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Buyer's Guide for Headphones/Earphones

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Buyer's Guide for Headphones/Earphones
-If you have any additions to this list guys...please add!

4/17/2006 - Updated headphones/earphones list with some new headphones/earphones!

Terminology:

Impedance - Resistance of the headphones. Generally speaking, the lower the impedance of a pair of headphones the easier it is for it to achiever higher volumes and hence, use up less power.
Frequency Response - Range of sound that the headphones is able to achieve, the low end being the bass and the high the treble.
Sound Pressure Level (Sensitivity) - The measure of headphone efficiency where the lower the number means it needs more power to sound as loud as those which have a higher sensitivity. In other words, the higher the sensitivity the better.
@@ - Highly Recommended
** - Personally Owned

Things to Note:
1. If you want to headphones/earphones that can be used to their full potential on portable audio devices as well, look for headphones/earphones with an impedance of 32 ohm and below.
2. Even though the wider the frequency response range the better, this is not usually an accurate assessment of how good the headphones sound in that range. For instance, Grado's often have a smaller range than Sony's, but the audio quality is still slightly better. This concept is applicable for sensitivity levels as well.
3. High impedance is more draining on the batteries of portable audio devices and supder high impedance is usually only good for people who use amps.

$40-60

@@ AKG K 27i
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 11Hz-28.5KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 126 dB

Beyerdynamic DT 231
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-18KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 95 dB

SENNHEISER DJs HD212
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 12Hz-19KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 112 dB

$60-80

@@ Shure E2C Sound Isolating Earphones
-Impedance: 16 ohms
-Frequency Response: N/A
-Sound Pressure Level: 105 dB

@@ Grado SR 60
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 98 dB

@@ AKG K 81 DJ
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 16Hz-24KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 115 dB

** Sony MDR-V600
-Impedance: 45 ohm
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 106 dB

Sony MDR-V6
-Impedance: 63 ohm
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 106 dB

$80-100

@@/** Etymotic Research ER6i
-Impedance: 16 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-16KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 108 dB

@@ Grado SR80
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 94 dB

@@/** Sony MDR-V700DJ
-Impedance: 24 ohm
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 107 dB

Sennheiser HD-280
-Impedance: 64 ohm
-Frequency Response: 8Hz-25KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 32 dB

LTB AC3 True 5.1 Surround Sound Headphone
-Impedance: N/A
-Frequency Response: 20Hz—20KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: N/A

Sony MDR-7506
-Impedance: 24 ohm
-Frequency Response: 10Hz-20KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 100 dB

$100-150

@@ Shure E3C
-Impedance: 26 ohm
-Frequency Response: N/A
-Sound Pressure Level: 115dB

@@ Grado SR-125
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 94 dB

Pioneer HDJ1000
-Impedance: 40 ohm
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 107 dB

Panasonic RP-DJ1200A
-Impedance: N/A
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: N/A

SENNHEISER HD555
-Impedance: 120 ohm
-Frequency Response: 15Hz-28KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 103 dB

Beyerdynamic DT 250-80
-Impedance: 80 ohm
-Frequency Response: 10Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 100 dB

Bose TriPort
-Impedance: 32 ohm
-Frequency Response: N/A
-Sound Pressure Level: 97 dB

AKG K 501
-Impedance: 120 ohm
-Frequency Response: 16Hz-30KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 94 dB

$150-200

@@ Etymotic Research High
-Impedance: 27 ohm
-Frequency Response: 20Hz-16KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 108 dB

@@ Sony MDR-SA1000
-Impedance: 70 ohm
-Frequency Response: 8Hz-80KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 100 dB

Sennheiser HD-595
-Impedance: 120 ohm
-Frequency Response: 12Hz-38.5KHz
-Sound Pressure Level: 104 dB
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post #2 of 23
Have you tested all these yourself?

Personaly, I'd remove the AKG 501's and the Sennheiser HD-555's for being nearly impossible to drive without a dedicated headphone amp, and a decent amp will add ~100 dollars to the price. Other than that, you seem to have put together a nice list. I'm going to assume the few with no impedance or SPL are USB headphones?
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post #3 of 23
How about the Shure E4C's(299$), and the Etymotic ER-6i's(149$), and the Apple In-Ear headphones(39$). I own all three, almost all of them are comparable. They are all quite drivable from my little mp3 player as well.
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post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
lol actually i have tried all of these....my friend started a studio and we went to a local music equipment store and listened to most of the headphones. I listed the 501 and 555 because you can actually listen to them quite well with the x-fi (my friend ended up getting the 555 for his studio) but i would not buy either. the ones i have are the sony mdr-v600 and mdr-v700

As for your suggestion pb3400, i would but i dont have much experiences with earbuds and wouldnt know how to compare them.. mebbe with your help we can get it right?
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post #5 of 23
Getting the Grado SR-125's in a couple days. Add them to the $150 category.

In addition you make an amp list to compliment the headphone list.

For me I try and stay away from huge manufactuers and try and stay with a company where all they do is make headphones and the like. Such as Grado, Shure (maybe), Etymotic, Westone, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and AKG to name a few. Just a personal preference.

I used to think my Sony MDR-V600 cans sounded great, until I head a pair of Grado SR-60's.
    
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post #6 of 23
The E4cs are amazing.
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
portable amps or what?
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post #8 of 23
Yea portable amps.
    
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post #9 of 23
Just like a CMoy amp or the like. I can help you out with the E4c's, er-6i's, and whatnot, I'll get you the info tomorrow. Spring break started today, I think that warrants a night full of CoD 2 and CS:S! Anyways, IMHO, the er-6i's have terrific clarity, but are a little lean on the bass, and the E4c's are pretty much well rounded, but not quite as crystal clear as the er-6i's. A little bit of humor, I find the foam eartips for the er-6i's work miracles when used on the shure e4c's, they sound so much better than with shure's eartips.
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post #10 of 23
I got some of these.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1051826204625

They're pretty darn good for $40. Particularly, they have tons of bass. They sound great on my X-Fi and my mp3 player.

Edit: Higher sensitivity isn't always better, especially on less-than-studio/pro-grade audio equipment. My dad got some expensive (~$150) ear bud headphones by Ultimate Ears for his Ipod nano. They have a really high sensitivity, like 125, and he said he hears more background noise and hiss than with others.
    
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