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Old 24th April 2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default New Headphones Advice

Me and a friend are looking into possibly buying new headphones and as we are moving from the BestBuy quality ones we do not really know what to look for.

- Headphones will not be used for portable equipment without an amp.

I have had Sennheiser phones in the past and loved them, I still have my older model in ear buds (CX 270 similar) and love them. They have spectacular bass for being so tiny.

We are looking for entirely over the ear closed can headphones. We have people sitting ~1m away from us so we cant be too noisy and they need to be comfortable for ~4hrs of usage per sitting. We both like big bass but hate it when you need to constantly fiddle with controls as you cant hear the vocals. Our budget is under $200/pair if possible.

Can you guys recommended some choices for us?
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Old 24th April 2011, 10:00 PM   #2
pidesd is offline pidesd  Canada
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the ath-m50 have pretty good reviews around the net. i dont know for comfort though.
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Old 24th April 2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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Fostex T40RP professional headphones. Highly underrated and under $100 at Long and McQuade.

:)ensen.
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Old 25th April 2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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I didn't even know Long and McQuade had headphones. Makes since though. Too bad their website is total garbage. They don't even give the impedance of the headphones!

The specs for the STH-M50 are not bad, I was looking at the Sennheiser 380/280 Pro's and their freq response is pretty hard to beat. I do remember reading a review a while back though that the 280's where a bit "tinny" in the higher frequencies.

I will have to take a trip into L&McQ and do some testing. Any other Canadian stores that let you try out headphones?
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Old 25th April 2011, 01:42 AM   #5
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Specs will tell you nothing about how headphones sound - the 280 pros offer impressive isolation, but the bass is actually pretty thin, and they're generally quite laid back with a dark tone.

Consider the Audio Technica ATH-700/900, the Beyerdynamic DT-150/250 or DT770pro or the Shure SRH440/840.
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Old 25th April 2011, 03:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroMinded View Post
I will have to take a trip into L&McQ and do some testing. Any other Canadian stores that let you try out headphones?
Don't know. Haven't been in a good audio store since I lived in Vancouver... and even then, I would be in the Tom Lee Music since it was closest. I imagine that any decent pro shop would have something you can listen to. Even though many people have their usual favourite brands, I still find it strange that a manufacturer of some of the very best full range drivers would not have better market penetration with their headphones... especially among the DIY crowd.

:)ensen.
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Old 25th April 2011, 10:52 AM   #7
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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I have a a pair of ATH-900's (got them about 6 months ago) and I can tell you they are wonferful - best headphones for the money I have heard for a long time. I am driving them from a low source impeadance (3.3 Ohms). They also sound great straight into an iPhone. ($240)

I also have a pair of Bose phones - same ones they use in their noise cancelling headsets, but without the noise cancelling. Cost me close to $200. Avoid these. Bass is so overwhelming as to induce headache unless you have tone controls and can turn the bass way down. The treble leaves much to be desired and has a strange 'zingy' sound to them. When you A-B them with the ATH's or even the Sony's, their shortcomings are immeaditae. Why did I buy them? I don't know. A moment of weakness.

I have a pair of Sony noise cancelling in ear canal headphones (about $70)- I use them on business trips. For the money, these are great phones - fantastic noise isolation and the sound
is not bad - good bass, open mid range with a nice top-end. Even with NC turned off, they sound very respectable.

Other headphones I have owned:-

Sennheiser - you need to spend > $100 in my view and maybe a bit more. They can seem a bit 'honky' on AB tests. I've personally owned HD400's and HD424's (going back a few years). All my current experience with them has been on AB tests.

Beyer - I had a pair of DT-200's (IIRC the model number) a few yeard ago - great bass, but the top end was a bit sharp.

I have used on extensive loan, our company reference Stax headphones and tube amp. Awsome, but this set up is about $1500. The ATH's are not bad though given the price difference!

Keep in mind that many, many branded headphones nowadays are actually made by 3rd party no-name brand houses, and then simply -rebranded by the big names. A good example is the Sony in ear NC ones - these are actually a Phitek model (Phitek are from New Zealand) and Panasonic also sell them with slightly different cosmetics. Similar situation on some of the other big brands as well.

Take the very good advice of the poster above: listen carefully before you part with your money - electrical specs on earphones will tell you squat about how they will sound - and that's the very best advice you can get in your situation.

Good luck!
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Last edited by Bonsai; 25th April 2011 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 25th April 2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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Given your description, I would probably advise a pair of denon ah-d2000, if you can stretch your budget a little. Closed, circumaural, confortable. Plus they have decent sound, not great, but good.
I would avoid Audio-Technicas 700 / 900 which have a sucked out and nasal midrange. A very wrongly voiced pair of headphones, in my opinion.
Bonsai, I can't believe that with such great design you make, you manage to tolerate cans like AT 900! I say this without any kind of disrespect of course, and maybe it is a matter of taste, but I do believe you deserve something better.
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Old 25th April 2011, 02:49 PM   #9
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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ATH-AD900's

Are you kidding me?

If you think the mid range is sucked out, then it might be because your system bass and treble are lifted. These are great headphones bud! I just goes to show, sound is a personal thing.

BUT, the best thing for Microminded is to try out quite a few pairs and take his pick.
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Last edited by Bonsai; 25th April 2011 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 25th April 2011, 06:08 PM   #10
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Alright, I thought you were talking about the ATH-A900. ATH-AD900, on the other hand, are indeed a very good pair of cans!
(A900 are the closed ones, that's why maybe I jumped to a conclusion too fast, sorry about that)
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