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#1831866 - 01/25/12 07:59 PM Which headphones do you use/recommend?
real2104 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 17
I'm just looking at getting a Yamaha P155 (and will probably use it to play sound libraries that I have on my desktop) and want to know what headphones would be worth getting around the $500.

So, for those of you who have headphones, can I ask which brand/model you use? or what you might recommend?

Thanks!

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#1831875 - 01/25/12 08:14 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
I use Sennheiser HD595. They are transcendent.

Also recommended (and cheaper): AKG K240.


Edited by gvfarns (01/25/12 08:15 PM)

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#1831878 - 01/25/12 08:16 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Lynsey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
I say get Beats by Dr.Dre if you're really willing to spend up to $500... A lot of people complain that you're paying extra for the name behind them, but I have personally tried these and they have rivaled similar headphones for the same price.

Check out http://beatsbydre.com/

They even look cool to boot.

I forgot to mention, the samples I have seen used some special connectors. I however have no idea what those connectors were to make them compatible.

Also, keep in mind I haven't tried on many nice headphones, so my opinion may be biased.


Edited by Lynsey (01/25/12 08:24 PM)

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#1831881 - 01/25/12 08:20 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Lizardpants Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Austin, TX
I use a pair of AudioTechnica ATH-M30s. Extremely crisp sound, especially for the price.

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#1831893 - 01/25/12 08:39 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
johnlewisgrant Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 485
Loc: canada
I have a pair of Grado SR325s which I love, but I'm no expert. If i can do better under 500 bucks I'm open to suggestion!


JG

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#1831914 - 01/25/12 09:26 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3819
Loc: North Carolina
Do you really need to spend $500 on headphones?

Given the quality level of most digital pianos, you can get decent sound from $50 phones. I can't see spending much over $100 or $150. Any more than that is a waste, I think.

Perhaps you intend to also use the phones for other purposes?

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#1831922 - 01/25/12 09:43 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Nice headphones...very cheap compared to nice speakers. I think they are a good investment.

I wouldn't spend more than $200, though, personally. Mainly because for that price you can get really nice cans and improvements over that are marginal. I'd have to terribly rich before I would buy more expensive ones.

Heaven help us all if I'm ever that rich. I'd own every digital piano there is.

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#1831969 - 01/25/12 10:53 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: MacMacMac]
real2104 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 17
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Do you really need to spend $500 on headphones?

Perhaps you intend to also use the phones for other purposes?


Yeah, I'd be listening to lossless music too from my desktop. So I think a good pair of headphones that can last for years and years would be a good investment.

The Grado SR325s look nice. Cheers!

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#1831989 - 01/25/12 11:32 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
I use AKG K240 (600 ohms). I don't like using headphones as a rule, but lately have been using them exclusively in the studio, since I'm between monitors. Hopefully, this situation will end soon!
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Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1832119 - 01/26/12 07:34 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2396
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
AKG-701. Open, refined, detailed, non-fatiguing, comfortable. Not cheap, but worth every penny.

They need driving though - they are relatively high impedance so some DPs will need to be at maximum volume to get them loud enough. To be honest a headphone amp would be a better option with AKG-701s and many other "hi-fi" 'phones.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1832125 - 01/26/12 07:50 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Sennheiser HD598

AKG 240 MKII

As with anything, try before you buy.
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website

mp3\wav files

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#1832130 - 01/26/12 07:59 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Sketches Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Brno
AKG k701s would be my recommendation, I have owned, Grado's, Senn HD595, Beyers and some higher end Audio Technica and the AKGs blow them out of the water IMO. Need breaking in (I know, I know, it's a myth, I thought so too but it worked for men :)).

Sorry to disagree with Lynsey but I would definitely stay away from the Beats By Dre, the have a very hyped sound and IMO you are paying for the style/branding, they don't hold up against most of the competition

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#1832132 - 01/26/12 07:59 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
I have dr dre beats and found them very disappointing. I have some cheap £30 urbanz which by far out perform them.
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

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#1832173 - 01/26/12 09:30 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3216
A lot of people recommend the AKG 240 series, and they are good phones, but they are largely living on the reputation of older models, the newer ones are less neutral. The most neutral ones they ever made were probably the 240DF, though the 88 dB SPL/mW sensitivity (and 600 ohm impedance) meant that could be on the quiet side. I still use mine sometimes, but generally, my favorite phones today are my Denon AH-D2000.

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#1832179 - 01/26/12 09:37 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: EssBrace]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
They need driving though - they are relatively high impedance so some DPs will need to be at maximum volume to get them loud enough. To be honest a headphone amp would be a better option with AKG-701s and many other "hi-fi" 'phones.


This is a good point, actually, for the original poster to bear in mind. When you get headphones, if they are higher impedance than, say, 55 ohms, you will probably need to have a headphone amp. The very best headphones do tend to be high impedance, so it's something to be aware of.

Some audiophiles will say practically all headphones need a headphone amp, but most of us make do with the headphone jack on our DP or audio interface just fine with lowish impedance cans.


