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Thread: Headphones

  1. #1
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Headphones

    So what are you using to listen to your music these days? Headphones. I just switched back to Sony 7506 Monitoring type headphones. Tossed some beyerdynamic pads on them too. Anyway... the clean untouched EQ flatness is so much nicer. I was using Sony earbuds with some "enhanced" bass and I liked them - but having not used monitors for 10 years - now I'm experiencing music all fresh again. Only drawback is some music isnt recorded or mastered all that well - so they actually make some music sound like plops.

    Thought I'd toss this out there. For $80 I think these are still some of the better ones on the cheap side.

  2. #2
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Headphones: AKG240 for critical listening. They just sound the flatest and clearest to me. At work, I use an old set of AKG K-55 phones. They're not great, but they're butt-ugly (though lightweight), and no one will steal them...
    Speakers: An old set of Infinity two-ways that I rebuilt. I replaced the tweeters with the higher-power set from the Infinity SM-12; I *like* their tweeters. Clear, revealing, yet not harsh. I rebuilt the surrounds on the woofers (they always rot away) with a slightly looser butyl surround, and it extended the bass a bit. Sometimes I use a powered sub with them for full bass extension. These are actually the speakers I use for studio monitors now; they don't lie to me about the bass like the Mackie HR824s did (although the Mackies do sound nice for listening).

    [edit] I forgot my Radio Shack Minimus 7 speakers; little buggers in an aluminum case that I have snuggled into the headboard of my bed. Great little cheap speakers! That's why Radio Shack stopped making them. Anything they did that was decent, they dropped. Now they're just a glorified cellphone kiosk.

    You don't want to go into PA gear do you? I really don't listen to any music on that monstrosity, other than what my band is playing at any given moment...
    Last edited by Mikhael; 04-22-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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  3. #3
    Member R_burke's Avatar
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    I have two pair - Grado RS2i modified with auvilio headband and beyerdynamic comfy pads for my bedroom and a pair of Fostek TP-1s modified by Thunderpants that have new cabling and African Blackwood cups

    I run the bedroom pair through a Marantz CD-5001 that has a separate built in headphone amp and I run the TP-1s via a Woo Audio WA2 pre/headphone amp in my main set up.

    Like em both, the Grados are really great for Rock and the TP-1s are good on pretty much anything, but require a lot of power to push them properly

  4. #4
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_burke View Post
    I run the bedroom pair through a Marantz CD-5001 that has a separate built in headphone amp and I run the TP-1s via a Woo Audio WA2 pre/headphone amp in my main set up.

    Like em both, the Grados are really great for Rock and the TP-1s are good on pretty much anything, but require a lot of power to push them properly
    Yeah, my AKG240s also require some power; they're 600-ohm headphones. But it seems that makes a difference in the accuracy and clarity, somehow.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

  5. #5
    Member Magic Mountain's Avatar
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    I just bought the Abyss AB-1266/Cavalli LAu amplifier combination. Headphones are bulky but the sound is amazing. So the set-up is Accustic Arts Drive II CD transport --> Bricasti M1 DAC --> Cavalli LAu amp

  6. #6
    For an Ipod source, I've loved the Sennheiser HD 25 SP II. they usually go for around $125. If you like closed-back headphones that don't encase the whole ear, these are probably the best I've heard for the price.

    Though recently I got the Sennheiser PX-200 II for $55 from a place that was going out of business and have been very happy with them. They're smaller than the above and collapsable, making them easier to take from place to place and keep in a pocket. These are closed-back, on-ear, but the cups are smaller - they're the size of the old walkman headphones. Anyway, there is some sacrifice in bass and soundstage from the 25 SPs, but the size difference and shorter cord make them my go-to on-the-go headphone.

    I think back to the portable headphones of the '80s and they've really come a long way, especially for the money.

  7. #7
    At my desktop PC, I use the headphone jack on my Klipsch 2.1 THX system for my Sennheiser HD-595s.
    Yesterday, I got a pair of HD-650s. I'm looking at headphone amps now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
    At my desktop PC, I use the headphone jack on my Klipsch 2.1 THX system for my Sennheiser HD-595s.
    Yesterday, I got a pair of HD-650s. I'm looking at headphone amps now.
    I have a pair of 650s that I use with a Schiit Valhalla. I really like the combo and the Valhalla matches very well with the 650s. It's a well built, great sounding amp that's reasonably prices. IMO.

