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Considering upgrading my headphones, help appreciated!

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by geddy402, May 24, 2018.

  1. geddy402

    geddy402 Active Member

    Messages:
    273
    Well, I think it’s time for me to get another pair of headphones. With a baby that goes to bed around 7 pm I find about 99% of my music listening inside the house is on headphones.

    I listen to records through a Sansui 9090db or Mcintosh 4100 and use a Technics 1200mk2. My current headphone of choice is Sony MDR-7506. The Sony’s have some hours in them and are showing their age.

    I like them and think they sound great but feel like there’s better options out there given my frequent use. I don’t know when headphones go from being ok to great, but I figured $300 seemed like a decent place to cap my budget. If there are incredible cans for a little more I’d be open to suggestions.

    Looking for comfort too since I listen to them for an hour or two each night while wearing glasses. Also, need them to be portable since I use them when I travel for work listening to videos and music on plane rides.

    Anyway, any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
     
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  2. reydelaplaya

    reydelaplaya AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,643
    Location:
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    While you’re searching, I’d recommend replacing the pads on the Sonys you have now if you haven’t already done so. That $10-20 investment should help extend the life of them while your searching. Not to mention, if your pads have deteriorated, replacing them should bring that great Sony sound back like it should be. If you already like the Sonys, you might find you’ve saved yourself a few hundred bucks by only spending 20 or less. Also available online are replacement headband pads.

    Almost certainly rule out Grado. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, but Grados are not really fit for traveling. They’re open back, not collapsible, and not really long-term comfortable unless the stock pads are changed for some aftermarket G-Cushions (the big thick bowls they use on their highest end models).

    I’ve got the Sony V6, the Digital twin to your Professional 7506. I’ve had them for a little over a year now and am convinced within the headphone collection I have (ranging from different types of orthodynamics to standard drivers to a set of Grado RS1e) the Sonys are on par with the Grados, and are almost always the ones I gravitate to. Kinda wish I had found them at the beginning instead of last! LOL

    Good luck with your search!
     
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  3. SaSi

    SaSi Seriously Illogical Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,179
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    You mentioned you are wearing glasses. That is a serious part of the equation and I have had bad experience with some headphones that press firmly against them caused irritation and fatigue to the ears and sometimes even to the nose.
    It's not a matter of actual weight of the headphones but more about how they rest on your head.

    I am currently very happy with a pair of Sennheiser HD650 and the price is just about your budget. But they are not for you as they are not portable for airplane use. Additionally, they are not closed back so lots of sound energy escapes. And because they don't distort at high levels, you can easily get carried away and crank up the volume. My wife once woke up through closed doors when I was listening.

    I don't know if you are interested and happy with in-ear phones - some people can't stand them. I was immensely impressed with a pair of sennheiser (CXL500 IIRC) years back. Not expensive at all and they sounded almost as good as the HD650.
     
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  4. mario.bono

    mario.bono Member

    Messages:
    97
    How about upgrade to Grado, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, etc. for home use and keep the Sonys or something similar (AT-50s?) for travel?
     
  5. jonman

    jonman Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,161
    Location:
    michigan
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I can't figure out how to do a new post in this newer system. What I would like is a hack for coating my earpads to alleviate skin irritation. When wearing some of my phones with a pleather\ vinyl ear pads I get a burning rash on my ears. I don't want to replace the pads as some such as my Beats 2.0 don't allow replacement any suggestion? Also, is there a help section or FAQ option on AK?
     
  6. geddy402

    geddy402 Active Member

    Messages:
    273
    Thanks for the help guys! I have a couple contenders! The NAD visit HP50 and Beyerdynamic DT770. Both are in my price range and seem to have everything I need. The Sony V6 May also be in contention as I do like the ones I currently have.

    Thanks for the ear pad replacement suggestion. I just ordered some from amazon based in your suggestion, they were $4! Based on the shipping estimate it looks like they’re coming straight from China...
     
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  7. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    6,487
    Location:
    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    Sennheizer HD-650....

    Prices are coming down and I can garentee you’ll never replace them !!!
     
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  8. blue72

    blue72 Active Member

    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Southern Utah
    I own the NAD HP50s myself, listen to them 9 hours a day at work, and love them. Something to be aware of is that they are 32 ohm headphones, and driving them with a vintage receiver like your Sansui will not do them justice. I.E. they will sound way better being driven from a smartphone than by your receiver because of the impedance.
     
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  9. Silentnet

    Silentnet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    866
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
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  10. lanwanman195

    lanwanman195 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Look into the AKG K550 MKIII.

