Who uses headphones?

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keaggy220
Posts: 4721
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Washington DC Area

Who uses headphones?

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:33 pm

I've been using Shure SE 500 (new model I believe is 530) earbud headphones for the last several years and love them. The only problem is if I use them too often my ears become uncomfortable.

So I just treated myself to Audio Technica ath-m50 over-the-ear headphones and couldn't be more pleased. They can be driven adequately with a portable device such as an iPod (using only Apple's highest quality lossless compression ripped from remastered CDs for my tunes of course) without the use of an amp and they supply an exquisite amount of listening detail. They are extremely comfortable and provide a wonderful listening experience.

One of the first recordings I tried was Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36. Bliss!!

Anyone else here use headphones?
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

lennygoran
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Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:59 pm

>Anyone else here use headphones?<

I use wifi headphones to listen to the PBS shows I tape on my DVR--yep my hearing is going--too much Donizetti I'm afraid! Regards, Len :)

Holden Fourth
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Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by Holden Fourth » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:32 am

Yes, I use headphones frequently both at work and at home and in my search for decent phones for both classical and other music I've garnered quite a bit of knowledge.

I think that WiFi phones make a sonic compromise in order to get the music across wirelessly - at least that's been my experience.

The ATH M50s are very well regarded, especially by those who like a bit of bass thump with their music. They are easy to drive and therefore combine well with portable devices without the need for an amplifier to boost the signal. There is a question about their ability to produce a neutral sound. I auditioned them last year for a set of closed back phones and while they were very good I eventually bought the Shure SRH840s. They don't quite have the bass impact of the M50s but they easily beat them out as regards sound stage and clarity. My ultimate test involves reproduction of piano sound and the 840s gave the most natural presentation and the bass notes were deep and clear.

Since purchasing the Shures I've acquired a used pair of the legendary Sennheiser HD580s. These are open back phones and their sound signature is so different from the ATHs and the Shures. The open presentation just blows away closed back HPs but with a resistance of 300 ohms they need to be driven by an amplifier and I now use these only at home with my Fiio E7/E9 DAC/Amp combination. The amplification power of the E9 has just brought these phones to life in so many ways. Configuring the sound output of my PC to give direct digital streaming has also shown how well these cans work. Yes, you can get audiophile quality sound from your laptop or PC!

keaggy220
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:42 pm
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Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:37 am

Holden Fourth wrote:Yes, I use headphones frequently both at work and at home and in my search for decent phones for both classical and other music I've garnered quite a bit of knowledge.

I think that WiFi phones make a sonic compromise in order to get the music across wirelessly - at least that's been my experience.

The ATH M50s are very well regarded, especially by those who like a bit of bass thump with their music. They are easy to drive and therefore combine well with portable devices without the need for an amplifier to boost the signal. There is a question about their ability to produce a neutral sound. I auditioned them last year for a set of closed back phones and while they were very good I eventually bought the Shure SRH840s. They don't quite have the bass impact of the M50s but they easily beat them out as regards sound stage and clarity. My ultimate test involves reproduction of piano sound and the 840s gave the most natural presentation and the bass notes were deep and clear.

Since purchasing the Shures I've acquired a used pair of the legendary Sennheiser HD580s. These are open back phones and their sound signature is so different from the ATHs and the Shures. The open presentation just blows away closed back HPs but with a resistance of 300 ohms they need to be driven by an amplifier and I now use these only at home with my Fiio E7/E9 DAC/Amp combination. The amplification power of the E9 has just brought these phones to life in so many ways. Configuring the sound output of my PC to give direct digital streaming has also shown how well these cans work. Yes, you can get audiophile quality sound from your laptop or PC!
I could've save a lot of time and just asked you about headphones! Thanks for the post - in my own search I became fascinated by headphones and amps and all the little details... If you have any websites to share I would love to read more...

Unfortunately I couldn't find a high-end store within 20 miles of my house to try the phones (20 miles in the DC area is at least a 45 minute drive and could be hours) so I had to read scores of reviews on several different websites. I was severely tempted by the Shure 840s, but since I already own the Shure SE 500 buds, which are neutral as well, I thought I would go for something a little different. I also took a hard look at the Sennheiser HD580s. I'm just glad I didn't hear them because I might've forgotten all of the reasons I was buying new phones in the first place - portability, use while working out on the elliptical and some noise isolation - for the airplane. Plus, as you said, the resistance requires an amp which would've been another agonizing decision - and of course, more money. I can certainly see myself making this investment one day though... I use phones a lot so I will get my moneys worth...
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

Guitarist
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Location: Davis, CA

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by Guitarist » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:44 pm

I use Stax SR 404/SRM 717 electrostatic headphones at home and Bose AE2 headphones when I'm walking or on vacation.

Image Image Image

keaggy220
Posts: 4721
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Washington DC Area

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by keaggy220 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:18 am

Guitarist wrote:I use Stax SR 404/SRM 717 electrostatic headphones at home and Bose AE2 headphones when I'm walking or on vacation.

Image Image Image
Those are some ugly phones! :wink: But of course the bottom line is, now do they sound? Somehow I missed Stax in my reading, but I do see that they're well regarded.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by Guitarist » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:29 am

They are pretty much the last word in clarity, detail, transient response, spaciousness--you name it. For $1500, I would hope so. Their top model sells for about $4,500! :shock:

bricon
Posts: 261
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Location: Sydney/Australia

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by bricon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:48 am

lennygoran wrote:too much Donizetti I'm afraid!

Too much Donizetti is barely enough.

keaggy220
Posts: 4721
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Washington DC Area

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by keaggy220 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:27 pm

Guitarist wrote:They are pretty much the last word in clarity, detail, transient response, spaciousness--you name it. For $1500, I would hope so. Their top model sells for about $4,500! :shock:
Wow, that's more than I ant to spend, but cheap compared to building a high end stereo system.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

Wallingford
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by Wallingford » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:13 pm

Ritzy!

I guess this isn't the place to discuss the legendary Koss PRO-4AA.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Mark Harwood
Posts: 810
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:24 am
Location: Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Re: Who uses headphones?

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:58 am

The Grado SR60 headphones are OK for starters, but we've upgraded to Sennheiser 558 to get more out of Classical music.

Similarly, Sennheiser CX500 in-ear 'phones cover all the bases and can be had for a song, but we also keep a pair of Denon AH-C751 for serious listening.

Auditioning new 'phones is pointless. They generally take a while to burn in. Opinions can be so divided that it's hard to find useful advice. So I'd say to a newcomer to 'phones: budget for £/$40-120 for in-ears, £/$100-200 for open-backed on (or over) ears, and take the plunge. Leave closed-backs, noise-cancellers & wireless alone initially unless you have a clear need for them.
"I did it for the music."
Ken Colyer

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