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#253546 - 03/25/09 04:36 AM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: Zimm]
Captain4105 Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Southern California
Does anyone have personal experience with simulated "surround sound" earphones? I am unfamiliar with those offerings but I understand they exist. Are they too phony or do they have a reasonable approximation for surround affects (I'm thinking classical)?....Lee

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#253551 - 03/25/09 06:58 AM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: Captain4105]
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 680
Loc: South Florida

I read that most headphone enthusiasts (some over at head-fi) seem to agree that 'surround sound' or 5.1 headphones are a marketing idea that simply doesn't work well. While there are some models with 4 or 5 drivers on each side, they simply don't beat a quality pair of stereo cans. My experience is limited, but I do have a pair of each type, and have tried different sound settings through my Creative X-fi software, and I agree.

I tested with sound effects and positional cues in PC gaming software.





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Epic 80 / SVS PB13 Ultra
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#253601 - 03/25/09 10:20 AM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: Zimm]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Zimm,

Yes, the Grados tend to be very accurate, although I haven't heard all their models. Certainly the 125s are quite neutral and accurate, like your 80s.

Regarding comfort, everyone's head is a different shape and the pinnae (no smart remarks!)--the external ears--are also every shape and size (just ask Prince Charles!). What fits one person may be acutely uncomfortable to another.

There is a lot of interesting research going into manipulating "head-transfer" effects and equations to move sound outside the headphone or to simulate a 5.1 experience from two stereo speakers.

The reason that all headphones provide extreme separation compared to speaker playback is that when you listen with loudspeakers, the sound from the left speaker hits your left ear first, then travels around your head to your right ear a few milliseconds later. The sound from the right ear. . .etc, etc., so if you think about it, the brain interprets this crosstalk between channels and your ears as reduced separation between the left and right channels.

In ear-bud or headphone listening, the sound from the left and right channels is preserved and delivered direct to each ear, with none of the crosstalk between ears that occurs with speaker playback. Over the years, there have been a number of different speakers (Polk being one) and processors (Carver's "Sonic Holography") that included crosstalk cancellation circuits to correct for that problem in speaker playback. But those generated other problems. . .

Cheers,
Alan
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#253610 - 03/25/09 11:44 AM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: alan]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Very interesting. Thanks for the insight.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#255006 - 04/01/09 09:08 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: Zimm]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4070
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
I have narrowed my choices down based on ordering from the online store below.

Choice #1 - Koss Porta Pro ($69) + Alessandro Music Series One ($119) = $188 CAD + shipping

Choice #2 - Grado SR125 ($169) = $169 CAD + shipping

Choice #3 - Grado SR125i ($199) = $199 CAD + shipping

http://stereotypeaudio.com/store/index.php?manufacturers_id=&osCsid=7f5aba6ab7329d97e5f7822915843ba7

Any thoughts?

Thanks again!


_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#255011 - 04/01/09 09:50 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10362
Doc, if you can really make good use of two sets, then your choice #1 is obviously the way to go. I'd suggest, however, going with the SR60i rather than the Alessandro, since it has the improved driver and body, while the Alessandro is still based on the older SR60.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#255012 - 04/01/09 10:07 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: JohnK]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4070
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Thanks for that information and suggestion Johnk \:\) . The SR60i are priced at $119 (same as the Alessandro MS1). I am leaning towards choice 1 (Koss,MS1/SR60i). It would be fun just to compare the 2 especially since the Porta Pros are half the price. However, if the Grado SR125 are much better than the above 3 then I would just go with them.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#255013 - 04/01/09 10:12 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

The Koss and Grado are so similar I would get one or the other. The SR60s are a couple steps up from the Porta Pro. If you want a set of Koss also get the Koss KSC75. They are every bit as good as the Porta Pro imo.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#255019 - 04/01/09 10:33 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: Wid]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4070
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Thanks for that suggestion wid. The Koss models Porta Pro/KSC75 I think would work very well for travelling and for the outdoors. I was thinking I could dedicate the other pair to strictly the HT.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#255105 - 04/02/09 02:13 PM Re: Headphone recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4070
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
So after much debate I have finally decided on the Alessandro MS1 + Grado Bowl Pads (stock pad for the 80/125). After reading many subjective opinions on various boards the MS1 are comparable to the SR80/SR125 models. The MS1 were often described as offering the most neutral presentation between the SR60/80 which is what I am looking for. I also read on a few occasions that the MS1 is rebadged model of the SR125 but still not sure?

I placed my order at stereotype audio (never heard of this place until a few days ago). Ordering was secure (from what I know) and navigation of the website is very easy. Shipping costs were $12.16 which is more than reasonable IMO and I received an invoice in the email with an order # after completion. So far so good. Looking forward to receiving the cans.

Depending how all this goes, I will look into getting the Koss headphones for more portable use in the future.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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