Balanced headphone suggestions
Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Balanced headphone suggestions

    I have KEF M500 headphones which are very comfortable and neutral sounding. Very nice to use portable with my Pono.

    I am just starting to think about a step up headphone. I have used the McIntosh, but found them a little uncomfortable and I was not particularly fond of the total closed back design. I also had a pair of Audeze EL-8, but again felt they were not real comfortable for long time listening, a couple hours or more.

    I am thinking about a balanced design (if I do get something fairly sure I want to use a balanced cable), with comfort as a very important criteria. Obviously sound quality is important. Thinking about Christmas suggestions for my wife . Therefore I would say max budget would in the $2k range, hopefully a little less.

    Any suggestions on some good cans to consider?
    Electronics: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, DAC-2v2SE, Recovery, Remedy | Audio Research VT50 |First Watt F6 | Benchmark DAC3 HGC | McIntosh MR85
    Speakers/Headphones: MC RL21 | Gingko Stands | REL TZero | KEF Kube | Sennheiser HD800S | KEF M500
    Sources: Falcon Tiki (Roon Headless Server) | Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Roon Controller) | Marantz SA8005 | Magnum Dynalab ST-2
    Cables: Richard Gray | Wireworld | Audioquest | Tributaries | Kimber Kable | Wyred 4 Sound
    Power: Furman Elite 15i | iFi iPower | PS Audio Noise Harvesters x2

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    923
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    Randy - The MrSpeakers Ether line is right in your price range and have been getting universally great reviews. Might be worth your consideration if you can hear them.

  3. #3
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    18,353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    Focal has some wonderful new headphone. The Elear is in your budget.

    http://www.focal.com/headphones/#elear
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: AAvik Electronics, Aurender, Ansuz Cables, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Chord, Crystal Cable, Dali Loudspeakers, Entreq, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers, Focal Headphones, ISO Acoustics, KEF, Kimber Kable, KLAudio, KR Audio, Kronos, Lampizator, Lumin, Magico Loudspeakers, Manley Labs, Melco Audio, MicroMega, M2Tech, Ortofon, Pass Labs, PlayBack Designs, PS Audio, Quadraspire, Raidho Loudspeakers, Rega Turntables, REL Acoustics, Shunyata Research, Siltech, Solid Tech Racks, Sonoma Acoustics, SOtM, SRA, Straight Wire, Stillpoints, T+A, Tannoy Loudspeakers, Transfiguration Cartridges, Trenner & Friedl, Triode Corporation of Japan, VAC, Vandersteen Speakers, Vicoustics, Vitus Audio, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, ZYX Cartridges.

    www.suncoastaudio.com
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    Thanks for both suggestions! Have either of you had the chance to listen to either the MrSpeakers or Focal line?

    Does the Focal offer a Balanced cable. I don't see anything mentioned on their web-sight.

    The Ether line also looks interesting.... looks like the Balanced cable is an option.

    Wondering how either of these compare against the Sennheiser HD800S?
    Electronics: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, DAC-2v2SE, Recovery, Remedy | Audio Research VT50 |First Watt F6 | Benchmark DAC3 HGC | McIntosh MR85
    Speakers/Headphones: MC RL21 | Gingko Stands | REL TZero | KEF Kube | Sennheiser HD800S | KEF M500
    Sources: Falcon Tiki (Roon Headless Server) | Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Roon Controller) | Marantz SA8005 | Magnum Dynalab ST-2
    Cables: Richard Gray | Wireworld | Audioquest | Tributaries | Kimber Kable | Wyred 4 Sound
    Power: Furman Elite 15i | iFi iPower | PS Audio Noise Harvesters x2

