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I have a problem...with headphones!

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posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:28 PM
I just got my Bowers & Wilkins P5's today...I'll be I'm still trying to put my finger on their sound. I need a good reference track to switch between, any audiophilles here know of some good tracks I ought to get in lossy format?

Initial impressions: My Sennheiser's have a "clearer" sound. The B&W's sound a little more "muddy". The Senns sound...brighter? I may have to burn in the B&W's (although I hear that's a myth).

My Nakamichi's are Bluetooth, so naturally they've got that going against them. They also were a lot less. If any audiophile here is over 30, they probably remember Nakamichi. They went under, came back and are now owned by a Chinese company (sad face). Surprisingly, they sound *almost* as good as my Sennheiser cans that cost 3 times as much. I think Nakamichi is trying to break back into the industry and putting out extremely good products at low prices to attract some initial customers before jacking their prices back up.

Back to the B&W's...the cord sucks. It's horrible. The entire thing is a work of beauty, but the cord is the thinnest, cheapest feeling one I've seen on a pair of headphones -- even $15 generic bargain pairs!

They do provide a LOT of noise isolation for being on on-ear closed back, almost as good as the HD 25's I have. I use my Sennheiser's for DJing because of the good sound isolation.

The only pair I have on my wishlist left is a pair of AKG 701 open backs for small-time, at-home mastering of vocal, spoken word tracks. I know, I know you should master on studio monitors...well, it's not easy for me to always do that at home.

So anyone have any suggestions for music to break these new cans in with?

Oh, almost forgot!

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:32 PM
WOW! Those are some nice headphones to watch youtube clips on ats with...

Those are a better bang for you buck than those stupid "beats" all the hot shots have!

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:00 PM
a reply to: frostie

What's funny is that Apple bought out Beats...and Apple sells both Beats and these Bowers & Wilkins side by side in their stores! LOL

They are a LOT more comfortable than my Sennheisers. Even if they don't sound quite as good, they're infinitely more comfortable. I listen to a lot of audiobooks at work on my breaks/lunches -- so I figured I might as well look good LOL. Amazon had them for over $100 off on one of their "lightning deals" ... I said "I don't need these but I'll kick myself if I don't get them..."

You're right though -- beats are overpriced for the hardware. They don't sound "bad" but they ought to cost a lot less. I'm hoping now that Apple bought them, they'll raise the quality to match the price.

The impedance on the B&W cans are lower, so they sound "louder" at lower volumes. They also can go a little lower but sacrifice a bit at the top end.

I was using a pair of Allen & Heath Xone53's for DJing, but I stepped on them by accident and broke them
-- that's when I went to the Sennheiser's because all the parts are replaceable. They're ugly and uncomfortable, but damn do they sound clear and clean -- very neutral.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:19 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Initial impressions: My Sennheiser's have a "clearer" sound. The B&W's sound a little more "muddy". The Senns sound...brighter? I may have to burn in the B&W's (although I hear that's a myth).

My Sennheiser 598s are fairly bright, great soundstage, but lacks bass. So I pair it with a portable headphone amp/dac that allows me to boost bass a bit.

I highly suggest checking out the Fiio X1 player to pair up with your cans. Might just resolve your issues. Clean up that 'muddy' sound. It's a headphone amp, DAC, and a player [plays lossless formats]. Will definitely improve sound quality over playing it through a smart phone. Costs 100 bucks. Looking to get one myself.

any audiophilles here know of some good tracks I ought to get in lossy format?

Lossless you mean? How about Santana - The Magic of Santana FLAC

Or Tool. Or NIN. Or Smashing Pumpkins. Or Sevendust. Or Megadeth.

What kind of music do you like?

the cord sucks

I've replaced the cord for my 598s twice now. Ugh.

beats are overpriced for the hardware.

Yep. Their tech specs are rather atrocious for the cost.
edit on 14-10-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:42 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Since music on the internet is very lo-fi, it really doesn't matter what headphones you use. The difference you hear is due to the differing frequency response characteristics of the different phones but it's all compressed and distorted anyway. Buy the cheapest.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:53 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

Isn't that predicated on the idea Mystik is only streaming MP3s?

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:56 PM
a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Thanks! Ah you have the famous 598's ... I was eyeing those. They're open back, so I've gone back and forth between them and the AKG's ... From what I can tell, the Sennheisers are better for easy listening and the AKG's might better suited for my home recording studio. I would love a huge pair of headphones for laying around on the couch...

