recommendations for headphones

chased13

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hi everyone!

im looking into buying headphones for
1)late nights playiing computer games and listening to music (mostly music)..cant wake the family up with my stereo and speakers

2)long car rides plane trips etc.

i dont mind if they are big or ugly

im looking to spend under 100$ (mab more but thats the target price cuz i know someone will say senn 595s and i cant shell out 200 for phones)

im more into bass quality then bass quantity

do i need an amplifier? or is my stereo headphone jack amplified (mid range pioneer 815 reciever)

how do u amplify heaphones while listenning to an ipod? do i need too?

an yes i do know mp3 bitrate is important...all my stuff is minimum 192 cbr and mostly 320 or high bitrate vbr- just cant fit it all on an ipod in wav or flac :( where are those 200 gb ipods?
 

paybax

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Hey Chase,
I know your looking to spend under $ 100,00 are you talking USD ??
Sennheiser has a few models that can fit into that budget...However if you can squeeze a few more $" ....I was at Future Shop (in Canada), I know you can get these in US too, and I was looking at the iPods and they had a set of Bose headphones that were quite small....just covered the ears....were lightweight....small head harness.
BUT DAMN MAN CAN THAT THING PUMP BASS !!! 8O
The sound that set can put out is PURE EAR CANDY ...The price for this headset was $ 190.00 Canadian $ ... so USD would be about $ 150.00.
So you see, if you can shell out a bit more, ya got yoself some kick @ss headphones that can accomodate gaming AND the ability to listen to music to carry with you an your i Pod. :wink:

That's just my view on it man...with me it's all about the bass and sound :D

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Synergy6

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I love my Grado SR60s, but as for whether they're still made, nevermind current pricing, I have no idea. I would have thought they'd be around the $100 mark, but no certainty. Failing that, anything by Sennheiser is usually decent.
Synergy6
 

dougie_boy

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Sennheiser Sennheiser Sennheiser Sennheiser Sennheiser

best money you will EVER spend.

its like having your ears being taken on holiday.

cant stress how good they are.

get a pair. the customer service is second to none.

bought a pair for Doom3. ages ago i now but they just are so good i have yet to hear anything like them. even B&O stuggle to make stuff this good.

SennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiserSennheiser
 

nobly

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I have to recommend Sennheiser as well. I have some on my head right now in fact.

I have the PX100's - they're super-aural (they don't enclose your ears) so I can hear people sneaking up on me.

They cost me about $45 a year or so ago. Best pair of headphones I've ever ever owned. If you thought Sony/Panasonics were good, these will blow you away.

The quality of the sound reproduction is very very good IMO.
If you're used to higher end phones, then you might find something wrong w/ them, but I am completely happy with these. Best $45 I've ever spent on headphones. Plus it comes w/ a nifty carrying case.

I'm using them right now w/ my iPod mini.

You shouldn't need to amplify headphones when you plug them into a headphone jack. If you plug them into a line-out jack, I think the voltage is higher for those so you might want to be careful not to kill your headphones.

If you're on an airplane alot, you might want noise-cancelling ones.
 

OxxY

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I have a sennheiser hd 212 pro...and i use them with a cd player, they sound really nice and the bass is awesome,feel like inside car with a 12" subwoffer, sound quality is awesome as well, i really like this cans ... :D
As far as i know as long the impedance is 32 ohm,you can still use it with player like ipod etc, if the impedance is greater than that let say 64 ohm,you can still use it with your ipod but you need to turn your volume a bit louder to make all the sound comes out.
you also need to consider do you want open or closed headphone...
Using a open headphone with a loud volume means the sound will go out, so the person near you can hear your music :D
 

Siba

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I would recommend either the Sennheiser HD-280s or the Sony MDR-7506s. Both are right at your $100 price point.

I currently use the 7506s because I prefer sound that's as accurate as can be.

All of the people telling you to straight out go Sennheiser are just biased. You should listen for yourself, as is the case with all audio products, if at all possible. Don't go for the Bose, their equipment is priced around 3 times what a comparable alternative would cost. Bose = Buy other sound equipment.

From my experience, I am extremely satisfied with the 7506s. They provide tight, crisp sound at just about any volume level, and don't miss out on any of the nuances in my music that I listen to. I also own a pair of the Bose triports that one of the previous posters mentioned. They do put out an impressive amount of bass, but it's muddy bass. The moment I tried the Sony headphones, I was immediately impressed by how tight the bass was on it. With the right source, I felt like I could pick out each and every movement of the membrane on the drums in my music :D I felt the same way about the upper and midrange too. During the DJ gig that I tested out my 7506s on, we had two studio level condenser mics inside a grand piano, and the sound the sonys put out made me feel like I was inside the piano itself. They could actually differentiate the slight variations in timing from the high end sound hitting the mic positioned on the low end of the piano, and vice versa. If that isn't impressive clarity...I don't know what is.

