Headphones Era lOTl Even Through The Distortion We Remain Lossless

Wat

Member
Dec 10, 2017
186
I also found the clamping force to be pretty harsh on the 1990, I suppose that would be his main issue. It's worse with glasses. Hard clamp also compresses the pads so there's more noticeable ear contact than you'd have with a loose headband. Both problems should be helped by a bit of stretching.

My DT880s are loose enough that they would drop straight off if I looked down, but are super comfortable thanks to it.
 

Atraveller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,585
I also found the clamping force to be pretty harsh on the 1990, I suppose that would be his main issue. It's worse with glasses. Hard clamp also compresses the pads so there's more noticeable ear contact than you'd have with a loose headband. Both problems should be helped by a bit of stretching.

My DT880s are loose enough that they would drop straight off if I looked down, but are super comfortable thanks to it.
That's my experience with every pair of over-ear headphones I own. The clamp force lessens after a month or two. If you don't want to wait that long, just hold it open with a few books.

I gave all of my headphones time and I never regret purchasing any single one of them.
 

Stolen Sheep

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,971
Any of the M50s will work a treat but if wireless is at all useful to you it would be a good idea to get the newest version.
 

ZedLilIndPum

Member
Oct 27, 2017
363
Did I hallucinate, or was there a Black Friday deal for the Sennheiser HD1 wireless headphones? Because apparently I bought a pair for $200 from Amazon and they arrived today. Any opinions on these? I've been very happy with my previous wired Sennheiser purchases. Audio quality >>> noise canceling for me.
 

badboy78660

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,449
I've got a pair of Airpods, which, are fine for what they are (use them for some light music-listening here and there, but more-so for phonecalls).
Wanting to step up my game and pick up a pair of cans that will (hopefully; would rather not have to buy two headphones/headsets) will not only do well as a gaming headset for my PS4, but that will also do well as noise-isolating headphones. Any suggestions? (will read more of this thread later, in case I gotta do some digging to see what the most popular recommendations ITT are). Thanks!
 

Ross62

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,112
Need some recommendations for some great affordable wireless earbuds. Air Pods are to expensive :/
 
Jan 1, 2018
29
Madrid
Its overblown. The main problem with the HD600 being paired with low voltage headphone amps like those from your mobile phone or laptop is that it just doesn't get very loud before it starts clipping. Your mileage may vary as some people like to listen loud while others don't.

Good amps are dirt cheap if you ever want one. JDS Atom is only $99.
Thanks for the recommendation! I think that's exactly what I need. I'm using a pair of powered JBL LSR305 with my LG C7 and switching to headphones was a pain since I needed to change cables in the back. This also gives me:

  • A easy way to use my now unused turntable with both headphones and speakers.
  • A volume control for the powered speakers.
  • A great headphone amp.

So yeah, even without thinking on the headphone amp part itself it's great.
 

Subpar Scrub

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,499
A few people have posted this above, but any recommendations on some wireless buds around $60? Just for the gym and stuff.
 

thuway

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,674
Man I just peaked back into the headphone audiophile game and saw all these over 1K headphones and that price point becoming the new norm. My fidelio X2's sound good enough, there is no damn way I'm ever spending a thousand on a pair of headphones.
 

K.Jack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,202
Dark Space
Man I just peaked back into the headphone audiophile game and saw all these over 1K headphones and that price point becoming the new norm. My fidelio X2's sound good enough, there is no damn way I'm ever spending a thousand on a pair of headphones.
I'd honestly have to say you were never paying attention to the scene, as thousand plus dollar headphones are neither new nor are they becoming the norm.
 

Gawge

Member
Oct 27, 2017
393
Hi all, could use some advice.

Someone has got me some wireless earphones for Christmas. I was thinking of getting myself some PowerBeats or something like that because I do use my earphones for running a lot, but this person got me some unbranded things from Amazon.

They are actually a really good fit, they are the best i've had for running (though never tried any premium options), and I have zero complaints about the quality of audio however... the right earbud just keeps cutting out. Sometimes I can go for a run and audio in both earphones is pretty much perfect for the whole run. Other times it's cutting in and out the whole time. Same when walking, sometimes fine, others constantly cutting in and out. This is only the right earphone, the left is constant and fine.

I can't work out a pattern to it, only that when sitting still (even on public transport for example) it almost always works perfectly - but when I start walking it causes problems - but only sometimes. Sometimes if I put my head in a certain position it kind of works, but not flawlessly, sometimes if I put my phone next to my ear it works way better (but I can shake my phone up and down when sitting still and all is fine).

They are called "Two Touch V5.0".

