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Thread: Headphones

  1. #51
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Yeah, I see no benefit for me in wireless given how I use headphones, they are only ever plugged into an ipod or laptop.
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  2. #52
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    I am not a Bose guy, but I find that my wife's (wired) Quietcomfort 25 headphones are the most physically comfortable I've ever used, and they actually sound really good. The physical comfort part should not be de-emphasized, but of course takes a couple of hours continuous use to assess, to return privileges when purchasing are important.

    I travel with Monoprice BT-300ANC headphones, because at (currently) $42 I can afford to lose them accidentally. These are wired or wireless, have active noise canceling (which works well for things like airplane noise), come with a case and an audio cable, and have acceptably neutral sound quality. I just returned from a trip via ship, car, plane and train where I used them daily, sometimes for hours, and was very pleased with their performance and comfort (not Bose-level headphones-what-headphones? comfort, but no actual pain, either).

    I used them via Bluetooth with their active electronics turned on, although they work wired/passive as well. It's interesting how much of a Bluetooth convert I've become since I got a modern smartphone with 120MB of storage. I use the phone for so many audio things -- podcasts and music while working with my hands or working out, music in the shower, Android Auto, casting things to my TV/HT systeem, etc. -- that the convenience of just being able to connect serially to output devices in different rooms or cars, or to don BT headphones for chores or exercise, has made BT my default connection. My phone has an audio jack that I have never used.

    Critical listening is another matter. For that I'm using the Sennheiser HD650, a few years old now, that are both physically and aurally comfortable like old shoes. Perfect for sitting back in the recliner for extended listening when people are upstairs sleeping.

  3. #53
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    I am not a Bose guy, but I find that my wife's (wired) Quietcomfort 25 headphones are the most physically comfortable I've ever used, and they actually sound really good.
    They're listed right alongside the highly-rated $30 headphones I listed above.

    But they're $177.

    'Nuff said.

  4. #54
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I have Sony MDR-V55s - I found them on sale at a Worst Buy when my old Koss pair bit the dust on a trip to the in-laws. The plether coating on the pads has come off but they are pretty indestructible. The sound is...not bad for that price range. Considerably better than ear buds or those dreadful Beats. I still use them for travel when I can hook them to the iPad or when I'm walking for exercise with my phone.

    At some point next year when we're much more flush and the retirement funds go from a trickle to a steady stream I'll update all the stereo equipment in the house. And at that point I'll be going for a pricey planar phones with their own amp and DAC. And my wife can watch her Ghost Adventures or Forensic Files while I float in bliss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    They're listed right alongside the highly-rated $30 headphones I listed above.

    But they're $177.

    'Nuff said.
    Here is a site that conducts objective bench tests of headphone and other gear: rtings.com.

    I never suggested that $30 headphones should perform on the same level as $177 headphones. Neither do I suggest that they do. They do not. The Bose significantly outperform the Sony in every respect, often by wide margins.

    As I pointed out (and gave an example of) there is good reason to favor inexpensive headphones. There may also be reason to favor exceptionally comfortable ones, which was my reason for citing the Bose model. Unfortunately, rtings did not test the inexpensive Monoprice model I use, but Consumer Reports did and rated them a Best Buy.

    Again, comfort is subjective and individual, and return privileges after a multi-hour trial should IMO be an important purchase consideration.

    BTW, "'nuff said" is an obnoxious way to end a statement of opinion, in my opinion.

  6. #56
    _________________________ Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I had a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 2(?) 'phones that my wife gave me. They come in a nice travel case seemingly indicating that they're nice to take along with you when you travel, etc., but mine just sat alongside my easy chair and I used them every so often, alternating between those 'phones and some others. One day I went to put them on and the plastic arm that holds one of the ear cups just shattered. Of course, it was a few months after the warranty expired, but I called up to complain anyway. They put me through to some supervisor of some kind, who ended up offering to sell me a new pair for "$8*". When I replied that the $8 replacement cost sounded good but wanted to know what the asterisk meant, I got a reply that it was a typo and that they meant to type "$89". I ended up going for it anyway since it was a gift from my wife, but I wasn't happy about it. This was 10 years ago and the 'phones have mostly sat in the case since then, and I've opted to mostly use a set of Symphonized Wraith phones that sound better than the Bose and would be hard to break by accident since the parts that undergo physical stress are steel, not plastic.

