Headphone Recomendations

Posted by: jmone

Headphone Recomendations - 07/07/12 11:25 PM

Any recomendations for Headphones to pair with the Axiom Audiobytes shuttle controller when needing a quiet solution. After something with the same sort of price/performance we get from Axiom.
Thanks
Nathan

PS - My only expereince with headphones has been Audio Technica noise cancelling in ear phones for travelling.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/08/12 08:00 AM

How much are you looking to spend?

Are any of your goals to attenuate ambient sound getting in or the music leaking out of the headphone?


Posted by: jmone

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 02:32 AM

Open headphones are fine (I dont necessarily need to keep any soind leaking in or out). On price Im more after value for money and while Im unsure what a decent set costs Id say my budget is a couple of hundred
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 03:14 AM

Nathan, for open back headphones with a high performance/price ratio consider the Grado SR60i . These are available for around $70-$80 in the U.S. Don't know about Australian availability.
Posted by: alan

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 09:40 AM

Hi,

You don't have to pay the earth to get smooth, uncolored and linear sound from headphones that's similar in neutrality to Axiom speakers. I've owned the Grado SR125's for years -- they are comfortable with wide-band uncolored sound. About $150.

For amazing sound quality vs. price, don't overlook the Koss PortaPro --smooth, uncolored, with a slight bass boost in the lower octaves-- at about $39. The temporal pads and lightweight design make them extremely comfortable for long-term listening.

Comfort and fit is everything. There's no point in getting headphones with excellent sound quality that you want to tear off your head after 15 minutes because of discomfort.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Nathan, for open back headphones with a high performance/price ratio consider the Grado SR60i . These are available for around $70-$80 in the U.S. Don't know about Australian availability.


I have these Grados and love them. They're quite comfortable and sound great. For the price, they're hard to beat.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 10:19 AM

Grado might be difficult to find outside the United States. I'm pretty sure their distribution is limited in this regard. There are however authorized dealers of Alessandro headphones (they also ship worldwide from their website) which are re-branded Grado's. Same materials and transducers made by Grado.

http://headphones.com.au/pbrowse?catID=1&brand=Alessandro

I own a pair of Alessandro MS1 and thought they sounded good until I compared them to other headphones directly. My biggest problem with Allesandro and Grado in general is they don't scale well with volume. You can also see the problems in the frequency response. They have wonderful detail at low volume but as soon as you crank them up I can hear the inbalance in the upper midrange and they become fatiguing very quickly.

That's one thing I quickly found out when I purchased a pair of AKG 271 MKII and AT AD700. They maintain their balance at all volumes. Nothing sounds offensive or sticks out when you crank them up, everything just becomes louder. No listener fatigue.

Since you live in Australia and prices are more expensive I would probably look at these headphones in your price bracket. From my experience I found diminishing returns once I reached the Beyerdynamic DT880.


http://headphones.com.au/psingle?productID=5

http://headphones.com.au/psingle?productID=178

This right here is a textbook, ideal frequency response for a headphone. For proper tonal balance, headphones shouldn't measure flat or be elevated in the upper midrange and treble.

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID=3221
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/09/12 11:30 PM

Nathan, Grado does have an Australian distributor .
Posted by: jmone

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/10/12 04:00 AM

Thanks - great set of recomendations for my budget and aims. After some googling I can find them for around:
- Koss Porta Pro $90
- Grados SR60i $99
- ATH-A700 $149
- Grados SR125i $165
- AKG-271 $200

All are in the budget and I take the points esp about comfort and lineality as the vol changes. Any suggestions on which one?

Thanks
Nathan

PS no Beats? smile
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/10/12 08:48 AM

What I am describing I don't think is the linearity changing with increasing volume but just that of a boosted upper range to begin with (see frequency response plots at headroom). Waterfall plots of the MS1 also show some stored energy going on in this region and by looking at the Grado, resonances showing up in the upper midrange on the impedance graph.

It just becomes noticeable once you start to increase volumes. At low volumes everything sounds great, cymbals especially sound better than the AT AD700 at low volumes. They have a lot of sparkle to them and in comparison the AD700 sounds dull. The only time I can listen to them at low volumes is if the noise floor is really low in the house because of how "open" they are.

I can tell you that the AT AD700 is one of the most comfortable headphones out there but they are big and ugly (purple grilles and gold frame). They can present a huge soundstage especially if you are into classical recordings.

