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BUYING NEW HEADPHONES.. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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Which headphones should I buy in this pricerange for mixing/listening?

Total: 3 votes

  • Sennheiser HD-25
  • 34 %
  • Something better (stated below)
  • 67 %
June 25, 2006 6:27:50 PM

Hi all,

I'm currently looking to get some new headphones - but I'm REALLY torn about what ones I would like.

I was really tempted by 5.1 surround headphones, but I have a decent 5.1 speaker setup and non-fussy neighbours so I don't need them.

I was also tempted by in-ear isolator headphones such as the Shure E3C. However, I've never bothered buying an Ipod so they would be redundant and not offer quite as good a quality as standard studio headphones in this pricerange.

My budget is about £100-150 ($2-300) as I want these to last.

My requirements for these will be for good stereo music enjoyment but MAINLY for studio mixing.

I'm very, very close to buying the venerable Sennheiser HD-25's. Does anyone here own them, or have any other recommendations in this pricerange?

Thanks.
June 25, 2006 8:59:02 PM

It really depends on your budget. If you're in the $100-$200 consider the Senn HD 555's or Grado SR225's. It's good that you're checking at this forum, but I'll offer these links too, I just went through the headphone buying exercise:

http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/all-headph...

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&foru...

I've not heard too many top-end headphones but I am pleased with the Senn HD595's+Total BitHead. The HD595's sound good without an amp. They truly made the Bose TriPorts I was auditioning sound bad all on their own, without an amp. With an headphone amp they're not even in the same headphone genre.
June 25, 2006 10:30:53 PM

Thanks dude...

I actually just checked those sites before coming back to this thread lol... it does seem that buying a decent pair of cans is alot harder to choose than most audio gear. There are very few things to buy where you can find so many decent products at the same price bracket.

I've heard very good things about the soundstage on the Grado SR225's... but then I'm thinking that if I get some weaker headphones then I will outgrow them and just want more.

I think I'll take the advice and end up going for the 595's (very popular) and a dedicated headphone amp. Whilst the HD-25's are no doubt a bit more faithful for mixing, according to the 'net the soundstage is very narrow which would not make for nice leisure listening.

Thanks.
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June 25, 2006 10:41:35 PM

I do really like the 595's, I just never knew that headphone could sound so good. With headphones, I think it kinda depends on the kind of music and *where* you like your sound. If you like a more forward sound and rock/pop the Grado's might call your attention. ...or if your more into a laidback sound for classical Senn HD580/600/650. The HD595's are a good all-around can, best at nothing, great at everything (from the reviews I've read). ...and they sound good. An amp does make a difference, even a low-end one like the Total AirHead/BitHead.

I will say this: I was dissappointed at the Total BitHead's DAC (via USB). I have an X-Fi XM and an SB Live! and both offered FAR more bass, far more warm sound than the TBH's DAC. With that, I'd recommend skipping the DAC and saving $50...consider the $150 Total AirHead as entry level amp. There's better to be had, but I can only speak from my experiences.

You can get the HD595's for less than $200 on Amazon, so that's a win-win.
June 25, 2006 11:44:56 PM

Quote:
I'm very, very close to buying the venerable Sennheiser HD-25's. Does anyone here own them, or have any other recommendations in this pricerange?


I still have a pair of the original Sennheiser headphones. The foam surrounds are long gone. I've got a couple pairs of their high end headphones, can't remember the numbers but I think 565 and 585. I also have a pair of HD-25s and a pair of PX-100s. So it's fair to say that I really like Sennheisers. But I've also got some Grado headphones, some AKGs and some Sonys. Headphones, like speakers all have some level and flavor of coloration to them, so I believe it's vital to try them out for yourself before buying to see if their acoustic fingerprint matches your preferences.

I have a huge variety of phones because I use them often and specifically because I want a variety of characteristics. For example, the Sennheisers are easy to listen to for a long time at a reasonably high volume - not because they are soft at high frequencies or anything like that but because they are very smooth and seamless. The AKGs are extremely analytical and are revealing of distortion in the source recording. But I wouldn't want to try to listen to them for very long time at a very high volume. Similarly, the Grados are extremely flat in the midrange and like the AKGs are excellent studio monitors. Many people do not like the fit of the Grados so be sure to wear them for at least a half hour before buying. They hurt my ears if I wear them a long time but well recorded music, especially unamplified acoustic recordsing sound incredibly lifelike through them. Definately lacking in low end and dynamic range compared to the Sennheisers.

I can't really recommend any of the Sonys in comparison to these others mentioned. I got mine for taking on the road because they were a bargain on clearance and are rugged. Another possibility are the Bose noise cancellation phones. I don't have any but have used them enough to know they are very good, especially if you need the noise cancellation.
June 29, 2006 8:21:38 PM

The more I read about them, the more I'm swinging toward the Grado SR-225's...
June 30, 2006 3:37:47 AM

Quote:
The more I read about them, the more I'm swinging toward the Grado SR-225's...


I can't believe I'm still awake...it's way past my bedtime. ...my next pair of headphones will either be Grado SR-225's, 325's, or AKG-701's. I, don't want to get a pair that sounds like my Senn HD595's...so I may even consider Senn HD 600's, or 650's (I've read the 650's really may not sound so great for the kind music I like).

I'm excited, FireStone Audio in Taiwan emailed me and said they'd ship my DAC, amp, and PSU's on Monday. Woohoo.
June 30, 2006 6:53:17 PM

Apparently, the 595's you have are very similar but a little more 'lively' than the 600/650's so I think you made the right choice there, unless you are looking for something a little more relaxed.

The Grados are definitely a little more punchy for rock music etc, so thats why I'm interested in them :) 

If you want something different then the 'warm' AKG's are apparently great phones. I suppose you could buy those and the 'lively' SR225's, and keep the 595's for a more 'neutral' sound.
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