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Daysleeper
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Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:13 pm

I have a bit of a dilemma, having “misplaced” one of my air pods last week and spending the last 2 hours tearing my house, car and my sisters house apart looking for it – I’m going to have to declare it “lost” and buy a replacement. (I’m on my 3rd pair in a little over a year)

So I have decided to go back to wired, these I just break rather than lose. Now I used to be quite into this sorta thing and before going wireless used to spend a lot of money on them. I have always bought Shure’s for in ear use previously and been very happy with them - Except of course the price, so I have been looking at other options and have set myself a budget of £150 ($200). For this I could get some low end Shures (Aonic 215’s or 3’s) but I could also get the following:

I stuck with Sennheiser as I use their cans and like them. Oh these need to be in-ear as I use them when travelling and don’t want the hassle of anything bigger.

Sennheiser IE40 Pro - £134 ($180)
Sennheiser IE80S - £149($200)
Sennheiser IE 100 PRO - £86.99 ($120)

A note e on the odd pricing, those are prices from both amazon and a seller I TRUST on ebay, I could also get the IE40 Pros from China for £60 ($80) and the IE80S for £100 ($135) but having not been in the market for ages I’m not sure have prevalent fakes are.

I am also open to suggestions of other brands, as long as they are somewhat well known for quality. I’m not after some $20 Skullcandys (I know they can sound okay!) Also worth mentioning I could get some Sennheiser IE800s for £110 ($140) but they would be used, and im not sure about used earbuds.


Thanks….

Oh just about to post this, final curve ball – Apple Air Pods Pro, on offer for £79 ($110) Never used the pro ones, are supposed to be good… but I fecking always loose them.

no idea what to do, someone tell me what to buy and then I'll at least have someone to blame if I hate them :)
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:38 am

I'm seeing shure SE425 that can sneak into your price range - I think I'd rather go there than the Senn IEMs, which I've never been overly impressed with. I do like my old HD580s (which replaced even older HD414s I got in the early 80s). I've currently got Sony IER-M9, but did get them on good discount. I've spent more on IEMs over recent years than I'd care to admit.

As with any of this stuff, it can be a real wormhole to head down once you start reading reviews. That said, forums like Head-Fi can give you an idea of what is around and good in your price range.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:03 am

Kent350787 wrote:
I'm seeing shure SE425 that can sneak into your price range - I think I'd rather go there than the Senn IEMs, which I've never been overly impressed with. I do like my old HD580s (which replaced even older HD414s I got in the early 80s). I've currently got Sony IER-M9, but did get them on good discount. I've spent more on IEMs over recent years than I'd care to admit.

As with any of this stuff, it can be a real wormhole to head down once you start reading reviews. That said, forums like Head-Fi can give you an idea of what is around and good in your price range.


Good call, I hadn't thought to look for the now discontinued Shure models, have you ever used the 425s? I had some 535's a few years ago and loved them (Until I broke them). So perhaps I am being a bit snobbish by not looking for a lesser model in the range as a replacement.

I have been looking at the Senn's as I keep getting told good things about them, and it seems we both like their cans. The problem is; they have (or had they are defunct I believe now) there is such a wide range of IEMs targetted at both the professional and enthusiast market, its hard to know what to go for. It really is a rabbit hole like you say

Last thing about the Sennss, Would you consider the IE800's used? - I can get them from Cex for around £130 (Cex is kinda like a chain of pawn shops if your not UK based) and they are supposed to be the top tier.. Comparable to Shure 846's.....I just dunno about used earbud. I mean I can clean them, new cable and new sleeves.. I just dunno.

Thanks, ill have a look over at Head-fi. Im just nervous about how deep ill fall down this rabbit hole, and how much Ill end up spending....But 425's for £150-ish, thats really tempting.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:32 am

The used ones would be tempting. New tips and it should all be fine!

I got my teen son SE215 and there are good at the price, but haven’t tried higher up the range. I’ve had various Westone, and went quite big with the audiofly range - except my $700 af180 broke the week the company did too :(

I like a neutral but detailed sound signature and found my current Sony too forward in the bass at first. On longer listening the detail is all there, but with a solid bottom end. The problem is I mostly use them with my phone but they’d be even better with some amplification.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:40 am

Kent350787 wrote:
The used ones would be tempting. New tips and it should all be fine!

I got my teen son SE215 and there are good at the price, but haven’t tried higher up the range. I’ve had various Westone, and went quite big with the audiofly range - except my $700 af180 broke the week the company did too :(

I like a neutral but detailed sound signature and found my current Sony too forward in the bass at first. On longer listening the detail is all there, but with a solid bottom end. The problem is I mostly use them with my phone but they’d be even better with some amplification.


