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Xcommunicated
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#1

Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:24 AM

My last pair of headphones were a pair of JVC HARX700s. Nearly 3 years to the date, the right can broke and the wiring got all f*cked up. Despite never traveling with them nor chucking them around, the durability of the plastic gave out from everyday use, which is disappointing. But apart from that they were the best sounding phones I've ever owned. Now I'm trying to find a worthy replacement at about the same entry-level price point I paid for the 700s, which was ~50 USD.

Here's a few that I'm considering:

Sony MDR-XB500

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Audio-Technica ATH-M30

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Panasonic RP-HTX7

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Corsair CA-9011112-WW Vengeance 1500

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What I'm looking for in these is decent isolation, not necessarily noise-canceling, but enough to block out most noises when I'm wearing them, something the HARX700s did rather well. That's a mark against the Panasonics since the reviews state they have basically no isolation.

Next I'm looking for a good , balanced sound stage. Strong bass, but not over powering the mids and highs. The XB500s look like the might be a bit too strong with the bass, and since I don't really listen to hiphop, I'm a little weary of how they'd suit other genres. Another thing that bugs me about the Sonys is the massive cushions. I'm thinking they'd get all sweaty after an hour or more of wear.

The Corsair surround sound gaming headset looks appealing, but the catch here is that it's usb and is probably going to require a decent sound card to drive them. I wouldn't mind getting a sound card to drive them so long as it was worth it, but it still would suck to be stuck using them on the PC only. I may revisit this option if I have plenty of spare cash to throw at it.

So that leaves me with the ATH-M30s. These look to be the best choice when it comes to isolation, durability and a balanced sound stage. Hopefully they're comfortable too. As much as I hear good things about the ATH-M50s I'm just not to the level of audiophile that I can justify $160 on a pair of cans. I'm thinking the M30s should suffice.


So, anyone got any recommendations before I hit buy on the M30s?

F4L?
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#2

Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:23 AM

For lower end phones i cant recommend much since i am somewhat of an audiophile.
If possible do the obvious and try them out at a tech store.

Wolf68k
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#3

Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:14 PM

Don't quote me on this. I think the Sony MDR-XB500 were the ones I looked and tried on at Best Buy one day a month or so ago. They were $80 there, same price Amazon says the retail for.
You're in the USA so you've had to been to a Best Buy at least once. It's pretty loud in there. I put those on, no music playing, and the store noise disappeared. That alone blew me away. I wish I had the time to play some music to try that out but it's Sony so I'm pretty sure they would do really well there.
And that does bring up a good idea/point. If you can see if there's a store that has them has a display demo you can try on and listen to.


I don't have such a high demand for audio so the Sennheiser HD 202 (not II) I have is just great for me. I found them some place online for $20, Amazon has the 1 and 2 for $30.
It isn't noise canceling like those Sony's are, well not as good but has some, but the audio is just fine for me.

Slamman
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#4

Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:46 AM

Sony...The one and Only. I've only got plans to replace the ear pads for my V6s, keep using them for an indefinite amount of time

freak2121
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#5

Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:42 AM Edited by freak2121, 21 March 2012 - 02:50 AM.

I have a Corsair Vengeance 1500. It's a pretty good headphone, though I'm certainly no audiophile so I can't really say HOW good it is.
The only thing I find that it sucks at is differentiating between front and rear sounds. They just seem to meld into one another, making it impossible to tell if a sound is coming from your rear or front by just listening. If I were you I'd get a Corsair Vengeance 1300 and a decent sound card, since the 1300 uses both USB and the normal audio-jack-thingy. The Vengeance is USB only and you can't use it with a sound card, it has its own.

Edit: Some more details,
The noise cancellation is alright. You can still hear everything quite well, they're just more quiet. The bass...is not amazing. You have to tweak the Dolby settings to make it decent and even after that, only rarely does it stand out amongst other sounds.

Slamman
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#6

Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:45 AM

Even if you're not an audiophile, like any speaker where the full spectrum is desired, you want a good bass response and definition that doesn't impede the treble range, that's why the V6 Sony's work so well after numerous years, their drivers do this much better then standard phones

Ryan
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#7

Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:01 AM Edited by Ryan, 21 March 2012 - 03:05 AM.

I own the Corsair Vengeance 1300, which in case you didn't know is the analog version of the 1500. I've had it for about 3 months now and am really impressed with them. They're not noise cancelling, but do pretty good job of blocking out most noise. The 1300 is designed to be used with a sound card, but I'm just running them off of the integrated sound on my Asus P6X58D-E cause I'm poor. Even without a sound card, the headphones sound amazing. The same can be said for my laptop. Using them with the integrated sound once again provides a massive upgrade and they sound amazing. As for the 1500, it's designed more for those who don't have a dedicated sound card as it includes its own that is built into the headset, however, it's more expensive.

