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The SHR840 turned out to be pretty decent through a GS-1, but they're rather terrible otherwise.


Unbridled ATH fanboyism below:

Unamped, I really like the ATH 900ti. (~$300) I was stalking a pair on yahoo auctions Japan for the last 3 months..

The W11jpn or something is a no brainer.

If you're fine with supra-aural some of the ATH woodies look nice - ESW10 or 9, I forget. But I like Audio-Technica.

Edited by dreamwhisper
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Resurrecting the thread. Gave up a shared office today (with a rather bitter, chatty guy who's fun, but impossible to get work done around) and moving to a cube for the first time in a while. Thus my HD580s are no longer going to cut it. Will use IEMs occasionally, but need something I can put on/pull off often. HD25-1 IIs are fine, but would love for something better. Anything new to consider (besides earlier mentioned in thread)? Out of the loop in the closed world.


I've been trying the Focal Spirit Classic at work from a Gilmore Lite fed by a Neko MKII DAC attached to a Squeezebox Touch.


Maybe the sound isn't for me but I just can't get into it. I keep switching to my Alessandro MS-Pro. But then again, I've always been partial to that Grado sound. I can lend them to you if you'd like to check them out to see if they're your cup of tea. If they are, I can just sell them to you.


As for the Audio Technica's, haven't listened to my ESW9 in a while. The pleather definitely shows its age. From memory, out of the Hifiman 801, this thing sounded pretty darn good for its price. I don't know if the problems I'm having with the Focal are due to synergy with the system though... 

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I would get the Sony MDR-Z7 and make a silver cable upgrade to improve the sound.  The Z7 is very well build but a little too boomy stock.  A silver cable upgrade (DIY of course) does make a nice difference on this pair of headphones.  Amazon has them listed for $500 (not authorized Sony retailer however).

Edited by purk
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Ric, FWIW my closed can for the office is the K550. 


- I like the sound a lot (but I'm an Etyhead so YMMdefinitelyV)

- it's dependably non-leaky (unlike say a D2000).  Isolation from outside noise is not super high – but it doesn't leak outward

- I find it comfortable (again opinions vary),

- it's not so expensive or rare that I'll be crushed if Something Happens and I need to replace it

- its single-sided/non-stiff/non-microphonic cable works better for me in office use cases than dual or stiffer ones


IMO it pairs beautifully with a Schiit Vali, so there's my nice little office stack sorted.  What're you running your HD580 (and presumably your next office can) from?


Edit: I owned a K271 for a while but I never grew to really enoy it.  Which is too bad, because the automatic muting when you take it off was great for an office environment.  But I found it really sonically limited and un-resolving, which is odd for a studio can, but that's how it was.  Once I got the K550 the K271 got zero head time and I wound up trading it and a spare amp to an office-mate for a bike he'd replaced with something better; a nicely symmetrical trade in a sense.

Edited by episiarch
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Thanks for the great suggestions everyone (and offer Alex). Didn't know about the MH40 and forgot about the 7520 (which I've heard once briefly at CAS - with HAP-S1 - and liked). Would be curious of your experiences with the B&Ws Jacob. Michael I think your and my ears are pretty similar on the HD580/ER4S front, but I seem the one of the few that doesn't love the K550s. Its boxy/reflective sound gets to me (rather deal with the flat staging of the HD25-1 II). In fact I forgot I had a pair as I packed them away after a couple weeks. Giving them another shot and have them on my head now. Will give more thoughts to NAD, Sonys and new models too like the PM-3 and maybe even EL-8 closed, though I guess I now need to consider occasional thieves walking past again.

And for the associates - for the foreseeable future likely using using a GO720, though I could switch to something better (DLIII + DSHA-1, Pulse Xfi + LPS, etc.?) if I'm not too lazy to pack away a larger rig each night.

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The Sennheiser HD250 Linear series are still the best for me (Mk1 slightly better than the Mk2, but both are very good) Great isolation comfort and most importantly, sound quality.

As long as the factory earpads are available (I heard they might be discontinued soon) I can wholeheartedly recommend them.

