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steve
14-03-2011, 06:31 PM
Any recommendation for audiophile headphones? Based on reviews I have a short list of two;

Audio-Technica ATH M50 (about 130 pounds)
AKG 701 (about 190 pounds)

I am thinking of buying from Amazon so will buy blind to save a bit - is that a good idea or is it as stupid as buying speakers blind? As an HL5 owner I expect the phones to reveal details I may not here from the speaker owing to my rooms imperfections and also want a pair I can use for tele conferencing from home (plugged into an old receiver).

Criteria;

Very revealing
Closed design (no sound leaks otherwise I guess Grados would be a good buy)
Easy to drive from an standard amp - does not require special head amp
Price range 100-190 pounds - prefer lower end of that range
Robust - I tend to drop things!

HUG-1
14-03-2011, 06:40 PM
May we suggest not to buy headphones unless you listen to them! Headphone listening is an even more subjective matter than loudspeaker preferences. What we have learned over the years you need to spend 5-10 ten times your budget to even begin to match the Harbeth sound you are familiar with.

Top of the range Sennheiser, AKG, Stax or Jecklin Float. Or Ergo.

Ear speakers here (http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.drmh.de/drmh2/09imm021.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/437270/ugliest-headphones-ever-awards-vote-now&h=439&w=640&sz=65&tbnid=WSNd4-Xgc2iTSM:&tbnh=94&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djecklin%2Bfloat&zoom=1&q=jecklin+float&hl=en&usg=__8tET7skP0YvLulwJxaWHtwCcWHU=&sa=X&ei=kVJ-TbvVF4yzhAfmr7X_Bg&ved=0CC8Q9QEwAg).

steve
14-03-2011, 09:17 PM
5 to 10 times my budget - 2000 pounds - I don't think so!

I currently have AKG K.55 a budget headphobe no longer made - I can hear things with this that I can not hear using the super HL5. At the end of the day it is a different experience - the supers are closer to a real concert and the headphones are a "construction". On the the other hands there is no "room" in headphone listening and you hear things you don't hear with the speakers. The idea is not to match the Harbeth sound but to hear something else, in greater detail, but not very natural I admit. So please stop being defensive and come up with some good ideas!

{Moderator's comment: we gave you the choices! This is not product area that you can or should buy without listening. There is no direct connection between brand, shape, size, colour, driving concept and sound quality. Quality costs cash. No way around that!!}

Concerti
14-03-2011, 10:44 PM
The AKG's need a good headphone amp to drive them: they are said, and in my direct experience are, a little light on with the bass frequencies. If you listen to Classical, especially Chamber and Piano, I would suggest Sennheiser HD 650 or 600. Second hand if necessary. The Senny's also benefit from their use with a good quality head amp.

Kind Regards
C

GregD
14-03-2011, 11:41 PM
I have to agree with the mods here. Even 1000 headphones can be wrong for you as I found out when I bought Grado GS1000 from the internet. Eventually I just did not even want to put them on.

If you are not fussy about good sound quality from headphones and just want something to use occasionally, without a demo first, then you have probably got enough suggestions already. However, no-one can guarantee your choice will be the right one for you if you do not have a listen first.

After my expensive Grados, I got some Sennheiser HD 555 that were about 125. They do the job when required, but I cannot say that they really deliver great music. Nor do Sennheiser HD650 in my experience. They both sound a bit muffled compared with Sennheiser's top model HD800 and the wonderful STAX Omega/Lamda.

Have you considered Denon's closed-back headphones? Various prices and fairly popular although with a reputation for raised bass level.

Sebastien
15-03-2011, 02:08 AM
Any recommendation for audiophile headphones? Based on reviews I have a short list of two...

Hi Steve,

I'd like to suggest you the Grado line. I already use SR-80 since many years and I had the chance to hear the SR-325is few months ago and I find them very natural and easy to listen to.

I agree with you, even with the SR-80 I hear things I don't with the SHL5 at low volume. I guess that at an higher volume it might be something else, but I listen to my music mainly at very low volume. Indeed, the SHL5 are awesome at low volume. Way better than any other speakers I listen to. Their balance is exceptional.

Alan already state something similar: a good pair of headphone will allows you to hear your music without the room interaction.

Finally, in my opinion, speakers vs. headphone are two different experiences. I prefer the first for the large scale feeling which looks more like the original show or session.

Sebastien

EricW
15-03-2011, 06:01 AM
I agree about listening if at all possible but I don't think you need to spend huge money to get that specific "headphone sound".

Another option that may meet your criteria are the headphones from Beyerdynamic. They make a highly efficient, 32-Ohm version of a couple of their popular 'phones, the DT770 and DT880, I think. I have a less expensive set of Beyers that I'm very happy with.

