Help me find good headphones!

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kathulu
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Help me find good headphones!

Postby kathulu » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:28 am UTC

Hello! Somehow I feel that xkcd readers would be a good judge of technological sound fidelity. See: http://xkcd.com/841/

So, I recently recieved this really exorbidant gift of an amazon card I already bought my copy of Machine of Death... and now I want a pair of headphones.

I do not listen to electronica or techno that often, so I am not concerned about getting really loud bass.

Does anyone know off the top of their head a good brand of headphones for the novice? I'm thinking... like 30, 40 dollars worth. If someone can convince me that something more expensive is worth it, go ahead.

Thank you so much!

(Also, I'm sorry in advance if this post should really have gone into some sort of technology section. I don't know what I'm doing!)

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dubsola
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby dubsola » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:40 am UTC

First decision is do you want in-ear headphones or ones that go over the top of your head (or the back of your head, or clip on). In ear headphones go in your ears, which can be a little uncomfortable at first, but have the advantage of being small (easy to slip into your pocket after you're done) and block out quite a bit of background noise (good for aeroplanes, trains and buses, becase you don't have to have the volume as high which is good for your ears). If you're just listening at home then you might want a nice big comfy pair of headphones that go over your whole ear.

The more you spend the better it will sound - it's not just bass.

Personally I have just finished a four year relationship with a pair of these (well, an earlier model). They're about double or triple what you've said is your budget, but they sound amazing. Absolutely amazing. Unfortunately the cables are the first thing to deteriorate, and mine have started cutting in and out. I've used them almost every day for a few years, though, which is actually pretty good going - headphones break. I'm now in the market for a pair of these - a lot cheaper, but Sennheiser is reliable and good quality. They also do big headphones, I've owned a few pairs of headphones in my time and Sennheiser have always been great. So, if you're looking for specific brand recommendations, I would say Sennheiser or Shure.

One last thing: Will you be using your headphones for the gym and so on? In ear headphones are problematic for jogging, as the sound of your feet hitting the ground is carried through your bones and makes a lot of noise.

Роберт
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Роберт » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

Are you just wanting to use them to listen to stuff for enjoyment, or do you want accurate ones? If you plan to try to make your own music, you should get accurate ones, otherwise, you should just look for comfortable, durable, good sounding ones.

I'm assuming you just one good sounding ones, I don't really have any strong recommendations. You should have plenty of options for that price range. If you want accurate ones, though, you'll probably have to spend a bit more.
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Phill
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Phill » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

dubsola wrote:I'm now in the market for a pair of these - a lot cheaper, but Sennheiser is reliable and good quality. They also do big headphones, I've owned a few pairs of headphones in my time and Sennheiser have always been great. So, if you're looking for specific brand recommendations, I would say Sennheiser or Shure.


These earbuds look like the ones I bought a couple of years ago. I can recommend them. Sennheiser are usually pretty good quality (I have a pair of HD-25s which have lasted me about 8 years so far).

randomchild
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby randomchild » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:33 pm UTC

Sennheiser HD 202 are probably what you are looking for. They have the quality of gear that is double their price imo.

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1337geek
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby 1337geek » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:29 am UTC

I used Head-Fi.org's headphone buyer's guide and settled on a pair of closed-ear Sennheiser's. Cost me about $30 and I love 'em.

Dunno if you're looking for earbuds, open, or closed -- but here's a couple links. They cover all types and price ranges. Good luck!

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/271 ... er-s-guide

http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/buying-guid ... rice-range
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Midnight
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Midnight » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:51 am UTC

Grado s60s are 60 bucks USD, as I recall. Great bang for the buck; they sound really good. The s80s (maybe it's sr60/80) are the next step up at about a hundred bucks. Better bass on 'em, I think.
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Ptolom
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Ptolom » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

I recently upgraded from the pound shop pair that broke to these http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-HD-2 ... 937&sr=1-4. I don't like headphones that much but they are pretty okay. They don't really have the clarity of my speakers but they are reasonable. Better for doing overdubs than the ipod earphones I used to have.

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PatrickRsGhost
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:19 am UTC

I have three pairs of these lying around. I have one pair hooked up to the computer for listening to music or video, since the built-in speakers suck major. I keep another pair at work to listen to my mp3 player when I want to completely tune everyone out, and a third pair I use to listen for EVPs while investigating. The pair I have connected to the computer I've had for a couple of years, and I've kicked them around, thrown them on the table, have been knocked off onto the floor by the cats, and yanked off my head several times. The frame hasn't broken, nor have the wires come loose, and they still sound as good as the day I bought them. I've gone through several different models and brands of headphones over the years, and I think I've found the last pair I'll ever use.
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poxic
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby poxic » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:27 am UTC

Like everyone has said, it depends on what you'll use them for, and where. I just bought this one, advertised as "studio quality", for around CAN$130.

