Talk to me about… headphones

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  • Talk to me about… headphones
  • peterfile

    AKG 451 are very well thought of for the money. I was impressed.

    Alternatively, look at getting some custom inner ears? I’ve got some Superfi 5 Pros which I have just bought my 4th replacement cable for. They get a lot of use!

    Premier Icon DaveRambo

    +1 for AKG451 I have a pair of the 450’s (which don’t have the inline control) and they are very good.

    They have a replaceable cable which always seems to get knackered when I travel so in the long run they should work out cheaper

    Doing a reasonable amount of train commuting at the moment and the ‘in the ear’ Seinnheisers are getting a little uncomfortable.

    I’m looking at some bigger ‘phones, but will avoid Dr Dre Beats like the plague because A. they look shite; B. I can’t stand Dr. Dre and; C. my guess is that anything with Dr Dre’s name on it is going to overpriced tat.

    Use an iPod and iPhone. Listen to everything from reggae and dub through to metal and punk.

    Any recommendations?


    Give these guys a call. Super helpful, full of good recommendations and will always try to sell you the right product even if it’s way cheaper than the alternative which you won’t be quite so happy with, and will allow trial and return (except in-ear for hygiene reasons) as many times as it takes to get it right (5, in my case):

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    AKG K 451s are looking interesting at the moment…

    Premier Icon Clobber

    psb m4u 2


    The 451s are bloody good for the money. They are open backed though so might not be ideal for the train!


    I think that when listening on the train one of the most important things is noise isolation. Over-ear designs can’t compete with in-ear in this regard, so I’d say try to find an in-ear that works for you or get custom moulded if you can afford it.

    Premier Icon Clobber

    Over ears kick ass in noise isolation if you buy the noise cancelling variety


    Another fan of the AKG451 here, and once you buy them you realise how many other people have them. I particularly like the way you can easliy slip them around your neck and carry on walking if you need to speak with someone.


    Get a pair of Shure SE215’s, use the triple-flange eartips for a while, see how you get on with them, and save some money for custom eartips, which are around £112 at the mo’.
    SE215’s are outstanding for the money, someone on here got a pair for around £65-70 recently, but there are fakes around. The big advantage with the 215’s is that they have replaceable cables, with an optional remote cable for phones, pods, etc.
    They’re absolutely perfect for what you want, as much noise attenuation as professional hearing protection, around -26dB, with triple-flange eartips, or custom eartips, and no sound leakage to piss off your fellow passengers.
    And you don’t look like a wannabe DJ Asshat, either… 😉

    Another +1 for the AKGs. Great value for money and I find them waaay superior to standard in ear phones. They are not too big and clunky and do a great job. Work very well with my iPod.

    Premier Icon convert

    I got some Bluedio R+ a few weeks ago. They fail 1 on your list as they are quite dre like to look at but they pass 2 & 3 with room to spare. For Bluetooth headphones I think they are ace for the money. They do leak a bit of sound though which might make you unpopular on the commute.


    get some ear molds taken and grab a set of unique melodies… more noise

    Premier Icon allfankledup

    We were in tesco last week (other supermarkets are available) They had a range of sennheiser and dr beat type things

    I was amazed at the sound quality of them – try them before you dismiss them

    However – being totally isolated from your surroundings by a set of headphones means that when someone taps you on the shoulder then you will c**p yourself.


    I bought some AKG’s after posting on here, and I have to say they sound amazing for the money.

    I’ve settled on a pair of RHA SA950i. Not expensive but well made, light and great sound.

    Don’t know or understand anything about the fashion component of headphones so unable to comment on their looks/societal acceptability – but they have a tangle free removable cable which I like a lot. The cans are small tho, but luckily suit my gorilla style ears. UK company and customer service (3yr warranty) has checked out well when I got a dodgy cable, instantly replaced via mail. This means a lot to me as have had many more expensive and less good headphones over the years that have failed me at 12 months or just over.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I got a set of Sennheiser HD201s for the turbo (2 requirements- good sound isolation, and cheap enough that I don’t mind saturating them with sweat and leaving them in the garage). Surprisingly good- pretty plasticky but I can’t fault the sound.


    where dyuh get those in-ear moulded ear -plug/ speaker thingys?

    And you don’t look like a wannabe DJ Asshat, either…

    I’m too utilitarian and uncornerned about fashion to care much what others say, it’s about the comfort and sound! When I was teenager all headphones were big anyway. Am old enough to know that people will most often judge you (or what you wear) based upon projection bias. So if it works for you, whether earbuds are uncomfortable or you like the look of yr cans, just enjoy yr music and let the judges snigger in peace!

    Premier Icon matthewjb

    Etymotic do lots of different ear buds so you should be able to get a good fit.

    I have a pair with a remote that controls the iPhone which is quite useful.

