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Headphones #2090019
05/27/13 04:58 PM
05/27/13 04:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 75
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chessman Offline OP
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Can anyone recommend a good pair of headphones for the P105? I do 90% of my playing through headphones, and currently have a pair of Sony MDR-XD100. Do you think I should be investing in an expensive set to get the most out of the piano sound? If so, what should I look for / avoid when buying..... I like a light feel without too much pressure on the ears.

I'd be willing to spend up to £50 if you think it will make a significant difference.

Thanks guys, as always. I love this place so much - reading your opinions on things is so much fun.

As a general question, can headphones actually improve the sound of the instrument? As in, make it sound better than the built-in speakers?

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Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090028
05/27/13 05:15 PM
05/27/13 05:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,013
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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1. _Any_ good headphones will improve the sound of _any_ digital piano with compromised loudspeakers.

"Compromised" means something like:

. . . Woofers are less than 6" diameter

which includes the vast majority of DP's. [Why 6" ? Because a fair number of people are using 6" powered monitors, and are happy with them.]

Good headphones will give better bass, more-realistic sound levels, and less distortion, than most loudspeakers built into DP's.

2. £50 is on the lower edge of prices for what many people recommend, here. There are lots of previous threads, and I won't repeat them. Search this forum. One online source for seeing what's available (but they _sell_ headphones, and may be biased):

. . . www.goodcans.com

There are lots of others -- try www.head-fi.org (which isn't a dealer).

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Headphones [Re: Charles Cohen] #2090031
05/27/13 05:19 PM
05/27/13 05:19 PM
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chessman Offline OP
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Thanks, Charles. I would consider spending more if need be (not much point spending over £500 on a piano if I can't hear it at its full potential!) I'm certainly open to suggestions on specific models if you know any from personal experience. Thanks again.

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090039
05/27/13 05:25 PM
05/27/13 05:25 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 215
Canada
Daniel Corban Offline
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I have the Sony MDRXD200, which appear to be similar. If the sound quality is about the same as mine, then I think yours are fine. Your piano seems to be just slightly better than my current piano, and I think the headphones far exceed the sensitivity and accuracy needed for the headphone output on these lower end pianos.

I do have a new piano being delivered tomorrow, so I decided to try the manufacturer suggested HPE-160 headphones with it. I'll let you know if I think it was worth the "upgrade". I recall spending around $20-30 for the Sonys and I paid triple that for the Yamahas.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: Headphones [Re: Daniel Corban] #2090068
05/27/13 05:56 PM
05/27/13 05:56 PM
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chessman Offline OP
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That would be great, thanks. Sounds like we currently have a very similar set-up, so I'd be very interested to know what you think. I paid around £20 for my Sony's.

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090377
05/28/13 12:10 AM
05/28/13 12:10 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
signa Offline
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i got a Sony's for about $50, and i am quite pleased with the sound for the money. i don't remember the model, but its earpads can be turned to 90 degree so that it can lay flat.

the best thing is that it's comfortable to wear, unlike the more expensive Sennheiser headphones i have which is too tight pressed to feel comfortable.

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090473
05/28/13 06:37 AM
05/28/13 06:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline
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Not behind my piano
I bought the HD380s for my P155. They are great...sounds like I'm playing in a big room when I wear them, but I don't disturb anyone.

Secret: I even love wearing them when I don't have to...just so it's truly only me and the music.

Re: Headphones [Re: JazzyMac] #2090525
05/28/13 08:57 AM
05/28/13 08:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,013
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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As you will find out, evaluating headphones is a _very_ subjective activity.

I use Sennheiser HD280's. I bought them some years ago, after seeing several recording/PA professionals using them.

They're closed back, with good reduction of ambient sound. I find them comfortable for hours of wearing. It's just me, and the piano (or the ham radio, sometimes).

Some of the headphone websites suggest that they've been surpassed by more-recent phones, but I'm not replacing mine until I have to. They might be just within your 50-pound limit.

