, 2015, 02:17:14 AM
Ok - thanks again for the detailed answer. Perhaps we should leave it at that. In the end I already bought the new phones and am still quite happy with them. However it was an interesting discussion.

You are welcome. It's good you are happy now. I wanted to tell how sometimes a $1 fix can save you from spending a lot of hard earned money. In headphone listening there's some weird "historical" quirks. One is the mishmash with the impedances. Another is the lack of crossfeed in most systems. Considering how much people spend money on their phones and amps and the technical simplicity of correcting these imperfections the situation is crazy in my opinion.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: merlin on June 07, 2015, 07:22:40 AM
Wondering about the advantages (and disadvantages) of balanced vs. unbalanced headphone connections to my BHA-1 amp.  It seems that almost all higher-quality ones come with a 1/4" phono plug rather than an xlr, so is it worth modding the stock cable, or even replacing it?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2015, 05:39:28 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VXlU318nL._SY300_.jpg)


Every year to year-and-half I end up buying new mid-price headphones for use at work.  This time I decided to swap out Beyerdynamic DT-1350s for Audio Technica ATH AD900x cans.  Prior to the DT 1350s, I used the ATH AD700.  The AD900x is step up.  The high are cleaner and more extended, and the bass is improved, though still on the light side.  Piano sound is definitely better.  The AD900x is also the most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever encountered, bettering the AD700 with a superior clamping mechanism.  The sensitivity is given as 100 dB/mW, and the impedance is 38 Ohms, so they are easy to drive.  When I A/Bd them with my Beyer T1s, themselves super-sensitive at 102 dB/mW but rated at 600 Ohms, the AD900xs were noticeably louder at every setting, as expected.  I should get a good year out of these before getting bored and moving on.

Are you still enjoying these Audio-Technica headphones, Todd? I bought a pair last night for $154 (w/ free shipping), which seemed like a good deal. I also went ahead and bought the Philips Fidelio X2 a few weeks ago, but I haven't really listened to them much as I'm getting so much enjoyment out of the super comfortable and great sound of the Philips SHP9500s. I thought my Sennheiser 598s were comfortable, these Philips don't even feel like you've got anything on your head. I felt similar with the Audio-Technica AD500x which my dad owns. I was enjoying them so much that he asked me to have them back! ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Moonfish on June 18, 2015, 11:23:14 AM
Are you still enjoying these Audio-Technica headphones, Todd? I bought a pair last night for $154 (w/ free shipping), which seemed like a good deal. I also went ahead and bought the Philips Fidelio X2 a few weeks ago, but I haven't really listened to them much as I'm getting so much enjoyment out of the super comfortable and great sound of the Philips SHP9500s. I thought my Sennheiser 598s were comfortable, these Philips don't even feel like you've got anything on your head. I felt similar with the Audio-Technica AD500x which my dad owns. I was enjoying them so much that he asked me to have them back! ;)

Out of curiosity: why so many pairs? The search for the Holy Grail of headphones?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 18, 2015, 11:35:25 AM
Out of curiosity: why so many pairs?
You ask John this? John? I'm surprised he isn't posting about his latest favorite speaker cable.



 :P :laugh:
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Moonfish on June 18, 2015, 11:52:35 AM
You ask John this? John? I'm surprised he isn't posting about his latest favorite speaker cable.



 :P :laugh:

Heh! Well, at least he is not buying a new amplifier every month.   ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on June 18, 2015, 01:00:37 PM
Are you still enjoying these Audio-Technica headphones, Todd?



Yes.  They are easy to wear for hours at a time, and the only sonic shortcoming is in low bass, and then really only when I listen to organ music, which I rarely do through headphones.  They are great for a work setting where one can wear giant headphones.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on June 18, 2015, 05:32:40 PM
You ask John this? John? I'm surprised he isn't posting about his latest favorite speaker cable.



 :P :laugh:

Johns spiritual home

www.headfi.org
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2015, 08:06:59 PM
Out of curiosity: why so many pairs? The search for the Holy Grail of headphones?

Good question, Peter. About 99.9% of my listening is through headphones. Each headphone I own sounds different. Some are more geared towards classical/jazz while others have a better sound for rock music. I suppose I'm trying to find 'the headphone' that handles all of the genres of music I like. Over the last few years, I've been trying to find a headphone that's more neutral and offers uncolored sound quality. So far, I've yet to find one that delivers all levels, but I'm finding the Philips SHP9500s more and more what I'm looking (or listening in this case) for. You think I have a lot of headphones, you should see my dad's collection. ;) ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2015, 08:08:07 PM
You ask John this? John? I'm surprised he isn't posting about his latest favorite speaker cable.



 :P :laugh:

 :P
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2015, 08:09:37 PM


Yes.  They are easy to wear for hours at a time, and the only sonic shortcoming is in low bass, and then really only when I listen to organ music, which I rarely do through headphones.  They are great for a work setting where one can wear giant headphones.

