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BHSsnare
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Good cans for an ipod?

Hai guys, I'm a noob to stereophile, but I have been an audiophile for quite some time.
I am looking to get some Great cans for use with my ipod. Outside sound cancellation is also important, but not as important as quality. I hear that Sennheiser 555's are good.
Should I roll with those?

jazzfan
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

I haven't heard the Sennheiser 555s but based on what I've read about them, they appear to be very nice cans for the money and their impedance of 50 ohms means that an iPod should have enough juice to play these phones at a decent volume.

As far as sound insulation goes, the 555s are an open design so they will not be very good at either blocking outside noise or keeping the sound from the headphones from being heard by those nearby.

For slightly better impedance matching with and iPod and much better sound cancellation I would look into a pair of in ear monitors (i.e.m.s), such as those from Westone, Ultimate Ears and Shure.

And finally, for everything you might ever need or want to know about all things headphone related, check out the forums over at Head-fi.org

dcstep
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

I use Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pros. Isolation is around 25dB. They're wonderful, rivaling my AKG K701s with Cardas cabling for overall sound when driven by a headphone amp. (The 701s are too hard for the iPod to direct-drive.)

Dave

struts
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Hey BHSsnare,

Welcome to the forum! I agree with Jazzfan, the 555s are nice sounding cans and exceptional value at their street price of under $90 however their low impedance means they are not an ideal match for an iPod. They will work but they will really suck more current than the output stage can comfortably provide.

As dcstep says, a good pair of in ear monitors can offer great sound and good isolation but not everyone likes the 'feel' of them.

What attracted you about the 555s? Do you specifically want a pair of full size cans (these are clearly not best suited to mobile use which is what most people use their ipods for)? What is your budget?

BHSsnare
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

thank for your advice struts.
my price range is within $200 dollars
so in ear monitors you say?
which ones would you recommend?

struts
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Of the ones I have personal experience of:

  • Etymotic ER6i (Street price from $70). Very detailed but bass-light. Flimsy build quality but good sound for the money.
  • Ultimate Ears super.fi 5Pro (Street price from $180). Very good well-balanced sound, but there is a real 'knack' to inserting them and they stick out quite a long way. Make you look like a 'Cyberman'.
  • Ultimate Ears UE10 Pros. (Street price from $1000). My personal reference. Superb sound and custom ear molds ensure excellent isolation. Expensive !

Others that come highly recommended are the Etymotic ER4Ps (from $150) and the Shure E310s (from $175) although I haven't heard these myself.

You may also want to check out the special section on ipod replacement headphones at headroom. The recommendations are usually spot-on although you can usually find much keener prices by shopping around. With iems I would generally recommend you try before you buy to check for fit and comfort. More than any other type of headphone it's a very 'personal' choice.

Good luck!

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

I agree with Struts' recommendations here. The Ultimate Ears offer a top-to-bottom coherence that is just a joy to experience. The Etymotics, meanwhile, seem to trade some bass warmth and impact for overall detail; excellent 'phones. I also like the Shures for their size and versatility, and I find them to be more comfortable than the Etys.

And, as Struts said, Headroom is a great resource.

Good luck, BHS. Most of all, have fun. Thanks for joining the forum. It's great to see you here.

mrlowry
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Noise canceling adds no sound quality and a lot of cost. Unless you are on airplanes or trains extremely often they are a waste of money. You might check out the Sennheiser HD280PRO, which have a closed back.

In general the Sennheisers and AKGs tend to be more difficult to drive for portable devices than are the Grados. Plus to my ears the Grado headphones are richer and fuller sounding. The Grado SR60 and SR80 both work really, really well with iPods (or other portable devices.) They are all open so they don't block outside sounds from being heard. Many years ago I gave a pair of SR60 headphones to my then girlfriend who loved and treasured them even after she stopped loving and treasuring me.

BHSsnare
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Thanks for the advice Mr. Lowry. But the reason I would like outside sound cancellation AND a great audio experience is so that I can feed my music through my headphones while I play drums, and also use them for personal listening.

BillB
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

In that case, do what drummers do in the recording studio, use sealed/closed back headphones.

dcstep
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

In Ear Monitors are the way to go for playing drums and listening through a monitor feed. I love Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pros.

Dave

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?


Quote:
Noise canceling adds no sound quality and a lot of cost. Unless you are on airplanes or trains extremely often they are a waste of money. You might check out the Sennheiser HD280PRO, which have a closed back.

In general the Sennheisers and AKGs tend to be more difficult to drive for portable devices than are the Grados. Plus to my ears the Grado headphones are richer and fuller sounding. The Grado SR60 and SR80 both work really, really well with iPods (or other portable devices.) They are all open so they don't block outside sounds from being heard. Many years ago I gave a pair of SR60 headphones to my then girlfriend who loved and treasured them even after she stopped loving and treasuring me.

