Are these headphones too good? (IDC?)

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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A few monthes ago I was on a search for open headphones with a 3m lead (essential) and a 1/8" connector (NOT a clunky 1/4" connector into a 1/8" adaptor).

Lead length ruled out all but Sennheisers (518, 558) and cheap Goldrings (dreadful reviews) and the 'wrong way around' adaptors of the Sennheisers ruled them out unless I bought a headphone amp. (No more boxes!)

However, I have just found out that AKG K240 Mk IIs have a 3 metre lead with 1/8" jack (and a 'right way around' adaptor).

Not only that, but they are an open design and get some pretty good reviews/user feedback. AND they have a detachable lead, meaning that I can walk off (forgetting I am wearing them) and they might survive :)

Amazon have them for £107 which is a bargain given that I would have had to buy a headphone amp for Sennheisers.

Now (this is where I need IDC's help (as our resident headphone guru). Are they too good for use straight into the headphone socket on the front of my Marantz M-CR603?

I have tested the M-CR603 (briefly) with the wife's SR60is and my PX-100 laptop headphones and it sounded pretty good IIRC.

I am not going to be doing any of that intense 'brow furrowing' hi-fi listening (I don't do that stuff anymore) but just radio/Blu-ray/DVD/TV/iTunes casual listening on those occasions when the missus is in the same room and we are watching/listening to different things.
 

idc

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Hi Chebby.

I don't follow what you mean about a right way around adaptor. The AKG has a 1/4" plug that screws over a 1/8" one and all headphones since the Walkman appeared have a combination of both. It is only my 1970s headphones that only have the larger plug. I cannot see from the Marantz specs, but from what you say it needs the smaller plug, is that right? Having made my own headphone cables it does not matter if you have a larger pug with a smaller one connected to it or the other way round. The plugs provide a perfectly good signal, return and earth connection to your amp.

If the K240 is anything like my K271 and K702 (which I am sure it is) in terms of the detacheable cable, the mini XLR into the headphone itself clicks into place and you need to push a lttle button to disconnect it. If you walk away with the headphones on the cable will stay put and the headphones will be pulled off your head. All of my AKGs are robust and I am sure they have a good chance of surving such an accident.

I have tried all my AKGs into my little FiiO E5 for fun and if it can drive them then I am sure your Marantz will be able to do a fine job as well. As for out and out SQ a really high end headphone which is hard to drive will justify its own amp. But for occasional listening I am quite sure the Marantz will get you a figurativelt speaking 95% of the performance. At 91dB/mW and 55ohms they are not as hard to drive as some make out and are the same as my K271MkII

Regarding the K271MkII, it is leakless, whereas the K240 is not. If your wife will be in the same room, will she mind hearing the tinny noise of your music and radio? The K271MkII are £125 including shipping on Play.com. I got mine for £99 off eBay. How about adding closed backed and leakless to your collection? Then you have headphones to use as appropriate.

As for sound, I am sure you will go for AKG and its detail. If at first you think, where is the bass? It is there, but instead of BASS oomph, you get bass detail. Yummy
smiley-smile.gif


Hope that helps.

-
 

chebby

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idc said:
Hi Chebby.

I don't follow what you mean about a right way around adaptor. The AKG has a 1/4" plug that screws over a 1/8" one and all headphones since the Walkman appeared have a combination of both. It is only my 1970s headphones that only have the larger plug. I cannot see from the Marantz specs, but from what you say it needs the smaller plug, is that right? Having made my own headphone cables it does not matter if you have a larger pug with a smaller one connected to it or the other way round. The plugs provide a perfectly good signal, return and earth connection to your amp.

I don't like the arrangement of 1/4" 'fixed' plug with 1/8" adaptor. (Like the Sennheisers.) It's too big, looks clunky and looks like it puts more mechanical strain on a small socket. That's why I prefer the arrangement to be a fixed 1/8" plug with a 1/4" adaptor. À la AKG.

idc said:
If the K240 is anything like my K271 and K702 (which I am sure it is) in terms of the detacheable cable, the mini XLR into the headphone itself clicks into place and you need to push a lttle button to disconnect it. If you walk away with the headphones on the cable will stay put and the headphones will be pulled off your head. All of my AKGs are robust and I am sure they have a good chance of surving such an accident.

Ok I understand. Hopefully they won't be as 'precious' as my old SR60is (now my wife's). I have have to fix them a number of times because bits fall off - even with careful use - and become unstuck regularly (like the little metal stalks that attach into the earpieces). Grado should supply SuperGlue with every set.

idc said:
I have tried all my AKGs into my little FiiO E5 for fun and if it can drive them then I am sure your Marantz will be able to do a fine job as well. As for out and out SQ a really high end headphone which is hard to drive will justify its own amp. But for occasional listening I am quite sure the Marantz will get you a figurativelt speaking 95% of the performance. At 91dB/mW and 55ohms they are not as hard to drive as some make out and are the same as my K271MkII

I don't play my speakers to very loud levels and I won't need to with headphones either. (I am even more cautious with headphones.)

idc said:
Regarding the K271MkII, it is leakless, whereas the K240 is not. If your wife will be in the same room, will she mind hearing the tinny noise of your music and radio? The K271MkII are £125 including shipping on Play.com. I got mine for £99 off eBay. How about adding closed backed and leakless to your collection? Then you have headphones to use as appropriate.

Sorry I wasn't very clear. I meant when the wife and I would both in the same room listening to headphones at the same time. (Rather than one of us with headphones and the other with the telly very low.)

idc said:
As for sound, I am sure you will go for AKG and its detail. If at first you think, where is the bass? It is there, but instead of BASS oomph, you get bass detail. Yummy
smiley-smile.gif

Thanks IDC.

I have just 'discovered' AKG K141 Mk IIs as well. (£79). Same lead and connectors at both ends. They might be enough for what I need.

There is no way to audition (local SevenOaks/ex Audio-T branch are strictly a Grado shop) so I am going to have to just hope for the best.
 

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