Sennheiser HD-490 Sennheiser HD-25-1 II (for DJing) Sony MDR-7506 (for DJing) Grado SR-60 Grado SR-80
JHAudio JH-13pros (AMAZING) - I have a whole new appreciation for headphone listening for extended periods of time now that I need to use them at work! Currently my headphone system at work is blowing my mind!!! It's:
iMac runnig iTunes- my Senn HD-490s, or JHAudio's (when I can afford to cut the world out completely) w/ the StyleAudio TOPAZ headphone amp & USB DAC, Locus Design Nucleus USB cable Furutech Pure Transmission power cord on the StyleAudio WHOA! I'm LOVING this little system
My primary headphones are Beyerdynamic DT770Pro (600ohm version) that I have had since about 1998. I selected these after trying several similarly priced sealed headphones. I previously had Sennheiser HD424 that I purchased around 1976 or 77. I wanted sealed headphones rather than open air, and the Beyers simply offered the best combination of sound, comfort and ambient noise rejection of the various units I tried. Initially I used them with a Headroom "Little" amp, and have since replaced that amp with a Headroom Total Bithead, though in spite of being less expensive and designed for portable use, sounds much better than the older Little. These days they get used mostly with an iPod Classic (160GB) where the music is stored as 320kbps files. I also use my main system, either plugging my Marantz SA8001 SACD player directly into the Bithead, or running it though the preamp (a vintage PS Audio 4H) first. Due to the 600ohm load, the DT770Pro really needs a headphone amp to sound its best. I bought my son Sennheisser HD-201 headphones to use with his iPod, as he also wanted sealed headphones, since he spent a lot of time on airplanes and in buses with his hockey team this past year. In spite of the their very low price, they sounded better than most of his friends Skull Candy or Beats headphones, though a lot of that was due to his iPod also having all 320kbps files ripped from CD rather than more heavily compressed downloaded files like most of his teammates had on theirs.
I've now written about the BeatsByDre Solos for The Daily Swarm.com - and while they seem voiced a little lower-midrange and bass heavy (as indicated in my piece) IMO: They are not nearly as bad as some people are claiming, especially when you feed them with a decent signal/source. Haters will always hate. I'm most likely going to buy my review sample - as I also love the ControlTalk feature (makes them a mic and headset for iPhone)
and @Dean: The Sony MDR-7506 has been a staple in recording studios for YEARS (as you know), and mine have traveled the world w/ me (when I was DJing full-time). They are a very solid set of cans. They still work beautifully, after well over 6 years of abuse...
I own a Sennheiser HD-650 with Cardas headphone replacement cable (10 foot long RCA termination) and an older Ultimate Ears Ue-10 PRO custom IEMs. I used to be a member at Head-Fi until I requested to be permanently banned. I am glad that I am a member here at AudioEvo. Nice group of people here.
My Limited Edition clear-case Headroom Total Bithead USB DAC/headphone amp was AWESOME on the plane to and from NYC. KILLER little piece of kit, and they has put out this thing (battery or USB-powered) before many of us were even thinking of high end computer audio...
The iQube and Furutech Cruise have also been doing well - reviewing those for The Daily Swarm.com
Well, it's been over a year now that I have had all three versions of my headphone amps (bipolar, FET/MOSFET and tube). I have spent most of that time seriously auditioning them, and as a pure bonus, enjoying my collection of cans. My Senns 595 have been replaced with the new model, 598, and I must say, I for one am very happy with what Sennheiser did to them - a clear upgrade over the old version.
Not to advertise, let me just say this - headphones are a great and very convincing way of showing how different technologies can sound rather different, and yet it took me a whole year to finally make up my own mind which I liked best. The tube version is a zero global feedback, pure class A job, and all in all, it sounds really great, very relaxing, but - it simply lacks the drive energy of the other two, obvious on all my cans. Somehow, like all zero global feedback designs I have ever heard, it somehow leaves me with a feeling of a job not quite finished.
The FET (input) MOSFET (output) has most of what the tube one has, but also incomparably more drive energy. Bass really digs deep down and it illustrates how deep bass CAN be conveyed by quality cans, let alone the top models. Yet somehow, I feel they round things off a bit, which is fine with acoustic and slow paced music, but not so fine with fast moving, hard rock.
So in the end I settled on the all bipolar version. To me, and I am sure opinions WILL vary, they do the best job overall, or, put in another way, their problems are the least overall.
To celebrate, I ran up quite a bill on amazon.com for new software (CDs) and have spent the last three monrhs or so in what I'd best call a bliss all of my own. I actually look forward to the morning putting on of my new Senns. I hope some of you folk will know that feeling, and I wish you all to experience it if you haven't yet.
and I forgot the BIGGEST addition to my Can Closet!!! - Audeze LCD-3 - - my FAVORITE headphones of all-time thus far!!!! (and, I even played the Senn HD800's at Harry's house in NY recently to be sure)
I have to admit...I didn't see this discussion when it first came about. Or, perhaps I did and had no 'phones. I'm a year in with a pair of Grado SR80i. Love 'em. Tried a couple cheap tubed headphone amps, nothing satisfies me yet. I'm using an inexpensive USB DAC with them now, for laptop listening.
I have to promote....THE SHOW Newport (June) will most likely have two headphone seminars with Jorge Cervera / Headroom. He's a headphone guru!! If you go to the show, swing by for the hour; it'll be grand. I introduced him (and Tyll Herssens / Innerfidelity) last year. What would our LAOCAS president say?? They've listenened to more headphones than there are stars in the sky!!!! Good stuff.
JNICE ONE Jim!! I've actually been asked to join that headphone panel at T.H.E Show Newport by Jorge (GREAT guy) and I'm honored to do so!! Lookin' forward to it - - just used my clear-case Headroom Total Bithead headphone amp/USB DAC (via its 4 AA batteries) on my was to and back from NYC!!
That panel will be fun -
I also own a pair of Grado SR80's Jim (I think I listed them above in my first response to this thread, and LOVE em too! I've been a can devotee since I started DJing in junior high school
I just got my Etymotic ER-4PT with the 4S adapter. I also ordered an AKG K 702 which is coming this Friday afternoon. I'm thinking about getting the Sennheiser HD-800 headphones, but that will be for this Christmas 2013. I may not get the HD-800s at all. I'm more or less focused on getting a Meridian Exporer portable USB 24 bit 192 kHz DAC and headphone amplifier for my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) notebook PC. It's compatible with GNU/Linux specifically Ubuntu. I think that I'll get the Meridian Explorer late next month in March. Thereafter, I plan to get a Google Nexus 7 16 GB Wi-Fi tablet for my birthday this April. I'm really happy right now!