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Headphones you own; why you love them

Mogami Cables

Enkay78

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Dear FMs,

I am a newbie in HiFi world...I had just recently dabbled into this hobby .....after my love for music. In the past I never thought much about HiFi stuff, and was just happy with normal earphones, headphones and music system.

However recently , from last 2 years to be accurate, I got bitten. And slowly discovering the world of HiFis and Audiophiles (and videophiles). Maybe it's got to do with my need to de-stress my hectic professional life (I was so much into patient care, I forgot to care about myself).....and maybe having got the inkling of the refined taste in music.

Now I have started buying HiFi stuffs.... discovering good speakers, systems , headphones etc. I am still at the entry level , newbie and trying to gauge the world.

I started my headphone journey with a Sony Headphone (forgot the model name...cost me around 3k in 2001)....and was naively happy with that for almost 17 years. Yep that was how much I was naive. Then I got some oneplus earphones , some Samsung earphones that came with Samsung Galaxy phones. (The last one was Galaxy edge 6). Then was happy with OnePlus bullet wireless earphones.....version 1 followed by version 2.


And then I slowly peeped into the ....IEMs, the planars headphones, the audiophile stuffs.


......and the exorbitant and exotic prices. First impression - who the hell would buy headphones costing thousands? ( I was still limited with 4k stuffs)


And as part of the journey, I joined forums like this ....saw YouTube videos, started knowing guys like Steve Guttenberg, John Darko....websites like WhatHifi, Stereophile, audiogon, AVSforum, AVforum(UK version), reddit groups etc etc


And I bought my Sony wh1000m3. And IEMs intrigued me....so started with VFM CHI-FI. Bought CCA C10, CCA C16, TIN T3.

And I bought an Topping NX4 DSD Headphone DAC/AMP.

..........and I stop using my OnePlus earphones (even though the 2nd version have the Knowles driver). Life changed....and now no turning back.


Currently I am researching all about :

Senheisser HD 650
Hifiman HE400i
Stax SR 300

Etc etc.


So guys , chime in

What headphones/IEMs you own?
What are your favourites?
What made you like them?


Disclaimer: I am not looking for any recommendations....but rather want to share your journeys. So that I can share the passion.


Thanks in advance.
 

arj

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For someone who does not prefer headphones, I own quite a few !

The RHa 750 is a bluetooth headset and on my phone and for anything I watch/hear on it also used during flights
I got the B&W P5 for a deal and I use that as my laptop headphone for meetings and you tube as well as netflix/prime etc !
The Bayer-dynamic DT990 Pro was the first high end headphone I have ever used more than 10 years ago and its the family headphone on the family computer
The Sennhieser 6XX is the one connected to the headphone out of my Amp and used to evaluate any differences where I want the room out of the equation

I discovered the Sennheiser due to FM Kartikay who is a full blown expert in the area ..heard his headphone on my setup and loved it perhaps the most balanced sound i have heard on a headphone so thats my favourite.

Despite the above, I still prefer hearing music on speakers although movies sound great on headphone
 
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Enkay78

Active Member
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Messages
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Points
43
Location
Imphal Manipur
I also prefer my Floorstanders while listening....with the music filling the room.

However sometimes the Home minister gives 'the look' especially when rock music are playing.:)

Imho headphones especially comes to play during nightime and when I want more isolation.


When you say Senheisser 6xx.....is that a model number or 600/650/660? (Sorry if this sounds stupid)

How does it compare with the beyerdynamic?
 

arj

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When you say Senheisser 6xx.....is that a model number or 600/650/660? (Sorry if this sounds stupid)

How does it compare with the beyerdynamic?
Its the the massdrop version of the HD650. I prefer the Senn by a wide margin as its very well balanced across the spectrum and has a wonderful midrange. The Bayer has a wooly and bumped up bass with any amp, but its fine for the headphone out of any phone etc.

@kartikay would be a good guy to connect with ..he helped me decide.
 

Enkay78

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Location
Imphal Manipur
That syncs with what I can observe about Senheisser hd 650.....it seems to be one of favourites for many people.
 

SachinChavan

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Feb 10, 2011
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Beyerdynamic T1 (2nd generation)

It’s an all-round performer across genres. Wonderful rhythmic and detailed presentation - it can do justice to even a full blown western classical orchestra. Yet it is sweet when combined with the tube headphone amp (Schiit Valhalla 2, yes at 600 ohms it needs a powerful amp to shine) it rocks and croons well too. The semi open design has something to do with how it sounds. They are detailed, transparent and dynamic, but not overly analytical. The reason I bought them couple of years ago was how well they balanced musicality/warmth, detail/insight and joy/enthusiasm without compromising on any of them.