That player looks neat, amp and player in one -- no need to lug around an amp AND my iPhone. Thanks for the tip, I might add that to my wishlist for Christmas!

There's also an iPhone case that combines an amp/extra batter in one, but it makes your phone huge, and it costs quite a bit more than that player.

The cord...ungh, I've heard that upgrading the cord alone can improve the sound on the B&W's. It looks pretty straight forward, as the ear pads are held on by magnets, so you can just access the detachable cord:

Funny, I'm a HUGE Smashing Pumpkins fan...well, everything before Adore that is. After Adore Corgan kind of lost his damn mind. Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness has to be one of the greatest musical works of the 90's IMO. It was that dual CD album that got me playing guitar.

But before I can really upgrade any more hi-fi listening stuff (besides music) -- I have to get my USB audio interface, and large diaphragm condenser mic. I already have a Blue Snowball USB mic...but if I want to get serious about doing VO work (narrating audiobooks) -- I don't want to use a USB mic. So that's next...

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:59 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

I was looking to buy some AAC or ALAC (lossy/lossless) songs that are NOT compressed, literally the same as the CD. Not listening to online streams or videos.

And no, even with 320 bit rate MP3's I can tell the difference between cheap headphones and expensive ones. There may be cheap headphones with good frequency response, but most are pretty bad.

I was going back and forth between 320 bit rate compressed songs and the lossless version last night. It was slight, but I could hear it. I was using Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and heard a bit more detail in some of the background that the 320 bit rate compressed version was missing.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:41 AM
I just got Stennheiser Momentums for $50! Also I have Samson SR850s.

This album dropped last week. It's epic.

Something for everyone....

Even some Iggy Pop....

edit on 15-10-2015 by FlyingFox because: Helps if you like percussion....

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:49 AM
a reply to: FlyingFox

The Momentums are great, the 1.0 ones anyway, not heard 2.0 , easy on the eye too, which most Sennheisers aren't in my opinion. I can't believe you got them so cheap, are they over ear on on ear?

I have the 558s, 559s, and Urbanite xl ... you just can't go wrong with Sennheiser!
edit on VamThursday50am1031 by valiant because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:51 AM
....except for fake products.

I got mine off Amazon, restocked. I get the impression that headphone have a high return rate. No need to overpay.

I can recommend the Samson SR 850 for anyone who wants a big sound, drivers from much more expensive brands, but with a basic-generic headset...$25

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:21 AM
Okay you're going to all laugh...but I signed up for Tidal. Yes, Jay-Z's music streaming service. They stream uncompressed lossless music and have about 30 million songs. It's 20$ a month, but they give you a free trial. I may or may not continue it after the free trial is over.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:43 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

This is going to... sound... strange, but if you really want to get a sense of what your headphones can do, use classical music. Particularly from a symphony orchestra. You'll get true sense of the highs, mids, and lows that your headphones are capable of. Bach and Hans Zimmer are usually what I turn to when testing out headphones or a speaker system.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:56 AM
a reply to: EternalSolace

Yup. I feel ya. I don't dislike a good concerto!

I downloaded Rachmaninov Symphony #3 in uncompressed format tonight. I have a TON of classical music, but most of it is 192 kbps or so.

Classical music is what the royalty listened to back in the day instead of the Grateful Dead. That's the conclusion I've come to. Classical music is old school jam band music. The difference is, back in those days, only the wealthy could afford to pay musicians to jam out for them on such a grand scale.

Yeah, classical music is old jam band music...

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:58 AM

I have a pair of KRK KNS 6400's - Not the best you can get I know but I love them.

I broke those in listening to ACDC's Back in Black. Along with some drum n bass and film scores. A diverse mix! haha

Back in Black, IMO, was such a well produced album. Even listening to it today, it sounds like it was produced yesterday. I personally think it's a good starter point to at least get used to a balanced mix.

I would love a pair of Audeze LCD3's! They visually look amazing. Never hard anything through them though.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 02:27 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom
Im an audiophile(?) with over over 30 years in the music industry (live, studio,production etc)... and counting...

