The headphones/earphones topic, again!

Been wondering about this lately! Can we have a sequel for this topic? Some people are so knowledgeable and I enjoyed reading that!

Lately I’ve been testing the headphones collection my dad owns most of which are old models anyway ( gone 100% KZ now lol ) and found that, amazingly, though I still didn’t care for most brands ( IIRC Sennheiser ; AudioTechnica ; Edifier ; Koss and AKG … Sony was OK though ) I ended up liking Bose headphones a lot. At which point I solified my black sheep status probably. They’re not regarded as of high sound quality, but they’re good for what I’ve been listening often (lotsa nostalgic pop punk and rock :stuck_out_tongue: indeed, it IS lacking/just average for, say, dance music …) and OE / OE2 in particular feel extremely comfortable and cozy, the way they’re noise reducing because of memory pillows is great to me because pairs with active noise cancelling bug me SO much, they often feel like someone is pressing my tympanum uselessly lol. And I like on-ear > over ear. Besides, I have sensitive ears and can tell when a pair goes too hard on the bass because it hurts my ears even at low volume. :confused: Wondering why is it that I like Bose OE so much ( other than being on-ear ) and which pair I should get for myself, for enjoying music on PC … I was thinking a Shure because I heard they’re good for rock music and he doesn’t own one of those yet so if I don’t adapt I could hand them down. Do any of you own Shure headphones? Do you recommend? Do they hurt your ears? How’s the bass?

Anyway I went back to reading the old topic after being able to test some headphones myself and I find it funny that some people said “I still prefer iPod earpods” or anything to that effect because that’s kinda how I feel. (Unsure about this but aren’t iPod earpods basically Beats :thinking: ?) There IS the fact that I’m used to having earbuds on my ears all day and I have a big head so they’re often more comfortable, (but in-ear is still a no-no…) but there’s also the fact that when you consider flac/320kbps rips + a FiiO amp + a properly equalized rockbox ipod it’s hard to say which is “better” if you’re not an audiophile … Sure higher end probably sound more faithful to the original sound but in terms of enjoyment midrange seems to perform well enough. In the end, comfort matters lots in my experience. (In that sense - mad I lost my favorite Sony bundled-with-E435F-Walkman pair. No idea where I threw that pair :sob: it’s so good I just wanted another like that. The replacement ones aren’t the same … ; ; )

Anyway, please share the earphones/headphones models you use for listening to music! I’m still using my old-and-faithful Sony MDR W08 mostly because they do the job so no recommendation from me …

Thanks for this, I’ve been having some earphone/headphone issues for years now.

Basically I’ve just been looking for some headphones that won’t squeeze my head and give cranial trauma, seems impossible to find. I’ve tried Sony (gives me headache) and Urban Ears (older and newer models are grip tight, pretty much a torture device which is a shame because they have some cool features) among some others. Since headphones seem to not be for me, I was looking for earphones but I couldn’t find anything except for those inner ear ones which I’ve never been able to wear. :nauseated_face:

So I think I will try the Sony ones you recommended, but if anyone else has recs for good, old fashioned earphones I’d appreciate it~


@platy Totally know how you feel. Some that have a metallic build do make you feel like your head is about to be crushed (looking at you Portapro and Sony and AudioTechnica models …), and even for those with a plastic build sometimes they’re so big they’re downright claustrophobic and weigh on the ears (yes looking at you Seenheiser … even though the materials feel great for older models but there’s real leather and why would you want real leather in 2021 ??). Particularly for older headphone models, it’s difficult to find comfortable/lightweight ones, and I can even sleep with these. Mine are old though (it’s worth noting as they’re resistant - not so much the wire, but the buds don’t get ruined from just falling on the floor) so I’m looking for a replacement myself, not sure if you can still find them for super cheap as they once were. :confused: In-ear hurt me a lot too so we’re on the same boat pretty much.

