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Recommendations for Best headphones on the market (new and old) - Page 3

post #31 of 1076

One of the reasons I brought up the possibility of them needing breaking in was because I have heard that the 590's actually sound a lot like the 570's and since you seem to like the 570's it seemed likely that you would like the 590's.


I disagree with that often repeated claim that the 600's are best suited for classical musicc. I think because of their slightly tame and somewhat sophisticated nature people always assume they may be better for "softer" more "sohpisticated" music (I realize that not all classical is music is "soft" and "sophisticated"). However, I think that just compounds the problem. I do just the opposite. If the music is too aggressive I listen to it with the 600's and if it it too tame I use the 590's. The one exception to this is that I'd rather hear more complex electronic music on the 590's just becuase of the detail and ultra sterophonic nature of that kind of music but other than that the above formula works most of the time. I have said elsewhere that even though these phones are sonically from the same family there is enough difference between them to merit owning both.

I should say that the 600 seems to grow on people more than any other headphone that I am aware of. When I first heard them I thought they were really very over-rated but after owning them for about a six weeks and listening to them while the 590's went back to Sennheiser for repair I came away with a different attitude about them. There are still not my absolute favorite but I do genuinely like them and can't imagine the day when I won't have them around.

So, that should give you something to think about before you make your next move.

Oh, by the way, none of this stuff is perfect and there is a lots to be said for the symmetry between the phones, cables, sources and amplifiers.

I hope that helps.

post #32 of 1076


Brian--If ya get a chance, my last post is under Senn's Pads. I finally took mine off, and gave a prelimenary opinion. I should also add to what I said in the other thread, that I think taking the pads off shrunk the soundstage perfectly which I feel is good for rock.
post #33 of 1076

Audio-Technica ATH-A100Ti Limited Edition Art Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-A100Ti Limited Edition Art Headphone
These cans are a real work of art. They are 53 mm drivers. They are 38 ohms. Out of my Max Out META42 they have immense energy. They are very quick and are very natural sounding. The highs just go till they are played out. No roll off. The mids are in your face like you are on the stage. The bass is not over done but very natural sounding. The entire sound is overall very natural and pleasant and a real WOW factor. No cable upgrade needed and no modes to do to the cans. They are very conferable and put a spark or life into the music.
post #34 of 1076

My favorite headphone, it is smooth, accurate, and enjoyable. The bass is solid down to 40 hz as far as I can tell and the treble is extended and controlled out to 18,000 hz, what it does beyond either of those extremes I cannot hear well.

I think these headphones sound the best with piano and VERY well recorded stringed instruments. I am not so impressed with their rendition of symphonic pieces, they tend to sound just a little small, but it may be the nature of the headphone soundstage that creates most of that effect. With the solo piano however there is IMO not a single headphone that can touch what this headphone will do, crisp yet softly beautiful, ethereal but unflinching. Chopin's Grand Pollonaise is delicate, and meaningful. His preludes soar as easily as they come to a tender rest. The decay of the notes is magical, there is a sensation of life to each note, and that translates into a sensation of reality, a striking reality that is sometimes hypnotically beautiful. For strings, they do tend to overemphasize bad recordings. Violins sound the best descending down to cellos. My favorite instrument is the cello and it sounds fantastic with the headphones but sometimes they do get a little strained when the musician really digs in and plays aggressively.

Female vocals are also an incredible strength of these headphones. Eva Cassidy's carefully intoned voice caresses in a way that is more than just real, it's like she is transported into your room, into your bed, lying there with you as she sings intimately in your ear. The nature of a soft exhale, the sound of air in the throat, the sound of the lungs, its all there, but its there in a way that shimmers. Every aspect of the process which results in a voice, from the exhalation of air, to the flitting tongue, is reproduced in a way that combines to create a sound that is more than just a bunch of details.

For electronic music these are also excellent, but you start to see places where these cans fall somewhat short. They are fantastic for rendering complex electronica or anything with a heavy beat. But when you get into the grunge of a TB 303 the sound is just a little to clean, it's like the headphones take away a little bit of the musical noise that made the 303 such a fantastic instrument.

For rock these vary between great and bad. Rock recordings are often equalized very weirdly and the HD600's can reveal this unforgivingly. Also, the grunge of the guitars often is just too smooth. For an indie-rock group like pavement however, the sound is near perfect, the vocals sit up front and are finely detailed, the drums pop with authority, and the guitars which are not too grungy sound full bodied... But still, there is a certain "jive" which is missing.

