Looking for good headphones

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by XezekielX, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. XezekielX Audiophyte

    XezekielX
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    OK I'm a total newbie when it comes to headphones so I really have no idea what I should buy. I don't want to pay more than $100 for a pair of headphones as I'm a poor student and don't have the budget to purchase more expensive phones (even $100 is a LOT to me).

    Could it help if I said that I listen mainly to hardcore punk music? Maybe there are headphones out there that sound better with that style of music? I don't know...

    Sorry if my question sounds pretty dumb but as I already said, my knowledge of headphones couldn't be any more limited.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I'm looking forward to your suggestions!
  2. jaxvon Audioholic Ninja

    jaxvon
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    So, what kind of environment will you be using your headphones in? There are different kinds, those that isolate you from sounds around you and others that are open and tend to be kinda comfy.

    I notice you're from Canada, so my usual recommendation of the Sony MDR-7506 might be a tad over budget unless you can find a good price online. Others to consider might be Grado SR-60, SR-80, Sennheiser HD-280, and Shure in-ear monitors.
  3. XezekielX Audiophyte

    XezekielX
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    Thanks for the answer!

    I'll be using the headphones pretty much everywhere:
    - on the street while walking to school (I walk 30 minutes twice a day, 5 days a week to go to school)
    - at school (programming HAS to be done while listening to music ;))
    - at home, while working on the computer or in my room while listening to my 7" records

    Do you know any good place online to buy headphones? I know there's eBay but you never really know if you're going to get ripped off or if you're going to receive broken headphones...

    Thanks again for your answer!
  4. jaxvon Audioholic Ninja

    jaxvon
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    I usually use something like Yahoo Shopping or Pricegrabber to find a good price, then check out the merchant on BizRate. Some places like Musicians Friend are very reputable, but not always the cheapest. You should try to find an online seller out of Canada so you don't get reamed with brokerage fees at the border.

    Point to note: the Sony MDR-7506 is the pro version of the MDR-V6. The V600 is NOT the same headphone and is inferior to the former headphones mentioned.
  5. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    I own the Sony MDR-V6 and I paid about $79 for them at Fry's Electronics. Nearly everyone says that the 7506 are very good headphones and as Jaxvon said, the MDR-V6 are very similar. While I'm not a super headphone aficionado, I am certainly satisfied with them. [Besides, I refuse to spend more than $100 on a pair of headphones. :)]
    MDS,
  6. XezekielX Audiophyte

    XezekielX
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    I just read several reviews of the Grado SR60 headphones and while they look definitely interesting, a lot of people say that people around you can hear the music you're listening to... is there any way to avoid this (except for lowering the volume..)?

    Thanks to both of you for your answers!
  7. Nick250 Audioholic Samurai

    Nick250
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    For that kind of music I would suggest the Grado SR 60 or SR 80. They are very dynamic and in your face. Like your are sitting in the middle of the band as opposed to being in the audience. Headphones like speakers are very subjective. See if can audition some using your favorite CD.
  8. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    There are two major types of headphones: 'Supra-Aural' (On the Ear) and 'Circum-Aural' (Around the Ear).

    Others can hear the sound if you use Supra-Aural headphones because they sit on the ear and not fully around it. To complicate matters, some brands are Circum-Aural but have open backs, so while they do go around the ear sound escapes through the open backs.

    I think most companies make both types of models. Just something to think about when you go headphone shopping.
    MDS,
  9. jaxvon Audioholic Ninja

    jaxvon
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    Yes, don't buy headphones with open backs, namely the Sony headphones I mentioned and the Sennheisers. The in-ear Shure monitors will also do this. The Shures isolate VERY well, so if you're walking around, you need to be very aware of your environment visually, because you can't hear anything but really loud sounds with them in and music going.

    I mentioned the Grados because many people feel that their "in your face" sound works well with rock. And honestly, conidering how poorly most punk music is produced (in terms of sound quality), you might not want the MDR-7506 headphones, as you WILL hear the imperfections in the sound. If you can, go to a store and try out some of the headphones mentioned. You'll find out pretty quickly what you like.

  10. ogle1975 Audiophyte

    ogle1975
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    hey, i'm fairly new here as well. i have a pair of the grado sr60 and i love them! however, because of their design anyone with 20 feet of you can hear what you're listening to at any reasonible listening level. they might be great for working at home, but since you're looking to be listening while in public areas, a closed in (circumaural) pair would probably be the best thing. at work, i use an old pair of sony mdr-d33 that are collapsable and sound pretty good with all styles of music (classical to industrial).

    good luck with your search.
  11. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    I would think that if you're going to be walking the street with them, being able to hear what's going on around you would be a pretty good self preservation tactic.
  12. jaxvon Audioholic Ninja

    jaxvon
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    Indeed. This is what I was getting at. You have to be VERY visually aware when you wear headphones like the Sonys, Sennheisers, or Shure in-ear phones. If you think you might have trouble with this (and just want to err on the side of caution), you can always leave one ear free, or opt for the open-air style phones like the Grados.
  13. johsti Audioholic

    johsti
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    get these and save your money

    http://www.koss.com/koss/kossweb.nsf/p?openform&pc^sc^KSC75

    or the ksc35 if you can still find them.

    They are very similar in sound to the grado 60. I would say they are 90% of what you get with the grados, plus they are much more portable and have a lifetime warranty. My friend actually bought 2 pairs of the ksc35 because he liked them more than his grado sr60.

    I enjoy these phones more then my mdr-v6 and shure e2c for all around casual listening. The MDR's are great for recording and certain types of music, but can get uncomfortable, and the shures are great for flying or just tuning out. The koss are fun and practically disposable. They sound much much better than the price suggests. I think the 35's are more comfortable, but hard to find.

    http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=144423
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  14. superjohnny Enthusiast

    superjohnny
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    While I love my SR60's and wouldn't trade them for the world, they're not very portable. They leak sound like crazy and have a big, thick headphone wire. For a little bit of everything on the go it's pretty tough to beat the Senn PX-100's. They sound great and are much more portable than the SR60's. I'm not personally familiar with the Senn 280's and 201's, but i've heard good things about them.

    One thing you may want is isolation. It is nice to "plug in" and not be bothered by what's around you. In this category look for some IEM (in ear monitors) like the Shure E3 or E4 (i have the 4 and love them). That's stretching the budget, but the E4/E4c's are very nice sounding. You can find the E4c's for around $160 new and probably a lot less used.

    Enjoy the music :)
    Johnny
  15. turbodog Audiophyte

    turbodog
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    Senn HD-280PRO

    I have a set of the Sennheiser HD280's. I am very happy with them. They are not open-backed as mentioned above. In fact, I chose them specifically for their ambient noise rejection level. As mentioned, this might not be the best choice for use when walking to class.
  16. Surge Audiophyte

    Surge
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    Headphones Recommendation

    I went through a phase of buying headphones/earphones, pretty much if your moving around and possible exercising then I would get the KOSS KSC 55 they are good but don't get the ones with the clip that connects at the back, had them for 2 years and they dug into your head, so get the ones that don't they are really cheap and very good quality. If you want in-ear phones then get the Etymotic ER-6i I've had them for around a year now quality is perfect, yet as they are so small then the driver is tiny so bass response is limited to size, as you listen to Punk then Clip on's would be the way to go, or behind head. A site to look at and buy at which is good is
    http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-budget/
    They give the run-down of pretty much every thing that goes in or around your ear and gives reviews of the headphones in your price range.

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