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Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2899549
10/12/19 04:05 PM
10/12/19 04:05 PM
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Check out www.audiogon.com for discussions about headphones, and used gear for sale.

Last edited by LarryK; 10/12/19 04:05 PM.

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Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Doug M.] #2899663
10/13/19 05:00 AM
10/13/19 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Hifi stores aren't that useful.
They don't stock many of the products or brands useful for digital pianos and comparisons are quite difficult given in store comparisons are limited to the stock they have (and their lack of pianos).

I believe he can still find a signature he likes by testing way more brands than he could possibly order online.
Esp when he wants to know what goes on in the more expensive area of cans.

If he likes a can, it isn't hard to add a small headphone amp to any digital piano and make driving them possible.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Doug M.] #2899684
10/13/19 07:18 AM
10/13/19 07:18 AM
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I like this idea ...
Originally Posted by Doug M.
... shortlisting to 3 options and buying on Amazon all three then returning the losing cans is a way of testing the most likely options on a digital together. After all, the online retailers are the reason for the lack of hifi stores and the limited stock of remaining stores, so that makes me feel more comfortable about ordering for the purpose of testing and then returning.

Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Granyala] #2899712
10/13/19 09:46 AM
10/13/19 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Hifi stores aren't that useful.
They don't stock many of the products or brands useful for digital pianos and comparisons are quite difficult given in store comparisons are limited to the stock they have (and their lack of pianos).

I believe he can still find a signature he likes by testing way more brands than he could possibly order online.
Esp when he wants to know what goes on in the more expensive area of cans.

If he likes a can, it isn't hard to add a small headphone amp to any digital piano and make driving them possible.


Hi Granyala,

If that were the method used to evaluate the sample tone of a digital piano, I would concur. Except that a low sample quality (lower sample resolution) can ruin the enjoyment of a nice sample tone.

From my understanding, there are several considerations:

1) Manufacturers create headphone models designed for radically different purposes, and most stores cater for hifi systems, computer games and cell phone cans rather than digital pianos.

You might well enjoy the tone of a pair of OTE open cans on a hifi, your iPhone or through a computer headphone socket ie, for listening to films/TV, classical music or video game background music and sound effects. That doesn't mean those cans will suit a specific digital piano.

2) Products through individual product lines---ie that share a design purpose---vary vastly in the quality of the components, altering the quality of the output.

Ideally at lower price points, you're looking for a product that has higher quality components than similarly priced products eg a low-cost/higher quality business strategy (maybe Grado and Samson open OTE cans).

3) There is the question of whether buying an external amp to use with cheaper cans would stress low-quality components, making things worse.


What works for specific pianos:

So one the issue IMO is determining which product lines work well on the digital piano you own.
For instance, my Kawai MP7 headphone output isn't powerful enough to drive Sennheiser HD800 headphones without an external amp as those cans have an impedence higher than my MP7 's output can cope well with.


Like - for - like holistic comparison

If you are comparing 3 competing products that occupy the same price point within the same product positioning, ideally you want to holistically compare the 3 products side-by-side, so that you can determine which option you overall prefer. Whilst you may like some aspect of a set of cans you tried on a hifi in a hifi store, you have no reference to judge the performance level of that aspect between competing products on your digital.

Another for instance: Testing the Grado SR80 against the Sennheiser HD558 might be considered a price point equivalent comparison of similarly positioned products, but comparing the SR80's to the Sennheiser Momentum headphones (a very popular product at hifi stores) might be considered a misleading comparison ie because the product positioning of the Momentum cans is different to other competing Sennheiser products.


I think that headphone choice is challenging throughout the different price ranges as...

1) Hifi stores don't offer home test drives of products you request they buy in for you !
2) There are so many manufacturers, models and product positions that choices are almost overwhelming.
3) Users offering advice on pianoworld have different tastes, digital pianos and they are from different age groups so their appreciation of sound varies.

For all these reasons, I think researching the cans and their competitors (eg on YouTube audiophile reviews), getting advice from pianoworld users, and buying 3 cans from a shortlist to compare on your own piano is a good idea.

Kind regards,

Doug.

Last edited by Doug M.; 10/13/19 09:47 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Doug M.] #2899762
10/13/19 01:05 PM
10/13/19 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
1) Manufacturers create headphone models designed for radically different purposes, and most stores cater for hifi systems, computer games and cell phone cans rather than digital pianos.

Quick answer, not much time right now, so I read & reply to the rest of your post later:

A headphone is a headphone. End of story.
Only the impedance rating is important when it comes to device synergy, sth. you can circumvent by putting a Headamp into the chain.

Stay tuned until after my raid. laugh


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2899766
10/13/19 01:10 PM
10/13/19 01:10 PM
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@G-man ... Yes, the "purpose-built" thing can be stretched too far.

Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Doug M.] #2899832
10/13/19 03:53 PM
10/13/19 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
2) Products through individual product lines---ie that share a design purpose---vary vastly in the quality of the components, altering the quality of the output.

