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15 Closed Headphones, 2 Canalphones and a Discussion on Frequency Graphs & Reviews

post #1 of 173
Thread Starter 

Review download (pdf-file): Mediafire

Navigation can be handled via bookmarks.

Changes and addendums to the review can be found under '1.3 Background and Additional Information' -> 'Updates History'.


Headphones reviewed

  • Audio Technica ATH A900
  • Audio Technica ATH FC7
  • AKG K 271
  • AKG K 81 DJ
  • AKG K 181 DJ
  • Beyerdynamic DT 250-80
  • Beyerdynamic DT 250-250
  • Beyerdynamic DT 660
  • Beyerdynamic DT 770-80 Pro
  • Beyerdynamic DT 831
  • Sennheiser HD 25-1
  • Sennheiser HD 201
  • Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
  • Sony V6
  • Ultrasone HFI 650 Trackmaster
  • Etymotic ER-4P/S
  • Shure E3

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Table of Contents
1.2 Personal Remarks
1.3 Background and Additional Information

2. Review
2.1 Why 'Closed' to begin with
2.2 General Review
2.3 In-Detail Review
2.4 Conclusion

3. Headphone-Related Topics
3.1 Canalphones vs. Headphones
3.2 Headphones: Cheapter Alternatives
3.3 Amped vs. Unamped / Portable Headphone Amplifiers
3.4 Misc: Headphone Cable, Impedance adapter, Damping Factor

4. Frequency Graphs and Reviewers scrutinized
4.1 Frequency Graphs
4.2 Reviews and Reviewers
4.3 Conclusion

5. Appendix
Further Reading



Thanks for reading,
Tao


Edited by saint.panda - 5/1/13 at 5:42am
post #2 of 173
Thread Starter 
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post #3 of 173
Holy crap! Huge review! I think this would benefit the community GREATLY. Thanks so much for the amazing and phenomenal effort!


*time to read!!! *
post #4 of 173
Thank you greatly for the reviews. Good effort! I can't wait to read it.
post #5 of 173
Superb!
post #6 of 173
Wow.

I've only skimmed parts that I'd be familar with (e.g., HD25-1, carrying around a portable DAP, DAC, amp and canalphones ) but I am impressed. Clear, concise (believe it or not) and no b.s. I like!

Best,

-Jason
post #7 of 173
I completely agree with the dt660 impressions. You dont need an amp per say, but they would definately benifit from one. They can be bright and some recordings that have very loudly mixed mid-high frequency (lower treble) can just be too much to take. For example, a woodblock or high cowbell that is mixed at too high of a volume is just not tolerable with these headphones on. There is plenty of bass, its just not exagerated at all, and it is fast and clean, with plenty of impact.
post #8 of 173
Wow. The dedication shown here is second to none.
I am amazed by the sheer number of headphones being compared.
post #9 of 173
Great read man. Now I'm even more psyched about my Beyer DT250-250s which should be arriving tomorrow.
post #10 of 173
Great review, thanks for taking all the effort.

I do want to mention one thing though, your review implies that canalphones cannot have strong bass. This is simply untrue. The canalphones that you reviewed are definately light in bass, but there are many models that have MUCH more bass. Some models such as the Super.Fi 5 EB sound like a subwoofers strapped to your ears. I should also mention that the argument that canalphones have a smaller soundstage than headphones is also not entirely accurate. For example, Super.Fi 5 Pros have a very big soundstage that can compete with the best of full sized cans. Grados have a pretty small soundstage, about the size of the Shure E4, and they are open and full sized.

I'm not trying to nitpick, but your canalphone experience seems to be a little low so I wanted to interject. Please don't take offense, I think you did a wonderful job and if I had only heard the ER4 and E3 I would agree largely with your conclusions.

All of your complaints about canalphones would be addressed by considering other offerings than you have included in your review.
post #11 of 173
Is this a thesis paper?!

Amazing..
post #12 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper994
For example, Super.Fi 5 Pros have a very big soundstage that can compete with the best of full sized cans. Grados have a pretty small soundstage, about the size of the Shure E4, and they are open and full sized.
Hmm. Gotta disagree with you here. For width of soundstage, I find it goes as follows:

Qualia 010 > HD650 > AKG K 1000 > ATH-W10LTD [insert huge gap here] Grado PS-1 > super.fi 5 Pro [insert fairly small gap here] Sensaphonics 2X-S [insert meaningful gap here] Shure E4c.

Best regards,

-Jason
post #13 of 173
Wow. That's all I can say for now, as it'll take a good while to read through the whole revi... err... study.

Congrats for finishing it, and thanks.
post #14 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha
Hmm. Gotta disagree with you here. For width of soundstage, I find it goes as follows:

Qualia 010 > HD650 > AKG K 1000 > ATH-W10LTD [insert huge gap here] Grado PS-1 > super.fi 5 Pro [insert fairly small gap here] Sensaphonics 2X-S [insert meaningful gap here] Shure E4c.

Best regards,

-Jason
now where does grado fit
hd650 > k1000 in Soundstage i thought K1000 is the king of sound stage
post #15 of 173
This is just based on width. K 1000 has the most natural and coherent soundstage and rightly deserves the title of king of soundstage.

But to my ears, the Qualia can throw the sound in a manner that makes the world disappear. But it does this in a very unnatural (but still interesting and pleasing) manner.

K 1000 can disappear and does so in a very natural way. But for me, when it disappears it doesn't take the world with it. I do need a better amp for the K 1000 though.

HD650 seems to reach out wider than the K 1000, but not in the natural manner the K 1000 does. The HD650 has never disappeared for me. Maybe balanced out a Blockhead or something it would...

Heh, I think I listed the PS-1 in there somewhere =). Gotta say, soundstage is definitely its weakness.

Best regards,

-Jason
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