The Headphones / In-Ear Monitors Thread (Merged)

Discussion in 'Musicians and DJs' started by macxchange, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. SE20

    SE20 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I'm not sure there is that big an improvement from your QC35II to the 700. In some aspects the QC35II is better.

    I couldn't consider the 700, for the same reason I wouldn't get the Sony WH-1000XM3 - they clamp a bit too tightly, and are hotter, than, say, the QC35II. I've tried the latter and I could wear that for hours, as you seem to do.

    For long meetings, I'm fine with using my Alessandros for sound output (they're modified Grados), as they are very light and not hot. Or my Roomjoy wireless earbuds. For sound input I use a mounted USB condenser microphone - which I find better than any headset for sound input.
     
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  2. King

    King PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Is Sony WH-1000XM4 worth a purchase? Will use it for Facetime Audio calls.
     
  3. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Any feedback on the Focal Elegia? I read that it's been discontinued and as a result is selling for almost half its original price. Is it worth its discounted price, or is the fact that it's discontinued a reason to look elsewhere? At the discounted price, what other cans are a better buy?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SE20

    SE20 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Anyone with experience buying from slo-hub philippines?
    They have good deals on 'phones but I hesitate to pull the trigger.
     
  5. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm....link to comprehensive reviews of Focal Elegia

    https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/focal-elegia.23447/reviews

    I have the Focal Utopia open back and Focal Stellia closed-back. Generally, Focal makes good to excellent headphones. They are well-made and have excellent after-sales support (bought mine from Moon Audio in North Carolina. Focal Utopia was RMAed twice with no issues. Focals have good to excellent performance, with a tilt towards bright sound signature. I have not auditioned the Elegia so I cannot recommend it one way or another.

    Elegia is Focal’s first closed-back. Stellia closed-back followed. Maybe Focal will be introducing a new closed-back to replace the Elegia but I have not heard of any fresh rumors at headfi.org.

    My current favorite closed-back is the Denon AHD 9200 from Japan. Really love it specially with the Astell & Kern SP 2000 copper. Excellent synergy. Timbre of stringed instruments like guitars is phenomenal.

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/denon-ah-d9200-2018-flagship-impressions-thread.882028/
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/3/18527803/denon-d9200-review-best-portable-headphones

    Stellia:
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/12/18221035/focal-stellia-headphones-review-price-release-date
     
    #4025 raypin, Oct 3, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  6. jai bautista

    jai bautista Active Member

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    I've tried the Elegia multiple times when I was still based overseas where my suking audio shop had a ready demo unit. I really tried my best to appreciate them (having owned a pair of Focal Elears many years back) but they just don't sound good to my ears; I really hated the hollow- and metallic-sounding midrange, which was a far cry from headphones in the similar price range. I don't know if it's the design of the inside of the headcups (perhaps it's the main reason for the unwanted resonances) or the quality of the drivers themselves (although I've read before that it hares the same drivers as the Elear; they don't sound similar, though).

    If you're getting a closed-back Focal headphone, might I suggest the Focal Stellia (but it costs A LOT). Alternatively, among similarly-priced headphones, I would steer you towards the (slightly cheaper) Sony MDR-Z7M2 or the (slightly more expensive) ZMF Aeolus. Much-cheaper alternatives would include the Fostex T60RP, the Sony MDR-M1ST (the modern/updated version of the much-lauded and -loved MDR-CD900ST).
     
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  7. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm...have the closed-backs Focal Stellia, Sony Z1R, Sennheiser HD 820 and Denon 9200. Denon wins by a mile (based on my preference).
     
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  8. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Well... as it was going for less than half the price at Adorama , I decided to take the plunge and get it last week. I also followed recommendations to replace the stock earpads with Dekoni pads and also the stock cable so I'll see when I finally get them. I'm thinking, at that price, it should be at least much better than almost similarly priced wireless headphones I have: the Sony WH-1000MX4 and the B&W PX (which i prefer over the Sony).

