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Best headphone opinions.
#2722084 03/17/18 08:53 PM
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Pallen Offline OP
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I may be opening a can of worms here as I figure there may be 1001 opinions as to the best headphones out there, but as I am currently using a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter to a $6 pair of earphones, I am look to upgrade.
What is your opinion for better listening pleasure? It's not like I can go to the store and ask them to let me cut open all of their vacuum sealed, theft proof packages to compare them all.
Looking around the site I already see opinions against a $20 pair. I get that, we have many finely tuned ears on Pianoworld.
Can I keep it down between $30-$50 for a decent pair?
and yes we can talk about pairs over $50 for those that can afford them? That's just not me.


Using an eMeda 61 KB for dummies Yup, That's really what it's called. Can you blame for wanting to upgrade to an 88 key Digital Piano (ie. YDP115w). Yep, I've got the bug for digital sound and 88 keys. I am learning to play using PianoVideoLesson.com Year 1 Course, and am currently in Unit 3.
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722090 03/17/18 09:22 PM
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The Samson SR850 hold their own very well against phones costing much more. They have a good frequency range and are clear and detailed. They seem to be modelled on the classic semi-open back AKG k240 design.

https://www.amazon.com/Samson-SR850...r=1-1-spons&keywords=Sr850&psc=1


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

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Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722098 03/17/18 10:31 PM
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If you can stretch to 59 the Shure SRH240A is unbeatable for piano under $60 in my opinion. It can even rival quite a few $100 to $200 headphones. And it's very comfortable and while close it sounds as open as open cans (I have several of those).


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722102 03/17/18 11:09 PM
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Quoting an older post of mine below and I hope you find it helpful. The 99$ Sennheiser 559 is about the same as all the other ones in the table. This series is well liked by people here. This is one of the better headphones in my view below 100$ but YMMV:
________

The Sennheiser folks, using a tactic popular with other consumer goods makers, recycle the 5-series headphones in a baffling number of iterations to confuse the consumer.

I know these 5-series headphones are well liked and very popular here for digitial piano use. For listening to classical music or Jazz these are not my favourites. YMMV.

Basically the 5-series are the same around-ear headphone with some minor tweaks (e.g. color, metal grille, additional short cables & adapters, inline mic, added "foam tape","exclusive" Amazon model, etc.). The two closed end models have modified drivers.

I think this table gives a reasonable idea of what Senn is selling although it is not complete (USD list prices)

559_______$99__Open__50Ω_108dB_1cable
569_______$179_Closed_23Ω_115dB_2cables&Mic
579_______$199_Open__50Ω_106dB_1cable&3.5mm adapter
599_______$249_Open__50Ω_106dB_2cables&3.5mm adapter

_"Amazon edition or factory website only"
598CS_____$249_Closed_23Ω_115dB_2cables
598SR_____$249_Open__50Ω_112dB_2cables&3.5mm adapter

Some of the lower-priced models have a small strip of foam tape to "boost bass" and "mess up higher fq". That foam tape was included in the 559 and 579 but excluded from the 599. Just remove the 3cm tape for a free "upgrade":

https://www.headfonia.com/sennheisers-new-hd558-and-hd598/3/

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-foam-mod-lives-on-the-sennheiser-hd-5x9-lineup.853644/

Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722106 03/18/18 02:31 AM
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I suggest used Grado SR60 from Amazon or eBAY. New they're $80 but they're hardy so used ones should be fine. And they're wonderful for the price IMO.

Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722108 03/18/18 02:45 AM
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I don't understand your replies. The original message is very clear: he can't afford more than $50 and asks not to talk about these. And what do I read....... headphones from 80 and 99 dollar........


