Headphone recommendations wanted

I am currently using AKG K-240 headphones (made in Austria) and I’m very happy with them. They are also 40 years old. Aside from the high quality sound reproduction, they are extremely comfortable: very light weight (8.7 ounces) and large, cushioned ear cups that entirely cover my ears.

Should these great headphones die, I’m looking for recommendations to replace them. I plug the “cans” into the computer stereo speakers to better hear what’s going on when digitizing my music collection (using Audacity & Brian Davies’ ClickRepair) of tapes and LPs for my own use. I also plug them into my sound system amplfier for personal listening.

I’ve tried Sony, Bose and Skullcandy (what a name) among a few others. None of which comes close to what I have in comfort. All the headphones I’ve tried were heavier and none of the cushioned ones covered my ears. ( I don’t think my ears are particularly large either.) Although the “noise suppression” technology of today’s headphones is nice, I don’t think I need that kind of feature. I already have a relatively quiet environment in which to work. The Sennheiser HD 25-I and Koss Pro-4AA have been suggested as possible replacements for what I’m currently using.

Aside from high quality music reproduction, comfort is pretty important to me (light weight and full ear coverage with the cushions). There aren’t very many places here in San Diego, to “try out” headphones, so mail order may be my only option, but I prefer to stay in US for easier shipping. Your suggestions and comments are much appreciated. (I reviewed the February, 2009 posts on this topic.)

Regards, Pat

What’s wrong with getting another pair of the K240s? I use the K141 Monitor (now superseded by the K141 MKII) and would not trade them for anything.

BTW, AKG is very good about parts. I know the K141s are repairable, and I would expect the K240s to be likewise.

– Bill

<<<The Sennheiser HD 25-I and Koss Pro-4AA >>>

That’s just about what I have except my Sennheisers are open-air. The Pro-4AAa are terrific, but you need help holding up your head after a while and something to mop up the sweat. But they put you into the performance like nothing else. You know they’re designed to be aircraft headsets, right? That knobby thing on the left is for the microphone boom (although nobody actually makes one). That’s also why they have a single cable and not a “Y” cable.

I’m with Bill. See if K240s are still offered. At one time, the Koss headphones had an unconditional, until-the-sun-cools-off warranty. They may still.

The company may check your AKGs for accuracy.


When I worked at a community radio station we had K140s. After years of use and abuse the cords would break, as well as the headband, and the ear pads would start to dissolve. I could get all those parts and keep the headsets running. I tried many brands, and none were as repairable as the AKGs. All the others were glued together and if anything broke, tough luck.

– Bill

Thanks very much for your comments.

Harman now makes the AKG headphones. The K142 HD (the old K140) now sells for $190. The K242 HD now goes for $280. Certainly up there in price but you usually get what you pay for.

This is the link to the AKG site.

I guess I better start saving up. Again, my thanks.

Regards, Pat

I’m a fan of the Sennheiser’s… I currently have 2 pairs of them…

The big ones: HD-595 - the older 120 ohm version, now they make it in 50 ohm version, but I haven’t tried those so I can’t tell how much they differ. I’m not sure how much I paid for them, it has been a few years ago… I think maybe about 160 euros in a local shop. They are very comfortable!

The smaller/portable ones: PX100 - great value for the money… I paid £14 for mine on amazon uk (on the local shop it was 50 euros, so I think I got a really good bargain on amazon).

The big ones at 120 ohm have one problem… not every source is capable of properly driving them at such an high impedance… Inboard sound cards and computer speakers headphone outputs fall in this category… they sounded rather “weak”, that’s why I bought a dedicated sound card: Asus Xonar Essence STX. If you like listen to music from the computer in high-end headphones with amazingly good quality, virtually noise free (when I connected the headphones to the built-in sound card it sounded like if a chopper was flying inside my computer) I strongly recommend getting one of this cards… And they’re capable of driving headphones with very high impedance and the electromagnetic shielding is superb.

Regarding headphones I also own a pair of KOSS KSC-75, in terms of sound quality and price they get close to the PX100 but I can’t wear them for too long before starting to feel uncomfortable.

I also own a pair of Radiopaq Jazz, great sound quality but this are IEM’s… with all it’s pros and cons…

I also recommend this forum: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/
You’ll get lost in the imensitude of post you’ll find there… hehe but it’s where I usually go looking for opinions on headphones… And that’s probably the largest community of headphone lovers you’ll find online…

These are great value for money http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_hd880.htm
I doubt that the sound quality will be up to the standard of the AKG K-240, but they’re a small fraction of the price and sound much better than one would expect in this price range. I also find them well padded and comfortable.

Again, my thanks for the suggestions and comments.

As I mentioned, comfort is very important. I now realize that there is a difference between “on the ear” and “over the ear”. My AKG K-240 completely covers the ear and that seems to be one reason they are so comfortable.

Regards, Pat

I think they call it circumaural :slight_smile: You may also have open-air design (sound passes through in and out) and closed-back design (isolates sounds to some extent, in and out).

I’ve never tried AKG’s but my Sennheiser HD-595 (open-air design) are very comfortable. I tried once a pair of HD-600 of a friend and it felt very comfortable too. I think Sennheiser headphones are generally considered to be good in terms of comfort.

If they have anything negative in their comfort it would be the velvet fabric that might be a bit “warmy” in the summer’s hot days… Which on the other hand can be an advantage in the winter compared to ones in leather or equivalent materials.

Also one thing that in my opinion adds to its comfort is the fact that they aren’t too tight in your head… the downside of that is that they might fall off your head if you like to listen to music upside down :slight_smile:

Grado’s often get good reviews too, though the sound signature seems to be quite different from the Sennheiser. While the Sennheiser’s usually have a more laid back, warm sound, I think Grado’s are better known to have a more crisp, front-stage kind of sound. But if you browse through head-fi forum you’ll probably find opinions on pretty much all headphones you can possibly find :slight_smile:

Thanks for your comments. A little technical education never hurts.

Since there seems to be fewer places to try out this kind of thing, it’s difficult to choose. And there are more choices for headphones than ever. In the good old days there were lots of audio stores so you could go in and try, or listen to equipment you were interested in. Nowadays, about the only place here in San Diego is Best Buy. The only brands they had for display were Sony, Bose and 1 or 2 others.

If I’m lucky, I’ll go before my headphones. Well…maybe that is a bit ridiculous.

Regards, Pat