I want to get into headphones - need advice

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apstoltz

I want to get into headphones - need advice
« on: 29 Sep 2017, 09:54 pm »
Hi guys, been a big 2 channel audio guy for years and recently have been looking into headphones. Wow, did not know how many options and brands there where. I prefer a pretty flat neutral speaker in 2 channel as I have Salk and ascend speakers. Given my sound preference, I plan on using the headphones on my phone and computer and for right now do not plan on powering them with a separate amp so need something efficient. I am looking in the $200 range. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciative.

FullRangeMan

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #1 on: 29 Sep 2017, 10:10 pm »
In this price range for new HPs you are limited to dinamic models only, I prefer planars w/great eufonic timbre to stay in the oldfashined land of tubes.

dalethorn

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #2 on: 29 Sep 2017, 10:24 pm »
Hi guys, been a big 2 channel audio guy for years and recently have been looking into headphones. Wow, did not know how many options and brands there where. I prefer a pretty flat neutral speaker in 2 channel as I have Salk and ascend speakers. Given my sound preference, I plan on using the headphones on my phone and computer and for right now do not plan on powering them with a separate amp so need something efficient. I am looking in the $200 range. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciative.

There are a lot of crappy headphones at $500 and up, and a few good ones below $200, especially when you're looking for neutral sound.  The Senal 1200 is very good at $150, and the on-ear Thinksound ON2 is warmer, slightly bassier at approx. $150.  Some of the very popular headphones in that range, such as the Beyer DT770 or ATH M50 series, are not so neutral.  The AKG K553 is excellent, and the Philips SHP-9500 isn't bad.  I really liked the Yamaha MT-220, but that was 5 years ago.

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #3 on: 29 Sep 2017, 10:56 pm »
The thinksound and Phillips look interesting. Really digging the wood on the thinksound.

drphoto

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #4 on: 29 Sep 2017, 11:31 pm »
I've been pleased with my Shure SRH 840's for $200. I got them primarily for use when doing live FoH sound mixing. They were famous FoH live sound engineer Dave Ratt's recommendation for most accurate under $500. I've used them just to listen to music and like just fine. Don't use much these days as I'm pretty much out of the music production biz.

I've not listened to any really expensive cans, but I'd take these over anything near the price.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #5 on: 29 Sep 2017, 11:41 pm »
Innerfidelity dot com and this site are good resources for more headphone info. Extensive reviews and test data on Innerfi.

Don't overlook used if you are trying to keep the budget reasonable; you can take advantage of somebody else's 'upgraditis' and save quite a bit. Just make sure you have a return privilege, especially if the source doesn't have a seller rating mechanism.

If neutral voicing is a priority, you could do a lot worse (especially at a ~$200 price point) than the AKG K7xx on Massdrop for $199. Great comfort and a rep for first class detail (I've heard the very similar 701's and the 712's the 7xx's are based on.) You have to create an account to access the site and purchase.

Saturn94

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #6 on: 29 Sep 2017, 11:49 pm »
If you can stretch your budget to $250, the NAD HP50 is a great headphone.  It sounds great with my iPad and iPhone, so no additional amp needed to get great sound.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745VSOH50B/NAD-VISO-HP50-Black.html?tp=60835

Here's a review on Innerfidelity.com

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/i-love-these-headphonesthe-nad-viso-hp50

Btw, having owned Salk speakers, I'm familiar with their sound.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #7 on: 30 Sep 2017, 12:43 am »
Innerfi's reviews are quite trustworthy, and Tyll offers useful descriptions of the sound.

It's a shame headroom is gone, because they explained basic concepts very well for newcomers. One of the first decisions to make (assuming we are talking about full size 'phones) is, open or closed? Closed isolate the listener from the room somewhat (and vice versa); open produce a better 'soundstage' in some peoples's opinion and can be more comfortable due to having at least a degree of air circulation. The leather or 'pleather' pads can feel clammy after awhile, especially on closed phones, at least to me (I prefer the velour-like material used by Sennheiser, AKG and Beyer) but of course YMMV.

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #8 on: 30 Sep 2017, 12:45 am »
I will have to read up on the nad's.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #9 on: 30 Sep 2017, 12:49 am »
Unrelated: Which Salks do you have and are you using the Ascends as surrounds?

