Excellent, listenable in-ear phones

I received these in-ear phones from RoadDogOnline through Amazon about a week ago. I have been using Shure E-4's for about 2 years, and Koss over the ear headphones for about 5 years. This is my first review. The Atrio's are so good I thought I would share my thoughts.

Unlike the Shures, these do not loop behind the ears. Using the foam tips, the Atrios stay in place fairly well, though the Shures felt more solidly in place. Construction is sturdy. They don't feel like they'll break apart in your hand. Out of the box, the Atrios provide a variety of silicone and foam ear tips (I'd be very surprised if you could not find a comfortable fit)and a case that's large enough to carry a small DAP along with the phones. The Atrios are considerably more comfortable than the Shures and the over ear headphones.

I drove all three sets of phones from my iAudio X5. I listen to 60's and 70's rock, folk, and classical ripped with a high sampling rate. The Shures are very solid performers, and I don't regret owning them in the least. However, they are a bit light on the bass and almost too crisp in the treble range. The Koss over ears sound very good as well, but are not portable. The Atrios are an absolute pleasure. The bass in comparison to the Shures is excellent, and the higher frequencies are gentler, more mellow. You can just leave these things in your ears forever and listen and listen without tiring. The brightness of the Shures is excellent for critical listening but for just sheer pleasure the Atrios win hands down.

The one significant negative for the Atrios is that they do not block noise nearly as well as the the Shures. My E-4's will go on the plane with me, and the Atrios will be at my desk at work.

Superb sound and great value.

Being a Juilliard graduate, I have a need for pure music reproduction. Living in New York City, I also have an absolute need for sound isolation in earphones, which can only mean sound-isolating earbuds.

Being a bit of a connoiseur of earbuds, I own the Shure E5C and SE530, Westone UM2, ER4 and 6. Because of the Klipsch legend in speaker design, I took a flyer on their Custom 3. They are superb.

I chose the Custom 3 over the Image because I prefer the buds that fit the ear like a hearing aid, sitting in the ear canal, rather than the type that stick out of the ear. I never seem to feel comfortable with the latter type, get a good fit, or feel they sit securely. For that reason, I find that I never use either of the ER's. Without all of these re requirements, good sound reproduction is not possible in a bud.

The Custom 3's are warm, bright, and offer resonant bass -- not to mention a spacious sonic field and beautiful instrument placement. For me, as one experienced in earbud fitting, they required no special attention to fit except to substitute the large eargels for the medium which come attached in the box. I don't generally care for the double-flange type as they seem to make for an artificially dampened sonic field and collect earwax inordinately.

The Custom 3's are very lightweight, are no more prone to microphonics than any other bud, and seem very sturdy. I love the hardwire around the ear which makes finding the right ears a breeze. Love the E5C's for the same reason: no fumbling!

I would say the sound of the Custom 3's equals or surpasses both the Shure and Westone models, for significantly less money. I have already ordered a second pair (also have two of the E5C's). Like to have backup!

Bravo to Klipsch for giving us such another beautifully engineered product. Love the demo video, too. Very droll!

Panasonic RP-HC500 vs. Audio-Tehnica ATH-ANC7

I originally purchased the Audio-Tehnica quiet point ATH-ANC7 headphones most because of it's overall positive rating vs. Bose Quiet comforts. However, once I received them I viewed some ratings for the Panasonic RP-HC500 and decided to purchase one of those as well in order to compare the two.

My observations:
Cost: Panasonic was ~$7 cheaper.

Appearance: Both are pretty much the same form factor. The slight nod goes to Audio-Technica for it's looks. Both carrying cases are similar in shape and appearance.

Comfort: Both headphones were equally comfortable on my large ears.

Noise cancellation: Panasonic wins by a substantial margin. My wife verified this in our noisy car.

Sound: Both sound the same to me. However, my main focus was on noise cancellation.

Battery: Panasonic indicated that some models come with rechargeable battery (mine came with standard battery). However, using rechargeable batteries is important to me. Audio Technica explicitly stated to NOT USE rechargeable batteries. Panasonic wins.