I mostly listen to VK, metal, and a bit of Jpop, so I went with the Sennheiser HD598 (SE cause the normal is… kinda ugly imo lol). They have a neutral sound and that’s what I wanted. I find them really comfortable and can wear them for hours without an issue. I use them for both music and games. Only downside is they are open-back so I wouldn’t recommend public usage or if you have a roommate who needs quiet lol
I did try out the Audio Technica m40x headphones and hated them. Strong bass leading to quick ear fatigue and they were really tight on my head too. I guess they might be good for people who want bass!

For my phone I have a pair of in-ear wireless earbuds, Soundcore Liberty Neo by Anker. They’re alright, but I’m sure that there’s better out there. Pretty good for the $35ish I paid for them though!

1 Like

@koutetsuhime Sennheiser has a really nice sound balance IMO too, but yeah, ergonomics are… weird to say the least.
Ironically I tested Audiotechnica headphones from this bass fan whose favorite brand is Audiotechnica :rofl: myself, I felt like my head was gonna explode with the bass and it’s uncomfy! Not a fav for me either.

1 Like

Oh this is cool. I’m an Audio Engineering major so I’m required to have a good pair of studio headphones for my classes. I use a pair of Shure SRH840 headphones for school stuff and recording stuff as well. I also recently bought a pair of AirPod Pro’s just for casual listening and I think they’re pretty alright.

1 Like

@xyzzy_2 Ohh that’s cool. Shure doesn’t seem to be … Ridiculously overpriced, from what I am seeing, (the 840 is still way out of my price range but lol) and very decent. Would you recommend them personally? :o

I often wear JibActive wireless earphones on my phone while listening to J-Rock/V-kei music. I sometimes wear AirPods but it’s not a worth to me. It drains battery quickly and can easily drop on the floor then lose it. I honestly like more other brands of earphones/headphones, Apple earphone/headphone products are not my cup of tea.

1 Like

I mean they work really well for me so I guess I’d recommend them. I haven’t really tried any other headphone brands (Sennheiser, Audio Technica, etc.), so I don’t know how my headphones compare to others, but they get the job done and I think they sound very nice.

1 Like

I’m using Sennheiser PX80 now and I only use brands like Sennheiser and Sony, cuz they fit metal, punk and noise music in general. heck, even the original Sony PSP earphone is great.


HiFiMan HE6se
I use this headphone mainly for critical listening sessions. Detail retrieval and instrument separation is insane with this headphone. The bass is excellent, impactful and can go extremely low. The treble is a little too hot for everyday use and can be fatiguing after a few hours.

Focal Clear
This is my everyday headphone. The sound is perfectly balanced, nothing jumps out over the other. It does pretty much everything exceptionally well. The only thing it can’t do as well as the HE6se is in the detail retrieval and instrument separation. Also since this is a dynamic driver headphone, the bass can’t go as deep and be impactful as an orthodynamic headphone can like the HE6se.

E-MU Teak
This is my lounge-around headphones. The sound is tilted to be bassy. I normally avoid bassy headphones as that usually means garbled mids and piercing highs. But this one actually has clear mids and smooth highs.

Shure 535(Modded to be tuned the same as 535LTD)
This is my earphones that I only use for walks and/or runs. I had to mod them to be more midcentric, treble focused and bass-light. Since these are earphones, I am little more sensitive to bass when using in-ears and I prefer to be able to hear passive noise rather than completely block them out. In stock form, the bass is good but mids are too warm(male voices aren’t as impactful/clear) and the treble is too soft.

HiFiMan RE400
This is my sleeping headphones. The earphones themselves are super tiny and are not a problem when resting my head pillow. The mids and bass are great on this. The treble is tuned to be slightly dark which helps at mellowing out sharper sounds and make them easy to fall asleep with.


These are all everyday use/gaming related~ :laughing:

Edifier W800BT
Second headphone I got since I moved to Canada, they were the best price/quality I could afford at the time for Bluetooth and I was extremely surprised by them. I’d use them everyday during my commute to school/work.