Probably not that common in the US, but with the current EUR-USD exchange rate they are an even better bargain than before, beating other closed headphones costing many times as much (imho, of course)

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Ric, fair enough if you don't love the K550.  I know it's not for everyone.


I've auditioned the B&W P5 and P7 - the P5 more extensively, I think I had it for two or three days – and I really like them both.  The P5 made everything sound good to me.  It was as if every part of the music was emphasized, but not in a way that was annoying or fatiguing.  I can't really give you a more specific tonal description than that; I just liked them a lot.  They were also all-day comfortable, and isolated a whole lot more than I thought they would.  I'd happily have bought a pair except I didn't have a job for them to do that wasn't already being done.


I heard the P7 several months later under meet conditions, so my comparison's obviously not reliable, but my reaction on hearing them was "oh, this is the same kind of sound as the P5, only more so."


Apple lists both in the online store and you can probably audition them in suitably large Apple retail stores.  I see that what Apple's listing is a "P5 Series 2" and I'm guessing what I heard (could be as much as 2 years ago now) was a series 1. 

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I recently discovered the beyer dt150. Sounds A LOT like the hd650 in closed edition. Ugly as hell though. A bit clunky build quality but the sound quality is there for sure and can be had around $250...sometimes way less. 


I'm on the fence with the z7 (Sony). Definitely needs a cable change to tighten things up. New pm-3 and el8 closed version on the way soon. 

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Damn, there are too many choices in this thread.  Nate says the ATH-M50x or the MH40.  Jacob says the P5 or the P5 S2.  Oppo has the PM-3.  Audeze has an EL-8.  Sony has the MDR-7520 or the MDR-Z7.  Beyerdynamic have the T5p, the T70p, and the T70 (as well as the usual suspect:  DT770).  I'm tempted to replace the ATH-A900x (as I think I got its predecessor way back when, whose sound I remember liking -- that's the one I really want), or its little sibling, the ATH-A500x.


Do any of these isolate poorly for a closed headphone?  My VTGs don't quite fit, so don't isolate perfectly, and I think the stuffing may have fallen down, because I can even hear through the wood (seems like) -- perhaps I should just open them up and restuff?  I really don't feel comfortable bringing anything to the office worth much more than US$200 or so (maybe US$300, tops), so the VTG is just a temporary measure.  And the DT880s just don't isolate enough, neither.


And it gets pretty warm here -- are any of these pleather?  I should probably avoid those.  The DT880s are good, comfy phones.  Maybe I should go back to the DT770s?

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The B&Ws isolate very nicely, and are real leather.   They don't seem particularly warm to me, and I'm very sensitive to that.


Agree with Jacob, I picked up a used P5-S2 for work.  Only complaint is fit, the way they rub on my ears.  It's good for a while but I do feel like I need to remove them for a spell.  Sound is pretty decent, though I thought the Senn 600 was clearly better.  Senn's just didn't isolate much at all.

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Yeah, I liked the HD280 to own it for over a year. I owned my pair until I had destroyed the earpads/headband and the cord.

I found the sub bass a bit fatiguing, since I was listening to them at moderate volume to block out my gaming PC's noise.

I'd say SRH840 > HD280 > M50 (1st edition). But in the end they're all really pretty bad.


I tried my MEElectronics Air-Fi Matrix2 with my GS-1 and the sub bass was so fatiguing I tore it off my head. 

I guess since the bass is so strong/emphasised unamped that it can't handle even a bit of amplification.


But unamped it's a good sounding budget headphone, even before you consider the bluetooth headset feature.

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I'm tempted to give the Sony MDR-Z7s a shot -- they keep showing up on the front page of Kuboten.  How imposing do they look?  I mean, I'd stick with the VTGs for the sound, but they just look expensive, with the wood and the grain and the shiny and the gloss.  And how well do they isolate (the Sony, that is)?


Anyone want to pick their most isolating?  For me it's the Leatherhead and the DT770...nothing else -- short of an IEM -- comes close.  Okay, maybe the Smeggy-ized Thunderpantses.  But again, looks expensive.


(wanders off to look stuff up on InnerFidelity page)


I mean, look how quickly the DT770 drops of -- -10db by 300 Hz, am I reading that right?

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