Since you seem to be interested in travelling with the headphones a bit, I would also say that the 7506s feel very durable, and also fold up for easy packing.

Maybe I sound like I'm endorsing the Sonys, but that's just been my experience with the headphones. You might not get the same results, as I was on professional DJ equipment. Since using the headphones at home on my Panny XR55, my music hasn't been sounding quite impressive lately, and I'm thinking that now I've finally heard the difference between real life and a recording :?

Overall, I think I would still recommend that you try and get your hands on each of the headphones and see which ones sound best to you. You say you're more interested in accurate bass than lots of bass, but who's to say that the Sennheisers wouldn't be good enough for your tastes in the accuracy department, but still put out a higher amount of it?
 

Siba

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wow, i would never spend more than $15 on a pair of headphones
your missing out...

thats like wiping your arse with sand paper. it will get the job done but you wont enjoy it.

Nice.
 

chased13

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yes im in US$ sorry i keep forgetting that there is alot of CAN peeps on these forums.

you guys keep talking 'bout that boomin bass- exactly what i said i wasnt looking for lol!

i prefer clear music over loud stuff (loud annd clear if possible!) so if headphones are 32 ohm then that means they will go fine with an ipod?

i know that bigger cans will sound better and these are not for my portable set (i already have some 30$ ones for school and jogging)

i also dont really care what it makes me look like so style IS NOT a factor. i would prefer closed as i dont want to be rude on an airplane or around others with my music blastin.

i checked newegg and saw the senns and sonys for like 100 bux.. i shouldnt need an amp for those?
 

Siba

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The sony's are definitely loud and clear. I think they are 63ohm resistance, so if the sennheisers are 32ohm then the sonys will be a bit harder to drive, and you'll have to push the volume up a bit higher to get the full range of sound that you're looking for. But since you're looking for both loud and clear, this shouldn't be a problem, right? :)
 

paybax

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Hey Chase.....I know what you said LOL...you said.....and I quote "bass QUALITY, not bass QUANTITY"....and the Bose head set DOES just that. I guess I didn't explain my perception properly.

What I really meant to say was that the Bose headset gives you a FULL rounded out sound field. ANd if you DID want a more "bassy" feel to a particular track....these ones will give it to you through the sound field selections that are available in your ipod.

But as posted by the majority of peeps in here, myself included, Sennheiser makes some awsome headsets. I tested a few out at Future Shop near my place and I gotta say, Bose AND SEnnheiser were almost comparable. Not so much in quality because they are equal as far as I'm concerned, but in how they project the sound.

I say try them both out, and you be the judge, since everyones ears will perceive sounds and music differently right?

Take care dude and let me know what you get K?
Mike

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halcyon

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A good place to get some objective information on headphones (and for actually buying them) is www.headphone.com (aka, HeadRoom). The AKG K26P's are highly rated and popular @ a $45 price point, I think I may get a pair myself. I'd also check out the Sennheiser HD202's @ $25. There's a bunch that are well within your budget.

At the pricepoint you're talking about you likely won't need or really benefit from a headphone amp. The sets in this range are pretty low impedance and are meant to be driven by portable players. If you start looking at sets rated at about more than ~60 ohms you'll start to hear a difference with a headphone amp, in terms of dynamics. E.g, a soundcard isn't going to drive a pair of Sennheiser HD500/600/650's very well, but will drive a pair of HD202's or HD595's just fine, with an amp only improving upon dynamics, depth, and overall richness of sound. If you can find a set of Sony MDR-V6 (~$80) you'll likely enjoy the sound too, if you like tight bass for rock, hip-hop, yet their ear cushions tend to disintigrate after a couple years of use. Stay away from the Sony MDR-V600's...they're like the rice-cakes of headphones, IMO.

Check out http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-budget/40-80/ if you have an opportunity.
 

psteele

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You should narrow down exactly what type of headphone suits your needs. You said that you take long car and plane trips, so do you need something that isolates, or something circumaural, supra-aural, maybe even in-ear monitors? Take a look at www.headfi.org...
 

major_error

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Buying sound reproduction equipment is always a subjective experience, so it should go without saying that opinions should always be taken with a quantity of salt (regardless of whether you're spending $10 or $10000.)

