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Best available headphones for music?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Scott Salisbury, 17 Jun 2006.

  1. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    I think its time I got a set of decent headphones for listening to music at the PC (when the parents are in bed my music still wakes them up), and low volume is not possible for me. It's loud or nothing baby.

    It will be for strictly music only and comfort/quality/bass is the most important. If they can block out any outside noise too, that is always welcome.

    Willing to pay no more than £100 for a decent pair, wired of course. No microphone needed.

    If anyone can point me in the general direction of what I should be looking for, I can let google do the rest.

    Quality of sound and bass is the most important.

    Thanks in advance,
    Scott.

    Are the surround sound headphones any good for music or just meant for gaming? I woulnd't imagine they're too comfortable?
     
  2. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 31,963

    Location: Warwickshire

    What are you looking for?

    - Gaming headphones that will do music
    - Music headphones that will do gaming
    - 5.1 headphones that work in stereo for music
    - Cancellation bud-style headphones that block external noise
    - Full headset style headphones
    - Standard walkman type headphones

    ?
     
  3. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    Please read my post :(

    I pretty much mentioned everything you asked in my post lol.

    Most likey.
     
  4. Curio

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 14 Mar 2004

    Posts: 8,024

    Location: Brit in the USA

    I really like my Sennheiser EH250's, although you've got a bit more money to spend. They are closed back so you can have them on insanely loud and not disturb anybody (while also cutting out most ambient noise of course...) and are very, very bassy - actually a bit too much.....have no knock the bass down in the X-Fi control.

    Basically, you can't go wrong with Sennheiser in my book. They do take a lot of running-in tho - don't judge them on first listen!
     
  5. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    Surround sound headsets/headphones are for gaming/dvds only and do a really poor job with music IMO (the Medusa and Zalmans anyway). A lot of people think they do a poor job with gaming/dvds too ;)

    Look at the Alessandro MS1 - they're modified Grados but better value than Grados, they're about £70 delivered from Alessandro (the only way to get them). Grado/Alessandro are very good for rock and electronic music. Or there's the Grado SR60/SR80. I owned the SR80 and very much enjoyed their precision, but they don't have much of a soundstage and they're a bit bright with the wrong music. Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic make great headphones but I don't know their ranges well. You wouldn't be dissapointed with either. Koss Porta Pro sound amazingly good for £24 btw, precise yet open and entertaining. They rival the Grado SR60s which are about £65. An option to save you some money maybe.
     
  6. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 31,963

    Location: Warwickshire

    Shure E3C. Bud-style (not head set) but incredible for music.
     
  7. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    Thanks for the replies :)

    How do you mean exactly?

    Intersting. I'll take a look at them all and see which one takes my fancy.

    I listen to music pretty much any time I'm on my PC or whenever in the house so I don't mind forking out a bomb for the best money can buy.

    I'll be mainly listening to electronic/trance music, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto sort of sounds.
     
  8. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    I quite like the look of these:

    Link

    £48, not too expensive and they look comfortable and light.

    What exactly is the difference betwen open and closed ear cups? Apart from closed ear cups being better for private listening?
     
  9. Boz

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,138

    Location: Reading

    you are right to avoid 'surround' headphones, they are just a fad anyway.

    seeing as you will be running them straight off your pc, certain headphones wont sound as good. i recommend you give the audio technica ath-500s a look. very good for music and very good for gaming as well, plus they are well within your budget :)
     
  10. Logsi

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Oct 2005

    Posts: 10,400

    Location: Kernow

    Get some;

    Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO

    Ace headphones, very robust and great frequency response. They are also closed so theres alot of bass compared to open headphones.
     
  11. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    Those HD515 look ideal. Relatively low impedence (50 ohms) means they're easy to drive, so you won't need a headphone amp to get the best out of them and they should be fine plugged into a PC soundcard. Open back means they should sound lively and entertaining and having used open back sennheisers I'd be surprised if they were short on bass. They look light and comfy too.
     
  12. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    That's the kind of response I was hoping for, since I'm no audio expert I wanted to know what makes headphones better or worse on a PC. You've just answered what I was about to ask.

    I'm still doing some research and I would have prefered a closed back ear cup, bt I've seen a lot of good reviews about the open cup sennheisers.

