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Ubertastic

Headphones Recommendation

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For the longest time, I've been listening to audio through cheap earbuds. The irony is that I keep an extensive lossless collection of music and use Apple's lossless codecs for music on my iPod.

Sound card aside (as these would be more used with an iPod), does anyone have any recommendations for an affordable, but high quality pair of headphones? While I don't expect to get studio producer quality for my money, I hope to get some pretty close.

Unfortunately, I'm not extremely familiar with technical details on audio playback devices, nor am I familiar with the price ranges on quality headphones. I'm hoping someone with previous experience could help out.

Any suggestions or information is great.

Thanks in advance,

Uber

Another note: I'm a pretty heavy listener (quite a music junkie), so durability is a valued characteristic.

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Budget? You'll get somewhere if you spend above $60 (decent) or above $100 (better).

IEM, supraural, circumaural headphones? What type are you looking for? IEM or In Ear Monitors are as the name suggests; they're like tiny monitors that you stick in your ears, but they're design is not the same as your average earbud. They have a better seal than an earbud also. Etymotic and Shure IEM are a few I know.

Supraural headphones rests on the ears. Senn hd-25 II is the best supraural headphone from what I remember. Circumaurals encloses the entire ear. There's a ton of brands in this category like Senn, Sony, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, etc.

What sort of design preference do you want? Over the head, behind the head, or in the ears? Fancy looking, bullet-proof looking, old fashion looking, or no preference?

Application? As in what will you be using this for? What genres do you listen to? Well you already answered the usage part. "Listening to music off an iPod" is what you wanted. Now we need to know what genres. Grado sr60 for example is great for rock music.

Open or Closed? Open-back headphones leaks sounds in and out. Closed is the opposite, it provides isolation. Open allows the headphones to "breathe." It sounds more natural, has better soundstage, and better separation. If you're a basshead, I'd go with closed. Closed-back generally get warm after awhile. If you don't want people next to you hearing what you're hearing, then get closed-back headphones.

Amped or Unamped? It only cost $10-$50ish for a cheap portable amp. Since you're using an iPod, I suggest getting a decent portable amp that can drive your headphones with sufficient output. In a portable scenario, you'll generally be looking at headphones that are around 1-80ohms (as long as the amp has the sufficient power to drive it). Amps help improve the sound quality if you care about achieving high fidelity. FiiO, Cmoy, and PA2V2 are cheap, but decent portable amps that come to mind. There are amps that cost 3 figures, but that's probably way out of your budget.

Advice: Do NOT buy BOSE! You can buy something better for the same price. Do NOT buy Skullcandies. They sell the worst sounding headphones ever. Don't give into their marketing tricks and hypes.

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Budget? You'll get somewhere if you spend above $60 (decent) or above $100 (better).

IEM, supraural, circumaural headphones? What type are you looking for? IEM or In Ear Monitors are as the name suggests; they're like tiny monitors that you stick in your ears, but they're design is not the same as your average earbud. They have a better seal than an earbud also. Etymotic and Shure IEM are a few I know.

Supraural headphones rests on the ears. Senn hd-25 II is the best supraural headphone from what I remember. Circumaurals encloses the entire ear. There's a ton of brands in this category like Senn, Sony, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, etc.

What sort of design preference do you want? Over the head, behind the head, or in the ears? Fancy looking, bullet-proof looking, old fashion looking, or no preference?

Application? As in what will you be using this for? What genres do you listen to? Well you already answered the usage part. "Listening to music off an iPod" is what you wanted. Now we need to know what genres. Grado sr60 for example is great for rock music.

Open or Closed? Open-back headphones leaks sounds in and out. Closed is the opposite, it provides isolation. Open allows the headphones to "breathe." It sounds more natural, has better soundstage, and better separation. If you're a basshead, I'd go with closed. Closed-back generally get warm after awhile. If you don't want people next to you hearing what you're hearing, then get closed-back headphones.

Amped or Unamped? It only cost $10-$50ish for a cheap portable amp. Since you're using an iPod, I suggest getting a decent portable amp that can drive your headphones with sufficient output. In a portable scenario, you'll generally be looking at headphones that are around 1-80ohms (as long as the amp has the sufficient power to drive it). Amps help improve the sound quality if you care about achieving high fidelity. FiiO, Cmoy, and PA2V2 are cheap, but decent portable amps that come to mind. There are amps that cost 3 figures, but that's probably way out of your budget.

Advice: Do NOT buy BOSE! You can buy something better for the same price. Do NOT buy Skullcandies. They sell the worst sounding headphones ever. Don't give into their marketing tricks and hypes.

Well let's see. Over the head would be most preferable, and the look doesn't matter. Looks =/= Sound Quality. The headphones would be primarily used with my iPod Touch, and through FL Studio. FL Studio for me is mere toying, so flat response kinds of headphones isn't exactly what I'm looking for. Genres are very wide. Industrial Rock (Nine Inch Nails primarily) will be my focus. I wouldn't mind opened or closed. Preventing sound leak is not an issue. As far as bass goes, I'm not an uber basshead, but I wouldn't want weak, saturated bass. A middling, tight bass would be good. I do want a quality sound stage. I wanted to avoid amping, but now I see that amps can be a major aid in the quality of sound. So amps can go either way, depending on the total cost of everything.

I've found AT, Senheisser, and Sony to be frequently mentioned in this price range. I haven't investigated any Grados.

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