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  1. #1

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    Default Advice on headphone purchase

    Well, I just moved into my new apartment in Spokane, WA. Its a great apartment. I love it, except for one big thing. The walls within the apartment are paper thin. Turns out one of my roommates is going to start playing the guitar too. So, its seems only fair to me to look into get a pair of headphones. I would appreciate any and all recommendations and pieces of advice you have to offer. I have been especially impressed by Sennheiser. For me, having a nice pair of headphones offers me several advantages. They would be better than the Sony POS's I have now. I could watch movies and play games at full volume late at night (I tend to be insomniatic). I wouldn't have to listen to my roommates. And also I would have a set of speakers, or in this case headphones, worthy of my Audigy 2 in my computer.

    So, yeah, I would appreciate to hear what you have to say. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I have found this website invaluable for good headphone ratings, information and reviews:

    http://www.headphone.com/layout.php?topicID=1

    I am an AKG fan, but have been turned on to Sennheiser lately. The Senn HD580 is an outstanding value and headphone. And some headphones are even upgradable...lol, like the Senn, you can upgrade the cable....man, we are not safe in any arena.

    Usually in a high end headphones, you get into a impedence/ohm issue, which means that your headphone output on your source should be hot.

    For example, the HD580 is 300ohms, which requires some higher than normal output voltage....or a headphone amplifier, which is a whole different ballgame. I have had zero issues with the ES driving my cans, but some people have experienced low volume output in other receivers/amplifiers/etc. Similar to an effect like driving LSi's with a Radio Shack Optimus amplifier....you know what I mean?

    Here is a basic thought:

    Open = Less Bass
    Closed = More Bass

    It is a generalization, but normally is the case for headphones.

  3. #3

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    HD-600 sennheiser and an outboard amplifier. Another great apartment idea is a set of bass shakers on a couch or chase. With headphones and the shakers you can be in concert at 3AM and no one cares. Believe it or not it feels (and sounds) like you have subs going and people can be sleeping in the next room. I used to watch concerts on the projector this way. The neighbors were very happy at this point. Of course to use the shakers you would need a crossover and a small amp (25 to 100 watts) to drive them.
    madmax

  4. #4
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    I stilll love Koss Pro-4AA's.
    More later,
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    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

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  5. #5

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    I use Microsoft Sindwinder Gaming headphones, needs a Headphones amp. They would RULE with one. Very ineffecient heafphones though.
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  6. #6

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    If you don't want to spend a lot for the higher end stuff but still want a good set of headphones, I have had experience with a couple of nice reasonably priced sets. For a sealed version (if you want to make sure that you are not disturbing anyone else around you) I highly recommend the Sennheiser HD280 PROs. I currently have these and they are very comfortable and I can listen at any volume and not disturb anyone in the room. They sound very good and MSRP is around $100. Another excellent choice is the Grado SR60 (open) at a MSRP of around $70. I really liked the sound of these headphones and came close to buying them. In my situation I needed a sealed pair. I was fortunate to be able to demo both before purchasing and from a sound standpoint either would have been an excellent choice. I found both worked well off the headphone jack of recievers and did not need a headphone amp. as was the case with some of the higher end sets. Lots of choices and Headroom (the link above) is a good place to see what is available.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  7. #7

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    Well, I went to the local Magnolia Hi-Fi tonight. They shipped the 590 and the 600 Sennheisers across the state just for me over the weekend. I took a good array of music to throw at them. I played the new Nirvana release, 311's transistor, some Huey Lewis, the new Zep DVD, and the THX T2 DVD.

    On Saturday, the highest model they had was the 570. I listened to it for about 10 minutes maybe. I was really unimpressed. I mean, really unimpressed. So, I asked them to bring the others in, and I left. So, I go, they hook them up, and I am set to go. I try the 590 first. Much better than the 570 I would say. Pretty weak in the bass, but overall a pretty good headphone.

    So, then I go to the 600. I will pretty much dedicate my rant here. Holy crap, what an ugly pair of cans. The grille on the side, I was aware already that they were kinda funky, but at least they weren't so bad that a quick, "Hey, eff off, these are $400 headphones" couldn't fix. Then I look at the headband part and its this ass-ugly faux stone paint job. Totally ugly. Furthermore, the 590's were really, really comfy. They felt great. The 600's felt like a vice grip on my melon. I admit, I have a larger than normal noggin, but man alive those suckers were just shy of actually hurting. Maybe they loosen up with time.
    Now the sound. The 600's were much better than the 590's. However, all my listening was done with familiar sources, and I have to say, my R40's are much more inspiring. I listened to my Zep DVD at great length tonight, and I just didn't get the rush that I get at home. I don't get it. I mean, these headphones cost more than my R40 towers. I would expect them to sound clearly better. Maybe they did. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I just felt so blah after listening to maybe 4 songs.
    The Nirvana CD was much better. They handled the tracks very well. The bass was tons tighter and cleaner and clearer than the 590's. By a long shot. The same goes for track 1 on the Transistor album. There is a ton of bass going on there, and it was handled with ease, but sounded like crap on the 590's.

    Anyways, its getting late, so I am going to wrap this rant up. I was expecting to be really impressed. I was not. I felt like I would always take my HT setup over the phones. $400? Forget about it? I wouldn't even waste $200 on these. I realize that many of you will likely disagree with me, but that was my impression. I am willing to give them another chance someday, but tonight they were a total dud.

    I'm out!

  8. #8

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    You can usually pick up a nice pair of Stax earspeakers for around $120. I have no experience with them but they are on my wish list.

