Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 133
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi Guys,

    I'm in the market to replace my earphones and as we're all listening to similar music I thought it might be nice to hear your experiences and what kit you use for portable listening.

    I enjoyed the sound from my Bose earphones (IEM's) but always felt they were a pain to manage. The rubber ear plugs would always come off and be at the bottom of my pocket/bag etc. So I'm not married to the idea of IEM's but won't dismiss them either.

    Today I tried some B&W P5, Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear and various others. Unfortunately it's not possible to try on the in ear monitors for obvious reasons.

    So now that the cable on my Bose earplugs is on the way out I'm going replace them.

    What are you guys using?

    Sean

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I don't use in-ears. For headphone, I really like the Hifiman HE-400's and the Ultrasone HFI-580. The hifimans are open back and sound amazing. The ultrasones are closed back but are great for their fairly spacious sound and ridiculously good isolation from external noise (but make sure to get newer model with 4ft cord rather than old model with 12ft cord!).

    Steer clear of Bose.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Grado SR80i. Affordable and great sounding and lightweight. It is rather neutral and works well for naturally miked classical and jazz recordings. You want to hear what is in the recording, not what the headphones/earphones think you should be hearing. No goosed-up bass, no accentuated treble, no midrange suckout. Put on a recording with well-recorded double-bass and a drum kit like the Keith Jarrett Trio, that will separate the good headphones from the horribly distorted ones that appeal to the teenage crowd. Nothing against teenagers but they never were the arbiters of sensibility.

    Steer clear of Bose.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 11-19-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    "Portable listening" can bring lots of constraints on the design that might be acceptable to you and others. You can't really use open backed on public transport but you might prefer that in the studio or bedroom/where ever you play.

    Perhaps if you could better define the when/where and the how much too?

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I also have the Grado SR80i's - they do sound excellent, but like all Grados they are open-back . The Ultrasone 580's sound quite close to the Grados (not as good, but close) however also offer excellent noise insulation. Figure out if you need good sound insulation. Personally, if I'm using them out of the house, then I want insulation.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Grado SR80i. Affordable and great sounding and lightweight. It is rather neutral and works well for naturally miked classical and jazz recordings. You want to hear what is in the recording, not what the headphones/earphones think you should be hearing. No goosed-up bass, no accentuated treble, no midrange suckout. Put on a recording with well-recorded double-bass and a drum kit like the Keith Jarrett Trio, that will separate the good headphones from the horribly distorted ones that appeal to the teenage crowd. Nothing against teenagers but they never were the arbiters of sensibility.

    Steer clear of Bose.
    Sorry guys, I should have mentioned I have the Grado SR80 for home but would find them too big to carry around and the open back design would annoy others on the train/cafes etc....

    I love the Grados SR80's though and agree with all the comments.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chimera1to1
    "Portable listening" can bring lots of constraints on the design that might be acceptable to you and others. You can't really use open backed on public transport but you might prefer that in the studio or bedroom/where ever you play.

    Perhaps if you could better define the when/where and the how much too?
    Glad you picked up on the 'portable' because perhaps I could have been a bit clearer.

    Like my previous post mentioned I have some decent open back for home use so I'm looking for portable for when I'm out and about, often in public so in-ear or small close back.

    I guess my budget would be around $150 -$200 (£150).

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Ultimate Ears 4 Pro Custom?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Not to derail the thread or anything, but why steer clear of Bose? I wouldn't personally buy them, but a lot of people seem to love them.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    sennheiser hd25 are amazing. i use a pair of shure srh440 they are great as well.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch_33
    Not to derail the thread or anything, but why steer clear of Bose? I wouldn't personally buy them, but a lot of people seem to love them.
    No highs.. no lows.. it must be BOSE.

    (sorry.. had to say it.. actually not true imho )

    I don't know if I can recommend the Shure 440's in your situation but they are my primary at-home headphones just for the price/sound/isolation/comfort (they took a little getting used to but are by far the most comfortable over-the-ear cans I have tried.. ) I have a pair of CAD audio hp's and they sound just a little better than the shures but with my big ears and fat head I find the shures sit better on my head, are lighter, and more comfortable.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Earplugs=fast food. If I absolutely HAVE to, okay, I guess.

