Best over-ear headphones for iPhone?
February 20, 2012 8:10 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations on great over-ear headphones I can use with my iPhone. I've been using Klipsch earbuds, but they don't stay in my ear that well, and I'm concerned about hearing loss, so I'd like to keep a small distance from my sound source. I've seen in previous questions that the Sennheiser HD-280 and Sony MDR-V6 have been recommended for general use. I'm not sure about the viability of a hugely long cord for using these while walking around, however, nor do I know if the iPhone could drive these cans. I'm looking for accurate sound reproduction (no pumped-up bass, please) and comfortable wear. I'll be using them both outside and indoors, but they don't need to be sound-canceling.
posted by the sobsister to Shopping (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use HD-280 Pros for 'hard work' indoors, and Koss PortaPros for walking around and lighter listening. The combo is great - the PortaPros are featherlight, durable, and cheap if they get a little beaten up, and the HD-280 is the ultimate sound isolation. Neither has problems being driven by an iPhone at all, though I'm not enough of an audiophile to notice a tiny difference.
posted by tmcw at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use those Panasonic "retro" headphones that are fairly ubiquitous. They get the job done very well and have a cord sized for iPod use.

I don't know enough about speakers to know whether these are considered anywhere near in the same category as the Sennheiser or Sony headphones you mention, or how "accurate" the "sound reproduction" is (whatever that even is). What I know is that they sound a lot better than any earbud I've used, block outside sounds really well (a must for me, and the main reason I use them), and generally get the job done exactly as expected.
posted by Sara C. at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2012

I have a pair of HD-280's and my iPhone has no trouble powering them. But the cord is long and pretty heavy, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for walking around—they're definitely more like "sitting at a desk, don't bother me please" kind of thing.
posted by bcwinters at 8:29 AM on February 20, 2012

Nthing the combo of HD-280 for desk, PortaPro for walking around.
posted by supercres at 8:30 AM on February 20, 2012

I'm not sure about the viability of a hugely long cord for using these while walking around

I can only answer this part, but these cord wraps have changed my life.
posted by desjardins at 8:36 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Would you consider on-ear instead of over-ear? I was very tired of using earbuds, and started looking at other options. I got a pair of the Sennheiser PX-200 IIi recently, and have been using them everyday with my iPhone. My commute includes buses, subways, and walking. The comfort, sound quality, and sound isolation of these has been excellent in every environment.

As a bonus, the cord has a remote control and microphone, so you can leave them on when a phone call comes in.
posted by neurodoc at 9:40 AM on February 20, 2012

I really like my Sony DR-BT50 headphones. I use them with my iPhone, too. They are bluetooth, provide good isolation, and last about 20-40 hours on a charge. You can change tracks with the controls, take incoming calls (but the microphone blows), and pair with two devices at once.

The sound quality is good. I am not a huge audiophile, but I prefer them to my Klipsh S4i headphones. Dropping the cord is really great, and they fold up very small. Range is excellent with my iPad and slightly less excellent with the iPhone.
posted by jstef at 9:53 AM on February 20, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks to all the respondents so far. I'm glad to hear that the iPhone would be able to drive the headphones mentioned. If any of you think that a headphone amp would make a noticeable difference in performance, please let me know.
posted by the sobsister at 10:01 AM on February 20, 2012

I just got the Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviators and I frickin' love them. Very comfortable, and quite flat EQ with no pumped bass – and they have the iPhone control/mic pod on the removable cloth-wrapped cable.
posted by nicwolff at 12:48 PM on February 20, 2012

Response by poster: I'm going to try the Senn HD 280/Koss Porta Pro combo. Thanks to all for your help.
posted by the sobsister at 3:40 PM on February 20, 2012

Just in case you haven't hit the buy button, I'd like to throw a shout to what I swear by lately: AKG 271 Mk II. The sound reproduction is excellent, my iPhone can drive them well, they positively surround you in sound, and they're really comfortable. I've retired my Grado SR-80s in favor of them, even.

They won't kill you with bass. You're going to hear everything that went down on the tape. If someone you know has a set you can try out, give them a listen before pulling the trigger.
posted by secret about box at 3:02 AM on February 21, 2012

I love my HD280pros to bits and you definitely won't have the XTRA ULTRA BASS BOOST problem with them - the frequency response is pretty flat. You won't need a headphone amp to power them either, unless you like listening to music really really loud.
posted by vanar sena at 2:20 PM on February 21, 2012

Big fan of these puppies from Bose.
posted by georg_cantor at 4:48 PM on February 22, 2012

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