Pretty much the same experience I've had when I borrowed my dad's AD500xs. Super comfortable with minimal clamping force. I remember them having a nice, wide soundstage. Ideal for classical music.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ken B on June 19, 2015, 07:56:31 AM
(http://www.china-cablewires.com/images/products/2012031413185500942981w1000h1000uzjaomei/hi-fi-speaker-cable.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Moonfish on June 19, 2015, 11:14:32 AM
John's spiritual home

www.headfi.org

(http://blogimg.ngfiles.com/512000/512781/999331100_headphone_meditation.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on July 23, 2015, 07:28:27 AM
Interesting story about Audeze headphones on CNN; previously on this thread Todd described their tone as being "dark." 

http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2015/07/22/audeze-headphones.cnnmoney/?Sr=recirc072315headphones0930video
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on August 13, 2015, 04:30:23 PM
Just acquired a pair of these - Flare Audio R2A

(http://headfonics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/R2A.jpg)

I got these from someone who bought them as part of a kickstart campaign so I got them at a very good price. All I can say is WOW! These are the best phones for listening to classical music I have ever heard. The natural way they reproduce instrument timbre and the air they give around individual instruments (especially in chamber music) is just unbelievable. They go deep too. I replayed a piece of organ music with a lot of work with 32 ft pipes and they not only produced the sound you hear the pitch of the notes so clearly.

I won't be looking for new phones for a long while after hearing these.

Here's a review: What this guy hears is basically what I am hearing.

http://headfonics.com/2015/05/the-r2a-and-r2pro-iems-by-flare-audio/
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: stingo on August 14, 2015, 05:15:08 AM
Headphone amps, esp for portable headphones - worth it?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on August 14, 2015, 05:18:26 AM
Headphone amps, esp for portable headphones - worth it?

Only if the portable headphones you're using require more power to drive them.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2015, 09:17:46 AM
(http://cdni.wired.co.uk/1240x826/o_r/orph-Topview_RGB.jpg)


I've tired of my Beyer T1/Woo setup.  It is too plebian.  The new incarnation of the Sennheiser Orpheus looks most enticing as an upgrade.  It even comes with its own marble encased amp.  Only $55,000.00.  The holidays are just around the corner.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on November 08, 2015, 12:23:19 PM
(http://cdni.wired.co.uk/1240x826/o_r/orph-Topview_RGB.jpg)


I've tired of my Beyer T1/Woo setup.  It is too plebian.  The new incarnation of the Sennheiser Orpheus looks most enticing as an upgrade.  It even comes with its own marble encased amp.  Only $55,000.00.  The holidays are just around the corner.

Hah, $55k gets you even two-level crossfeed.  :)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 08, 2015, 05:43:23 PM
I suppose that this is taking the law of diminishing returns to the nth degree. .......they do look nice though.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Pretorious on November 09, 2015, 06:27:46 PM
This seems like the perfect place to ask this: I'm looking for closed headphones that'll be good for, obviously, classical. Does anyone have any good recommendations? My budget is $400-500. Right now, I'm looking at the Beyerdynamic DT 770s, but am uncertain as reviews seem kind of mixed with regards to classical music. I do run through an amp or receiver so I can EQ if necessary.

Currently, I'm using a pair of AKG K701s and am very happy with their sound and their comfort. I'm not specifically looking for a closed headphone that sounds similar to that, but that's more for reference sakes.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2015, 07:30:57 PM
This seems like the perfect place to ask this: I'm looking for closed headphones that'll be good for, obviously, classical. Does anyone have any good recommendations? My budget is $400-500. Right now, I'm looking at the Beyerdynamic DT 770s, but am uncertain as reviews seem kind of mixed with regards to classical music. I do run through an amp or receiver so I can EQ if necessary.

Currently, I'm using a pair of AKG K701s and am very happy with their sound and their comfort. I'm not specifically looking for a closed headphone that sounds similar to that, but that's more for reference sakes.

Is there any particular reason why you're looking for closed-back headphones, especially since the AKG K701s you own are open-back? The best pair of closed-backs that I've ever heard are these Audio-Technica MSR7GM SonicPros:



And here's a link to these headphones' specifications:

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/38ef8b91d4f4d4f6/index.html

You may need to wait for someone else here who actually likes the sound of closed-backs before listening to me. ;)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Pretorious on November 10, 2015, 11:07:01 AM
I'm looking for closed-backs because I need some isolation, and to prevent sound leaking out into the environment. These Audio-Technicas look like a good headphone, but I am willing to entertain more suggestions before making a decision. Thanks for the recommendation, nonetheless.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on November 10, 2015, 11:36:54 AM
Try these Shure SRH1540

They may be slightly out of your price range (a couple of dollars) and Amazon has them for $499

(http://cdn.shure.com/product/main_image/9191/prod_img_srh1540_l.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2015, 08:07:35 PM
I'm looking for closed-backs because I need some isolation, and to prevent sound leaking out into the environment. These Audio-Technicas look like a good headphone, but I am willing to entertain more suggestions before making a decision. Thanks for the recommendation, nonetheless.

The only reason I can suggest this Audio-Technica model is because my dad owns a pair of these and I've heard them for myself, but, yes, it's best to continue to look around.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 09, 2016, 01:31:13 PM
Over the last few years, i have been very well served by an HD650, a DT880 600 ohm and more recently an AKG702. About 6 weeks ago, I bought a Little Dot MKII Tube amp and have been tube rolling with great results on the former two HP, particularly for acoustic music and rock and chamber/piano.

Despite its praises for classical music, I have been holding back on trying the HD800 since its launch, ignorance being bliss, and could hardly justify the price as well anyway.

