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Looking for a new pair of headphones
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OreoCookie
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Jul 19, 2015, 04:43 AM
 
As the title suggests, I'm looking into getting a nice pair of headphones. I haven't decided yet on a budget, but in case it's something more expensive I can wait to make the purchase. Just to give you an idea what I already have:
Grade SR-80: Those are my desk headphones. Sound quality-wise I like them a lot, but the cable crapped out on me, and fixing it costs a significant share of new headphones.

Shure SE215: I only wear them on the plane (seriously), because I hate the feeling of in-ear-canal headphones, they change the auditory landscape of my surroundings and feel uncomfortable if worn over longer stretches of time. (The same goes for closed headphones, whenever I start talking it sounds very unnatural and unnerving). I like, though, that I can replace the cables myself quite easily.

Apple earphones: I use them when talking to people on Skype or when I need small headphones. The clicker is a godsend. The sound is, hmmm, good enough to understand what the other person is saying over Skype.

I've also had Koss PortaPros for years, but the built quality declined rapidly (cables got thinner and broke more easily, etc.).

So I like replaceable cables and clickers, dislike closed headphones and am willing to spend something. They should be comfortable when being worn for a longer period. However, it seem that there is nothing at the intersection of all of these requirements: there are headphones with clicker but that do not have a replaceable cable. Do you have any suggestions?
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Spheric Harlot
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Jul 19, 2015, 05:03 AM
 
The Apple EarPods are surprisingly good.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 19, 2015, 11:30 AM
 
Assuming you are looking for something not outrageously top-of-the-line which I know Shaddim has recommended elsewhere, I have really liked Sennheiser's HD600 and Denon's AH D7000. The Denon is the closed option but I think you will find that it strikes a great balance between noise leakage, great bass, and still maintaining an open soundstage.

Both of those can easily be found used (I think the HD600 is discontinued actually - the newer HD650 has a bit different signature which you can research) - which I would normally recommend, as you can save a good deal of coin and the people who buy these cans generally treat them with great care.

Having said all that I settled on good speakers, sold my cans and never looked back - I like them better in almost every way.
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subego
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Jul 19, 2015, 01:06 PM
 
Any of the non-cheapie AKGs.

They get used in radio for exactly the three reasons you list.

1) It's assumed they'll be beaten up, so they have a replaceable (single-side) cable.
2) They're semi-open, because you need to hear the program director yell at you from off-mic.
3) People have to wear them for hours at a time, so they put effort into making them comfy. They rest on the top of your head rather than squeezing it like a vise.

Full disclosure: I hate headphones. Really hate them.

Edit: I don't know about clicker options.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 19, 2015, 02:02 PM
 
I know a guy who really likes the AKG 702s.

They have a reputation of being a bit cold/analytical from a sound perspective and I was trying to avoid that at the time. (The Sennheiser HD650s are kind of the opposite of that - warm and inviting.)
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subego
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Jul 19, 2015, 02:13 PM
 
I think Senns tend to sound a bit better, but aren't anywhere near as comfy as the AKGs.
     
subego
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Jul 19, 2015, 02:17 PM
 
I use Senn HD-25s for field work because they're light and bulletproof.

I use AKG 702s if I have to wear it for hours.

I have a pair of Ultrasones for critical listening.
     
Jawbone54
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Jul 19, 2015, 02:48 PM
 
No one a fan of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x?
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 19, 2015, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I think Senns tend to sound a bit better, but aren't anywhere near as comfy as the AKGs.
Do you mean the specific models or the general brands? The HD600s have these velour liners and a tight clamp which I found extremely comfortable.
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OreoCookie  (op)
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Jul 19, 2015, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Having said all that I settled on good speakers, sold my cans and never looked back - I like them better in almost every way.
For the use cases I have in mind speakers are not an option: in all likelihood I will be moving back to Japan (which means I cannot take my Wharfedale speakers + NAD amp with me), and I'll be using them in the office.
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OreoCookie  (op)
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Jul 19, 2015, 05:10 PM
 
Thanks for the suggestions so far, keep them coming!

Does anyone have an opinion on B&O's BeoPlay H6? The cable is replaceable, I quickly tried them in a store and they felt comfortable, and it had a clicker. Marco Arment also likes it in his head phone review, but honest, I don't think his tests are very scientific.
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Jul 19, 2015, 05:29 PM
 
I use Audio Technical ATH-AC7 noise canceling headphones. Replaceable cable, extremely comfortable. No clicker, which I would like to have, but I think it MIGHT work to get a replacement headphone cable with a clicker. Never tried though. They are closed though, I prefer it that way.
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 19, 2015, 06:33 PM
 
From what you've said, I'd say look into the Philips X1 or X2 headphones; open cans that sound great, are super comfy (great earpads), w/ inline remote and replaceable cable, that won't break the bank.

http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-X1-2.../dp/B00B3QD94O
http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-X2-2.../dp/B00O2Y2MZG

I've owned both and they sound nigh identical at first, but the X2s have a bit better bass extension and slightly better midrange.

