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Comparing Headphones

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Someone from work had just purchased a pair of Shure headphones, I don't know which, but he said they where the cheapest; and I naturally asked to try it to compare to my straight-from-the-pack iPod headphones (previous 5G headphones). I found that though the mid-range was certainly clearer, the bass was very lacking and when I change the EQ to Bass Booster, I got a very scratchy noise. I also tried his Sony (again lower range) headphones, but again, very weak at the lower end of the EQ. I found that I preferred the iPod headphones (seemed more balanced sound?) despite having read in articles that it is not very good compared to what's on the market.

 

I was thinking of getting better headphones, but after this brief encounter, I'm thinking perhaps my hard earned cash would be better spent elsewhere.

 

What do you think? What headphones do you use and why?

 

Disclaimer : I'm no audiophile. I was just comparing non-noise reducing headphones. The file I was listening to was an .mp3 at 180kps - Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm

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the cheapest sony noise cancelling headphones at the apple store: $50. nice sound, works decent with the noise cancelling, not amazing. for a casual music buff like yourself, they are perfect (i use them!)

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I am a semi-audiophile. I think the best ipod phones on the market are the Sennheiser PX 100, or the PX250. Excellent quality. Steamrolls the iphones. $50. Here's a decent article on the subject. The author praises the Koss KSC75's which are great phones, but they are kinda ugly. Probably the only good of anything Koss ever put out. :)

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i use the upgraded ipod headphones with the rubber tips and i like them a lot for music. spoken word (mostly talk show podcasts get a little "tinny") os i use the regular headphones with those but i would agree that the original ipod headphones are pretty good for my liking

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thanks all for your thoughts, just wish there was a way to test earphones before actually purchasing them (though the thought of display earphones in a busy store is rather... yucky... (not the same with headphones)).

Lots of people are recommending me Sennheisers...

 

Hope to get something soon anyway!

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I have to use earbud style ones rather than ones that cover my ears due to my listening habits. I mostly listen at work with an earbud in one ear, leaving the other to hear people talking to me. I also seem to annihilate earbuds somehow. I destroyed the earbuds from both iPods I've owned, and use with the iPod also destroyed a pair of Sony earbuds I'd had for years for Gameboys and the like. I think it's because of the iPod being in my pocket as I sit at my desk most of the day, and the cord gets bent sharply near the base eventually fraying the wires inside. What happens is the earbuds will start to cut out in one or both channels as the wire moves.

 

Anyway, after the Sonys bit the dust, I went out to the local Staples to see what they had (Staples is my only source of electronics stuff in my town other than evil Wal-Mart, how pitiful). I picked up a pair of Griffin in-ear earbuds that sound decent enough, better than the iPod's included ones and my cheap Sonys. After I got used to them being in my ear canal, I find them pretty comfortable too. We'll see how they hold up in durability if I'm not back for another pair in 6-9 months.

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thanks all for your thoughts, just wish there was a way to test earphones before actually purchasing them (though the thought of display earphones in a busy store is rather... yucky... (not the same with headphones)).

Lots of people are recommending me Sennheisers...

 

Hope to get something soon anyway!

 

there is nothing more disgusting than using display headphones. i could never imagine putting those on... sennheisers are very nice, whatever you do dont buy Bose

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i personally love my Bose QC2s there are the best headphones i have ever used, my dad also has a pair of Sennheiser which are also good (cant remember what model they are)

 

jack

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as aperson who is poor and also has a cronic ear condition i cannot use in ear headphone i find that sennheiser are excellcent headphones that give great sound unfortunatly u may get some weird looks from ppl on the train.

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there is nothing more disgusting than using display headphones. i could never imagine putting those on... sennheisers are very nice, whatever you do dont buy Bose

 

now now now, the bose quiet comfort 2 have been the greatest ever. i use them extensively for metal fabrication ie welding, grinding and for running. These have been rock solid for many projects i've created. i beat the living crap out of these. the coard is constantly yanked, pinched, smashed. The QC2 have a detachable coard, so nothing happens to them during the event they get snagged on something i'm walking around. I used the Bose TriPorts before these and the coard would get snagged up on everything i was working on. and it eventually broke. Btw, with these sets i've heard parts of songs i didn't know exisited. ie echo's of lyrics etc.

 

lemme tell you how the Bose Warranty works. I broke a pair of QC2's after about 8 months of duty in my shop. they were making bad noises from the acoustic part that tries to muffle sounds. so i called their warranty and i was kinda afraid to tell them what happened. Well they said no problem, we will replace them. No questions asked, next week brand new set at my door. I even told the gentlemen on the phone what i used them for, he said thats what their made for. If this were many other companies they would have told me NO WAY. So yah they have a 300$ price tag, but it sure does go a long ways.

 

i used the Apple inear phones and i hated them, they kept slipping out of my ear. i returned them for the Bose and i have never ever looked back. After the Bose i've never even used the earbuds, music needs definition and bass.

