Headphones

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Dreamweapon
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Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:00 pm

I'm currently outstanding an Xmas present or two (or three!) and would quite like my wife to get me some good headphones.

Could do with a recommendation or two please - all my music is currently on my computer, as unfortunately don't have access to a stereo, so the phones would be for either the computer and/or my iPod.

Could do with being able to enjoy my music without disturbing other people.

Many thanks in advance for tips.

Shinesalight
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Re: Headphones

Post by Shinesalight » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:44 pm

There was a thread on headphones in the "other" section a few years ago:-

http://spiritualized.band/viewtopic.php ... es#p108549
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moop
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Re: Headphones

Post by moop » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:06 pm

...for what it's worth, following that thread i ended up buying some shure sr840's, which were very clear-sounding but without much in the way of bass, so pretty cold and boring. they were also pretty damn heavy and tight on my head, especially when new, so kinda uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. i ended up persisting with them a while before switching to the ubiquitous audio technica ath-m50 reissue, which i got second hand for a bargain. these retained most of the clarity of the shures, but with a more satisfying bass that is closer to what we're all used to from normal hi-fi type speakers/regular headphones. my intention was to have something of a hybrid of the flat, analytical 'monitor' type headphones for mixing and 'hi-fi' type ones (with accentuated highs and lows) for general 'fun' listening. anyway, the m-50s really fit that need and are still doing a fine job. they're also much more comfortable to wear - less heavy and skull-crushing than the shures 8)

unfortunately i never managed to get a chance to try out the sennheiser hd-280 pro's, but i've heard great things and they were also on my list. wish there'd been a place i could have actually tried all these out before buying!

hope that helps a little! p.s. all the headphones i've mentioned are closed backed ones, so ideal for listening without disturbing other people.

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Re: Headphones

Post by runaway » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:27 pm

Sony has recently re-established itself as a player in the headphone world, even amongst the higher end stuff. I have a pair of MDR Z7s and they are the best cans I've ever owned - super comfortable too. Their newer in-ear models are great too and give any Shure a run for its money, imo.

Dreamweapon
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Re: Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:30 am

Many thanks for the feedback so far guys. Going into town later today and hoping to find somewhere where I can test them out. General feedback from you all and looking at the old thread as well definitely seems to point to the Sennheiser, with a couple of other possibilities. Hoping I can find somewhere to get an idea of what things sound like, and then maybe even go online to see if I can get a better price!!

As I mentioned, all my music is currently on the computer with no stereo.

Sorry to potentially sound a bit dim(!), but as listening to my music has been restricted to this basis for some time, along with our family and house setup, I've never really been able to have any volume. Therefore looking to get some headphones that can get me enjoying music again, but limited to the actual equipment I have in the first place.

Forgive my ignorance, but what does closed back actually mean in terms if headphones?

Many thanks again for all help!

Shinesalight
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Re: Headphones

Post by Shinesalight » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:58 am

This pretty much sums up the difference quite nicely:-

http://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymor ... eadphones/
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MODLAB
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Re: Headphones

Post by MODLAB » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:16 pm

Bought a pair last year as a xmas gift to myself. I ended up with a pair of B&W P5 Series 2.

They sounded by far the best in that price range.

http://www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk/Shop/Re ... ies-2.html

Hope that helps!


M
Design.

BzaInSpace
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Re: Headphones

Post by BzaInSpace » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:37 pm

I'm gonna fly in here from the more budget end: fuck you Dre, and your shitty yet expensive Beats headphones! :lol:

SoundMagic do incredible and durable high-end in-ear buds (E10S) that are the comfiest and snuggest phones ever. A good few hours of listening really brings up the bass-heavy but bright goodness. Everything sounds good on this, especially as 99% of it is played through the bog-standard iPhone music app.

Looks like they won a recent award via serious ear boffins too...

For indoor listening/recording/mixing my decade old Technics set finally died this year, but I eventually replaced them with an awesome set by Sennheiser (HD 202) - beautiful full dynamics, a proper panoramic stereo field and the cushioned head support means these are a pleasure to wear, and listening to music is even better...