Basically, I want to know whether this is just what you get with ~£40 wireless earphones from Amazon - or is this an issue that I should get a replacement for?

I actually really like the fit, they work really well for me - I didn't even contemplate getting wireless earphones (was looking at ones with the wire inbetween). But this cutting out of one ear is too annoying to keep putting up with.
 

Aiii

何これ
Member
Oct 24, 2017
3,642
Hi all, could use some advice.

Someone has got me some wireless earphones for Christmas. I was thinking of getting myself some PowerBeats or something like that because I do use my earphones for running a lot, but this person got me some unbranded things from Amazon.

They are actually a really good fit, they are the best i've had for running (though never tried any premium options), and I have zero complaints about the quality of audio however... the right earbud just keeps cutting out. Sometimes I can go for a run and audio in both earphones is pretty much perfect for the whole run. Other times it's cutting in and out the whole time. Same when walking, sometimes fine, others constantly cutting in and out. This is only the right earphone, the left is constant and fine.

I can't work out a pattern to it, only that when sitting still (even on public transport for example) it almost always works perfectly - but when I start walking it causes problems - but only sometimes. Sometimes if I put my head in a certain position it kind of works, but not flawlessly, sometimes if I put my phone next to my ear it works way better (but I can shake my phone up and down when sitting still and all is fine).

They are called "Two Touch V5.0".

Basically, I want to know whether this is just what you get with ~£40 wireless earphones from Amazon - or is this an issue that I should get a replacement for?

I actually really like the fit, they work really well for me - I didn't even contemplate getting wireless earphones (was looking at ones with the wire inbetween). But this cutting out of one ear is too annoying to keep putting up with.
This happens even in some more expensive headphones, like Sony's WF-1000X's. It's because the right earphone connects to the left earphone, which in turn connects to the Bluetooth of the phone. If designed well, it won't be an issue, but when it's not, you get shit like this. Check out some Amazon reviews, to see if it's an issue in general, but there's a good chance this is just normal behaviour.

My WF-1000X's right ear cut out in the exact same location on my walk home from work every time, it is very prone to interference.

Plenty of headphones at the premium end don't have this issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of the cheaper ones cut out like this every now and then.
 

Gawge

Member
Oct 27, 2017
393
This happens even in some more expensive headphones, like Sony's WF-1000X's. It's because the right earphone connects to the left earphone, which in turn connects to the Bluetooth of the phone. If designed well, it won't be an issue, but when it's not, you get shit like this. Check out some Amazon reviews, to see if it's an issue in general, but there's a good chance this is just normal behaviour.

My WF-1000X's right ear cut out in the exact same location on my walk home from work every time, it is very prone to interference.

Plenty of headphones at the premium end don't have this issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of the cheaper ones cut out like this every now and then.
The reviews are all really good, but who knows if they are real.

I genuinely wouldn't mind too much if it was a cut out here and there, but sometimes it can be just cutting in and out every 2 seconds for like a 20 minute walk.
 

Brohan

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
272
So i live in the Netherlands and i'm trying to get my hands on a pair of Philips Fidelio X2HR's but it seems like it unavailable wherever i look. They are still sold on Amazon.de but the seller there won't ship to the Netherlands. If anyone knows where i can get them for around €300,- it would be much appreciated.

Also does anyone know why these are so hard to get?? Did they stop production or something??
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
My Bose QC25 died in one ear after ~2.5 years of daily use, and I really need some sort of noise cancelling throughout the day, so I picked up the Sony WH-1000XM3 today.
They were not my first choice, but the stores were all sold out of Bose QC35-II and I was hesitant to go with them anyway since they have yet to update with USB-C support, so I thought the WH-1000XM3 would be a reasonable option.
Well it turns out that was a big mistake.

