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#2183409 - 11/16/13 03:16 PM Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug)  
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Amaruk Offline
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I really like my Sennheiser HD-598 piano headphones that I purchased after hearing so many good things about them here. I am now looking to get a second pair of headphones to listen to music (piano and other things) on my computer. For those of you who use software pianos, what headphones do you use?

I would like the headphones to be full size (around ears), closed, very comfortable and have a 3.5mm plug without adapter. The ones I have on my short list at the moment are:

Sennheiser HD-280 Pro $100
ATH M50S $125
Sennheiser HD-380 Pro $140
Shure SRH840 $190

Any other models I should consider? What recommendations do you have for headphones with 3.5mm plugs?


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
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#2183419 - 11/16/13 03:30 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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The AKG K551 is an award-winning pair that fulfils all your criteria - and it has really excellent sound.


"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."
#2183429 - 11/16/13 03:53 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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.....just out of curiosity, but don't virtually all headphones (great and humble) come with dual 3.5/ 6.3mm plugs these days - certainly my most recent ones (Sennheiser 215) do


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2183432 - 11/16/13 03:59 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Bennevis Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into the AKG K551 headphones too.

Toddy - Indeed. Most (all?) headphones come with either 3.5mm or 6.5mm plugs and an adapter to the other size. However, I don't want to use an adapter in this case. I want a 3.5mm plug on the headphones. The reason is is that I find that a 6.5mm plug with an adapter to 3.5mm is too heavy for the jack on my computer. I could use a short extension cord to relieve the stress on the jack but I rather go with a set that has a 3.5mm plug in the first place.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
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#2183439 - 11/16/13 04:09 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Ah, ok. The thing is, the adapter on my Sennheisers is made so that the large jack literally unscrews from the inner 3.5mm jack, leaving the smaller, light weight plug unhindered by adapters. I actually use this frequently to switch between listening systems, and it works very well.

(I only wish the phones themselves were so robust, but for items sold as 'DJ phones' it has to be said they are very flimsy and the band joints, weak!)


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2183443 - 11/16/13 04:24 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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I just bougt HD 598 yesterday and it is really great. I bought Pianoteq one hour later - really great combo.


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Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2
#2183498 - 11/16/13 06:54 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: jarosujo]  
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I am using the Audio Technica ATM 50's- wonderful on the SP280 and krome- a little better than the HD280's which i also own

Does anyone use AKG K271mkii's or Sony MDR-7510's?


Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280
Kawai ES8
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#2183517 - 11/16/13 07:25 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: PossumES8SP280]  
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by Possum SP280Krome
I am using the Audio Technica ATM 50's- wonderful on the SP280 and krome- a little better than the HD280's which i also own

Does anyone use AKG K271mkii's or Sony MDR-7510's?


Oh, that's a coincidence - I've just been window shopping for headphones to buy sometime in the future and I whittled down my search precisely to the ATH M50 headphones! Seem to be exactly what is needed for monitoring, eventually

Apart from probably not being of real reference quality, my only qualm about my present phones Sennhieser HD215 is that they are simply not strong enough - part of the plastic band has already split, making them fatally weak unless I tape up the band.

How would you rate the Audio Technica's in this respect?

Last edited by toddy; 11/16/13 07:28 PM.

Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2183525 - 11/16/13 07:35 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: toddy]  
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FWIW --

I still like my Senn HD-280 headphones.

And I'd point out that the OP is willing to spend upwards of $100 to avoid buying a plug-->wire-->jack adapter.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2183534 - 11/16/13 07:55 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Im very pleased with my Sennheiser HD380 Pro. I actually just bought a second pair recently. I have a set tethered to my ES7 at all times and now I keep the second set in my office at work for computer, iPad, and soon a second practice DP (I hope). I tried many others and kept going back to the HD380. They always sound best to "my" ears. Great headphones for the price. Full rich detailed sound. Impeccable on bass notes with the DP. Very clean and deep without boom or muddiness(I tend to like slightly bassier headphones and monitors). They really shine when I use them through my mixer. Handles so well and sounds immaculate.
Bottom line: I find them more enjoyable than more expensive headphones I tried. Great sound and value. Sound fantastic with the ES7 as well as almost every DP I have plugged them into when demoing. ..and trust me, Ive tried many DPs

reviews:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-380-pro-headphones

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-38...ef=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1



Last edited by Marko in Boston; 11/16/13 08:00 PM.

KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2183538 - 11/16/13 07:59 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: toddy]  
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I feel as though the separation on the Audio Technica's is fantastic. The sound field appears wider than the HD280 but note that I really enjoy my HD280's as well as they were the first pair of excellent headphones I ever purchased


Roland Juno Gi
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Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280
Kawai ES8
Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone
#2183544 - 11/16/13 08:19 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: toddy]  
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Originally Posted by toddy
.....just out of curiosity, but don't virtually all headphones (great and humble) come with dual 3.5/ 6.3mm plugs these days - certainly my most recent ones (Sennheiser 215) do

Well I think the big cans do. My Technics pair come with a 6.3mm but my over the ear Philips pair have the 3.5m plug.


If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
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#2183549 - 11/16/13 08:25 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Marko in Boston]  
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Originally Posted by Marko in Boston
Im very pleased with my Sennheiser HD380 Pro. I actually just bought a second pair recently. I have a set tethered to my ES7 at all times and now I keep the second set in my office at work for computer, iPad, and soon a second practice DP (I hope). I tried many others and kept going back to the HD380. They always sound best to "my" ears. Great headphones for the price. Full rich detailed sound. Impeccable on bass notes with the DP. Very clean and deep without boom or muddiness(I tend to like slightly bassier headphones and monitors). They really shine when I use them through my mixer. Handles so well and sounds immaculate.
Bottom line: I find them more enjoyable than more expensive headphones I tried. Great sound and value. Sound fantastic with the ES7 as well as almost every DP I have plugged them into when demoing. ..and trust me, Ive tried many DPs

reviews:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-380-pro-headphones

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-38...ef=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1




I am considering these as well for my second pair- would you be able to compare them to the HD280's?
I am also considering the 7510's due to the low impedence of 24 ohms.


Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280
Kawai ES8
Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone
#2183552 - 11/16/13 08:29 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Originally Posted by Amaruk
I really like my Sennheiser HD-598 piano headphones that I purchased after hearing so many good things about them here. I am now looking to get a second pair of headphones to listen to music (piano and other things) on my computer. For those of you who use software pianos, what headphones do you use?

I would like the headphones to be full size (around ears), closed, very comfortable and have a 3.5mm plug without adapter. The ones I have on my short list at the moment are:

Sennheiser HD-280 Pro $100
ATH M50S $125
Sennheiser HD-380 Pro $140
Shure SRH840 $190

Any other models I should consider? What recommendations do you have for headphones with 3.5mm plugs?


I have the ATH M50. Comparing it to my Sennheiser HD595 the Sennhieser has a much better soundstage and more detailed, pleasing sound. Still, the ATH is much better than typical cheapo headphones. The isolation is surprisingly good on it as well--great for a noisy office. On the downside I would not consider them all that comfy. They get hot quickly and they are a bit too small for my ears so they end up crushing them. The Sennheisers are much, much more comfortable...I could wear them all day unlike the M50s. If your ears are average or small the M50 might not be as uncomfortable as it is for me, but I don't think anyone will say it's as comfy as the Sennheisers.

#2183556 - 11/16/13 08:38 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: PossumES8SP280]  
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Marko in Boston Offline
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Originally Posted by Possum SP280Krome

I am considering these as well for my second pair- would you be able to compare them to the HD280's?
I am also considering the 7510's due to the low impedence of 24 ohms.


Hi Possum - check this blog out. Very good review of HD380 compared to HD280:

http://yklee118.blogspot.com/2012/04/sennheiser-hd380-professional-review.html




KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2183565 - 11/16/13 08:47 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Amaruk: Will you have a chance to try some headphones?

I found few stores with headphones available to try. And those stores that did had no phones I was interested in. I hope you have better luck.

That only leaves "reviews" filled with buzz words like "accurate", "controlled bass", "clear mids", "finely textured", "great sound stage" ... and other meaningless drivel.

All I ever wanted to do was to try, to listen, to compare. No chance of that. So my leap of faith was a $100 Beyerdynamic. I lucked out. These are good phones. But, as I said, it was pure luck.

#2183568 - 11/16/13 08:51 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Great input here regarding the comfort level of various cans. To me that is very important! Keep it coming!!!