(This is roughly equivalent these days to US$130 but you could probably get them $30 cheaper in the US :evil: goddamn cross-border inflation.)

Anyway, I'm happy with them so far. Everything sounds good through them. Let me rephrase that: everything sounds accurate through them. Cheap ass-MP3 files sound cheap-ass. High-quality CD recordings sound high-quality, with every track cleanly audible and all frequencies balanced. Medium-quality CD recordings sound medium-quality. Mixdown screwups are obvious. :wink:

So yeah, they're a solid pair of audiophile ears. They're not for jogging or listening to crap recordings, though. I also can't speak for their longevity since I've had them for only a month or two.
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Killamus
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Killamus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:35 am UTC

+1 for anything Shennhieser. I bought a pair of CX300B's and I loved them until my dog decided to rip off the left ear. Err, wait, even after that I continued to use the right ear for 2 years until the driver finally went bad due to excessive Disturbed...

But yea, you can pick up a pair pretty cheap now-a-days. This is the set (Sans color) that I bought a few years ago: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6826106247
Might get another pair soon, actually.

Mumpy
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Mumpy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

I just finished with a pair of those Sennheiser ones dubsola mentioned. They are damn good. They only lasted half a year, though that may have had more to do with the cutting than anything else, so I can't really comment on reliability.

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micco
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby micco » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

+1 for Sennheiser from me too. I have owned a pair of HD-205's which I thought were a damn good pair of headphones. They fit quite tightly, which might be uncomfortable for some people. The only bad thing that I can think was that the cable was too long (3m). I currently have a pair of HD-201's. These are a perfectly decent pair of headphones for use with a laptop. But because of their loose fit and quite quiet sound they are not very good with mp3 players. This model has the too long cable problem too.
I have also heard that Marshall makes good headphones. I have been thinking about getting a pair of the Major model.
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llamanaru
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby llamanaru » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:10 am UTC

Anyone have any experience with high-end-but-not-custom (300-400 dollar) IEMs? I've been eying Shure SE425s. Does anyone know if it's worth it to bump up to triple drivers like 535s or SM3s? I'm looking for strong mids, which is why I went to Shure (also I have SE115s). So does anyone have any advice?

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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby achan1058 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:30 am UTC

dubsola wrote:Personally I have just finished a four year relationship with a pair of these (well, an earlier model). They're about double or triple what you've said is your budget, but they sound amazing. Absolutely amazing. Unfortunately the cables are the first thing to deteriorate, and mine have started cutting in and out. I've used them almost every day for a few years, though, which is actually pretty good going - headphones break. I'm now in the market for a pair of these - a lot cheaper, but Sennheiser is reliable and good quality. They also do big headphones, I've owned a few pairs of headphones in my time and Sennheiser have always been great. So, if you're looking for specific brand recommendations, I would say Sennheiser or Shure.
At that price I can get a HD 555, and that's before the 1/2 price on Amazon.com.

Anyways, for the Sennheiser's, don't get HD238 if you are ever going to use it outside. The wire just feels too thin. Mine haven't broke yet, but I am dreading that it will happen on any day.

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Midnight
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby Midnight » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:05 am UTC

llamanaru wrote:Anyone have any experience with high-end-but-not-custom (300-400 dollar) IEMs? I've been eying Shure SE425s. Does anyone know if it's worth it to bump up to triple drivers like 535s or SM3s? I'm looking for strong mids, which is why I went to Shure (also I have SE115s). So does anyone have any advice?

cursory examinations at Head-Fi say yeah, triple drivers is good. also, this will interest you. Specifically the 250-400$ range, in which everything seems solid except kinda the Monster line.
Westone UM3X is good, and he gave the Earsonics M3 (triple driver) a 10/10 for sound.
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llamanaru
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby llamanaru » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:17 am UTC

Seen that link (and most of the relevant topics on their forums), thank you though. Anyone have first hand experience?

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psykx
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Re: Help me find good headphones!

Postby psykx » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

audio techinica ath-m50's get amazing user review on the gearslutz.com forums and I would agree with them even though I only have the m30's. They are comfortable and accurate, detailed sounding.

I'd recommend against in ear headphones because they can damage your hearing. (dispite what was mentioned above)
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