Accessories: Both brands came with identical accessories except that the cord that came with Audio Technica was about 2" longer. No advantage either way.

I ended up returning the Audio Technica headphones and am very happy with the Panasonics.

Excellent, Even Surreal, Once EQ is adjusted

These are excellent headphones, with unbelievable bass(read-accurate).

As equalized they are not particularly accurate though-no doubt to the intention of having them used in noisy environments. Though lacking a documented frequency curve, I would guess it has a pronounced dip in the upper midrange to lower high frequency region, combined with a slightly heavy midbass band. No doubt many people will find this exciting, I am sure this was done again to compensate for an expected noisy external environment.

I am a sound engineer, and I have been looking for very high quality noise reduction headphones for mastering purposes. I suspected when I first auditioned these, that with a little tweaking, I could get them "perfect".

In mastering, one of the biggest problems is dealing with any extraneous noises that may "mask" details in the recording you are working on. traditional headphones simply cannot block all of this noise out. You would be amazed at the noise that creeps into your audtioning that you aren't aware of. The headphones do the finest job of removing this noise that I have ever heard. It is simply amazing. I never realized, even in a controlled listening room, just how much noise was present. In silence with the headphones powered off, then on, I realized I could hear my breathing! Yes, even the smallest amount of noise can effect the quality of music, and how wonderful to have almost everything eliminated.

As stated earlier I had to adjust my eq when using these for mastering, involving listening to hours of reference recordings to get it right, but I got there.

Now I have to say I almost listen exclusively to these headphones for all my audtioning. I have B&W speakers for my reference-anyone who knows anything about speakers, know these are the best, and I still prefer my headphones. NOW this is primarily because of the noise elimination, you simply will not believe the details in music that are buried beneath a noise floor that you don't even perceive.

I can even plainly hear differences between 16bit and 24bit when I am mastering! Its almost frightening.

One last thing. they are VERY comfortable. mastering can often take hours, and its wonderful to have a pair of cans that you can leave on without any ear pain.

Highly recommended. I will be happy to write another review with the supplied eq settings in the future if anyone is interested.

Denon AH D7000 Headphones Review  

Posted by nipatr_nvb in , , ,

The outer difference looks small, it's time to hear the difference.
We were able to audition D7000 with the D5000 side by side. I brought my faithful SR-71 and iMod 5.5 to hook it up.

To my surprise, the look is similar but the sound has drastically changed from D5000. I'd say the former D1000/D2000/D5000 share the same sound signature but the D7000 is not on the line of the predecessors. I auditioned with two friends and we all share the same impression.

The sound of D7000 is noticeably darker, deeper and laidback. I felt it something like Senn so I thought the impedance has increased or effeciency has lowered. Actually I have to raise the volume to match the D5000. I told this finding to Denon people but they did not have enough technical information about that.

Next, I was amazed by the bass quantity and quality. The bass is huge, deep and much detailed. Wood bass note is realistic and impressive. So my first impression was something like an L3000 blended with Senn.

Sound staging is not only wider than D5000 but it's fairly expansive as if I were in a large hall.
The housing is made of wood but I did not notice remarkable wood resonance like wooden Grados.

As for mid range, the vocal is articulate, rich and full. It's just stunning especially with warm SR71. S-sound harshness could be a little exists but not prominent anyway. The mids to highs are clear and crisp, the timbre of this portion may be similar to the predecessors. But I did not feel it is so airy as it is darker overall.

Some may prefer D5000 rather, as the sound signature is so different. However, I think D7000 is a better can in general. D7000 has better resolution, sounds bigger and the bass is so impressive.

In my opinion, D7000 is a bit expensive and comes to the playground a bit late. But it's surly the new king of Denon cans and well comparable to other kings.

Credit: Sasaki (www.head-fi.org)
More Review @ Head-fi: (1),(2)

Awesome Cans!

I got a chance to hear these as a local Guitar center and they sound awesome! I WAS headed in to buy the Sennheiser HD 280's (Pro) until I heard these. The 380's completely blow the 280's away. There is JUST no comparison.

The Bass response is amazing for closed ear headphones. This is quite rare from what I understand.