These are also great for ambient music. Anything with slowly rising and falling synths will be portrayed very well. If an ambient synth had a voice in the natural world, like the sound of wind, it would be presented by these headphones with a scary realness.

In short, these headphones really excell with calm music, with slow moving music or fast music that has explicitly defined notes such as a synthesized bass line, or a drum solo, and with musical textures that are fine to very fine!! Heavy course textures such as what would be found in grunge rock tend to be smoothed out to much to be fully enjoyable.

These headphones are very revealing and will only shine their brightest with the best components. The most important things are in fact the source and the amp. It's a battle between those two, but I think the amp wins out in the case of the HD600's by a hair. They simply require alot of power for headphones. Not for high volume but for low volume listening where they can sound dynamically compressed if not properly powered!! This is very important, alot of people post about compressed sound, hashed highs, etc... With the proper amp this dissapears greatly! I have owned the Melos SHA-1 and I believe that even it lacks the power to fully drive the HD600 at very low volumes. People do not realize that these headphones will NOT sound great out of your soundcard or equivalent piece of **** amplifier, if you think they do you do NOT know what trully awesome sound is!

I also own the Cardas cable and can state with ease that it is not only an upgrade to the stock cable but to the Clou Red as well which I owned previously. It helps to give a faster more detailed bass response, somewhat deeper bass, and less of a midbass hump. It also gives a fuller sound to the midrange and a more extended less hashed sounding high end. Improvements across the board IMO.
post #35 of 1076
This one's easy for me. Etymotics ER-4S (I have P with adapter cable, but I never use them w/o the 4P-4S adapter) and KSC-35s. I got the KSCs for 35 dollars and I have used them more than any headphones I've ever owned (haven't even had them a year yet). I could go for a nice pair of closed phones (etys drown out too much noise in most practical situations), but I am severely low on funds right now. I had a pair of V6s last year that I sold on this board. They suited me well (although a little bright).
post #36 of 1076
My opinion echoes carlo's and Kryogen's regarding the Grado SR-125 headphones. I can only afford the 125s (or that's what my bank statement tells me.) The sound is immensely enjoyable out of its compliment: the 47 amp - warm, and bright at the same time. They can be occasionally painful on cymbals, but damn they rock! . Sure they sound a bit smeared on my system, but they're my preferred choice over the HD 580s in this price range. To contrast ai0tron's description of the Sennheiser HD600, these 125s are dirty, in a sweet perky kind of way - like Christina Aguillera. My favorite combo for listening to these on has been through the Arcam Alpha 9, and Naim Headline - killer attack, liquidy highs, and black spaces. Kirk Hammett has never sounded so good to me before. There was tremendous presence on this setup despite the Grados wearing flat pads; these make the phones more laid back. I do most of my listening to rock, and pop, so these phones suit them well. Classical and Jazz aren't so great. Timbres and spacial cues start to bother me lots with these 2 styles.

Bottom line = fun, intimate, and loud, but not as refined or as spacious as the Senns: the Grado SR-125 is a fantabulous bargain!
post #37 of 1076
Originally posted by zoboomofo
Bottom line = fun, intimate, and loud, but not as refined or as spacious as the Senns: the Grado SR-125 is a fantabulous bargain!
Yes, it certainly is. I have been using the 125 a lot lately and enjoying every minute of it. I am a full-time Grado person, for now. I sold my HD600 because they were ultimately too bulky, too laid back and boring. The Grados are much more detailed, transparent and dynamic.

Again, I make this statement after listening to sounds of real instruments playing in front of me, as opposed to comparing one headphone to another to measure levels of brightness etc. I'll use the Patricia Barber "Modern Cool" SCAD for reference.

So, it's kind of fun to listen for a while to the SR80, then hear an improvement going to the 125, more refinement going to the 225, and a 'big cozy room with great speaker sound' going to the RS-1.

