AVForums South Africa

Audio/Video Hardware => Headphones => Topic started by: Wolvebain on February 23, 2013, 06:44:22 AM

Title: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on February 23, 2013, 06:44:22 AM
Hi guys,

I was wondering, since we have a very limited choice of headphones [over-ear/around-ear/in-ear] locally, perhaps we could put a table of the below, and make it a sticky-thread:

What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: BWS on February 23, 2013, 08:56:11 AM
This thread sticky'd for that very purpose
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: kamikazi on April 29, 2013, 04:12:55 PM
For Westone's excellent in-ear monitors guys can contact Noise Clipper based in Persequor Park, Pretoria.

I have the Westone 4s and they are easily the best IEMs I have ever listened to without going the full custom route. They have 4 balanced armature drivers with a 3 way crossover. Their sound can only be described as balanced, smooth, slightly warm with a nice representation of all frequencies and as such they are suitable for all music genres. I particularly like them for classical and alternative music. The mid-range is perhaps their greatest strength and it is able to dig out details and transients that I have rarely noticed on my other over ear headphones. The Westones are quite pricey (+-R5k - R6k), especially with the current poor exchange rate, but Westone offers an excellent warranty and it comes with plenty of accessories and different style eartips out of the box and their build quality should mean that they will last quite some time. The IEMs are designed to be worn over the ear style. They are easy to drive and require no amplification. They sound great out of my Samsung Galaxy phones and even better out of my desktop DAC.

For alternatives people can look at at the Shure SE535 and then there is also Sony's XBA-4 and I have heard that recently it is possible to get Ultimate Ears IEMs in South Africa where the UE900 is a competitor. For over ear headphones options with a similar sound signature I have often found that the Westone 4 are compared to the Sennheiser HD650 and the Sennheiser Momentum range.

Rating: 4/5 (superb allround sound, a bit too expensive)

(http://www.westone.com/music/images/stories/w4_540x490.jpg)
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: kamikazi on April 29, 2013, 04:24:03 PM
Another IEM, the Yamaha EPH-100. Check out the thousands of posts on Head-fi on this excellent In Ear Monitor. Originally considered a FOTM there, it still generating strong interest more than 1,5 years after its release which implies that it has comfortably shaken off that tag and can be considered a game changer in the IEM market.

Considered amazing value in Britain and the US at around 100GBP/$150. In South Africa you can find them for less than that! How cool is that? I paid R800 for mine in April 2012 and they are simply the best sound I have ever purchased for that kind of money. To give the EPH-100 high praise, there is not a lot that separate them from the much more expensive Westone 4s that I currently have. In fact I would venture to say that they have better oomph in the bass and a comparable mid-range. They are also great lookers with a sleek aluminium housing. Where I do fault the EPH-100s is I don't find them particularly comfortable to wear due to the large nozzles and they have a slightly odd sounding treble though in no way grainy or harsh. I am still trying to source tips that would allow a more comfortable fit for my ears. I take along the EPH-100s whenever I travel and don't want to risk damage to my Westone IEMs and for that purpose they are fantastic. For electronic and dance based music I don't think there is a better IEM out there. They are also great for female vocals.

I sourced mine from Sounds Great in Centurion, but I noticed that Balanced Audio has started marketing these on their website so I presume that availability of these should have become better than in the past. At the price I don't believe these IEMs have any rivals in South Africa.

Rating 4.5/5 (would be an easy 5 if the fit wasn't an issue)

(http://data.yamaha.jp/sdb/product/image/others/raw/e/eph-100_silver_w/AB30C248176F469FB0E49028A0356301_12074.jpg)
Title: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Atom8 on April 29, 2013, 09:21:23 PM
On Kamikazi's recommendation in a post last year, I bought a pair of the Yamaha EPH-100, and absolutely love them. Outpace the Sennheiser cx-300 by about a hundred miles - in fact I don't find the Sennys better than stock i-earphones apart from a better shape.

If R 850 ish is your budget I'd grab the Yamahas without hesitation.