Edited by giantsfan

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i guess i am just bias. my uncle is a professional video editor and i have been brought up my whole life being told how horrible bose is. of course that is usually with home entertainment (home theater) and i would agree with my uncle 100% that bose lacks the quality that others have in home theater. my roommate here at college as the QC2 and i just dont see what the big deal is with them. ive messed around with them watching movies on my MB and listening to my ipod and they just arent THAT great. if i WERE to get bose i would get the triports... and thats a big IF. and the QC2's arent sexy either.

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as a person who is poor and also has a cronic ear condition i cannot use in ear headphone i find that sennheiser are excellcent headphones that give great sound unfortunatly u may get some weird looks from ppl on the train.

The Sennheiser PX100s are actually quite sexy. They are not bulky studio phones. They are as sleek as 'over the ear' phones get. The PX250s aren't as sexy, but that's the price you pay for noise reduction.

~Eric

 

P.S. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but I also have a disdain for Bose products. I have never tried the Quiet Comforts. If I was a welder... I might.

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BUY THE SENNHEISERS.

Bose headphones are considered really great by everyone. That is because they are insanely better than Apple's earbuds, and all of the Bose stores with demos out make it practically impossible to not try them out, compare them to your earbuds, and buy them on impulse because compared to them, they kick ass.

However, if you have ever compared a pair of QC2s, QC3s, or Triports (all the same inside, but the QC2s and Triports have bigger cones, meaning better bass, than the QC3s) to a pair of $200 Sennheisers, the HD 555's, which can be found on the internet for $100 (check Amazon) (stay the hell away from Dealznet.com, I'm not joking, you do NOT want to deal with them, it would be worth an extra $10 or so-- if you want the headphones within a month of ordering them and without giving away a disturbingly large amount "confimation" info-- to not buy them there), and you will see that the Sennheisers are so much better it isn't even funny. They are just amazing for their price, and they are better than the Bose as much as the Bose are better then earbuds.

And not for their price... the AKG 701's are reported by everyone I've talked to or read reviews from as THe best headphones available. Anywhere.

They can be had for $300 or less, but that's still pretty rediculous. You really want to check out the Sennheiser HD 555's, awesome headphones.

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like i said before... my roommate has the QC2's and they are so **** ugly it makes me laugh. i would never wear those in public. although the QC3's are sexier i havent had the chance to check them out yet.

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I care about how good they sound more than how they look, and the QC-whatevers kind of suck, especially for their price. The $50 Koss Porta-Pro headphones are equivelent to the $150 Triport headphones, with maybe a little bit less bass, but the Porta-Pros are really almost as good... but Bose charges $100 more for the Triports, and adding their noice cancelling is just insanely expensive. It's good, but can be had cheaper, and on better headphones. Sennheiser does make noise cancelling headphones.

 

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/categ...sp?transid=cat8

Their site is glitchy :rolleyes:

Anyway, those would definitly sound like good headphones, not like bad headphones with noice cancelling, which in reality doesn't improve sound quality. Plus they aren't ever more than like $220, whereas the Bose can be $350.

Edited by eternalnewb

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Hi

I have a pair of sony MDR J20 earclip earphones which are not good quality but good for the gym etc. as they don't fall off. For home i have PX200's which sound detailled with good balance. I can wear them for hours at a time without problem. My freind has the Shure's E2C at around 90 of your dollars. They have a full sound for an in ear option, although the in ear option will always be weak at the bottom end. I guess you have to rationalise the trade-off between size, sound and of course price.

Enjoy your music...

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there is nothing more disgusting than using display headphones. i could never imagine putting those on... sennheisers are very nice, whatever you do dont buy Bose

OK....I'll bite.....what's wrong with the Bose?

I have the Quiet Comfort 3's and although a bit expensive, have a much better sound quality than any noise canceling headphones I've compared (Panasonic and Sony).

The problem I've found with lesser priced NCP's is there is always a compromise in Sonic or Build quality.

I especially found the Sony ones I tried a year ago (can't remember the model number) tiring to listen to after 20 minutes.

The Bose I have listened to music on a flight for 3 hours with tiring.

I had 2 Panasonic's fall apart on me and there was a distinct lack of Bass response.

Finally, I have some QuietComfort 1's that I've had for three years.

When I told the Sales guy at Bose that the ear pads were coming off, they repaired and tested them for free.

Maybe your experience was different (if you've ever experinced Bose?) but I'm just telling you how I've faired with them.

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The reason to stay away from bose is that when compared to any REAL headphones, they suck. Noise cancelling's good, but they are really expensive if all you want to do is cancel noise. If you specifically want to use the lack of noise to make your music better, buy a much better pair of headphones for much cheaper. Also note that the HD-555's block, although they don't cancel, a LOT of noise. And noise cancelling messes with music quality. You are talking about taking the signal of the ambient noise going to the ear, inverting it, and feeding it into the headphones through the main headphone drivers. A great theory, but in reality, putting stuff into the drivers that are supposed to be busy with music will work, but will make the music sound a bit... weird, not as if it were a really low bitrate, not even "lower bitrate" kind of weird, but definitly off.

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