You can hear all the detail in the highs and mid-ranges and everything sounds crystal clear. Close your eyes and you might think you're sitting in a concert hall. The sound isolation these things provide is SECOND To NONE (Except maybe the 280's)! Even with the volume extremely low I could not hear people talking who were standing 3 feet away from me! I was listening to Guns N Roses when one of the sales guys fired up a Bose system in the same room... it was so loud that (without the 380's on my head) I couldn't hear people talking but with the 380's on I barely heard the music coming from the Bose system.

These are totally worth $200!!!! And I'm not even a hardcore audio guy. If you don't believe me just demo these things are your nearest Guitar Center! Take your current headphones with you so you can compare them.


These headphones are very impressive. First, let me admit that I don't JUST use my ipod. I regularly check head-fi.org for reviews and consider myself a intermediate audiophile, as pretentious as that may sound. I was WAY past Bose(the most overrated, overpriced headphones on the market), and wanted something that was actually a great value and sounded great; The ES7's do not disappoint. However, I have been burning them in, and lets just say that these need a LOT of burn in to sound their best. I have been burning them in since Friday at 12 pm, and I have read on headfi.com that these headphones need 300 hours of burn in to start sounding optimal, preferably done with pink noise and not music. When I first purchased the phones, I was somewhat disappointed. They sounded just like the overpriced Bose triports, without the boomy bass(although, it was muddy). With burn in, these are already starting to sound great. The bass is slowly tightening up, while the vocals are clearing up and the highs are starting to shine. I can officially say that I am a fan of Bob Marley's song " Exodus" and " No Woman, No Cry" and a few other songs, songs I never liked in the past. The ES7's sound pretty good with my ipod, but VERY good with my headphone out on my PowerBook G4. And this is all in less than a week's time of burning in these phones! Although these phones don't require an amp, I am probably going to purchase an amp/dac combo to optimize my listening experience. This way, I don't have to deal with the sound-card on my powerbook, and my sound experience can truly be called great. Also, when I'm on the go, my ipod--after I amp it up and Rockbox it--will sound a lot better! However, these headphones do not disappoint by themselves, and they will continue to impress someone the longer he/she uses them. Highly recommended.

Living with QZ-2000 Active Noise Reduction headphones

I own two pairs of QZ-2000 headphones and use them every day on the bus to listen to the radio or Cds. Sometimes I record spoken radio programs on a CD-RW to play back on the bus journey. Basically they reduce the low frequency sounds so that you can listen to spoken voice, very useful when studying languages. Classical music still doesn't work, but most Jazz does, again sitting as far away from the engine as possible helps as well.

When flying I used to use ear buds and heavy ear defenders. The Koss headphones are much better and not nearly as tiring to wear. They aren't much use at the high screaming kids frequencies but even so they do take the edge off it. Although they are useful at reducing noise the normal technique of getting a seat in the center block as far forward as possible should still be used since these tend to be the quietest seats. They are considerably cheaper than upgrading to business class on longer trips. I notice that I am fresher when I wear them than when I do not. I have noticed they don't make so much difference on trains though. I think trains are just quieter.

The reason I have two pairs, well they have a life time warranty and I find that the wires tend to break inside with use. Then I send them off to be repaired and use the other pair.

Could I image life without them? No. Could they be improved? I think so. They are a considerably higher priced unit than other noise reduction headphones which sort of balances out the life time warranty. At ...U.S. I think the factory really should match the headphones and noise reduction units better so that they do sell a mixture that is very sensitive to a feedback loop. Also I think they should do something about the cables between the headphones and noise reduction box.

All in all an excellent first generation product.

So far, great headphones!

The headphones sound wonderful, full response, and a nice mix of lows and his. They can take a bit of time to put into your ear. Not as simple as putting on/in a "normal" pair of headphones, but once they are in you do not want to take them out. I have had no problem what so ever with them not fitting securely. You may need to find your right tip size for maximum ear comfort, but the headphones come with several tips for you to do this.

These headphones are a bit expensive, but it is my hope that they will last me several years. I love that the main cord can be replaced!! In fact, that is why I went with these headphones.