A. E.
17-10-2011, 07:06 PM
Top of the range Sennheiser, AKG, Stax or Jecklin Float. Or Ergo.

I don't like to hear voices just in my head. Does any of them produce a soundstage in front of me instead of in my head?

Sometimes everybody at home sleeps earlier than me, and I need to turn the stereo off, after late midnight. I'd like to find an ear speaker to use occasionally, which takes the performers out of my head if possible.

Don Jr
17-10-2011, 11:51 PM
[QUOTE=A. E.;16013]I don't like to hear voices just in my head. Does any of them produce a soundstage in front of me instead of in my head?

The only time I've ever heard anyone mention headphones and the soundstage you speak of in the same sentence, they said Smyth Research Realiser, which is a stand alone audio processor and it comes with a pair of Stax headphones and retails for $3670usd.

thurston
18-10-2011, 09:04 AM
It seems that Denon has a good reputation amongst headphone users. Ive got the AH-D2000 which cost a fair amount more than you intended (about double as much) and find ist quite good although for me a headphone ist always inferior to a good speaker when it comes to involving music-listening. After all a shaking room lets it all come to live.
The next step down from my Denon is a headphone called AH-D 1100 which has good reviews as well.

For the "voices in my head thing": Im nox headphone expert but I believe that this is only possible with expensive special gear. I believe the Jecklins (already mentioned) try to come over that problem. But they are far too expensive and not a closed system.
They are more sort of "small speakers hanging a little in front of your ears".

A. E.
18-10-2011, 09:57 PM
The only time I've ever heard anyone mention headphones and the soundstage you speak of in the same sentence, they said Smyth Research Realiser, which is a stand alone audio processor and it comes with a pair of Stax headphones and retails for $3670usd.

I'm reading about it for more than an hour... it covers more than I'm looking for... looks so wonderful... emulation of the different reproduction systems may have limitless application for audio professionals...

I wish they had an international distributor here, I can't order items costing above $3k as an individual because of new customs restrictions.

A. E.
18-10-2011, 10:06 PM
For the "voices in my head thing": Im nox headphone expert but I believe that this is only possible with expensive special gear. I believe the Jecklins (already mentioned) try to come over that problem. But they are far too expensive and not a closed system.
They are more sort of "small speakers hanging a little in front of your ears".

I've just seen it's photograph at the "Ugliest Headphones Ever Awards" link in message#2
I wish I could try it before buying to see how long I can stand to wear it, the man wearing it on the photograph doesn't look as if he feels uncomfortable though.

garmtz
18-10-2011, 11:11 PM
Any recommendation for audiophile headphones? Based on reviews I have a short list of two;

Audio-Technica ATH M50 (about 130 pounds)
AKG 701 (about 190 pounds)

I am thinking of buying from Amazon so will buy blind to save a bit - is that a good idea or is it as stupid as buying speakers blind? As an HL5 owner I expect the phones to reveal details I may not here from the speaker owing to my rooms imperfections and also want a pair I can use for tele conferencing from home (plugged into an old receiver).

Criteria;

Very revealing
Closed design (no sound leaks otherwise I guess Grados would be a good buy)
Easy to drive from an standard amp - does not require special head amp
Price range 100-190 pounds - prefer lower end of that range
Robust - I tend to drop things!


AKG K-701's are out, because they are VERY open... Audio Technica ATH-M50 is said to be very good, but ALL closed headphones will suffer from the 'voice in your head' phenomenon. Good alternatives are AKG K-272, Denon AH-D2000 (a bit expensive maybe -- the lower priced 1100's are very bass heavy however), Shure SRH-840 or even Bose AE2. I tried Ultrasone, but it is much too bright. If you like Harbeth, you will strongly dislike Ultrasone, although it is the one brand that can make a spacious sound out of closed headphones.

As has been said, headphones are even more personal than speakers. Don't waste too much time on head-fi.org, but try a good dealer instead to listen to as many of them as you can.

JamesBrown
08-09-2012, 07:37 AM
For not that expensive closed headphones, I'd recommend the sennheiser hd25 MK II

They've been in circulation since the late 80s and I've been using them since the late 90s

Retail was about 220+ but can be had for 150 or so.

A cheaper alternative is the pro Sony mdr 7506 (consumer version, mdr v6) which I think is nearly as old/long running as the hd25s.

Since last year I've been using the newish Sony mdr 7520 (mdr z1000). And they are great, at home an on the tube. Very good at isolating. But I mainly use them indoors.

Use them to play flac files, an the odd bluray on my elite book.