. Charles

PS -- I just checked "MusiciansFriend.com" -- the HD280 has a lot of happy users. It's been around for a long time.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Headphones [Re: Charles Cohen] #2090533
05/28/13 09:17 AM
05/28/13 09:17 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,747
Portugal
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toddy Offline
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Portugal
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
I use Sennheiser HD280's......They might be just within your 50-pound limit.


Unfortunately not, here they are three times over that limit: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-...1369746581&sr=1-1&keywords=hd280

Although they may be cheaper elsewhere. I use Sennheiser HD215 which are a poor man's version of the above. They are very clear indeed, detailed, and do not flatter the bass at all. So they are good for mixing on. Closed back, tough, pro-build.

But my AKG240s (I bought them in 1978) give a smoother, more pleasing sound. (thus no good for mixing - and they are a bit knackered)

Last edited by toddy; 05/28/13 09:19 AM.

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Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090648
05/28/13 12:22 PM
05/28/13 12:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
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Starr Keys Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
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california
Check these out. They're in your price range and got the best reviews of any I've seen this cheap (professional and user reviews).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Audio-Techn...=8-1&keywords=Audio-Technica+ATH-M30

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090773
05/28/13 03:26 PM
05/28/13 03:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,185
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bennevis Offline
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With headphones, I really do think that you get what you pay for, probably up to several hundred £.

I bought a pair of foldable AKG K451 recently, to supplement my Klipsch Image X10i that I've been using with portable devices on my travels for many years. The AKG won the "What Hi-Fi Awards" 2012 and had rave reviews (www.whathifi.com), so I expected it to be really good, despite its online discounted price of just £50 (original price £130) - the Klipsch earphones are currently available for £130 (original price £250), but I did expect the AKG to sound better than (or at least as good as) any earphones, no matter how expensive. But no, its sound was muffled and lacking in deep bass as well as extreme high trebles, as well as clarity and sheer realism, compared to the minuscule Klipsch.

So, be careful how much you rely on reviews - the reviewers may just be comparing to products in the same price range. My other AKG headphones, the massive K271 MkII (£110, discounted from £165), which my dealer threw in for free when I bought my DP in 2010, has much better sound than the K451 but never won any awards, as far as I know......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090833
05/28/13 05:46 PM
05/28/13 05:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 75
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chessman Offline OP
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Thanks everyone, plenty for me to study here! I will look at all the different models you have mentioned and then decide if I need to spend more than my £50. It sounds as though I probably need to look at raising my budget from what most of you are saying, so I'll certainly bear that in mind. I just want to get the most out of my piano so it's probably worth it in the long run.

Will let you know when I've narrowed things down a bit!

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090837
05/28/13 05:52 PM
05/28/13 05:52 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 215
Canada
Daniel Corban Offline
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Daniel Corban  Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by chessman
That would be great, thanks. Sounds like we currently have a very similar set-up, so I'd be very interested to know what you think. I paid around £20 for my Sony's.

Today, I tried the new Yamaha 160 against the Sony XD200. It is easy to compare, since pianos have two headphone outputs!

The Sony seem to be more efficient, as the sound was a bit louder. However, the Yamaha definitely sound more clear. The Sony slightly muffle or muddy the sound. The Yamaha are crisp and clear. Interesting, since, if you had asked before I compared, I would have said the Sony were already nice and clear.

I was surprised, since louder equipment tends to trick the ear into believing it is a better sound. The Yamaha were clearly better despite the lower volume. I should mention that the Yamaha are "on ear" (supra-aural) and Sony are "around ear" (circumaural). This may contribute to the type of sound I heard.

My impression after using them for a few hours is: they are light, comfortable, and sound better than anything else I have owned.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: Headphones [Re: bennevis] #2090841
05/28/13 06:10 PM
05/28/13 06:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,236
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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MacMacMac  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,236
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reviews are generally worthless.
Originally Posted by bennevis
The AKG (K451) won the "What Hi-Fi Awards" 2012 and had rave reviews (www.whathifi.com), so I expected it to be really good ...

