I’m back on my headphone fetish. Some years back I rediscovered my music collection with a pair of Grado SR-125 headphones and a Headroom headphone amplifier. It was a revelation: great sound on a budget, something that made tons of old CDs of mine a joy to go back and listen to again. I recently plonked down way too much cash to upgrade my headphone amp to a Gilmore Lite, purchased a couple new headphones (Etymotic ER-6s and Sony MDR-V6s), and am considering taking the plunge for some serious high-end cans (Sennheiser HD-600s).
In the meantime I am once again rediscovering some old recordings, and in the process comparing my Grados and Sonys. The former are considered some of the best rock headphones out there, with an up-front, in-your-face presentation. They are a bit lacking in the bass, though. The Sonys are a little too bright, but they have a ton of bass. It’s been interesting to find out what sorts of recordings I enjoy better with each headphone.
Some of the best-recorded albums in my collection, which I have been using to A-B my headphones, include:
- Beck - Sea Change
- John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
- Einstürzende Neubauten - Silence is Sexy
- Massive Attack - 100th Window
- Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
- Sigur Rós - ( )
I’m putting together a playlist of individual tracks that will be a good test for any pair of headphones. Wide-ranging stuff, from pop and rock to classical and jazz. I’ll post it when I have it together.