With the arrival of the updated new Sennheiser HD800S in the last month, a local high-end reseller has been offering their last new HD800 Old model at quite a reduced price which made give it a go.
Went in for a demo this morning, with my own headphone amp (solid state) and threw all i had at their burnt-in pair for nearly 2 hours: Mahler2/Boulez Live, Mahler 4/Reiner, Mahler 6/Abbado, Mahler 5/Tennstedt Live, Bullit OST, Summerly/Spem in Alium (one of my brightest CD), Savall/Istanbul, Jack Johnson's Brushfire fairytales, Clapton Unplugged, Gould 81 Goldberg, Massive Attack/Mezzanine, Chris Rea's Dancing down the stony road...etc...

What a superb piece of kit...no bloated bass, nothing like the treble harshness i had read about (and that had held me back too), superb separation, soundstage, clarity, impact....the general clarity on orchestral works, and boy, that timpani on the M2...and that Oud, again, on the Savall. 8)

Spent the last 20 minutes of the demo also trying a just-out-of-the-box HD800S, feeling a bit more sturdy than the HD800 maybe, better quality pads as well, but I didn't hear anything in there justifying the extra 400 quids for the newer model.

Well, The HD800 has been on my head at home for the last 2 hours  0:)... I gasped at Janos Starker's Cello Suites, I closed my eyes for a long while drifting to Dufay's O Gemma Lux, I chilled to Communique... and now I am grooving to Thriller...still off my solid state Slee Ultra Linear...bring on the tubes tomorrow.

Holy smokes...what a day... Never mind the unlistened-to boxsets... I have to go through all my classical collection from scratch again...with new ears and pleasure !

(http://www.headfonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/hd800_t1_39.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on January 09, 2016, 07:45:10 PM
Over the last few years, i have been very well served by an HD650, a DT880 600 ohm and more recently an AKG702. About 6 weeks ago, I bought a Little Dot MKII Tube amp and have been tube rolling with great results on the former two HP, particularly for acoustic music and rock and chamber/piano.

Despite its praises for classical music, I have been holding back on trying the HD800 since its launch, ignorance being bliss, and could hardly justify the price as well anyway.

With the arrival of the updated new Sennheiser HD800S in the last month, a local high-end reseller has been offering their last new HD800 Old model at quite a reduced price which made give it a go.
Went in for a demo this morning, with my own headphone amp (solid state) and threw all i had at their burnt-in pair for nearly 2 hours: Mahler2/Boulez Live, Mahler 4/Reiner, Mahler 6/Abbado, Mahler 5/Tennstedt Live, Bullit OST, Summerly/Spem in Alium (one of my brightest CD), Savall/Istanbul, Jack Johnson's Brushfire fairytales, Clapton Unplugged, Gould 81 Goldberg, Massive Attack/Mezzanine, Chris Rea's Dancing down the stony road...etc...

What a superb piece of kit...no bloated bass, nothing like the treble harshness i had read about (and that had held me back too), superb separation, soundstage, clarity, impact....the general clarity on orchestral works, and boy, that timpani on the M2...and that Oud, again, on the Savall. 8)

Spent the last 20 minutes of the demo also trying a just-out-of-the-box HD800S, feeling a bit more sturdy than the HD800 maybe, better quality pads as well, but I didn't hear anything in there justifying the extra 400 quids for the newer model.

Well, The HD800 has been on my head at home for the last 2 hours  0:)... I gasped at Janos Starker's Cello Suites, I closed my eyes for a long while drifting to Dufay's O Gemma Lux, I chilled to Communique... and now I am grooving to Thriller...still off my solid state Slee Ultra Linear...bring on the tubes tomorrow.

Holy smokes...what a day... Never mind the unlistened-to boxsets... I have to go through all my classical collection from scratch again...with new ears and pleasure !

(http://www.headfonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/hd800_t1_39.jpg)

 Nice haul! I envy you.  I had the HD800's little brother, the 700, in my basket for a while (it is now 1/2 its original price), but instead ordered these when they were on sale (hifiman 400i).

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on January 10, 2016, 09:49:27 AM
The consensus of opinion on Headfi is that the HD800 is a fantastic HP that responds to the type and power of amp you try it with. Apparently what sounds fantastic initially can be significantly improved with the correct amp pairing. 

Enjoy!!!!!!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 13, 2016, 01:51:09 PM
Nice haul! I envy you.  I had the HD800's little brother, the 700, in my basket for a while (it is now 1/2 its original price), but instead ordered these when they were on sale (hifiman 400i).


I did ponder the HD700 as well for a long while but it appeared even more divisive than the HD800...all in the tastes really, eventually.

5 days on, the strong impressions remain. The details and sound stage are just amazing...and I have hardly got to the classical CD's !!
I am not going to part with the other HP though, because the HD800 is indeed very unforgiving. Average or poor quality recordings do stand out and rapidly grate. They will still need my alternative HP.

I haven't tried any hifimans...how do you find them ?

The consensus of opinion on Headfi is that the HD800 is a fantastic HP that responds to the type and power of amp you try it with. Apparently what sounds fantastic initially can be significantly improved with the correct amp pairing. 

Enjoy!!!!!!

I switch between the solid state and the tube amp couple of times each evening... Solid state has the edge on smoothness and compensating warmth for now, but to be fair, most of my driver tubes, like the HD800 are hardly burnt in either.

