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Old 04-08-2009, 04:48 PM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Default Help deciding on headphones (HD280, 485, SR60, MDR-V600)

Hey everyone, came across these forums along my search for a new set of headphones, and was wondering if you could help me out. Right now I'm using a set of Sennheiser HD212 Pros which I enjoy alot but I've found the ear cups are a little on the small side and after a while of listening there's some discomfort. I'm looking at the $50-100 range and I've narrowed it down to these four sets:

Sennheiser HD280 - $80 @ J&R
Sennheiser HD485 - $70 @ J&R
Grado SR60 - $70 @ J&R
Sony MDR-V600 - $70 @ J&R

Do you guys think it would be worth the upgrade from the 212 Pros to any of these sets and if so which set would be the best? Comfort is a big priority for me. My music collection consists mostly of jazz, rap, and electronic music. Any help would be great. Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:33 PM
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What's the source that you're using?

FWIW, I've heard the HD280's through my D2 and didn't think they were at all impressive. Very much lacking in the bass department and the closed in soundstage made me feel claustrophobic. As for the SR60's, I haven't gotten a chance to hear them but I did get a chance to hear the MS-1, which were forged in the mountains of Mordor, by Grado and some other company and wasn't blown away by their performance. Of course, IIRC the source was either a Macbook or an ipod Nano. So yeah...
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:56 PM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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No real high end source or anything, usually either my zune 30 (due for upgrading soon) or my laptop with onboard sound.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:55 PM
daniel1703 daniel1703 is offline
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most onboard sound are inferior to commercial soundcards, which are in turn inferior to professional grade soundcards.

You might wanna get a soundcard first, with a headphone out preferably.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:21 AM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Soundcards on laptops generally aren't upgradeable though, are they? I could look into getting a better soundcard for my pc though, any suggestions for good soundcards on a moderately low budget (<$70)?

Still could use headphone advice if anyone has any too btw. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:26 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leekumkee View Post
Soundcards on laptops generally aren't upgradeable though, are they? I could look into getting a better soundcard for my pc though, any suggestions for good soundcards on a moderately low budget (<$70)?

Still could use headphone advice if anyone has any too btw. Thanks.
Going solely from what I have read, the HD280, Grado, and Sony wouldn't sound anything at all like the 212's that you say you like. The 212's have a whole lot of bass, right? The only one of those 4 that does is the HD485, but they won't be exactly the same as the 212's, given the open-back design.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leekumkee View Post
Soundcards on laptops generally aren't upgradeable though, are they? I could look into getting a better soundcard for my pc though, any suggestions for good soundcards on a moderately low budget (<$70)?
I'm not sure about budget soundcards, but there are USB soundcards (external) that would work with a laptop.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:19 AM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Going solely from what I have read, the HD280, Grado, and Sony wouldn't sound anything at all like the 212's that you say you like. The 212's have a whole lot of bass, right? The only one of those 4 that does is the HD485, but they won't be exactly the same as the 212's, given the open-back design.
I don't necessarily have a reference point to judge them on but in my opinion and based on what I read about them before I purchased them yes they're quite bass-heavy, which I do enjoy but isn't the highest priority for me, which is comfort over long periods of usage. I have a friend that I just found out has a pair of 485s that I'm gonna borrow and test drive for a while so I'll likely make my decision based on that. Thanks.

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I'm not sure about budget soundcards, but there are USB soundcards (external) that would work with a laptop.
I'll look into those, thanks.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leekumkee View Post
I don't necessarily have a reference point to judge them on but in my opinion and based on what I read about them before I purchased them yes they're quite bass-heavy, which I do enjoy but isn't the highest priority for me, which is comfort over long periods of usage. I have a friend that I just found out has a pair of 485s that I'm gonna borrow and test drive for a while so I'll likely make my decision based on that. Thanks.
Let us know what you find out.....I've looked at the 485's myself, and I still am interested.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leekumkee View Post
Soundcards on laptops generally aren't upgradeable though, are they? I could look into getting a better soundcard for my pc though, any suggestions for good soundcards on a moderately low budget (<$70)?
You can get PCMCIA, ExpressCard, Firewire, or USB sound cards for laptops. There's good ones... and cheap ones too.

Ranging from http://www.terratec.net/en/products/..._USB_9842.html and http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx to http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Ex...oDJx/index.php
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:26 AM
daniel1703 daniel1703 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
You can get PCMCIA, ExpressCard, Firewire, or USB sound cards for laptops. There's good ones... and cheap ones too.