If you're in Joburg / Sandton, Judy on the forum can help you.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on July 09, 2013, 07:36:17 PM
Also picked up a pair of Yamaha EPH-100 from Sounds Great, at the Centurion Mall, for R.649.oo...  WoW!!! Just using them on my MBPwR & mainly on my Rockboxed Sansa Clip+, they seem to sound brighter [mids] & have slightly tighter/more punchy bass than my Vsonic GR07 Bass Edition's...

They do have some downsides tho..
One of them is the fit & feel.  My Vsonic GR07 Bass Edition's are far more comfortable and are more secure, even without it's removable/attachable around-the-ear bands [ which I'll use with these Yamaha EPH-100:) ] and without the Sony EPEX10A replacement ear-tips [as in stock set that came with GR07 BE's].

On topic of ear-tips... Sadly, the Sony EPEX10A replacement ear-tips won't fit on these Yamaha EPH-100 :( I'll do some investigating and see if I can find something similar to the EPEX10A that works on them.

Final gripe is the cable.. They tangle VERY easily... And I don't believe I'm saying that due to the friendly [tho candy-striped] cable of the Vsonic GR07 Bass Edition's, but I can't say I'm not biased because of them.  Tho, I've seen & used worse cables..

Overall, these R649.oo IEM's are worth FAR more than what they cost...
Thanks to kamikazi for this amazing recommendation!!! You're the MAN!!! :)
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Prince on July 10, 2013, 11:27:25 AM
 8)

I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD201 cans for PC and general stereo listening. All I can say is that the Sennies sound brilliant for their price. They have great clarity, with good bass articulation. Very comfortable for long listening. I'd rate them 4/5 as the head band is not adjustable and the cord is overly too long. I bought my pair from Audiovision, Canal Walk for R499.

(http://casqueaudio.co/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Casque-audio-sennheiser-hd-201-31.jpg)

 :thumbs: :thumbs:
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on September 01, 2013, 05:55:09 PM
Small heads-up on the Yamaha EPH-100:  I read online that some folks had better comfort using the smaller ear-tips, so I've just tried it out for myself.  Currently using the SS ear-tips,as they seem to lodge deeper without pushing, and don't move around; so better fit  Comfort/feel wise, I've been using them for about 30minutes, and because I haven't pushed them in to fit securely, it feels much better than before.  Sound has degraded at all either :)
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: CORY on September 02, 2013, 05:01:29 PM
I didn't get the Sennheisers, but somebody please rate them. They must be in here , somewhere
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on October 09, 2013, 08:37:42 PM
Headphone [make/model]: JBL J88 (http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/products/J88/J88_JBL_US) over ear headphones
Rating [pro/cons]: 7/10 - Pros: Great mids & mid-bass [punchy bass]. Cons: Lacks sub-bass rumble/boom; Ear-pads are a tad too small [for me & some vulcan people]; Insulation is lacking [sounds bleed is noticeable]
Sound type/for music type: All, although I'd not look at these headies for dubstep & other sub-bass focused music
Competitor/rival: At it's price range, nothing that I've found & tried locally.
Price range: R.1,299.oo - R.1,600.oo
Where to buy locally: TakeALot.co.za (http://www.takealot.com/tv-audio-video/headphones-headsets/jbl-over-ear-headphones-black,28051824)

Construction:
The ear-pads on them are not very comfortable as they are slightly on the smaller side for my ears.  The ear-pads themselves are on the puffy/thick side, so the headies look rather big when the are worn.
Also, the insulation is not the best; both external noise/sound seeping-in and sound bleed seeping out are noticeable.
Overall construction is solid & secure, but tho the cable is replaceable, it seems to use a proprietary lock mechanism/bevel which might mean some modding if using a generic replacement cable.

Sound:
As for the sound, it's not perfect, but not too bad either.
The mids are are very pronounced and clear; very nice indeed.
The highs are there, ever so slightly dull but still present...
The Bass is strange tho... the mid-bass is ever present, which gives it great punchy-ness... However, the sub-bass lacks significant rumble/boomy-ness; which can be somewhat compensated for with the right EQ settings.

