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Paulq's picture
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Best closed portable headphones?

Can anyone help me choose a decent pair of portable, closed back, headphones for when am travelling and for use with iPhone/iPod Classic? Mainly rock music so needs to have good but not boomy bass.

I've looked at the SoundMAGIC P30 but need some alternatives really as they are difficult to audition. Budget to £150.

Thanks in advance.

PS: Folding is an advantage not entirely necessary.

datay's picture
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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Haven't checked recent prices but you can probably get Ultrasone HFI-780 for that. I've had mine a while but they happen to in the latest WHF mag - and I would pretty much agree with most of the review. They do fold up, but they are not the smallest so might not suit if you want something of the typical Bose size. The SQ is great, excellent isolation as they are a firm fit (which is where I disagree with the review, did the reviewer wear them out-and-about? - as I my ears can get hot and sweaty in them). Cable is 1m so no problems there (compare the new AKG450, designed for portable use yet only with 3m cable, very impractical).

I also use a FiiO E5, this has a bass boost setting that I use for house/techno mixes, straight from the iPod the inherent bass boost of the headphone itself will be fine for rock.

Lots of others at the price, but I'm recommending these because I enjoy them every day.

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Hi Paul,

I'm going to go for a classic and say the "Sennheiser HD25-1 II", I think it's great for Rock. I've seen a couple places where it's £140 but it often goes over you budget by a tenner. Isolation is great, easy to drive, sounds great with the iPod/iPhone, built like a tank but pretty light. They can get a little uncomfortable after a couple hours use but nowhere near as bad as Grados (for me). They have a bit of a 'V' shape response, some ppl dislike the treble but I don't.

My recommendation for the D7000's didn't go down too well but maybe this will be more your cup of tea. I saw them in a John Lewis to play with the other day and they don't amp their headphones unlike HMV so if you have one ofh their stores close it might be worth checking out.

Paulq's picture
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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Thanks to both. I think the ultrasones will be a bit big to be honest but I will take a look at the sennheisers. I forgot to mention that I also have a Fiio E5 so with hindsight I guess the bass issue isn't that big after all as it can be enhanced with the E5. 

I will take a look at the AKG K450 and the ATH-ES55 also as my pre requisite is the portability more than anything. 

Daft question as I can't tell from the pics - is the AKG K450 definitely a closed back headphone?

Thanks again. 

datay's picture
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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

THe K450 are definitely closed back, but I personally would find the 3m cable very inconvenient for portable use. Could end up getting dragged under a tube train!

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

I use the AKG K450's  - the sound is great and so cheap (£49). The cable is 1m not 3m.

Paulq's picture
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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Thanks for that.  Are there any other decent closed portables worth considering?

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Do you want them to look funky as well as sound good? How about the V-Moda Crossfade M-80? Imagine Beats... but not rubbish sound, not iffy plastic build quality. The M-80's have a flat-ish response similar to the Senn HD25-1 II but if you want heavy bass and a biger over ear design then the LP2 would be the one to go for.

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

I like my M80, but the jack in the earcup failed and I had to send it back.  I have three cables so I checked all three and it's the earcup.  I am wondering if that jack in the earcup is any way near the quality of a jack in a iPod or laptop etc.  Maybe not.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Aha I didn't know you had the V-Moda Dale. Cable connection issues aside would you rate this as one of the better closed headphones for the price? To me they look amazing!

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

The m80 are definitely one of the best portables. They are very small and light, very comfy, and pack amazingly good sound into such a small frame.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

Excitable Boy wrote:

I use the AKG K450's  - the sound is great and so cheap (£49). The cable is 1m not 3m.

Apologies - I got the model wrong - I was thinking of the ones in the latest mag (whose cable is 3m).

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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

I'm in the midst of the same search now. I narrowed it doen to either ES55 or the AKG 450. I tried the AT ES55 the other day and although they were quite good they just didnt amaze me, the bass was lacking slightly and the vocals weren't the best i've heard. Hopefully i'll be listening to the 450's this weekend and may finally replace my Bose AE1.

Paulq's picture
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RE: Best closed portable headphones?

darrenconnor4 wrote:

I'm in the midst of the same search now. I narrowed it doen to either ES55 or the AKG 450. I tried the AT ES55 the other day and although they were quite good they just didnt amaze me, the bass was lacking slightly and the vocals weren't the best i've heard. Hopefully i'll be listening to the 450's this weekend and may finally replace my Bose AE1.

Thanks - will you let us know your view of the 450's. Am particularly interested to learn ow they fare bass wise.

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