Both were just under £30.
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moop
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Re: Headphones

Post by moop » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:40 pm

yeah i had a set of those hd 202s too until i leant them to someone who never gave them back. very fun headphones and ridiculously good for the money. as i recall they had a really long cable too, so were ideal if you want to sit further from your computer/source (eg watching a film from a sofa or whatever). they were super-lightweight too so you could totally forget you were wearing them.

Dreamweapon
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Re: Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:41 pm

Many thanks for the considerable feedback I've had here from the board. Went to see a dealer when I was in town yesterday who had a set of the Sennheiser 449 at £88.99, and then found them on Amazon at £25 cheaper.

He explain the difference between open and closed headphones to me, but now there's been a bit of feedback on here about the Sennheiser 202s, there is a considerable difference in price I can see on Amazon, with 201s cheaper even still!

Thought I had it all sorted and now even more confused! Need to order today in time for Xmas!!

Dreamweapon
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Re: Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:19 pm

....and now I'm SERIOUSLY confused, as my brother has just said the word 'wireless' to me!!

Going on Amazon this evening to do the last bit of Xmas, so advice really needed please.

General consensus seems to be Sennheiser - just looking for the best all rounder for happy listening.

Thanks again and sorry to be a pain!!!

UPDATE: Getting asked by my wife to get the order in-if I'm narrowing it down to Sennheiser 201,202 or 449 for very general listening and to MP3 format at the moment (to be continued in another thread), what would you do?

moop
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Re: Headphones

Post by moop » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:58 pm

if you're getting a cheap set the 202s would be way better than the 201s.

the 449s are a fair bit more than the 202s, but i would imagine they'd be noticably higher quality. however, looking at the amazon prices if you're in 449 territory you could equally go for the hd280 pro (though that's more of an analytical 'monitoring' type headphone). depends what you're after i guess! personally i don't think you can go wrong with any of the above. im sure someone else will chime in with more useful info though. best of luck making a decision :)

Dreamweapon
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Re: Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:12 pm

Cheers for the updated feedback - I'm feeling the 449s are the way to go from this and the old thread as well as the shop I went into.

At the moment, as I mentioned, the majority of my stuff is in MP3 format with a very small amount of FLAC, although I also want advice on whether it's worth re-ripping the stuff I have of my own all over again, as I chose MP3 to save space. That would take months, or maybe even longer to do, and I also have a huge amount again I've downloaded that's already in MP3 format anyway. So I'm really looking for a good set of MP3 phones that will let me enjoy my music again (when I have the time - family circumstances and family illness at the moment give me very limited time at the moment), in the format it's in.

Still don't really understand the concept of wireless, and whether that's something to be considered, but my head's exploding already with what people have said!

Will the jack from the 449s fit both my computer and an iPod?

BzaInSpace
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Re: Headphones

Post by BzaInSpace » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:39 pm

moop wrote:if you're getting a cheap set the 202s would be way better than the 201s.

the 449s are a fair bit more than the 202s, but i would imagine they'd be noticably higher quality....
I really rate the 202s. I find it takes a week or two of listening for the magical audio science to work and the deep bass and clarity become apparent - this is of course true of all headphones.

Obviously the shit ones never reach this stage.

I love this set, but have no doubt the 449s will be even better. Just wish they would use better titles rather than the dull serial number thing.

"Crucibles of Sonic Beauty" or "Gargantuan Bass Devastator" would present a far better case for the these decisions...

Let us know what you end up with!
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moop
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Re: Headphones

Post by moop » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:13 pm

i haven't tried them myself, but if the 449s seemed good in the shop then i think that's great choice.

the mp3 vs flac discussion is quite divisive, but in my opinion there's not a big difference between a high quality (320kbps) mp3 and a flac in most situations, except in file size. of course part of that may be my own imperfect hearing. also, to a large extent i think these differences are only noticable at high volume, which wont really be the case when listening on headphones. the difference between 320kbps mp3s and say 128kbps is HUGE however. i remember using 128/160 as standard for ripping cds years ago and can really hear the difference between those and modern 320 rips (again, playing them at volume and on good headphones/speakers makes this all the more clear). regardless, that shouldn't affect your choice of headphone. i use my audio technica m-50s to listen to music that's mostly in 320kbps mp3 and it sounds brilliant to me. SO... the short answer is there's no need to re-rip everything as flac. on the other hand, if your mp3 rips are on the crappy side I'd definitely advise you to do re-rip those albums at 320kbps, as you will notice that difference.

