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Subject: Re: OT: a headphone question
From: csweet_at_hawaii.rr.com
Date: 2004-03-31


First, for all you ever wanted to know about headphones (and MP3 players, though sadly no one there seems to like Archos) go to head-fi.org. I've been searching for my ideal headphones for my new V2 and have found it very useful.

Second, I bought a pair of Koss KSC55s, which sound like what you want - they have a fixed behind the neck band and are under US$20. Like many of the inexpensive Koss phones, they have the same drivers as the PortaPros and SportaPros, which people seem to like. I don't know, though - the minute I took them out of the package and spread them apart to get them around my head the cheap plastic band broke. Really, really shoddy construction - I immediately returned them.

Third, I bought the Sennheiser PX100s. I'm listening to them at work right now. Great, great sound for a small, light, foldable open set. I like them for work because I can easily hear the telephone or a a knock on my office door. They're under $40 at HeadRoom, i.e. headphone.com, and I understand are pretty widely available at retailers on the US mainland (though apparently not here in Hawaii, sigh, the usual problem with living so far from anywhere civilized). They only go over the head, though, not behind the neck. And they have a straight plug, not a right angle plug. The stress caused by leveraging that plug in my pocket may have contributed to a headphone jack problem that forced me to return my first V2. For the replacement, I only use these phones with a right angle adapter to minimize stress on the headphone jack.

Fourth, for gym use I wanted something that didn't have pads that would get all sweaty, and that had some isolation capacity to block out the muzak they play. So I bought a pair of the Sony EX71s from amazon.com for about US$32. There seems to be wide disagreement about these. Some people really like them; others don't. I didn't. They suffered immeasurably from comparison with the PX100s. The sound was not up to par for me - big sloppy bass, not much midrange and kind of a screechy treble to my admittedly non-audiophile ears. The cord was highly microphonic - every small touch resulted in a boom in my ears. I had to wrap the cord over my ears and thread it behind my shirt in the back to get an acceptable result. Finally, the cord is very short, with a connection plug to a longer extension. Combine the weight of this connection plug with a much shorter cord to the left ear than the right, and normal gym activity made the left bud constantly work out of my ear. I re
turned these within a week.

Fourth, I now have a pair of Shure E2s on order from an e-Bay merchant - new for about US$70 (more than I paid for my V2!). They should be here soon - we'll see how they work out.

I hope my experience is useful to you. Good luck with your search.

Charlie

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