    Bit pricy though.


    where dyuh get those in-ear moulded ear -plug/ speaker thingys?

    There are audiologists around who do them, most companies who offer custom eartips will have a map which will show your nearest based on postcode, my nearest is in Trowbridge, for example, although some opticians offer the service for hearing aids; mine were done through an independent optician in Bath, but they no longer exist.
    They do make an enormous difference, though; mine are on a pair of Etymotic ER6i ‘phones, which I bought through a load of recommendations on here. I was very disappointed with them, even after forking out nearly £100 for the eartips, because they’re very light in the bass. I gave up using them, instead got a variety of UE phones from eBay, SuperFi 3 and 5, and TripleFi 10, and the Shure 215’s.
    All of them are vastly improved by using triple-flange eartips, a cheap alternative to customs, but not quite as comfortable.
    I’ve recently gone back to using the Ety’s, having found an app that allows a custom equalisation curve to be created, which puts back the missing bass, making a really big difference.
    No remote is a hassle, but if you’re a clever bugger, it’s possible to replace the wires with those from Apple earbuds, but it’s a bit of a faff.
    I still use my UE’s and Shures, though. The Shure triple-flange eartips will deform with extended use, shaping themselves to your inner ear, putting a small amount of Sugru behind each flange, then putting them into your ear would make a cheap custom eartip; here’s mine, showing how they change shape:

    Here’s my Shure 215’s along with my Etymotics, it’s obvious why there’s less bass with the Ety’s,

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot

    cheez0 – Member
    where dyuh get those in-ear moulded ear -plug/ speaker thingys?

    These people:

    Excellent help. Excellent service. And most every IEM manufacturer I’d heard of and a couple I had not. If you’re in the uk it’ll likely be cheaper to buy via these folks than direct. They’ll likely know of a good audiologist/impression maker in your area.

    I got my pair of 1964 Ears V6s through them.


    Some very mixed reviews regarding the 451’s. I can only assume that the bad comments come from people with far more expensive headphones?

    I’m interested in these though, however these would be used at home for listening to 6music and watching films etc on the iPad whilst she is watching shite on the tele and I see they are open backed so how much noise will leak out because she will moan like hell if her eastenders or corrie is disturbed. On the flip side I don’t really want to hear their horrible dialogue either so although not noise cancelling do they offer some reduction?

    I went to the trouble of getting custom ear moods for my Shures but have never found them comfortable. Particularly, taking them in and out is a pain and they isolate so much you really need to when speaking to anyone (not enough just to turn of music).

    You don’t say your budget but sennheiser hd25 ftw. Very light and comfortable – used by a lot of sound recordists for that reason( and for the neutral sound). All parts available as spares so can be rebuilt. Dj style moveable earpiece can be rotated out the way when the ticket inspector arrives.

    You want the split headband version. Come up cheap on eBay sometimes – a set for £115 bin at the moment

    Premier Icon YoKaiser

    Not that I’ve tried a lot of different models but I’ve not heard anything that beats my Grado SR60’s.


    Not that I’ve tried a lot of different models but I’ve not heard anything that beats my Grado SR60’s.

    and how good are they going so sound on a train being an open backed design? 🙄

    another se215 user here, very pleased with the sound compared to the sennheisers i had previous and the replaceable cable is a bonus as all headphones seem to fail there after a year or 2.


    Im very happy with my bose qc15 bit spendy but super comfortable and the noise cancelling is brilliant. Wear them as often with just the noise cancelling as with music when working

    Heard good things about Bose too.


    AKG451s here. Very well made. Proper detachable cables. Sound great. Comfy. Hard storage case. £45. Whats not to like?


    amazon lightning deal on these today


    I’m not going to argue that AKG451s are not great, but they are opened backed. Not really something you’d want on the train. AKG do closed backed models so maybe investigate them?
    Personally, on the train I would want something that isolates the outside noise as much as possible for the sake of my hearing. I have just got some Eytmotics and was impressed on my first listen. Didn’t find them bass light at all.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny

    Thought i would pitch in here, not an audiophile by any means, but do travel alot and appreicate good sound isolation and quality when listening on long flights.

    I got increasingly tired of the seriously-in-your-ear headphones as described above, great sound from etymotic ER4ps, but I have started to get pain in my ears with them in, and the whole faff of taking them in and out (with occasional ear wax issues added to the mix) made me want to explore some over-ear cans with good isolation and noise cancellation.

    Went to dixons at heathrow with my ipod and tried all the headphones I could with my favourite music. Spent about 1hour between the different models.

    For me, the ones I liked best were the Beats Executive. I did not want to like them, but they just enveloped my head in sound and they have been great for the month or 2 I’ve been using them. But I look like a dick.

    Moral of the story – try them. What sounds great to you will likely be very different to others, so you relaly need to try as many as possible before buying.

    All FWIW of course!


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