Question about different types of headphones - prompted by latest mag

Dan Turner

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Jul 9, 2007
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Hi,

I've been toying with the idea of getting some headphones for a while now, as the Mrs tends to go to bed earlier than me and even throught 2 shut doors can still hear the hi-fi at the volumes I tend to listen at. The latest issue of the magazine with the excellent round-up has prompted me to act. I have a question, however.

Whilst I don't need them to be used for portable listening (we have a pretty respectable pair of Bose 'on-ears' for that), if on-ear and hi-fi types tend to be pretty comparable for sound quality for a given price, then I guess I should buy some on-ears which will be more portable and leak less sound, and at the money I'm spending, probably be better than our Bose ones. However performance for price is the biggest priority.

I'm keen on the Grado SR80i, are they inherently better than on-ear types? If yes, then what does one have to spend on an on-ear portable set to get quality comparable to the Grados?

Thanks
 

Sizzers

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Alears said:
Some confusion here I think as I would consider the Grados to actually be on-ear phones

I totally agree - I was confused too!

Had to get my mag out for an investigation and deduced that "On Ear" means they're portable.
 

Dan Turner

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Yes, sorry, I was going by the mag's terminology whereby 'on-ear' means portable types that sit on the ear, and 'hi-fi' means the larger type that enclose the ear and are typically used more in home.

I was trying to ascertain whether the latter are inherently better (whether by virtue of usually being open backed or by being larger and therefore less compromised or for any other reason) or whether pound for pound you get pretty much the same level of performance but just in a different shaped package.

Cheers
 
Aha! I thought thats what you might have meant.
I would have to say that there is generally no given improvement in the 'hi fi' phones - you can get just as good on-ear for the money. It basically comes down to personal choice regards fitting / comfort/ weight etc. Indeed a lot of hi-fi types are actually closed-back. It also depends whether or not you intend to listen to headphones when there are other people around or not - if so stear clear of 'leaky' open-backed design.
 

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