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Which headphone(s) of "inferior prestige" do you come always back to?

FrantzM

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#21
HifiMan HE4XX. One of their most affordable models, and according to professional measurements and the best science we currently have, they are also HifiMan's (and Drop's) best sounding headphone. Those blinded by pricing bias will tell you otherwise of course ;)
HiFiMan fan here.. The HE-6 has the crown of best HiFiMan and perhaps top 5 headphones out there . I haven't heard the HE-6SE so can't opine.
 

GoMrPickles

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#22
Sennheiser HD595's. They're definitely "nice," but also weigh next to nothing and can be driven off a laptop. If you're spending hours in an office coding, but want to know when your boss calls your name or if the phone rings, they're fantastic.
 

bloodshoteyed

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#23
Sadly they feel like you've put carpet offcuts on your head and I reckon physical feel /comfort has a significant impact on one's perception of a pair of phones. As does look /branding /price etc but the sonics and feel can't be negated by shutting your eyes.
tbh, that's another pair that i go back to at least from time to time...
and yes, mainly because of comfort (even on my kingsized melon:eek:)
 

bobbooo

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#24
Sadly they feel like you've put carpet offcuts on your head and I reckon physical feel /comfort has a significant impact on one's perception of a pair of phones. As does look /branding /price etc but the sonics and feel can't be negated by shutting your eyes.
I honestly find them really comfortable. Some people said the Sundara pads were even better so I ordered them to swap onto my HE4XX, but I found them less comfy, as well as negatively impacting the sound.

HiFiMan fan here.. The HE-6 has the crown of best HiFiMan and perhaps top 5 headphones out there . I haven't heard the HE-6SE so can't opine.
As I said, not according to the best science we currently have i.e. Dr. Sean Olive's predicted preference ratings (86% correlation with actual ratings in controlled double-blind studies):

HE4XX 89/100
HE-6 77/100
HE-6SE 78/100
 
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KeithPhantom

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#26
I currently have a standstill battle between similar but different headphones: the HD 600 and my QC 35 II. They are complementary and a fusion between them would render a pretty darn good headphone, but you always have to compromise when it comes to transducers, what a shame...
 

Helicopter

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#27
Depends who allocates 'prestige.'

If audiophilia in general, Bose QC 35ii.

If Amir, Focal Clear and Celestee.

If outsiders, KSC75.

...admittedly, HD800s and the Bose are all I have used since the HD800s arrived recently.
 

samwell7

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#29
Audio Technica ATH-M50, I've tried and sold so many headphones but the M50s have stuck around, and put up with so much abuse from my toddlers.

Also any of the 'big 3' from Koss (PortaPro, KSC75 with Yaxi pads and parts express headband and the kph-30i).
I'm currently getting rid of all my open headphones because I've gotta return to the office, the 3 koss headphones will live on.
 
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#30
Creative Aurvana Live! SE. they have no flaw and are ridiculously good at pretty much everything. Fun but not too bloated, light but not too flimsy, small but not too uncomfortable, good at everything!
Love them to death despite having much more expensive headphones.
should be a mandatory buy for any headphones aficionado
 
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samwell7

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#32

ZolaIII

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#33
Creative Aurvana Air earbuds. That whose first Creatives entry in earphones/hedaphones so they put some real effort to it when it comes to those. They ware heavily overpriced when they came out but now can be found for reasonable price. Got mine for 56$ couple years ago. When it comes to comfort those are great and they don't fall out thanks to ear huck. There are better sounding earphones/IEM's, not that Aurvana Air sound bad in any way. Tuning is what I consider as Japanese traditional. Because of ther comfort I use them a lot and will come back to them with new pair when this one's fail.
Regarding Creative Aurvana Live those are actually the same as Denon D1001 (Foster generic reference design). They aren't exactly great regarding build quality, sound stage isn't wide it sounds a bit like things are a top of each other and they don't have good sound isolation. For the price those are still great. Try to avoid Aurvana Live second gen (worse in every way) and Aurvana Live SE (all do they look the same as Aurvana Live and have same components and housing seams Creative did something regarding tuning and it went wrong).
 
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#34
Not necessarily inferior prestige, but I still have the Sennheiser HD590s. They are basically all plastic and not the most resolving but these are easily the most comfortable headphones I have owned. I had them rebuilt by Sennheiser some years back and they are good to go.
 

ZolaIII

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#35
I have as a trophy full functional restored Pioneer Monitor 10 II from mid 70's, those where never much popular, use synthetic member which Yamaha reinvented lately and used on their top end prestigious speakers. They are built like tank and heavy so i use them rarely. What is unique to those is that they have linear bass and sub bass all the way down which no one menaged to do ever again up to date with dynamic closed back hedaphones. Mids are great but highs aren't that great. Got them for around 100$ second hand and spent around 70$ more on restoration, those will probably outlive me.
 
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#37
Creative Aurvana Air earbuds. That whose first Creatives entry in earphones/hedaphones so they put some real effort to it when it comes to those. They ware heavily overpriced when they came out but now can be found for reasonable price. Got mine for 56$ couple years ago. When it comes to comfort those are great and they don't fall out thanks to ear huck. There are better sounding earphones/IEM's, not that Aurvana Air sound bad in any way. Tuning is what I consider as Japanese traditional. Because of ther comfort I use them a lot and will come back to them with new pair when this one's fail.
Regarding Creative Aurvana Live those are actually the same as Denon D1001 (Foster generic reference design). They aren't exactly great regarding build quality, sound stage isn't wide it sounds a bit like things are a top of each other and they don't have good sound isolation. For the price those are still great. Try to avoid Aurvana Live second gen (worse in every way) and Aurvana Live SE (all do they look the same as Aurvana Live and have same components and housing seams Creative did something regarding tuning and it went wrong).
I have original CAL and SE version, cannot tell a difference in FR or SQ.
also no physical difference whatsoever inside the cup or outside, apart from color scheme
 

Wombat

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#38
Last edited:
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#39
Sennheiser HD595's. They're definitely "nice," but also weigh next to nothing and can be driven off a laptop. If you're spending hours in an office coding, but want to know when your boss calls your name or if the phone rings, they're fantastic.
+1
Those were my first 'serious' headphones, bought almost 10yrs ago. Having no previous experience with open HPs, I had mixed feelings about them, tried EQing, but ultimately the HE4XX replaced them as the 'daily driver'. Until recently that is, when I plugged them to my LG V40 (they're recognized as a 'high impedance device') and fired up the Wavelet auto-EQ. What a fabulous combo!

Amusingly, my collection consists mostly of these 'inferior prestige' types (HD595, CAL! 1st gen, PortaPro, HE4XX):)
 

ZolaIII

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#40
I have original CAL and SE version, cannot tell a difference in FR or SQ.
also no physical difference whatsoever inside the cup or outside, apart from color scheme
It should be the same, however some folks did complain extensively regarding SE. Me by something changed regarding Foster revisions. What I can say to you is that Denon AH-D1001 and Aurvana live sound different (you can find EQ APO or wavelet EQ's for the two).
 
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