    I bought a pair of Sony Mdr-7506 's a few years back and really like 'em...We're well under $100 iirc.

    Bose has it's haters, but I got a pair of over the ear noise canceling headphones from them that kick ass on a plane or train.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    for earbuds, the best thing you could do to enhance the experience would be to add something like these: http://www.complyfoam.com/ they'll seal out external noise, which allows you to turn the volume down and improves the fit and sound of your earbuds. sufficient for planes and trains, but don't put you in a sound proof bubble.

    using them with klipsch s4 ear buds, which are perfectly fine (for high end ear buds). those with the complys have been the standard for a few years now. i think their build quality/longevity may be waning a little, but i abuse them so much its hard to tell. they are beyond excellent with the returns, though and they are well under your budget.

    for big giant headphones, i do love the audio technica ath m50s for than anything, and have for years now. decent isolation, but large and cumbersome, like most things in that price/sound quality range. the Sony Mdr-7506 are industry standards that are also perfectly fine at that price point. also like the akg 240s very much, but don't think they provide the durability or isolation for being out and about, unless they have new models out.

    for what you want (at that budget) i'm not sure you have many (if any) options for small, closed back iso-ish headphones that aren't a joke (bose/monster/beats). either spend less or get bigger cans. i'd be reticent to spend that much on something small because then durability comes into play, which has been an issue for me in the past. take note of all the broken sets of beats or whatever the next time you wander through a best buy and you'll see what i mean.

    amazon is fine, but i like to keep an eye on the closeouts page at shoreline music, as they have cheaper high end stuff every now and again that isn't always listed on the site, if you ask. good guitar store, too.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Earplugs=fast food. If I absolutely HAVE to, okay, I guess.
    Have to assume you're speaking from a place of complete ignorance/lack of significant experience with a comment like that.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Not really...Tried a few dozen...never found any I thought were comfortable.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    The Ultrasone 580 are actually very compact and they fold flat. I wear them in public often.

    For portable audio, the Fiio X3 is a must-buy. It's a digital audio player just released in July and it's an absolute giant-slayer at $200. I don't even know where to start...it even makes my crappy apple earphones sound good. Built in Wolfson DAC, headphone amp, nobody can interrupt your music with a text message...so many great qualities! Also it has real push buttons (no touch screen) for a sort of slow-downer while walking around (easy to manually loop a passage to learn something by ear).

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    For portable audio, the Fiio X3 is a must-buy. It's a digital audio player just released in July and it's an absolute giant-slayer at $200. I don't even know where to start...it even makes my crappy apple earphones sound good. Built in Wolfson DAC, headphone amp, nobody can interrupt your music with a text message...so many great qualities! Also it has real push buttons (no touch screen) for a sort of slow-downer while walking around (easy to manually loop a passage to learn something by ear).
    That's really interesting actually. I've never considered upgrading my MP3 player. I'll look in to that.

    Still unsure which headphones to get. B&W P7 were nice as were the Sennheiser Momentum but I'm concerned I'll just wreck them pulling them out of my bag everyday. But then again, they are consumables.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    +1 ATH M50.
    Flat and clear. I got the tip on using them off a few different recording engineer friends. They usually cost about $150 if you find them cheaper then that's the deal.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I'll second the recommendations for Grado headphones- really excellent sound at a reasonable price

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Not really...Tried a few dozen...never found any I thought were comfortable.
    I could never find any in-ear phones that were comfortable either, so I would just settle for my standard-issue Apple i-device headphones for those rare occasions when I had to use in-ears.

    But...every year at work we are able to provide a preference on naming a gift up to $500 in value - so like a Christmas season bonus paid with a product, rather than in cash (which would have adverse tax consequences). We can't apply the money towards a bigger purchase...it must be a purchase up to that value.

    Anyways, this year I just picked up the Grado GR-10 in-ear headphones through this gift program. They are amazing! They are actually very comfortable, and the sound is out of this world! I had to experiment with the supplied 'tips' to find the ones that strike the best balance between sound and fit, but now that I have I am totally blown away. Of course, they do cost $400 which is serious money for in-ear headphones (or any headphones, for that matter)...I get that...but there was nothing else I wanted or needed under $500 since it had to be be one single item (or else I would have bought a 6 month supply of dog food for my pooch!).