Driving them with a Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ works well, tho some additional amplification helps.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: SwitchZA on October 22, 2013, 11:15:37 AM
On Kamikazi's recommendation in a post last year, I bought a pair of the Yamaha EPH-100, and absolutely love them. Outpace the Sennheiser cx-300 by about a hundred miles - in fact I don't find the Sennys better than stock i-earphones apart from a better shape.

If R 850 ish is your budget I'd grab the Yamahas without hesitation.

If you're in Joburg / Sandton, Judy on the forum can help you.

Hi guys.

I'm looking for somewhere to buy a pair of the Yamaha eph-100. Couldn't see a 'Judy' in the member list. I'm in Joburg / Sandton area - any ideas where I could get hold of these?
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Family_Dog on October 22, 2013, 02:43:29 PM
Judy (http://www.avforums.co.za/index.php?action=profile;u=13608)


Click on 'Judy".

-F_D
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: SwitchZA on October 22, 2013, 08:53:12 PM
Aha! it's a disguise :) Thanks.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on July 18, 2014, 09:29:20 PM
Headphone [make/model]: Sennheiser IE 80 (http://en-us.sennheiser.com/earphones-high-end-hifi-stereo-passive-noise-reduction-ie-80) In-Ear
Rating [pro/cons]: 9/10  - Pros: Amazing Sound detail & space.  Great highs & bass [sub + mid bass]. Replaceable cable + various in-line MIC/ControlTalk cables in the market.[/sub] Cons: Stock ear-tips are not the greatest of fit/comfort, and have poor insulation [sounds bleed is noticeable].  Sound bleed is from the bass-tuning cavity is very noticable [tape-mod sorts this out]. Price is really out there
Sound type/for music type: All
Competitor/rival: At it's price range, nothing that I've found & tried locally.
Price range: R.4,099.oo - R.4,720.oo
Where to buy locally:
Construction:
Solid built units, that are aesthetically impressive with it's brushed-metal housing.  Weight of the units are not noticable to me.
The bass-tuning feature is great, but the cavity for tuning causes a lot of sound bleed.  I've used a piece of tape to block this cavity, which resolved the issue.

Cable is interchangeable, with a variety of custom choices available from on-line stores.  Sennheiser also has a stock cable with in-line MIC/ControlTalk features; again, variety of custom choices of this type of cable is available.
Stock cable is fairly good.  I rarely used it, as I use a custom cable with in-line MIC/ControlTalk with my phone [HTC One M8]

The stock ear-tips are a really disappointing, considering the price & quality of these earphones.  They are uncomfortable & have poor insulation.  The boxed foam-tips do provide better comfort, but have the worse sound bleed.
I've replaced the stock ear-tips with the medium double-flanged ones that came with the MEElectronics Original Eartips for M11+/M11P+ Earphones (10 pairs of ear tips) (Black) (http://www.meelec.com/MEElectronics_Original_Eartips_for_M11_Earphones_p/tipset10-m11-bk-mee.htm) I purchased.  This provides a great fit, comfort, and insulation.


Sound:
These earphones sound amazing.  Definite upgrade from my Yamaha EPH-100's.
Sound is very detailed and clear.  Highs & Bass are really stunning. 
The Highs are crisp & present, but not too sharp [no ice-pick in left eye feeling].
The Mids are are present and clear; not dull in the least, but slightly less pronounced as the Highs and Bass.  Easily compensated for with EQ settings to bring their brightness up to the same level as the Highs & Bass.
The Bass is clear, not over-cooked nor dull.  Both Sub-Bass & Mid-Bass are exceptional, providing both great punchy-ness & rumble/boomy-ness

Final word
These are truely amazing IEM's.  Stock, they are great.  With a bit of changes [cable, ear-tips, blocking the bass-tuning cavity] they are INSANE!
They are easily driven by my HTC One M8 phone [crazy loud at full volume],  which removes the need for additional a portable headphone amp, and makes them the perfect on-the-go In-Ears for commuting, work, and play.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Curlycat on November 09, 2015, 07:27:38 PM
I discovered this site, very informative with short concise info on cans.

http://ko.goldenears.net/board/GR_Headphones

You will have to translate to English - in Chrome it's right click and select translate page...
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Scubadude on November 09, 2015, 09:47:34 PM
Quote from: Curlycat

I discovered this site, very informative with short concise info on cans.

http://ko.goldenears.net/board/GR_Headphones

You will have to translate to English - in Chrome it's right click and select translate page...