Ditto my experience with the Grados- just ridiculous value for the $$. I'm using a pair of the $50 Grado iPhones (yea, they look dorky- even in black) but they really woke up the sound. I've been recording mostly at 256 kbps and didn't notice any quality differences with the original buds, but the G's really make the sound acceptable for portable, travel and exercise uses.

quadlover
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

for what it is worth,
the grado iphone headphones are stupid good for the money. they have little or no isolation so they are better used for room listening rather than out in public.

the etymotics-i agree with the comment about the 6's being bass shy and somewhat flimsy. but you can pick up a set of 4's for under 200 on ebay which work outstanding, especially to isolate the outside world. they are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. be sure to try wetting the soft plug to get a better seal for better bass. it works but it may give some people headaches or listener fatigue.

i have a set of shure 500's that also work fantastic. better bass than the etymotics, but not quite as isolating or as long term comfortable. and they are more than 200.

i have fallen asleep at night with the etymotics but i can not with the shures.

i never heard the ultimates or sennheisers so i can not comment.

hope this helps,
quadlover

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

I've stuck with the Shure e3c (now E310 I think) for over 2 years and never looked back. I've listened to them constantly on my iPod and laptop at work, in the subway, and traveling (plane/train) and been extremely pleased.

The Ultimate Ears in the same price range (under $200) will probably treat you well also.

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Hi

They are very expensive ( $350 on amamzon ) but the Senn PXC 450's perform brilliantly on planes. I use mine with a classic Ipod and a Headroom Airhead amp and the quality is incredible. I travel long haul on a very regular basis for work and the noise reduction is just so relaxing, ill often just leave the phones on with no music. The other major thing is that in ear's are great for sound quality and value but they are so fiddly to get just right, then once u do u have to take them out for a bathroom or to talk to someone the Senn's avoid all that.

So if your using the phones at home in peace and quiet then go with the IEM but if your travelling id suggest checking out the Senns, the audio quality bass particularly is spectecular.

Alan

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Hey, I use the Senn PXC450s, too! (Wait, I think I vaguely remember recommending the Senns to you, Alan, on this forum... or was it to someone else?) They're definitely not value-leaders, so in that sense, I can't recommend them. That said, if you're going with closed cans (which you should, for portable use, as open cans will piss everyone off) these cans are the ones to beat. I use them with noise canceling off, mostly. SQ is definitely better with NC off, IMHO. I'm a NYC commuter, and even with NC off, the seal from outside noise is adequate. They sound really really good. Incidentally, I don't use a headphone amp, just plug them straight into the iPod. Of course for the best SQ, I should use headphone amp, but I'm not to discriminating when I'm on the road. Without the amp, you have to crank up the iPod almost to the max, but the Senns sound good, even w/o portable amping. If you don't want to go with in-ears and want the best SQ possible on the road, Senn PXC450 should be one of the top cans under consideration.

Welshsox
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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Self

Yes indeed you did recommend the 450's

And a damn good idea it was !!

Alan

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Re: Good cans for an ipod?

Hooray, we both win! I'm happy that the cans worked out for you. Now, I'm waiting to see if I can digitally archive my vinyl; then I'd really use my Senns more with my iPod.

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I use my Audio Technica M50s

I use my Audio Technica M50s for on the road/travel purposes.

It produces a really natural sound which is one of the reasons I bought them. I like my sound as close to as it was recorded as possible and with that I will warn you the bass on the M50's is pretty "normal" you will find many headphones with a stronger bass response.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw2HzwUiVNg&feature=related

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/386819/audio-technica-ath-m50-review

Look up some more reviews when I bought them I didn't find even one bad review on the ATH M50 they are just really good for their money.

Best recommendation I can probably give you..

Stop being lazy and go to a store! Try the headphones recommend here for yourself. People are different and have different tastes in music. Try and listen to as many cans or in-ears as you possibly can.

One thing I can recommend.. do NOT listen to headphones that are over 400 dollar if your max price is 200. You will just hate yourself en never really enjoy your headphones :]

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I completely agree

with not listening to expensive headphones you cannot purchase. It will just give you blue ears.

Trey

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trying out headphones at a store?

I've never seen a "stereo" or high end store that had headphones that one could try out. I've only seen the Dr. Dre Beats phones plugged into captive sources at Best Buy; and the 'phones at Apple stores that are plugged into iPods (with presumably 128k and 256k music files).
Has anyone been to a store where you could listen/compare headphones in a good way?

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RHA MA450i

i would go for best of british with the RHA MA450i http://www.shoppingway.co.uk/rha-450i-for-mobile-phones

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B & W's!

Be sure to check out the B&W's, extreme comfort on the ears, as well as great sound!

dalethorn
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BHSsnare wrote:
BHSsnare wrote:

Check out the new Beats Solo2, and the Innerfidelity review. They may surprise you.

geoffkait
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Sony ear phones

I use the Sony earphones for eye Pad, sounds very good for youtube videos, etc. Clear and live. Excellent bass. These are the $30 dollars jobs with clear gel tips. I use them with my smart phone as well.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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