  9. #9
    Member Burley Wright's Avatar
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    If I like it, it's good.

  10. #10
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Mountain View Post
    I just bought the Abyss AB-1266/Cavalli LAu amplifier combination. Headphones are bulky but the sound is amazing. So the set-up is Accustic Arts Drive II CD transport --> Bricasti M1 DAC --> Cavalli LAu amp
    Living large!!

  11. #11
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I have a pretty decent pair of Sony headphones that I bought for something like 30 dollars. I use them to listen to music in my bed before I fall asleep. They are bulky but the sound is very good.

  12. #12
    Member Bungalow Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlakaton View Post
    I just switched back to Sony 7506 Monitoring type headphones.
    I have a similar model (maybe even the same) and I like them but they're definitely on the bright end.

    I have a decent set on Senn. phones (forget the model) and they're good but a little flat and mid-rangy.

    I use Sony or Senn. earbuds. The Sony are better overall.
    For that which is not,
    there is no coming into being
    and for that which is,
    there is no ceasing to be;
    yea of both of these the lookers into truth have seen an end.
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  13. #13
    Member Bungalow Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Mountain View Post
    I just bought the Abyss AB-1266/Cavalli LAu amplifier combination.
    Wow. Was it worth the investment?
    For that which is not,
    there is no coming into being
    and for that which is,
    there is no ceasing to be;
    yea of both of these the lookers into truth have seen an end.
    Bhagavad Gita

  14. #14
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    Grado GS1000's at the job, PS1000's en la casa.

  15. #15
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    I just got a pair of Sony MDR10RDC's as my 10 year work anniversary gift....they're shipping to me, so I will check back after I've had a chance to use them.
    I use an old Sennheisser that's not made anymore, and they're trashed...sadly. On the go, I use cheap phones--Sony MDRZX100's to and fro, and some white things, similar to those but made by some company called 2X or some such, at the gym......

  16. #16
    I'm a headphone fanatic. Here are some of the headphones I have had:
    Koss Phase 2 _ these are a 70s model. They are essentially the Pro 4AA with speakers that change angles. You can actually adjust your soundstage with these. While the sound is very good vintage 70s, they are very uncomfortable
    Sennheiser HD224- These were the broadcaster's choice back in late 70s early 80s. A bit weak on base, but very comfortable and great detail. They're nearly impossible to find now
    AKG 240M - better bass than the 224, but not as good on isolation. Comfort is just a hair less than the Sennheiser 224. Biggest issue was they fell apart in less than 6 monyhs when used for DJing.
    Sony V6 - I picked up a used pair at a garage sale for 2.00. These sound very good, good comfort and isolation. One of the best over ear values under 100.00
    Sennheiser HD280 - their "loud DJ" headphone. The isolation on these makes then a good choice for ear protectors at the firing range. Sound quality is good to very good on dance music. Bass is prominent and actually cased physical discomfort even at low volume. These are not comfortable at all. Like wearing a vice grip.
    Sennheiser HD595 - I've had these for 5 years at my desktop. They are probably the most comfortable headphone I have ever owned. Sound quality is excellent. Since they are a open back design, isolation is not good.Plastic yoke covers began cracking after 2 years, but the yokes have held together very well
    Sennheiser HD650 - I recently bought a pair of these. They are universally raved about for being probably the best high end headphone for the money. They are slightly less comfortable than the HD 595 due to a slightly snugger fit. The isolation is actually pretty decent considering these are a open back design. The difference in sound quality based on your headphone amp can be very surprising. The bass seems very clean without loss of warmth. Transients seem cleaner than the 595, but not crisp. In other words, the sound seems more natural. It does seem to affect the soundstage on some recordings.
    I think I need to invest in a good headphone amp and another few months to properly break these in.

    These are very nice

  17. #17
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    Anyone know of a place that sells replacement capsules for Sennheiser HD540-Reference II's? Love these, but they're .....a bit fried.

  18. #18
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
    Sennheiser HD595 - I've had these for 5 years at my desktop. They are probably the most comfortable headphone I have ever owned. Sound quality is excellent. Since they are a open back design, isolation is not good.Plastic yoke covers began cracking after 2 years, but the yokes have held together very well
    That's what I use. They're pretty nice, although I had some expensive Sonys that were better, but they fried after about 20 years of use.