My AKGK501? That's my 'big auditorium concert 'phone.
post #38 of 1076

Audio-Technica ATH-A1000 Limited Edition Art Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-A1000 Limited Edition Art Headphone
Built amazingly and are artful looking and strong and great looking headphones. Headband is two arms on ball barring pivots with padding under them for great comfort. They put no pressure on the head but just rest on the side of the head. Ear cups are large and cover the entire ear and are very easy to ware for hours at a time.
The drivers are angled in the center right side of ear pad. Because of the angled drivers and large ear cups the sound stage is huge and full of great sound.
SOUND the highs are very high and no cut off but is not screech in any way. They just play out their length of sound.
MIDS are very strong and in your face like you are on the stage but very sweet and real.
LOWS Bass is always there but not in the way but when the bass is used in the song you will know it.
This is after a few hours of listening.
PINK FLOYD Another brick in the wall. There sounds like a hundred kids singing and they left the headphones and were out side of then.
FLEETWOOD MAC you can head her tambourine though out the song. The drums are awesome and the guitar is amazing.
YANNIE LIVE The orchestration is like you are the conductor and on the right is the flute and a little to the left is the clarinet in the middle is the drums and on the left is a violin a little to the right of it is the tuba and the piano is just there mostly on the right but goes to the middle and back.
KAREN CARPENTER Superstar smooth sweet and very clear with a bass guitar backing her up and then the mixes that her brother is know for. What a thing to hear for sheer beauty of music. This really shows off the mids.
NEIL YOUNG with CRAZY HORSE Cal girl in the sand. On the left rhythm guitar. In the middle drums. On the right lead guitar. It sounds like the three of them are trying to grab the lead position and be dominant over the other two. What a riff they get into. Awesome sound by great musicians.

post #39 of 1076
I would say the Sennheiser HD600s because a lot of people still think that they are the best dynamic headphones. Of course, we know that the Sony R10s are the best. I am still waiting to find a used pair myself.
post #40 of 1076
well being relativly new to the world of headphones... i can only comment on the HD580 which i have,, but waiting for a maxed meta to be built to truly get the full benefit of them... but most suprisingly.. i recently bought a pair of KOSS Portapros.. and can honestly say with no amp and just plugged strait into my portable minidisc they sound amazing !... cmon.. lets hear it for the portapros!
post #41 of 1076
With my limited experience:

Grado's: I had RS-1's, and yes for rock it's hard to imagine that anything will beat a Grado. I imagine their other models have similar soundstage characteristics. But...

Sennheiser HD600: Can easily be had for around $225, leaving plenty of $$ for a decent amp, even if you want new. For anything other than rock, this is the way to go, IMO.
post #42 of 1076
AKG K501
To some these headphones lack bass. Connected to my Crown D60, which has a high damping factor, and a very low output impednace, the bass is much livelier and extends nicely. It is analytical in nature, with very little colouration, somewhat lacking in detail and transient reponse, but with very little high end harshness, possessing no midrange forwardness, nor lower bass bloat. An overall excellent headphone. As with any set of headphones, maximum transparency and detail can be acheived through class A amplification. Very comfortable, though some may find the earpads a little too coarse. Jazz and Classical seem to be their strong suites. High impedance.

Beyer Dynamic DT831
Another set of headphones which some say is bass lacking. The same stipulation applies here. They are very highly refined, possessing a very sweet sound, good transient response, good detail, good decay, and an overall even midrange. Some say that these can be bright. Their overall character is on the bright side. Instead of being midrange forward, where just the midrange is amplified, these seem to bring every nuance of the music out, thereby giving a very detailed sound. They are very sensitive to source matching and will greatly amplify bright sources. These are some of the easiest headphones to compare other headphones to as they allow the almost instantaneous minute differences to be differentiated. The earpads are not as comfortable as the AKG K501, being just slightly smaller than the AKG K501. Their strong suite seems to be vocals, country music, folk, bluegrass, violins, guitars, banjos, and pianos. High impedance.

Grado SR80
Very bright, forward sounding headphones. As is typical of all Grados their short comings are the pads which are abrasive, and the transducer which touches your ear. These are easily driven. The headband is mediocre, failing to apply an even lateral pressure at the ear cup end. Their strong suite seems to be rock and disco, along with vocals. They possess excellent transient response and decay. Can be sibilant with the wrong sources. Mate with dark sounding sources for an even sound. Be very careful mating to PCDPs. Low impedance.

Philips HP-910
The Philips SBC HP910 bass seems a little more bloated (compared to the DT831) but has very good extention. The DT831 sounds more refined, clearer, with strings sounding more "alive". Transient response was really good. But compared to the DT831, it sounded "veiled". It definitely has it's own colouration. It's nothing that one can not get used too. If you are into bells, triangles, etc. these will impress. They have excellent decay. The midrange seems recessed by no more than 0.3 dB (it sounds reasonably flat, with a slight peak at about 2KHz), not overly forward sounding. The bass will take a little taking used to. At times it seems to appear out of nowhere, depending on the recording. Poorly recorded music may sound bass mushy, approaching resonance bloat.

