Old 03-25-2011, 10:40 PM
TurtleFu TurtleFu is offline
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Default Sub-$150 Circumaural 'Phones for Commuter

This goes hand-in-hand with my MP3 Player thread. I'm getting a new MP3 Player and Headphones because my commute to school is very long (I take the train). I want to spend more money on the headphones than the player. However, I am still a student, so I don't have a lot of money to spend.

Budget: Up to $150, but I would prefer to pay closer to $100
Type: Circumaural, or some supra-aural. In-ear phones are extremely painful for me, and I like the sound isolation, weight, and fit of the circumaural phones. For some reason, I don't like ultra-light phones.
Primary use: Listening while sitting on a moving train. The train can be loud and I want to try and isolate outside noise. I'll also take them walking sometimes, because I like to walk around the park and take pictures.
SQ: I'm not really sure, but the type of music I listen to is mostly rock. I don't like it too high (tinny) or too low (booming bass).
Media: Rock, "art" pop, a little funk, some orchestral and piano pieces. I don't really listen to dance music, but some songs I have are more techno-ish than rock.
Source: MP3 Player, still undecided

I've been looking at some phones, but I'm not sure. The Sony MDR-V6 seem good. There are so many headphones that I'm having trouble narrowing it down.
So what do you guys thing?
Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:34 AM
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Jack4L Jack4L is offline
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If you really want isolation the Sennheiser HD280 offer the best circumaural isolation arround that price point. Best on ear isolation is also from Sennheiser with the HD25 line. I have the Sennheiser HD25 SP's and while the bass might be a bit on the muddy side I have used them the most out of any of my headphones, although these days my Aiaiai TMA-1's are going to eventually pass them. The HD25 got a good 3-4 year head start on them

I would personally go for on ear phones over circumaural ones, just because if you need to take them off big headphones are just annoying to handle.

I dont know about how loud trains are over there, but here they are pretty quiet in comparison to busses and planes, and I have taken many train rides with just my Audio Technica A900 and Denon D2000 and never been bothered by noise. So I wouldn't worry too much about the isolation, just go for the sound you like in that form factor.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:41 AM
TurtleFu TurtleFu is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions! I was looking at the Sennheiser models, but I wasn't sure which models were especially good.

Well, I would be carrying my bag to school, so I would have a place to put them. Also, I have seen some circumaural models that fold up (or they might just be supra-aural ones with larger pads, I'm not an expert)

The thing about in-ears is that it is very uncomfortable for me. For some reason, putting things in my ears completely takes away from the music because of how uncomfortable it is. That's why I don't want in-ears or earbuds.

EDIT: After some more research, it seems like the Sennheiser HD280 PRO and the Sony MDR-V6 are very comparable. They both have nearly the same price too. I think those might be my choices, but I'm not sure which one to go with.

Last edited by TurtleFu; 03-26-2011 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:01 PM
pseudohippy pseudohippy is offline
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Location: Kent Washington USA
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Take a look at the ATH M50 but they are closer to having boomy bass. It just depends who you talk to. I got mine for $90 on ebay after making an offer to the seller pro audio mart on ebay. They isolate pretty well and the cups swivel which makes it easier when they are not over your ears and just around your neck. They are pretty big though, just on the edge of portable for me. Not sure how big your other choices are, Im not familiar with those mentioned already.

EDIT: I looked at the Sony's. They seem to fold up the same as the M50, but can they do what is in the picture im posting? I couldnt tell for sure from the pic I saw. I seriously prefer cans that can lay flat like in the pic for putting them around your neck when not in use. Another option if you can find them cheap is the Shure SRHDJ750.

Ug! Why oh Why cant I stop!

Last edited by pseudohippy; 03-26-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:06 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Location: Chicago
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I own both the Sony V6 and the Senn HD280 now and can see the problem choosing between them. Matter of fact my plan was to try them both and return the one I liked the least. I was so torn that I wound up going past the return date and kept them both. Some of that was I got them both at great prices and the total was $150 for both.

Having had both of them for several months now I would choose the Senns if I were forced to to decide between the two. The bass is a bit better to my ears and the higher clamping force makes them much more isolating. The Sonys are a bit more comfortable but I value the isolation more when I'm traveling on Chicago's noisy El trains.

The ATH m50 pseudohippy mentions would be tops on my list if I were in the market for a replacement set of studio monitors. I've heard them a few times now and they seem to combine the best qualities of the Senns and the Sony. I have to qualify that with I haven't spent enough time the ATH m50 to be sure that's not new headphone placebo.

If you can find a pair within your budget from an authorized dealer they seem worth good look. Careful on eBay, there are fakes out there. The dealer pseudohippy dealt with is on the Audio Technica authorized dealer list so they should be safe. Looking at the list the other night there's eBay dealers that names are similar an authorized dealer but the addresses don't match up. I'd be careful with that if you decide to go that direction.

My experience with the Shure SRHDJ750 wasn't good at all. The third week I had them they snapped at the pivot. No abuse at all on my part, I was just putting them on normally. Fortunately I was still in the return period so I didn't lose anything on them. I may have just had a defective set and others might be fine.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:02 PM
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Big Bear Big Bear is offline
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Wow, this thread comes right on time for me!

I'm currently searching for cans myself about that price range. I narrowed my choice to the Shure SRH-440, Sennheiser HD280 and ATH M50, which I would tell you to check, TurtleFu.
I would check out the Shures, but now Skip is scaring me with the flaky build quality.
The Senns look like a cheap piece of plastic.

I would really love the ATHs, have tried them, they sound fantastic(!) and fold that way you showed, pseudohippo. However, the only stores that sell them in Canada sell them for 200$, which is out of my price range. Can someone reccomend me a Canada-shipping store that sells them for a good price?
Current gig: Zune 120 & Audio-Technica m50
Still working: Zen Nano+, Joybee 150
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:04 PM
TurtleFu TurtleFu is offline
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It seems like they are all comparable.
I'm not really THAT picky, so if one of the three are significantly cheaper than the other 2, then I'll just buy the cheapest one available. I want to keep cost down while still getting good quality, and it seems like they all have good quality.

I know not to trust most sellers on ebay, but I know trusted sellers usually have good prices. Do you guys know any good sellers?
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