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Paul R

New Headphones Required...

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New life lesson - HiFi Man Headphones do not really survive getting lost in a move, and consequently spending four weeks on a truck in sub freezing temperatures.  Probably not worth repairing them, so it is time to go on the hunt for a new pair. I love the lightweight seat of the HiFi Man,  and the airy, open, precise and very detailed sound of them. They can be replaced of course, but HiFi Man seems to have a new line, and mostly aimed at portable audio. 

 

I have a set of Oppo PM3s I really like, but - it was "goodbye" to Oppo last year. Yet another victim of the new reality stream. (ing...) 

 

My trusty old Koss headphones from the 1970s are still going, and sound great. BUT, they are so dang heavy, I can't wear em for more than a half hour or so.

 

Anyone care to share recommendations? I pretty much want over the ear, but very light, and with quality sound.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

Grado? I love the sound of them. How much are you wanting to spend?

 

Why not another set of HiFiMan headphones?

 

Oh, I figured the HiFi models are getting a little long in the tooth, and I am thinking a closed back model might be a better fit. My office environment is a tad noisy right now. ;) Truth is, I think I like the PM3s better, though they cost less. Not as open a sound by any means, but they still delight me. The one fault is they are a tad small for my big head. 

 

In cost, well, I think about $1500 would be the most I could consider, and they would need to be dynamite headphones for that price. More comfortable in the $750-$950 range.

 

 

P.S. - Grados are great - I have a pair of 80’s and 100’s here, but they are not quite good enough for critical listening, and can be a little uncomfortable. A higher end model maybe?

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29 minutes ago, Paul R said:

P.S. - Grados are great - I have a pair of 80’s and 100’s here, but they are not quite good enough for critical listening, and can be a little uncomfortable. A higher end model maybe?

 

Step up to the Reference series at your $750 to $950 range and you'll be in love. They are open back though.

 

edit: The RS1e is $695

 

https://www.4ourears.net/rs1_p/4e-rs1e.htm?fromgrado=yes

 

The GS1000e is $995

 

https://www.4ourears.net/gs1000_p/4e-gs1000e.htm?fromgrado=yes

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14 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Step up to the Reference series at your $750 to $950 range and you'll be in love. They are open back though.

 

edit: The RS1e is $695

 

https://www.4ourears.net/rs1_p/4e-rs1e.htm?fromgrado=yes

 

The GS1000e is $995

 

https://www.4ourears.net/gs1000_p/4e-gs1000e.htm?fromgrado=yes

 

Those both look great. I need to find a store to go hear them though. Looks like there is one in Salt Lake City.   -Paul 

 

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Although their sound brings an excitement to listening, the Grado's are quite uncomfortable to me.  I don't understand why their high end ones are so expensive and yet still wearing the cheap foam pads that causes discomfort.    Also I found that their very expensive ones are not really that much improved over mid-range priced ones such as the ps500e.   If you are willing to spend, any reason not trying higher end Sennheisers?

 

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Grado has made some efforts to make the headbands more comfortable. I had the same complaint when I bought my first pair of 80s. I could not wear them for more than an hour or so.  I find the larger ear pads more comfortable as well because they are not resting on the ear, but rather around it. However, try before you buy or buy from someplace that will let you return them.

 

You don't like any of these?

http://hifiman.com/products/category/3

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21 hours ago, Paul R said:

 

Oh, I figured the HiFi models are getting a little long in the tooth, and I am thinking a closed back model might be a better fit. My office environment is a tad noisy right now. ;) Truth is, I think I like the PM3s better, though they cost less. Not as open a sound by any means, but they still delight me. The one fault is they are a tad small for my big head. 

 

In cost, well, I think about $1500 would be the most I could consider, and they would need to be dynamite headphones for that price. More comfortable in the $750-$950 range.

 

 

P.S. - Grados are great - I have a pair of 80’s and 100’s here, but they are not quite good enough for critical listening, and can be a little uncomfortable. A higher end model maybe?

 

What genres of music do you listen to most? I find that it is very hard to find a single pair of 'phones that can excel at both classical/acoustic, and rock/pop. I've personally gone with the 2 pair approach - I use the Sennheiser HD800S for classical, and for the other stuff, I actually like the (now on fire sale) Audioquest NightHawk.

 

One other headphone in the $750 range I was really impressed with at the RMAF CanJam was the Quad ERA-1. Check it out if you get a chance. I believe they're now also on Massdrop.

 

EDIT: I reread above, and see you said closed back. Also, were you looking for closed-back, or is open-back OK? I am not a fan of closed backs, although if you need complete blockage of noise leakage, it's a necessity. All the above are open-back.

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I definitely recommend giving the Mr Speakers Closed Aeon Flows a listen.  Best closed cans I've heard, very detailed and fast, and fantastic price performance.  Love mine at the office, on planes, and in coffee shops.

 

Depending on budget, you may also want to consider some CIEMs.  Very different experience, but I love the sound and isolation in my custom Noble Katanas.  I've been able to wear them on 14 hour flights without any discomfort or fatigue.