I've just discovered I may have missed a bargin with the 425's - I saw Richersouds had them for £160 and was going to order, but no stock. Also discovered they had the 425;s with the bluetooth module at £99 for a time!.. but again no stock anywhere I can see :( Only Uk place ive seen them with stock is some DJ site which want £186 for them - I feel like I may have missed the boat with them :(

I am also really tempted with the IE800s, the store that has them is miles away so id have to order blind. I may call and ask the condition etc

I know exactly what your saying about Sonys, always way too much low end, I actually have a pair somewhere which I bought in an Airport for around £80 and use them when I am in the mood to listen to dance musiic, as there is always too bass in dance music anyhow.. so suits them.

I'd be curious to know where you saw the 425s on sale and if they have stock..

Thanks
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Update: Being the idiot I am, I have searched everywhere for stock, except Shure....

They have 425s on offer for £125 So a bargain. But, but, they have 535s on offer for £179 .... Yeah, I set a budget, I wasn't going to waste money on expensive earphones, but £179 thats 50% off..Where as the 425's at £125 is only 40% off... I'd be saving money by buyng the 535s.. and I know I'll love them.

I haven't ordered yet, I need to check they can ship to my work addresses, so a certain "someone" doesn't find out I have been spending money :)
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:34 pm

There are a lot of great sealed earbuds in the $30 range. Chi-Fi. About me, I have tons of earphones from Sennheiser. also own Grado SR80s. Never tried AirPods. They would be a waste, given great alternatives that cost so little.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:50 pm

Daysleeper wrote:
Update: Being the idiot I am, I have searched everywhere for stock, except Shure....

They have 425s on offer for £125 So a bargain. But, but, they have 535s on offer for £179 .... Yeah, I set a budget, I wasn't going to waste money on expensive earphones, but £179 thats 50% off..Where as the 425's at £125 is only 40% off... I'd be saving money by buyng the 535s.. and I know I'll love them.

I haven't ordered yet, I need to check they can ship to my work addresses, so a certain "someone" doesn't find out I have been spending money :)


What a win - I hope the household budgeting survives!

Sometimes it is a matter of grab when you can - my current Sony I got for not much more than half price. I don’t know that I would have even spent the AUD$1499 rrp.

Everyone in my household has st least 3 pairs of headphones for various purposes, so I reckon I could sneak another pair in :)

And I agree with the PP on Chi-fi, although I haven’t tried low end. I’ve had fiio dac/amp for years and did test their range against the Sony in store
 
cairns
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:59 pm

Sennheisers rock. I have a ten year old pair that still sound amazing. You can't go wrong with any of them.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:56 am

I have a pair of pink Anker Soundcore Q30s and love them. I previously had the Mpow 059, but decided to upgrade to a model with ANC, plus with the fake review scandal surrounding Mpow it made me want to switch brands. The Anker Soundcore Q30 was a worthy upgrade over the Mpow 059, not just for the sound quality and ANC, but also being a more comfortable fit on my relatively large head. Sold the Mpow headphones and all the accessories on eBay.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:23 am

1337Delta764 wrote:
I have a pair of pink Anker Soundcore Q30s and love them. I previously had the Mpow 059, but decided to upgrade to a model with ANC, plus with the fake review scandal surrounding Mpow it made me want to switch brands. The Anker Soundcore Q30 was a worthy upgrade over the Mpow 059, not just for the sound quality and ANC, but also being a more comfortable fit on my relatively large head. Sold the Mpow headphones and all the accessories on eBay.


Did you have the pink Mpow's?
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:25 am

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and input, but I (think) I have finally managed to order some Shure SE535’s directly from them, but it was a bit of an ordeal……

I placed the order yesterday, but JUST as it should have come up with the “Order Confirmation” the site said something like “failed to load module” or some crap like that. So, I thought no problem, ill just do it again. So, I did, same issue – no email, no confirmation nothing.

Being the persistent person, I am (especially if I want something) I tried a third time, but this time I used “Paypal” rather than my Visa. No problem order went though, got an email, I went to bed happy.

Woke up this morning and logged into my bank to see THREE pending transactions for £179….FECK! I have just got off the phone to Shure themselves, and they said sorry a lot and have returned the two Visa transactions to my account and cancelled two of the three orders I placed. I should have them within the next three days……But I am well and truly rumbled, I could get away with £200 missing form the account but not £600..So I am in the dog house :)

So yeah, some fantastic deals available direct from Shure on both the 425’s and 535’s – But avoid checking out using their own Visa system, use PayPal and then Pay By Card.. that one works… What an ordeal LMAO

Kent350787 wrote:
And I agree with the PP on Chi-fi, although I haven’t tried low end. I’ve had fiio dac/amp for years and did test their range against the Sony in store


I use earbuds when I'm travelling, so I have not really ever had a need for a dac\amp for them - But, in for a penny in for a pound as they say. Have you or anyone ever used those micro headphone amps?

Know of any good cheap ones? Under £100, Im already in the shit as it is....

cairns wrote:
Sennheisers rock. I have a ten year old pair that still sound amazing. You can't go wrong with any of them.


