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Caelum

$400 or less Headphones - suggestions?

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I've decided i need to buy myself some decent headphones, has been a while since i've had a decent pair so that needs to be fixed.

 

 

 

I don't want anything that requires amplification, as it may be used out an about occasionally, however the primary role will be for listening to music at home. I'll probably add a dedicated headphone amp at a later date...

 

 

So far, the models i've been looking into are:

 

Audio Technica AD900

Audio Technica AD1000

Alessandro/Grado MS-2

Beyerdynamic DT250

Beyerdynamic DT440

Shure SRH940

 

 

But... If there are any other suggestions that people might have that i've overlooked, i'm more than interested...

 

 

For the record - my usual listening type is folk-rock, blues/bluesy rock, and general acoustically backed female vocals... That said, i don't mind some good hard hitting driven rock like foo fighters and the like...

 

 

 

kgo!

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Are you close to the folks at Headphonic? Should see if you can sample your shortlist there. The guy that runs it has good taste in audio gear. The only item in your list that he hasn't recommended is the AD1000.

 

I love my Alessandro MS-1's, so I'd lean toward the MS-2 myself. I've never actually had a chance to listen to one though. One thing I have consistently noticed is that I enjoy open cans a lot more than closed.

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Yeah, i'm fairly close... But i'd like to get into listening as soon as i get back to perth ;)

 

(i'm out in the desert at the moment)

 

 

 

The ones i've listed are all available through headphonic... I've been waiting for Marcus to go online on msn so i could have a chat with him about it... And i've been reading up on the 'net about the listed models particular styles...

 

 

 

edit: i think the only reason he hasn't recommended the AD1000 is due to the slightly higher cost and the number of other AT 'phones he's suggested. He seems to think pretty highly of them.

Edited by Caelum

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I love my Beyer DT660s, but I've been meaning to try out some MS-1/2s for a while. I know Rob loves his pair.

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One of my mates (about 8 years ago now) bought a pair of MS-1's... I did very much enjoy the sound, however comfort was a bit amiss for me personally, just the headphone cup shape, more than anything else...

 

I'd want to test out the MS2's for sure, before buying...

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I love my Beyer DT880 pro's. Their right on the $400 mark.

But out of your list I'd chose the DT440's. Haven't tried them myself but I bet they're like the rest of the Beyer family.

 

I also believe a good amp is a must.

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I have heard the MS1 and 2 are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

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Definitely with the 880's, an amp is a must... They've got an impedance of 250ohms...

They come in options of 32ohm, 250ohm or 600ohm. 32ohm is alright for soundcards or ipods but still a amp will liven them up.

 

 

I have heard the MS1 and 2 are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Yer they are quite uncomfortable, you can get different pads that help alot.

 

I did the "ms1000 mod", add's really nice soundstage and depth plus the GS1000 pads make them really nice for long sessions.

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I can't even fathom how anyone can find the MS-1 uncomfortable. They're designed to just sit there on your head with next to no force on your ears. If they feel uncomfortable, then you need to bend the headband out further.

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Fair enough. :)

 

With the stock 'comfy pads' you can wear them all day easily. Bowl pads may be a different story.

How would bowl pads be worst? Their meant to sit around your ears. Even with the comfy pads and loosen up tension the whole getup was rather annoying after 2 hours.

 

I really like how the bowls help hold the head band up, with the thick cable they have they get a bit heavy on the crown.

Edited by SoaS

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Grado Bowl Pads look pretty small. I'm not sure they'd sit around your ears unless they were very small.

 

I wear my MS-1's for hours at a time, sometimes all day, and have never felt the need to remove them. To clarify, when I say bend the headband, I mean really bend it such that the force is only enough to stop it slipping off when you tilt your at ~70o. Perhaps we have different comfort thresholds.

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My MS1s sound good for the price, but the left cup falls off the adjustey stalk and requires regular gluing on. The upper models seem to use the exact same attachment system so that's a bit shit.

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My MS1s sound good for the price, but the left cup falls off the adjustey stalk and requires regular gluing on. The upper models seem to use the exact same attachment system so that's a bit shit.

Sounds like a faulty pair. Mine have been through the torture of a 2 year old many times and have lived to tell the tale.

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Haha, tempting as it might be... I think twice my budget isn't really suitable ;)

 

 

AD1000's do sound tempting...

 

"The AD1000 has it all - great looks, great comfort, great sound as well as the bonus of being very easy to drive.

The AD1000 has a very nicely balanced and detailed sound, energetic without being harsh, smooth without being dark or laidback - a very nice headphone for the price that is very well suited to classical and acoustic music."

 

http://headphones.com.au/psingle?productID=185

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For the record - my usual listening type is folk-rock, blues/bluesy rock, and general acoustically backed female vocals...

Bit on the luxury side, but have to considered the Audio Technical W series (wood) - the ATH-ESW9 is in your range - although a compact design rather than the larger circumaural.

 

I've got 2 sets of AT wood headphones (EW9s and W5000s) and love both - they are amazing for accousitic, and blues, jazz etc, while also doing well for pop and rock. I'd assume that characteristic is applicable to all the wood ones.

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Like I said over on Facebook, I reckon the Audio-Technicas are the way to go. I love my 900s for rock and all kinds of stuff, they're so good. I can only imagine the 1000 as being better.

 

I bought mine from Japan in USD (go figure), which worked out about $60 cheaper than buying locally due to the high AUD at the time. But that's up to you to decide :)

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I went to headphonics and listend to a few recently. I tried all of the headphones they recommended in the $150-250 bracket, and I ended up going with the AD700s. The AD900s are very nice but to really appreciate them you are going to need decent audio out. The others I did not find very comfortable, but I have big ears, and 3/4" lobes so needed the largest cans possible. I've worn them for about 14 hours with no discomfort. :)

 

Do you have a decent sound card or DAC? If not you probably won't notice any difference above the 700s and I would suggest spending some money there and less on headphones.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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A DAC and headphone amp will be added later...

 

I would notice the difference quite a lot(obviously more-so when driven from a decent amp) - I've got some experience in audio engineering, so am able to pick out subtle differences fairly easily.

 

 

The rest of my audio setup in Perth (i have another in Tassie) is a Rega Brio (3) amp, along with some wharfedale bookshelf speakers... In tassie it's a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52's, along with an NAD C370 amp...

Edited by Caelum

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I swear by two sets of headphones: For a budget: Senheiser HD201's.

 

For your moneys worth, Audiotechnica AD700's.

 

If the 900's and 1000's are worth the step up, they will be good indeed.

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Budget is no real concern... But i can't justify spending much more on a pair of 'phones..

 

 

Apparently the 900's are significantly better than the 700's... but not sure about the jump between the 900's and 1000's....

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Apparently the 900's are significantly better than the 700's... but not sure about the jump between the 900's and 1000's....

Having listened to both, they certainly are, but with a poor source, the 700s actually sound better as they are easier to drive (connected to laptop) but when a decent source (DAC) the 900s are audibly superior. Hope that helps, if not, pop into headphonics in leederville with whatever you want to listen to.. they are really helpful and have demo headphones of all the common models and decent amps to listen to.

 

Didn't try the AD1000s but im no audiophile and i think its getting into the territory of imaginary gain..

Edited by p0is(+)n

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