Enjoying it all the same until then  8) Although i am going through head-fi threads on HD800/And combos... you know...for info  ;D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 13, 2016, 02:02:11 PM
Over the last few years, i have been very well served by an HD650, a DT880 600 ohm and more recently an AKG702. About 6 weeks ago, I bought a Little Dot MKII Tube amp and have been tube rolling with great results on the former two HP, particularly for acoustic music and rock and chamber/piano.

Despite its praises for classical music, I have been holding back on trying the HD800 since its launch, ignorance being bliss, and could hardly justify the price as well anyway.

With the arrival of the updated new Sennheiser HD800S in the last month, a local high-end reseller has been offering their last new HD800 Old model at quite a reduced price which made give it a go.
Went in for a demo this morning, with my own headphone amp (solid state) and threw all i had at their burnt-in pair for nearly 2 hours: Mahler2/Boulez Live, Mahler 4/Reiner, Mahler 6/Abbado, Mahler 5/Tennstedt Live, Bullit OST, Summerly/Spem in Alium (one of my brightest CD), Savall/Istanbul, Jack Johnson's Brushfire fairytales, Clapton Unplugged, Gould 81 Goldberg, Massive Attack/Mezzanine, Chris Rea's Dancing down the stony road...etc...

What a superb piece of kit...no bloated bass, nothing like the treble harshness i had read about (and that had held me back too), superb separation, soundstage, clarity, impact....the general clarity on orchestral works, and boy, that timpani on the M2...and that Oud, again, on the Savall. 8)

Spent the last 20 minutes of the demo also trying a just-out-of-the-box HD800S, feeling a bit more sturdy than the HD800 maybe, better quality pads as well, but I didn't hear anything in there justifying the extra 400 quids for the newer model.

Well, The HD800 has been on my head at home for the last 2 hours  0:)... I gasped at Janos Starker's Cello Suites, I closed my eyes for a long while drifting to Dufay's O Gemma Lux, I chilled to Communique... and now I am grooving to Thriller...still off my solid state Slee Ultra Linear...bring on the tubes tomorrow.

Holy smokes...what a day... Never mind the unlistened-to boxsets... I have to go through all my classical collection from scratch again...with new ears and pleasure !

(http://www.headfonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/hd800_t1_39.jpg)

Welcome to the club! :-)

My switch was from HD580, with a custom-built tube amp for the latter (with which the 580 sound good, real' good)... but when I first heard the HD800 I was floored. Saved for almost two years, closed my eyes, and went for it... and never looked back, partly because I have this ridiculous look on my face, with the eyes rolled back and a touch of drool coming from one corner of the mouth.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 13, 2016, 02:18:36 PM
Welcome to the club! :-)

My switch was from HD580, with a custom-built tube amp for the latter (with which the 580 sound good, real' good)... but when I first heard the HD800 I was floored. Saved for almost two years, closed my eyes, and went for it... and never looked back, partly because I have this ridiculous look on my face, with the eyes rolled back and a touch of drool coming from one corner of the mouth.

Nice to know, Jens  ;D

Funnily enough, scroll back 5 years pretty much to the day within this thread and you will find our exchange on amps for HD650 and you were mentioning then having recently taken the plunge on the HD800 at the time ;)

Granted, slow decision making even by my standards...and with them on my head and smiling in a pretty similar fashion right now, I wonder why i didn't dare to take the plunge earlier.

In an additional effort of self-justification, I did the calculation that if I was smoking one pack of cigarettes a day (I am not my avatar  0:) ), I would spend the same amount of money within less than 6 months and have nothing to show for it... whereas the HD800 will probably give me 10+ years of enjoyment (which is what I have so far effortlessly on the HD650 as well). so yeah...  ;D

Maybe you are ripe for an upgrade to the HD800S...  >:D
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on January 14, 2016, 12:27:19 AM
On a Finnish forum one guy upgraded from Sennheiser HD 600 to HD 800. At first he was pleased. After two years he said HD 600 is actually better than HD 800. He went back to HD 600.

 :o

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on January 14, 2016, 12:31:25 AM
On a Finnish forum one guy upgraded from Sennheiser HD 600 to HD 800. At first he was pleased. After two years he said HD 600 is actually better than HD 800. He went back to HD 600.

 :o
Some think the 800 are too analytical. They are reputed to be very sensitive to good amplification and require a good headphone amp. From what I hear the new 800S may be more "relaxed".
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on January 14, 2016, 12:39:40 AM
Some think the 800 are too analytical. They are reputed to be very sensitive to good amplification and require a good headphone amp. From what I hear the new 800S may be more "relaxed".

Analytical as in precise? Isn't sound production supposed to be as precise as possible?

Relaxed = Low mechanical damping factor?

Yes, HD 800 needs good amplification (high and curvy impedance)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on January 14, 2016, 02:14:39 AM
Analytical as in precise? Isn't sound production supposed to be as precise as possible?
One should suppose so, but precision isn't always unproblematic in regards to listening fatigue, comfort etc. There's a lot of "time smearing" happening to acoustic waves in concert halls and listening rooms that don't necessarily happen (or happen differently) with headphones . Not to mention low order harmonic distortion that makes many subjectively prefer tube amps, vinyl etc.  Now we're into subjective preferences, all I'm saying there are lots of reason that precision isn't always the ultimate goal. Including the fact that bad recordings and masterings often sound worse on analytic/precise equipment. There are recordings I think sound better on cheaper equipment than on my main rig, but good recordings always sounds better on it. 
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 14, 2016, 02:25:03 AM
On a Finnish forum one guy upgraded from Sennheiser HD 600 to HD 800. At first he was pleased. After two years he said HD 600 is actually better than HD 800. He went back to HD 600.
Some think the 800 are too analytical. They are reputed to be very sensitive to good amplification and require a good headphone amp. From what I hear the new 800S may be more "relaxed".