I was so close to buying some Senns, but I know that they sold the headphone\earphone part of the business earlier this year so if I had bought new I don’t know what the warranty situation is like or even who owns them now.
I could still get the used IE800’s for around £100, I still may. If they still haven’t sold them next week I might take a gamble with them. Replace the tips and cable if needed, and if I don’t like them stick them on eBay.
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:47 am

Don't buy Shure over Sennheisers! There is a world of difference between those 2 brands when it comes to sound quality. If you want a good, balanced hi fi sound I can warmly recommend Sennheiser's momentum series. Shure produces rugged, isolating IEs for stage use where the most important feature is a completely passive signal that wont give latency for professional users, as well as bone decoupling. These are not interesting features for listening only. Sennheiser beats them by a whole lot in that department.

Personally, I have a few of he Shure varieties for checking performers IE-mixes during shows. But I really would never listen to them to enjoy music. I've got about 6 different pairs of Sennheisers for that. From the small Momentum IEs, via over the ear Momentums to HD600s for editing and mixing work. The large passive high OHM Sennheisers requires extra amplification, but the smaller active IEs sounds beautiful as is. Newer phones and headphone models should have a bit more juice in their amplifiers than previous models, as international regulation on headphone levels have been easened up somewhat to work with the newer loudness normalized levels in streaming services.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:22 am

M564038 wrote:
Don't buy Shure over Sennheisers! There is a world of difference between those 2 brands when it comes to sound quality. If you want a good, balanced hi fi sound I can warmly recommend Sennheiser's momentum series. Shure produces rugged, isolating IEs for stage use where the most important feature is a completely passive signal that wont give latency for professional users, as well as bone decoupling. These are not interesting features for listening only. Sennheiser beats them by a whole lot in that department.

Personally, I have a few of he Shure varieties for checking performers IE-mixes during shows. But I really would never listen to them to enjoy music. I've got about 6 different pairs of Sennheisers for that. From the small Momentum IEs, via over the ear Momentums to HD600s for editing and mixing work. The large passive high OHM Sennheisers requires extra amplification, but the smaller active IEs sounds beautiful as is. Newer phones and headphone models should have a bit more juice in their amplifiers than previous models, as international regulation on headphone levels have been easened up somewhat to work with the newer loudness normalized levels in streaming services.


A little too late now, I have had a pair of 535's before and loved them for listening. I'm with Kent350787 in that I find many in ear's designed for general listening from the likes of Sony, etc have way too much emphasis on bass. I don't know if the Sennheisers non IEM's models are the same....I also don't like the fact that the company has sold off its headphone business now, and when your spending £200\$300 you want to know where you stand with warranty, and getting replacement tips\cables etc.

Have you ever used the IE800s? I mentioned earlier in the thread that CEX, its like a chain-store pawn shop has a pair for sale for £100. Obviously they are used and as there is no store local to me I would be ordering them blind. But if I replaced the cable and tips along as the drivers are good they should be okay. Im really tempted now to order them as well and see how they compare and sell which ever pair I don't like. People are still asking insane prices on ebay for them, £350 for the Shures and over £500 for the IE800s.

I think I would have had perhaps the Iphone 6 or 7 when I had my last pair of 535's and it used to drive them fine for my use. I'm on an 12 now, so think it should be okay... but I am also looking for a cheap headphone amp or even a amp\dac combo.. and by cheap I meean under £100\$130.. as will get very little use. So suggestions would be appreciated... even if you make them RIGHT after I order something else.. :)

Thanks
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:36 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
I have a pair of pink Anker Soundcore Q30s and love them. I previously had the Mpow 059, but decided to upgrade to a model with ANC, plus with the fake review scandal surrounding Mpow it made me want to switch brands. The Anker Soundcore Q30 was a worthy upgrade over the Mpow 059, not just for the sound quality and ANC, but also being a more comfortable fit on my relatively large head. Sold the Mpow headphones and all the accessories on eBay.


Did you have the pink Mpow's?


Yes, the pink/black (not the pink/white Rose Gold). I also had a pink Hermitshell case for it. I sold both the headphones and case together on eBay (my new Anker Soundcore Q30s included a case).
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:50 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
I have a pair of pink Anker Soundcore Q30s and love them. I previously had the Mpow 059, but decided to upgrade to a model with ANC, plus with the fake review scandal surrounding Mpow it made me want to switch brands. The Anker Soundcore Q30 was a worthy upgrade over the Mpow 059, not just for the sound quality and ANC, but also being a more comfortable fit on my relatively large head. Sold the Mpow headphones and all the accessories on eBay.


Did you have the pink Mpow's?


Yes, the pink/black (not the pink/white Rose Gold). I also had a pink Hermitshell case for it. I sold both the headphones and case together on eBay (my new Anker Soundcore Q30s included a case).