3) There is the question of whether buying an external amp to use with cheaper cans would stress low-quality components, making things worse.

[4] If you are comparing 3 competing products that occupy the same price point within the same product positioning, ideally you want to holistically compare the 3 products side-by-side, so that you can determine which option you overall prefer.

[5b]I think that headphone choice is challenging throughout the different price ranges as... [/b]
For all these reasons, I think researching the cans and their competitors (eg on YouTube audiophile reviews), getting advice from pianoworld users, and buying 3 cans from a shortlist to compare on your own piano is a good idea.

Okay, time for the rest laugh

2) Yes, there are some outliers that indeed offer better quality at the same price but in general, when it comes to transducers, you get what you pay for. I wouldn't fuss too much about finding some rare outlier and rather invest the time & energy to up the funds.

3) With all due respect Sir (or Ma'm), that is the whole point of an amp. To take a weak signal and make it bigger to be used in later stages. Amps have very high input impedance, so they DON'T interfere negatively with the stages before them. If that wasn't the case, then stuff like super sensitive instrumentation amplification of extremely weak signals in scientific applications would not be possible. Again: a point any consumer should not worry about unless he builds amps themselves or buys the cheapest and badly engineered junk he can find.

4) Yes, comparing side by side using your own equipment is always best. Sadly, esp when one considers the prospect of a potential expensive purchase, that isn't always possible. So going to the store and trying multiple cans using the same equipment is the next best thing.

5b) Oh absolutely it's a challenge. The market is vast and choosing a HP or speaker is an very personal endeavor. That's why I recommended education first. Before one looks at pricepoints, compatibility or anything else, one must learn what one wants in a speaker or headphone. If you know the signature your ears like, you can start reading bode diagrams (also known as frequency response graphs) and eliminate A LOT of the competition. Again: hearing different systems is the only way to do that.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2899850
10/13/19 04:18 PM
10/13/19 04:18 PM
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Purpose built.... naw.... a headphone is a headphone. The higher the quality (and usually price) the more accurate it aspires to be. That's about it. However..... there are brands that cater to ignorant youth and have big boomy bass..... OK, that is a purpose built phone but not for a class of device, but a class of consumer.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Bruce in Philly
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2899942
10/13/19 10:06 PM
10/13/19 10:06 PM
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I am about to learn if either (or perhaps both?) of my two very-nice pairs of headphones will make my soon-to-be-delivered new Casio Privia PX-870 digital piano sound good. I currently own the outstanding Sennheiser HD-598 headphones, (over ear/open back) as well as a compact (on ear) pair of Bang & Olufsen H2's. So I'm just curious if any of you may be using either of these two models with their digital piano, and if so, what do you think of them? Will they be a decent match for my new Privia-series piano?

Last edited by camperbc; 10/13/19 10:08 PM.
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2900004
10/14/19 05:08 AM
10/14/19 05:08 AM
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With impedances around 50Ω i don't expect any problems.

Whether the Casio has nice sounding samples in the first place is another matter.

And of course, the ultimate deciding factor is your playing. laugh

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
However..... there are brands that cater to ignorant youth and have big boomy bass..... OK, that is a purpose built phone but not for a class of device, but a class of consumer.


*chuckles* Quite right. laugh

Last edited by Granyala; 10/14/19 05:09 AM.

The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: camperbc] #2900017
10/14/19 06:11 AM
10/14/19 06:11 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by camperbc
I am about to learn if either (or perhaps both?) of my two very-nice pairs of headphones will make my soon-to-be-delivered new Casio Privia PX-870 digital piano sound good. I currently own the outstanding Sennheiser HD-598 headphones, (over ear/open back) as well as a compact (on ear) pair of Bang & Olufsen H2's. So I'm just curious if any of you may be using either of these two models with their digital piano, and if so, what do you think of them? Will they be a decent match for my new Privia-series piano?


Hi Camperbc,

We have a Bang & Olufsen store somewhere in Manchester I think. I would like to know your opinion on how they sound compared to the HD598's on your Casio because I am interested in the Bang brand but worried they won't work well on a digital.

I guess you can always purchase a VST to determine if the Casio PX-870 is flattered or not by the cans :-). Certainly if the HD598's are a popular choice, so should be fine for your Casio---unless the Sennheiser sound isn't your cup-of-tea.Will you let us know if the B&O's sound better or even on-a-par with the HD598's, as not many people have commented on them on Pianoworld.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Granyala] #2900023
10/14/19 06:24 AM
10/14/19 06:24 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Granyala


3) With all due respect Sir (or Ma'm), that is the whole point of an amp. To take a weak signal and make it bigger to be used in later stages. Amps have very high input impedance, so they DON'T interfere negatively with the stages before them. If that wasn't the case, then stuff like super sensitive instrumentation amplification of extremely weak signals in scientific applications would not be possible. Again: a point any consumer should not worry about unless he builds amps themselves or buys the cheapest and badly engineered junk he can find..


