CNet: The Audiophiliac picks 11 of the world's best headphones

jmwest1970jmwest1970 Posts: 846
edited November 2012 in Headphones
I'm not a big headphone enthusiast, but I found this story very interesting. What's your opinion?
Post edited by jmwest1970 on

Comments

  • TNHNDYMANTNHNDYMAN Posts: 2,153
    edited July 2012
    I have no experience with headphones (of quality) and needed a decent pair, so I ordered the Monoprice set yesterday.
    2-ch System: Parasound P/LD 2000 pre, Parasound HCA-1000 amp, Parasound T/DQ Tuner, Phase Technology PC-100 Tower speakers, Technics SL-1600 Turntable, Denon 2910 SACD/CD player, Peachtree DAC iT and X1asynchorus USB converter, HSU VTF-3 subwoofer.

  • GadaboutGadabout Posts: 1,092
    edited July 2012
    So, Worlds Best means best for the $'s you want to spend, not the World's Best Headphones.

    I have the Phonak Audeo PFE's (minus the volume / toggle for phone use) and they are pretty decent IEM's. The change able tuning of them is what attracts some folks, but I prefer the more neutral sound of the grey filters and using the EQ on the player. These were the only midpriced IEM's.

    The next jump for IEM's was for the $1400 FitEars's. Not sure I would spend $1400 on an IEM unless it was a custom. That being said, I know a few folks trade and sell off stuff to buy new and those might appeal to that market.

    Next, the JHAudio's with DSP/AMP for $1748. The JH16's are 1149, so that makes the DSP $599. The data sheet says perfectly tuned to those IEM's. I don't know enough headphone amps and dacs to truely interpret the specs. Just seems like for $599 or less they would be alot of choices to try. The JH16's rated impedance is 18 ohms and really wouldn't need an amp.

    I'm really happy with my Westome 4r's. If I did try another IEM, I would probably go customs just to see if they were that much better.

    I don't have any high end phones. I run the Audio Technica M50's around the house rigs, and they do OK. The only thing in the similar price range is the Noontec Zoro. I could never buy those. They look to much like Beats and would hate having all the folks ask whey I didn't get Beats.

    Of course, it's all subjective and based on personal preferences or colorization of music you prefer. Out of the headphones listed, I would like to give the HE-400's or the T-70's a listen. Kind of interesting the only showing Sennheiser had was for their wireless model.

    Scott
    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ..... Frank Zappa
  • FaceFace Posts: 14,712
    edited July 2012
    Best at certain price points, maybe.

    Otherwise, I don't know why he'd pick the HE-400 over the HE-6? Beyer...meh. And no HD-800, really?!
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,460
    edited July 2012
    He lists some good headphones, but no way that is a list of the 11 best headphones or even the best headphones in each category. It's a good read, but there are some very important headphones missing from that list.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited July 2012
    The best (and about only) phones I've used are the HD600s. I like them a lot but can imagine a better sound.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • FaceFace Posts: 14,712
    edited July 2012
    You can definitely do better.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited July 2012
    With pricing over the HD600s what are some of the "must consider" ones?
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • FaceFace Posts: 14,712
    edited July 2012
    HD-800, Beyerdynamic T1, Hifiman HE-6(you'll need a beast of an amp though), and Audeze LCD 2 or LCD 3. I heard the first three back to back on the same setup, they all sound fantastic but as far as which one sounds best will come down to personal preference and what you have for an amp.

    FHdHW.png

    tvoxc.jpg
    (HE-6 just out of sight)
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited August 2012
    I have a fairly powerful headphone amp, the manley 300B neo classic. Can you tell me more about the HE-6, looks interesting!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • FaceFace Posts: 14,712
    edited August 2012
    http://www.headphone.com/headphones/hifiman-he-6.php#tabs

    Best headphones I've heard so far.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,812
    edited August 2012
    ^I would hope so given their pricepoint :eek:
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,460
    edited August 2012
    I still really like the general disposition of the HD600. I have the HD700 and HD800 sitting right here next to me and I prefer the 600 over both of those models and that's now after having had the others for a while. I've also owned the 650 and those were a little too veiled for my tastes, IMO the 600 is actually a better sounding can.