Yeah, going by your profile picture pink seems to be your colour :) Please tell me that is actually you, as if so much, much respect.

I used to have a baby pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt, absolutely loved it, but every time I would wear it in the pub someone would say "oh you know you need to wash dark colours separately to whites"
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:03 pm

It was Lacoste, not Ralf Lauren. Why I took this, or why it's still on my iCloud I have no idea. I am older and much fatter now :)

Image
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:51 pm

Yay! Mission completed. They are arriving tomorrow. I'm all excited!! I think I have been using AirPods for around 4 or 5 years now, and it's perhaps a little longer since I have listened to some quality in ear's.

I'm hoping they don't need amplification, but means I have spent this much what's another £100 - So if anyone has experience with headphone amps id love some suggestions as I have never used one. I have an Iphone so having a lightning connector would make things easier, but it's not critical. And I would like to spend less than £100\$130, but bugger it, if you know of something that warrants paying more I probably will.

I'm still amazed that Shure are selling them direct for £179, my last pair cost me over £300 and they were identical other than the colour. I also bought a pair of £8 JBL's from the petrol station on the way home from work just so I have something other than my cans to compare them too. There is also a good chance that I will end up buying the Sennheiser IE800's just because they are so cheap, and the reviews so good, I'm really curious to compare them myself. And given the prices they are selling for on eBay I can't see how I can lose.

Thanks to everyone for you help.

Dave

Image
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:44 pm

You are done buying for this round, I guess, but I would move up a tier the next time. In the $200-300 range, things are starting to sound real good. Modern wirelessprotocols are sounding real good, too. Going that route would sound a lot better than 535/ie800 plus amp.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:40 pm

Daysleeper wrote:
It was Lacoste, not Ralf Lauren. Why I took this, or why it's still on my iCloud I have no idea. I am older and much fatter now :)


My preferred clothing brand is IZOD. Hopefully under Authentic Brands Group/Centric Brands the quality doesn't slip. I am pretty sure ABG can terminate the license with Centric if they don't meet their quality standards.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:31 pm

M564038 wrote:
You are done buying for this round, I guess, but I would move up a tier the next time. In the $200-300 range, things are starting to sound real good. Modern wirelessprotocols are sounding real good, too. Going that route would sound a lot better than 535/ie800 plus amp.


I went wired because I am sick of losing the wireless ones. I think I mentioned above that I am on my third pair in less than 18 months! Also, there is a relatively cheap OEM dongle I can get to that which replaces the cable with a Bluetooth module should I want that in the future.

Im not sure I understand your reasoning behind why a wireless protocol would be better than wired? In fact the last I read regarding Apple's effort with their own lossless codec (ALAC) was that they couldn't even support their own wireless products due to bandwidth limitations which obviously isn't an issue when you're using wired. I have been out of the market for quite a while now, so perhaps there has been some developments I have missed?

I also don't see my self ever going up another tier\level, as the next model up in the Shure SE line would be the SE846's which have an RRP of around £900\$1200. The 535's I have just ordered still have an RRP of £379\$500 which most retailers and even eBay sellers still charge for them. What would you consider to be the next level? What should I be aiming to get? And i'm just talking about in ear, passive isolation earbuds - I wouldn't ever want active noise cancellations, and cans are a totally different ball park.
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:34 pm

As for Sennheiser selling off it’s consumer division:
They will continue to make and sell professional products (including headphones) under the Sennheiser and Neumann brands.
Their consumer division is sold to another very serious company: Sonova, a large hearing aid/medical company.
Either way, shouldn’t be any problem for you as a consumer to get support for your product.
Hell, they still support, service and answer willingly about my about my 65 year old Neumann microphones!

This is a super solid company! They first claim to fame was making the first directional condenser microphone (Neumann division) back in 1927! A full 12 years before Shure did the same for moving coil microphones in 1939!

Fun fact: condenser and dynamic mics respectively still achieve directionality the same way as they came up with back then, and both companies are (obviously) still in business. The original products are even still on the market!
Last edited by M564038 on Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:36 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
Daysleeper wrote:
It was Lacoste, not Ralf Lauren. Why I took this, or why it's still on my iCloud I have no idea. I am older and much fatter now :)


My preferred clothing brand is IZOD. Hopefully under Authentic Brands Group/Centric Brands the quality doesn't slip. I am pretty sure ABG can terminate the license with Centric if they don't meet their quality standards.


I had never heard of them LOL I had to google it. I think that's when you know your getting old, at one time I would make an effort with clothing buying expensive brands and the likes. Now the vast majority of what I wear day to day is cheap unbranded stuff I can get in a supermarket. I have always hated shopping for clothes, so being able to buy both scotch and socks in the same place works for me; :)
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:46 pm

For what you will have to lay out for low end earbuds plus an amp, you can get Sennheiser momentums, for instance, which sound fantastic.

