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  • Best headphones?

    I was going to buy these Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Premium 32 OHM Headphones for my ipod.


    For that price, I thought I could easily afford the Bose Quiet Comfort noise cancelling headphones, which are wireless as opposed to the absurdly long, 10ft cord of the Beyer headset. I tend to think most of Bose's price comes from their name. Which headset would you say has the best fidelity, with the ability to produce punchy bass if needed?

  • #2
    Re: Best headphones?

    While the Bose are widely regarded, it's mostly by people who don't know what a good pair of headphones sound like. So, they probably are decent. I guess. My beef with them is the amount of electronics between me and the amplifier. Wireless transmission AND noise cancellation? Meh. I haven't heard these Bose, but the 2 pair of wireless headphones I tried both messed with the top octaves. They sounded flat.

    The Beyer are semi-open backed. That means that you WILL have some sound leakage, both in and out. If you want utter silence, you may want to keep looking. Then again, an open-backed loudspeaker sounds different than an enclosed one, and headphones are no different. They willingly traded a little sound suppression for a much wider, more transparent, sound.

    Some headphones have removable cables. This is MIGHTY practical, both for maintenance and also so you can come up with a cord length that's more reasonable depending on how they're used. A 10' cable is GREAT if you're sitting in your favorite chair and you're jacked into your stereo across the room...

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    • #3
      Re: Best headphones?

      PS:

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      • #4
        Re: Best headphones?

        I'd pick the Beyer over the Bose any day. But they will really shine with a good source. MP3 audio doesn't do them justice. WAV files would be nicer..

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        • #5
          Re: Best headphones?

          Yes, Head-fi is the place to go. They'll debate nuances about headphones there like people debate caps and stuffing here.

          One thing I will add to the discussion though is that an iPod (or any small battery powered player) doesn't really have jam for big headphones. It will play them but not at their best. Some sort of headphone amp makes an amazing difference. I picked up a battery powered one from headphone.com that I travel with. I have an elastic band holding the iPod to it and it fits in a pocket. I use it with my noise cancelling JVCs that I travel with and my better headphones that I keep at the office. There are lots of headphone amp options, but if you don't go with one of them then it won't much matter what kind of headphones you use.

          Good luck. Have fun.

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          • #6
            Re: Best headphones?

            Originally posted by keiths View Post
            Yes, Head-fi is the place to go. They'll debate nuances about headphones there like people debate caps and stuffing here.

            One thing I will add to the discussion though is that an iPod (or any small battery powered player) doesn't really have jam for big headphones. It will play them but not at their best. Some sort of headphone amp makes an amazing difference. I picked up a battery powered one from headphone.com that I travel with. I have an elastic band holding the iPod to it and it fits in a pocket. I use it with my noise cancelling JVCs that I travel with and my better headphones that I keep at the office. There are lots of headphone amp options, but if you don't go with one of them then it won't much matter what kind of headphones you use.

            Good luck. Have fun.
            Headphone amps are a GREAT way to ease into DIY amplifiers, too. You're dealing with lower power levels and cheaper components! :D

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            • #7
              Re: Best headphones?

              Denon AH-D2000 are easy to drive and have some serious basscapabilities. However, the cable sucks for portable use.
              "It is only Scrooge McDuck and others with a personality disorder who have money as their goal"

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              • #8
                Re: Best headphones?

                I don't know how good those headphones are. I'd be worried about traveling with your best pair of cans. You can get whatever you want, but I have a nicer set for home use and a cheap set for computer and travel use. I personally wouldn't want to travel with $300 headphones that could get stolen or damaged.

                These are my cheap set and they actually sound pretty good. They sounded a bit better after breaking in for a month or so too.

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                • #9
                  Re: Best headphones?

                  I have a pair of Sennheiser HD600s I like quite a bit, but they kind of want a headphone amp. Lots of my friends love some of the higher end Audio Technicas. They seem to work well without an amp and cost less.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best headphones?

                    Grado SR60, I'll recommend them til I die. If you get a headphone amp (or plan to) you can get the SR80.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best headphones?

                      People have listed some great options here. I will summarize my experiences and add my own option.

                      I have heard that the Senn 600s and Denon's d2000s are both nice, but have not heard either.

                      I have a pair of AKG q701s (functionally identical to k702s), and they are awesome headphones for people who like speakers. Besides the top of the line Senn's they are the most open headphones I have ever heard. They are rated at 60 ohms and sound better through a headphone amp, but still sound totally good from my laptop and iPad. They are an open backed design, however, and leak sound something fierce (aka useless for travel)

                      I listened to a pair of Beyer 880s (for which the 32ohm version is the best imo), and they are pretty awesome too. They are a semi-open backed design (so they also leak sound), and have a smaller soundstage than the AKGs, but make up for it with more immediate bass.

                      The Grados...I have listened to several models, and all of them were sonically good (although not as good as the above 2 imo) and horribly uncomfortable. They rock pretty hard and have great dynamics, but man...I couldn't wear them for more than 10 minutes. So definitely try before you buy on these.

                      If you are looking for something to travel with the only high end closed back headphone mentioned so far is the Denon (which I hear has great bass). If you are looking for something to listen to at home, any of the above will probably work great (as long as you are comfortable wearing them). There are also some good cheaper options as well.

                      Regardless, don't buy the Bose. If you want good sound and sound canceling a pair of etymiotic ear buds will do both much better for much less.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best headphones?

                        I have a pair of the Bose QCs. Although I imagine a lot of the price is for "the name," I really do like them, in spite of the pricetag. IMO, they sound great and are very comfortable. However, mine aren't wireless.
                        One drawback is that when the battery dies, the phones don't work. The battery lasts a long time (maybe 20-24 hours??? I never actually timed it, but I know it's quite a while before a fresh battery dies.) and only one AAA battery is all that's needed. I carry an extra one or two in the case with the phones.
                        As always, YMMV.
                        Mike
                        "We're speaker geeks, not speaker nerds. Nerds make money!" Marty H
                        Bismarck, North Dakota
                        My Current System: HiFiMe DIY T3 Amp, Kenwood Basic C1 Preamp, and Paul Carmody Sunflowers
                        My Garage System TPS3116D2 Amp, DIY PS 95 Speakers, DC 130 Sub

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best headphones?

                          Head-fi.org is the place to go.

                          I myself own a couple pairs of Fischer Audio headphones, they aren't band name but they offer really nice performance for the price. Now that Brainwaves is taking fishers and restyling them, I recommend those because they are a lot easier to find and acquire.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best headphones?

                            The best headphones I've ever had are the Sennheiser HD-580 & the 600s. I don't feel any need to upgrade them. Ever. :D
                            Line Array: IDS-25 Clone, FE-83.
                            2-2.5 Way:
                            Zaph Audio's winning entry: ZA5+SB29. - Microliths: RS125+RS28. - Small Bangs: TB W4-1658SB+SEAS 27TBFC/G. - Monoliths: Peerless 830884+SEAS 27TBFC/G.
                            3-3.5 Way:Miniliths: SEAS P21/CA21REX+Neo8 PDR+Neo3 PDR. - Megaliths: 2xDayton RS270+2xT-B W4-1337SB+SB29. - ZDT3.5 +: 2xDayton RS180+Dayton RS52+Vifa DQ25. Reflexos: OB 4xDayton RS150 + Neo3 PDR.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best headphones?

                              I got a pair of Phiaton PS 320`s for my birthday this year. Bass is a little on the light side from about 60hz down but everything else sounds fantastic. Each side has 2 drivers with a passive crossover network.

                              Find the best headphones, speakers and home audio. 365-day returns, free shipping over $100 and legendary customer service!

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