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Best Headphone/Earbud?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've been using Sony MDR-E888 for over 8 years, it was the king back then, and I lost it recently, so I am looking for a replacement that is just as good if not better; price doesn't matter, preferably a bio-cellulose diaphragm earbud though.
post #2 of 27
Shure earbuds are, from what I've read, some of the best.
post #3 of 27
If you really want the best, use what the pro musicians use...the Ultimate Ears UE11 ($1100). The "budget" model of that earphone is the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 ($350) which is excellent

In the more traditional range, look at the Denon C751 ($200), the Yuin PK1 ($159)
post #4 of 27
check out sennheiser, amazing sound quality comes from them, i spent $110 on a pair of headphones, one of the best purchases i ever made, they are the bigger style headphones that encase your ear, they sell all different kinds tho..sennheiser is DEF. a good brand to look at..
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project_2501 View Post

Shure earbuds are, from what I've read, some of the best.

I own them, and they sound great. The only problems, which are deal killers, are that they are very uncomfortable, they don't stay put, and they have no bass at all unless you cram them well into the ear canal. I have gone back to on-the-ear headphones with my Roland drums.
post #6 of 27
Check out www.head-fi.org
LOTS of info and reviews.
If you are not worried about isolation, the Yuin PK series are about the best "buds" you can get. PK3 is their top, but must be amped. I have PK2 which is similar but does not require and amp....They are very impressive for buds!!

As Paul said, I too find most the IEM's to be very uncomfortable. I would love the UE-11's, but can not justify as much for IEM's as I paid for my NHT 4's!
I currently have customs on order from a newer company "FreQ." They have a 3 driver custom for under $200 that is getting some very good reviews. Another resonable priced custom is from LiveWires.

Also might want to look at the Denon canalphones. They do not insert as deep as most of the UE's, Shures, etc. The cth700 gets great reviews too.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

If you really want the best, use what the pro musicians use...the Ultimate Ears UE11 ($1100). The "budget" model of that earphone is the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 ($350) which is excellent

In the more traditional range, look at the Denon C751 ($200), the Yuin PK1 ($159)

Just to add to the list warp has i would look online at sennhiser hd-650's.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
just out of curiosity, what spec should I pay attention to when I choose earbud/headphone?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKS View Post

I've been using Sony MDR-E888 for over 8 years, it was the king back then, and I lost it recently, so I am looking for a replacement that is just as good if not better; price doesn't matter, preferably a bio-cellulose diaphragm earbud though.

Try the Sony MDR-V150

or some of maxell's in ear buds, not the out-of-ear buds they are crap
post #10 of 27
SURE E2, they cost $60 - $100, but they have better range and better bass than anything ive ever heard.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

I own them, and they sound great. The only problems, which are deal killers, are that they are very uncomfortable, they don't stay put, and they have no bass at all unless you cram them well into the ear canal. I have gone back to on-the-ear headphones with my Roland drums.

I completely agree. I was between those and the Bose IE Triports (both were really cheap for me). I tried the Shure (E2C) due to those being the "best" and found them uncomfortable with no bass.

I ended up with the Bose and (don't hate) I'm happy with them. I have sensitive ears and felt like the Shure earbuds were pounding in my eardrum. Are there better out there than the Bose? Of course, but I refused to pay more than $60 for a set of headphones I use occasionally.
post #12 of 27
Denon AH-C700 owner (now the AH-C751)... Very comfortable, great bass response... Their only negative is that with a lot of motion, they can be prone to fall out of your ears....

Consumer reports did a review on these along with a Bose set....
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKS View Post

just out of curiosity, what spec should I pay attention to when I choose earbud/headphone?

Depending on what you will be driving these with anything over 70ohm
impedance will need an amp to sound there best with a portable rig. everything else is just a matter of what sounds right to you.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKS View Post

just out of curiosity, what spec should I pay attention to when I choose earbud/headphone?

The specs are basically useless. The only thing to be worried about is the weight, and the impedance. If they impedance is too high and the sensitivity, they might be hard to drive from an iPod (say 100 ohms and up)
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
what about frequency response? I thought the wider the range the more sound u can hear, no?

E888 + IRiver 395T mp3 player = amazing bass and crystal clear treble; however, my car got broken into and I lost both of them, so now I am stuck with an Ipod Nano, and there is basically no bass comparing with the combo that I had before, so I am hoping by getting a better earbud, I can enjoy that kind of treble and bass again.
post #16 of 27
That depends upon how well they fit in or on your ear as the case may be.
post #17 of 27
I would like to put my bid in for Westome UM1. After trying Ulitme Ears and Shure, I settled for these. Extremely comfortable.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKS View Post

what about frequency response? I thought the wider the range the more sound u can hear, no?.

Yes, but the frequency response figure they quote in headphone specs never has a tolerance.

In speakers, you'll see that they say 40-20Khz +/- 3dB

In headphones, they'll say 40-20Khz which is meaningless by itself without the dB tolerance.