1- Anything with digital processing in the signal path is compromised.
2 - Try analog the whole way if you are really concerned about a true comparison.
3 - Try Tube based amplification over transistor

An ideal example would be a good turntable, properly set up (or a GOOD tapedeck - like the Nakamichi brand you talk of, they made great decks in the 70/80s, or a fostex or tascam or otari mastering decks) and a good valve based preamp/headphone amp (in my opinion even an average tube amp will still sound better than digital)

If you want to make true comparisons.

Most headphones are biased and eq'd to suit the digital domain. And most music now is overly compressed. Everyone trying to be 'one louder' than anyone else to cut thru. A good headphone will go down to 10hz and up to 30K+ with a flat as possible response curve, hence the need for analog to provide this range. Anything digital is inherently limited to 20-20k AT BEST.

In my experience the AKG K271's (series 1) are well priced and give good sound for dollars value.

And there is nothing wrong with mastering on headphones, provided you know their nuances, but you should never use open backs when recording because of bleed thru.

If you cant go analog, then just use the ones that dont give you listening fatigue.... which in a (12+ hours per day) working studio is paramount.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 02:54 AM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

Thanks for that!

These B&W's supposedly go from 10Hz (low) to 20kHz (high). The Sennheiser's I have in comparison go from 16Hz (low) to 22kHz (high). I think this may be why I'm hearing more highs with the Senns and they seem "brighter"? It's also a 28 ohm headset compared to the Sennheiser which is 70 ohms. They're not exactly flat across the frequency range, I'm not very used to looking at these things, maybe you can tell if this curve looks good or not?

I've "mastered" some vocal tracks of my own with headphones, and honestly I felt that because I was able to hear all the tiny details, I was getting a tighter and better end result. I was able to adjust the noise gate, compression settings and everything to a much finer detail than if I sat in front of some speakers.

I would, however, burn the first draft to a CD and run around playing it on all kinds of speakers though. Cheap ones, expensive ones, in cars, home theatres...I wanted to see how it sounded across the spectrum. Usually, it sounded good off the bat on high-end stuff, but not so good on lower end speakers/setups.

Cars were wonky, I could mix something together that sounded really good at home and in the ear, but sound really off in the car.

I have an old, old amp from the 1970's that belonged to my Dad. He had one of those component hi-fi setups. The thing is solid metal and weighs a ton. I have no idea what brand it is, but it pushes these two 3-way wood cabinet floor speakers that he also had. 10" woofers on those...I don't have it hooked up right now though. At one time he had a turntable, a dual tape deck, and separate radio hooked through it.

I refuse to get rid of the amp and speakers, simply refuse. They just don't make stuff like that anymore -- well, they do but they cost thousands and thousands!

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 03:02 AM
Pa reply to: MystikMushroom I used to DJ in my younger days and relied on the sennheiser hd 125 which I see from your picture you have. I went through quite a few pairs, but they are relatively cheap. Only problem I had was standing on the the long cable and occasionally pulling the lead out from the cups, but I never strayed from them, because they were so crisp. I still own a pair, but my brother tends to steal them most times he visits because he still dis. If you look on Amazon, you can always find them a a decent price. I'd stick with them. Pretty much industry standard for the last decade. As far as I reference track, I'd just listen to different tracks you play on different devices or the device your most likely to use. I'm sure a proper audiophile can suggest a track with all the right frequencies. I just mainly used them for beat matching making sure I could do it with loud monitors or in the cans themselves, if the monitors were too far away to get an accurate mix being able to mix in the headphones is important. Not all clubs care too much about the monitor placement for djs. They just see the monitor as another speaker for the dance floor

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 03:47 AM
a reply to: woodwardjnr

I dunno man, those HD25's were like $250...I guess for a good pair of DJ headphones that might be considered "cheap"? LOL I baby mine because they do feel fragile being so light and made out of plastic. People claim they're "bomb proof" -- but I certainly can't see that at all!

I've been listening to all kinds of stuff, classical, rock, electronic ... Hans Zimmer movie themes sound pretty good. I think I'm going to program this one song from "Inception" as my alarm in the morning:

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 05:25 AM
You need to try some good planar headphones, as well as your moving-coils. These would be electrostatic or orthodynamic. The best headphones I ever heard were Yamaha HP-1's which I gave to an audiobuddy, and he modded them. I listened with them after the mod, and had to pick my jaw back up.

You owe it to yourself to try some planars.

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