So I got a 20 year old Headline and have a very average pair of Shure headphones!


I recently managed to get a 2003 Headline and I’m powering it with a NAPSC of a similar age that was previously running the control section of Mrs Q’s 202.
Both are about to go off in the next couple of weeks for a service, to give them back their youth. The big question is, what Headphones do I pair them with.
I have a pair of Shure closed back headphones that were purchased for my Electronic drum kit some years ago. They are okay, but I am certain they are not presenting anything like the quality of sound the Headline is capable of.
I have set a budget of between £250 & £750 to replace them. I have always been a fan of closed back Over Ear headphones and am considering the Meze 99 Classic’s, but the 109 Pro’s get very good reviews. They are open back and I have no experience of Open Back headphones for session listening.
I will of course be testing products over the coming weeks, but would very much appreciate any recommendations/views especially regarding the debate between Open and Closed back listening.
Thank you
Simon

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For my ears, I have a bias toward planar magnetic headphones or electrostatics. For your budget, it would lean more toward the former. I like the Quad ERA-1 (£650?)but there are others of similar price.

However, given I do not listen to music much via headphones and when I do I still use my old Yamaha HP-1 pair, I may not be the best person to answer your question. The HP-1s still sound good enough to me.

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I use Sennheiser HD 650 with either of my headlines (I have both olive and black) and have powered each from one of my many PSUs - olive & black NAPSCs, and olive Hicap).

So I’ve rung the changes with the kit available and settled on black Headline and olive Hicap.

The greatest benefit is that the Hicap has an ON/OFF switch.

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Still got Sennheiser HD424’s here… From 1977… :open_mouth:

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One of the best partners would be a pair of Beyerdynamic headphones. These were used for developing the Headline.

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DT770’s then…?

Well that’s very interesting Richard, thank you for that information.
Looking at a pair of Amiron Home with Tesla Technology now. :+1:t4: :slightly_smiling_face:

I have some Amirons and they work very nicely with the Headline. Very comfy too.

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For your budget, the Bayerdynamic Amiron Home, maybe could be a good choice. They have a nice smooth sound signature.

Dig out some reviews.

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They don’t seem to be available through the usual dealer outlets, which makes it a real challenge to listen to them…:face_with_diagonal_mouth:

So, I was surprised to discover that Richer Sounds sell Beyerdynamic Headphones.
Has anybody ever tried to get a Home Demo/Trial setup from these guys?
I’ll give my local store a call tomorrow.

They definitely can provide at least a brief home demo. My local store brought round a naim uniti atom speaker cables and speaker stands for me when I was just starting out. Also if you look around online to see the cheapest price for what you want they will match or better it from my experience.

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I have bought from them before, but all demos were done at the shop, but they don’t have the equipment for me to test the headphones.
My nearest shop is Cambridge, which is 30 miles away🤷🏻‍♂️

Ah yeah it might be a distance thing I’m super close to my nearest store.

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Try before you buy and put Grado and Focal on your list would be my recommendation.

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LOL….There’s a pair of HD420 floating somewhere around the house. Similar vintage!

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The HL2 seems to respond differently depending on whether you use a NAPSC or one of the xCap power supplies. Of course a FC/HC/SC outputs 3v more than a NAPSC, since the HL2 regulates that, you’d assume it made no difference. Except HL2/NAPSC struggles with HD600/800 yet with a HCdr drives them much better.

I still have a HL2 lurking in a box somewhere. I really felt it was endgame at the time. And second hand with a second hand xCap, the cost performance is outstanding.

As a new purchase with a new power supply, I’m not convinced of the value compared to alternatives at all. But I suspect many picked it up to pair with a spare power supply they already had. In that context it’s nigh on impossible to beat.

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My wife has the Meze 109 pros and is very happy with them. Bonus is they are exceedingly easy to drive so she also uses them via iPhone (adapter needed) and electric piano.

I’ve tried them on an Atom HE and violectric 222, and while I prefer my other headphones in terms of absolute detail and clarity, I find the mezes comfortable with a warm and relaxing sound. For a useless comparison, they make me think of a good cognac, whereas my Focal MGs are a full bodied Islay whiskey and my Sennheiser 800s are a quality citrusy gin.

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Though I like a good Islay, I am more a soft Highlands Malt kind of guy😉

You can also consider the Ultrasone model Edition headphones. This is also a German manufacturer, like Beyerdynamic, but they are not cheap.

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