For a car, it's like saying that a car is capable of 0-60 mph but without the number of seconds that it takes
post #19 of 27
I have had the Shure e3cs for 2 years and love them. They are very accurate. I use the triple flange inserts and it solves the bass and comfort issue for me.
post #20 of 27
I hear the Bose earphones are pretty good. Their head/earphones are run by a separate division so it may not suffer from some of the concerns of it's other products.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKS View Post

I've been using Sony MDR-E888 for over 8 years, it was the king back then, and I lost it recently, so I am looking for a replacement that is just as good if not better; price doesn't matter, preferably a bio-cellulose diaphragm earbud though.

Bought a pair of top consumer rated and best buy Sony MDR-V6 with 5-30,000Hz response, 106db at 1 milliwatt and 1000 milliwatt (1 watt...but I know you knew, right?) maximum signal input. A 1000 milliwatt input corresponds to just shy of 127db SPL...beyond the threshold of pain...been there done that...not pleasant, and not good. Swear it was 20 years ago I bought these. Use them with the computer mostly and they are still amazing. Several replacement pads later, the Sony MDR-V6 still kick buzz free and do the job. 40mm neodynium magnet supported extended range toughies they are. I have read in professional audio journals that they are the "preferred" headphone used by studio recording engineers. Sony has capitalized on this popularity and come up with similar but even more extended MDR-7506 and the best of the best, with 50mm drivers and a 3 watt maximum input, the MDR-7509's. (Which I covet and intend to buy, unless Santa gets to it first) Sony has been manufacturing the "winning" MDR-V6 model for over 20 years...which should tell us something.

Highly recommend that you give the Sony MDR-V6's a try. They are available at www.bhphotovideo for only $69...an absolute steal. We've had other Sony models and though none of them are "bad", nothing comes even close to the articulation and extended response of the MDR-V6. They will reproduce the "crush depth" chapter's subsonic frequencies of "K-19 the Widowmaker" more accurately than an SVS subwoofer (albeit the SVS filled the house with earthquake-like sonic energy and it was not a fair comparison because the headphones weren't rearranging the room...just my head...but it was real clean!)

Sony's more expensive models may be of interest if you are particularly fussy but I've used the MDR-V6 for critical listening on more speakers than I can name. Only speakers costing more than average (like $1000/pair) or those garnering a "best buy" rating have kept up to the Sony headphones over the years. As a matter of fact, my middle son's (I have 3) birthday gift is a pair of Sony-MDRV6's. He is a professional musician and teaches students in Jazz Piano and Vocal Performance. I would never press an inferior sound product into his hands...he'd pick up the deficiency in the first three bars.

Oh yeah, I apologize and should have mentioned that the MDR-V6's can be worn pretty much all day without discomfort. I've only felt the "my ears hurt" thingy the next day after having the phones on for loooong hours of listening. For me, 6 hours was possible without next day ear soreness. They are very comfortable and gentle as headphones go. And...I don't work for Sony! I like Pioneer, dammit.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project_2501 View Post

Shure earbuds are, from what I've read, some of the best.

Shure products are outstanding and world renowned. I have read the same thing about their earbuds and I'm not surprised to hear it again. If earbuds was what I wanted for my Ipod, etc., Shure would be my product without question. Their microphones (I've bought "dynamics" and "condensers") are the "Ferrari's" of the industry yet they are still affordable....and tough as hardwood. Shure products are superb.
post #23 of 27
The etymotics are good earbuds as well.
post #24 of 27
Ultimate Ears 5 pro is the best I have listened to under 300 for a mixture of all music types.
post #25 of 27
After listening to several dozen headphones in various shops I came to like the AKG Studio 240's While they are not perfect, slightly lacking the deep bass, they really excell in all other areas (imo) they are the most natural uncolored headphone ive heard to date.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panoppolite View Post

Shure products are outstanding and world renowned. I have read the same thing about their earbuds and I'm not surprised to hear it again. If earbuds was what I wanted for my Ipod, etc., Shure would be my product without question. Their microphones (I've bought "dynamics" and "condensers") are the "Ferrari's" of the industry yet they are still affordable....and tough as hardwood. Shure products are superb.

I'm not sure what Shure mics you're talking about specifically, but when I think Shure I think SM58 first and SM57 second. Those are more like Hondas/Toyotas (read great bang for the buck and great reliability for a good performing product). They are great mics and I'd say anyone doing some amount of recording needs one or two of them, and they are basically invincible so you don't have to worry too much about damaging them, but I don't know if I'd consider them the "Ferraris" (read extremely high performing yet overpriced).
post #27 of 27
I'm not a fan of the Shure IEM's. I find them way too rolled off in the treble. I guess some people find their sound signature comforting (unfatiguing) for long term listening but to me they aren't accurate. As an example, I think the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi is a much better sounding IEM than the Shure 530
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