Comparing the two, Shure e4c and ultimate ears, I think the ultimate ears sound slightly better, seems like the lows come out better and the his and mids are about equal (best I can tell). I think the lows come out better because the ultimate ears are bigger compared with the Shures, thus allowing more lows (just a guess). All in all I am happy with ultimate ears, they are also a great headphone and better sounding then the Shures. My only hope is that they last a long time! If the cord does go it will be a cinch to replace (and 20.00 later). Here is hoping I don't need to find out about ultimate ears customer service.

May be right for you...

HOW USED: primarily for flying, but also at my desk w/ my laptop.

COMPARISONS: Before settling on the Bose QC-2's, I tested (on flights) the following noise-cancelling headphones: Bose QC-3's, Sennheiser PX-250's, and Solitudes (LINX, ver. 3). All had good-to-excellent sound, plus individual pros & cons.

CONCLUSION: which headphone is "best" depends on your tastes, physique, and priorities.

PROS (vs. other models): more comfortable for long periods than on-the-ear phones; have the deepest (more comfortable) over-the-ear cups; use normal batteries--you're not compelled to use expensive, proprietary batteries; noise-cancelling component is built-into headset (vs. awkward capsule on wire).

CONS: clunky when turning head to side or trying to sleep; ears may sweat in sealed-off cups. Though not perfect, the Bose QC-2's are the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market (for me). Though pricey, they're worth it, making frequent flying far more pleasant!

Quality & comfort - no compromise from Bose

I have been using these headphones for over an year now and have done lot of air-travel, both domestic & international. Bose sound quality is the best, without any second thoughts. I own Bose PC speakers and couldn't settle on anything else when it came to headphones.

The high-price was surely a concern, even for a few months after I got these ($375 for headphone..why ..???), but with the quality of sound and the comfort in use during air-travel made it worth. However, I feel that these are not good for everyday use like in gym etc, but are superb for those who travel a lot, either airplane, trains or buses.

Battery life is amazing and it just goes on and on. I have taken direct 15 hr flights and it never ran out of charge. Note that, I did not used it for 15 hrs continuously, but did for more than 6-7 hrs. Headphones come in a nice case with an extension cable and connectors for multiple headphone jacks.

So, if you have decided to buy these but are holding because of price, I'd recommend to go ahead and order them. Save somewhere else as these headphones will prove their worth.

Superb Earphones

I have actually re-evaluated how I feel about these earphones. Initially, I did not like the way that they sounded or how they felt in my ears. I have large ear canals. I have to wear the largest set of tips on every earphone that I have worn. Sometimes they are not big enough.

These earphones fit differently than so many other earphones. They sit just inside the opening of my ears. The body of the earphones definitely stay outside. They do not feel snug like the Shures. In trying to "achieve a sealed fit" in my ears, I would try to insert them too deeply. They were not comfortable, and I did not achieve the necessary seal in order to get a solid bass response.

What I found really works is to obtain some foam earpieces manufactured by Comply. They are available through Amazon and on their own website. When I inserted these "memory foam" tips onto the end of these earphones, I was able to achieve a very comfortable, "light touch" fit. I found that there is no need to force them to fit snuggly like a Shure earphone. The sound is full and rich. The bass is excellent. I cannot help but think that the aluminum casing and shape give these earphones some of their resonant bass.

Now, I really love these earphones. I have the Denon AH-D5000's which are an over the ear headphone. They are superb. I could not figure out how they could have missed the mark on their earphones. I have found that if you are willing to invest in some foam tips for those earphones that seemingly do not perform as you would like, you can really improve the sound.

Brilliant sound, solid quality and value for money...

You hear music like a professional does with tremendous detail, clarity and across the whole sound spectrum. Bass is precise and effortlessly well defined, mid range is rich and treble is crystal clear. These are easily the Porsche of headphones. Not everyone's cup of tea, though everyone simply respects and admires their performance, design and quality.