Ranging from http://www.terratec.net/en/products/..._USB_9842.html and http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx to http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Ex...oDJx/index.php
Are the terratec's good? I'm thinking of getting a small usb soundcard for portability's sake. The onboard sound is killing me.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leekumkee View Post
Hey everyone, came across these forums along my search for a new set of headphones, and was wondering if you could help me out. Right now I'm using a set of Sennheiser HD212 Pros which I enjoy alot but I've found the ear cups are a little on the small side and after a while of listening there's some discomfort. I'm looking at the $50-100 range and I've narrowed it down to these four sets:

Sennheiser HD280 - $80 @ J&R
Sennheiser HD485 - $70 @ J&R
Grado SR60 - $70 @ J&R
Sony MDR-V600 - $70 @ J&R

Do you guys think it would be worth the upgrade from the 212 Pros to any of these sets and if so which set would be the best? Comfort is a big priority for me. My music collection consists mostly of jazz, rap, and electronic music. Any help would be great. Thanks.
The HD-485 are very warm and sound much better imo than the 212's, but they also have a bloated mid range. They are also very comfortable as they sport around the ear velor pads. The HD-280 sound very good but have bass response issues on anything below 100 hz, they need eq and in some cases can sound very boxy when bringing up the bass frequencies via eq. BBE mach bass works well to fix the bass issues on the HD-280's though. You may want to save a bit and look into the HD-555 though, but you will need a decent source for those. With a decent source they are the most detailed open cans you can get around $100, and the comfort is amazing.

Update: you can get the HD-555 for $90 at amazon, but again your source maybe a huge bottleneck...
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel1703 View Post
Are the terratec's good? I'm thinking of getting a small usb soundcard for portability's sake. The onboard sound is killing me.
It should be ok for the price, but it only has line-out, no headphone amp.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:24 PM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
You can get PCMCIA, ExpressCard, Firewire, or USB sound cards for laptops. There's good ones... and cheap ones too.

Ranging from http://www.terratec.net/en/products/..._USB_9842.html and http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx to http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Ex...oDJx/index.php
Yeah I looked a little bit into usb sound cards earlier, which I'd prefer over express cards so I could potentially move it from laptop to computer if necessary. I can't seem to find the terratec from any US-based sellers, but I was looking at this turtle beach one that is at a comparable price point, any idea how this would match up with it?

http://www.jr.com/turtle-beach/pe/TBS_1120_hy_01/

Quote:
Originally Posted by yuki View Post
The HD-485 are very warm and sound much better imo than the 212's, but they also have a bloated mid range. They are also very comfortable as they sport around the ear velor pads. The HD-280 sound very good but have bass response issues on anything below 100 hz, they need eq and in some cases can sound very boxy when bringing up the bass frequencies via eq. BBE mach bass works well to fix the bass issues on the HD-280's though. You may want to save a bit and look into the HD-555 though, but you will need a decent source for those. With a decent source they are the most detailed open cans you can get around $100, and the comfort is amazing.

Update: you can get the HD-555 for $90 at amazon, but again your source maybe a huge bottleneck...
Thanks for the input, I'm leaning towards the 485s right now so that's good news to hear that you think they're a big improvement over the 212s. I'm still gonna borrow my friend's later today and check them out in person I'll let you guys know what I end up getting. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:30 PM
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The Turtle Beach is pretty much the exact same as the Terratec, feature-wise. It seems to have headphone support too, which might make it better for your needs. I can't say anything about the sound quality, though.
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2009, 03:17 PM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Used the 485s for about two hours last night and loved them. Just listening through my laptop I thought it was a fair improvement over my 212s, and the ear cups were large enough to cover my ears so I didn't experience any of the discomfort while listening that I was getting with my 212s. Also ordered the turtle beach sound card after reading some reviews on cnet and whatnot so I'm real excited for it all to come in. Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:18 PM
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The 485's should be very good for even weaker sources, they are all around good performers ^^. The cable is also easily replaceable of the 485...
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:25 PM
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Here's a vote for the Grados. Those headphones have become a part of me over the last year. The more I use them, the more comfortable they get and the better they sound (or maybe I'm just accustomed to them). They make an awesome pair with the Sony Walkman players, and my little brother is using a set with his iPod (>_<), so power shouldn't be a problem. The SR60s are open, though, so get used to low levels if you're going to be wearing them around people a lot. Totally worth it in my opinion, the sound is very natural and crisp. Best $60 I ever spent.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:10 PM
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i think the grado is your best bet in this price range among your choice but thats just my opinion
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:31 PM
leekumkee leekumkee is offline
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Sorry for being inactive for a lil bit but just to update you guys. I ordered the HD485s and the Turtle Beach AA Micro card and have been using them for about a week now. The reason I didn't order the Grados was because I heard they have some comfort issues which was a big deal for me and the main reason I was looking into new headphones.

Anyways, my headphones came in and I couldn't be happier about my purchase. The bass is a little lower than my previous set (HD 212 Pros), but everything else is extremely clear. They feel great and the cups are big enough to go around my entire ear which I consider to be quite large. I can wear these for hours and after a while I barely even feel them on my head. A minor, nitpicky comment about them is that since the cups are so large they don't work so great around your neck.

The Turtle Beach card is nice, though I don't really have much to compare it to besides my previous on board card, but it's a huge improvement from that. Be careful with it though, it makes everything extremely loud and every time you plug it in it automatically sets the volume to 100. I almost didn't notice and probably would have demolished my headphones if I hadn't caught it before I started up some music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yuki View Post
The 485's should be very good for even weaker sources, they are all around good performers ^^. The cable is also easily replaceable of the 485...
@yuki, you said the cable is easily replaceable? Does that mean I could potentially change it out for a shorter cable? If so, where can I find one? Thanks.
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