About wireless formats, most of them still do datacompression, but you got to look at the total picture. AAC320 with the Senns is going to sound a lot better than the budget ones or the Shures no matter the source. The sound is only as good as the weakest link etc., and in this case, investing more in the headphone quality to move up a tier will give you better sound for your money than an amp and «hi-res» formats with wired cheap headphones.

Daysleeper wrote:
M564038 wrote:
You are done buying for this round, I guess, but I would move up a tier the next time. In the $200-300 range, things are starting to sound real good. Modern wirelessprotocols are sounding real good, too. Going that route would sound a lot better than 535/ie800 plus amp.


I went wired because I am sick of losing the wireless ones. I think I mentioned above that I am on my third pair in less than 18 months! Also, there is a relatively cheap OEM dongle I can get to that which replaces the cable with a Bluetooth module should I want that in the future.

Im not sure I understand your reasoning behind why a wireless protocol would be better than wired? In fact the last I read regarding Apple's effort with their own lossless codec (ALAC) was that they couldn't even support their own wireless products due to bandwidth limitations which obviously isn't an issue when you're using wired. I have been out of the market for quite a while now, so perhaps there has been some developments I have missed?

I also don't see my self ever going up another tier\level, as the next model up in the Shure SE line would be the SE846's which have an RRP of around £900\$1200. The 535's I have just ordered still have an RRP of £379\$500 which most retailers and even eBay sellers still charge for them. What would you consider to be the next level? What should I be aiming to get? And i'm just talking about in ear, passive isolation earbuds - I wouldn't ever want active noise cancellations, and cans are a totally different ball park.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:48 pm

For a wireless earbud, if you are on Android, the top picks are the Sony WF-1000XM4 (for their noise cancelling capabilities), the Google Pixel Buds A-Series (decent all around performer for price), and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (good noise cancelling capabilities, and audio quality).
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:49 pm

I'm still using wired for IEMs, although am sometimes tempted to get a BT adapter (Shure or Fiio). My Hd580s (wired) are always nicer than a I recall, especialy when I can be bothered firing up the valve amp.

On the mini amp questions, I'm increasingly tempted to try the Hidizs S3, which is device powered. The dragonfly is better (and progressively more expensive), but looks like a piece of cheap junk. I truly can't comprehend the product design decision.

My kids both use airpods when commuting - and haven't lost any! The eldest uses SE215 (cable) for music, but I'm not sure why he doesn't use te AF160 I gifted him. The youngest has Senn PXC550i (wireless, cable capable) for flights, but Steel Series Arctis 9 for gaming and flightsimming. My wife has Sony WM4 (wireless, cable capable) for travel and commuting, sometimes VC. SOmehow she is also prepared to live with wired Apple earbuds.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:15 am

M564038 wrote:
For what you will have to lay out for low end earbuds plus an amp, you can get Sennheiser momentums, for instance, which sound fantastic.

About wireless formats, most of them still do datacompression, but you got to look at the total picture. AAC320 with the Senns is going to sound a lot better than the budget ones or the Shures no matter the source. The sound is only as good as the weakest link etc., and in this case, investing more in the headphone quality to move up a tier will give you better sound for your money than an amp and «hi-res» formats with wired cheap headphones.



I'm sorry I must be being really stupid here, but I still don't understand. This is what I thought to be happening when you play an audio file on a device.

With a wired set of earphones the device (not the earphones) decompresses the file, generates an analogue signal and transmits said signal to the physical drivers in the earphones which in turn generate a sound. Other than some filters to separate the frequencies no processing is done within the earphones, everything is done within the device playing the file. So there is no limitation on data rate or compression - it doesnt matter as all that is transmitted via the wire is an analogue signal.

With a wireless set of earphones, the same process happens but without a physical connection to the drivers it needs to transmit the signal to the drivers via Bluetooth. Here I believe is the problem; the minimum bit rate for lossless audio is around 1400kbps, but the maximum rate available via Bluetooth is 960Kbp, it's close but its not enough to actually be called lossless as the data rate of the file is higher than that being played by the physical drivers in the earphones.

As I mentioned before, Apple music launched a lossless streaming service last year, but despite them having their own codecs and complete control of every step within the link, it does not support any wireless headphones - even the $800 AirPods max cannot play lossless audio,

So, even if you do consider the SE535's a cheap set of wired earphones, they will be able to handle any codec or compression and play the file with no transmission loss - As having a physical connection to transmit the analogue signal means it has unlimited bandwidth available.

That's my admittedly very limited understanding of it all works. If you can fill in the gaps in my knowledge or correct me id appreciate it...

Oh, yeah, I have read some great reviews of the Sennheiser momentums and did consider them. But I am confused as to why you think the Shures are a "cheap" wired set of earphones when for what they alone cost I could have bought 3 pairs of momentums. I also should not need an amp, its just something I want to play with really which is why im not looking to spend more than £100.