    Sometimes I'll listen to music on my Shure SE535 in-ear monitors, which I bought for use on my live gigs. Obviously, the isolation is great (the main reason for in-ear monitors in the first place) and they sound better than my Sennheisers (at $500, they better!), but they're not nearly as comfortable. They have custom molded Sensaphonic sleeves and after a year of useage, I still struggle with getting them in my ears, so I naturally prefer listening to music with my comfortable Senns.

  19. #19
    Cookie Monster Guitarist Onomatopoeic's Avatar
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    Depending on wat I listening to or where I'm at, it's usually either AKG 271 II or AKG 240 Anniversary.

  20. #20
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Sennheiser HD600's
    Pete Millet "Mini Max" (tubed) headphone amplifier

    What really makes a quality headphone shine is the headphone amp that is used to drive it. For me, tubes are the only way to go.
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  21. #21
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Sennheiser HD600's for me too. I use the Musical Fidelity XCan V3 headphone amp which is tubed. I've also upgraded the cable on my phones to the Zu Audio Mobius cable. Big improvement over the stock cable.

  22. #22
    Sennheiser HD 598. Completely open -so no isolation, but exceptionally balanced. Not destined for iPods, mobile phones or laptops though, you need a good source to extract the best out of them.
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  23. #23
    _________________________ Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlakaton View Post
    Headphones. I just switched back to Sony 7506 Monitoring type headphones.
    What distinguishes "monitoring" phones from the rest?


    Don't laugh, but a lot of my listening is done while I'm doing chores (lawnmowing, raking, cleaning, planting, weeding, snow shoveling etc.) and I need phones that stay on my head when I bend over and move into various positions. Since I don't like putting anything in my ears, buds are out. Several years ago my wife came back from some discount store with some Skullcandy Skullcrushers headphones that she found cheap, and I found that they were ideal for physical activity. Most of the reviews of these phones complain that their "subwoofer" feature makes them overly bassy, but that's not the case at all. You just have to turn the bass control down to the point where it's effect is nice and subtle, then they sound pretty good. The only problem is, this model has been replaced with a much more expensive "Crushers" model and I can't get a straight answer out of anyone whether it has that same snugness that I'm looking for. My other option is a sound-blocking Ryobi model that works OK enough but it has a volume limiting feature that won't let you play music loud enough to be heard when you 're running any machinery.

    Also don't laugh, but in the house I use the overly-expensive Bose QC3 phones that were also a gift. They sound pretty good, but not $300 good.

  24. #24
    Sony 7506's for me. They're a little bass light, but I've grown accustomed to them.
    Out now! My latest work "Track Of Days"!

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    What distinguishes "monitoring" phones from the rest?


    Don't laugh, but a lot of my listening is done while I'm doing chores (lawnmowing, raking, cleaning, planting, weeding, snow shoveling etc.) and I need phones that stay on my head when I bend over and move into various positions. Since I don't like putting anything in my ears, buds are out. Several years ago my wife came back from some discount store with some Skullcandy Skullcrushers headphones that she found cheap, and I found that they were ideal for physical activity. Most of the reviews of these phones complain that their "subwoofer" feature makes them overly bassy, but that's not the case at all. You just have to turn the bass control down to the point where it's effect is nice and subtle, then they sound pretty good. The only problem is, this model has been replaced with a much more expensive "Crushers" model and I can't get a straight answer out of anyone whether it has that same snugness that I'm looking for. My other option is a sound-blocking Ryobi model that works OK enough but it has a volume limiting feature that won't let you play music loud enough to be heard when you 're running any machinery.

    Also don't laugh, but in the house I use the overly-expensive Bose QC3 phones that were also a gift. They sound pretty good, but not $300 good.
    "Monitoring" is a subjective term. It generally refers to using them to critically evaluate a mix. The primary criteria here is accuracy in frequency response and minimization of distortion.

    As for physical styles, here are the basics:
    1. Over the ear - traditional style headphones with a band that goes over the top of the head and speaker cups that completely encase the ears
    2. On Ear- same basic style as over the ear except there is no "cup". The speaker casing usually has foam and lays flat against the ears
    3. In ear - buds that fit in ears. These can range in quality from very poor to extremely accurate. Some have "ear hangers", and there are some that have "behind the neck" bands.

    Over the ear phones can be either closed back or open back design. Closed back means the isolation is very good. Open back means there can be leakage of sound both to the listener and also those around the listener.

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