12 thoughts on “Tyranny of choice”

  1. While you can’t go wrong with either Sennheiser or Grado, I believe Grado offer greater fidelity and are particularly good with tight jazz rifs.. They’re not quite as strong on heavy base.

    1. So far Grado sound better to my ears. Having a tough time trying to find something that works well with the iPhone. Most of them need am amp to drive them.

      1. Have you tried Klipsch Image S4i’s; less “open” sound than the others since they’re in-ear, but they’re very faithful with a bit more bass.They’re what I use with my phone.

  2. I am cursed with having too much space and money, and I buy headphones the way some people buy shoes (i.e. women). So I’m a good person to ask because I own both Grado and Sennheiser, and I recommend neither if you’re moving around when you’re listening. The Grado’s have a huge thick cord that must weigh 3 times what an iPhone ways and there’s no easy way to keep it from impeding your flow. Sennheisers are somewhat better, but the headphones I take with me now, everywhere, the only ones are a pair of Velodyne bluetooth phones. Best sound and no cord! The only disadvantage is that when you drop the phone they’re connected to you have to bend down to pick it up because the cord isn’t attached.


    1. Hi Dave

      Thanks for the recommendations and pre-warning me on those two hi-end headphones. I will check out the Velodyne bluetooth headphones.

  3. Own Sennheiser and Klipsch goodies. Only suggestion on the latter is to give them a week or so break-in time before evaluating satisfaction. Both are dedicated to different environments – and not the same as yours.

  4. I use SRH840s for their accurate reproduction – sometimes to a fault! – and Solo HDs for fun. The Shure headset has a heavy cord and they’re monstrous, but really comfortable to wear. So if you’re stationary and sinking into some classic jazz they’re not a bad choice. The Beats headphones are predictably Bass heavy, but sound good to my ear with a little EQ tweaking. Good luck in your hunt!

  5. As true for careers as it is for products, when you’re young and have marketable skills. Most people just don’t realize how many choices they have: blog.davidcrawford.co/2013/05/19/smite-the-sounding-furrows.html

  6. Bed Bath and Beyond carries a lovey line of linens called Palais Royale, 630 thread count Egyptian cotton and a king size package consisting of bottom and top sheets and pillow cases is about $100. I have white so they can be bleached and we LOVE them. They feel fabulous when you climb into bed. BB&B carries nice towels as well.

  7. Om, your best bet is to find somewhere you can audition some choices – a lot of it is very personal/dependent on your source material and there are a huge combination of cans/amps. Head Fi I believe regularly organizes tours and meetups: http://www.head-fi.org/f/45/head-fi-meet-impressions-trade-show-reports-factory-tours . The great thing is you can audition stuff you’d probably never buy like the Sennheiser Orpheus or a pair of Stax.

    I think your best bet is to find a local shop like http://www.harmonyaudiovideo.com/ that has a full line-up and figure out an approx price range (there’s a definite price/performance/how much hearing you have left curve) and then compare across brands/models from there.

    Really loved both my Sennheisers (really dependent on a decent amp) and Grados (they get comfier w/ some break-in … and/or modding), but I’ve been using a pair of Denon’s D2000s for the past few years and they’ve been great (even better w/ some custom pads I recently got).

    While circumaurals are nice, I will also say that if you’re ok w/ trading some soundstage, for absolute clarity, IEMs (in-ear monitors) can be fantastic. While I’ve done molds for earplugs, I’ve stuck w/ universal fit for IEMs – the Comply tips are super comfy. IEMs are harder to audition (hygiene and stuff?), but the Westone UM3X’s I’d recommend w/o hesitation. Most recently, I’ve been using the Audeo PFE 232s which I like even better, but is probably at the top end of what I’d spend since I break/lose my IEMs too often while traveling.

    There aren’t that many choices once you narrow down your price range/type/features (ie, if you need a mic, for travel, etc) and once you listen to them you’ll know what you like when you hear it. Of course, if you spend more than a couple hundred bucks you’re going to definite want an external DAC+amp.

    My suggestion is to start w/ something that sounds decent/good and then slowly move up if you feel the need (your big limitations are going to be source material quality and your hearing).

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