    I have a pair of the MKII (non-detachable cable) that I use at work both to listen and to help attenuate the noise from a gaggle of noisy co-workers who are loud even with my office door closed. You can find them now (the MKII) for $100.00 for a pair of factory refurbs with free 2-day shipping. I bought mine as refurbs and could find nothing that would differentiate them from a factory fresh pair. I'd say that they're about 85% of my K701s sound-wise and that's not a bad place to be. The only caveat that could kill them for you is that they're not particularly portable, so it will depend on how much you weight that requirement. Clamping force is sufficient and they work OK with glasses although I do tend to not wear my glasses when working at my desk - it's an age thing, not a comfort thing.

    https://www.akg.com/factory-refurbished/K550MKII.html
     
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  11. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Indy, IN
    Those 550/551/553s are great overall headphones and have become one of my most recommended models.

    They are closed so minimal sound leaks out and minimal ambient noise comes in. They are fairly flat with a bit of a fun bass range that is never distracting. They have very nice build quality in general and is really mind-blowing at that $100 price.

    As lanwanman said, the only drawback (for me) is they don't have a few of the features that folks have come to expect from mobile-oriented headphones. Namely the earpieces don't rotate to flat. If you don't keep them around your neck or fold the in a suitcase, this becomes a non-issue.

    I have several pairs of nice headphones and I would not be upset at all if the 550/551/553s were my only set. That's pretty high praise.
     
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  12. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Love my Hifiman HE-400i. Planar magnetic diaphragm 'phones well within your budget. Takes over a hundred hours of break-in for the bass. You can't go wrong with Sennheiser 650s, either.
     
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  13. geddy402

    geddy402 Active Member

    Messages:
    273
    So, I ended up going with the NAD HP50. I have done 3 listening sessions with them and they are growing on me. Upon first listen I wasn't a big fan compared to my Sonys. But, after the second and third (listening to jazz mostly) they seemed to sound much better. I think it just took a few listens for my ears to adjust to the different sound signature as compared to the Sonys. Seem to have a bit more mid and less bass. Overall I think I'll keep them as they are comfortable on my head (after making a few adjustments to where they sit in my head) and realism they give the music.
     
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  14. keilau

    keilau AK Member

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Windy City
    I will add my vote for the Sennheiser HD 600/650 series. It sounds neutral, open with a flat and powerful bass. It is also one of the most comfortable phone to wear for long listening session. I use a HD600 most of the time.

    I had the HiFiman HE-400 for a few month. I liked the sound too, very open and well extended. But the phone is too heavy for me, making it uncomfortable to wear for more than a quarter hour of so. You should try a HiFiman and see how you tolerate its weight. If it does not bother you, it is a candidate too.

    Both are low impedance phone of moderate sensitivity. You will need a better AC powered headphone amp to bring the best out of it. You will short change them using the padded down headphone jack of a receiver or an integrated amplifier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  15. reydelaplaya

    reydelaplaya AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I have never seen these before and I’m very intrigued. I’ve got several pair of Yamaha Orthos, so I’ve got an idea of how good these might sound, but being such a large driver (twice the diameter of the Yamaha HP-1), I’ll bet they sound quite good.

    Might just have to look into these in the near future... thanks for sharing the link!
     
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  16. Silentnet

    Silentnet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    They are very, very good. Check out some reviews, certainly worth a try.
     
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  17. keilau

    keilau AK Member

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Windy City
    How comfortable are they? Planar Magnetic phone tends to be much heavier than dynamic phone. I had the HiFiman HE-400 for a few month. I liked the sound too, very open and well extended. But the phone is too heavy for me, making it uncomfortable to wear for more than a fraction of an hour. I will be very interested in trying the Monoprice if they manage to make it lightweight.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  18. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
    16,626
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    How about the Monolith M300's?
     
  19. keilau

    keilau AK Member

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Windy City
    Monoprice said "Weight: 1.1lb", but did not say shipping or gross weight of the phone. Either way, it is quite heavy. For reference, my Sennheiser HD 600 weights 9 oz, which makes it more comfortable to wear. The HiFiman HE-400 is 14 oz. Yes, the 5 oz difference makes a huge difference in comfort.
     
  20. cassette

    cassette AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Chattanooga Tn
    Well, I have limited knowledge of headphones, I have used Sennheiser HD465 for years while brushing my dog (at least an hour a week for 15 yrs) and enjoyed every minute of that. In the meantime I have used Monster Miles Davis earbuds while traveling. Anyway, recently I got some ESS 422H https://essspeakers.store/collections/headphones/products/ess-422h) and find them to be really enjoyable. They look cool being wood based, and just sound fantastic with 2 drivers and as far as I have listened to them. I hate to sound like a shill for the company, but when you look at reviews they do well and seem to be priced higher than the current price.Ok, I love them. It may be worth a shot. Hope this helps

    A
     
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