I used to use an old $20 pair of Radio Shack Pro20's (rebranded Koss equipment) and they compared favorably against a friend's expensive Sennheisers (400-series?)--my pair only seemed to be lacking at the frequency extremes...
I've since replaced them with a pair of Sennheiser HD201's from Amazon. I find myself agreeing with the positive reviews of the model; for a product aimed at the (sub-)$20 market, it performs extremely well. I find the drivers to be responsive and well-balanced, and even though it is a closed design, the lower frequencies don't seen to be unduly reinforced. I think the best selling point is that it doesn't feel like a vice on your head after extended use. The very lengthy cord might be the only potential deficiency.
 

halcyon

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I've read above and saw that someone recommended the BOSE (TriPorts or QC2's?). I auditioned the TriPorts for about a week. They sound great until you consider their price-point. They're way overpriced for their build and sound quality, IMO. One can do significantly better in both aspects for significantly less money: http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-budget/80-150/

The GRADO SR80's are in there along with a plate-full of Sennheiser's @ the $100 price-point. That gives you plenty of options. The nice thing about HeadRoom is they're objectivity in the area of reviews and they'll let you know in the review whether or not you really need an amp for a particular set of cans. I've purchased both my sets of cans from them as well as my Di-Marzio M-Paths. They're shipping and customer service seems more than adequate IMO. They're staff seems knowledgable, as well. My next set of cans from them will be the AKG K701's. ...contender for world's best.
 

germanium

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A good place to get some objective information on headphones (and for actually buying them) is www.headphone.com (aka, HeadRoom). The AKG K26P's are highly rated and popular @ a $45 price point, I think I may get a pair myself. I'd also check out the Sennheiser HD202's @ $25. There's a bunch that are well within your budget.

At the pricepoint you're talking about you likely won't need or really benefit from a headphone amp. The sets in this range are pretty low impedance and are meant to be driven by portable players. If you start looking at sets rated at about more than ~60 ohms you'll start to hear a difference with a headphone amp, in terms of dynamics. E.g, a soundcard isn't going to drive a pair of Sennheiser HD500/600/650's very well, but will drive a pair of HD202's or HD595's just fine, with an amp only improving upon dynamics, depth, and overall richness of sound. If you can find a set of Sony MDR-V6 (~$80) you'll likely enjoy the sound too, if you like tight bass for rock, hip-hop, yet their ear cushions tend to disintigrate after a couple years of use. Stay away from the Sony MDR-V600's...they're like the rice-cakes of headphones, IMO.

Check out http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-budget/40-80/ if you have an opportunity.
Note the sensitivity ratings on the phones as impedance is not always the best determining factor as to how a portable wold be able to drive them. The sony's are very sensitve & can be driven quite loudly by portables, enough to even annoy others in spite of bieng a closed design with somewhat highish impedance though I would avoid anything over 60-70 ohms as then you are getting into proffessional headphones that take a lot to drive them. many of this type have impedances in the 600 ohm range & are not very sensitve to boot.

if you are willing to try ear plug type headphone then you can go as high as 100 ohmes as these are extremely sensitive once properly inserted. I have a pair of ultimate ears headphones that put even the sony's to shame & can be driven extemely loud by my creative zen extra without annoying anyone else, in fact I can't turn them up very much or it's to loud for me yet the are extemely clear throughout thier range but they are out of your stated price range at 250 dollars. note these do not work well with portables that have the volume controll at the output instead of before the final amp. virtually all nob type volume contols are out as far as portables go as they are almost always after the final amp. all digital volume controls on the other hand come before the final amp. this important on the ultimate ears as they are 2 way speakers with a crossover that is affected by the final impedance of the amp & nob type volume controls alter that impedance & the bass & treble both go away if hooked to these headphones.

There is an ultimate ear headphone in your price range though that is not a 2-way speaker & as such does not suffer this issue but may not quite have the extreme clarity of the 250 dollar unit but should still be very very good. all ultimat ears are extemely sensitve 115-120db at 1 milliwatt!!
 

TheTallGuy

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I have $75 AKG's that I love, they have real big cans which look a bit silly at work, but when you're wearing them for hours at a time its good because they don't cramp your ears. They're pretty high impedance at 75ohms and the only time I have a problem with my ipod is when I'm on a plane, then I could use a little more volume. If you're plugging into a receiver you'll have no problem.

I would suggest not getting bose because while they might give you more bass, they do alot of filtering and you get an artificial sound.

Sennheiser I've never tried but I know TG recommends them and not surprisingly as a result, everyone in this forum. :wink:
 

sojrner

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Yes! I was gonna reccomend them and can't believe that someone here has heard of them... (but considering the url I can't imagine why not ;) )

I actually lived in Bozeman, MT for a while. Headroom is based there and those guys are incredible. Best bunch of ppl I have bought anything from. They really know their stuff, sell primarily phones for music (no mics on them yet that I know of) but the quality is impressive. Put plenty of stock in their ratings. When they say it is good, it is really good and you will be amazed how good they sound. If they say it sucks, well... dont get it that's for sure. ;)

They also have a great price/performance (value) rating that is good to keep an eye on. Of course, Senheiser dominates alot of those ratings, but Koss and others creap in there as well. They are very picky on what they sell. The only reason they have "not so good" ones it that some ppl want cheapies, and so they do keep some there just as the "best of the worst" kinda thing.

