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How Many Headphones Do You Have? (And, Free Schwag Alert!)

[caption id="attachment_2716" align="alignright" width="170"] flat2 Yup, we're giving away a pair of these, folks. Grado SR80i's = $free99![/caption] Stereophile's recent issue has a very interesting review written by Stephen Mejias on the Beats Solo HD's and Skullcandy Aviators, as well as some general info on the state of the headphone industry. (Don't judge before your read, btw.)  He sites a recent industry survey from NPD group (via CNET) that states "premium" headphone users (those owning headphones over $100) own 2.3 pair of headphones. So this got us thinking... how many pair of headphones do you own? And why do you own what you do have? Do you have enough headphones to achieve killer personal listening in your day-to-day life? We want to know! Tell us how many headphones you own, what models they are, and if you think this number is adequate or ideal for your needs. Enter your comments here on the blog or on Facebook/ Twitter, and you'll be entered to win a free pair of Grado SR80i headphones.  Now that's not too hard, is it? To kick off, we'd like to share some of our personal headphone collections- what we have and why. Bearing in mind, of course, we're headphone geeks! Because we work at HeadRoom, we seem to own a higher number on average than 2.3 pair, but we also have access to a veritable Shangri-la of headphone listening delights here at the office and completely free of charge! This wonderful perk has probably spared our wallets a bit here and there. Some of the results may surprise you; have a peek inside our own little personal listening universes. (For slightly more complete- but still lacking in overall substance- HeadRoom Staff bios, visit " Meet Our Sales Staff".) Jamey (CEO, musician-of-anything-with-strings and then some, lover all of things music, member of any number of bands, projects, collaborations, and business ventures, depending on the day.)
I have Sennheiser HD650 and AKG K701 for my studio reference headphones. I also own two pairs of HD600 which I let the musicians use when we're mixing. For recording purposes, I use the Sennheiser HD280 Pro as it doesn't leak any sound into the microphone and has a nice midrange which helps vocalists hear themselves well.
For on the go use, I use the Shure SE535 when I need reference quality sound. I also own a pair of Ultimate Ears UE-10's which I never use because it's much easier to get the Shure earphones in and out of my small ear canals. When I'm doing chores around the house or working in the shop, I use my Apple earbuds because I have several pairs and if I cut the cord with my saw, I can just throw them away without any worry.
I carry my first pair of headphones, the Sony MDR-V7506 with me all the time. They're full size and comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and provide a sound that is easy to listen to and sucks me in quickly.
At work, I usually have the Sennheiser HD800's on my desk but have been trying to switch it up more frequently lately. If it wasn't my job to know headphones, I would listen to the HD800's all day.
_____________ Mike aka Mic-B (IT Manager, local emcee superstar, film & TV composer,  and one of those all-around-Crazy-Creative types)
Sony MDR 7506, my first love. Great for DJing, super portable, still love the sound. A really fun but still neutral sound for composition and production. Always comfortable, even after hours and hours of wear (and possibly sweat). Work great in a vocal booth, or when monitoring audio on a video shoot. Sennheiser HD600's are my main cans. Love the fit and can wear these all day with everything from mission-critical projects to relaxed listening. Great to help mix sub bass as I don't have a subwoofer on my near field monitoring setup. To me these are also very revealing for problem spots in mixes although I do the bulk of my work on speakers.
Apple Earbuds I use as a mix reference. I treat them like my old boombox. I don't mix with them, but I do make sure my mixes hold up in one of the most commonly used set of buds around. Also great for phone calls or laying in bed watching movies.
At work, it's the Denon AH-D2000's for me, and I also enjoyed a loan of the AH-D7000 for studio use before this line was discontinued.  :-(
______________ Mike O. aka Big Werm (Manufacturing & Service, resident headphone-critic famous for his "These Headphones Suck!" decree, clean-bass-lover, and hard-core gamer willing to go the extra mile for good sound.)
