View Full Version : Monitor Headphones

12th June 2006, 15:16
My Dad's birthday is coming up and he's a bit of an audiophile. His monitor headphones are at LEAST 25 years old. He Christmas present last year was a set of Logitech 5500's and he loves them. I'd like to get him a new pair of headphones but could use some suggestions.

I'm trying to stay in the $50-100 range. I'd love to get him something truly high end but that's not going to happen this year sadly. Until about twenty minutes ago i was leaning towards the Sony V6's (over the V600's) but I hear the midrange is lacking due to very crisp treble and bass. People seem to complain about the Bass on these but that seems to be due to a preference to to much bass in headphones and speakers that both my Dad and I don't fully agree with. We'd prefer overall excellence. The reason I'm steering away from them now is because they seem to be truly geared towards mixing and while you hear everything it won't necessarily be the best pure listening experience. Am I wrong here?

My other possible leaning is the SENNHEISER HD 485's. I don't like the look of these as much, and they don't have the accordian cord the v6's do.

Of note is that my Dad just got from Iraq and part of his outprocessing was getting his first pair of hearing aids. It's made a HUGE difference but headphones that work well with them will be key. Him not having them before might explain his aversion to overly base-centric headphones before, but I'd probably steer clear of to much base anyway.

Thanks in advance.

12th June 2006, 15:19
Oh his old ones were Koss but I can't remember the model. They were the style with the accordian cord and the folded in on themselves.

12th June 2006, 20:06
In that range there is only one name you need to know:


The SR-60's are an AWESOME sounding pair of cans for the cash. I have a friend who got some and they sound awesome. Not as good as my Sennheiser HD-595's, but the 595's cost $200 more ;) If you can afford to upgrade to the SR-80's, your dad won't be disappointed.


Headphone.com sells the SR-60 for $69 and the SR-80 for $95. Both within budget, and both will knock your Dad's socks off. Your local audio shop may carry them, too.


12th June 2006, 21:13
hrm... reviews and info looks interesting. I'll have to check those out.

12th June 2006, 21:42
Coincidentally I had a pair of Grados back in the day when I did DJ work. Don't remember the model, but they were purchased without regret and provided much auditory pleasure over the years.

Remembered them when I went looking for a new pair to replace the merely adequate iPod headphones I've been using. Bought the SR-60's. So far, rather pleased with them. They aren't as nice as I remember my former pair, but for the price I can't complain, nor feel any need to.

Of course, I largely use them hooked up to my iBook.

12th June 2006, 21:50
Maybe a little out of your price range, but here, you can find the Sennheiser HD595 for about 130 EUR, which is a steal.

12th June 2006, 22:24
Nowadays, that's equivalent of some US$ 160 I think.

13th June 2006, 04:29
I'd LOVE to spend that much but it's not in the cards this year

13th June 2006, 05:49
The problem with the HD-595's, and I know this from experience, is that unless you have something good driving them they don't sound that good. For example, if I plug them into my old Audigy live drive, they sound ok. But the live drive doesn't have a headphone amp. If I plug them into my Echo Indigo, which does have a high impedence headphone amp (albeit a smaller one), they sound amazing. And when I listened to them off a $400 Music Fidelity headphone amp, they blew my mind.

So unless CMs dad has something nice to drive a pair of 595s, he'd be better off with SR-60's, which are pretty much the best headphones you can get without the need of an amp.

13th June 2006, 08:26
Jam thanks for that information. That actually makes a lot of sense. I'll probably stick with the 60s for now. If my Dad and i like them I might buy him something higher end and a headphone amp and take over the 60s for myself.

13th June 2006, 11:15
Not to sound harsh, but how much of the sound quality does arrive at your dad's brain, when he has to wear a hearing aid?

13th June 2006, 11:23
Not harsh at all. I've thought about this a lot. From what I can see the hearing aids do an amazing job. He was able to hear a lot of nuance I was pointing out when we first unpacked the 5500's. Before the hearing aids I wouldn't have thought of this gift at all.

13th June 2006, 12:57
/me couldn't resist.

There are actually audiophile hearing aids :) Etymotic Research is a company that makes many in the ear products, including award winning earbuds, earplugs and hearing aid components. Of which is the K-amp high fidelity hearing aid amplifier.


13th June 2006, 13:10
neat. Just forwarded that link to my Dad. He actually is an organist and has been a Choral conductor many times.

14th June 2006, 00:47
I wonder ... aren't there any headsets that basically use an induction loop to send the audio to the hearing aid?


23rd June 2006, 04:10
Sinnheiser make good headphones :)

I've got a pair of AltecLasing(sp?) at home. They're designed for gamers. While I use them for studio-type monitoring, I wouldn't recommend them for audophiles.

23rd June 2006, 06:19
So I ended up ordering the Grado SR60's. They arrived yesterday and they come in a box shape I would have never expected for headphones. The earpieces swivel completely so the headphones lay very flat in a long, thin box. Thanks everyone for your advice and I'm looking forward to what these do when I give them to my Dad next week.