Perhaps if you only use them with a phone and nothing else they are great headphones, but I find them aggravating to use since I switch my headphones between 3-4 devices every day.
  • The power switch is a software button that you have to hold and wait to turn the headphones on/off.
  • Pairing is done by holding the power button for even longer, so you are holding down the button for about ten seconds before you can then pair it with another device. The whole process takes about 15-20 seconds to switch devices which may not sound like much, but it feels like an eternity when you're used to switching headphones instantly with a cable.
  • According to the manual it claims to support multiple connections for answering calls, but from my testing it seems that this only works if the device you are connected to only supports audio out. If it has headset support, it will retain the connection. Even when the device you are connected to does only support audio, it won't actually switch to your phone unless that was the last device it connected to that supported headsets. There's no connection management in the app.
  • As soon as you connect analog audio it kills all Bluetooth connections - so you cannot answer calls if you are listening to an analog device; e.g. playing a game on the Switch.
  • The analog connection only supports audio, it does not support the microphone to use as a wired headset.
  • Disconnecting the 3.5mm cable immediately switches off the headphones rather than staying on, or switching over to a Bluetooth connection.
  • Having to use gesture control rather than buttons for control is awful.
  • Holding your hand on one side to enable pass-through mode is a nice idea but it's somewhat unreliable, latency is high, and rather than only passing through voice, it sets the noise cancelling to the lowest level which is essentially the same as taking the headphones off, rather than making voices easier to hear in a loud environment like Bose can do (at least on the QC20).
  • Any interaction with the headphones results in loud beeps and a voice assistant yelling in your ear. That includes things like losing a Bluetooth connection.
  • The assistant button only works with Google Assistant, not Siri on iOS devices. If you don't use Google Assistant, it acts as a button to turn noise cancelling on/off.
  • Sound Position Control and Surround (VPT) processing seem useless. SPC was of interest to me (speaker simulation by having the sound appear in front of you) but it does not work well and really hurts audio quality.
  • DSEE HX seems like it may be helping AAC audio sound less compressed, but I haven't spent enough time listening to them critically to really say.
  • Having built in EQ seems like a good idea, though I stuck with them in the default state for now. Boosting the bass at all - if you are inclined to do so - sounded pretty bad I thought.
  • The noise cancelling optimizer didn't really seem to do anything, and I don't see an option to reset it to compare.
The headphones feel huge compared to the QC25.
I'm not sure how noticeable it will be in photos, but the top of the QC25 are domed, which tends to make them look thinner when worn, while the WH-1000XM3 are both taller and flatter.
Less of the height is actually padding on the WH-1000XM3 too, which also makes them stick out more (less compressible materials).


Overall, they're much chunkier headphones:


I will say that they are not uncomfortable - they seem to have done a good job with the weight distribution, and though the padding and earcups are relatively thin, there don't seem to be any pressure points. They don't seem as secure on my head as Bose though. They don't fall off, but do move around if I slowly tilt my head backwards or forwards.
They are comfortable with glasses, and noise cancelling seems less affected by them than Bose are. The pleather material on the Sony earpads seems thinner and more pliable, which helps with comfort but I am concerned about how that will hold up over time. The headband is using a pleather material rather than Alcantara on the Bose headphones, which also concerns me.
Frankly, I've had bad experiences with pleather material holding up for more than 18 months or so, no matter who makes it, so I'd much rather that they used real leather or an alternative material.

I'm planning on returning these, and would probably just pick up a pair of QC25 again if it were not for the fact that the triple-black model I have was apparently a limited edition and the standard edition is ugly.
I'm now hoping that Bose can repair or replace them for a fee, and/or have a QC35-III with USB-C and other improvements due for release soon - assuming that connection management is better than Sony (though it wouldn't take much).
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,442
Underground
Ok, so a family member is getting me some headphones for Christmas, says they'll go up to $250. What are the best over ear, closed backs I can get? Wired or wireless?

Edit: Thinking about going with the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 unless someone recommends something better.

Are refurbished headphones worth it? Found these Sony 1000XM2 for $230.
 
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Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
As a small update on the WH-1000XM3: after leaving them with the battery at 80% last night, and using them for ~25 minutes today, they were reporting that they were down to only 10% remaining. The headphones were not left on overnight, and they shut off after 5 minutes of being idle even if they had been left on.
I had about 5-10 minutes before leaving to top them up on an 18W USB-C charger, and they're now reporting 60% capacity.
I don't think it's possible for them to have charged that much in so little time, so it seems like that's probably a bug, but the fact that its reported battery life is unreliable is an issue.

From what I have read online, its fast charge feature should be able to charge the battery by about 20% in 10 minutes - so that still means it must have drained by about 40% overnight.
This is another example of why I greatly prefer headphones that use replaceable batteries (ideally AAA) since you can swap them out rather than having to wait for them to charge.
Ok, so a family member is getting me some headphones for Christmas, says they'll go up to $250. What are the best over ear, closed backs I can get? Wired or wireless?
Edit: Thinking about going with the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 unless someone recommends something better.
Are refurbished headphones worth it? Found these Sony 1000XM2 for $230.
Based on my experience with the WH-1000XM3, I wouldn't recommend it.
If it's an option, I would throw in an extra $50 and pick up Bose QC35-II, or go with the older QC25 if you don't mind them being wired and using AAA batteries (get some Eneloops for that).
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,799
Personally I've been using the XM2 as my daily driver at work since around summer time and I've had no such issues with the battery. The battery usually lasts me 1-2 weeks depending on how much I use them at work (could be anything from just lunch time to using them for the entire day to listen to music in the background). It lasts so long I sometimes forget to charge it to be honest.

