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Question New headphones - help!

Big Aura

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2008
509
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Annoyingly, I left my beloved Sennheiser Momentum 2 (over-ear, wired) somewhere in Dublin Airport, and they've not turned up 5 days later, so presume they're gone for good.

I'm now left with a confusing conundrum.

I have (and love) a Chord Mojo, but despite MoJo being a portmanteau for Mobile Joy, it's actually not been that joyful on the move. It's great on trains and aeroplanes, but a pain on the tube, and walking around (the micro USB-b is too loose and it's very stop-start). For that reason, rather than buying a Poly, it's likely to find itself on a famous auction site.

Also, the headphone jack (currently supported by my Samsung S9) is unlikely to feature in my next phone, so I'm looking at something wireless/USB C based – I’m android, not iOS. My big gripe (accentuated by the Sonos debacle) is that I want kit that lasts. I don't mind paying £100s for brilliant kit that lasts. I don't want to pay that for some wireless phones where the battery drops from 30hrs/charge to 12hrs within 2 years and is effectively pointless after 3. Something that can be relatively easily re-battery-ed would be good (I'm a dabbler and have replaced iPod batteries, phone cameras etc before).

From what I’ve read, quality USB-C wired headphones don't really exit, but happy to be proved wrong. I'd dearly love something that can be powered via USB-C in the normal, 3.5mm jack way...

My audition list so far is:

  1. Sony WX-1000XM3
  2. B&W PX7
  3. Momentum 3.0
In terms of music, I like it clean and clear, bass as nature intended and a neutral/slightly warm sound. I use these a LOT for work calls, so clarity of the mic etc. for calls (including in slightly noisy environments is important). Music taste is eclectic - modern folk, jazz, ambient, proper r&b, rock (not metal, not rap).

What else would you recommend I try out?

Thanks – and sorry for the long-winded post!
 

anort3

Moderator
Dec 8, 2019
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The Bose QC35 should be at least auditioned if possible. Most people find the sound quality better on the Sony and Sennheisers but they're in the same class and price range.

There is a true 'audiophile' ( at least an attempt at audiophile ) wireless headphone that's in final production now and will be shipping soon from Massdrop ( Drop ).


They basically resurrected the Oppo PM3 and made it wireless with an integrated THX amp and Bluetooth. As to when you'd get it especially in the UK...people that got in on the preorder are looking at August I think I read. So maybe keep an eye on it for next year. :)
 

Big Aura

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Oct 13, 2008
509
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ooh, a re-animated OPPO PM3 is of interest! I've never liked Bose. I always found their noise-cancelling too forced (in non-music mode) and the sound is just, to my ear, dull. Every time I've tried them, then tried anything else, the anything else sounds amazing (even if its not!)
 

anort3

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Dec 8, 2019
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I always wanted PM3s myself and Massdrop ( Drop, I hate the new name ) is certainly capable of taking something and making it not only cheaper but also better. I'll wait for more reviews and for them to get out in production before I'd buy them though.

Not a Bose fan either although I had some 201 and 301 speakers back in the early 90s.
 

eggontoast

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Feb 23, 2011
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I believe Sony is launching the WX-1000XM4 this year. I've been keeping an eye on the XM3, the cheapest I've found brand new is on eBay (less than £200).
Have you listened to the Sony XM3's ?

They're not exactly neutral or balanced, the bass is overblown and creeps up into the mids which makes them sound muddy.
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
772
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Different ears, different people. Guess this is why reviews and even user reviews are of no significance whatsoever. It's all down to what sound good your own ears.
 

Big Aura

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2008
509
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Thanks - I had a 2 min listen to the Sony headphones in Dublin airport on Saturday evening, but they were set up to use their music, not mine (and I'm always suspicious of the piped in music they supply). I need to spend a quite morning somewhere and do some proper a/b testing.

Re upcoming launches (XM4 and the OPPO rebrand) I cannot wait until then for new phones - so will likely buy something within a fortnight.