Charles Cohen - Yes. I just want to add that it is not that I want to avoid buying an adapter (I have some already) but rather, I need a second pair of cans first and foremost. I could get a pair with the 6.5mm plug and use the often included (free) adapter to 3.5 mm. But since the 6.5 mm plug is bulky to start with I prefer to have a pair with the right plug so no adapter is needed. One solution would be to buy a short extension cord that would relieve the stress on the computer jack as the 3.5mm/6.5mm adapter could then be resting on the table/floor.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
#2183584 - 11/16/13 09:21 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: PossumES8SP280]  
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Originally Posted by Possum SP280Krome

Does anyone use AKG K271mkii's or Sony MDR-7510's?

Yes, I was given a pair of AKG K271 Mk II when I bought my V-Piano, and they are excellent headphones, though I bought Grado SR325is after that, and find the sound of the latter more detailed and clearer with extended bass and trebles. But it isn't so comfortable to wear for long periods. It has a thick, heavy cable with 6.35mm plug, and I'd worry about using it with adaptor on my laptop.

The K271 MkII comes with 3.5mm plug plus screw-on adaptor; the K551 just comes with 3.5mm plug because it's (apparently) designed for use with portable devices, though being a bulky around-ear closed design (like the K271 MkII), it's hardly portable. I find the K551's sound slightly superior to that of the K271 MkII, but not quite up to the far more expensive Grados.


"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."
#2183704 - 11/17/13 01:07 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Mac - Yes, my local stores are a hit or miss too. But I know what you mean about the buzz words used to describe cans. I am hoping to gather some opinions here and then just pull the trigger on what seems to be the best for me. This thread already has some great comments.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
#2183746 - 11/17/13 05:36 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Using something like this or this will put your laptop's 3.5mm socket less at risk if you happen to yank the cable - all too easily done.

Originally Posted by Amaruk
One solution would be to buy a short extension cord that would relieve the stress on the computer jack as the 3.5mm/6.5mm adapter could then be resting on the table/floor.


This is best. I made up my own longish lead using thin screened cable and neutrik connectors. Make sure to use the rt-angled 3.5mm stereo plug.

#2183749 - 11/17/13 05:49 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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I can recommend HD380 Pro, I've had them for a few years.


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#2183756 - 11/17/13 06:07 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Talking of headphones has anyone heard of the practice of 'burning in ' new phones? I saw it on a facebook post from Wired magazine that was debunking it. Sounds hokum to me.


If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
[Linked Image]

My Piano Group
#2183777 - 11/17/13 07:47 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: LarryShone]  
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Marko in Boston Offline
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Originally Posted by LarryShone
Talking of headphones has anyone heard of the practice of 'burning in ' new phones? I saw it on a facebook post from Wired magazine that was debunking it. Sounds hokum to me.


http://www.head-fi.org/t/56744/headphone-burn-in-faq



KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2183796 - 11/17/13 09:18 AM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Marko in Boston]  
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Originally Posted by Marko in Boston
Originally Posted by LarryShone
Talking of headphones has anyone heard of the practice of 'burning in ' new phones? I saw it on a facebook post from Wired magazine that was debunking it. Sounds hokum to me.


http://www.head-fi.org/t/56744/headphone-burn-in-faq


I find it surprising that (seemingly) no-one has ever done any research into this phenomenon to see if it exists, or whether it belongs to the same category as unicorns and flying pigs wink .

It would surely be a simple matter of plotting the frequency-response graph of new headphones, and then repeating the test following a period of 'burn-in'. If any changes occur, the graph would show it.

I've had several pairs of headphones over the years (some of which are now bio-degrading peacefully somewhere underground), and have always used them straight from the box, and never found any difference in their sound with use.

However, when I acquired a new pair of (Mission) speakers some years ago to replace my old damaged ones (which were bequeathed to me by my brother decades before), I found their sound initially to be not at all what I heard when auditioning the same (well-used) model in the store from where I bought it. They sounded harsh and tinny. Obviously, the store had a different amplifier and CD player, but the source material was my own CDs. I was almost on the verge of returning them, when I decided to read the manual the speakers came with, which advised a period of 'burning-in', a term I'd never heard before (as I'm no audiophile freak). So, I decided just to leave it on continuously at low volume connected to my radio for several days, before returning to listen to them again properly. And I was amazed at the transformation - the sound was now warm and detailed, and smooth. I now believe in flying pigs....... grin


"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."
#2183921 - 11/17/13 02:12 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I find it surprising that (seemingly) no-one has ever done any research into this phenomenon to see if it exists, or whether it belongs to the same category as unicorns and flying pigs wink .