Go there for sure, headphone.com and bask in the light of those who know... lol It is the last 'phones site you will ever need.
 

halcyon

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Yes! I was gonna reccomend them and can't believe that someone here has heard of them... (but considering the url I can't imagine why not ;) )

I actually lived in Bozeman, MT for a while. Headroom is based there and those guys are incredible. Best bunch of ppl I have bought anything from. They really know their stuff, sell primarily phones for music (no mics on them yet that I know of) but the quality is impressive. Put plenty of stock in their ratings. When they say it is good, it is really good and you will be amazed how good they sound. If they say it sucks, well... dont get it that's for sure. ;)

They also have a great price/performance (value) rating that is good to keep an eye on. Of course, Senheiser dominates alot of those ratings, but Koss and others creap in there as well. They are very picky on what they sell. The only reason they have "not so good" ones it that some ppl want cheapies, and so they do keep some there just as the "best of the worst" kinda thing.

Go there for sure, headphone.com and bask in the light of those who know... lol It is the last 'phones site you will ever need.
Amen. I'm not sure, but I think Astrallite may have pointed me to headroom a way back when I started the headphone journey. It's all a blur now, especially at my age. I've not looked back since though my wallet is still recovering. 8O I've been listening to my cans almost exclusively for the past 2 months. I can high recommend HeadRoom's Total BitHead as an economic mobile amp/DAC. @ $200 it is for the devoted but headphone amps make a difference in sound quality, IMO. The Total BitHead is a good entry into such things once one starts looking into >=$150 cans. The TBH made an audible difference in the Senn HD595's.
 

halcyon

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Yes! I was gonna reccomend them and can't believe that someone here has heard of them... (but considering the url I can't imagine why not ;) )

I actually lived in Bozeman, MT for a while. Headroom is based there and those guys are incredible. Best bunch of ppl I have bought anything from. They really know their stuff, sell primarily phones for music (no mics on them yet that I know of) but the quality is impressive. Put plenty of stock in their ratings. When they say it is good, it is really good and you will be amazed how good they sound. If they say it sucks, well... dont get it that's for sure. ;)

They also have a great price/performance (value) rating that is good to keep an eye on. Of course, Senheiser dominates alot of those ratings, but Koss and others creap in there as well. They are very picky on what they sell. The only reason they have "not so good" ones it that some ppl want cheapies, and so they do keep some there just as the "best of the worst" kinda thing.

Go there for sure, headphone.com and bask in the light of those who know... lol It is the last 'phones site you will ever need.
Amen. I'm not sure, but I think Astrallite may have pointed me to headroom a way back when I started the headphone journey. It's all a blur now, especially at my age. I've not looked back since though my wallet is still recovering. 8O I've been listening to my cans almost exclusively for the past 2 months. I can also highly recommend HeadRoom's Total BitHead as an economic mobile amp/DAC. @ $200 it is for the devoted but headphone amps make a difference in sound quality, IMO. The Total BitHead is a good entry into such things once one starts looking into >=$150 cans. The TBH made an audible difference in the Senn HD595's.
 

sojrner

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yessiree... if you want good ear-candy and dont want to rock the ppl next door (or the wife and kids ;) ) then spend the $ on a good set of cans and an amp. And buy them from headroom.

oh, and @ the OP: you do not need to amplify the ipod unless you have 'phones that are running above the ohm spec for the ipod. If they are drawing too much then you need an amp. Most sub-$100 sets will be fine though. Ask those guys @ headroom about specific models though if you are uncertain. They know. (good ppl to talk to on the phone btw)
 

halcyon

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A headphone amp does a bit more than just make up for volume loss due to high-impedance. It provides the drivers in a quality set of cans with the power for them to reach their potential. In a similar way as a good high-current amp better drives speakers than your budget Sony receiver can. The difference in sound quality, though, is something a music afficiando would appreciate...not necessarily someone playing doom. Though I like HeadRoom and have some good gear from them my personal choice for desktop headphone DAC/AMP was with the Tiawanese firm Firestone (per my sig): http://www.firestone-audio.com/cgi-bin/productsearch.asp?catseqnm=1. ...good sounding equipment for the money will full RCA inputs and full-size digital inputs. It's not gear one would necessarily use for gaming but presents music nicely. Similar HeadRoom gear would have been significantly more expensive so I had to cross the ocean.

You can't really go wrong with HeadRoom, IMO. I've bought and returned merchandise from/to them and will definately get my AKG K701's from them.
 

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