No need to translate the  English Goldenears Site  (http://en.goldenears.net/GR_Headphones)
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Curlycat on November 09, 2015, 09:49:24 PM
No need to translate the  English Goldenears Site  (http://en.goldenears.net/GR_Headphones)
BINGO !  :thumbs: Cool site hey?
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Scubadude on November 09, 2015, 10:26:45 PM
BINGO !  :thumbs: Cool site hey?

Absolutely ... great measurements and concise assessments.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: kamikazi on November 10, 2015, 09:29:42 PM
You guys know its in English as well? Never mind doesn't look like it's been updated in a while, still useful for older references.

http://en.goldenears.net/ (http://en.goldenears.net/)
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Wolvebain on September 03, 2016, 04:16:08 PM
Headphone [make/model]: Shure SE846 (http://www.shure.com/americas/products/earphones/se-earphones/se846-sound-isolating-earphones) IEM's
Rating [pro/cons]: 7/10 - Pros: EVERYTHING!!!. Cons:Price, No inline controls/Mic cable included, expected better cable feel for the price
Sound type/for music type: All. Detailed representation, with ample power.
Competitor/rival: Westone W60
Price range: ~R.15,000.oo [amazon import]- R.17,700.oo [locally]
Where to buy locally: MercuryMusic.co.za (https://www.mercurymusic.co.za/Shure-SE846-CL-EFS)

Construction:
Solid and light units, and since I opted for the Blue in colour version, aesthetically stunning.
The shape of units fits comfortably and securely into my ears; movement, specially with it's chunky stock cable won't case them to be dislodged.

The stock cable does feel a bit cheap tho... Very rubbery feel, and seems to tangle easily; not what I expected in an item of this price.  No inline controls or Mic cable bundled either.
I've ordered the Logitech UE 900 Communications Cable, as it seems to be getting some good reviews for the SE535 & SE846.

Sound:
Just amazing!!
If there is a draw-back, it would have to be the space is not that of open cans.
But the sound is great, that I cannot help feel that it supersedes my past IEM's and starts to sound like supra aural headphones.

The detail is ever present, but the bass is not sacrificed.
When listening to Chris Coco's version of Albatross when leaving work yesterday on the Gautrain, these IEM took an already magical song, and made me picture an Albatross in flight, in a starry-night, over a moon-light ocean,.. with it's wings moving to the bass beat.
With these IEM's when I listening to the smooth vocals of The Manhattans, the subtle guitar riffs are present and crisp, along with the bass and drums that define R&B.
They sound amazing when listening to Cream's White Room, Led Zepp's Custard Pie, Rage Against The Machine's Township Rebellion, Run the Jewels Close Your Eyes, .... everything.


I'm driving them on my HTC 10 phone, with Neutron Music Player.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Scubadude on April 03, 2017, 10:52:10 AM
Quote
You will have to translate to English - in Chrome it's right click and select translate page...

http://en.goldenears.net/

Or you can use the English site above ...

I love their rating scale ... creates a vivid image of the character of the cans without the use of flowery language.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Tenflare on August 29, 2017, 06:55:41 PM
MONOPRICE MONOLITH M1060 REVISION 2

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Monolith-M1060-Planar-Headphones/dp/B01N32N5DD

PROS:
- Price $$$
- Planar sound with brilliant detail, accuracy and quick linear bass
- Very open, airy and spacious
- Comfortable
- Soundstage and imaging are optimal
- LCD2-esque
- A potato can drive them...
- ...but they scale very well to any amping (apart from tubes)
- Suited to critical listening
- Very EQ friendly

CONS:
- Import only
- Mids are not as clear as the rest of the range
- The build quality is absolutely compromised and therefore worrying.
- The highs aren't to everyone's tastes. Be prepared to mod them if you hate sparkly treble (I don't).
- They don't respond well to valves/tubes (subjective)
- Might not be laid back enough for some
- Although easy to drive, they are open-back, and strictly for home use. If you're after something portable, buy Portapros. If you're after something good looking buy MSR7's.