Through the Corda HA-1, with slight crossfeed, they produced very good sound, throwing the soundstage from "in the middle of your head" to a more spacious and lush soundstage.

You have to get the right amp for it. Has a great amount of bass and treble at low levels. It sounds good from an I-Pod. You should be able to detect different "grades" of bass response according to different volumes. It is easy enough to find the "sweet spot" where it sounds best at a certain volume level. Definitely to a bass head's liking. Their strengths seem to be rock, techno, eurodance, and disco, though classical pieces which contain oboes, kettle drums, triangles and bells will please. Flutes should sound outstanding on these headphones, as well as clarinets, and most wind and bell instruments. As these headphones are on the bright side, do not mate to bright sounding sources. Apex dvd players need not apply. Discreet transistors make them sound best, with tubes negating some of the high end energy. They have "eggo" ear pieces which are formed to follow the contour of the ear. They are very tight fitting, and, as most "eggo" headphones, ear comfort may conflict with optimum transducer placement. Those that can not afford a Sennheiser HD590 may wish to audition these and buy on a temporary basis. Grado owners may also find their sound acceptable. Low impedance.
post #43 of 1076


Source SONY MZ-R700
AMP. Super Mini V3
The built of the D66 Eggo is well thought out. The headband is metal covered by rubber. The one wire is angled toward the back of the headphone somewhat and don’t get in your face. The ear cups are well made and small but big enough to cover the ear when the ear is inserted into the ear cup. The drivers are 40 mm and are angled from right to left and give a very nice sound stage. The comfort is fantastic and just disappears after a short while. The headphones fit like a glove with no space around the head. They fit snugly around the head to the ears. The ear cups look great and small and real good-looking and stylish. The wire is of a nice grade and well made and sturdy. The ear cups fold up very nicely to about the size of a mans fist. They are very portable and they are also Very light weight. The isolation is not all that much without any music playing. With the music off I can hear my TV sound but with the music on I only hear the music at a normal level. The sensitivity is 106 dB and can be used right out of a pcdp or mini disc but I always use a amp to better the sound and volume.
These are the very best portable headphones that I ever heard bar none. The HIGHS are very strong and smooth. The MIDS are very actuate and up front and very clear. The BASS is real nice and strong but not overpowering. The headphones sound almost like full size headphones that I find most amazing especially for a portable headphone. The clarity is fantastic in all areas. These are real fun also to listen to for they have that certain fun sound of boy it is fun to listen to these headphones. The cost is 99.00 a bit high for a portable headphone but once you hear them the cost is just fine for the amazing Eggo D66 portable headphone.
I highly recommend the Eggo D66 headphone for portable use. I have had many portable headphones, earphones, and ear buds and never had this caliber of portable sound
post #44 of 1076

Beyerdynamic DT-770 pros

These headphones are not nearly as refined, detailed, or have the transparency of many other high-end headphones, but what they do have is the ability to bring enjoyment to the music. Overall, they are a dark sounding headphone, but still have that Beyer treble, that tick, tick, tick on top. First thing that most people notice is the bass, which is almost overpowering, and goes very deep. The mid-bass can be described as anything, but boring; it will knock your socks off with the right recording. As for the soundstage, it is extremely wide, and open for a closed phone of this caliber. But, what impressed me the most about this headphone is the midrange; it is liquid smooth, and sounds great with female vocals.
Like anything in audio, everything that is said is nothing, but opinion, so the equipment best suited for this phone is the equipment that makes it sound best to you. I will comment however, that a more detailed, faster, analytical source is probably a better match. Also, find an amp that has good extension in the treble with a low to medium impedance output.
In ending, I really wish I had had a pair of these phones in college. They have good isolation, are very comfortable, and are killer for hard rock music, which can be played a little louder, because of their dark character. Because of their dynamic nature they definitely get my vote for the best college beer drinking, rock out phones on the planet, with an amp of course.
post #45 of 1076
i have a pair of sennheiser HD600s that i use with my powermac, iPod, and reciever. though it sounds edcent on the iPod and the powermac, neither deliver the current it needs. it sounds amazing on my reciever back home. i guess i need an amp for school.
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