PROS + :
Sound clear and well defined with a variety of music, and are very comfortable to wear for long periods. Outstanding ergonomics mean the cups can effortlessly fit a wide variety of head shapes. However, people with very small heads may find them too large. The protective carry case has gold plated airplane and larger socket adapters, good for travel. My iPods work very well, though you start to notice imperfections of MP3 encoding in your favourite tracks recorded in lower resolution. Build quality is absolutely outstanding, headband, critical hinges drivers and the cord are built to last. They feel and look good when wearing them, avoiding the exaggeration of the "aircraft-marshaler-ear-muffler" look and feel of other brands.

CONS - :
Expensive (but easily worth it). Don't suit smaller heads/ears.

In conclusion, I would challenge anyone in the market for this type of headphone to be anything less than truly delighted with the PXC 350. I don't do the audiophile BS, but I will say the sound is "brilliant". For the price you are getting standard setting technology, solid build quality and fresh enjoyment of your music, as well as comfort in noisy environments (aircraft, bus, trains...etc.). Which all equals very good value for money.

I would recommend the PXC 350 to anyone who wants to hear music professionally, on the move as well as at home or in the studio too.

E5c for the Pros

I play in a hardcore metal band and eventually got tired of not being able to hear for 5 days after a show, so i went on a search for the best sound isolating headphones i could find. Not only are the E5's the best at isolating sound, but they also sound amazing. It sounds like you are sitting right next to the person playing the music you are listening to. The sound isolation is so amazing that when a person is sitting right next to me i cant hear them sneeze even when the music is not playing! They are very lightweight and extremely comfortable. All the little extra plugs it comes with ensures that you will have a comfortable and secure fit no matter what activities you engage in. When using the triple flange tips it is actually hard to pull the plugs out of your ears! Thats just how secure they can be. I would definately reccomend these earplugs above all others for professional or recreational use.

Hyped, but they really do deliver HD audio....

Replacing my trusty 5 year old V700's I wanted something more "audiophile". Finding quality headphones that you can use as home monitors, on the move interfacing with your iPhone or Blackberry with a mic and call/skip button, and for air travel with active noise cancellation, without draining your mp3 player battery with impedance north of 50 Ohms, was fruitless, until Beats.

However it is not the range of technical features and quality that surprises, it is the sound. They really do excel at providing a completely balanced and wonderfully rich and warm sound stage, at all volume levels. I would recommend these to anyone looking in this price bracket who is not averse to their super-slick-styling.

Listening to a bit of house, breaks, electronica, acoustic, rock, classical and country (I like Taylor Swift...) I found myself smiling and enjoying worn favorites all over again.... Beats are going to be really, really hard for the competition to beat, for a while at least, in this price class.

If you are in the market for noise canceling headphones, home monitors, or smart phone headphones, that provide an engaging sound stage and don't mind a bit of size, these are the phones you've been looking for. However, be warned you will require another $100 or so for Platinum Notes to re-master all of your mp3 tracks, as you will start to hear stark, but subtle differences between the recordings that will become apparent thanks to the excellence of reproduction in these cans. Monstrously Good/Dope/Sick!

One of the best single balanced armature IEM

SA6 is a great example of how single BA transducer can sound great. Though the overall quality (both on sound and build), I believe there is still room for improvement as SA6 is the first IEM for Sleek Audio. The custom porting (VQ system) works well. For people who love a warm, full, detail yet musical sound, SA6 just might be the one for you. To me, SA6 is on the warm side, but not dark. The mid has a full body that is especially good with vocal. The treble (T++ port) reaches quite far and gives enough detail to show some sparkle but not to a point of fatiguing. Bass (on B+ port, pin hole mod) is accurate and fast, though not the best or biggest impact I heard and lack a good resolution on depth, it seems to well suit the full mid. The soundstage is better than most but not the best I heard. All and all, SA6 presents a very musical sound that can easily make most music more engaging. I'll say SA6's sound signature is a combination of all the nice characteristics I'll be looking for in a pair of IEM. As of why it falls short of being the best is because, though SA6 is really good sounding, it can still be a bit congesting on busy passage. I think it is because SA6 still lacks the best resolution and the body of sound to be ranked as the best. With the new price of $200, SA6 are now one of the best value IEM in the market IMO.

Credit: ClieOS, www.head-fi.org (More reviews)