MUSIC SUITABILITY:
I listen to a lot of different kinds of music and I believe the M1060's are suited to all music tastes. I've had great experiences with musicians as sonically varied as Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Dr Dre, Nico Vega,  J Cole, Hurts, Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, Tool, Deftones, Pink Floyd, Massive Attack and The Prodigy among hundreds of others. Live music, movie soundtracks, and complex synth genres like Glitch and Electropop will enjoy the seperation here as well. I find they tend more toward female vocals than male, but this has been an experience with most of my collection.

They are VERY REVEALING and will expose bad production practice such as overcompression. I reckon this is why the tubes seem so much more distorted on these than on my dynamics.     

COMPETITORS
- Fostex Mk III series (you have to factor in the price of an amp here though)
- Hifiman 400 series
- Oppo PM3 (a slightly pricer, prettier, closed back alternative?)
- People do tend to include the Audeze stuff here. I won't because I think it's stupid considering the price difference.

OVERALL
I don't like using audio jargon. Instead I will describe these as a sort of sonic marriage between dynamic and planar headphones with a signature remiscent of both. The signature is U-shaped and far more bassy than other orthos I've tried. If you can imagine a Sennheiser HD598/599 on planar magnetic steroids, you've got the signature dead on.

Be warned though, these will not replace your Hifiman 560's, or your LCD-4's which pair proper shaping with far superior build quality. You'll compare them directly and then be be put off by the high praise, and ignore the price tag and the achievement.

Instead, regard these for what they are: a far more representitive entry into the world of planar magnetic headphones than Fostex orthos, with all the audio hallmarks entailed: like quickness, amp scaleability, and superb imaging and separation.

Yes, they are absolutely worth the price of admission. Yes, they are "giant killers". I think they're a watershed moment in high-end audio and I highly recommend them. Well done, Monoprice.
 
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Scubadude on August 30, 2017, 09:13:16 AM
Thanks Tenflare!  Nice write-up!
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: capetownwatches on August 30, 2017, 09:41:07 AM
Outstanding review - well written and to the point whilst avoiding the standard jargon - I feel that I have a good handle on how these perform with different types of music.  In fact, you have made me quite keen to listen to them... :thumbs:

Perhaps these CAN be driven by an edible tuber, but out of interest what are you actually using?

Look forward to more from you.



Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Tenflare on August 30, 2017, 12:00:53 PM
Outstanding review - well written and to the point whilst avoiding the standard jargon - I feel that I have a good handle on how these perform with different types of music.  In fact, you have made me quite keen to listen to them... :thumbs:

Perhaps these CAN be driven by an edible tuber, but out of interest what are you actually using?

Look forward to more from you.
Hey man!

Thanks for the praise. I was a bit afraid that my review style might offend some but I reckon some might feel as I do, that the typical audio review can be bit overly technical.

My only tube amp is the modest Little Dot MkII with standard Chi Fi power tubes and the JAN 5654's shaping the audio. Perhaps I was being too frank saying that tubes don't like these when I lack the equipment to properly AB (I've only gotten into tubes recently). Nevertheless, the distortion that the tubes introduce is amplified more through these cans than on say, my DT990's -- which for me are glorious used in this fashion.

Maybe a smoother sounding pair of bulbs will suit the cans far more? I'm looking into acquiring some Russians tubes and Mullards for rolling purposes so I will definitely report back on that once those arrive.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: capetownwatches on August 30, 2017, 12:53:27 PM
If you'd like to hear what they sound like powered by some high quality discrete Class A single ended grunt you are most welcome to pop over to my place sometime.
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Tenflare on August 30, 2017, 06:04:09 PM
Can't say the idea doesn't appeal. :P Are you based in CT?
Title: Re: Headphone rating/recommendations sticky
Post by: Tenflare on August 30, 2017, 11:15:15 PM
OK. I had another listen with the M1060's on the tubes...

 :2thumbs: :2thumbs: :2thumbs: :2thumbs:

It seems I was a bit hasty in my review. Tubes LOVE these things and the fault lies squarely at my feet for my song choices whilst AB'ing.

I guess in the loudness war, nobody wins.