FullRangeMan

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #10 on: 30 Sep 2017, 01:29 am »
Unfortunately velour pads atract dust, needing cleaning.

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #11 on: 30 Sep 2017, 01:33 am »
Unrelated: Which Salks do you have and are you using the Ascends as surrounds?

Songtowers in 2 channel setup.

The ascends are part of a 3.1 setup with rsl as center channel.

FireGuy

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #12 on: 30 Sep 2017, 01:52 am »
i started my headphone journey with the Sennheiser HD 555 maybe 6 years ago.  I use this can every week on my portable devices.  If I were to upgrade from those it would be the HD 598 (open back).  They add a touch more refinement and air than the 555's to my ears.  I've heard Senn's lower, middle and upper class models... never disliked the sound, build quality and presentation.  So the HD 598 is my recommendation.



dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #13 on: 30 Sep 2017, 02:54 am »
Unfortunately velour pads atract dust, needing cleaning.
Never had any trouble keeping mine clean.

dalethorn

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #14 on: 30 Sep 2017, 04:20 am »
If you can stretch your budget to $250, the NAD HP50 is a great headphone.  It sounds great with my iPad and iPhone, so no additional amp needed to get great sound.  Btw, having owned Salk speakers, I'm familiar with their sound.

Two people here mentioned the AKG K7xx and Shure SRH-840, both good headphones and both fairly close to the classic 'neutral' signature.  But the HP-50 as far as I know has the "relaxed" treble that's sometimes known as the "room feel" sound.  Just so the OP knows that headphones with a relaxed treble (AQ NightHawk, Sennheiser Momentum, Focal Elear, Sonus Faber Pryma, others....) are very popular now, but are a different kind of signature from the classic neutral types.

Delta77

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #15 on: 30 Sep 2017, 04:48 am »
I'm in the same boat..Looking for a nice set of (first) HP's that I won't feel any need to upgrade ..
Looking at Hifiman 560 ,    Or.   ZMF , not sure of model yet..

I don't hear much about ZMF , does anyone have familiarity with ZMF..
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2017, 12:23 pm by Delta77 »

2gumby2

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #16 on: 30 Sep 2017, 06:00 am »
I have the ZMF V2 headphones and they are some of the best headphones I have ever heard. I also have the Beyerdynamic T51p and consider them to be up there with the ZMF. I would recommend an amplifier with the ZMFs though.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #17 on: 30 Sep 2017, 02:30 pm »
Two people here mentioned the AKG K7xx and Shure SRH-840, both good headphones and both fairly close to the classic 'neutral' signature.  But the HP-50 as far as I know has the "relaxed" treble that's sometimes known as the "room feel" sound.  Just so the OP knows that headphones with a relaxed treble (AQ NightHawk, Sennheiser Momentum, Focal Elear, Sonus Faber Pryma, others....) are very popular now, but are a different kind of signature from the classic neutral types.
If by "relaxed" you mean 'gently rolled off', I actually prefer that, especially with 'hot' digitally-mastered material (not all digital is done this way). I was just making a suggestion based on the OP's stated preferences. I actually still have my oft-maligned HD650s because I like their 'relaxed' treble, although I also like my 'flatter' Etymotic and Shure IEMs.

steve in jersey

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #18 on: 30 Sep 2017, 05:29 pm »
He,he,he....... I always get a bit of a chuckle when anyone talks about "gently rolled off treble" from headphones !

The truth of the matter (as far as what you're hearing) has more to do with how the different music genres you'll be listening to are generally "sound engineered" to sound. (& it's a bit of a 'stretch' to call a lot of recorded music "Engineered")

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #19 on: 30 Sep 2017, 05:33 pm »
i started my headphone journey with the Sennheiser HD 555 maybe 6 years ago.  I use this can every week on my portable devices.  If I were to upgrade from those it would be the HD 598 (open back).  They add a touch more refinement and air than the 555's to my ears.  I've heard Senn's lower, middle and upper class models... never disliked the sound, build quality and presentation.  So the HD 598 is my recommendation.



I listened to the 555's today and liked what I heard. Aesthetics are important to me as well. Out of the suggestions I am considering the 555's, nad hp50 and the thinksound.