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HOLY COW! These headphones are something else!
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: HOLY COW! These headphones are something else! Reply with quote

Just felt the need to tell you about this....

I've been struggling with some old Panasonic headphones that I've owned for about 10 years now. I say "struggling" because the thin vinyl that covers the around-the-ear foam pads is disintegrating and every time that I wear them, I'm left with little black bits stuck to my ears, face and neck.

So I'd had enough of these old Pannas and was browsing the web trying to find some replacements that didn't cost a packet. A book of mine called "Podcast Solutions" recommended the Sennheiser HD202s, so I was researching those -- but I also found that the HD201s were mentioned a lot, and in glowing terms. So, yesterday I went to my local Apple retailer and bought the HD201s for a little less than £20.

I tried them out for the first time tonight and.... Lord Lummy!!! Shocked They've blown me away! I've thrown everything at them; pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, ambient.... and they're just awesome!

I find myself just playing 60 seconds of an iTunes track before seeing another track, wondering what that sounds like thru these 201s and double-clicking on it.

So excuse the unexpected rant Embarassed but if you're looking for some new cans, make sure that these are on your shortlist. For 20 quid, they sound incredible. Cool
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I've listened to them some more, and my enthusiasm remains undampened.

There is a downside: when listening thru the HD201s, the difference between tracks that have been ripped from CD and tracks that have been digitised from cassette is painfully apparent. Headphones that are so good at revealing the fine detail on a CD track are also pretty merciless when revealing the duller, fluctuating, hissy, lower-fidelity sound of cassette.

Hmmm. Looks like I'll eventually have to re-purchase a few favourite albums that I still have on cassette.

One other downside: I can hear the slight difference between a track that's played on iTunes thru the iMic and the same track played on my iPod Shuffle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Shuffle loses the contest. I wonder if that would be the same outcome for other iPod models.
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably the worst thing about buying good speakers or headphones. You hear every flaw and shortcoming on the track. I ended up re-ripping a bunch of my older music to 256kbps because of some Polk speakers. It's probably going to take some workwith Audacity or Final Vinyl to clean those up.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben_Tex wrote:
I ended up re-ripping a bunch of my older music to 256kbps because of some Polk speakers. It's probably going to take some workwith Audacity or Final Vinyl to clean those up.

Ben, what was the source of that older music -- analogue or digital?
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine were actually just old CD rips at 128kbps.

Have you tried running them through the noise removal tool in Audacity? I've read that it does a good job on hissing.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good. Glad you love the headphones.

I think it is funny when people say 128 kbps is CD quality. It sounds like garbage with decent equipment. This is really evident if you listen to a lot of music with highs like cymbals. It almost reminds me of the metallic sound warn out audio cassette that's really tight turning. Sort of screechy.

Funny that Apple doesn't let you set your iTunes preferences to record at 320 kbps any longer. Unless I'm missing out clicking something 256 kbps is the current highest setting for recording.
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Funny that Apple doesn't let you set your iTunes preferences to record at 320 kbps any longer. Unless I'm missing out clicking something 256 kbps is the current highest setting for recording.

VBR encoding needs to be turned off in the custom settings for 320kbps.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben_Tex wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
Funny that Apple doesn't let you set your iTunes preferences to record at 320 kbps any longer. Unless I'm missing out clicking something 256 kbps is the current highest setting for recording.

VBR encoding needs to be turned off in the custom settings for 320kbps.

Thanks Ben_Tex,
Now I have to question whether 256 VBR is better than 320 CBR. If 256 VBR is an average perhaps it is using beyond 320 kbps in "demanding passages".

Sorry to go off topic from the headphones, but at least the topic of high quality audio is still relevant.
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Now I have to question whether 256 VBR is better than 320 CBR. If 256 VBR is an average perhaps it is using beyond 320 kbps in "demanding passages"

320kbps is the maximum bitrate for AAC. That's why you can't use VBR above 256kbps. You simply can't do any better.
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adv2k169
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm not a fan of the 1970's style of headphones. It's totally kills portability for me. I am not going to carry a fanny back to put the headphones in.
Yeah the regular ipod style headphones are typically cheap but i rather have it all fit into a pocket of my pants.
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Samw1se
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just ordered some - been after some decent headphones for a while - for £14.99 off Amazon. Hope they're as good as they seem!
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Samw1se
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These headphones are absolutely fantastic for the money.

They are so good, I have deleted my whole iTunes library and I am now ripping CDs at 320kbps with VBR at highest quality to get the most out of them.

Thanks for the recommendation! Very Happy
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great result, Samw1se! I'm pleased that you're as happy with these headphones as I am -- it's made this thread worthwhile! Cool
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are those Earbuds ? I hate Earbuds. IMO, The Bose "Around The Ear" Headphones are the best Headphones I have heard so far. They are $139. but that's going to be the Headphone for me when I buy. I have a Pair of $99. Shure E2C & I hate them. They Have no bottom (Bass). Got them as a Gift. They are Earbuds as well. What I use until I get the Bose are a Pair of Over The Head/In The Ear Sony's for $20. Not Bad for what they are!
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK! I see JohnnyBoy. They are most certainly not Earbuds. I might be prone to Checking them out before I buy the Bose. But if you haven't tested The Bose, you really need to. Perfection!
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