    I'm also hoping this is a one-off (or maybe....two, for one open-backed option—eventually). I don't want to get sucked too much into the hobby. :)
     
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  9. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mmm....for open and closed backs, Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales for all brands of headphones. Also, B stock from some brands are available from dealers. Try Moon Audio (North Carolina). Reliable dealer that I ve dealt with over the years. Or ,closer to home, Jaben Singapore (The Adelphi) and E1 Personal Audio (Far East Plaza). Lahat sila madali pakiusapan (wink wink ).

    Join us at headfi.org . The world’s best forum for anything headfi.

    82F6C397-8A9E-42AD-B50F-93B7E47FF574.png

    Moon Audio also has its own line of replacement headphone cable (Dragon line). Reasonably priced, good build quality.
     
    #4029 raypin, Oct 20, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  10. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Thanks very much for the tips and the invite! .... Although I'm afraid this will suck me into the hobby more than I am hoping I would! hehe :)

    Did a quick check of Moon Audio—oh my, their Black Dragon cable for Focal Elegia headphones cost as much as what I paid for the Elegia itself!!!! :eek:
     
  11. jai bautista

    jai bautista Active Member

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    Went off the beaten path once more and got myself a pair of Adam Audio T5V nearfield monitors (surprised that JB Music suddenly started offering them!):

    [​IMG]

    So far, I can't sing enough praises for the ribbon tweeters they use (U-ART), the midrange and highs just sound oh-so sparkly and euphoric without being too fatiguing and yet remaining within the "balanced FR curve" that nearfield monitors are known for. Had the Focal Alpha 50s before and I don't recall them sounding this sweet. And my three-year-old NW-WM1A DAP is performing an admirable job driving them!

    For those looking for "affordable" nearfield monitors ("affordable", because this is highly subjective) I highly recommend these!
     
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  12. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I'm thinking of using either my Rega Dac or Cambridge Audio CXN (v1) for headphone DAC duties (and even as a source in the case of the CXN DAC/streamer) for now, to be hooked up to a headphone amp—choosing between the Schiit Asgard 3 or the Drop THX 789 (i.e., a step up or two above entry level). I cannot try out either one because I wiill have to get them online.

    Then later on, maybe a portable DAC/amp like HipDac, but it's not a priority since I will do most of my listening desk-bound.

    Would this be a good idea (using DACs/streamers geared towards audio/HT setups for headphone use)? Any feedback on the Asgard and/or the THX? Thanks!
     
    #4032 gaol, Oct 29, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  13. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm..Schiit products good value for money gears. Dont have any Schiit. Generally, headphones perform better with better DAC and headphone amp. As a rule of thumb, go for headphone amps/dacs with at least 1 Watt (at 32 ohms) for superior driveability (better handling of the headphone drivers). That will afford you more than enough headroom for 99% of headphones in the market (except the Susvara from Hifiman).

    If you want a general purpose amplifier/DAC/Streamer, there are a few available products in the market that are good for both headphone and two-channel audio. For music, I do not use two channel setup (am exclusively headphone).

    I m a believer in less is more in the audio chain. Less equipment means less problem. Why not look at DAPs for your headphone listening? Look at Lotoo and Astell&Kern. They have some DAP models that can drive most headcans with ease.
     
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  14. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ^ Thanks. Actually, I thought of using my existing non-headphone dedicated DAC/streamer as a temporary thing. For the budget I wanted to spend on a headphone DAC and amp, I thought I might as well spend the entire budget to get a better headphone AMP for now, and use the DACs I have in the meantime.

    I'm considering DAPs as an option too, although the Lotoo and A&K (SR25) I think are beyond what I was hoping to spend. Hmmm.
     
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  15. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    mm...schiit magni vs. Asgard by @currawong (trusted headfi equipment reviewer).



    Schiit has a cult following in the headfi community.

    Focal Elear and amp/Dac synergy:

    https://www.wearableinear.com/best-dac-amp-focal-elear-headphones/
     
    #4035 raypin, Oct 30, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  16. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Thanks! I went for the Schiit Asgard amp, with the idea of possibly getting the (more expensive) Bifrost DAC later on.

    I was going back and forth between the Asgard and the Drop THX 789, but decided that the 789 may be too "aggressively clinical" and "unforgiving of lesser quality audio files" for me as described by some reviews and feedback, and especially paired with the Elegia.
     
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