Audio Equipment and Home Theater Audio : Desperate! Need Headphones Recommendations!

Desperate! Need Headphones Recommendations!

Okay, here's the deal. I'm really struggling to find a good set of cans and I'm hoping some of you can make some recommendations if you own cans that you like that fit some, most, or all of my criteria. I can be pretty flexible when it comes to requirements.

Here's what I (ideally) want:

Something comfortable, with better than average bass, but not necessarily overly emphasized bass that will easily distort at high volumes. I need clear sound without muddy highs and lows, and not too much emphasis on the mids. I want something over-the-ear, not on-the-ear or in-the-ear. Most of my music is encoded in 128 or 256 bit and run it off either my laptop or iPod, so nothing crazy with 120 ohm drivers and the like. I'm really undecided on closed back vs. open back, but a not-too-bulky pair of closed ones could allow me to listen to them in public, which would be nice, but most of my listening is done at home, so that's really the least important.

I recently bought a pair of Sony MDR-NC60 noise canceling headphones, but had to return them. They sounded decent enough, but they gave an intolerable buzzing sound in the right earphone and I didn't think they were worth what I paid for them.

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD555s on order, but I've been reading some further reviews and it sounds like they require a stereo amp to reach their full potential and won't sound good with my 128 and 256 bit encoded mp3 files. I'm hoping I like them, but from the looks of it, they might be a bit 'overqualified' for my needs.

I've tested some headphones in store with my iPod and I came to the conclusion that I really like the Dr. Dre Monster Studio Beats's bass and the Bose QC3 sound clarity and EQ mix, so if I could find something that was a combination of the two, that would be perfect, but fat chance in my price range, right? Speaking of price range, I'm willing to spend up to $200, but I'm Canadian and having a hard time finding as good of a selection of headphones in a good price range as there are in the States. I've found that headphones online are usually $50-$100 more expensive here than they are across the border, which is ridiculous considering our dollar is practically on par, but I digress....

Thanks for your input in advance. I'll take any advice I can get. I'm pretty desperate!

Oh yeah, well your face is made out of GAY!

Re: Desperate! Need Headphones Recommendations!

Try the Sony 7506 "pro" headphones. I've never owned them, but I had the V7 (a slightly better consumer model), and liked them a lot. Music (as in guitars and sheet music) or DJ stores (if there's any left) should have them. Sony MDR-V900 are kind of bass-heavy (the pro version is 7509). The ones on eBay from China are fakes, by the way. The Sonys don't provide a lot of isolation, but they've got to be better than open-back or on-the-ear 'phones (like the classic Sennheiser HD-414).

Some brands of over-the-ear hearing protection come as headphone versions now, and there's aircraft headsets (which aren't cheap, and may not sound that good). The David Clark company (the green headsets nearly every pilot uses) have a stereo listening version now, "Model 10 S/DC Listen Only Headset":

Re: Desperate! Need Headphones Recommendations!

AKG K240's were always the best. They're 600 ohms and only $80. They're also extremely lightweight, so you can wear them all day. The plug needs to be stiffened with tape, otherwise it will fray. Both my AKG cords frayed within months of purchase.

But they stopped making them. The new AKG's are only about 64 ohms. Since that's the highest impedance I've seen nowadays, you might as well try them. I will have to, eventually.

From what I remember, my loaned-out Sansa drove 600 ohms adequately (if not loudly), so your iPod should have no trouble with a 60-120 ohm set. AKG's are not bassy, but they are rich and detailed.

Sony's are notoriously bassy, and the sonys at the record store were always beat to hell. I would submit that bassy phones are going to hurt your ears after a while, probably why they made the AKG's the way they did.

Basically I would look for:

Largest driver diameter
Highest impedance
Lightweight non-industrial design
No ear-to-foam contact point (foam will fray)

Sennheisers would seem to satisfy at least the first three criteria, but they're expensive. I would just avoid brands that hype. Headphones are just a simple pair of speakers. Any brand that hypes their product is probably pulling a fast one.