The Headphones / In-Ear Monitors Thread (Merged)

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

  1. tonettem

    tonettem Member

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    Hello. Hope you guys are keeping safe and sane during this pandemic season.

    Started to appreciate the finer side of audio many years ago but life got in the way so audio had to take a back seat.

    Recently thought of trying it out again. Dusted off my old cans and tried to find my way back.

    I'm no sound engineer. I just like to hear songs played well and I want to be "moved" by what I hear, if there is such a thing.

    I like pop songs, you know, the perky kind. And I like listening to R&B and classical too. I have an aversion to rock and the "noisy" stuff though.

    With that little background, I currently use Mr Speakers Ether driven by a Chord Hugo. I don't know how to describe the sound but to me it's wonderful, soothing, relaxed. All songs come out beautifully and I don't notice time pass by.

    What's more enjoyable is when I use the Audeze LCD-XC. Like every voice, every instrument and everything that comes in between are heightened and brought forward. You can hear everything. Literally. It's just that it's too heavy and I get tired if I use it for a long time.

    Which brings me to my question; can you guys recommend a closed back headphone that is in a similar enjoyable level as what I already have? Something that I can use for a longer time than the XC without physically getting tired? I've been looking at reviews and the closest I came to finding something that I might like is the Neumann NDH 20. But I wouldn't really know till I audition it, which is quite impossible at this time.

    Hope you guys can point me to the right direction.
     
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  2. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm...two reco closed backs: Stellia from Focal and Denon ah 7200 or 9200. I agree that the audeze XC is god-level closed back. Was able to audition it in 2017 during CanJam 2017 Singapore....paired with the Chord DAVE fed by the Chord Blu MK II Mscaler and CD transport. Really Awesome.
    I have all that equipment ( denon 9200, not the 7200) .

    The timbre of stringed instruments on the Denon 9200 is phenomenal.

     
    #4042 raypin, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    tonettem, gaol and SE20 like this.
  3. tonettem

    tonettem Member

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    Thanks for the lead @raypin! I didn't even include Denon in my list of options. Will do some digging and hope to find what I'm looking for.
     
  4. tonettem

    tonettem Member

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    @raypin, just so I know where you're coming from so I can compare my preference, what type of music do you like? What are you looking for in a headphone?
     
  5. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mmm…sound preference and equipment preference: balanced, reference sound signature. Sweet mids, slightly forward (because that is where music is at), clear delineated or layered bass with well-extended sub-bass, bass that you can feel, crystal clear treble that is never sibilant. Across the frequency response, no bleading. Wide but not unrealistic soundstage but not too wide. There should be adequate depth and height. Excellent holographic image. More musical than analytical. Very clear instrument separation that you can zoom in at will. Accurate musical instrument timbre.

    Easy to drive headphone drivers but scales up when paired with better headphone amplifier. I have equal preference for dynamic, electrostatic and planer magnetic drivers. They all have their place.

    As for musical genre, eclectic. I am comfortable with classical symphony, jazz, female audiophile vocals, OPM or even angry music like Rage Against the Machine but I draw the line at death metal.

    For format, Flac up to DSD, no mp3 or AAC.

    Reco for specific equipment:

    Electrostatic: Sennheiser HE 1 (my absolute favorite). Stax.

    Planer magnetic: Audeze series.

    Dynamic: Fostex TH 900

    DAC and headphone amp: Chord DAVE paired with Chord Blu MK II.

    DAP: Astell & Kern SP 2000 Copper

    Cable: silver plated copper, effect audio.

    In-ears: universal Vision Ears Erlkonig

    In-ears: custom Noble Audio.
     
    #4045 raypin, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    jai bautista and tonettem like this.
  6. tonettem

    tonettem Member

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    Ah yes, the sweet, balanced sound of clean music where you can hear everything clearly with no lack of bass and no overwhelming treble. That is exactly what I'm looking for.

    I'm not adept enough to determine what bleeding in the frequency response is nor what instrument timbre is also but I do like musical. Sometimes, the XC's ability to separate instruments is too much. I do appreciate it when you hear each and every note or instrument or vocal played, but not to the point where clarity kills the music.

    Mine is a bit more on the upbeat side - pop, R&B, OPM, even rap. But since we're looking for the same type of music, then I can assume that I will also like your preference in headphones.

    Thanks for indulging me with your answers @raypin. Appreciate all the help. Now time to do the digging.
     
    #4046 tonettem, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  7. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm...go to Egghead Audiohub in Shangrila Plaza to sample a wide variety of headphones.
     
  8. tonettem

    tonettem Member

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    When things settle down with this pandemic I’ll certainly do that.
     
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  9. jai bautista

    jai bautista Active Member

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    @tonettem

    As a Sony fanboi, I will gladly recommend the Sony MDR-Z7M2 (dynamic headphones) if you're looking for something that doesn't break the proverbial piggy bank. Since it's a Sony headphone, its house sound is more in line with the music genres you listen to (pop, rap, R&B). It's also available at Egghead Audiohub in Shangri-La Mall (FWIW, i got my unit from them, but during a hifi show way back in 2018, that's why i got it at a good price). I have tried more expensive pairs and I keep coming back to them sans the itch to upgrade to said more expensive pairs.

    Another pair I would also recommend would be the ZMF Aeolus (dynamic headphones, semi-closed back); I believe they're also available at Egghead.

    A bang-for-the-buck option would be the Fostex T60RP (planar magnetic headphones), but the problem is that you can only order it from Japan (c/o Amazon JP). Since its SRP is above PhP10k, expect to pay customs duties when you order a pair. If you want to go all-out, though, similar to what @raypin mentioned, I will highly recommend the Fostex TH-900 (get the newer version with detachable cables).

    I've tried the Neumann NDH 20 before and while I like the sound (reminded me of the HD600 but in closed form), it's not the most ergonomic, especially if you have large ears like me; clamping force, IIRC, is also too strong.

    Speaking of the MrSpeakers Ether, I had a pair before (the red ring'd ones); had to sell them eventually since i thought the sound isn't really groundbreaking (it was okay-ish but not something that would keep me happy in the long run). That said, if the price is right, i would like to acquire a pair of the new and improved Ether O 1.1 (the ones with blue rings). Too bad they're way, way out of my budget right now :ROFLMAO:
     
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  10. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Mm…if you are looking for new eartips or are into tip rolling for your universal in-ears, I came across this excellent silicone eartips from Korea:

    https://www.azla.co.kr/product/xelastec/

    Got mine from Lazada.ph. It is an excellent performing eartips…the best I ve had (along with Spinfit). Revelatory sound quality (wide bore). The thermoplastic works. The heat from your ears makes the eartip conform to your ear canal after wearing it for awhile. Seal is grippy. Comfort is high.

    Highly recommended.

    They also have one for the Airpods Pro.
     
    #4050 raypin, Apr 30, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021

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