Edit: Oh yeah, and they're easy to drive and don't require a dedicated amp, so they sound good out of nearly any phone or MP3 player.
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subego
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Jul 19, 2015, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Do you mean the specific models or the general brands? The HD600s have these velour liners and a tight clamp which I found extremely comfortable.
The brands in general.

There are exceptions on both sides, though.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 19, 2015, 07:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Edit: Oh yeah, and they're easy to drive and don't require a dedicated amp, so they sound good out of nearly any phone or MP3 player.
Good point by Shaddim. My suggestions also depend on what you are using to drive/power your headphones. I would strongly suggest a reasonably priced dedicated headphone amp if you do not already use one; it would improve almost all of the big-can suggestions.
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subego
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Jul 19, 2015, 08:22 PM
 
And pick up an outboard DAC while you're at it.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Jul 20, 2015, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
And pick up an outboard DAC while you're at it.
That's the next step. I was looking at the stuff from Shiit, my best friend bought a decent DAC and headphone amp from them and is quite happy.
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 20, 2015, 06:36 AM
 
I was going to recommend Schiit actually. The best bang for your buck - I have some Schiit myself.
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 20, 2015, 09:21 AM
 
As long as the headphones aren't too demanding, like big orthos, the Fiio E18 is a fine little DAC/amp combo unit (with built in music controls) for well under $200, and it works as an external DAC for Android phones.

Speaking of orthos though, also check out the HiFiMan HE400i, they're pretty much the best open HPs you can buy <$500, and Razordog Audio will cut you a deal if you call them directly for a quote. Edit: In fact, it appears he's running a deal on $100 off headphones over $399.
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OreoCookie  (op)
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Jul 23, 2015, 01:07 AM
 
Thanks for all the recommendation guys!
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Jul 23, 2015, 07:02 PM
 
Although I haven't personally bought it, Amazon Basics are always a great bang for your buck.
     
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Jul 24, 2015, 12:15 PM
 
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
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Jul 24, 2015, 05:59 PM
 
I should say that I've never tried the B&O H6, but they have a good reputation.
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Jul 26, 2015, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The Apple EarPods are surprisingly good.
I have Earpods, with Earskinz silicon covers on them, I got them as a Kickstarter, so yes, mine are bright green. EarSkinz | Apple EarPod and Earbud Covers. They do make a difference in the sound (to my ears), the shape of them does what they say, directing the sound more into the ears, and because they are soft, they hold into your ear a bit better (I must have one odd ear, normal plastic headphones often drop out of one ear, and I don't like the idea of pushing those proper in ear type things into my earhole.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
subego
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Jul 26, 2015, 04:16 PM
 
I gave up on in-ear. My hear holes fall too outside the norm.

I was thinking of getting molds made, but then remembered I hate headphones.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 26, 2015, 07:00 PM
 
I've tried various custom IEMs but it comes down to not liking the feel of them inside my ears, to me they're too uncomfortable, no matter who makes them.
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Jul 26, 2015, 08:11 PM
 
Separate from that, I dislike the impact on situational awareness. I refuse to use a hood for similar reasons.
     
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Apr 5, 2016, 11:32 AM
 
Been thinking about getting a new set of headphones... came across 'Grado' (Grado Labs - Brooklyn - Hand-built Headphones - Since 1953)

Anyone here have any experience with their products? Their reviews seem pretty good on Amazon.

Cheers
     
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Apr 5, 2016, 11:34 AM
 
I've heard good things about them. They certainly look cool.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Apr 5, 2016, 11:55 AM
 
I've had Grados, I liked the sound a lot, but as usual, the cable broke after a few years of use. I'm eyeing for a pair of B&O HE6 Mark 2s: you can replace the cable, you can even get a cable with clicker, and from what I have heard, the sound is great.
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Hawkeye_a
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Apr 5, 2016, 12:32 PM
 
Ars has a great piece(with video) on Grado. The never-advertised, always coveted headphones built and sold in Brooklyn | Ars Technica

I've been using KOSS for the longest time, and i like their lifetime warranty(which i never actually used). I splurged on a Bose set a few years ago and wasn't satisfied with the product. I'm trying not to be suckered into the brand this time around.

It might sound like i'm trying to talk myself into getting a Grado, but I like the vibe i'm getting from this company.
( Last edited by Hawkeye_a; Apr 5, 2016 at 03:36 PM. )
     
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Apr 5, 2016, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I use Audio Technical ATH-AC7 noise canceling headphones. Replaceable cable, extremely comfortable. No clicker, which I would like to have, but I think it MIGHT work to get a replacement headphone cable with a clicker. Never tried though. They are closed though, I prefer it that way.
Feedback on this: Got a replacement headphone cable with a clicker and a mic. It works great.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
subego
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Apr 5, 2016, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Ars has a great piece(with video) on Grado. The never-advertised, always coveted headphones built and sold in Brooklyn | Ars Technica

I've been using KOSS for the longest time, and i like their lifetime warranty(which i never actually used). I splurged on a Bose set a few years ago and wasn't satisfied with the product. I'm trying not to be suckerd into the brand this time around.