The AKG 271 MKII is the most comfortable closed headphone I have worn. No clamping at all and I can wear them for hours without any comfort issues. This is in comparison to the Shure 440, Shure 840, Sony MDR V6, AT M50.

Both the AD700 and MKII will disappoint if you are a basshead or into thumping bassy music.

$200 is not a bad price for the MKII in Australia. Keep in mind it comes with two different pad options (leatherette and velour), two detachable cords (straight, coiled mini-xlr, 1/4" adapter)


Posted by: GuitarStv

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/10/12 09:22 AM

I've been using Sony MDR-7506's for years, they're great headphones for a reasonable price. Comfortable on the head, handle high and low volumes well, and are closed back (so suitable for listening while the wife's asleep). Also comes with 1/4" adapter . . . for about 100$.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/10/12 10:16 AM

I forgot to mention about the 271 MKII, because of their low sensitivity they will sound best with a solid state amplifier. A headphone amp like the O2 (Objective 2) below will improve the bass response and drive them cleanly to whatever volume you desire. The AD700, SR60 and MS1 on the other hand are highly efficient and with their low impedance mate well straight off a computer, MP3 player and receiver.

http://nwavguy.blogspot.ca/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html
Posted by: jmone

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/11/12 01:06 AM

Thanks, I'll only ever be driving them with the PC / Audiobyte output or matbe from a phone so a more sensitive pair will be best I guess. It is also only for casual listening when it is not practicle to use the Audiobytes
Posted by: jmone

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/11/12 07:07 AM

Sooo after some reading (and input from teenagers) I'm thinking of the Grado SR60i as they are cheap, good and appear to be comfortable while having good sensitivity for PC / Portable players. The only downside is many reviews mention it is weak in the bass but I don't know if these reviews are just comparing them to overblown bass products like the teenager desire for "beats" branded products.....
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/11/12 08:15 AM

I have the Grado 60s as well and would agree with your suspicion that the bass is actually good, just not overblown. They do well with my iPhone and my PC. Thumbs up.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/11/12 08:55 AM

If anything, the SR60i sound signature should actually be categorized by "bright" not bass light. The bass/midbass response is quite accurate from 30hz - 500hz. If what you are hearing is reviews from teenagers their reference for bass would probably be something along the lines of a car stereo.

It's what's happening after 1kz that will categorize them as having a forward sounding midrange and "bright" sound signature. The response remains flat - elevated in this region as opposed to gradually downward sloping.

Just one thing to keep in mind from my experience, prevent the ear cups from rotating/swiveling as it will stress the ends at the Y connector. If there is going to be one failure point on these headphones over time it is going to be the terminations on Y connector that connects the cable to the L/R ear cups.
Posted by: Spoiler

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/11/12 05:59 PM


I took Alan's advice and ordered the Porta-Pros. Can't go wrong for $35 shipped. (Amazon)
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/15/12 11:41 AM

Toss up: grado s125, or shure 840?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/15/12 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: terzaghi
Toss up: grado s125, or shure 840?

Whichever one you miss when you fire your gun at them when they're in the air.
Posted by: jmone

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/18/12 07:50 PM

Thanks for all the advice and recomendations. I've just received my SR60's and they more than meet my initial expectations and are an absolute bargin. Unfortunatly I've got some issues with the Audiobytes (a blown driver) but the team at Axiom is sorting this out for me. Also something very strange with the Flying Remote when plugging in the HPhones....got another call into Brent!
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/18/12 11:13 PM

Originally Posted By: terzaghi
Toss up: grado s125, or shure 840?


Different because one's open the other closed. I have the Grado HF2's and those are PHENOMENAL but need a good amp. I also have the 840's because I got them on a great deal for $125. Those are also good but closed. I like them so much I even travel with them despite the fact that they are enormous and a bit of a pain to pack. I'll take these over active noise cancellation any day.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 11:25 AM

Anyone have any strong feelings on the Shure SRH440? I'm sorely tempted by the AKG K271 MkII, but they're obviously a titch more expensive. I'm looking for something to use at work with my headphone amp that will block out my more irritating coworkers. I used my Etys yesterday, but they're just not comfortable for hours on end, plus they take longer to take off/out than regular headphones if someone needs to talk to me.

