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Old 04-26-2012, 06:49 PM
Rosea Rosea is offline
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Default Need cheap Clip Zip phones for classical that won't block out sounds or rip my hair

I asked for a recommendation for a portable media player on these forums recently, and I have been very happy with the resulting purchase. So, thank you again, helpful AnythingButIPod.com members! I was hoping that I might be able to get some suggestions for phones as well, since the complementary earbuds probably won't last forever. I'll try to stick to the list in the stickied topic:
  • Price Range: I would prefer to spend <30 USD, and probably will not be willing to go much higher than 50 USD. I am using a Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip with Rockbox, so to the extent that such might be a limiting factor for sound quality/value, please keep that in mind.
  • Type/Design: My main concerns are portability, audibility of external noises (I need to hear approaching vehicles and such), and a design that won't catch my long hair. This tends to eliminate most full size headphones, as they almost all either block out external sounds or have shifting/locking parts or corners/unrounded grooves that snag my hair like crazy.
  • Primary location of use: Mostly, I have been using my complementary earbuds while walking from place to place, while sitting in open venues such as restaurants and libraries, and while traveling in any mode of transportation other than a privately owned vehicle (I can use cassette adapters/3.5mm cables/portable speakers then). I will probably be using whatever I end up getting for myself in the same manner.
  • Preferable SQ or Sound Signature: I listen almost exclusively to classical music. As such, midrange and frequency balance are very important to me, and bass is much less important than it is for most people. I'd like a nice, clear, perhaps even liquid sound.
  • Media: Almost exclusively classical music, as listed above. I mainly listen to orchestral works, concertos, choral works (both accompanied and a capella), chamber music, and duets/trios. I generally do not listen to unaccompanied solo performances.
  • Source: As before, I will mostly use the phones with my new Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip with Rockbox. I may use them for my computer on occasion if I feel the need for both computer audio and privacy.
  • Location: I live in a rural area in the northern reaches of the North American Atlantic Seaboard. The area is sufficiently remote that I expect to be ordering from an online vendor - local electronics offerings are sparse and unimpressive.

Other specifications: I will be plugging and unplugging the phones a lot, as I plug my Clip Zip into portable speakers whenever I am at home, and the cassette adapter whenever I am in my car. As such, durability is helpful - after only two weeks of use, already the complementary earbuds from Sandisk are fraying at the wire housing toward the connector end, and the foam earbud coverings have been lost.

I appreciate your help.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:19 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Actually, the clip zip is one of the best sounding players on the planet. Pairing it with $300+ headphones is quite common.

As for type, you don't wish to get circumaural type hp's, but you need to provide just a bit more info. Supra aural, ear bud, iem, etc. that will help quite a bit regarding recommendations.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:31 PM
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WalkGood WalkGood is offline
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Sounds to me like you're looking for earbuds, because you state you need to hear approaching vehicles and IEMs that seal good would most likely block out that ambient noise. While I do not use earbuds, I have read that people that prefer them recommend the PK3's. But wait to see if any earbud owners can confirm how they like them as I have never tried them. Here's a link to them http://www.amazon.com/YUIN-PK3-Yuin-.../ref=pd_cp_e_0

Edit: BTW Yuin also makes the Pk2 but it's above your price range, you can see it here.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:00 PM
sideways sideways is offline
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Yeah, sounds like earbuds are the way to go. You might consider getting both earbuds and IEMs so you can change up depending on how much isolation you need. The sansa earbuds actually sound pretty good IMHO, build quality is not the best though. Those Yuin ones look like they could be good, alternatively I've had good luck with the Sony MDR ones, or get some Sennheiser sports ones if that is your thing.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:08 PM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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I haven't seen the PK3 for under $30, but if you shop carefully you might be able to get the Sennheiser MX580 for $30 including shipping. B&H has it for that price, but they are sold out. I love my MX580. It has such nice highs and a nice midrange. Perfect for classical music. Many prefer the MX580 to the PK3, and some even prefer the MX580 to the PK2.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:18 PM
Rosea Rosea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
Actually, the clip zip is one of the best sounding players on the planet. Pairing it with $300+ headphones is quite common.

As for type, you don't wish to get circumaural type hp's, but you need to provide just a bit more info. Supra aural, ear bud, iem, etc. that will help quite a bit regarding recommendations.
Anything that meets my specifications will be fine, but it was my perhaps mistaken understanding that those specifications more or less limited me to exclusively earbuds and perhaps a few specially-made headphones. IEMs block ambient sounds by design, so those are out. I've only seen one or two headphone models ever that didn't look like they would block out sounds *or* catch my hair, and they were the cheap kind with a soft plastic (silicone?) band that fit around the back of the neck, with rounded corners and no snapping/adjustable parts. I don't have a name for this type of headphone set, so I'd be happy to hear what you would call them.

It's interesting that the Sansa Clip Zip should have such impressive sound quality. I'll definitely need to remember that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sideways View Post
Yeah, sounds like earbuds are the way to go. You might consider getting both earbuds and IEMs so you can change up depending on how much isolation you need. The sansa earbuds actually sound pretty good IMHO, build quality is not the best though. Those Yuin ones look like they could be good, alternatively I've had good luck with the Sony MDR ones, or get some Sennheiser sports ones if that is your thing.
It might be a good idea to have a set of IEMs for switching as the situation warrants, but I like to be able to hear someone approaching me to ask a question or something like that, so I think the only time I would desire a set of IEMs would be if I found myself in some extremely noisy place like a karaoke gathering or a student party. I'll definitely keep this in mind if my tastes change though.

---

Recommendations so far seem to be centered around the Yuin PK3 and the Sennheiser MX 580, with some mentions of the Yuin PK2 and the Sony MDR series. Does anyone here have any experience with the parts integrity of any of these phones? Durability probably won't be the deciding factor, but it's always something nice to know, especially if I'm in a hurry.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:52 PM
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As it turns out my interpretation of your post was correct and you are mainly interested in earbuds. Your options are limited in this category and thatís why I recommended the PK3s or 2s above. That said, Iíve also read good things about the MX580s, the only thing I noticed about them that I donít like is the inline volume control. I say this because it looks like they have a slider switch and I have had bad luck with them in the past due to it loosening over time. I would try searching out a few good reviews about the 3 to determine which of them would meet your needs best and pull the trigger. FWIW Iíve always found Sennheiser products to be top notch build quality so I could be wrong about the switch.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:52 PM
sideways sideways is offline
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The reason for having an isolating option is to protect your hearing in noisy environments. If for example, you are riding the subway and have to crank up the volume to drown out the train noise you are running the risk of damaging your hearing. If someone wants to get your attention they will be able to no matter what headphones you are using. If you are more worried about situational awareness then be aware that any music while out and about will be enough to distract you.

Anyway I'm getting off topic, get the ones that appeal to you and test them out. They should all be pretty solid choices. If you do not like them or there is a problem you can always return them.
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