It might sound like i'm trying to sell myself into getting a Grado, but I like the vibe i'm get from this company.
I've never heard anyone say Grado is a sucker's choice.

Bose on the other hand...
     
Hawkeye_a
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Apr 5, 2016, 01:30 PM
 
Apparently the Grados leak a lot of sound, which might be a deal breaker for me as I was planning on using them at work.
     
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Apr 5, 2016, 08:04 PM
 
Yep, Grados are open cans. they leak heavily (in and out). Just buy these: http://smile.amazon.com/Creative-EF0...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1
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OreoCookie  (op)
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Apr 6, 2016, 12:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Apparently the Grados leak a lot of sound, which might be a deal breaker for me as I was planning on using them at work.
I find this is a complicated issue: while closed headphones are better for your environment and you keep unwanted sounds out. But I hate the feeling, closed headphones give me claustrophobia. Especially when I talk (e. g. via FaceTime or Skype), everything sounds funny to my ears. In-ear headphones make my ears hurt, I only use them on flights where they also act as ear plugs.
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Apr 6, 2016, 01:16 AM
 
Well, in an office, around other people who are trying to do their work, open cans are just rude.
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Hawkeye_a
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Apr 6, 2016, 09:02 AM
 
Will check them out Capn.

I would have really liked to try and maybe even buy these; apparently the only closed Grados ever made (Bushmill-Grado):
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Apr 6, 2016, 10:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Will check them out Capn.

I would have really liked to try and maybe even buy these; apparently the only closed Grados ever made (Bushmill-Grado):
I have a set. They're $400, rather uncomfortable (they're on-ears and the pads are rigid and scratchy), and sound... odd (strange treble reflections >6kHz). Good for hard guitar rock but not so great w/ other genres.

If you want to drop $400 on a great set of closed cans, I recommend the new Audeze Sine. There's also a brand new model with what they call a Cypher cable for $50 more, it's essentially an external micro DAC/amp built into a lightning cable, made specifically for iPhones. That whole setup is jaw-droppingly good, for any music, I've had a pre-production sample for 6 months and they're now my favorite sub-"halo" cans, by a good bit.

Contact my buddy Brian at Razordog Audio, he can hook you up with a good discount, or I think you can still use RAZORDOG15 for 15% off w/free shipping.

RazorDog! Audio - Instant Rebates on items over $249!
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Hawkeye_a
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Apr 6, 2016, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
I have a set. They're $400, rather uncomfortable (they're on-ears and the pads are rigid and scratchy), and sound... odd (strange treble reflections >6kHz). Good for hard guitar rock but not so great w/ other genres.

If you want to drop $400 on a great set of closed cans, I recommend the new Audeze Sine. There's also a brand new model with what they call a Cypher cable for $50 more, it's essentially an external micro DAC/amp built into a lightning cable, made specifically for iPhones. That whole setup is jaw-droppingly good, for any music, I've had a pre-production sample for 6 months and they're now my favorite sub-"halo" cans, by a good bit.

Contact my buddy Brian at Razordog Audio, he can hook you up with a good discount, or I think you can still use RAZORDOG15 for 15% off w/free shipping.

RazorDog! Audio - Instant Rebates on items over $249!
Cheers!
I see a few local retailers carry Audeze so i might be able to try before buying. (although these all seem out of my price range )
     
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Apr 6, 2016, 10:58 AM
 
If value is what you want, those Creative Aurvana closed `phones are the way to go. Nothing else touches them for $50.
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Apr 14, 2016, 03:10 PM
 
Initially looking to spend no more than $200, here I am now having spent $500.

I went with the Grado RS2e. For the type of music I primarily listen to (acoustic, rock, classical/orchestral) I had yet to find a review which gave them a bad review. I was impressed that they have such a high reputation without any advertising/endorsements and fairly minimum marketing.



There was an issue I was concerned about, so I decided to email them (wasn't expecting a helpful reply). I won't elaborate on what the issue/request was, but to get a reply on the same day from a person whose last name is 'Grado' saying that they can accommodate my request made a huge impression on me.

This is my first 'open back' headphone. The sound feels like it's around me, as opposed to "in my head"(closed back headphones). And luckily the sound leakage isn't significant enough to bother my colleagues around me. It's also lighter than I expected it to be. It feels like a "special"/unique product, which I like.

Cheers
( Last edited by Hawkeye_a; Apr 14, 2016 at 03:21 PM. )
     
Hawkeye_a
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May 1, 2016, 09:51 PM
 
Ended up returning the RS2e due to sound leakage at work being an issue . It was a really nice set of headphones which I would have liked to keep, but i didn't want it to just sit around collecting dust.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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May 2, 2016, 01:03 AM
 
Yeah... check out the Audeze Sines, no joke.
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