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View Full Version : Diredesire: Headphone Questions. (Other opinions welcome too)


CivicLx
09-20-2007, 10:36 PM
from searching in older threads, it seems that you have a good idea about this kind of thing. I am looking for a new pair of headphones to be used with my ipod and portable DVD player. From what I've been reading on cnet.com and amazon.com (customer reviews) I have decided that if I spend in the $150-$200, I'll probably go with Shure E4Cs or UE superfi.5 Pros. if I spend just around $100 or so, I may look at Shure EC3s, some Etymotics, or a cheaper pair of Ultimate Ears.

I'm looking for a pair of earbuds only right now...comfort is a main priority.

I mostly listen to hiphop/R&B but heavy bass is not that important, or even really preferred. also listen to coldplay, norah jones, country etc.

What do you think of the reviews they do at cnet.com? Have not spent much time looking at head-fi.org but I will do some reading there too tomorrow when I get back from work.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me and is there anything else you need to know about my preferences or whatever?

diredesire
09-20-2007, 10:45 PM
from searching in older threads, it seems that you have a good idea about this kind of thing. I am looking for a new pair of headphones to be used with my ipod and portable DVD player. From what I've been reading on cnet.com and amazon.com (customer reviews) I have decided that if I spend in the $150-$200, I'll probably go with Shure E4Cs or UE superfi.5 Pros. if I spend just around $100 or so, I may look at Shure EC3s, some Etymotics, or a cheaper pair of Ultimate Ears.

I'm looking for a pair of earbuds only right now...comfort is a main priority.

I mostly listen to hiphop/R&B but heavy bass is not that important, or even really preferred. also listen to coldplay, norah jones, country etc.

What do you think of the reviews they do at cnet.com? Have not spent much time looking at head-fi.org but I will do some reading there too tomorrow when I get back from work.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me and is there anything else you need to know about my preferences or whatever?

If you're looking at canalphones, I don't think you're going to be terribly happy with the comfort level... They insert pretty far into your ear(s). Some of them look a bit goofier than others, too.

Where are you seeing the E4C's as $200? They normally retail for ~$300, but I haven't been keeping a close eye on prices.

The reviews at CNET are typically not very in depth, and talk about general consumer concerns, not necessarily the details you really want to know. For a general idea of a product, I'll check out CNET, but i'll really go to head-fi to get an idea of real world usage from a broad range of people. When you see/read/find a phone that a TON of people like, chances are it's going to be good. Also, when you do visit head-fi, keep that in mind. Someone's going to hate the headphone(s) you're looking at, but keep in mind where they're coming from, and what they like.

If you're looking for a good fit, there's not much else you can do except find a place that demos these canal phones and try them on. I personally think it's pretty gross, but some stores do offer it.

I think if comfort is a priority, the higher end UEs will be tops. Some foam tips on the Shure line are also decent. I actually modified some tips for my Ety ER6is so they would be more comfortable.

As far as sound signatures go, it's hard to generalize, and everybody is looking for something different. I typically like Rock/Alternative, with some leanings towards slower/softer music like the Norah Jones, cold play, etc. I like the ety sound signature, it might sound a little "cold" and "harsh" to some, but I like hearing reverb.

I think if you're going to have a pair of canalphones as your main/major pair of headphones, splurge a little more and get something that you'll hang on to for a long time. If you don't, you'll probably be looking to pick up a full sized set of cans in the near future (the other danger of head-fi is the wallet emptying)

AlexP
09-20-2007, 11:05 PM
http://www.turntablelab.com/dj_equipment/71/144/

surfryder
09-21-2007, 12:39 AM
go with the shures...i have a pair of the e3c and i think they are pretty good for jogging hockey or tennis when i practice... i also have a pair of sennheiser pxc 450 for the studio, but those are over ear and pretty bulky...not ideal for anything but studio

one thing i do recommend is getting the triple flange insert for your ear...so much more comfortable.

CivicLx
09-21-2007, 11:13 AM
thanks for the suggestions. my big debate right now isn't really so much about which earphones to get, but rather, if I really want to spend $100+ on earphones. It would be nice if there was a sanitary way of trying out the earphones but yeah it would be pretty gross to test earphones in a store when a dozen people have already listened with them.

as for the price on the EC4s, I believe amazon sells them that cheap and then also a place called earphonesolutions.com

Nuke
09-21-2007, 11:50 AM
Spend $15 on a pair of Koss's "The Plug" in-ear phones. There's also one called the "Spark Plug" that are similar, but I prefer the original Plugs. These sound OK out of the box, but Google [koss plug mod] and there are some easy and cheap ways to make them sound much better. They've improved the ear cushions since that was written, so you may not need that mod, but the internal foam dampening mod really helps smooth out the sound. You can't go wrong for $15.

Craig Sheppard
09-21-2007, 12:51 PM
Spend $15 on a pair of Koss's "The Plug" in-ear phones. There's also one called the "Spark Plug" that are similar, but I prefer the original Plugs. These sound OK out of the box, but Google [koss plug mod] and there are some easy and cheap ways to make them sound much better. They've improved the ear cushions since that was written, so you may not need that mod, but the internal foam dampening mod really helps smooth out the sound. You can't go wrong for $15.

I bought those about 5 years ago or so, and have to say I really, really didn't like them. There's just way too much bass for my liking, it overwhelms everything else and sounds. Granted I haven't tried the mods, since I've pretty much given up on them. But I don't think they're worth the money.

admin
09-21-2007, 01:06 PM
I've got a set of Shure E3's and they are sweet. I've been using them for a couple years now. Just don't lose them, as they are a bit expensive.

~Jeremy

diredesire
09-21-2007, 01:08 PM
thanks for the suggestions. my big debate right now isn't really so much about which earphones to get, but rather, if I really want to spend $100+ on earphones. It would be nice if there was a sanitary way of trying out the earphones but yeah it would be pretty gross to test earphones in a store when a dozen people have already listened with them.

as for the price on the EC4s, I believe amazon sells them that cheap and then also a place called earphonesolutions.com

If you listen to a lot of music, it's worth it. The Shure line is pretty darn durable, and their warranty and service is excellent. The only question is if the sound signature will suit you. I figure if you haven't gotten into nicer headphones at all, it will be a step up regardless of what you like. After that, it's all about fine tuning your equipment to your tastes.. i.e. more headphones (death).

beernutz
09-21-2007, 01:12 PM
www.head-fi.org and its associated review site www.headphonereviews.org

are the best headphone sites on the internet, IMO.

Cnet and amazon reviews are ok for some things but for headphone information I always go back to the above sources, particularly the latter one if you want to read expert reviews from actual experts.

Nuke
09-21-2007, 02:22 PM
I bought those [Koss Plugs] about 5 years ago or so, and have to say I really, really didn't like them. There's just way too much bass for my liking, it overwhelms everything else and sounds.
Yeah, the bass is too boomy unless you make the mod. Seal up the vent holes with some electrical tap inside or a drop of nail polish, and insert a slice of foam from an ear plug, and that boominess goes away. If you're the type of person who likes to customize a tennis racquet with lead, overgrips, etc., then these mods are right up your alley.

J-man
09-21-2007, 03:53 PM
I personally don't like Canal phones but the Shure I've her are good. I made a thread about headphones and lot's posters mentioned Shure for earphones.

Photoshop
09-21-2007, 09:54 PM
Stay away from Bose in-ear headphones. They are crap compared to something like EU super.fi 5 eb. I'm getting either e4c or super.fi 5 pro if I don't like the $39.99 e2c that I bought from amazon a few days ago. :D