Any advance on my really short shortlist? Has anyone listened to Master & Dynamics? They certainly look the part... (and the look of the Sonys is a bit of a drawback for me - they look a bit too meh)...
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
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18,895
Different ears, different people. Guess this is why reviews and even user reviews are of no significance whatsoever. It's all down to what sound good your own ears.
Too true. I'm quite fortunate to get to listen to lots of headphones/speakers etc due to work and I'm always quite staggered how inaccurate reviews can be with some publications. At the end of the day most reviews are written on one person’s opinion, I believe that What Hi-Fi is one of the exceptions and use a panel of reviewers though. I also think that, dare I say it, there maybe a little bias with some publications shock horror. User reviews, as you say, are also normally pretty useless as they tend to be left by people with blinkered brand loyalty. There are also a lot of people who just can’t hear any difference no matter what you give them, it’s just sound to them and they leave a 5-star review regardless. The best things to do is always listen to them yourself and make your own mind up!
 
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and-dip

Member
Feb 2, 2020
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Annoyingly, I left my beloved Sennheiser Momentum 2 (over-ear, wired) somewhere in Dublin Airport, and they've not turned up 5 days later, so presume they're gone for good.

I'm now left with a confusing conundrum.

I have (and love) a Chord Mojo, but despite MoJo being a portmanteau for Mobile Joy, it's actually not been that joyful on the move. It's great on trains and aeroplanes, but a pain on the tube, and walking around (the micro USB-b is too loose and it's very stop-start). For that reason, rather than buying a Poly, it's likely to find itself on a famous auction site.

Also, the headphone jack (currently supported by my Samsung S9) is unlikely to feature in my next phone, so I'm looking at something wireless/USB C based – I’m android, not iOS. My big gripe (accentuated by the Sonos debacle) is that I want kit that lasts. I don't mind paying £100s for brilliant kit that lasts. I don't want to pay that for some wireless phones where the battery drops from 30hrs/charge to 12hrs within 2 years and is effectively pointless after 3. Something that can be relatively easily re-battery-ed would be good (I'm a dabbler and have replaced iPod batteries, phone cameras etc before).

From what I’ve read, quality USB-C wired headphones don't really exit, but happy to be proved wrong. I'd dearly love something that can be powered via USB-C in the normal, 3.5mm jack way...

My audition list so far is:

  1. Sony WX-1000XM3
  2. B&W PX7
  3. Momentum 3.0
In terms of music, I like it clean and clear, bass as nature intended and a neutral/slightly warm sound. I use these a LOT for work calls, so clarity of the mic etc. for calls (including in slightly noisy environments is important). Music taste is eclectic - modern folk, jazz, ambient, proper r&b, rock (not metal, not rap).

What else would you recommend I try out?

Thanks – and sorry for the long-winded post!
B&W PX7 - you think it's worth it?
 

simonali

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2006
186
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18,620
I have the older XM2 Sony 'phones and think they're brilliant. I once sold another pair when I wore them to the pub and a guy who asked about them bought a pair on his phone there and then after I gave him a listen!

My only complaint is that they don't like getting even slightly damp because it causes the touch sensitive ear cup to go totally screwy.
 

chris661

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Oct 30, 2019
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I liked the extra functionality (touch options, altering NC level) and solid feel of the 700s, and found a decent deal on some lightly-used ones online.
I only gave the QC35s a quick demo, but they're close to the 700s in sound.

Chris
 

Big Aura

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2008
509
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So, an update.
First off - I've never been a fan of Bose. I just don't like the sound (having tried several over the years).
Last night I hot-footed it over to a dealer to demo both the PX7 and the Sony xm3.

They were both good, but think the PX7 edged it for sound quality, and significantly for looks.

I was about 90 seconds away from reaching for the debit card, and then something unexpected happened - my phone rang mid demo. My wife.

She really struggled to hear me. She said it was like speaking to someone using their phone on speaker phone, but with them on the other side of the room. The dealer admitted that this was a common complaint for all of these sorts of wireless headphones - you speak projecting forward and down slightly and the mic to pick it up, is up and behind your mouth.

Given I spend about an hour a day on my mobile for work calls, and being able to write and type as I do so, a function mic is essential.


So that puts me back to square one. Something with a cable (and my next phone will have to be a Samsung S10).

I'm now looking at finding another set of over-ear Momentum (wired) or Shure SE425 (with phone cable - annoyingly not included in the box unless you spend double and get the BT2 kit).

What else should I look at sub-£200ish?!
 

anort3

Moderator
Dec 8, 2019
408
213
770
The Meze 99 Classics or the Massdrop x Meze 99 Noir from Drop if they still have their EU Audiophile store going. The 99 Noir is a 99 Classic with a different finish and extra pads for cheaper.