They are also comfortable for longer use (easily wear them for two hours at a stretch) despite their size. And have an understated classic elegant look.

Yes they take over 50 hrs (100 better) to open up. But after that, like a German engine, they roll and shine majestically. I’d say they are headphones for the connoisseur. Those considering the Senn 600 series (comparable) should audition these and see which signature they prefer.

By the way, if I start listening to the desktop system more, the headphones I shall add to the T1 are the Grado. I loved how they play rock.

P.S. For the kind of headphones you are considering, I’d suggest investing in a powerful headphone amp to drive them.
 
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preth30

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I do not use headphones. I get irritation in the area around my ears where the foam rests. I prefer IEMs. The only headphone that I have used is the Senn PX 100 which was very good for me. I always wanted to try the Koss porta pro, but was hesitant to spend for it without audition which I could not. I have got IEMs from Senn, RHA, Sound Magic and JBL. I would say, I really liked the Senn sound signature the best. I don't really spend big money on head/ear phones. Mostly use budget models.
 
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Enkay78

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Location
Imphal Manipur
What is the opinion on the various types? Closed /open ....Planar which sounds better?


Nowadays IEMs are also into planars......does planar means more transparent and neutral SQ?

(Tin P1 was/is on the radar.....I want to try out budget friendly first. And then wade into more premium ones .....if feels the need)
 

SachinChavan

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I do not use headphones. I get irritation in the area around my ears where the foam rests. I prefer IEMs. The only headphone that I have used is the Senn PX 100 which was very good for me. I always wanted to try the Koss porta pro, but was hesitant to spend for it without audition which I could not. I have got IEMs from Senn, RHA, Sound Magic and JBL. I would say, I really liked the Senn sound signature the best. I don't really spend big money on head/ear phones. Mostly use budget models.
And interestingly your avatar uses a headphone! :D But seriously, did you try enough headphones to ascertain which material causes you irritation? With some headphones you can replace the pads to something that suits you. The frequency response and frequency range of headphones is usually better than earbuds in same range.
 

preth30

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Yeah, you are absolutely right. Headphones do sound way better than earbuds. But it is not actually any allergy towards the material used as foams. I feel discomfort when my whole ear is covered. I tend to sweat in and around my ears after some time of use. My PX 100 just used to stay on my ears, but headphones completely cover it. I feel uncomfortable. :(

And interestingly your avatar uses a headphone!
:D
 

kartikay

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Mar 23, 2013
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@Enkay78 HD6xx is massdrop version of HD650 (HD650 itself is no longer in production). I have owned both HD6xx and HD650 in past, though i modded my HD650 to reduce its mid-bass bump.. If you are looking for mid centric signature with smoother treble response then go for HD6xx, if looking for V-shape signature with more emphasis on bass and treble, which generally preferred for EDM then Beyer may also fit the bill.. Both brands are well regarded in headfiers and robust build quality. Another option in dynamics would be AKG but except k712 I have found them to be extremely bass light.. But vintage AKG are amazing and can be found for quite cheap and they are in league of current mid-fi cans.

If you want to go planar way then Hifiman he4xx would be better choice than HE400i. HE400i was bass lean and little bright for my taste which kind of defeats the purpose of going planar route. Another option would be Fostex T50rp mk3 which with few mods can sound a lot better, though it will require serious amping.

For estats Stax L300 is class apart in terms of resolution/speed matching dynamic/planar TOTLs, but it will need dedicated energizer as normal amp cant drive Estat headphones. Also estat sound is categorised as ethereal and doesnt have much weight/body which could be pro/con based on personal taste. If you really wanna go Estat way I would recommend demo first or go for used SRS3100 which is the entry level bundle from Stax. Also I should mention Kaldas RR1 here, an Indian estat HP release which competes with stuff worth 2-3x of the cost.

On personal side i have been on gear acquisition/selling trip for few years now trying to discover signatures of different brands/HPs and in process understand my own likes/dislikes. Right now I am trying to demo/acquire well regarded vintage cans, they are cheap to buy, IMHO sound closer to a speaker setup..
 