Almost forgot, if you really are into the Sennheiser's you should check out their latest deals. As here in the UK you can buy IE 80S BT earphones for 80% off,; £99\$130 rather than $429\$575 - They market them as "The first audiophile grade Bluetooth headset"..so probs pretty good.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:38 am

Kent350787 wrote:
I'm still using wired for IEMs, although am sometimes tempted to get a BT adapter (Shure or Fiio). My Hd580s (wired) are always nicer than a I recall, especialy when I can be bothered firing up the valve amp.

On the mini amp questions, I'm increasingly tempted to try the Hidizs S3, which is device powered. The dragonfly is better (and progressively more expensive), but looks like a piece of cheap junk. I truly can't comprehend the product design decision.

My kids both use airpods when commuting - and haven't lost any! The eldest uses SE215 (cable) for music, but I'm not sure why he doesn't use te AF160 I gifted him. The youngest has Senn PXC550i (wireless, cable capable) for flights, but Steel Series Arctis 9 for gaming and flightsimming. My wife has Sony WM4 (wireless, cable capable) for travel and commuting, sometimes VC. SOmehow she is also prepared to live with wired Apple earbuds.


I don't think, In fact I know I'm not going to need an amp in order to make them work, as my old iPhone was fine with them and from what ive heard apple have increased the audio output rather than lower it with later models. But I'm determind now to get them to sound as good as I can, so Ive also been looking at Amp\dac combos as Im not sure how good or bad the sound is on my PC, so it would be interesting to eliminate it. There is a Cyrus soundKey which almost seems too good to be true as its £70 at a store local to me. I have read a review the Dragonfly too, as yeah it does look cheap - infact most of the USB dacs ive seen so far all look cheap, but it isnt. I think ive seen it at around £200. Im going to wait and see how good\bad they perform before I buy anything though.

Yeah, I've used AirPods for 4 or 5 years and for convenience they are great, as are all BT headsets in that respect. But as I think I explained above (I am far from an expert in this field) for the moment they cannot match wired in terms of quality because of the limited data on BT. And yeah, if you want to ditch the cable at a later date you can buy a dongle, or, and this is another real irritation for me with wireless that I haven't mentioned before; battery life. On a long trip with connecting flights I have my Air Pods die more than once, now should I choose to buy a BT dongle for them, use it until it dies.. I can simply plug back in the cable.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:47 am

My reason for looking at an amp is that the Sony M9 really doesn't sing with my iphone (11pro) until around 80% of max volume. A device powered amp may be pointless (taking power from phone so it doesn't need to run so "loud"), but I can afford to try it.

My wife keeps talking about BT buds given she's on VC most of the day and her Sony in particular makes her ears very warm (not good heading into a Sydney summer). I suspect she'll go down the airpods max path for that - and probably would have already if she could get colours other than white. She has small ear canals, so will need to be careful on tips.

Once travel is back on the agenda I'll prob get B&W PX-7 out of the current ANC choices. I've used IEMs in the past, but gave up and used the ANC phone CX provided on nmy last flights.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:53 am

For traveling, I am personally not a fan of wireless earbuds since they can easily get lost. I am an over-ear headphones person myself.
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:16 am

Kent350787 wrote:
My reason for looking at an amp is that the Sony M9 really doesn't sing with my iphone (11pro) until around 80% of max volume. A device powered amp may be pointless (taking power from phone so it doesn't need to run so "loud"), but I can afford to try it.

My wife keeps talking about BT buds given she's on VC most of the day and her Sony in particular makes her ears very warm (not good heading into a Sydney summer). I suspect she'll go down the airpods max path for that - and probably would have already if she could get colours other than white. She has small ear canals, so will need to be careful on tips.

Once travel is back on the agenda I'll prob get B&W PX-7 out of the current ANC choices. I've used IEMs in the past, but gave up and used the ANC phone CX provided on nmy last flights.


I could never use cans when I fly as I like to fall asleep to music, and only way I could do that with headphones would be to lay on my back – which means I’d snore. Another reason is I find it difficult to judge how loud they are, and I maybe in that really annoying “just audible” range to other people, with in- ears it doesn’t need anywhere as much volume for me to happy ,and know that they are not bothering my fellow passengers.

I’ve just checked Sennheiser’s Australian web shop and it appears they have the same deal as the UK. They have the IE80SBT’s for $199 AUD rather than$799 AUD. They are the neckband type too meaning that the battery and electronics will be further away should they get hot when in use. I have no idea what they sound like, but after skimming over a couple of reviews they are supposed to be good, and extremely comfortable to boot. Link: Sennheiser AU web shop

I also noticed yesterday when I was desperately searching for Shure’s that almost every vendor here in the UK has the AirPod Pros on offer, I’m not sure what the retail should be, but most sites were asking around $130 AUD for them. If the Max’s are the same price as here, around $800 AUD, I would be seriously tempted to go for the Sennheiser’s ..