So that being said, if you're not looking to spend a lot of cash, want a decent pair of headphones/headset and you're not an audiophile, I'd suggest the 1300. Even without a dedicated sound card it still sounds amazing! Plus the mic is pretty good too and you get a 2 year warranty from Corsair.

Here's a review and comparison between the Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500. The 1300 headset showen in the pictures is now owned by me. Got an awesome deal on it since it was sent to them as a review sample. ph34r.gif

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#8

Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:05 AM

I own a pair of Grado SR80i's and they're quite possibly the best headphones I've ever owned in terms of sound quality. Around $99, although the SR60i's cost about $70. Definitely check them out if you can.

Xcommunicated
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#9

Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:23 AM

QUOTE (Ryan @ Tuesday, Mar 20 2012, 22:01)
I own the Corsair Vengeance 1300, which in case you didn't know is the analog version of the 1500. I've had it for about 3 months now and am really impressed with them. They're not noise cancelling, but do pretty good job of blocking out most noise. The 1300 is designed to be used with a sound card, but I'm just running them off of the integrated sound on my Asus P6X58D-E cause I'm poor. Even without a sound card, the headphones sound amazing. The same can be said for my laptop. Using them with the integrated sound once again provides a massive upgrade and they sound amazing. As for the 1500, it's designed more for those who don't have a dedicated sound card as it includes its own that is built into the headset, however, it's more expensive.

So that being said, if you're not looking to spend a lot of cash, want a decent pair of headphones/headset and you're not an audiophile, I'd suggest the 1300. Even without a dedicated sound card it still sounds amazing! Plus the mic is pretty good too and you get a 2 year warranty from Corsair.

Here's a review and comparison between the Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500. The 1300 headset showen in the pictures is now owned by me. Got an awesome deal on it since it was sent to them as a review sample.  ph34r.gif

Thanks for clearing up the differences between those.

One important detail I forgot to mention is that I had the HARX700s plugged into a rather high-end a/v receiver hooked up to my pc via S/PDIF optical. But even plugging them directly into the integrated audio on my mobo still provided a fair amount of punch. I also plugged them into my guitar amp from time to time.

The Grados look like a solid choice as well since I hardly ever hear of any complaints in the sound quality they're known for, but I'm a stingy prick and honestly I think my hearing is too far damaged to ever qualify me as the type of audiophile who can pick up the various nuances in sound.

Bah, I'm gonna pull the trigger with the ATH-M30s and hope for the best. Yeah, I'd go searching around town for displays to try out, but I'm way too lazy to bother. At some point I'll try taking apart the HARX700s and repairing them, but I don't feel like dickin' with 'em for now.

I'll follow up with my impressions when they get here.

Slamman
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#10

Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:53 PM

As an aside, just a couple days ago, I saw a two headphone adapters (small to large) 1/8 , 1/4 I think IIRC, to a patch cord cable that adapts from mini-stereo to two RCA, Red and White stereo RCA phono plugs, This WOULD work if you're line-level audio is high enough to even hear! I thought about if I could use it or not. Some old school speakers plugged in using RCA, but this is not thought of as High Fidelity

You remind me of it because the Asus boards I bought use COAX RCA digital output, S/PDIF

matthew1g
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#11

Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:17 AM

i have to vouch for Audio technica. I have ATH-700PRO cans. Had them for over 4 years now. The plastic leather is falling off, however the sound quality is still as good as ever. They're technically DJ headphones and are meant to be connected to mixers, however it's because of this fact that they offer very clear sound reproduction and pretty much no distortion. Hooked up to the iMac, you'd be damned if you took the volume control anywhere near max. They can pretty much replace your desktop speakers. I've had them connected to a radio mixer once and the sound quality was amazing then.

user posted image

Slamman
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#12

Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:51 AM Edited by Slamman, 26 March 2012 - 03:07 AM.

They make a Toslink cable pin adapter following the stereo 1/8th size normally used for stereo analog, but for convenience in electronic form, the same jacks can trasport the SPDIF or analog signals, You'll see this use in portable DVD players, and laptops.

Here's a neat toy, can't find a pic of the adapter if you're not sure what they look like
The snap over the end of a regular optical Toslink cable



Found a Google link, not really for a headphone that works from digital output, but shows some of the options for optical signal handling
http://www.buy.com/t...io-adapter.html

Exxon
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#13

Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Tuesday, Mar 20 2012, 20:14)
I don't have such a high demand for audio so the Sennheiser HD 202 (not II) I have is just great for me. I found them some place online for $20, Amazon has the 1 and 2 for $30.
It isn't noise canceling like those Sony's are, well not as good but has some, but the audio is just fine for me.

Wanted to say the Sennheiser HD 202 too, but now that I read this comment.
Wolf, do you think they their quality is Ok? I think they're awesome, that bass is amazing smile.gif

Wolf68k
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#14

Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

Like I said before, for me they are great. Better than any of the over-the-ear sets I've ever had in the past. I mostly use mine for my PC gaming when my gf is watching a tv show or movie I don't care about and the rare times I need to watch TV myself, so I don't listen to a lot of music with them. The only music I listen to any more is on my iPhone and then I'm using a set of wrap-around stereo bluetooth headset or the Apple brand in-ear wired headphones.