I hate to be cynical, but I find that there is little open research in most areas of hi fi. This is because many people pay a lot to chase mythological improvements (golden cables, etc.) and manufacturers want this to continue. Magazines and websites are typically supported by manufacturers or retailers. Individuals/consumers mostly don't have the money/incentive to do nice tests like you suggest.

I have always suspected that burn in is a myth. I think manufacturers/retailers allow it to live because it functions as a placebo and encourages people to keep speakers/headphones they would otherwise return. I suspect in most cases our ears and expectations get burned in, not the speakers.

Having said that, I burn in both speakers and headphones. I have never noticed a difference, but I'm superstitious that way.

#2183930 - 11/17/13 02:50 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: gvfarns]  
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gvfarns, interesting points regarding hi-fi. At least with burn-in, there is no money to be made by anyone and an in-depth study would not harm any business I would think.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
#2184091 - 11/17/13 07:19 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
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Hello, I just ordered AKG 271mkII's for around $123. I will post a review when I get them for both my piano and my PC.

I did find on my lenovo PC my ATM 50's sounded wonderful.

Also, it might be worth looking at a creative labs soundcard for example- they have some USB devices etc... that you can shape the sound with


Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280
Kawai ES8
Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone
#2184106 - 11/17/13 07:50 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: gvfarns]  
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Psychonaut  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 234
Originally Posted by gvfarns
Originally Posted by bennevis
I find it surprising that (seemingly) no-one has ever done any research into this phenomenon to see if it exists, or whether it belongs to the same category as unicorns and flying pigs wink .


I hate to be cynical, but I find that there is little open research in most areas of hi fi. This is because many people pay a lot to chase mythological improvements (golden cables, etc.) and manufacturers want this to continue. Magazines and websites are typically supported by manufacturers or retailers. Individuals/consumers mostly don't have the money/incentive to do nice tests like you suggest.

I have always suspected that burn in is a myth. I think manufacturers/retailers allow it to live because it functions as a placebo and encourages people to keep speakers/headphones they would otherwise return. I suspect in most cases our ears and expectations get burned in, not the speakers.

Having said that, I burn in both speakers and headphones. I have never noticed a difference, but I'm superstitious that way.


Nice post. Me, I have the Audio-Technica ATH-M40FS, the less expensive little brother of the M50s and like them fine.


Yamaha P120, MO6, Steinberg MR816, Galaxy Vintage D, Komplete 8 & various other VIs, Reaper
#2184113 - 11/17/13 08:03 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,597
Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,597
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by Amaruk
. . .

Charles Cohen - Yes. I just want to add that it is not that I want to avoid buying an adapter (I have some already) but rather, I need a second pair of cans first and foremost. I could get a pair with the 6.5mm plug and use the often included (free) adapter to 3.5 mm. But since the 6.5 mm plug is bulky to start with I prefer to have a pair with the right plug so no adapter is needed. One solution would be to buy a short extension cord that would relieve the stress on the computer jack as the 3.5mm/6.5mm adapter could then be resting on the table/floor.


The HD-280 phones end in a 3.5mm plug. The adapter screws on, and makes the plug 6.5 mm (1/4"). So those wouldn't stress your computer jack.

I agree with you (and others) -- the nicest arrangement is a 1/8" plug (to the computer), a short cord, and a 1/4" jack on the floor (or on a table, or tied to an X-stand leg) for the phones.

. Charles

PS -- As I get older, I have less and less desire to find something "just a bit better" than what I already have. If you like your current headphones, buy another pair!<g>


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2184136 - 11/17/13 08:44 PM Re: Headphones for listening to piano thru computer (3.5mm plug) [Re: Amaruk]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,510
gvfarns Offline
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gvfarns  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,510
Texas
Originally Posted by Amaruk
gvfarns, interesting points regarding hi-fi. At least with burn-in, there is no money to be made by anyone and an in-depth study would not harm any business I would think.


What happens is that people get speakers or headphones and try them out but don't get the same experience as they had in the shop, or perhaps look a little more closely at home. They request a refund. Shop (or forum) tells them to burn them in. Then upon listening again they decide to keep them. Could be a better day for it or the placebo effect or whatever. The net effect of belief in burn-in is a reduction in the number of returns.

I'm not saying burn in isn't real. Just that manufacturers and retailers have incentive for us to believe that it is.

Last edited by gvfarns; 11/17/13 08:45 PM.
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