As for DAC\AMPS: I had not even heard of Hidizs until you just mentioned them, and at a first glance the value looks fantastic. The only downside is it doesn’t look like my local place stocks them, they have SoundKeys, Dragonflys, and some Cambridge Audio stuff. I’m planning on taking my SE535’s and HD660s to the store and testing them – I just always feel guilty doing that and then not buying something, or even worse buying it online.

1337Delta764 wrote:
For traveling, I am personally not a fan of wireless earbuds since they can easily get lost. I am an over-ear headphones person myself.


Ironically I don't think I have ever lost one whilst actually travelling - Perhaps because they are always in use, i tend to lose them once they go flat and I don't have the case handy, I put them both in a "safe" place. But by the time I return to retrieve them, there is only one.....
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:00 am

You are not stupid, and got most of it right, it is just that at that level, the weak link in the chain isn’t the bluetooth data-compression, but the actual headphones, the drivers, the mechanics, the design.
upgrading that part is what will give you most sound quality for the money. (Most, almost all, people can’t identify the difference between AAC320 and uncompressed even on really great speakers)

Daysleeper wrote:
M564038 wrote:
For what you will have to lay out for low end earbuds plus an amp, you can get Sennheiser momentums, for instance, which sound fantastic.

About wireless formats, most of them still do datacompression, but you got to look at the total picture. AAC320 with the Senns is going to sound a lot better than the budget ones or the Shures no matter the source. The sound is only as good as the weakest link etc., and in this case, investing more in the headphone quality to move up a tier will give you better sound for your money than an amp and «hi-res» formats with wired cheap headphones.



I'm sorry I must be being really stupid here, but I still don't understand. This is what I thought to be happening when you play an audio file on a device.

With a wired set of earphones the device (not the earphones) decompresses the file, generates an analogue signal and transmits said signal to the physical drivers in the earphones which in turn generate a sound. Other than some filters to separate the frequencies no processing is done within the earphones, everything is done within the device playing the file. So there is no limitation on data rate or compression - it doesnt matter as all that is transmitted via the wire is an analogue signal.

With a wireless set of earphones, the same process happens but without a physical connection to the drivers it needs to transmit the signal to the drivers via Bluetooth. Here I believe is the problem; the minimum bit rate for lossless audio is around 1400kbps, but the maximum rate available via Bluetooth is 960Kbp, it's close but its not enough to actually be called lossless as the data rate of the file is higher than that being played by the physical drivers in the earphones.

As I mentioned before, Apple music launched a lossless streaming service last year, but despite them having their own codecs and complete control of every step within the link, it does not support any wireless headphones - even the $800 AirPods max cannot play lossless audio,

So, even if you do consider the SE535's a cheap set of wired earphones, they will be able to handle any codec or compression and play the file with no transmission loss - As having a physical connection to transmit the analogue signal means it has unlimited bandwidth available.

That's my admittedly very limited understanding of it all works. If you can fill in the gaps in my knowledge or correct me id appreciate it...

Oh, yeah, I have read some great reviews of the Sennheiser momentums and did consider them. But I am confused as to why you think the Shures are a "cheap" wired set of earphones when for what they alone cost I could have bought 3 pairs of momentums. I also should not need an amp, its just something I want to play with really which is why im not looking to spend more than £100.


Almost forgot, if you really are into the Sennheiser's you should check out their latest deals. As here in the UK you can buy IE 80S BT earphones for 80% off,; £99\$130 rather than $429\$575 - They market them as "The first audiophile grade Bluetooth headset"..so probs pretty good.
 
Daysleeper
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:42 am

M564038 wrote:
You are not stupid, and got most of it right, it is just that at that level, the weak link in the chain isn’t the bluetooth data-compression, but the actual headphones, the drivers, the mechanics, the design.
upgrading that part is what will give you most sound quality for the money. (Most, almost all, people can’t identify the difference between AAC320 and uncompressed even on really great speakers)



Of course the quality of the sound is dictated by the quality of the moving parts within the buds, what I didn't understand was why you seem to be suggesting that I'd be better paying for a cheaper set of wireless earbuds than I would by buying a more expensive set of wired ones. Perhaps I misunderstood your initial post. It's also worth mentioning that Shure offer a Bluetooth option which replaces the wire with a necklace type dongle, so should I want or need wireless in the future I would have that option. It also allows me to switch back to the wired if the dongle goes flat.
 
M564038
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:59 am

I didn’t suggest you buy a cheaper one, I suggested you buy a better sounding one not made with stage sound as a design priority;-) The Shure stuff just isn’t very hi-fi. But. Again. You have ordered and I wish you the best of luck with them. Having a pair that you enjoy is the important part!