Edited by gvfarns (01/26/12 09:38 AM)

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#1832194 - 01/26/12 10:01 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
Seems as the amp's have been mentioned, are there any recommended ones (for the noobs amongst us).
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

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#1832209 - 01/26/12 10:23 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
If you don't own any headphones, choosing a pair that sounds good with your DP is going to be a lot more convenient than having to keep a separate box wired in between the DP and headphone every time you play. Pick something with <50 ohms impedance (16-40 ohms is a good range) and good sensitivity (ideally 100dB/mW or more, even 96-98dB/mW is fine) and you won't need a headphone amp for good sound.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1832210 - 01/26/12 10:24 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'll be interested in hearing any replies to this query about headphone amps. However, I kind of don't expect many. It's kind of like when you ask in this forum which are the best HiFi speakers to get for your digital piano, you don't get much input. Unfortunately the participants in the forum are digital piano people, not usually HiFi people.

Though I almost wonder about believing the people on a HiFi forum. Is there really an audible difference between a $100 headphone amp and a $1,500 one if you use the same headphones and sound source with both? I tend to doubt it.


Edited by gvfarns (01/26/12 10:25 AM)

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#1832215 - 01/26/12 10:31 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: gvfarns]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'll be interested in hearing any replies to this query about headphone amps. However, I kind of don't expect many. It's kind of like when you ask in this forum which are the best HiFi speakers to get for your digital piano, you don't get much input. Unfortunately the participants in the forum are digital piano people, not usually HiFi people.

Though I almost wonder about believing the people on a HiFi forum. Is there really an audible difference between a $100 headphone amp and a $1,500 one if you use the same headphones and sound source with both? I tend to doubt it.


I'm a HiFi person but I couldn't tell you, buddy. My years of buying $1,500 pieces of listening gear are far behind me!

With my HD650's high-ish impedance and moderate-ish sensitivity, I do get a benefit from a sturdy headamp but mine was way closer to $100 than $1,500 for sure. It's also A/C powered and bulky enough I wouldn't think of rigging it up to a digital piano, what a mess of cables and clutter.



It's a model called Asgard which retails for $249 but I paid about 2/3 of that for a like-new condition used one a couple years ago.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1832217 - 01/26/12 10:32 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: gvfarns]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3819
Loc: North Carolina
Me too.

I expect the hucksters to justify their mega-prices using false claims of quantum-tunneled magneto-coupled phase inducers.

But consumers do even worse. They seem to convince themselves that items with the high prices and the phase inducers really sound better.
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Though I almost wonder about believing the people on a HiFi forum. Is there really an audible difference between a $100 headphone amp and a $1,500 one if you use the same headphones and sound source with both? I tend to doubt it.

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#1832220 - 01/26/12 10:37 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
Well for those that are technically minded there are plans out there to build the Altoid amplifiers, though I have no idea how good they would be.


Edited by MonkeyMark (01/26/12 10:43 AM)
Edit Reason: Spelling correction
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

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#1832223 - 01/26/12 10:47 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
There's guys on eBay who will sell you a little battery powered op-amp deal, same general type as the Altoid DIY headamp, for not much more than you'd spend on parts. Real inexpensive if you grab one of the cheapest ones.

Unfortunately, some of those circuits run on a 1.25V or 2.50V battery supply that limits their output voltage swing to just around 1VRMS and they don't do a good job at all with a higher-impedance headphone. So be careful...or just buy a 32-ohm headphone in the first place...
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1832227 - 01/26/12 10:55 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: Brent H]
Csillag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Hungary, Europe
Originally Posted By: Brent H
Pick something with <50 ohms impedance (16-40 ohms is a good range) and good sensitivity (ideally 100dB/mW or more, even 96-98dB/mW is fine) and you won't need a headphone amp for good sound.


On the other hand, please consider that lower impedance headphones might suck more power out from your DP, so if you intend to use two headphones simultaneously, you might run into problems, like me. Kawai support has just recommended me to use higher impedance (at least 55 ohm) headphones instead.


Edited by Csillag (01/26/12 10:59 AM)

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#1832229 - 01/26/12 10:57 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Interesting. Honestly, I'm not totally surprised as most consumer electronics in my experience are barely up to handling one headphone. Having the same little output circuit driving two at once has to be a tough ask.

High impedance headphones require a larger voltage swing at the output of the device driving them. Portable electronics as well as bare-bones, afterthought headphone jacks on larger equipment will be limited to a couple volts (or less) maximum supply rail voltage. Hence, very little ability to drive high impedance 'phones.

Low impedance headphones need not so much voltage swing but do demand considerable current to be sourced at the headphone jack when playing loudly or encountering large musical peaks. Two sets of headphones at once require the same voltage but twice the current (well, the current is additive anyway) so the current-demand thing is going to be the limiting factor.

That tells me that Kawai's headphone jack has at least several volts available but they may use the unbuffered output from a op-amp, thereby having limited current capability.


Edited by Brent H (01/26/12 11:02 AM)
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

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#1832252 - 01/26/12 11:37 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: johnlewisgrant]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5132
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I have a pair of Grado SR325s which I love, but I'm no expert. If i can do better under 500 bucks I'm open to suggestion!


JG


I bought a pair of SR 325is to use with my DP last year, and they're certainly the best (and most expensive) headphones I've ever used. When I listen to CDs or live classical concerts on digital radio through them, the realism is uncanny.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1832254 - 01/26/12 11:37 AM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
Sketches Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Brno
A good headphone amp is a great investment. I actually currently just use the headphone amp on my Mackie Onyx 400f which is a cheap and cheerful interface I had lying around when I close my studio last year. Prior to that most of my listening was off of our high end desk which of course made any headphones shine.

As for dedicated amps I would say going too expensive isn't necessary at all, go and try some out locally and see what you like, I think that is always the best solution. The only dedicated amp I have used (which is not simply a utilitarian splitter for tracking in the studio) is the Grado one and it is very nice but too pricy IMO.

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#1832307 - 01/26/12 12:59 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
KarelG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Czech Republic
Senheiser HD-598 here. I've bought them solely for my DP testing which is still to be performed, but I'm very satisfied with them now even for youtube music listening. Previously I had Senheiser's PX-100, cheap, also very good, especially considering their price but after long listening I've been tired by them. HD-598 is completely different class. But it's not obvious on first test, in fact I've thought what the h*ll I bought, my PX-100 was the same quality when I first tested them. They are also very light and comfortable.
_________________________
November 2011: piano entered into my life.

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#1832343 - 01/26/12 01:42 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: Brent H]
JackieH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 78
I have the Asgaard Head Amp and I use it with a pair of Audio Technica ATHM 50s phones--sounds absolutely phenomenal-

I run the fixed output XLR outputs into the Asgaard using 2 XLR Female to RCA cables on my MP10--

By the way for whatever reason running from the MP10's headphone out jack to the Asgaard doesn't sound anyway close to running it out the XLR outputs--Sounds very thin and Metallic coming out of the MP10's headphone jack-though just running the phones out of the phone out jack with no amp sounds fine--but coming out the XLR's to the Amp to the phones is truly sweet!!!

Great Day!!!

Jack

Highly recommend the Asgaard especially for the price and also that it is hand assembled and tested in the USA the company is called Shiit no pun intended!!!

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#1832395 - 01/26/12 03:31 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: MacMacMac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2396
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Me too.

I expect the hucksters to justify their mega-prices using false claims of quantum-tunneled magneto-coupled phase inducers.

But consumers do even worse. They seem to convince themselves that items with the high prices and the phase inducers really sound better.
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Though I almost wonder about believing the people on a HiFi forum. Is there really an audible difference between a $100 headphone amp and a $1,500 one if you use the same headphones and sound source with both? I tend to doubt it.


I just don't get this at all. Would you look at a £10,000 car and think there is no difference between it and a £100,000 car? Would you be saying "I don't buy all this smoke and mirrors about hand-stitched leather and burr walnut. And that voodoo about twin turbos and supercharging - it's all just marketing"?

In a general sense you get what you pay for. Hi-Fi people understand this in relation to Hi-Fi. Car people understand this in relation to cars. Camera people understand this in relation to cameras. And DP people understand this in relation to DPs. If you don't understand just because Hi-Fi (or whatever) is not your area of interest why not try keeping an open mind until you've heard lots of equipment at different price levels? Yes, cables can make a HUGE difference. Mains conditioners can make a HUGE difference. Don't just look on from the sidelines with little or no experience of any of this stuff and call it all bunkum.

Anyway, now I've finished ranting I use a Musical Fidelity X-Can valve headphone amp. It's been plugged into the mains (there is no on/off switch) for 15 years. I've probably only unplugged it half a dozen times. It sounds tremendously open and dynamic. But I've never used it with a DP - I might give that a go.
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#1832402 - 01/26/12 03:53 PM Re: Which headphones do you use/recommend? [Re: real2104]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Certainly there are differences in quality between low end and high end gear, in all types of gear.

However, your analogy doesn't speak to the discussion perfectly. We aren't talking about equipment that produces the sound, converts it from digital to audio, or plays it into your ear. It just amplifies it enough to drive a headphone. And we aren't talking about using it with a transcendently high end sound source and headphones, or necessarily into golden ears.

Here's another analogy: does a super-expensive car get me from my house to the next state over any faster? No. The speed limit and traffic are the limiting factors. A tiny bit of improved acceleration at the beginning won't be noticeable.

No one doubts that having improved original sounds or better headphones is noticeable. But how good do the original sounds, DAC, and headphones need to be before the extra thousand dollars or two worth of headphone amp quality can be detectable? About that I am very skeptical.

You typically get noticeably improvements in quality if what you are dumping money into is a weak link in the chain.


Edited by gvfarns (01/26/12 04:02 PM)

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