    The 600 has more 'feel' or impact to the sound that I prefer, I just find them to be a very musical headphone. The HD700 and 800 both have a better soundstage and better detail but they just don't sound as good to me. The HD600 isn't perfect though, and has a couple main drawbacks which I always cite as the reason that I'm still in search for my ultimate headphone. They really have no soundstage to speak of, I listen to alot of orchestral and classical so this is obviously an issue for me. They also don't have the best clarity and are not the final word in detail, but as a result are good with recordings of lesser quality and this isn't an area that I"m really looking for a big improvement in. Better clarity would be nice I suppose, but the soundstage is what I"m after.

    My perfect headphone would be something that sounds like the HD600 but with a better soundstage.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited August 2012

    My perfect headphone would be something that sounds like the HD600 but with a better soundstage.

    I think I'm also looking for this. Any comments Face? I see Crutchfield allows a trial period, no more cost than other sites.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • FaceFace Posts: 14,712
    edited August 2012
    Try any high end headphone before you buy: http://www.thecableco.com/newsletter-detail.aspx?iid=5822

    I haven't tried the HD600, but did find the HE-6 had a larger soundstage than the HD800.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,100
    edited August 2012
    The Audeze are very interesting to me but that review is pretty lame. I'm not sure why he made some of the choices he did aside from them being all the companies would send him at that time and he just used other reviews to fill in the blanks. Headphones are sorely underrated and a real pleasure to get deep into as far as spending a little money to get amazing returns.

    I've owned dozens of many brands over the years and have stuck with Sennheiser for the most part, HD600. I've yet to find a Grado that was worth keeping to include the RS1(?). The Sennheisers lack the very last high end details but everything else is pretty satisfying. I'm think I'm going to start trying some off brands again and see what all the buzz is about.
  • PolkieManPolkieMan Posts: 2,446
    edited August 2012
    Did you get in on the deal for the 8223 for only 17.40 each?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57337747-47/how-good-can-$21.59-headphones-be/

    TNHNDYMAN wrote: »
    I have no experience with headphones (of quality) and needed a decent pair, so I ordered the Monoprice set yesterday.
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1
  • seabeerob213seabeerob213 Posts: 1,737
    edited November 2012
    probably gonna catch some fire for this, but the zoro's look kinda like a beefed up version of beats, although im sure theyre in no way anywhere close to being that crappy, i'm sure they're pretty good actually, just thought the design was similar
    HT/2channel:
    AVR: Yamaha RX-V 765
    Fronts: Polk RTiA3
    sub: Polk PSW110(will add 2x PSW 505)
    Center: CS13
    surrounds:Polk RTi4( also have some def tech pro Mon. 800s, may end up her or expanding this to 7 channel.)
    TV: samsung 40
    The real 2 Channel(work in progress):
    Pre:HK 3490
    Amp:Parasound 1200 MK II
    Sub:RBH 1010-SEP
    Speakers: Monitor 5A peerless
    Headphones:
    Source: FIIO X3 CD rips WMA lossless
    Amp: FIIO E12, Nuforce icon udcac-2 W/pangea cable
    Cans: Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Velodyne V-True, Grado SR225i
    most of my comments are passing on of info, im a noob, im just trying to help how i can, if im wrong or out of place to comment, dont hesitate to let me know :)

    "WITH WILLING HEARTS AND SKILLFUL HANDS,
    THE DIFFICULT WE DO AT ONCE,
    THE IMPOSSIBLE TAKES A BIT LONGER
    WITH COMPASSION FOR OTHERS
    WE BUILD - WE FIGHT FOR PEACE WITH FREEDOM"
    Seabee Memorial, Arlington, VA
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,016
    edited November 2012
    ^I would hope so given their pricepoint :eek:

    why? They're by no means the most expensive out there.
    design is where science and art break even.
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,812
    edited November 2012
    newrival wrote: »
    why? They're by no means the most expensive out there.

    True but 1200 bucks is quite outside my price range for headphones. I struggle to go about 500 myself.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
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