Enkay78

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
190
Points
43
Location
Imphal Manipur
@Enkay78 HD6xx is massdrop version of HD650 (HD650 itself is no longer in production). I have owned both HD6xx and HD650 in past, though i modded my HD650 to reduce its mid-bass bump.. If you are looking for mid centric signature with smoother treble response then go for HD6xx, if looking for V-shape signature with more emphasis on bass and treble, which generally preferred for EDM then Beyer may also fit the bill.. Both brands are well regarded in headfiers and robust build quality. Another option in dynamics would be AKG but except k712 I have found them to be extremely bass light.. But vintage AKG are amazing and can be found for quite cheap and they are in league of current mid-fi cans.

If you want to go planar way then Hifiman he4xx would be better choice than HE400i. HE400i was bass lean and little bright for my taste which kind of defeats the purpose of going planar route. Another option would be Fostex T50rp mk3 which with few mods can sound a lot better, though it will require serious amping.

For estats Stax L300 is class apart in terms of resolution/speed matching dynamic/planar TOTLs, but it will need dedicated energizer as normal amp cant drive Estat headphones. Also estat sound is categorised as ethereal and doesnt have much weight/body which could be pro/con based on personal taste. If you really wanna go Estat way I would recommend demo first or go for used SRS3100 which is the entry level bundle from Stax. Also I should mention Kaldas RR1 here, an Indian estat HP release which competes with stuff worth 2-3x of the cost.

On personal side i have been on gear acquisition/selling trip for few years now trying to discover signatures of different brands/HPs and in process understand my own likes/dislikes. Right now I am trying to demo/acquire well regarded vintage cans, they are cheap to buy, IMHO sound closer to a speaker setup..
Thanks for this info.


Didn't know the HD 650 are not in production.

Amazon list then as 30k headphones.



Any suggestion where I can buy vintage cans ? ( I am aware of the sales section of this forum)
 

kartikay

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Thanks for this info.


Didn't know the HD 650 are not in production.

Amazon list then as 30k headphones.



Any suggestion where I can buy vintage cans ? ( I am aware of the sales section of this forum)
Ebay is your best bet, I have found good deals on both ebay.de/ebay.com. Other option is Japanese Yahoo auctions..
 

ONEMANARMY

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Prior to getting into speakers, I have had a wonderful journey with some of the best headphones.

And the winner was

A brief description of some of them
In terms of resolution, nothing comes close to the Stax009. It just blows everything away.
The most comfortable were the Grado GS1000s.
The JVCs had the biigest bass impact.
The HD800 seemed to heve the biggest soundstage(headstage)
The LCD3s had are very nice textured quality.
Grado PS1000s were just great fun. :)

Will try to put some more thoughts but this was some 10-12 years ago and have since moved on to speakers.
Don't think I'll ever go back to cans.
 

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Enkay78

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
190
Points
43
Location
Imphal Manipur
A brief description of some of them
In terms of resolution, nothing comes close to the Stax009. It just blows everything away.
The most comfortable were the Grado GS1000s.
The JVCs had the biigest bass impact.
The HD800 seemed to heve the biggest soundstage(headstage)
The LCD3s had are very nice textured quality.
Grado PS1000s were just great fun. :)

Will try to put some more thoughts but this was some 10-12 years ago and have since moved on to speakers.
Don't think I'll ever go back to cans.

Wow.......this is so much enticing.

I am wondering whether my left brain will agree to what my right brain wishes.


Thanks for this feedback.

Some say the HD 820 is the flagship of audiophile headphones.....can it be right?


**Now researching more on Stax.

And the winner was

Woo headphone amp? WES?
Nice.....
 

MaSh

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I have a pair of simple Philips SHP9500. Drive them with either fiio k1 or Q1. Love them to bits cos of the comfort and amazing sound quality. They are my work headphones too, so are on my head for almost 5-6 hours everyday.

MaSh
 

kartikay

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Wow.......this is so much enticing.

I am wondering whether my left brain will agree to what my right brain wishes.


Thanks for this feedback.

Some say the HD 820 is the flagship of audiophile headphones.....can it be right?


**Now researching more on Stax.
HD820 is very good and open sounding closed back, is it worth $1000 more than HD800s, not really..
 

bornfi

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Sep 9, 2015
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USA
Hifiman HE560 because it provides me experience closer to listening to my speakers based system. And I think it presents truer soundstage.

I had Senn HD650 too in past but planers are different and better (for me).
 
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