I personally couldn't recommend the headphones more, that said I don't really swap between devices too much so the hassle of them not being able to connect to more than one device is just a non-issue.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
Personally I've been using the XM2 as my daily driver at work since around summer time and I've had no such issues with the battery. The battery usually lasts me 1-2 weeks depending on how much I use them at work (could be anything from just lunch time to using them for the entire day to listen to music in the background). It lasts so long I sometimes forget to charge it to be honest.
Sony rates the battery for the XM2 as 24 hours with noise cancelling active, which is ~100 minutes a day on average if that's lasting you two weeks. I'd say that's pretty light use.
I personally couldn't recommend the headphones more, that said I don't really swap between devices too much so the hassle of them not being able to connect to more than one device is just a non-issue.
As I said in my original post, it's probably fine if you only want some headphones that are paired to your phone and nothing else - though they do still have annoyances even when only trying to do that, but I did not expect the way connections are handled to be so poor.
I am also surprised that I've seen so few comments on how much larger the WH-1000XM3s are compared to Bose's headphones though, when they are compared against each other so often.
 
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Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,594
Per a recommendation from RedlineRonin I grabbed the Bose SoundSports when they were half off as secondary / gym headphones. Highly highly highly recommended if you're looking for in-ears that won't hurt your ears like in-ears
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,799
Sony rates the battery for the XM2 as 24 hours with noise cancelling active, which is ~100 minutes a day on average if that's lasting you two weeks. I'd say that's pretty light use.
I definitely use them more than that. I'd say their specs must be conservative.

To add, I'd say they last me closer to 30hours on a single charge which I consider to be very good.

Edit: I looked it up and Sony do cite 30hours with NC on which does line up with my experience. I'm not sure where you got your value from?
 
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OP
OP
HiResDes

HiResDes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,190
In short wireless is overrated in most regards unless you're just working out in them I don't know how people make them their main headphones or earphones.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,998
I have the XM2's from a Black Friday deal and I think they're great. Battery life is super long, I only charge them once a week. The gesture controls took a bit to get used to but I've found them pretty intuitive. The pass through option when holding your hand to the earcup works really well for me and amplifies the surrounding audio. I rather enjoy the adaptive NC because I move between the subway/city streets frequently.
 

Stolen Sheep

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,971
In short, wires suck and seeing as I’m not a fetus I prefer not being tied to something by an umbilical cord.

There’s a reason technology manufacturers are killing the headphone jack.

Also I got those Sony XM2 headphones and they are absolutely incredible. It’s only when you take them off do you realise what an incredible piece of technology they are and how much sound they’re blocking out. As someone who’s easily distracted by sounds they’re a godsend.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
I definitely use them more than that. I'd say their specs must be conservative.
To add, I'd say they last me closer to 30hours on a single charge which I consider to be very good.
Edit: I looked it up and Sony do cite 30hours with NC on which does line up with my experience. I'm not sure where you got your value from?
From Sony: https://helpguide.sony.net/mdr/wh1000xm2/v1/en/contents/TP0001513149.html
24 hours with SBC/AAC (iOS) or 28 hours with aptX/LDAC (Android).

In short wireless is overrated in most regards unless you're just working out in them I don't know how people make them their main headphones or earphones.
For me, noise cancelling is practically essential now. Considering the price of good ANC headphones, I might as well pay extra for Bluetooth support as well.
If Bose still sold the triple-black QC25 I would have picked them up instead, and I'm still going to see if they can repair or replace my pair.
Wireless on the WH-1000XM3 is a hassle unless you only need them paired to a single device though. I'm hoping that Bose handles things better with the QC35-II since they support being paired to two devices simultaneously and you can manage connections via their app. I don't know how well it will actually handle switching sources though, and how analog audio factors into it.
 

Stolen Sheep

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,971
HiResDes It's very early, but I think I'm going to have good things to say about this SUNDARA.


There is no good technological reason backing this up. Phones have not improved or made any leaps by removing it, nor are they being hindered by its inclusion.

Slow down with the rhetoric.
The headphone jack was taking up a lot of space on ever thinner and miniaturised phones. And Bluetooth is frankly pretty excellent with newer power efficiencies, codecs and stability/range. It’s a long way from the bad old days where it was flakey or you have to think about turning Bluetooth off on your phone to conserve battery life. Those were very much all technological reasons why the world has started to move on from wired headphones.

Like a lot of things, removing the headphone jack seemed like an issue when Apple took the first step towards removing them but now it’s pretty moot. If you want legacy support get comfy in dongle town because that’s exactly where the headphone jack is going to reside for the rest of its exsistenxe.
 