Exxon
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#15

Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:23 PM

And your girl is fine with the fact that you go on gaming while she watches TV? tounge.gif
You should start listening to music with those, they're awesome!



My dearest apologies for going offtopic!

Slamman
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#16

Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:24 AM

Although you could argue the Sony headset I mentioned is just a freebie with a Walkman purchase, the thing I kinda demand from headphones is that wearing them doesn't become a discomfort, as important as audio quality, and the larger ear pads and even this molded, cheesy plastic head band allows for an actual comfortable wearing experience, there's just something to be said for that attribute as well

les
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#17

Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:31 AM

I might be a little blurry on this, but I think I remember recommending those HARX's to you three years ago in a topic similar to this one. I still have mine, love 'em. Just curious - why the apprehension to replace them with the same, just not happy with the longevity? It does seem to be a pretty short lifespan, but if mine broke I'd probably just get new ones since they're $40 on amazon right now. I love the sound too much, and honestly I'd be pretty bummed if I took a leap and the new cans fell short.

Slamman
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#18

Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:13 AM

Used to have testing booths in the AV stores, wired car stereos and speakers and headsets to test them, those days seem gone now

Xcommunicated
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#19

Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (les @ Monday, Mar 26 2012, 23:31)
I might be a little blurry on this, but I think I remember recommending those HARX's to you three years ago in a topic similar to this one. I still have mine, love 'em. Just curious - why the apprehension to replace them with the same, just not happy with the longevity? It does seem to be a pretty short lifespan, but if mine broke I'd probably just get new ones since they're $40 on amazon right now. I love the sound too much, and honestly I'd be pretty bummed if I took a leap and the new cans fell short.

I think I ordered mine the same time you ordered yours, except I went with the 700s and you got the 900s? But yeah, I was going to replace them with the 900s, but they're nowhere to be found right now. I settled with the ATH-M30s and I feel they're on par with the 700's sound quality.

At some point I'll attempt to repair my 700s though because they are p badass and kewl.

Slamman
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#20

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:43 AM

For my V6s, I did have to go through Sony's SoundCenter to replace the coil-cord, but the parts are available, so you don't need to scrap the entire headset, cheaper 'Phones, you typically have to.

It's nice if you have that option when you pay some 'big bills'

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#21

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:57 AM

The Sony's will be your best bet. Friend of mine has them, and they are the best headphones I've used to date. My Seinheisser 203's are pretty good, but not the best at noise isolation. I'm pretty sure their higher series have some decent isolation and cancelling.

Slamman
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#22

Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:57 AM

@Wolf, I was hardly babbling, quit slighting me and learn to cope with different experience viewpoints (RE: locked headphone threads, and any others citing me. You're very closed minded if you can't deal with my personal opinion, which is rightly presented, in fact. Opinion doesn't need to be mandated in the slightest
That said, I still feel strongly as mentioned, The Senns might be a good deal, and work as needed, My experience with them has been at KFAI radio, which replaced Sony phones with the Sennheisser, at least some of them, I was not duly impressed. I'd pay more for another pair of Sony Studio Monitors, Pretty much all headsets get annoying to wear after some time, hours even figure into the occasion... THIS IS NOT TRUE if we're talking about The Plug from Koss. They fit in your ear so you can sleep with them on!!

The V6 MDR (IIRC) Sonys I have, they use ONE WIRE to the headset, not two to both drivers, which can be an issue. The other benefit is they fold inward to make a small travel companion and come in a nice travel pouch!

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#23

Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE (Slamman @ Sunday, Apr 1 2012, 02:57)
@Wolf, I was hardly babbling, quit slighting me and learn to cope with different experience viewpoints (RE: locked headphone threads, and any others citing me. You're very closed minded if you can't deal with my personal opinion, which is rightly presented, in fact. Opinion doesn't need to be mandated in the slightest
That said, I still feel strongly as mentioned, The Senns might be a good deal, and work as needed, My experience with them has been at KFAI radio, which replaced Sony phones with the Sennheisser, at least some of them, I was not duly impressed. I'd pay more for another pair of Sony Studio Monitors, Pretty much all headsets get annoying to wear after some time, hours even figure into the occasion... THIS IS NOT TRUE if we're talking about The Plug from Koss. They fit in your ear so you can sleep with them on!!

The V6 MDR (IIRC) Sonys I have, they use ONE WIRE to the headset, not two to both drivers, which can be an issue. The other benefit is they fold inward to make a small travel companion and come in a nice travel pouch!

Wolf locked the topic because it was clearly done, yet you kept babbling on. Now you're doing it with this topic. No one's thwarting your opinion, but your opinions aren't needed now.

locked.




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