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    923
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    I've heard the MrSpeakers Ether and Ether-C and found them stunningly good, they made a lasting impression on me but I'm not really a headphone listener. I didn't have a chance to compare them to the HD800S but I recall reading a review that found the Ethers a definite step ahead. Good luck with your search!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    Thank you Bill.... It is the very initial stages (unlike most other things I have bought )... I know I want an upgrade and three major criteria for are; balanced cabling, comfort, and sound quality.
    Electronics: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, DAC-2v2SE, Recovery, Remedy | Audio Research VT50 |First Watt F6 | Benchmark DAC3 HGC | McIntosh MR85
    Speakers/Headphones: MC RL21 | Gingko Stands | REL TZero | KEF Kube | Sennheiser HD800S | KEF M500
    Sources: Falcon Tiki (Roon Headless Server) | Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Roon Controller) | Marantz SA8005 | Magnum Dynalab ST-2
    Cables: Richard Gray | Wireworld | Audioquest | Tributaries | Kimber Kable | Wyred 4 Sound
    Power: Furman Elite 15i | iFi iPower | PS Audio Noise Harvesters x2

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    923
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggwstions

    I should have also mentioned that I found the MrSpeakers headphones to be some of the most comfortable I've ever tried, but of course YMMV definitely applies.

  8. #8
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    18,353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggestions

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: AAvik Electronics, Aurender, Ansuz Cables, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Chord, Crystal Cable, Dali Loudspeakers, Entreq, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers, Focal Headphones, ISO Acoustics, KEF, Kimber Kable, KLAudio, KR Audio, Kronos, Lampizator, Lumin, Magico Loudspeakers, Manley Labs, Melco Audio, MicroMega, M2Tech, Ortofon, Pass Labs, PlayBack Designs, PS Audio, Quadraspire, Raidho Loudspeakers, Rega Turntables, REL Acoustics, Shunyata Research, Siltech, Solid Tech Racks, Sonoma Acoustics, SOtM, SRA, Straight Wire, Stillpoints, T+A, Tannoy Loudspeakers, Transfiguration Cartridges, Trenner & Friedl, Triode Corporation of Japan, VAC, Vandersteen Speakers, Vicoustics, Vitus Audio, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, ZYX Cartridges.

    www.suncoastaudio.com
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggestions

    Nice, but those are a tad out of my range Mike . Maybe I missed it, but I did not see anything about balanced connection???
    Electronics: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, DAC-2v2SE, Recovery, Remedy | Audio Research VT50 |First Watt F6 | Benchmark DAC3 HGC | McIntosh MR85
    Speakers/Headphones: MC RL21 | Gingko Stands | REL TZero | KEF Kube | Sennheiser HD800S | KEF M500
    Sources: Falcon Tiki (Roon Headless Server) | Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Roon Controller) | Marantz SA8005 | Magnum Dynalab ST-2
    Cables: Richard Gray | Wireworld | Audioquest | Tributaries | Kimber Kable | Wyred 4 Sound
    Power: Furman Elite 15i | iFi iPower | PS Audio Noise Harvesters x2

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    GER
    Posts
    1,328
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Balanced headphone suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I have KEF M500 headphones which are very comfortable and neutral sounding. Very nice to use portable with my Pono.

    I am just starting to think about a step up headphone. I have used the McIntosh, but found them a little uncomfortable and I was not particularly fond of the total closed back design. I also had a pair of Audeze EL-8, but again felt they were not real comfortable for long time listening, a couple hours or more.

    I am thinking about a balanced design (if I do get something fairly sure I want to use a balanced cable), with comfort as a very important criteria. Obviously sound quality is important. Thinking about Christmas suggestions for my wife . Therefore I would say max budget would in the $2k range, hopefully a little less.

    Any suggestions on some good cans to consider?
    The best I've heard recently were the Hifiman HE-1000, but they are rather pricey. There is now however also a slightly more affordable version, which I however have not heard.

    For lesser money the open PM-1 and closed PM-3 are worth their money. I have the latter ones for travelling and telcos.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Big rig: Vpi Prime with Phoenix Engineering Eagle and Roadrunner/ Ortofon Cadenza Bronze MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H/ Curious USB/ Meitner MA-1/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Ayre VX-5 Twenty/ WyWires Platinum IC+speaker+power cables/ Magico S3/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom HD+3.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

 

 
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast