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    Is it possible to listen to earphones/headphones in the Apple store. If so, which ones in London have the best range to test?
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    (Original post by Dreamingaboutthestars)
    Is it possible to listen to earphones/headphones in the Apple store. If so, which ones in London have the best range to test?
    There's normally a couple of pairs that you can test, however the only options I've ever seen in any Apple Store available for testing are the Beats by Dre Solo/Studios (Avoid both like the plague, they're crap), Bose QC15s (Only worth getting if you really want active noise cancelling) and the Bowers and Wilkins P5 (Sound good but are very overpriced). I don't know where they stand on letting you demo other headphones they sell, they may have opened units out back which have been returned recently that you could try but I wouldn't expect them to start opening boxes for you. There's probably quite a few dedicated audio stores dotted around london you could try, independent stores are especially good for demoing audio kit, I spent my last Saturday listening to high end headphones at a store in Birmingham =P A quick google search has brought up a couple of promising options on Wilton Rd and Bond Street if they're accessible, alternatively Music Matters (A great chain for hifi) have a store located in Middlesex.

    Alternatively feel free to PM/VM me if you want any suggestions for headphones, or just reply here [=
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    There's normally a couple of pairs that you can test, however the only options I've ever seen in any Apple Store available for testing are the Beats by Dre Solo/Studios (Avoid both like the plague, they're crap), Bose QC15s (Only worth getting if you really want active noise cancelling) and the Bowers and Wilkins P5 (Sound good but are very overpriced). I don't know where they stand on letting you demo other headphones they sell, they may have opened units out back which have been returned recently that you could try but I wouldn't expect them to start opening boxes for you. There's probably quite a few dedicated audio stores dotted around london you could try, independent stores are especially good for demoing audio kit, I spent my last Saturday listening to high end headphones at a store in Birmingham =P A quick google search has brought up a couple of promising options on Wilton Rd and Bond Street if they're accessible, alternatively Music Matters (A great chain for hifi) have a store located in Middlesex.

    Alternatively feel free to PM/VM me if you want any suggestions for headphones, or just reply here [=
    Thanks for the prompt reply. I've been using amazon and head- fi to find some decent earphones for my Iphone 4s for far too long.

    I listen to hip hop, rnb, rap and gospel mostly.
    Looking for in ear earphones with microphone and volume control.
    Noise isolation would be good because I would use them on the road but don't want to get run over.
    I'm a bit scared of how deep the etymotic phones go.
    Budget is max £175 as they are for a graduation present for myself.
    Must be as sturdy as possible as earphones don't really last long with me.
    I am really liking the Atomic Floyd's atm, what do you think?
    Any suggestions would be great.
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    (Original post by Dreamingaboutthestars)
    Thanks for the prompt reply. I've been using amazon and head- fi to find some decent earphones for my Iphone 4s for far too long.

    I listen to hip hop, rnb, rap and gospel mostly.
    Looking for in ear earphones with microphone and volume control.
    Noise isolation would be good because I would use them on the road but don't want to get run over.
    I'm a bit scared of how deep the etymotic phones go.
    Budget is max £175 as they are for a graduation present for myself.
    Must be as sturdy as possible as earphones don't really last long with me.
    I am really liking the Atomic Floyd's atm, what do you think?
    Any suggestions would be great.
    If you're after in-ears then you're not really going to be able to audition any unfortunately, too much of a hygiene issue for most places ):

    The Atomic Floyd range are all very much a V shaped sound signature, which means enhanced bass and tribe at the expense of recessed midrange, very recessed in the case of the Superdarts. What this means is they're likely to be a very fun listen for hip hop and rnb, but a poor choice for lyrically driven genres like rap and gospel because it's in the midrange that the majority of vocals are presented. I wouldn't go for them personally. Ety's triple flange tips do look a bit intimidating, and I don't like them personally although that's just because I have unusually short ear canals (Something I found out when being fit for a pair of custom IEMs). Most people find them great once they get over the strangeness of triple flange tips, although you could always replace them with aftermarket tips (Comply foam tips, for example, are an excellent way of getting more out of any headphone). However Ety's offerings are known for being somewhat anaemic at the low end, which may not be suitable if you're looking for something with a lot of bass impact.

    I would personally go for the Klipsch Image X10i from Amazon for £168. They're a balanced armature headphone which are typically a class above standard dynamic IEMs in terms of accuracy and detail, whilst also putting out plenty of bass when needed. They're supposed to be a very warm headphone, which especially suits gospel and rnb music very nicely.

    A couple of other options worth looking into:
    -Monster Turbine Pro Gold can be found for about the same price as the X10is on Amazon. Also a great sounding IEM but for different reasons. They're dynamic headphones so won't match the X10is on detail retrieval and accuracy, but will be able to put out bigger and more authoritative bass without leaking into the midrange. Build quality is also supposed to be better.

    -The Audeo Phonak PFE 122 are another fantastic option because of their versatility. They come with changeable filters which alter the sound signature, with one set being neutral and mid-friendly, and another that puts emphasis on the lows and highs to produce the fun V shape sound signature I mentioned before, but the mids retain a lot more clarity (There's also an extra bassy set of filters that can be ordered from their website) than is typically found in headphones with that signature. Coupled with the included silicone and foam tips you can play around with different combinations and create an enormous range of different sound profiles until you find the one that you think suits your music best. They're only £130 but they're really tremendous for that price, I use mine alongside my £400 customs regularly and prefer them for certain genres. Better still, for the next three days you can get them from www.hifiheadphones.co.uk for half price at £65 using this code. They're regarded as one of the best sub-£150 headphones as it is, there's literally nothing that sounds better for under £70. That leaves you with over £100 that could be put towards something else, or perhaps a set of over/on ear headphones for variety. The downsides are that the cable has to be worn in an over-ear fashion which some people dislike (I actually prefer it, and it practically eliminates cable noise), they don't have the same luxury feel as the two above options, and won't be able to put out the same level of bass as the above two without muddying up the sound signature.

    A final wildcard option to consider would be the Minerva Mi-1 custom in-ear headphones. They come in at bang on £175 for the headphones and audiologist appointment to get fitted for them. They look somewhat odd out the ear (Although the picture on the website is particularly unflattering, better pictures can be found here and some people don't like the look of them when worn, and there's no iPhone remote either if that's really a deal breaker for you. However what you do get is exceptional fit, comfort and isolation- there is literally no better type of headphone, of any description, for noise isolation than silicone custom IEMs- and above all superb sound. I bought my customs (Their triple driver flaship) from Minerva and the whole process is quite cool, there's nothing quite as personal as getting headphones fit exactly to your ear =P bass response, like the Phonaks, won't match the first two options I listed in terms of bass presence, but the overall sound signature will be a step above most other things in this price range.

    ---

    Those would be my main choices. Any would be great, it's just a case of your priorities [= Regarding your headphones breaking, is the issue the sound in one ear or the other cutting out by any chance?

    EDIT: looking back at the post, it's fairly obvious which of the above headphone brands I personally own :ahee:
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    If you're after in-ears then you're not really going to be able to audition any unfortunately, too much of a hygiene issue for most places ):

    The Atomic Floyd range are all very much a V shaped sound signature, which means enhanced bass and tribe at the expense of recessed midrange, very recessed in the case of the Superdarts. What this means is they're likely to be a very fun listen for hip hop and rnb, but a poor choice for lyrically driven genres like rap and gospel because it's in the midrange that the majority of vocals are presented. I wouldn't go for them personally. Ety's triple flange tips do look a bit intimidating, and I don't like them personally although that's just because I have unusually short ear canals (Something I found out when being fit for a pair of custom IEMs). Most people find them great once they get over the strangeness of triple flange tips, although you could always replace them with aftermarket tips (Comply foam tips, for example, are an excellent way of getting more out of any headphone). However Ety's offerings are known for being somewhat anaemic at the low end, which may not be suitable if you're looking for something with a lot of bass impact.

    I would personally go for the Klipsch Image X10i from Amazon for £168. They're a balanced armature headphone which are typically a class above standard dynamic IEMs in terms of accuracy and detail, whilst also putting out plenty of bass when needed. They're supposed to be a very warm headphone, which especially suits gospel and rnb music very nicely.

    A couple of other options worth looking into:
    -Monster Turbine Pro Gold can be found for about the same price as the X10is on Amazon. Also a great sounding IEM but for different reasons. They're dynamic headphones so won't match the X10is on detail retrieval and accuracy, but will be able to put out bigger and more authoritative bass without leaking into the midrange. Build quality is also supposed to be better.

    -The Audeo Phonak PFE 122 are another fantastic option because of their versatility. They come with changeable filters which alter the sound signature, with one set being neutral and mid-friendly, and another that puts emphasis on the lows and highs to produce the fun V shape sound signature I mentioned before, but the mids retain a lot more clarity (There's also an extra bassy set of filters that can be ordered from their website) than is typically found in headphones with that signature. Coupled with the included silicone and foam tips you can play around with different combinations and create an enormous range of different sound profiles until you find the one that you think suits your music best. They're only £130 but they're really tremendous for that price, I use mine alongside my £400 customs regularly and prefer them for certain genres. Better still, for the next three days you can get them from www.hifiheadphones.co.uk for half price at £65 using this code. They're regarded as one of the best sub-£150 headphones as it is, there's literally nothing that sounds better for under £70. That leaves you with over £100 that could be put towards something else, or perhaps a set of over/on ear headphones for variety. The downsides are that the cable has to be worn in an over-ear fashion which some people dislike (I actually prefer it, and it practically eliminates cable noise), they don't have the same luxury feel as the two above options, and won't be able to put out the same level of bass as the above two without muddying up the sound signature.

    A final wildcard option to consider would be the Minerva Mi-1 custom in-ear headphones. They come in at bang on £175 for the headphones and audiologist appointment to get fitted for them. They look somewhat odd out the ear (Although the picture on the website is particularly unflattering, better pictures can be found here and some people don't like the look of them when worn, and there's no iPhone remote either if that's really a deal breaker for you. However what you do get is exceptional fit, comfort and isolation- there is literally no better type of headphone, of any description, for noise isolation than silicone custom IEMs- and above all superb sound. I bought my customs (Their triple driver flaship) from Minerva and the whole process is quite cool, there's nothing quite as personal as getting headphones fit exactly to your ear =P bass response, like the Phonaks, won't match the first two options I listed in terms of bass presence, but the overall sound signature will be a step above most other things in this price range.

    ---

    Those would be my main choices. Any would be great, it's just a case of your priorities [= Regarding your headphones breaking, is the issue the sound in one ear or the other cutting out by any chance?

    EDIT: looking back at the post, it's fairly obvious which of the above headphone brands I personally own :ahee:
    Wow thanks for the detailed reply.

    Thanks for describing the v range because many reviews mentioned it but I had no idea what it actually was. I think I like the atomic's more for their look than everything else tbh.
    I was looking at the Monster turbine pro's and like them but durability seems to be an issue and despite there being lifetime waranty, I do not want them to fail frequently. Moreover for £12 difference, I'd probably prefer the Atomic's - wise decision?
    Again the Phonak's especially with the special offer are tempting but I don't like the over ear design.

    So,
    First Choice - Atomic Superdarts - £200
    Second Choice - X10i - £168

    Despite your bias lol, do you think the X10i's are markedly better than the Atomic superdarts? I know the vocals are recessed but they really do look better :s Is the average non audiophile going to notice the recessed sound?

    Thanks a lot
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    (Original post by Dreamingaboutthestars)
    Wow thanks for the detailed reply.

    Thanks for describing the v range because many reviews mentioned it but I had no idea what it actually was. I think I like the atomic's more for their look than everything else tbh.
    I was looking at the Monster turbine pro's and like them but durability seems to be an issue and despite there being lifetime waranty, I do not want them to fail frequently. Moreover for £12 difference, I'd probably prefer the Atomic's - wise decision?
    Again the Phonak's especially with the special offer are tempting but I don't like the over ear design.

    So,
    First Choice - Atomic Superdarts - £200
    Second Choice - X10i - £168

    Despite your bias lol, do you think the X10i's are markedly better than the Atomic superdarts? I know the vocals are recessed but they really do look better :s Is the average non audiophile going to notice the recessed sound?

    Thanks a lot
    Sorry for the late response!

    First and foremost, you can get the Superdarts for £160 off Amazon, which is always nice [= regarding which to get, it really is a judgement call. The Superdarts are by no means a bad set of headphones from what I can tell, I just don't think they'd be the best choice if gospel, rnb and rap are your most popular genres or if you want an at all accurate representation of any of your music. They even show their extreme V shaped sound signature on the packaging, (For comparison, that line should be close to flat along the middle of the graph) with a curve like that the vocals are bound to get lost completely on more musical tracks, and just sound lifeless if they're at the forefront of the track. In contrast the bass and treble are going to be very in-your-face all the time. These aren't small nuances that only a discerning listener will pick up, it's such a severe curve that it's going to be apparent to most people. I really would have a hard time recommending them to somebody with your music tastes as a primary headphone. The X10i or Turbine Pros would be a much better fit in my opinion.

    One thing you do have on your side is Apple's typically excellent returns policy. Apple stock both the headphones you're considering, so in theory (make sure you check with store staff first!) you could buy one pair, use them for however long you can, then return them. Then head over to another Apple store in london and check out the other for the week after and make up your mind from there.

    If that turns out not to be doable, I really do feel I have to stick to my guns with recommending the X10i. I just feel that aesthetics aside, they are a far more suitable headphone for you (:
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    That's fine.
    But those superdarts aren't sold by amazon themselves but another company whom isn't licensed to sell them. Does that invalidate the 2 year warranty and would you be scared of getting fakes on their?

    You are probably going to think that I am a pain now but I have come across the Senn cx 980i's which are £142. Now i am certain that I am either going to get the x10i's or cx 980i's.

    The only thing that is holding me back now is that the x10i cable is quite thin. Have you found that to be an issue for yours? Do you feel that a slight tug on them would cause them to break?
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Sorry for the late response!

    First and foremost, you can get the Superdarts for £160 off Amazon, which is always nice [= regarding which to get, it really is a judgement call. The Superdarts are by no means a bad set of headphones from what I can tell, I just don't think they'd be the best choice if gospel, rnb and rap are your most popular genres or if you want an at all accurate representation of any of your music. They even show their extreme V shaped sound signature on the packaging, (For comparison, that line should be close to flat along the middle of the graph) with a curve like that the vocals are bound to get lost completely on more musical tracks, and just sound lifeless if they're at the forefront of the track. In contrast the bass and treble are going to be very in-your-face all the time. These aren't small nuances that only a discerning listener will pick up, it's such a severe curve that it's going to be apparent to most people. I really would have a hard time recommending them to somebody with your music tastes as a primary headphone. The X10i or Turbine Pros would be a much better fit in my opinion.

    One thing you do have on your side is Apple's typically excellent returns policy. Apple stock both the headphones you're considering, so in theory (make sure you check with store staff first!) you could buy one pair, use them for however long you can, then return them. Then head over to another Apple store in london and check out the other for the week after and make up your mind from there.

    If that turns out not to be doable, I really do feel I have to stick to my guns with recommending the X10i. I just feel that aesthetics aside, they are a far more suitable headphone for you (:
    That's fine.
    But those superdarts aren't sold by amazon themselves but another company whom isn't licensed to sell them. Does that invalidate the 2 year warranty and would you be scared of getting fakes on their?

    You are probably going to think that I am a pain now but I have come across the Senn cx 980i's which are £142. Now i am certain that I am either going to get the x10i's or cx 980i's.

    The only thing that is holding me back now is that the x10i cable is quite thin. Have you found that to be an issue for yours? Do you feel that a slight tug on them would cause them to break?
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    (Original post by Dreamingaboutthestars)
    That's fine.
    But those superdarts aren't sold by amazon themselves but another company whom isn't licensed to sell them. Does that invalidate the 2 year warranty and would you be scared of getting fakes on their?

    You are probably going to think that I am a pain now but I have come across the Senn cx 980i's which are £142. Now i am certain that I am either going to get the x10i's or cx 980i's.

    The only thing that is holding me back now is that the x10i cable is quite thin. Have you found that to be an issue for yours? Do you feel that a slight tug on them would cause them to break?
    Actually I was alluding to owning the Phonaks and Minerva customs based on how much I wrote about them =P I genuinely believe the X10is are a better fit for you from an objective standpoint.

    Looks like you missed out unfortunately, when I posted that there were a listened pair listed at that price. The warranty is to be honoured by the manufacturer regardless of retailer, as long as they're a legitimate pair then it's not something you need to worry about. I can see why you might be dubious about those sites though. It might be worth keeping your eye on Amazon for the time being in case another pair show up.

    Haven't heard much about the 980s, I'll have a nose around and get back to you on them asap.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Actually I was alluding to owning the Phonaks and Minerva customs based on how much I wrote about them =P I genuinely believe the X10is are a better fit for you from an objective standpoint.

    Looks like you missed out unfortunately, when I posted that there were a listened pair listed at that price. The warranty is to be honoured by the manufacturer regardless of retailer, as long as they're a legitimate pair then it's not something you need to worry about. I can see why you might be dubious about those sites though. It might be worth keeping your eye on Amazon for the time being in case another pair show up.

    Haven't heard much about the 980s, I'll have a nose around and get back to you on them asap.
    Oh, I was prob having a stupid moment. Well i'm going to buy the Klipsch S4I reference earphones whilst I make my decision and wait for the cx 980i's or atomic floyd's to fall in price. Because inthe LR I will need a cheaper pair of earphones for the gym anyway.

    Thanks for your help
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    (Original post by Dreamingaboutthestars)
    Oh, I was prob having a stupid moment. Well i'm going to buy the Klipsch S4I reference earphones whilst I make my decision and wait for the cx 980i's or atomic floyd's to fall in price. Because inthe LR I will need a cheaper pair of earphones for the gym anyway.

    Thanks for your help
    Good choice on the S4is, they're a nice pair of low end IEMs. I'll let you know if I find anything on the 980s.

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