Hi Granyala,

Thanks for your view on this, I have heard different opinions on this issue of adding headphone amps to a cheap set of cans: people seem to be of differing opinion as to whether it helps or not. This is why I had it down as a question in my mind i.e., I couldn't rationalize how adding an amp to cheap cans would make things worse (as some have said) unless it was stressing some of the cheaper components or amplifying a poor sound quality to exacerbate an unwanted quality of the sound...

That's why I appreciate your take.

I am interested to know if a good headphone amp can improve sound quality or just makes the sound of cheaper cans louder. My previous understanding is that people tend to turn up the volume too much on cheap cans, which just causes distortion; hence, using a headphone amp get's perceived as an increase in sound quality at higher volumes compared to no amp. Then others were saying: no if anything, adding an amp to cheap cans makes things worse. Confusing!

Kind regards,

Doug.

P.S. you'e very polite, I felt like a teacher (being addressed as Sir/Madam).


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: CoJac] #2900123
10/14/19 12:38 PM
10/14/19 12:38 PM
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A good amp can improve the sound over a crappy amp that doesn't have enough juice and runs at or even beyond designed capacity.

Electrically speaking, aside from the power requirements, the damping factor (also referred to as impedance matching) is the most interesting aspect of it.

Example: I use a Titanium HD soundcard. Quality of the components is good but it has an output impedance of 35Ω.
That's not a problem for my 250Ω DT-880 but the damping factor gets too low with my Focal Clear, which has 55Ω impedance.

As a rule of thumb, you want your can to have > x10 the output impedance of your amp. That ensures low resonance of bass frequencies and tight control of the drivers.

Now my DT-880 has 250/35 = 7.1
A bit on the low side but should be high enough to not affect the frequency response of the headphone in an audible way.

Focal Clear has 55/35 = 1.5
That's too low. The result is a somewhat exaggerated bass. It adds somewhat of a warm character (which I quite happen to like).

Now, there are amps with a .1Ω output impedance. It may very well be possible that switching now would make it sound cold, uninvolved, even clinical. A.k.a.: technically more correct but possibly less fun to listen to. That's why many people love tube based amplification, though technically inferior to solid state (dodges some stones) they add what many call "pleasing distortions".

Keep in mind, these effect are very subtle but noticeable to an attentive listener.

Beyond that, there is A LOT of audio-vodoo going on in the world of amps and DACs. Tread with caution.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
you'e very polite, I felt like a teacher (being addressed as Sir/Madam).

Thanks, I strive to be, though I don't always succeed. laugh

Last edited by Granyala; 10/14/19 12:41 PM.

The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Which of these heaphones would you buy? [Re: Doug M.] #2900171
10/14/19 03:19 PM
10/14/19 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by camperbc
I am about to learn if either (or perhaps both?) of my two very-nice pairs of headphones will make my soon-to-be-delivered new Casio Privia PX-870 digital piano sound good. I currently own the outstanding Sennheiser HD-598 headphones, (over ear/open back) as well as a compact (on ear) pair of Bang & Olufsen H2's. So I'm just curious if any of you may be using either of these two models with their digital piano, and if so, what do you think of them? Will they be a decent match for my new Privia-series piano?


Hi Camperbc,
We have a Bang & Olufsen store somewhere in Manchester I think. I would like to know your opinion on how they sound compared to the HD598's on your Casio because I am interested in the Bang brand but worried they won't work well on a digital.
I guess you can always purchase a VST to determine if the Casio PX-870 is flattered or not by the cans :-). Certainly if the HD598's are a popular choice, so should be fine for your Casio---unless the Sennheiser sound isn't your cup-of-tea.Will you let us know if the B&O's sound better or even on-a-par with the HD598's, as not many people have commented on them on Pianoworld.
Kind regards,
Doug.


Doug, I recently bought the B&O H2's, as I wanted something more compact than the Sennheisers, for when I am laying down listening to music or watching tv shows/movies on my tablet. (the HD598's get a bit "bulky" when I lay my head on a puffy pillow, for instance) I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how similar these two completely different types of headphones actually sound. As so many of us know, you can't go too far wrong with a pair of lovely HD598's.

So you can just imagine my surprise in learning that the H2's do indeed sound, to me at least, to be every bit as nice as my trusty Sennheisers... that's pretty darned impressive! As for comfort level, the H2's are very light and comfortable, but they did require about a week or so of wear for me to get accustomed to the more snug (yet just as comfy) fit. And they look amazing too! Wow, these things are so well-made... top-quality materials/craftsmanship through and through... also the velvety-soft, genuine-lambskin ear pads are a very nice touch!

Yes, I will certainly report back here, once my new Privia PX-870 has been delivered, (hopefully within the next few days) and I've had an opportunity to compare both pairs of phones while playing my early Christmas present!

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