  7. #57
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Sorry you thought “nuff said” was obnoxious. I didn’t mean it to be. I just meant to point out that Bose are rated about as high as the thirty dollar cans, but at SIX TIMES the cost.

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    Rated by whom? Amazon star ratings are neither objective nor scalable. A 5-star $30 headphone is "great for $30," while a 4-star $200 headphone is "maybe should be $150." You simply cannot use Amazon star ratings to compare products in vastly different price classes (assuming you can use them for anything at all).

    I showed you where you can compare headphones using objective lab tests that do not consider price, because what a thing is worth to a buyer is entirely subjective.

  9. #59
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    The Bose significantly outperform the Sony in every respect, often by wide margins.
    And yet, on the website you recommend, a Sony holds the top spot.

    I’m not saying cheap headphones outperform expensive ones. They usually don’t. But that doesn’t mean expensive ones are always better either, because that’s simply not true. Bose spends too much on marketing and not enough on R&D. They are, generally, as a brand, way overpriced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    And yet, on the website you recommend, a Sony holds the top spot.
    And would that in any way support anything you have previously said, even if it were true?

    I’m not saying cheap headphones outperform expensive ones. They usually don’t. But that doesn’t mean expensive ones are always better either, because that’s simply not true. Bose spends too much on marketing and not enough on R&D. They are, generally, as a brand, way overpriced.
    I was very clear that I was not defending Bose as a brand. Yet you insist on arguing with me as if I am.

    I was very clear that I not only support but also own and use low-price phones, such as my Monoprice cans. Yet you insist on arguing with me as if I never mentioned it.

    I was very clear that I was specifically addressing the issue of comfort, and in fact on rtings.com Bose models fill the top ranks of top scorers in the comfort category -- where there are no Sonys at all.

    I don't know where on rtings.com you were looking, but they have no single "top spot." And in most of the categories they use, in fact Bose models top their ratings.

    Whatever your opinion about Bose -- and I am very familiar with the entrenched audiophile contempt for the company -- it is a fact that they have refined their headphone designs to a point where they have gained widespread respect among audio critics as well as users. And many other companies produce models at similar or higher price points that are demonstrably not as good. If the Bose unit are overpriced, then they are in good company (including Sony, which matches Bose's prices for most premium mainstream models).

    Please try for better factual support for your arguments if you want to continue this.

  11. #61
    At the risk of being an outcast, I will say that Bluetooth headphones have changed the way I listen to music -- for the better.

  12. #62
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    Please try for better factual support for your arguments if you want to continue this.
    No desire to continue this -- because I'm pretty sure we fundamentally agree. Headphones, like speakers, are an intensely personal choice, there is no "best" -- just what is comfortable for your head (which varies) and what sounds good to you (which varies even more widely).

    You like your wife's Quietcomfort 25s. That's fine!

    I've listened to a lot of high fidelity systems. I've listened to a lot of Bose headphones. I'm just saying, in my experience, there's been no overlap.

  13. #63
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    Rated by whom? Amazon star ratings are neither objective nor scalable.
    Not to mention, many rave reviews are fake and paid for.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  14. #64
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Not to mention, many rave reviews are fake and paid for.
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg
    Bose spends too much on marketing and not enough on R&D.
    It's been mentioned.

  15. #65
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I should have said I need ACTIVE noise cancelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I should have said I need ACTIVE noise cancelling.
    I think I mentioned how pleased I am with the Monoprice BT300ANC, currently $43. They have very effective ANC (for continuous noise such as in airplanes, trains, etc.). They can use a cable (included) or Bluetooth. The ANC can be switched on and off independently of audio. There's a nice carrying case, they fold, and charging is via standard USB. Sound quality is very good, IMO, but slightly better with their active electronics turned on (eg, via Bluetooth).