Insane! Well, not insane... but really a strange preference. HD800 is hearing the music like on studio monitors... and on HD600 (or HD580, which I have, and which are reasonably similar) more like hearing the music on headphones, albeit in (ideally) warm and intense sound.

And I found my HD580 to be FAR more sensitive to good amplification. Indeed, with that purpose-built tube amp, they do sound kind of amazing. But it is still gaslight compared to the clarity and neutrality of the HD800 which I can plug straight into my amp, if necessary (with a +12 Trim). That's partly (though not wholly) explained by the considerably lower impedance of the HD800 compared to the HD580/600/650 family. (Ω300 vs. Ω600)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on January 14, 2016, 05:04:39 AM
There's a lot of "time smearing" happening to acoustic waves in concert halls and listening rooms that don't necessarily happen (or happen differently) with headphones .
Are you saying the microphones do not capture "time smearing" and the recordings therefor are avoid of it?

Not to mention low order harmonic distortion that makes many subjectively prefer tube amps, vinyl etc.
My theory is distortion makes everything sound the same (distorted) and people learn to like that sameness. Live performance is never distorted by definition and should be the reference. People don't actually realise how un-musical it is to have harmonic distortion in your gear. It creates additional frequencies that does not belong to the music. It's perverse to enjoy that.

Now we're into subjective preferences, all I'm saying there are lots of reason that precision isn't always the ultimate goal. Including the fact that bad recordings and masterings often sound worse on analytic/precise equipment. There are recordings I think sound better on cheaper equipment than on my main rig, but good recordings always sounds better on it.
I can tell you the truth or I can tell you what you want to hear. It's nice to hear what you want but you'll be living in a lie. Precise sound means knowing the truth, the truth about how bad or good your recordings are.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: The new erato on January 14, 2016, 05:55:27 AM
Are you saying the microphones do not capture "time smearing" and the recordings therefor are avoid of it?
No. Just that normal listening situations adds a lot to it

I can tell you the truth or I can tell you what you want to hear. It's nice to hear what you want but you'll be living in a lie. Precise sound means knowing the truth, the truth about how bad or good your recordings are.
I won't go into that discussion, just saying that sometimes smoothing over the warts may be a good thing, however truthful the warts are. Unless you happen to like warts. Simple as that, and end of discussion.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on January 14, 2016, 09:10:35 AM
No. Just that normal listening situations adds a lot to it

Please define "normal" listening situation. After the definition we can figure out what it "adds" compared to a not so normal listening situation. "Time smearing" is not such a thing, because it can't be avoided as I pointed out.

I won't go into that discussion, just saying that sometimes smoothing over the warts may be a good thing, however truthful the warts are. Unless you happen to like warts. Simple as that, and end of discussion.

Again we need to define "sonic warts". Also, what is technically "smoothing over"?

The general problem with this is that you use "less precise" audio gear to achieve "smoothing over", but what the audio gear does is not controlled. It does what it does (mostly because it's crappy), not what is exactly "needed". Also, other people hear different end result, because their audio gear does something different. Neutral precise sound is well-defined and if everyone has that, we hear more or less the same thing.

People who are only after smooth and "warm" sound are wimps. Real audiophiles want some coldness and edge too.  >:D

Neutral precise system gives you both, depending on the nature of the recording.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on January 14, 2016, 09:26:29 AM
Interesting to compare this to discussions of the HD800s on the Headfi forum. The posts of derision ( maybe that's too harsh) about preferring the 600 to the 800 would already be numerous. I've always thought that many Headfiers are more interested in the sound of their equipment as opposed to how they replay music. Not so here, unsurprisingly, on a forum which is about music and which has  many posters who play a musical instrument.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: jlaurson on January 14, 2016, 02:23:26 PM
Please define "normal" listening situation. After the definition we can figure out what it "adds" compared to a not so normal listening situation. "Time smearing" is not such a thing, because it can't be avoided as I pointed out.

Again we need to define "sonic warts". Also, what is technically "smoothing over"?

The general problem with this is that you use "less precise" audio gear to achieve "smoothing over", but what the audio gear does is not controlled. It does what it does (mostly because it's crappy), not what is exactly "needed". Also, other people hear different end result, because their audio gear does something different. Neutral precise sound is well-defined and if everyone has that, we hear more or less the same thing.

People who are only after smooth and "warm" sound are wimps. Real audiophiles want some coldness and edge too.  >:D

Neutral precise system gives you both, depending on the nature of the recording.

Let's put it in a different language: Do you want to live in Vienna or Berlin? If Vienna, you'll want HD600 et al, if Berlin HD800. Perhaps that can be extended, to some degree, along North/South lines... disingenuous smile vs. brutal honesty. But the point is: There are plenty of people who choose one over the other and vice versa... and we represent only one part and, perhaps only by coincidence, the same part. Doesn't make us more right.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Papy Oli on January 14, 2016, 02:59:32 PM
Timely discussion today because it has been the first evening where I have experienced the full downside of the unforgiveness of the HD800, to the point of it "being" grating on several CD's in the pile this evening...too harsh, too piercing, unclear separation...all down to the recordings quality (or my ears having a bad day maybe). I'd have to agree with Erato on this one as I would definitely have to revert to the DT880 of the HD650 for those particular recordings to enjoy them as I am used to and just be selective gear-wise throughout the CD's.