    I've heard some nice music coming from AKG.
    Make it Funky! :)

  9. #9
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    Shizelbs,
    I'm telling you the Pro 4AA's are still very hard to beat for the money... $99.99.
    http://www.koss.com/
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by Shizelbs
    all my listening was done with familiar sources, and I have to say, my R40's are much more inspiring. I listened to my Zep DVD at great length tonight, and I just didn't get the rush that I get at home. I don't get it. I mean, these headphones cost more than my R40 towers. I would expect them to sound clearly better. Maybe they did. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I just felt so blah after listening to maybe 4 songs.
    The headphone experience is a lot different than speakers for sure. A few things to keep in mind are that since you are not feeling the sound waves you may be listening at too loud of a volume without perceiving it and of course that the sound is between your ears, not out in front of you. I had this volume problem for awhile before I realized what was going on and after I backed off I became very happy with the '600s. I'm not a real headphone enthusiast or very versed with them so take all this with a grain of salt. I think the 600's are probably really good as far as sound quality and acuracy goes but other ones are probably more "speaker like". I also think it reallly matters a lot what you drive them with. I'm talking compatibility more so than cost of equipment.
    madmax

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    You will not get amazing bass in a open headphone....I mean bass as in Rap level bass. I agree that the Senn's are not a very pretty headphone, but I don't often enter pageants when wearing them :)

  12. #12

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    I have heard really good things about the Grados. You can find them listed at the link provided earlier in the thread. I keep thinking I will get some someday. but I enjoy my speakers too much, and I never need to keep it quiet.

  13. #13

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    Thanks for the replies. I think if I could find the 600's for a good price, I will go ahead and get them. I have seen them online for $200 at times.

    The bass, true, was not tremendous, but it was more than enough. The presence of bass was definitly there. That wasn't too much of an issue.

    Also, I realize that the general effect of having headphones is much different than that of speakers. Nonetheless, that effect just didn't get me all excited. There was better articulation of fine details, especially in T2, but when I could hear them, I just though so what?

    Like I said, I will keep my eyes open for deals, and listen to whatever I can when I have the chance. But until then, I think I will have to put up with the surroud sound from my roommates bedrooms.

  14. #14

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    Shiz - I saw a couple Sennheisers at The Great Indoors, if I recall correctly $60....the HD590, its not a bad headphone.

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    .
    Last edited by dan t; 08-18-2003 at 12:24 AM.

  16. #16

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    Did I read that correctly? $60 for the 590?

  17. #17

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    I just called the Great Indoors of Scottsdale, and they have the 570 for $50. Not too bad. I wasn't really impressed with the quality of them, but then again, they were $100 more at that point. This sucks calling around, but I am going to keep it up.

  18. #18

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    Just reserved a pair of 590's at the Great Indoors of Irvine CA for $98. They would be on their way, but the gentleman I spoke with wasn't sure if they could mail them out to me in WA state. Anyways, if anyone is interested, he said they have a bunch left, whereas the other stores are out. Unfortunaltly they don't carry the HD-600.

  19. #19

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    Shiz - Actually they are $90, sorry. Yea, the HD-590. I picked up a pair just out of general good sense :) I really don't need a pair of headphones, but they sound real good, I tested them out. If you can't find them locally, let me know I can pick you up a pair. They have HD500's for $60, thats where I think I got confused

    Yea, its a shame they don't carry the HD580 and HD590.

  20. #20

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    Maybe its for the better that they don't have the 600, that thing was too uncomfortable to wear.

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    Originally posted by madmax
    ... Another great apartment idea is a set of bass shakers on a couch or chase. With headphones and the shakers you can be in concert at 3AM and no one cares. Believe it or not it feels (and sounds) like you have subs going and people can be sleeping in the next room. I used to watch concerts on the projector this way. The neighbors were very happy at this point. Of course to use the shakers you would need a crossover and a small amp (25 to 100 watts) to drive them.
    madmax
    Are we talking the actual Bass Shakers brand, or a more upscale "tactile transducer" system that can run you in the thousands?

    PE has bass shakers on the cheap now, I've been eyeing them for a time.

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    Originally posted by rs159
    Are we talking the actual Bass Shakers brand, or a more upscale "tactile transducer" system that can run you in the thousands?

    PE has bass shakers on the cheap now, I've been eyeing them for a time.
    The Bass Shaker brand is adequate for use in a couch or chair with headphones or even in conjunction with a subwoofer in a HT. If you really want to replace a subwoofer in a room then you end up with something like a few of the the Clarke Synthesis ones for a multi-thousand dollar setup. Some people just start with a couple bass shakers on an old chair and go from there. Fun to play with!
    madmax

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    Just wondering......I've been thinking of a modest headphone rig, and I've heard about the bass shakers having bad transient response, making everything seem muddy and boomy, blah blah blah. Basically, I just need something to reproduce the tactile part of bass that's lost with headphones, and maybe reducing the volume I need to be "satisfied" with speakers a few dB, too.

    How's this sound....put two bass shakers on each side of the chair, sofa, w/e....and wire each side out of phase, so when one side pushes the other side pulls and it mooooooves the chair back and forth? :D

    BTW....for that kind of array, (4 bass shakers), how much "manliness" would one need in the amp(s) ? Single bass shakers are 4 ohms, BTW. I think the standard version can handle 25 watts and the "pro" version can take 50.
    Last edited by rs159; 08-19-2003 at 05:26 PM.

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  25. #25

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    My 590's arrived today. I am going to begin the break-in process shortly here. I will, of course, be posting my review later this weekend. Thanks again for the replies.

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