Headphone buying advice

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by 7whales7, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. 7whales7

    7whales7 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all looking for advice on a decent set of headphones to purchase. Haven't had phones in 30 year's what are some options? What can I expect to spend? I'm Using vintage gear. Best Bang the the buck I guess. Thanks
     

     

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  2. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    HiFiman's HE-400i magnetic planar headphones for $220 at AA are a great choice for the money. I bought before everyone started offering them on sale and paid a good bit more, but I'm not po'd about that because I'm very happy with the sound. They do take about a hundred hours to loosen up and produce bass - out of the box they are lean. One of the most obvious break-in periods in audio. Worth the time, and the price vs SQ is highly favorable, imo.

    For me, it came down to these or Sennheiser HD-650. Can't go wrong with either of those.
     
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  3. MoreBeer

    MoreBeer Money + Money =More Money

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    IMO....Best sounding headphone for the $$$ is probably the Audio Technica ATH-M40x. For $99 you're not going to find a better sounding headphone.

    Another good choice is the old reliable Sony 7506 at $89 - $99. They're slightly lighter on the bass when compared to the Audio Technica's but nothing a little EQ can't handle. The Sony's are also more comfortable. Both are good choices.

    If looking to spend a bit more, the Sennheiser HD 600's are really nice. Almost as good as the Sennheiser HD 660 S and much cheaper.
     
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  4. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Under a hundred, I like the AKG K240 available at Amazon and other sellers.
     
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  5. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    One big thing to consider would be open back or closed back. I prefer open back. I have the AKG K-240 and the Phillips SMH-9500s and like both. Either can be had, new, for $69-$89.
     
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  6. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    This will be one of those threads where everyone lists what they have. I'll probably do the same, as I was in your same place a month or so ago, looking in the darkfor a nice sounding headphone for not too much price. Along the way I learned a great deal from the members here as well as reading some reviews. First thing I learned was that there are different types of headphones, open back, closed back, on ear, over ear etc. Since I already own a pair of closed back, and the principal use for my new pair didn't require any sort of blocking out sound from around the room.. And I wanted a bit wider imaging and I read where open back can give you that. I went with open back.

    The next thing I learned is that the impedance rating of a headphone makes a big difference in what headphone amp will handle without making changes to frequency response. Called impedance matching, you want the output impedance of the HP amp to be around 1/8 of the impedance rating of the headphones. If the headphone impedance is 50 ohm, you want a amp rated at around 6 ohm or so.
    http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html

    What I ended up buying was the Sennheiser HD 579 and am very impressed with their sound. The depth of the sound stage is really something I wasn't quite prepared for and while not a bass heavy phone, has plenty of deep quality (not muddy) sound to it for me.. I highly recommend this one if you decide an open back entry level phone is right for you. Of course there are so many to choose from you will just have to read the reviews, and if you can narrow it down and go listen to some you will get what you want..
     
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  7. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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    Sennheiser fan here.
     
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  8. reydelaplaya

    reydelaplaya AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In addition to the Sony 7506 mentioned here, I'd suggest the Sony V6 (should be very similar between the two). I bought a pair last year, and can say without a doubt, they're one of the finest sounding headphones I own - closed back, so mostly isolating - very comfortable, wear them for hours at a time without wanting to take them off - very efficient, can run easily off a mobile device (even has the smaller plug built into the larger).

    AB7346DB-BC57-44DA-A640-EB058BB297F8_zpsghx16scj.jpg
     
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  9. beanoil

    beanoil That's not how this works

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Godfrey, Illinois USA
    My experience is limited, but I did try several different cans before deciding on open back Sennheisers. I've enjoyed every minute of them though, a solid, well made, durable set of headphones, neutral sounding. Easily driven off my Fulla Schitt. I have no complaints, but my lovely spouse does sometimes with the open back.
     
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  10. beanoil

    beanoil That's not how this works

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Godfrey, Illinois USA
    My experience is limited, but I did try several different cans before deciding on open back Sennheisers. I've enjoyed every minute of them though, a solid, well made, durable set of headphones, neutral sounding. Easily driven off my Fulla Schitt. I have no complaints, but my lovely spouse does sometimes with the open back.
     
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  11. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    Sennheiser lover here. I have Grado 80's, have had several Koss over the years (great porta pros but I don't think that's what you're looking for), David Clark, and still come back to my Sennheiser HD 580's
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  12. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Not entirely. Yes, I recommended my HE-400i, but also mentioned Sennheiser (650) as another good choice, though I don't own any. I've been impressed with many of their models over several decades.
     
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  13. Judas Priest

    Judas Priest Super Member

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    I had some open back Sennheisers and used to play Judas Priest so loud that my wife gave me "THE LOOK" and had to crank up the TV :)
     
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  14. 7whales7

    7whales7 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Thanks everyone , now I have some research to do.
     
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  15. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Wow! I remember those days but sadly time crept up on me and while I still hear pretty well surprisingly, my right ear just won't stand for it any longer.

    It is a consideration with any openback however, how loud you play and in close proximity to others. I like open backs for the way they sound, and because I don't play them loud,if my wife says anything to me I can have a conversation without taking them off.

    When flying somewhere however I prefer my closed back and sound canceling headphones much more.
     
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  16. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    Those or the Shure SRH440, I own both and find them equally enjoyable. I never even listened to Audio Technica phones because I don’t care for their cartridges.

    My opinions, not the word down from Sinai. Nor from Olympus.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  17. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Never saw the Shure. Are they as comfortable as the AKG? Have deeper bass?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    I put velour pads from the Shure 940s on my 440s (440 users also often use the improved vinyl pads from the 840s) and though quite comfortable they’re not as comfortable as my 240s, which have oversized aftermarket velour pads. But they are “several hours” comfortable. Of course comfort is subjective.

    I think the 440 bass is deeper than that of the AKGs and better defined too.

    3CD16E23-BD65-4E9F-B63C-B0992C7BEE48.jpeg
     
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  19. 7whales7

    7whales7 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Looking closed back , plugs into vintage head phone jack, that's 1/4 right? dual connect small/ big would be nice. Nothing to crazy 100 dollar range would be nice.
     
  20. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    The Shure, like most phones today, has a small plug for iphones and such but comes with an adaptor for 1/4”.
     
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