That said, give the HD800 something properly recorded and that's an absolute jewel. I have just put Aja back on to wrap up the evening and all is well in the world again  8)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Mookalafalas on February 02, 2016, 09:22:47 PM
Updated my phones.  Hifiman 400i.  I'm happy.  (Got in on the end of the year sale, so much cheaper than present list price).

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on May 08, 2016, 07:25:28 AM
(http://cdn.head-fi.org/5/5c/5c229200_oooooozzzzzzzxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.jpeg)


My recent and projected listening has included and will continue to include more rock and pop music, and as such, my Beyer T1s, which sound absolutely superb, ended up not being as well suited to this type of listening.  The bass is top quality, but the high frequencies are perhaps a bit too much some of the time, so I opted to get something new for non-classical listening.  I was familiar with Audeze headphones, and they deliver a sound that works better with rock and pop.  They produce more bass and high frequencies are less elevated.  In short, they sound darker, or perhaps richer, if you prefer.  (The Headphone.com measurements reinforce the perceived aural reality, or rather, vice versa.) So I bought the LCD 2.2.  It fits the bill.  It works great with pop and rock.  The soundstage/headstage is narrower and more closed in than the T1s, and the tonality is not quite as good for classical music, as expected, but detail is still more than adequate.  With the T1s, especially with piano music, I would quite regularly have to double check to make sure it was the headphones I was using, and not my speakers; with the Audezes, that has yet to happen when listening to anything.  Since I already knew what I was in for based on prior listening, these exactly met expectations.  (I A/B'd the LCD 2.2 against the EL-8, and the EL-8 is simply too dull to satisfy.) 

A couple things of note.  I already knew the cans were large, but when I rest my head on my La-Z-Boy - and why wouldn't I? - the earcup size prevents me from turning my head, and any brush of my hand against the cable or earcup creates a low frequency resonance.  And the Pelican travel case the headphones come in is just ridiculous.  Ain't no way these cans get harmed in transit.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on May 03, 2017, 07:24:03 AM
(https://storage.googleapis.com/cdn.head-fi.org/a/8879436.jpg)


Last year, the release of the Focal Utopia and Elear headphones garnered many pages of internet discussions on sites devoted to headphones.  Barring a lottery win, I will never own a four grand pair of headphones, but I wanted to try the Elears and hear how they compare to my other (erstwhile) supercans*: Beyer T1s and Audeze LCD 2.2s.

First, there’s the look, build quality, and fit.  The headphones look undeniably cool in hand.  These are wide open cans: peering through the sides, one can see the driver housing surrounded by nothing; the outer and inner meshes not supporting the drivers are see-through.  The drivers themselves look like generously sized dome tweeters firing at the listener’s ears, which, in essence, they are.  Build quality is generally high, though the rivets holding the cups to the band are not one hundred percent snug, at least on the left side on my pair.  There’s no wobble or chance of disintegration, but it should be noted.  As to fit, well, these are the best fitting luxury headphones I’ve worn, either for an extended period or a demo.  They fit almost as well as Audio Technica wing design headphones, but have greater clamping force.  Outstanding.

Now to sound.  These are not for everyone, starting with people who plan on listening primarily to solo piano music.  There is a massive frequency dip around 4 kHz, followed by a massive increase in high frequency energy.  This makes the upper midrange sound a bit dark and recessed, which means that upper registers and harmonics for piano sound a bit dull.  Coupled to this dip and rise is a boosted bass, in what appears to be a slightly exaggerated headphone variant of the boom-tizz design used in many mini-monitors.  This design not only means that solo piano is not ideally reproduced, but also string quartets suffer a bit, and the increase in treble means that the sound can become fatiguing if volume is not adjusted properly.  On the upside, these cans handle rock music splendidly.  The bass frequencies lack the extension and sheer weight of the Audezes, and the clarity of the Beyers, but the bass in punchier and groovier than in either of those two cans.  The recessed upper mids mean that even some harsher sounding rock and pop music sounds appropriately tamed.  It seems that these headphones were voiced more for rock and pop than classical, with its generally more natural frequency responses.  To be sure, clarity and detail through these cans is superb, and when watching TV, if perhaps a slight hollowing out of voices can be heard, so can every ruffle of clothing and every last bit of studio reflection in live voices (eg, the news).  For gaming, they are well balanced, but if one wants big sounding ‘splosions, Audezes are better.  However, one area where the Elears really excel are dynamics, which makes sense for a dynamic metal driver.  Dynamic contrasts are simply outstanding.  This can make adjusting volume a bit tricky, because fortissimo through these is loud.  The headphones are easier to drive than either the T1s or LCD 2.2s, which means even more care must be taken when setting volume.  I should note that these headphones need an amplifier devoted to headphones to sound their best.