I love my Denon AH-D2000's.  So much so that I own two pairs and both have been recabled with HeadRoom FatPipe.  One pair stays here at HeadRoom that I use for mainly listening to music while building products, testing, or working on time consuming projects.  The other pair stays at home and is my main headphone for listening to music or watching YouTube videos on my PC. Then the next headphone I own that gets tons of use is my beyerdynamic MMX 300 Gaming headset.  These headphones have survived hundreds of hours of gaming on my PS3.  Easily the best gaming cans in the world! I also have a pair of Shure SE-535's that I use during the summer when mowing my lawn.  This is a lifesaver and I refuse to mow the lawn without them. On the rare chance I take a vacation, I like to take my trusty AKG K81DJ's with me.  They are still a great portable can that are very durable and have that fun bass slam for just jamming out.
______________ Ben aka Ben Halen (Sales Manager, resident guitar-shredder and band rockstar of southwest Montana. Golden ears paired with an old soul who doles out killer headphone advice.)
My collection is small, but sweet. My full sized phones are Denon AH-D2000. I don't use these a ton, but I usually bring them along while traveling to out of town gigs in case I want to relax and listen to music at the hotel. I've always liked the D2000 sound for recreational listening.
For in-ear phones I have the Jerry Harvey Audio JH13 Pro. I use these much more frequently than my Denons. Because they are smaller and more convenient, I think I'm just more prone to popping them in, and their performance really cannot be rivaled in my opinion. In the summer, I love to sit in my backyard with some beers and listen to full albums with the 13's.  I can really get an immersive experience with these, and listening to complete albums really paints the whole picture, or maybe its more of a giant mural :-) They are also the perfect reference tool for auditioning headphone amps because they let you hear those subtle differences.
_____________ Ivy (Marketing, one of the few non-musicians in the joint, long-time HeadRoom veteran, heavy consumer of music whilst doing any number of mountain-related pursuits)
Denon AH-D 1001, laptop use, listening to music, watching movies, online content, etc. the travel pair of "full size" headphones.  Definitely the primary staple pair that my husband and I fight over and he typically carries to and from work every day. Sennheiser HD580- I use these oldies-but-goodies for listening to music or watching media, usually in the home office. Sennheiser CX300-II - gym use. I don't care for the Y cable but otherwise they work well and can take a beating. However I plan to audition the new Sennheiser adidas CX 685 soon, and I anticipate buying a pair.
Monster Turbine Pro-  These are an alternate gym pair or for other times I need to block sound, like airline travel. (full disclosure- these were complimentary from Monster.  Thanks, Noel.)
Skullcandy in-helmet headphones in my Gyro helmet while snowboarding.  Sure, there's better sounding out there, but where they sit on the ear works quite well (about 1/4" off the ear) and the overall convenience is totally worth it.  It's just about having the tunes ready to go that works for me.
Koss KSC75- extra/random/all purpose... just good to have around.
Oh yes, and then there's work.  I am in LOVE with the Fostex TH-900.  Their price will prevent me from buying these, but I am a lucky soul to enjoy these amazing cans at work every chance I get! :-)
____________ So, there you have it,  a little glimpse into some HeadRoom'ers headphone picks. Of course we didn't get into amps, DACs, and all the other good stuff, we'll save that for another post. The takeaway here, is that there really is no "one pair" of headphones for most people.  It takes several sets to satisfy your ears in all the places and spaces they go.  And, what works for one set of ears may not for another.  So, just worry about the set you've got on your head, and what puts a smile on your face at the end of the day. Okay, your turn:  What headphones do you own, and why? Do you have too many pair, not enough, or are you like Goldilocks... just right?  Tell us your thoughts by commenting below or head on over to Facebook to post. You can also hit us up on Twitter at @HeadRoom.  We'll choose the winner shortly after May 1, so get going!  Happy Listening Headphone Lovers!

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