They also have the Massdrop x Beyerdynamic DT 177X Go although that might be over your budget. It's basically a slightly retuned, 32ohm DT1770 Pro and the reviews are quite positive.

I don't know if they're still doing it and I don't have time to dig deeper but for a while Massdrop ( Drop ) had stuff in stock at an EU warehouse ready to ship and priced with the VAT included.

The Sony MDR 1A and the AKG 553s are worth considering as are the new AKG 361 and 371.
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
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18,895
I’ve been deciding between the 700s and QC 35 IIs for a while!
Make sure you give both a good listen, preferably side by side. I have both and I'm not sure what all the hype about the 700's is about, must just be the fancy looks. While the noise cancelling seems slightly better on the 700's due to the better fit of the ear cushions the sound is not great. Neither are perfect but the QC35 II have a much better tonal balance. The 700's have a horrible, over emphasised upper mid-range which has a touch of sibilance. So, while they excel with their noise cancelling there are definitely better sounding headphones for the money, the QC35 II being one of them.
 

chris661

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
191
117
270
Make sure you give both a good listen, preferably side by side. I have both and I'm not sure what all the hype about the 700's is about, must just be the fancy looks. While the noise cancelling seems slightly better on the 700's due to the better fit of the ear cushions the sound is not great. Neither are perfect but the QC35 II have a much better tonal balance. The 700's have a horrible, over emphasised upper mid-range which has a touch of sibilance. So, while they excel with their noise cancelling there are definitely better sounding headphones for the money, the QC35 II being one of them.
Interesting observations.

I do find the 700s sound a little wonky (sounds like a big bump around 900Hz to me) if they're switched off and run passively, but switch them on and connect either via Bluetooth or the cable, and I find them to sound very good.

I typically find that differences in feelings towards the same product is down to our references. My other headphones are Shure SRH840s, and occasionally SRH1440s.

I went for the 700s because they sounded good, feel solid, and have options for noise cancellation beyond simply on/off

Chris
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
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18,895
I typically find that differences in feelings towards the same product is down to our references. My other headphones are Shure SRH840s, and occasionally SRH1440s.
That and we all hear differently, especially with headphones hence the need to ignore the reviews and listen for yourself. Different strokes for different folks!
 

Big Aura

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2008
509
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18,895
So the search has ended, and thanks for all the comments above.
The massdrop stuff all looks very cool, but their EU site had limited stock of stuff, all of which had sold out.

I quite liked my original Momentums because they are a bit on the neater side (for overear) and the AKG stuff looks quite a bit larger. So after testing lots of different sets and toying with various options, I found some Momentum 2 Overear (apple) in black on Audio Affair (which was lucky as everywhere else, including Sennheiser) are sold out.

Turns out, they were listed as available but weren't. So back to square 1...

I looked at Shure SE425, RHA T20i, Beyerdynamics Ameria, etc. and then found the Momentums in that ugly (to my mind) pearlescent white on Amazon - so just went for it. £144. It's not so much that it'll be a wrench when I eventually have to move wireless (and hopefully the call quality issues will have been resolved by then).

And my coffee machine PID died over the weekend, so that's my next big expenditure/project.

Onwards and upwards.
 
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scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
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So the search has ended, and thanks for all the comments above.
The massdrop stuff all looks very cool, but their EU site had limited stock of stuff, all of which had sold out.

I quite liked my original Momentums because they are a bit on the neater side (for overear) and the AKG stuff looks quite a bit larger. So after testing lots of different sets and toying with various options, I found some Momentum 2 Overear (apple) in black on Audio Affair (which was lucky as everywhere else, including Sennheiser) are sold out.

Turns out, they were listed as available but weren't. So back to square 1...

I looked at Shure SE425, RHA T20i, Beyerdynamics Ameria, etc. and then found the Momentums in that ugly (to my mind) pearlescent white on Amazon - so just went for it. £144. It's not so much that it'll be a wrench when I eventually have to move wireless (and hopefully the call quality issues will have been resolved by then).

And my coffee machine PID died over the weekend, so that's my next big expenditure/project.

Onwards and upwards.
Are those the wired over ears - as they're still listing them on Amazon Prime? (Albeit in Black & Silver)
 

Big Aura

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2008
509
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that's what i did! I bought on amazon, as pictured (arrived last night). Not available anywhere else, and not available in the black that was advertised on Audio Affair.

The Audio Affair people were very nice when I called to speak to them about it, tho.
 
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