I’ve never been really into headphones, which is surprising as I spend the same amount of time listening to music as I do asleep – and I’m happy to invest in great sheets.
However, I’ve realised recently that I may have been missing a trick. The quality of sound that decent headphones produce over say, Apple’s super-breakable grey buds, is not only instantly noticeable – but knocks those little in-ear versions out of the park.
My head has been turned by this style before (circa Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation), but I’ve never truly bought into it. They look nice, but are a little bulky, and will they make a difference? Really?
In short, yes, yes they do. We’ve got some Sennheiser wireless headphones at home (courtesy of the lovely Jed from Wolfstar) that one of us can use when wanting to watch a film and the other is working. I never believed that the difference was that marked, but hey, sometimes you have to experience it for yourself. The same was true for sound systems in general, but then I sat through one of Bose’s demos and almost spent Â£4k on some shiny new speakers for our lounge (almost).
So now I’m stuck. I know I’m craving some new headphones (for mainly sound-quality purposes, but have nothing against them looking nice at the same time). How on earth am I going to decided which ones to go for other than trawling reviews online?
The search starts here…
15 responses to “Headphone craving”
I’ve been using a Grado SR-125 for years. Excellent sound quality, but they are open so people can easily hear what you are listening to.
@Al, thanks for the suggestion but I think that might be prohibitive while travelling…
Have you tried our Sennheisers yet? I didn’t know you had…
What do you think? Last time you were out they scared the living crap out of me playing MW2.
@JW. I did, on Thursday while watching Lie to Me. The quality was phenomenal and tbh, it was a *stupid* thing to do while you were out! Scared me too! X
For great music quality I would go for the Dr Dre beats. They come in several different types, headphones and in ear. They are brilliant. Pop into a local Currys or Comet to try them. They look good too.
Thanks Gordon! I saw those in the Apple store last weekend. They’re pretty bulky and a little out of my price range, but certainly a good shout.
AKG K 271’s. About Â£100 if you shop around. Studio quality with a closed back so no sound bleed if you’re in public.
Now that sounds promising. Thanks Adam…
At home or mobile? Wired or wireless?
Has to be cans? Over-ear or on-ear.
Noise cancelling or not?
So many questions.
For wired buds I go with Klipsch – odd fitting but they rock and aren’t silly money. Failing that a set of Sennheiser 500 buds.
For wireless buds I am currently sporting a set of Plantronics Backbeat 903 (?) running over BT. Lovely sound, great battery and super comfy BUT not sound isolating.
Wired over-ear I’d have a set of Bose QuietComfort 3 with noise cancelling but Â£300 sheets.
Actually most of the Bose cans are nice.
Wireless those Sennheiser things you have are decent just not portable.
@Barney, you are my headphone guru. Think it has to be wired over-ear. Maybe Bose it is. Though I’m sure Dan Lane suggested another make to me while mocking my very suggestion that I might buy Bose. Hmmm…
Yeah but Dan’s a fanboi ;o)
The Bose On-Ear ( http://bit.ly/az8FsF ) actually sound pretty decent without all the noise-cancelling guff. Light and comfy without being too obtrusive / garish.
Apple are a bit pricey at Â£119.
These guys are at Â£78 http://bit.ly/cx8TfB
But around the Â£100 mark more common from known retailers.
I always advise Beyer Dynamic DT770 Pro for proper listening pleasure. Thousands of professional sound engineers are not wrong. Not strictly noise cancelling but as they’re closed back they do a fantastic job anyway, also silent for those around you in a quiet office.
Would also say they’re good value for Â£130.
I recommended the Shure SE530 earbuds and I stand by that recommendation. They aren’t going to win any prizes for fashion but the quality of sound they produce is absolutely stunning. One downside is that if you have lots of low quality MP3s then the encoding artifacts will be very obvious.
The trouble with Bose is that, while it’s all very nice kit, you can almost always get better quality for the same money or less.
@Barney @Dom @Dan I think I’m going to have to do the rounds and try all three in person before making a decision. I’ll let you know which set I go for 🙂
Thanks for your input all, much appreciated!
I have an assortment of Sennheisers, AKGs, beyerdynamic and Sony headphones at home. The ones I tend to use all the time are beyerdynamics DT 150 and a set of Sony MDR 7509s I picked up in Japan a few years ago.