Corsair Void RGB Elite
Back home I had a HyperX Cloud II and wanted to try a different brand for a gaming headset, some people recommended me this one and I just went with it. The headphone is good and I love the functionalities it has but… It is extremely loose in my head and if I move too much it falls. I kinda hate it to death now and I’m trying to sell it after using it for some months.

HyperX Cloud Mix
These can be used as a gaming headset and Bluetooth which was extremely attractive to me. At first I was afraid it wouldn’t be a good Idea because I also wanted the sound quality to be good but they are exactly what I was looking for. They’re extremely comfortable and the sound quality is amazing, specially the bass.

I also had the Sol Republic Tracks Air (which I used for more than 3 years and were extremely durable) and the HyperX Cloud II!


@noseonme This is my issue with Bluetooth earphones/headphones as well. (and Apple lol)

@xyzzy_2 Thanks! :slight_smile:

@araxzijk was about to say this. My experiences with Sony headphones (or audio equipments in general) have always been… great. Can’t say the same about other products (some are best for ironing clothes) but for headphones, they always feel and sound great in my experience.

@JukaForever Woah, nice collection. Thank you for this!
Since you do use in-ear I have to ask, how do you feel they compare to Chinese hi-fi brands (like Tin Audio …) if you ever tried them? Surely the materials are way more durable/comfy probably and there’s the noise cancel too (which I heard in-ear Shure’s are great …) but if it’s turned off, what do you think of sound differences, if anything?

@dev0_t Ohh this is the Edifier model I tested! IA it’s pretty good for the price but it does sound different, maybe … gaudy, when compared to other brands? Personally I liked it though!


Sometimes, Bluetooth can be a problem. My sister borrowed my earphones, and she cannot connect to them because I’m using one. I tried to transfer to her phone, but it didn’t work out, so I gave up. :rofl:

1 Like

Chi-Fi is a massive mix bag. The amount of brands have grown rapidly so I personally don’t follow every single flavor-of-the-month and try to avoid any of the hyped ones. There are definitely some great ones out there but lots of research has to be made. My favourite were the VSonic GR07 back then. I think they are still available now but don’t come with a swivel nozzle anymore which was my favourite feature apart from the sound.

The Tin Audio line of T2-T4 IEMs were all reviewed with praise by respected reviewer in Steve Guttenberg. I personally was looking to purchase the T4 myself.

With regards to noise cancelation with IEMs, that actually causes worse audio quality. I wouldn’t trade audio quality for added quietness. You can get solid passive noise cancelation by just using foam tips.

Pretty much all respectable brands focus on comfort so that shouldn’t be a problem. The only thing that might be uncomfortable is the size of the IEMs but that is a design choice. I avoid IEMs with large bore sizes for example.

For durability, I find that is totally on the user. I find it is typically the user that fucks up an earphones by being careless.

1 Like

yeah, Sony never lets me down. and I’m only a fan of wired headphones/earphones, don’t like bluetooth. and I never listen to music on my smartphone but only PC or media players like iPod.

1 Like

@JukaForever Ohh I see. Thank you! I keep hearing about T4 so I’m curious now as to how those compare to other brands. I don’t like in-ear though I just like to satisfy my curiousity through reviews lol.

Hmm, but your Shure model is an in-ear model with noise cancelling isn’t it? (didn’t really check, I was half guessing?) I heard b4 that sound cancellation isn’t necessary for in-ear but didn’t know about the foam “trick”. Thanks!

Yeah, I agree entirely, though for prolonged use or sleeping with earphones on I guess it matters!

@araxzijk I wish I could adapt to Bluetooth because I’m careless tbh lol but battery and connection issues are too bothersome.

1 Like

that’s what I’m talking about, the battery and connection, I always forgot to recharge years ago when I still used them but later change to wired ones just because of this, very annoying.

1 Like

The 535 doesn’t feature noise cancellation. They focus on sound quality so no other gimmicks

1 Like

@araxzijk This is me too lol.

@JukaForever Oh I see! Thank you

1 Like