    Bose's ANC is widely regarded as the best in the business, but having compared my wife's QC25 to my BT300 on our last trip, I'd rate the cheap phones as nearly as good. The thing with ANC is not to expect cancellation of intermittent sounds like people talking or babies crying, or of higher-frequency noise beyond what's physically muffled by headphones themselves and their seal around your ears. They reduce steady-state noise, and more effectively at lower frequencies.

    Even wired, you'll still need a battery for ANC. My wife's (more comfortable and better-sounding) wired-only Boses use a AAA cell.

    I think these Monoprice phones are representative of a whole fleet of Chinese-made audio brands that can offer very high value but sometimes variable quality control and customer support.

  17. #67
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It's been mentioned.
    It's a sad commentary when fake Amazon reviews count as marketing.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  18. #68
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  19. #69
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Bose sucks and rdclark should stop defending them at all costs and regardless of the facts!!!
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  20. #70
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    I would never buy Bose headphones. But I did end up with a free pair of the 35s that are wireless. They are great on a plane or other, noisy environments; they take away a chunk of the noise. They are fine for casual listening. The lack of a wire is...convenient.

    But whenever I listen carefully in quieter places I always reach for my wired Denons and a headphone amp.

    So if Bose cost 1/4 of their selling price I would suggest grabbing a pair. Or, if you are rich.
    But most of us don't have that situation.

  21. #71
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    But I did end up with a free pair of the 35s that are wireless.
    That was the appropriate price.
    Quote Originally Posted by gizmotron View Post
    So if Bose cost 1/4 of their selling price I would suggest grabbing a pair. Or, if you are rich.
    If you are rich, you can do much, much better for the price.

  22. #72
    I use Bose exclusively for live performance and nothing, I mean nothing touches them. I have a pair of the Bose F1 model 812's and wow! I know this is about headphones, but I do have to say that Bose has really upped its game on the live music front. I use them in my studio and they sound great! But, I dont spend a lot on headphones, simply because they break. I have some Sony MD75's in my studio that are pretty bulletproof, but listening on my phone I use cheapo Skull Candy buds from Walmart. They break or get chewed by kittens, no problemo. I always list fairly quietly, because I need my ears for the next decade. Headphones can do a lot of damage if you are not careful. Long term listening is far superior in a good listening room with decent speakers. I use Mackie XR624's and Sony NS10's in the studio. The Mackies are great with a JBL sub. I have some smaller near fields as well, but headphones are not my choice for listening, critical or just for enjoyment.
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    Bose sucks and rdclark should stop defending them at all costs and regardless of the facts!!!
    I question your sincerity, based on how few exclamation points you used.

    Regarding facts, I wonder why nobody seems to want to respond to the fact that Bose headphones are consistently rated highly by objective testing organizations like rtings.com, Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, CNET and many others.

    Regarding the deep-seated anti-Bose bias in the audiophile community, I once shared it -- and still do when it comes to their home-audio products, which are indeed (as repeatedly shown by testing) overpriced, underperforming fashion accessories, by and large.

    As previously noted, Bose has earned its prominence in the pro-audio field. They also make some excellent architectural audio products. Their consumer headphones are competitive products as well, and Bose-bashers can bitch and moan about it, but have no actual evidence for their bias.
    Last edited by rdclark; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:48 AM.

  24. #74
    _________________________ Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I own 5 $300 or higher Bose products, all given to me as gifts, and based on my experiences with them, it's highly unlikely that I'll be buying any more of their products.

  25. #75
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    I question your sincerity, based on how few exclamation points you used.
    ...
    Yes, quite right. I was being snarky. I just like to stir up the sh*t when expressing my historic anti-Bose bias which goes back to their old "high-end" junk mostly. We are actually pretty much in agreement it would seem. Not a fan of the home audio stuff.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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