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Discussion Starter #1
Looked at the various categories and thought this came closest.

In any case, I thought I'd see what headgear other people had out there.

Me
AKG701's -- A present to myself for surving tax season. Even un-amped, these things are beautiful IMO.
Senn 280Pro -- What I listen to when I need to shut out the world. Pretty good for sealed cans under ~$100.
Koss KSC75 -- pretty darned good clipon's. To me, can't be beat for <$20.

I may get some in-ear phones at some point -- the 280's don't block out the low rumble of a plane -- but, not anything too soon.

JCD
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Shure's were at the top of my list, although, I'd probably stop at the E3's.. my 701's would be my reference headphones.

I listened to some Beyer Dynamic's at a local headphone meet (nerdy? yeah. Interesting? yep. Worth it? Yes, but expensive). I think they were the DT990's. They were great.

From what I've gleaned on the various forums, there are three headphones that get the most lip service:
Beyerdynamic DT 880 (street price ~$250)
AKG K701 (street price ~$300)
Sennheiser HD650 (street price ~$350)

I'm not sure why the DT990's don't seem to get mentioned -- seems like they have a higher retail price, but lower street price.

After that, I think the cans start getting into the reeedickuluuus prices. AKG K1000's for <$1000.. supposed to sound as good as they look weird.


JCD
 

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I've got the AKG K701s too, JCD. They're great with my HeadRoom amp and a little parametric EQ from my computer.

I had the Senn HD555s before that, and they were very good for unamped headphones. They've been aptly called the heaphone gateway drug.
 

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I have the Senn HD595's which are a step up from the HD555s, but similar sounding. To me, they were a nice mix between the brighter Grado's and the warmer traditional Senn's. I love my home theater, but for the times when I have to listen to music or movies quieter than I would like (such as sleeping family), I am glad I have my headphones.

By the way, my receiver has the Dolby Headphone option. For those of you have not heard it, it is the real deal.

Ayreonaut said:
I had the Senn HD555s before that, and they were very good for unamped headphones. They've been aptly called the heaphone gateway drug.
Hi Ayreonaut, just curious what that means.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
GregBe said:
By the way, my receiver has the Dolby Headphone option. For those of you have not heard it, it is the real deal.
I wondered how well that would work. Which reciever did you get?

GregBe said:
Hi Ayreonaut, just curious what that means.
Not wanting to put words in Ayreonaut's mouth, I think he's saying the HD555's are the (good) first step in the headphone buying journey. Once you buy the 555's and realize what a good set of cans can sound like, you start looking around to see if there is anything better.. or what other accessories (e.g., headphone amps -- some headphones really need more oomph than you can typically get from an iPod or even a lot of A/V receivers) you can get to improve the sound. It's a sickness that I've recently caught.. bad.

JCD
 

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JCD said:
Not wanting to put words in Ayreonaut's mouth, I think he's saying the HD555's are the (good) first step in the headphone buying journey.
Yeah, exactly. Kind of like my first HTiB that started this home theater upgrading sickness. It gives you a taste for great sound, but after a while you start noticing some things that bug you so much that you've just got to upgrade!
 

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JCD said:
I wondered how well that would work. Which reciever did you get?
I have the HK DPR-2005. It really is amazing, and I am not just talking about the surround sound effects (which it does quite well). It also does a great job on music. I forget the exact headphone terminology, but it eliminates the problem that people have with sound being isolated in each ear, and creates a more immersive sound. If you have the time, there is a pretty interesting segment on the AVS audio show with an interview of Jack Buser Director of Consumer Electronics from Dolby Labs that explains how the process was developed.

Here is the link
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=593852
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll have to try that sometime... the technology is pretty impressive.

JCD
 

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I've tried the Dolby Headphone software plugin on my PC as well as quite a few other DSPs to the same effect.

I find that like almost all DSPs they screw up the tone and add reverb among other things. At first it sounds impressive. But it gets wearisome and I always go back to pure stereo listening.

A little simple crossfeed is nice for older mixes that put an instrument or voice entirely in one channel or the other. I usually turn the crossfeed off for most recordings though.

They are rare, but binaural recordings are pretty neat. The engineer uses a dummy head with a mic in each ear. When played back on headphones the technique can yield a very convincing sense of environment. The DSPs like Dolby Headphone cannot convicingly replicate a real binaural recording. Yet.

All of the above comments are mainly about music. Crossfeed or Dolby Headphone might be more helpful when watching movies or TV. The soundstage from regular stereo headphone listening is in your head and very disjointed from the screen in front of you. My Denon has a DSP called Virtual that effectively moves the soundstage somewhat forward. It doesn't marry the soundtrack to the screen but it helps a little. Quality suffers like I said before, but it may be the lesser of two evils for HT with headphone use. Personal preference will prevail here. I usually end up going back to stereo because tone is important to me and reverb drives me nuts.

Not all headphones image equally well. The AKG K701s paint a pretty expansive picture in the head compared to most headphones.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All of the above comments are mainly about music. Crossfeed or Dolby Headphone might be really helpful when watching movies or TV.
That's the reason I'd want to listen to the Dolby Headphone DSP. I'd like to take a listen to see how convincing it is. Listening to movies on cans seems to miss something for me.

Regular music -- I'd generally stick to Stereo like you seem to.

JCD
 
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Regular music Headphones Grado SR80 here.
Portable headphone amp PA2v2
Getting Koss PortaPro for portable use with another PA2v2 amp after payday.:yes:

Happy with the set up for the budget spent.:T
 
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