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Voyager Incoming - What Cans?

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hotmog View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Mar 2012 at 7:30pm
I've been toying with the idea of getting myself a Voyager for a while. The main reason is to facilitate an upgrade of my Koss Porta-Pros, which are currently used with my Creative Zen 30GB mp3 player if I'm listening outdoors, to something a little more refined.

Well, I've just bagged one on the 'Bay. Now all I need are some suitable cans to go with it. Smile

Indoors I have Senn HD650s and Senn HD250s with my Solo UL/Cambridge DacMagic/Marantz CD & tuner/iRiver HD140. However neither of those cans are really portable enough to partner the Voyager/Creative Zen if we're away in the caravan and I want to sit outside and listen to some music while my wife is glued to Emmerdale.

I was thinking along the lines perhaps of the Senn HD25-1 II, of which there seems to be a regular and plentiful supply on eBay where they can generally be had for around £80 - £100 S/H.

I have read good reviews of the Audio Technica AH-ESW9. However that is more expensive and few seem to have filtered down into the S/H market. I have also noted horror stories that suggest it is the most faked model around, so buying S/H or from a grey dealer is fraught with issues.

Now my son recently got himself a pair of Senn HD219s to use with his iPhone. When they first arrived a couple on months ago I gave them a quick listen and was singularly unimpressed; they had a rather "thin" sound with little bass, not much more in the mid-range, and a rather sibilant top end.

However, being ever curious, a couple of days ago I plugged them into my Creative Zen and found them nothing like I had remembered. Whether it was the burn-in period, the fact that they were being driven by my Creative Zen rather than an iPhone, or a combination of both, they were transformed sonically into something very acceptable indeed. They are also very light, comfortable, and relatively small, so have the ideal portability characteristics I am looking for.

Now, being only 16 ohm impedence, they are designed to be driven direct from an iPhone, iPod or whatever, so I would imagine that using a Voyager with them would be overkill. However I was looking up the line a little at the HD239, which is 32 ohm impedence. That presumably represents a further step up in sound quality which potentially could be further enhanced if driven by the Voyager. I know they are open, whereas the HD25s are closed, but that is not an issue for me as regards the context in which they will be used. In fact it could be an advantage in terms of giving a better soundstage, not to mention being receptive to a verbal summons to dinner! On the other hand, these are fairly new, so there are none to be had on the S/H market. Cheapest I can find them is £59 at Pixmania.

So I am open to advice/suggestions really. Would the HD25s potentially offer a significantly better prospect sound quality-wise than the HD239s (assuming each are driven by the Voyager) that would justify spending an extra £40? Or are there any other contenders I should consider? 
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kt66 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kt66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2012 at 4:08pm
I use ATH ES55s (closed) on the move and SR60s at work with my Voyager.
 
both sound wonderful.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chelstondave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 1:00pm
Bought my son some AKG 450s after review in well-known hi-fi mag.  He is very pleased with them, can't comment on them with the voyager but it does very well with my Q701s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 3:53pm
I plugged my Klipsch X10's into the Voyager. Very good sound and really improves on the iPod alone.
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hotmog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 5:07pm
Thanks for all your suggestions, folks.

I have to say I'm not really a fan of in-ear phones, as I find they keep falling out or are easily tugged out if the lead is snagged, so it's got to be a headphone.
 
I've read through lots of reviews, looked at availability within the UK and pricing of various contenders, and considered carefully the type of circumstances in which I would be using them with my Voyager. Realistically, I'm not going to be wearing them whilst physically on the move, nor when commuting (I'm retired). They will come into their own when we go away in the caravan and I want to sit outside (or even inside) and listen to music while the missus is otherwise preoccupied with a TV soap.
 
So from a practical perspective, portability is not such an important factor as perhaps I had originally assumed. I have also now received the Voyager, and have made up a line-out connector using two 3.5mm jacks and Van Damme cable from Maplins as recommended in James' post here http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/voyager-magic_topic1312.html
 
I've now had the opportunity to listen to both my HD250-II and HD650 through the Voyager connected to my Creative Zen. It handles the higher impedences of these phones with consummate ease to provide an excellent listening experience.
 
I'd rather compromise on size than on sound quality, and so I have come to the conclusion that, rather than spend £100+ on another pair of headphones that will almost certainly be sonically inferior to what I already have, I will stick with my HD250s. To that end, I've invested instead in one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110832044541&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160 which will hold my HD250-II, Creative Zen and, hopefully the Voyager as well.

I might look a bit odd sitting in a sun lounger sporting a pair of full-size cans, but I'm of an age where image is unimportant. Am I a cheapskate or what? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jamescodway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 9:07pm
What a very rational perspective  Star... may you enjoy many happy hours with the voyager, the HD250s, comfort and fresh air Big smile.

If you ever feel you're not getting the magic you want, I'm sure the good people of this parish will offer some other suggestions... Evil Smile

Best

James
Solo UL - Voyager - HD 800 - M30
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hotmog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hotmog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2012 at 10:39am
BTW, and slightly O/T, I've been keeping my eye on this pair of HD250-IIs on the 'bay as a potential back-up in case anything happened to my existing pair http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/sennheiser-HD250-II-/200726503382?pt=UK_AudioVisualElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Headphones&hash=item2ebc3b5fd6.

For the past three or four days they've remained static at £36, so I thought I might have a pop and be in with a chance of nabbing them at a reasonable price. However with a couple of days still to go it seems there are two people engaged in a desperate bidding war trying to get their hands on them. I was amazed this morning to find that the bidding had gone through the roof, currently £155 edit - £160 OMG now £190! At this rate it'll almost certainly break the £200 barrier. Shocked

Yet a few weeks after I bought mine last year, I noticed that another mint pair had gone for just £35. Cry

There's no accounting for the vagaries of the market-place. Confused


Edited by hotmog - 17 Mar 2012 at 11:05am
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