One other thing to note is that this is the first pair of headphone in my experience than benefit from break-in.  I generally don’t put much store in stories of dozens or hundreds hours of break-in of stereo gear, and ‘net stories indicate at least dozens of hours for the Elears.  I can’t confirm that, but I can say that right of the box, the big 4 kHz drop made the cans sound very closed in and dark, and that this improved after a few hours of break-in.  This was assessed not by listening continuously, which would indicate aural acclimation only, but rather by listening, letting them run, then listening again, repeating a few times, this indicating aural acclimation and possibly some break-in.  Again, since this is the only pair of headphones I’ve heard where this has happened, there may be something to it.  By contrast, the planar Audezes sounded the same from the first note to the last time I listened to them.

So, a qualified success.  The Beyers are still the best overall headphones for my tastes, and the Audezes are better overall, but the Focals have their place outside classical music. 




*Only a few short years ago, Stax and the original Sennheiser Orpheus aside, a grand was the threshold for super-luxury headphones, but now that amount has been erased as the prices for ultra-premium cans march ever higher, straight to absurd levels.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: 71 dB on March 10, 2018, 06:52:37 AM
Yesterday the left channel of my Sennheiser HD-598 when silent. Luckily it was the cable and not the left driver! Today got myself a replacement cable (19,95 euros) and the phones are working again!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on March 10, 2018, 12:58:39 PM
.....and while we’re talking about Sennheiser replacement parts, I’ve just ordered new ear pads for my vintage HD580s. They are genuine Senn OEM and a little bit expensive but worth getting.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 27, 2018, 09:17:58 PM
the left side of my current headphones are fading it seems, I recently started noticing a balance issue with them. So it's time for a new pair and I'm looking for suggestions. Something close to the $150-$200 range, great for classical (of course).
Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on December 01, 2018, 07:07:21 AM
You can pick up Beyerdynamic DT880s in the 250 Ohm configuration for $159 right now at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-880-Premium-250-Over-Ear-Stereo/dp/B000F2BLTM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543676075&sr=8-3&keywords=beyerdynamic+dt880).  I have the 600 Ohm pair, and my son has the 250 Ohm pair, and they sound the same as far as I can tell, though the 600 Ohm needs more power.  The 250 Ohm is easy to drive to satisfying sound levels with a phone, whereas the 600 Ohm most decidedly is not.  There is typical internet chatter about sound differences, which is why I mention it. 

The Sennheiser HD579 and HD599 are under $200 and should work well.  Audio Technica ATH open back designs (ATH700, new style; ATH900) are very expansive sounding but a bit bass light.  The ATH M50 is one of the most uniformly liked closed headphones I've read about, though I've not heard that model.  All are below $150.

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 01, 2018, 08:08:24 AM
You can pick up Beyerdynamic DT880s in the 250 Ohm configuration for $159 right now at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-880-Premium-250-Over-Ear-Stereo/dp/B000F2BLTM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543676075&sr=8-3&keywords=beyerdynamic+dt880).  I have the 600 Ohm pair, and my son has the 250 Ohm pair, and they sound the same as far as I can tell, though the 600 Ohm needs more power.  The 250 Ohm is easy to drive to satisfying sound levels with a phone, whereas the 600 Ohm most decidedly is not.  There is typical internet chatter about sound differences, which is why I mention it. 

The Sennheiser HD579 and HD599 are under $200 and should work well.  Audio Technica ATH open back designs (ATH700, new style; ATH900) are very expansive sounding but a bit bass light.  The ATH M50 is one of the most uniformly liked closed headphones I've read about, though I've not heard that model.  All are below $150.


Thanks, Todd. This gives me plenty of good options to begin researching.

I've seen the Grado SR80e headphones on several lists of headphones great for classical music, I'm a little skeptical with them being on-ear rather than over over-ear but still curious. Didn't know if this was a brand, or model, that is well known or respected. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1LXOWS/?coliid=I2AH6MYWZHGM4O&colid=7BT7JU8099KP&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Todd on December 01, 2018, 08:21:25 AM
I've seen the Grado SR80e headphones on several lists of headphones great for classical music


Lower end Grados are not particularly good for classical.  The frequency response doesn't boost bass enough, resulting in a somewhat unrelenting sound.  You have to get to at least the SR325 for the sound to improve, and ultimately the Statement line is where they really sound good.  (One local vendor had/has all models on display, allowing a quick run up the line, which is how I heard most of the models.)

The Prestige series are also not particularly robust in terms of build quality.  I've owned the SR60 and SR125, and both broke after a short period.  The flimsy connections to the ear pieces suck.  I will never buy Grado again.  Sennheiser plastic models also do have some build quality issues, with cracking in the plastic evident after not too long.  Beyer build quality is superior, and though they use a lot of plastic, the Audio Technica open back designs place little stress on the headphones, and they are almost ridiculously comfortable once you get used to the "wing pad" design.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on December 01, 2018, 09:34:47 AM
I may be in the minority, but I don't have a high opinion of Sennheiser build, even for relatively high end. I had two pair, both in the $300-$400 range and both had issue. The first one had ridiculously finicky connectors for the removable headphone cords that developed static. Had to be replaced and developed static again. The other had one driver that was weaker and more prone to buzzing during bass and when I returned it for warranty repair I was informed it was within spec.

My favourites now are Beyer Dynamic and Denon, honourable mention to AKG.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: GioCar on December 01, 2018, 11:53:14 PM
You can pick up Beyerdynamic DT880s in the 250 Ohm configuration for $159 right now at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-880-Premium-250-Over-Ear-Stereo/dp/B000F2BLTM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543676075&sr=8-3&keywords=beyerdynamic+dt880).  I have the 600 Ohm pair, and my son has the 250 Ohm pair, and they sound the same as far as I can tell, though the 600 Ohm needs more power.  The 250 Ohm is easy to drive to satisfying sound levels with a phone, whereas the 600 Ohm most decidedly is not.  There is typical internet chatter about sound differences, which is why I mention it. 