    Decisions decisions :p

    Or should I fork out that little bit more to get the 555's?
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2006
  13. Eliot

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 Mar 2005

    Posts: 5,792

    i got some sennhiesser headphones px200 or px100 cant remeber, they were free iwth a deal, in my eyes they are crotch-grbbing whihc makes me want the more expensive versions
    edit: white px100 5 star reviews everywhere ive looked.
    edit 2: the bass is sickeningly good as well
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2006
  14. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    Seriously tempted by the Sennheisers now. Problem is I'm finding people saying I will need an amp for the 515 and others are saying I won't.

    Damned interweb and its conflicting information :)
     
  15. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    You won't need an amp. My brother has the HD565 ovations which are 150 ohm, and they work perfectly well from a AAA battery powered MP3 player. In fact we compared them when using the MP3 player and when using the headphone socket on his hi-fi CD player (which presumably has more juice than the MP3 player) and we couldn't hear much if any difference.

    The higher the impedence the more likely they are to benefit from a headphone amp in general, but you're probably talking about quite a small difference, the bass going a touch deeper and the highs a touch crisper, that sort of thing. You'd probably have to really listen to hear the difference. 50 ohms isn't high that's for sure. Maybe when you get up to 250 ohms and beyond the difference is more apparent.

    Wouldn't like to say HD515 or HD555 having used neither. A lot of individual preference comes into it. Personally while I liked my brothers HD565s, I'm not mad on the warm smooth Sennheiser sound. Never used Beyers. Grados, mids are a bit hollow and highs a bit sharp, but they work well for rock/electronic I found.

    Funnily enough the headphones I've owned which I was most satisfied with are the £15 Koss KSC-75s, since I just love the clarity, the open-ness and the wide soundstage. Clearly then finding the right headphones is about more than just the price.

    What music do you like btw?
     
  16. Scott Salisbury

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,588

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    Thanks for the reply.

    I like trance/electronic music, Tiesto and Armin van Buuren are some examples of the sounds I will be listening to. As you may know this type of music is pretty heavy-going on the bass.

    I've currently got the 515 in my shopping cart ready to buy, but I'm almost tempted to change it for the 555. Still reading reviews.

    I've just tested my dad's very old Sennheiser 445's (which are almost broke) but I managed to test them for sound and loudness and they were perfectly fine.
     
  17. Eliot

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 Mar 2005

    Posts: 5,792

    thats why i like my sennheisers, at a cheap price 22 quid i cant imgaine the 90 pound incarnations being that much better
     
  18. TooNice

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Mar 2006

    Posts: 545

    I think your music preference will play a pretty big role. £100 budget opens quite a number of options. If you are stuck with closed headphones, then the battle at £100 is pretty much between the Beyerdynamic DT770 and AudioTechnica A-500.

    But if you are considering the open Sennheiser.. you should know there are many other alternatives which may be more (or less) suited for your tastes. Grado/MSi headphones contrast with Sennheiser completely, yet you'll find fans on both ends (or even fans of both). The Grado are generally more forward and aggressive (lending to rock), while the Sennheiser more laid back (lending to classical). I am saying "lending" because a good headphone is still a good headphone in the end and is unlikely to be complete garbage for one genre and magic for another. The AKG 501 are fantastic in terms of soundstage though they are also pretty airy and bass light but also a good choice.
    I also agree with fish99 that the Koss line (Porta Pro/Sporta Pro/KSC-series) are very nice and inexpensive. There is little that those can do that a Grado can't... but, they are truely a bargain and a good way to enter the world of headphones (I don't think any upgrades I've subsequently made has given me the same "wow" that the Porta Pro gave me - and I've tried quite a few headphones).
     
  19. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 67,009

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    I dunno if you can still get them now but i got my Sennheiser HD580 for £55 a few years ago. They were £200 rrp when they first came out, and also got a pair of HD600 for £120 (these were £350 !). For the money i've paid for them, they beat everything under £100, they get even better with an amp.

    Personally i would get open headphones, i never got on well with closed, always sounded contricted and too boomy to my liking. The Grado SR60 or may be SR80 might be within your budget, which i would think will be great and better than koss howevere you do pay for it.
     
  20. Greenlizard0

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 15 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,189

    Location: Liverpool

    Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro's. I'm having to listen to my music again to appreciate it and the headphones. Quality stuff :D