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Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722111 03/18/18 03:07 AM
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In that price range the only headphones I would recommend are Superlux HD-681 Evo. 90% of Sennheiser HD-650 at 10% the price.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722114 03/18/18 03:18 AM
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I have the Samson sr850 (it's a semi-open design, so it you want to block exterior noise well or you don't want the sound to be heard outside while you use them, then go for a closed design).
They're pretty much flat in frequency response, and they sound pretty good for piano (and classical listening and jazz). For other music genres people may find them lifeless.
Also, you can look up the sr850 twin package, which gives you two pairs for a little extra money. I bought that pack with a friend and we ended up paying 24 euros per pair, shipping included.
If you want a closed headphone, the Samson sr950 should do the trick. They have a slightly more coloured sound, but definitely not exaggerated. They also don't isolate a lot, but they're still better in this respect. I use them daily at the computer while the sr850 are at the piano. Both have 2-3 years and still look and work like day one, but I am very careful with them and the cables.
And I also used a Superlux HD 662 Evo for a while. They're similar to the sr950 but I didn't do a direct comparison. They're actually "sisters" (the Samson is a rebranded Superlux). I also had the hd681 Evo for about half a year, but I wouldn't recommend those for piano. The trebled was very subdued and the sound was muffled, it took away from the natural feeling of the piano. They may be better suited for hip hop, dub step and others such genres which I can't name and know nothing about smile

These are all good options on the cheap (around 30euros for any of them). I haven't had the chance to try the suggestions of others though, so I can't compare.

And a little OT - currently I'm fancying getting some midrange headphones (such as the sennheiser hd599 or others similar ones), but until I try them to see if I like them and if the difference is night and day, I see no reason to fork such a large sum. I wouldn't want to spend 150-200e for a minor upgrade.
Plus, lately I've been playing via good powered monitors and the sense of space, the imaging is fantastic. I can feel the piano extending in front of me (despite seeing a wall instead). I'm not sure the headphones I'm considering will give me the same feeling.

Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722119 03/18/18 03:29 AM
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I see CyberGene also recommended the Superlux. It wasn't posted when I started writing my reply, so I want to add a little more detail to what I've said. If you like headphones with very subdued treble, that will sound muffled/dark, the 681 Evo are an option. I didn't like them and found they took the life out of the piano. The sr850 are the clearest of the bunch, with plenty of treble, without being too much in my opinion (others may feel differently).
And the sr950 / hd662 Evo are closed headphones, with a slight V-shaped response. They are slightly more coloured than the other two, better suited for music listening but slightly inferior for piano playing. That s of course assuming you don't eq them and use them as they are.

Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722122 03/18/18 03:39 AM
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Admittedly I haven't tried the HD-681 Evo with piano playing. I've compared them to my HD-650 when listening to music and they weren't very dissimilar. I currently use my HD-650 with CFX and they are absolutely terrific. Which is why I thought the Superlux might also be good. But devil is in the details. I sold the Superlux since I already own and use other headphones that are better (HD-650, HD-595, DT-770 Pro 250) but I was amazed at the Superlux quality for €29.90 and I didn't even know anything about that brand before ordering them. I added them to a Thomann cart in order to reach free delivery amount (otherwise I would have paid €30 for delivery) and they were in top 3 most ordered headphones.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722123 03/18/18 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Pallen
Can I keep it down between $30-$50 for a decent pair?
and yes we can talk about pairs over $50 for those that can afford them? That's just not me.


To be blunt: do yourself a favor and save for a while longer in order to buy a decent pair and get away from el-cheapo sound. Your ears will thank you in the long run.


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Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722125 03/18/18 03:44 AM
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I would recommend HD668b over HD681 Evo anytime. I have both as I've been testing some cheap headphones few years back.


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Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722136 03/18/18 06:24 AM
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I learned my lesson a long time ago. Only buy headphones that have a removable cable. If you accidentally step on the cord while you stand up, the cord simply pops out of the unit and you can easily plug it back in. If the cable is permanently hardwired in, you stand an excellent chance of destroying it.

Spend more money than you planned and you'll have headphones that might outlive you.