    So...all this to say, the Grado in-ear headphones are very comfortable...and the sound is unbelievable. They do make more affordable models, which I'm guessing fit similarly but I can't say for sure. I think the most affordable model is under $100 and probably sounds at least halfway decent, given Grado's overall reputation.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    As a few folks have mentioned the ATH-M50's (even though they really don't seem to qualify for the OP's question) I would like to toss the ATH-M30's into the mix - at about $100 less than the 50's they come very close to the 50's to my ears at a considerable savings. Granted, I am an old older guy and might be missing some of the nuances of the 50's, but on a budget, the 30's are a steal and I love them for home listening and for jacking into the Sinsonido. Also, like Mr. B, I have never found a comfortable pair of buds (tried at least a dozen over the years, varying prices), but I have not spent a ton of money on custom-fit units, either. Just my opinion.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    I could never find any in-ear phones that were comfortable either, so I would just settle for my standard-issue Apple i-device headphones for those rare occasions when I had to use in-ears.

    But...every year at work we are able to provide a preference on naming a gift up to $500 in value - so like a Christmas season bonus paid with a product, rather than in cash (which would have adverse tax consequences). We can't apply the money towards a bigger purchase...it must be a purchase up to that value.

    Anyways, this year I just picked up the Grado GR-10 in-ear headphones through this gift program. They are amazing! They are actually very comfortable, and the sound is out of this world! I had to experiment with the supplied 'tips' to find the ones that strike the best balance between sound and fit, but now that I have I am totally blown away. Of course, they do cost $400 which is serious money for in-ear headphones (or any headphones, for that matter)...I get that...but there was nothing else I wanted or needed under $500 since it had to be be one single item (or else I would have bought a 6 month supply of dog food for my pooch!).

    So...all this to say, the Grado in-ear headphones are very comfortable...and the sound is unbelievable. They do make more affordable models, which I'm guessing fit similarly but I can't say for sure. I think the most affordable model is under $100 and probably sounds at least halfway decent, given Grado's overall reputation.
    Yes, I was scratching my head for a while and decided that in ears would be best for my portable uses so I eventually decided to drop a hint to my better half.

    I may well find some Grado iGi's at the bottom of this years Christmas stocking. Not quite in the same league but I'm sure that some of the technology is filtered down.

    I'll report back on my impressions.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Resurrecting this thread as I have some new info to share.

    I wanted a new pair of noise cancelling headphones for an upcoming 20-some hour round trip flight (my last pair of inexpensive NC headphones have developed a mechanical problem), so I picked up a set of decently reviewed Sony Digital NC cans that were heavily discounted from Amazon. I was more interested in NC than great audio (even at a high price, NC headphones have never sounded that great to me). In any case, these Sony Digital headphones are great! I charged them and plugged into some jazz to test the sound, and with the NC turned on, my library sounds like new; I am hearing shimmering cymbals, piano overtones not noticed before, great, clean bass lines, guitars that sound live, full and wet tenor lines... I am not hearing my ceiling fan running, the dryer tumbling in the laundry room, the A/C coming through the floor vent or the fish tank compressors running. Also, there is no hiss produced by the NC like in the cheaper sets I've owned in the past.

    While I purchased these mainly for flying, I can see them becoming my "daily drivers"; sorry for the bad pun.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    I'll use this as a chance to plug a new product that has caught my attention, although I do not own it. I mentioned earlier the Fiio X3 portable player...I still have it and it's outstanding, if a bit bulky. There is a competitor out by Hifiman called the HifiMan Electronics HM-700 DAC (RE-400b): Amazon.com : HifiMan Electronics HM-700 DAC with RE-400b Balanced In-Ear Headphones (Black) : MP3 Players & Accessories

    Apparently it is very similar to the X3 in sound quality, much thinner/lighter and it comes with earphones that are very well regarded. For $250, that sounds like a pretty good package deal. If I didn't already have the X3/Grado combo I'd be all over this new Hifiman product.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    I got some Sony's headphones for practicing for $30 or so sound good. My kid has a pair of beats, they sound good, yo! But not worth the money imho.