Most of the time, I use my Senn HD570s, but since they're open, I have to have the volume up pretty high on loud music to block out the irritants.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 11:31 AM

Shure 440 - tight punchy bass, clear midrange, bright upper/mid -top end though not as bright as Grado but prone to clamping/comfort issues. I wouldn't recommend to anyone that is seeking comfort.

I plan to buy some of the Shure 940 velour pads for them at some point.




Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 11:32 AM

Clamping bad. I have some AKG 81DJs that I cannot use because of that issue.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 11:41 AM



You can just look at the design of each and see what would be more comfortable. Notice that the design of the 271 are not typical of most closed headphones with the clamping (see 440, mdr v6) of the pads to the head. The 271 is more typical of an open headphone frame.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 09:58 PM

Ken, although they're still higher in price, the Denon AH-D2000 should be considered.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/20/12 10:24 PM

You're a funny man, John.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/21/12 09:01 AM

Strongly consider those. The measurements show them to be very neutral (using 5 different positions on the head).

In a separate look at headphones, I know in Ratsound's own testing of a bunch of headphones, his listening tests rated them as tonally close. IIRC they rated well in their low frequency behavior as well. Nice set of headphones.
Posted by: Milford3

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/21/12 12:02 PM

I have to chime in here. Great reviews on the AKG 701,s. I own the Beyerdynamic DT 990 600 Ohm driven by the Schiit Valhalla tube amp. It is a combo made in heaven. All said and done the cost was just under $700.00. Was it worth the cost? My God yes.
The sound is just as good as my M22's.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 01:40 PM

I ran across these last night on CNET.com. I don't own any Beats but I have listened to a few (and disregarding Monster), they're fairly decent for their type of target music. I also don't mind the styling, although I'm a bit tired of seeing them around every adolescent's neck that I run across. I do agree that they are WAY overpriced.

These seem to be styled similarly and I personally like the flat headphone cable. I wish I could buy a separate one for my Shures. But for $99, it seems like a better value. The only negative is that it's not completely sealed since it sits on your ears vs over your ears. I read several reviews on the net and most are positive and agree that the value is there.

http://www.amazon.com/Fashion-Steel-Rein...ds=noontec+zoro

On a side note, I was in China last month and saw a lot of the fake Beats in many of the shops. I considered taking a pair home just for kicks. I even demoed the Beats Solo in the local Apple store just to get the right reference point. Some fake ones 'look' very close, even down to all the packaging and cables. However, you can only fake a look, you can't fake a sound. They ALL sounded so muffled, as if you were listening through a pillow. (And I know that's not how Beats normally sound...) However, try explaining what 'muffled' means to a shopkeeper with limited English. No small amount of cash was worth paying for any of those things.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 01:54 PM

You can buy a straight headphone cable that will fit the locking female end on your Shure SRH series headphones. The part# is HPASCA1

The pads for the SRH 440, 840 and 940 also fit on one another.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 03:05 PM

I just bought a set of Audio-Technica ATHM50S headphones last night.

I guess, though I've never spent any time on Headfi, I'm a bit of a headphone guy. I have probably 7-8 pair at this point, always seeking better.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 03:06 PM

Be curious to know how you like them, particularly comfort-wise.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 04:31 PM

I've worn the M50. I found they clamped but not nearly as bad as some other closed headphones like the Shure 440 and Sony MDR V6.

Sound quality I would rate as pretty good. A little too "bassy" for my tastes. Probably why it is a darling on headfi.

Anyways, this is a good writeup on this headphone.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/audio-technica-ath-m50
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 07:49 PM

Anyone know of a flat cable replacement for the 840s?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 07:55 PM

I already told you above.

http://www.amazon.com/Shure-HPASCA1-Professional-Headphones-Straight/dp/B001O8UAV6
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: BlueJays1


Oops, missed that. I assumed it was the coiled cable. Much thanks.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/23/12 08:20 PM

I'm tempted to get the straight cable too. The 940 pads look a nice upgrade as well to both the 440 and 840. They look super comfy.

http://www.stereotypeaudio.com/store/pro...5a4657155d82a16
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/24/12 01:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Be curious to know how you like them, particularly comfort-wise.

Ken, I just received them a few minutes ago and put in all of about 5 minutes listening.

Initial impressions are that I REALLY like the sonic signature. They seem as neutral as my Axioms. Definitely capable of deep bass but it doesn't seem overemphasized.

As far as comfort, I found them to be a little heavy on the clamping pressure, but otherwise comfortable for that short period. I set them "over" a box about as wide as my head, and will do some more listening later tonight and see if they've loosed up a bit on the fit.