K.Jack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,202
Dark Space
The headphone jack was taking up a lot of space on ever thinner and miniaturised phones. And Bluetooth is frankly pretty excellent with newer power efficiencies, codecs and stability/range. It’s a long way from the bad old days where it was flakey or you have to think about turning Bluetooth off on your phone to conserve battery life. Those were very much all technological reasons why the world has started to move on from wired headphones.

Like a lot of things, removing the headphone jack seemed like an issue when Apple took the first step towards removing them but now it’s pretty moot. If you want legacy support get comfy in dongle town because that’s exactly where the headphone jack is going to reside for the rest of its exsistenxe.
And getting fractionally thinner is a groundbreaking achievement because...? I mean you type all that to say it let them get a tiny bit thinner. Did that improve more than it brought inconveniences?

If you want to flip it to competition, answer this: Removing the jack gave Apple what leg up over Samsung? The Note 9 is still shitting on them.

You can't give me an actual advantage beyond marginal advantages in the measurements wars. But that's all Apple cares about, design over function.

The Kool-aid has a nice color, but lacks sugar upon taste.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,806
Most mobile headphone jacks are basically complete afterthoughts, I never ever use them with higher end IEMs. No measurements of the S9 or Note 9 but the S8 was ~3 ohms, which is enough to fuck with sensitive IEMs that use a crossover circuit. Which is every single IEM that uses more than one driver. High end single driver IEMs include the Campfire Vega/Atlas, Sony EX1000 and Etymotic ER4SR/XR. That's a total of 5 earphones, two which are basically identical.

The iPhone's dongle actually provides vastly better audio quality than the vast majority of headphone jacks for that reason. Despite Apple's high prices, it is actually the most affordable high fidelity portable amp/DAC combo on the market. It also has zero hiss with very sensitive IEMs like Campfire Andromedas which pick up electrical noise like sugar and ants.

As for wireless, I use bluetooth adapters with my IEMs. It works perfectly. I really think the headphone jack whining is severely overblown, the main loss is the convenience of using wired headphones and charging at the same time. Besides that, the headphone jack is a non-issue for me really. Outside of LG's Quad DAC offerings, which is an intentional effort to put a lot of the phone's budget and design into audio quality, headphone jacks are all kind of bad for portable earphones.
 

J75

Member
Sep 29, 2018
1,090
So i bought the HD600 that were on sale on amazon and they arrived. But since im not a big audio guy, it didn't dawn on me that i needed an amp for em before buying em. I'm tight on money at the moment so, what could i get for $100 that can drive em decently?
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
The iPhone's dongle actually provides vastly better audio quality than the vast majority of headphone jacks for that reason. Despite Apple's high prices, it is actually the most affordable high fidelity portable amp/DAC combo on the market. It also has zero hiss with very sensitive IEMs like Campfire Andromedas which pick up electrical noise like sugar and ants.
Yeah, but the headphone jack on Apple’s products was even better than the adapter.
The reason the headphone jack is gone now is because there’s no bezel for them to fit it under any more. It would now have to go underneath the display, which would result in a device that is too thick (for them).
I’m convinced that the reason they removed it from the iPhone 7, where it was not necessary, was to get people used to the idea before releasing the iPhone X where they couldn’t fit one.
It’s been more than two years of using them now, and I still find those stupid adapters to be extremely inconvenient. It has significantly cut down the amount of time I spend using my phone for music/podcasts and makes calls a hassle.
They’re also very fragile/unreliable. I go through one every 3 months or so.

So i bought the HD600 that were on sale on amazon and they arrived. But since im not a big audio guy, it didn't dawn on me that i needed an amp for em before buying em. I'm tight on money at the moment so, what could i get for $100 that can drive em decently?
The only reason you need an amp for them is if you find them too quiet. Otherwise, you don’t need one.
 
Mar 21, 2018
360
Bought and moved into my apartment recently which due to the second bedroom being used as a study has led me to splitting up my headphone set ups.

Upstairs:
Source (digital) - Naim NDX
Source (analog) - Ortofon A-90 MC cartridge, Thorens TD-850 turntable, Rega Ios phonostage
Amp - Manley Audio Labs Neo-Classic 300B
Headphones - Sennheiser HD-800s (bought these recently, also used with a Roland electric drum kit that I bought last week)

Downstairs:
Source - TeddyPardo DAC
Amp - STAX 007T Mk2
Headphones - STAX SR-009

Can’t see me upgrading for a long time, except for new valves and maybe a cable upgrade for the 800s.

Oh, and for portable use I have Sennheiser IE-800.