The Sennheiser HD579 and HD599 are under $200 and should work well.  Audio Technica ATH open back designs (ATH700, new style; ATH900) are very expansive sounding but a bit bass light.  The ATH M50 is one of the most uniformly liked closed headphones I've read about, though I've not heard that model.  All are below $150.

I second the bolded part. Moreover if want closed cans and you can still find them somewhere (they are OOP), go for the Beyerdynamics DT660. This guy has golden ears imo, and this is his opinion on the DT660 https://www.head-fi.org/threads/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard.559542/
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 05, 2019, 09:30:49 PM
UPDATE: I purchased the beyerdynamic DT 880 250 Ohm, and so far I'm loving them. I'm going from the V-Moda M-100, which has more bass and is, I believe closed, to the beyerdynamic DT 880. These newer ones are more naturally balanced and acoustic sounding headphone. Although the beyerdynamic is no slouch on the bass, it's just better mixed.
Im also not being negative to the V-Moda, it’s been great to me, and really does have a great, powerful sound. I actually fixed the issue with it so Ill still have them around for travel, and gaming.
I've listened to a few different recordings, and genres, to get a good feel of the capabilities of the beyerdynamics, and I'm incredibly impressed.
Thank you, Todd, for the rec!

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/711NdfNKUPL._SL1071_.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 06, 2019, 05:03:03 PM
I am sorry if it has been posted before. What is a good pair of bluetooth headphones?

I have the Bose Soundlink, I think it is pretty good and comfortable. Anything in the similar price range more suited for classical music?
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: lisa needs braces on January 08, 2019, 01:44:34 PM
These babies have treated me well the past four years. Sennheisser 650.

(https://media.sweetwater.com/api/i/q-82__ha-334697bd63b3b813__hmac-6d0f8dee8da0034d9cd8f992dee534240a0e0016/images/items/750/HD650-large.jpg)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 09, 2019, 06:03:40 AM
These babies have treated me well the past four years. Sennheisser 650.

(https://media.sweetwater.com/api/i/q-82__ha-334697bd63b3b813__hmac-6d0f8dee8da0034d9cd8f992dee534240a0e0016/images/items/750/HD650-large.jpg)
Thanks. I was hoping for an on-ear instead of covering the ear model.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: lisa needs braces on January 09, 2019, 10:09:29 PM
Sorry PW, I was just sharing that I own that pair. It looks like you were looking for bluetooth headphones? Those aren't that. Hopefully you didn't make a purchase based on my post!  :-\
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 10, 2019, 08:18:27 AM
Sorry PW, I was just sharing that I own that pair. It looks like you were looking for bluetooth headphones? Those aren't that. Hopefully you didn't make a purchase based on my post!  :-\
For a corded headphone it is odd to have wires coming off each earpiece like that...
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on January 10, 2019, 02:18:25 PM
I've been looking into DAC/amps for my Sennheiser 650s to simplify my current setup: Squeezebox Touch -> Neko DAC -> Musical Fidelity V-Can.  The main weak point is the V-Can, which has too low a setting on it's volume control for my preferred listening level with the 650s and also has no power switch!  Pretty good sound, though.  I'd love to find something that can be powered off my computer's USB bus.  I've been looking at the iFi devices.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on January 11, 2019, 01:02:37 PM
The Burson Play might be an option. An extremely powerful amp section and the ability to switch out different op amps allows you to tinker with the sound. It comes in four versions, basic, V5i, V6 vivid and V6 Classic. I’ve got the V6 Vivid and it’s clarity, detail, instrumental separation and bass extension are outstanding.

Burson also have other options as well including a newer version of the Play with an improved DAC chip called the Playmate.

Www.bursonaudio.com
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on January 11, 2019, 08:49:57 PM
The Burson Play might be an option. An extremely powerful amp section and the ability to switch out different op amps allows you to tinker with the sound. It comes in four versions, basic, V5i, V6 vivid and V6 Classic. I’ve got the V6 Vivid and it’s clarity, detail, instrumental separation and bass extension are outstanding.

Burson also have other options as well including a newer version of the Play with an improved DAC chip called the Playmate.

Www.bursonaudio.com

Thanks.  The build quality looks really nice for $250.

EDIT: odd that it has a mic input and can also be mounted in a PC.  I wonder how much traction they got marketing this to PC gamers.  I have a game PC, and it has no external bays on the front at all.

(https://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/ProductImage/11-146-288-Z01.jpg)

Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Holden on January 12, 2019, 12:28:26 PM
The PLay was designed with gamers in mind hence the mike input. Gamers apparently need to be able to audibly pinpoint objects they see on their monitors which means that this also works extremely well with instrumental separation for music. It’s also designed to be able to fit into a PC tower and does have moles connectors. However, as the Play runs quite warm you’d need to have it well ventilated.
Title: Re: Headphones
Post by: Daverz on March 18, 2019, 02:09:55 PM
I've been looking into DAC/amps for my Sennheiser 650s to simplify my current setup: Squeezebox Touch -> Neko DAC ->