I may have found the 'phones I've been searching for, though.... both for myself and for the business. (I use them for location recording, as well as monitoring recordings from the sound booth and providing them to the "talent"). The fact that there are sealed for isolation, fold up "small" to go in a bag, etc.... I'm liking!

Hopefully I'll find a bit of time to do a comparison with my other sets, but I'm already thinking that I might be ordering 2-3 more of these. I paid $109 and have noticed that they bounced back to ~$135 on Amazon, so I'll keep monitoring the price.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/24/12 01:48 PM

Good idea placing the headphones on a box when not in use. I do the same thing with new headphones to stretch them out. IMO there is definitely a break in period for fit and comfort with any full-sized headphone as they all feel different on the head.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/24/12 03:39 PM

Quote:
a box about as wide as my head


Did you use calipers, or how did that process go?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/24/12 03:40 PM

Well, he does stock boxes about the size of heads. You know, for when you need that sort of thing.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 07/24/12 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
how did that process go?


E=MC˛.... where E is Ego, MC is Manic Cynomania.

Then I added an inch for good measure.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/24/12 08:43 PM

Mark, how are those treating you these days?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/25/12 02:58 PM

Mark, your (future) stunning review made me buy some today.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/25/12 07:23 PM

I've grown to despise them. They suck. They've caused me to start drinking and for ads to appear on the forums.

Oh, but I'm sure they'll be fine for you! smile

No, really, I haven't spent as much time with them as I'd hoped, but I really, really like the sound. I still found them a bit tight the second time I used them, but then again, I have a fathead.

And an hour at Fatheads would have cured it!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/27/12 11:07 AM

While we are busy blaming Mark for things....
For some reason, the last week or so Gov. Mule seems to be unnaturally dominating my supposedly random, full playlist of over 7000 other songs. I blame Mark for introducing them to me now that I have realized they obviously are in league with some evil, basement kitty type demon.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/27/12 06:05 PM

::Evil Laugh::

EGG-SELENT!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/27/12 09:57 PM

So far I'm pretty impressed with these headphones! Comfortable for me straight out of the box (we'll see how they are tomorrow after a longer period of time), and the bass is excellent. Highs are quite good, mids pretty good, too. Imaging, I'll have to listen to more stuff to figure that out. Still, $110 well spent.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/28/12 04:56 AM

See? Told 'ya I just had a fat head!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/28/12 10:36 AM

And they said you can't fit a fat head in a square room. Shows what they know!
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 08/28/12 11:39 AM

I don't know, but I'll fit my square body into Fat Head's any time to prove it.

Or something negative and orange like that.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/13/12 09:12 AM

Further review on the Audio Technicas:

They're fantastic. The cord is nice and sturdy, the connector is nice, and they're pretty comfortable except around my jaw, where I generally have problems with all full headphones after awhile.

They don't completely block out outside noise (which is probably why they're comfortable), but it's better than the open air ones.

The sound is fantastic. I saw one reviewer that compared them to strapping a pair of subwoofers to your head, which is accurate if you mean good subs. Mids and trebles are also quite good. Imaging and soundstage are, of course, quite good if you like headphone imaging and soundstage.

I'm using them with a Creek OBH-11, being fed by my Macbook Pro playing iCloud matched songs (and >256kbps AACs).
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/13/12 10:00 AM

I've found mine to be considerably more comfortable than strapping the two subwoofers to my head.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/13/12 11:45 AM

Stop spending my money.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/13/12 01:40 PM

Can I have some if I promise not to spend it?
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/13/12 10:22 PM

I've had the audio technica m50 and Shute 840 sitting in my amazon cart for a couple months... I need to make up my mind!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/17/12 12:40 PM

Yup, the sound on these is fantastic. Listening to "Will there Be Any Stars in my Crown?" by the Cox Family on Down from the Mountain (the recording of a concert put on the by the artists from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"
and it sounds like I'm right there in the hall.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/17/12 02:15 PM

Was the sound so real from Down on the Mountain that 'them sireens turned you into a horney toad?'
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/17/12 03:52 PM

Damnit, where's the like button?
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Headphone Recomendations - 09/17/12 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Was the sound so real from Down on the Mountain that 'them sireens turned you into a horney toad?'

No, but I bet CV has the bruises from being beaten around the head and neck by John Goodman to prove it!