There are many threads here discussing everyone's favorite. The set I use on a daily basis costs €200 here in Europe.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722142 03/18/18 07:17 AM
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If someone wants headphones that cost no more than $50, why recommend phones that cost nearly $300 ?

Re: Best headphone opinions.
mcoll #2722149 03/18/18 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mcoll


And a little OT - currently I'm fancying getting some midrange headphones (such as the sennheiser hd599 or others similar ones), but until I try them to see if I like them and if the difference is night and day, I see no reason to fork such a large sum. I wouldn't want to spend 150-200e for a minor upgrade.
Plus, lately I've been playing via good powered monitors and the sense of space, the imaging is fantastic. I can feel the piano extending in front of me (despite seeing a wall instead). I'm not sure the headphones I'm considering will give me the same feeling.


I have 2 pairs of 598 (original and SE). I think the difference with the 599 is that the 599 has more bass (not sure you I would want that). I don't know your Samson but I can tell you something. The Sennheiser have a very different sound signature compared to all my other headphones. So it will feel like a big upgrade depending on the piano you use...And it can change you opinion of that piano... Before getting the 598s (on sale for $100 each) I used the Shure 240a ($60), the Focal Spirit Pro ($300) and a pair of AKG (don't remember the model number, but new they are between $200 and 300). The 3 have a similar sound signature (neutral) and the focal sound like a more detailed Shure but with less sound stage (and less comfortable). The AKG is in between. Before getting the HD598 I thought that the Roland supernatural sounded good and that Ivory American was the best. With the HD 598 these don't sound right, especially in the bass. But other pianos became much much better, the best being the Ivory German D (including the ipad version), the Kawai ex-pro and even some smaller pianos like the NI New York. Very different sound from the others, to the point that I need to switch headphones according to the piano I want to play... It's like they don't work well with pianos that have a thunderous bass, but they make the others shine.... Having said that, in terms of space and imaging they are the closest you can get (bar the HD800s) to listening to speakers...(even the HD600/650 don't feel as open). You forget you have them on...So yes if they "like" your piano, you'll get that feeling you mention....


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Best headphone opinions.
MacMacMac #2722164 03/18/18 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
If someone wants headphones that cost no more than $50, why recommend phones that cost nearly $300 ?


I used to work with a guy who would always buy everything on the cheap.

If he needed a sound system for his combo he'd buy the cheapest possible product and then couldn't get it fixed. He bought a Yugo which needed to have a carburetor replaced and then I learned it had plastic parts. When it came to investing money I tried to give him honest advice about long term planning and mutual funds; he had heard that gold was a good investment and just shrugged off my advice. (As far as I know he's still working and I've been retired for 24 years.)

Sometimes it helps to not answer the question but to provide another perspective.

How's that? smile

.....

This added ... my headphones at Amazon.com (US) are $178 for my specific model.

https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&am...urceid=Mozilla-search&tag=mozilla-20


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722173 03/18/18 10:13 AM
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How’s that? That is really arrogant.
Some people just can’t afford more.
Please read the original message and stop talking about expensive headphones.


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Host of piano parties in Leiden (The Netherlands)
Re: Best headphone opinions.
MacMacMac #2722174 03/18/18 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
If someone wants headphones that cost no more than $50, why recommend phones that cost nearly $300 ?

I agree !


Yamaha CLP-535.
Host of piano parties in Leiden (The Netherlands)
Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722182 03/18/18 10:25 AM
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Take it easy guys. The original post opens the discussion to all types of headphones. . .

Originally Posted by Pallen
and yes we can talk about pairs over $50 for those that can afford them? That's just not me.

Re: Best headphone opinions.
Pallen #2722188 03/18/18 10:36 AM
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There are no "best headphones", or even best headphones in a particular price range. There are too many variables that need to be considered -- open/closed back? Wired/wireless? Over-ear/on-ear/in-ear? What type of music? What impedance?

There are entire websites like headfi.org devoted to headphone discussion and reviews, because the question has no straightforward answer.

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