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Product Review

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reeltime

Location: Studio City, CA.
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Maybe Best Bang For The Buck

Posted by reeltime from Studio City, CA on 2013-05-07
Posted on Sennheiser HD 650

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Superlative Sound, Scales Well With Equipment
Cons: A Case Would Be Nice

I regard the HD650 as the entry into hi-fidelity headphones. With the HifiMan HE-400 that may no longer be the case, but you get the idea. That's not to say the HD650 brings entry level sound quality.

For some, this is the best practical headphone ever made, and it would be difficult to argue the point. I know a lot of folks who say anything beyond the HD650 is overkill-- put a good amp on the HD650 and they hold their own with the best of the best.

I paired mine with everything from a FiiO E17 to a Woo Audio WA6, and the headphone never failed to deliver. Great sound, tremendous soundstage, inky dark bass-- it's certainly world class. Yet it's forgiving. You won't be totally turned off by plugging them into an iPod (though they appreciate more power).

I enjoyed the HD650 with both solid state and tube amps. I loved the WA6 matchup most, but Burson's D-160 was a worthy combination, too. (The Conductor and Soloist models weren't on the market when I owned them).

Sennheiser is terrific at industrial design. They clearly consider that the listener is planning on spending a lot of time with their products, so they design them as if you will be keeping them on for a while. Construction and fit are top-notch. My head never tired of the HD650, and I have a fairly large noggin.

At this price point, there are very few peers. They grow with you, and improve with equipment upgrades. There's a reason the headphone has been around a long time. You can't go wrong.

NOTE:
I sold mine in 2012, but I still hold them in high regard.



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4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Poor fit

Posted by reeltime from Studio City, CA on 2013-05-07
Posted on Shure SE425

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Great Sound
Cons: Horrible ergonomics

I was a huge huge fan of the E4C-- Shure's predecessor to this headphone. Easily the most comfortable earbud on the planet-- and the performance was outstanding for the price.

So when Shure announced the update and style change-- I approached with skepticism-- though Shure rarely gets a product wrong.

Sound-- well the sound is probably an upgrade over the E4C. The bass sounds deeper and more extended-- it's fair to say they're a nice sounding earbud.

HOWEVER-- to get all that bass into my skull there was only 1 tip that worked-- the triple flange. The tip extends so deep into the ear canal, the only phrase which appropriately describes the experience is ear rape. Yes, ear rape.

I am willing to go through great drama for great sound (most of us shopping here will do so). But I can't imagine spending more than 10 minutes with this silicon lodged deep inside my skull. It's beyond awkward and you are always aware they are there-- which distracts from the listening experience.

I can't recommend this earbud. Shure is a great company with excellent customer service. But pass on these-- there are equal or better buds for the price-- and they won't violate your ear canals.

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17 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Underrated, but overpriced.

Posted by reeltime from Studio City, CA on 2012-10-28
Posted on Monster Beats Pro

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Decent sound, impressive in the right situation
Cons: Better sound available for the money

These headphones are underrated. They get a terrible rap because they are expensive, and (brace for it), popular. They are heavy in bass, and Beats makes no apologies for it. They're tremendously fun. Are they the most accurate? Nope. But they don't pretend to be, either. But they're super efficient. Anything will drive them. And they're musical.

If you're looking for the most fun with a pair of Beats-- put on an action movie like "The Avengers" and have a listen-- It's really fun. The extra bass pays dividends. These aren't for everyone. They're stylish and expensive. But in the right situation-- they can provide a great time. Nothing wrong with that.

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5 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Outstanding at any price

Posted by reeltime from Studio City, CA on 2012-10-28
Posted on Sennheiser HD 800

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Sound is just about perfect
Cons: Needs decent amplification and custom cables.

What can I add-- the HD-800 is the most perfect headphone I've ever heard-- and I don't even have the best amping. Shockingly detailed. Sonically neutral. Extremely comfortable. Worth every penny.

They benefit from great amping and good cables. They are headphones that make you go back and listen to every decent track you have on file.



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13 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?