Here's what that site said about these phones:

AKG has managed to do what Hollywood repeatedly fails at: making a decent sequel.
Irrelevant.

It already had a winner on its hands with the K450s, a 2011 Product of the Year, and now it’s done it again with the AKG K 451.
Also irrelevant.

We took the K451s for a stroll around town. Their lightweight build is comfortable, while a snug fit around your ears and head ensures they stay put.
Wow! Headphones that stay put! (I'm sure glad I read up on this astonishing feature!)

The K451s are, musically, simply exceptional. They’re forgiving with lower-bitrate material, too.
Meaningless drivel.

Play a ripped-from-CD Where is Everybody? by Nine Inch Nails and the thumping beats and distorted basslines are delivered with plenty of bite, and the K451s do a great job of separating all the parts.
More meaningless drivel. What exactly is "bite"? And on what kind of instrument does one measure bite?

They go loud easily too, with that innate weight and authority keeping the synths in check.
Wow! Put a speaker right next to your ear and it can get loud!
Also ... with respect to headphones, exactly what do the terms "innate weight" and "authority" mean?

... and it goes on and on ...

(I was expecting to read the time-worn phrase ... "Performs as well as units costing twice as much!" But they didn't use it this time.)

This sort of rubbish is typical of MOST equipment reviews. They're just not worth reading.

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2090854
05/28/13 06:32 PM
05/28/13 06:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
S
Starr Keys Offline
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Starr Keys  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
I'm considering getting the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 with GC's 15% discount. Anyone have any experience with them. I'll trust your review. smile

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GC4L7S/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Re: Headphones [Re: Starr Keys] #2091220
05/29/13 08:49 AM
05/29/13 08:49 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 182
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Deffie Offline
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Originally Posted by Starr Keys
I'm considering getting the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 with GC's 15% discount. Anyone have any experience with them. I'll trust your review. smile

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GC4L7S/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1


They're quite good and were basically the go-to headphone around that price range for a couple years on Head-Fi. I believe they've since fallen out of favor a little now that there's some actual good competition at that price range, but unfortunately I haven't been really keeping up with it so I'm not sure what the competitors are.

Still, they're a known quantity that is well-regarded and sounded good when I tried them out.


Playing since April 2010.
Kawai MP10
Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2091263
05/29/13 10:17 AM
05/29/13 10:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,540
US
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gvfarns Offline
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US
I own the ATH-M50's as well as a pair of Sennheiser HD595's. I got the M50's because I got tired of hearing room noises when I played (I wanted the isolation of the M50's). The M50's are actually pretty good at isolation.

The Sennheisers are dramatically more detailed and realistic, though. They just sound way better. They are also dramatically more comfortable (the M50's squish my ears and make my head sweaty). So I no longer use the M50 for piano playing. I take it to work so I can tune out my coworkers. Still can't keep it on my head for more than an hour or so at a time, though.

I purchased the Senns for about the same price at the M50 but it seems like Sennheiser prices have gone up a lot since then. The M50 is still cheap.

Last edited by gvfarns; 05/29/13 10:18 AM.
Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2092151
05/30/13 01:07 PM
05/30/13 01:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
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Starr Keys Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
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california
Thanks, Deffie and Gvfarns, Yes, the Sennheiser is now about a $100 more, and the sealing out of externals noise is important.. . I also like the fact that the M50 Comes in white as that is the color of my DP. But comfort is also very important, although head size might make a difference. I think I may need to keep looking.... This was very helpful.: )

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2092619
05/31/13 02:48 AM
05/31/13 02:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
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Starr Keys Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
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california
Made a decision with your help.

And the winner is....Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones.

Decided the noise isolation wasn't as important as comfort and audio quality since I wont be using them as portables.

Re: Headphones [Re: chessman] #2092853
05/31/13 12:21 PM
05/31/13 12:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 318
Reading, UK
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Vectistim Offline
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The 598s are pretty good, there's a few of us on here with them.


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