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I am not really much into headphones, but I think I remember some buzz regarding a pair of Audiotechnica closed back headphones, maybe you can find out which those are on Head Fi.

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1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

Grado has made some efforts to make the headbands more comfortable. I had the same complaint when I bought my first pair of 80s. I could not wear them for more than an hour or so.  I find the larger ear pads more comfortable as well because they are not resting on the ear, but rather around it. However, try before you buy or buy from someplace that will let you return them.

 

You don't like any of these?

http://hifiman.com/products/category/3

 

I really like the HE1000s and the Jade IIs - they are quite a step up from the original 400is.  Haven’t heard the others yet, though I suspect I would love them. My office is in the living room now without a door, and I do need some sound isolation.  Tempting to just play them loud enough to drown out any external noise,  but my ears would certainly bleed first. 🤪

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10 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

I definitely recommend giving the Mr Speakers Closed Aeon Flows a listen.  Best closed cans I've heard, very detailed and fast, and fantastic price performance.  Love mine at the office, on planes, and in coffee shops.

 

Depending on budget, you may also want to consider some CIEMs.  Very different experience, but I love the sound and isolation in my custom Noble Katanas.  I've been able to wear them on 14 hour flights without any discomfort or fatigue.

 

Was just looking at those! Do you consider them “good enough” for serious listening, editing podcasts and such, or are they more for just mobile use?

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I use them for serious music listening at the office and when traveling (fed by a Chord Hugo2).  Closed cans are always a compromise, but these are the least compromised I've heard (for reference, at home I have Senn HD-800's (SR modded), Audio Zenith PMx2's (heavily modded Oppo PM2's, and prefer a fast neutral sound)

 

If you're keen on speed, low distortion, and tonal balance, the closed Aeons are pretty unique amongst the closed cans I've tried.   Price is right, and very easy to drive too.  Definitely worth giving them an audition if you can.

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13 hours ago, orresearch said:

Although their sound brings an excitement to listening, the Grado's are quite uncomfortable to me.  I don't understand why their high end ones are so expensive and yet still wearing the cheap foam pads that causes discomfort.    Also I found that their very expensive ones are not really that much improved over mid-range priced ones such as the ps500e.   If you are willing to spend, any reason not trying higher end Sennheisers?

 

My guess is that like their cartridges, the higher end ones are most likely cherry picked out of the cheaper ones.

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1 hour ago, 4est said:

My guess is that like their cartridges, the higher end ones are most likely cherry picked out of the cheaper ones.

 

I think every manufacturer does that to some extent. The specs get better and the drivers better matched within closer tolerances as you go up the line.

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2 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

I think every manufacturer does that to some extent. The specs get better and the drivers better matched within closer tolerances as you go up the line.

Perhaps, but not to the extent Grado did(does?) with their cartridges.

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An Audio Technica W1000Z woody is nice, Denon AH D7200 is also quite good. Both very different cans. The Denon screams for a tube amp, the AT is less picky. 

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6 hours ago, 4est said:

Perhaps, but not to the extent Grado did(does?) with their cartridges.

 

Can you explain this more as I am looking to get a Grado cartridge right now.

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I decided to get off the fence, and ordered up a set of Aeon Flow Closed cans. It’s taking a chance, but only a small one. I like the company, and they were recommended here too.

 

But I did get carried away and went a little further than I intended. I also ordered a new headphone Amp to go with it. The iFi Micros iDSD Black Label just looked like too good an upgrade to ignore...   https://ifi-audio.com/products/micro-idsd-bl/

 

Cheap too, compared to some of the other options! At least, that is my story... 😁

Edited by Paul R
Drafted typos

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Nice, I hope you like them.

 

It's the trouble with head-fi: when you start spending money... 

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On 2/8/2019 at 10:30 AM, Paul R said:

I decided to get off the fence, and ordered up a set of Aeon Flow Closed cans. It’s taking a chance, but only a small one. I like the company, and they were recommended here too.

 

But I did get carried away and went a little further than I intended. I also ordered a new headphone Amp to go with it. The iFi Micros iDSD Black Label just looked like too good an upgrade to ignore...   https://ifi-audio.com/products/micro-idsd-bl/

 

Cheap too, compared to some of the other options! At least, that is my story... 😁

 

I did the same thing last month, but with the new Topping DX3 Pro DAC and Sennheiser HD660S headphones. Couldn't be happier!!

 

Glad that I'm no longer limited to the HD280 Pro, which I've had for the past 10 years.

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That's the little DAC from China that a lot of people are excited about, isn't it?  I expect you are enjoying that sound with those nice cans. People I have been talking to compared those open back phones favorably with much more expensive phones from Audeze. (LCD-X, if I remember correctly.) 

 

Phones are a lot of fun to play with, especially when the environment you are in is often to noisy to enjoy normal room filling playback.  As I am quickly learning... :)

 

-Paul 

 

 

 

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