Hey everyone and gsferrari, first of all, I would like to say: I DID IT! I READ ALL 31 PAGES! (and have already forgotten all the details and particular model names
Anyways, would you guys have any recommendations for me for a decent set of value headphones or earbuds that are available for me here in Canada?My criteria:
- My price range is around the $50 CDN mark, and I'm not an audiophile, although I do play the violin and piano.
- I'm planning on using the headphones with my onboard Inspiron 9300 sound for music, gaming, and listening to online talk radio broadcasts
, and possibly sometimes with my CD player on the go (so hopefully they aren't too big and don't make me look weird).
- Also, comfort is a consideration, and I wear glasses, so I don't want headphones that will make my ears hurt (maybe I should stick more to circumaural, then?).
- Finally, as far as I can tell, I'm not a "basshead", so I don't really need overwhelming bass. So maybe I should stick with open headphones, even though I will probably use them a fair bit in a close-quarters research lab/office setting.Equipment types under consideration:
1) a USB headset w/ mic and its own sound chip. I'm looking at the Logitech Premium 350 USB that I can get for $50 CDN, which offers 1-cable neatness, a high-quality mic ready to go, and arguably good sound quality. But the Logitech 350 USB might be too uncomfortable by some reports (and they're supra-aural), and reports of their sound quality are conflictory. Excellent noise-cancelling mic by all reports, though.
2a) A good value set of headphones, in which case I'll just use a separate mic for voice transmission in games (either shirt-clip on, headphone cable clip-on, or the dreaded free-standing type).
2b) A decent set of earbuds; I don't know if earbuds sound as good as headphones for gaming and movies (or even music, for that matter). Also, because they usually have a lower impedance than headphones, then will that make them less suited to laptop use due to noise from the onboard sound? Or would I not really notice it?
Anyways, I'm probably going to go with either headphones, in the interest of sound quality, or earbuds, because of sound quality + convenience and portability.Choices I'm looking at for headphones and earbuds:
The main choice for headphones that I'm looking at are the AKG K-66 semi-open headphones
for $47.09 CDN. I've heard these at a National Gallery of Canada exhibit (3D binaural soundtrack with video), and they were AMAZING and life-like, to me. It was life-like, because it had amazing clarity and "fidelity?" to go along with the realistic 3D audio positioning (my first time listening to a 3D binaural soundtrack). I think I liked them largely due to the fact that they are semi-open, which I think helps give them improved clarity and "life-likeness". I'm NOT a big basshead and I think I care more about the mids and highs (maybe because I can sort of be considered a musician). These headphones have an impedance of 32 ohms, so they will hopefully sound decent off an onboard sound chipset without too much hissing/noise. But, I should reiterate that I'm not an audiophile. Anyways, anyone know how the AKG K-66's would compare to the Grado SR60's? My main reservation with the K-66's is that they look kind of stupid (huge, weird looking "cans"), they're fairly bulky and look hard to pack in a backpack, and I don't know if I'd want to be seen wearing them on the bus, or even in my lab.
I'm also considering the Sennheiser PX100 Collapsible Stereo Headphones - PX100
for $65.93CDN (a bit more than I want to pay, but probably more versatile than normal bulky headphones). These have the advantage of looking less "stupid" than the K-66's, and are smaller, less bulky, and foldable and portable. I don't know how the sound performance for music and games would compare with the K-66's, though.
Another choice would be to cheap out and get SOME RANDOM SET of Sony headphones around $29.99-$39.99 CDN
from Sony Styles Canada to go along with my onboard sound experience
I don't know whether I'd be much happier making the marginally larger investment in the K-66's or whether I wouldn't notice the difference and be satisfied with cheaper Sony headphones for music and gaming. Hmm, also, GSferrari has recommended Sony's MDRV150 Studio Monitor Series Headphones
in this thread before (for its "tonal quality"), and I can get them for $29.99CDN. However, they are supra-aural, so I hope they won't hurt my ears with my glasses (and they're closed, too). But they look pretty light and versatile, so I can imagine wearing them on the bus. How would the MDRV150's compare with the other Sony headphones in that price range?
In terms of earbuds, I'm also considering Sony's MDREX51LP Fontopia® Headphones which can be had @ $59.99 CDN from Sony Style Canada.http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/ser...n100133n100129
These have the advantage of being very portable, so I could use them with my CD player (I'm still contemplating running my i9300 as an MP3 player out of my backpack, lol). I don't know how they'd be for gaming and stuff, though, or if they'd have overwhelming bass for me. The sound reduction isn't too big a deal for me, although I guess I'd rather have semi-open headphones where I can hear everyone around me in my lab naturally, or go all the way and have crazy sound reduction with the in-ear shaped buds. Anyways, I might even be content with going for cheaper earbuds
that are COMFORTABLE and offer good sound performance for music and games (I don't care too much about sound isolation; but then again I'm not too experienced in headphone/earbud listening).Conclusion
So, plz let me know what you guys think about my choices and possible options. I think I'd Here's my thread in the i9300/XPS2 forum:Help me choose headphones+mic for my i9300!
I would seriously take a look at the Grado SR60's if they were also around the $50-60CDN mark and readily available in Canada. I don't know how much "better" they'd sound over the K-66's, though. I can get the Grado SR60
for $129.99CDN including shipping, and also the Sennheiser HD497 (Open headphones)
for $120.11CDN including shipping, but I that those prices are out of my price range, especially if cheaper headphones will perform clearly and well enough for me (not to mention the onboard sound that I'd be pairing them up with).
If I get a decent pair of headphones/earbuds for a reasonable price, then I MIGHT consider upgrading to an external sound card or something for my laptop down the road. But I'll probably just cheap out and stick with my onboard sound for music and games
(even though there's no EAX that would come with a USB 5.1 Live! or Audigy). I DO have a set of Creative Inspire 5300's (5.1) speakers that I'm currently using on my desktop with my Audigy 1 OEM sound card, but I'll probably leave them behind when I move into residence (just bringing my i9300 w/ its onboard sound, and possibly some Creative 2.1 speakers).
So, thanks to everyone who's spent the time reading my thoughts and thanks in advance to those who will reply!