Daysleeper wrote:
M564038 wrote:
You are not stupid, and got most of it right, it is just that at that level, the weak link in the chain isn’t the bluetooth data-compression, but the actual headphones, the drivers, the mechanics, the design.
upgrading that part is what will give you most sound quality for the money. (Most, almost all, people can’t identify the difference between AAC320 and uncompressed even on really great speakers)



Of course the quality of the sound is dictated by the quality of the moving parts within the buds, what I didn't understand was why you seem to be suggesting that I'd be better paying for a cheaper set of wireless earbuds than I would by buying a more expensive set of wired ones. Perhaps I misunderstood your initial post. It's also worth mentioning that Shure offer a Bluetooth option which replaces the wire with a necklace type dongle, so should I want or need wireless in the future I would have that option. It also allows me to switch back to the wired if the dongle goes flat.
 
afcjets
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:09 pm

Daysleeper wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
Daysleeper wrote:
It was Lacoste, not Ralf Lauren. Why I took this, or why it's still on my iCloud I have no idea. I am older and much fatter now :)


My preferred clothing brand is IZOD. Hopefully under Authentic Brands Group/Centric Brands the quality doesn't slip. I am pretty sure ABG can terminate the license with Centric if they don't meet their quality standards.


I had never heard of them LOL I had to google it. I think that's when you know your getting old, at one time I would make an effort with clothing buying expensive brands and the likes. Now the vast majority of what I wear day to day is cheap unbranded stuff I can get in a supermarket. I have always hated shopping for clothes, so being able to buy both scotch and socks in the same place works for me; :)


I thought IZOD and Lacoste were the same thing, at least back in the day, and actually having not heard of IZOD would more indicate that you're young not old. In the early 1980s in the US, IZOD shirts were really popular until the more expensive Polo (Ralph Lauren) shirt very quickly replaced it. IZOD definitely wasn't inexpensive nor did it go away completely but no one seemed to wear them anymore. Back in the 1970s and even 1960s I think, it was the Penguin.
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:46 pm

afcjets wrote:
Daysleeper wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:

My preferred clothing brand is IZOD. Hopefully under Authentic Brands Group/Centric Brands the quality doesn't slip. I am pretty sure ABG can terminate the license with Centric if they don't meet their quality standards.


I had never heard of them LOL I had to google it. I think that's when you know your getting old, at one time I would make an effort with clothing buying expensive brands and the likes. Now the vast majority of what I wear day to day is cheap unbranded stuff I can get in a supermarket. I have always hated shopping for clothes, so being able to buy both scotch and socks in the same place works for me; :)


I thought IZOD and Lacoste were the same thing, at least back in the day, and actually having not heard of IZOD would more indicate that you're young not old. In the early 1980s in the US, IZOD shirts were really popular until the more expensive Polo (Ralph Lauren) shirt very quickly replaced it. IZOD definitely wasn't inexpensive nor did it go away completely but no one seemed to wear them anymore. Back in the 1970s and even 1960s I think, it was the Penguin.


Today, IZOD's main competitor is Ralph Lauren's less expensive brand Chaps.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:49 pm

Not quite sure how a headphone/IEM discussion got onto polo shirts, but they aren't a fashion item in my wardobe, nor anywhere I can really think of in Australia. I have a couplem of uniqlo navy cotton pique that I wear around the house in summer
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:59 pm

Going back to the subject of headphones, I plan to buy the Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds in Oat White for my mother's birthday this February. She says she prefers earbuds over full sized headphones.
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:47 am

1337Delta764 wrote:
Going back to the subject of headphones, I plan to buy the Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds in Oat White for my mother's birthday this February. She says she prefers earbuds over full sized headphones.


Yeah, I do generally. I use my Senn HD660s when I'm sat around the house watching or listening to something on the PC but that's not because I think the sound quality so much better than the in ears I have had in the past (they were MUCH better than the AirPods obviously) but because they more rugged and less likely to get walked on when I'm too lazy to put them away properly.

Good call on keeping on topic in off-topic. I posted earlier today to this thread saying that random off-topic tangents such as ourselves discussing polo shirts were part of the fun of off-topic chat. But the post has gone now. I also attached an image of the tracking info from Shure, as they attempted and failed to deliver them earlier today saying "insufficient address details" but I have called Parcel Force and confirmed my address details are all in order - which they are, so they are attempting again tomorrow. I don't think the universe want's me to get these earphones. At first, I had three pairs on order and now parcel force don't want to deliver them.

Maybe someone could have stalked me from the tracking number or something, which is why it was removed....I dunno
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:29 pm

Since Anker had a Cyber Monday deal and my mother is traveling for the holidays, I decided to order her Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds in Oat White early, and I don't think Anker will have a similar deal after the holidays.
 
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Re: Any Audiophile or Headphone\Ear phone Geeks on Here?

Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:27 pm

Sorry to bump, but I just bought myself a set of earbuds, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro in pink. I mainly use these for exercise, while my Anker Soundcore Life Q30 over-ear headphones are mainly for travel and home listening.

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