the only time i use anything higher quality is for recording/mixing/mastering, but that's a different story.

i don't know much about wireless headphones, but i imagine they're a pain to keep well charged, and probably a fair bit more expensive without much real benefit. i wonder if them requiring a battery also makes them more bulky. again, i dunno, but something tells me they're not worth the bother :lol: i wonder if anyone here has any actual experience of them and can offer some wisdom?

in terms of the 449 jack, yeah it looks like a standard one that will fit for an ipod or computer headphone socket. the 449 also had a jack converter that makes this into a 1/8" jack (i think it is) which is standard for things like audio interface outputs or amplifiers. in short, yes it should be fine! :D

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Re: Headphones

Post by BzaInSpace » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:23 pm

Moop - nailed it with the 320mp3 vs FLAC thing!

Wireless headphones have no appeal to me - I'm certain there must be some deviation in the broadcasted sound.

(... I present zero scientific evidence to back this up but a direct jack output surely must be the best way to listen without using speakers?)
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Dreamweapon
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Re: Headphones

Post by Dreamweapon » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:46 pm

Well, in the end I did indeed receive the Sennheiser HD449 phones.

Only actually got the chance to open them and test them out on Monday night (having a four year old really getting into Xmas fully for the first time!), wife and unfortunately another member of the family with ongoing health issues) all requiring ongoing time and attention hasn't given me any time to myself really over Xmas, so Monday night became some "me" time, while my wife was watching Corrie!

Anyway, as I have previously hinted at, my knowledge of headphones is effectively zero, so wasn't really too sure what to expect. I also didn't really know how much of my listening would be down to the headphones themselves / the sound card on my computer / the actual file itself etc., so didn’t have any expectations.

Equally, I didn’t know whether what I heard would sound any different to my previous listening experience, effectively through my computer speakers.

Utterly gobsmacked would be an understatement. How much of this was genuine, or my subconscious telling me that I was going to be hearing something different I’ll never know, but 30-45 mins of listening last night was awesome. I tried on a number of different tracks, and the sound that came through just seemed so rich and warm. At a couple of points, I was almost crying with emotion at what I was hearing. Even though some of what I was listening to, I hadn’t heard before (more of which below), the clarity and as I said, warmth of what was coming through to my ears was just so jaw droppingly beautiful.

I picked some random music out of a folder I was sorting through to try things out so just for the record I can say that these sounded awesome:

Four Brothers – Rudo Chete album (VERY highly recommended – I remember hearing some of their stuff years ago when I listened to Andy Kershaw’s show on Radio 1, but never tracked down any of their stuff. Came across a download of this on a blog, and found it utterly enchanting and bewitching).

Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy (Justin Strauss Remix). Drums sounded superb!!!!

Spiritualized – Walkin’ With Jesus (Live at San Francisco Warfield). This is one of my fave Spz tracks live, and one that I often go to first when a new live set comes out. Couldn’t really comment too much on initial listen, as there is some quite noticeable crowd noise on this, so maybe need to give it another go, or try a different version!

Public Service Broadcasting – Go! (No more needs to be said – love the Race For Space album!). Sounded really good.

Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere – just gorgeous

Nick Drake – Northern Sky (I’m seriously contemplating this for my funeral, though hopefully no time soon!)

Nick Cave – Straight To You / The Ship Song / Nobody’s Baby Now / Albert Goes West - I’ve loved the first three of these for ages anyway, so just another excuse to listen to them really!

moop
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Re: Headphones

Post by moop » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:05 pm

sounds like you chose wisely!

having a set of decent headphones is a great excuse to revisit your favourite albums and see how they hold up. i found myself listening to stuff that i was previously over-familiar with (say, screamadelica/electric ladyland for example) and falling in love with them all over again. hope you have a similar experience!

with regards to your comment about 'walking with jesus' i would say that headphones bring out both the good and bad of bootlegs. sometimes that can be irritating (hiss or audience noise becomes all too clear where previously you might not have noticed, a lack of bass in the recording can make the whole thing feel flat, etc etc..), other times it can get somewhere towards capturing the feel of actually being there. maybe check out some well recorded gigs, like radio city or LA 14/02/14 and see how they sound to you...

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