Saturday, April 20, 2024

Headphones / portable

Headphone system on the move



My on-the-move hifi system consists of a set of not-so-portable portable CD Player (PCDP), headphone amplifier and headphones.




I am using vintage/old PCDP running on AA NiMH rechargable batteries. I have been a long time supporter of Philips and find their PCDPs have very all round and well balance sonic signature. There was a point of time I was crazy collecting old vintage PCDPs but not any more. The older PCDPs have much better sound quality compared to modern days design. I believe in those days power consumption and size were not the top priority compared to today's designs. As a results the music they delivered has much more punch and energy. However, due to the old age of these well made vintage stuff, they tend to break down and spares are generally not available. Therefore unless you are a vintage gadget lover, I would not recommend collecting these stuff if the price is too high. Anyway I am still happily using my vintage PCDPs with some anti-skid capability.

Although I very much prefer listnening music with my speaker system, having three young kids at home it make me very difficult to do so. Sad to say that nowadays I spent most of my time listening music using my portable system during the journey to and back from work and in the office.

In my present portable system, the PCDP is connected to the Sound Devices headphone amplifier HX-3 using the headphone out or audio out. The amplifier will then drive a Sennheiser HD 25-1 70 ohms professional DJ close headphone.

While open headphone will give a more natural sound, a close headphone is better for travel as it cuts off some surrounding noise. As a result, the volumn can be keep as low as possible and will not cause damages to hearing. The HD 25-1 that I am currently using though good in performance, but being fairly expensive so may not be value-for-money. The design of the HD 25-1 is quite different. The two head supports can be open out. The left side of the headphone can be tilted up for one-ear listening. The flexibility of the design allows wearing of the headphones in all kind of situation, but also made it not so easy to wear as there are too many adjustments available.




                                Headbands wide open                                                                        Left headphone folded 


After using the HD 25-1 for almost 4 years I had the stock steel cable replaced by an original Sennheiser replacement cable (part no: 74532). This cable is much more flexible than the stock cable but is terminated with straight 1/4-inch plug. There is a similar cable for the 600-ohm version of the HD 25 but according to the catalogue the cable is also steel cable. This one I am using is so flexible that I believe could be OFC. It is much longer than the stock HD 25-1 cable and the sound signature is more refined. 

The Sound Devices HX-3 headphone amp that I am using was designed for filming crews. It is built like a tank and can be quite heavy for some to carry around. Being an engineer I really like the solid build of the amplifier and what I like most is it is using 2 AA batteries. Also the power on light serves also as a low battery indicator. The LED is green with fresh batteries, yellow when the power is low and red when it is time to change the batteries.


The interconnect I am using from the PCDP to the headphone amp are DIY pure silver mini-to-mini cable and Ultimate Link solid core pure silver mini-to-TRS cable.

For those who want to know more about headphones can visit the following sites:


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