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Best Cans for Classical Music

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Looking for assistance from the field in regards to the best sounding headphones for classical music, guitar a la Gypsy Kings and Flamenco, and piano. I recently read a thread that recommended the AKG 701's. Don't need booming bass...looking for soundstage, clarity/transparency.
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by applevalleyjoe View Post
Looking for assistance from the field in regards to the best sounding headphones for classical music, guitar a la Gypsy Kings and Flamenco, and piano. I recently read a thread that recommended the AKG 701's. Don't need booming bass...looking for soundstage, clarity/transparency.
That would be right up K701 alley, minimal bass, huge soundstage, good clarity. Do take note also that K701 is power hungry, so a good amp will be needed.
post #3 of 26
Add the ATH-W5000 & Grado GS1000 to your list. What's your budget btw?
post #4 of 26
I really like electrostats for classical. They do not have the booming bass, but ever my modest electrets have clarity and transparency that surpass my more expensive dynamic headphones.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djarum View Post
I really like electrostats for classical. They do not have the booming bass, but ever my modest electrets have clarity and transparency that surpass my more expensive dynamic headphones.
ah yes..how could i forget electrostats. They definitely has better clarity and transparency, but they won't have the huge soundstage offered by the K701.
post #6 of 26
The K701 have ample, accurate bass for classical listening. I don't know about you, but I like bass when listening to timpanies, bass drums, tubas, double basses, etc. : ) The DT880/2003--NOT the 2005 model--give you air and scale well-suited for classical that the K701 don't. It's very close. I would routinely reach for either the K701 or the DT880/2003 when spinning classical.
post #7 of 26
Hey AppleValley......I listen to exclusively classical. I own the HD650s K701s, AH 5000, DT 880s and a bunch of others. It IS true that you won't get quite the same sound stage with the HD650 as you do K701s but I do not feel that any thing measures up to the HD650s with regards to an organic music experience. This is more than enough soundstage with the HD650s (DONT BUY GRADOS....though I've only have had experience with the SR60s, but they have hardly a soundstage at all), the K701s are beautiful, but not as organic, not as musical....I truly believe that there is no better headphone for classical music than the HD650s, the UE10s tie them.

Dave
post #8 of 26
Not even the 880s? I've listened to some classical on them and it's quite eerie how much you feel like your at a performance. I hear them recommended for classical all the time. The 650s best them?
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Not even the 880s? I've listened to some classical on them and it's quite eerie how much you feel like your at a performance. I hear them recommended for classical all the time. The 650s best them?
I love the DT880s, they're fantastic. I think pianos sound very good on them. Anything produced by metal strings sounds very true. But when the instruments mix I feel a lot of analysis going on in my brain. I can't concentrate on the feelings of the music in the same way. I find the DT 880s have a pleasant bass response, a little more to my taste than the K701s but the soundstage is weaker than both the 650s and the K701s. My biggest problem with them is that while they're very revealing and bright, they seem to leave me with less emotion. The K701s too, though I may prefer the DT880s over the K701s.....I don't know.....for me, all these top quality headphones have major strengths and I wouldn't want to live without any of them, but when it comes to tears in your eyes and joy in your heart, I think the HD650s win out. For portable use I use the UE10s........the only other phone I think matches the HD650s.
post #10 of 26

They're all good enough

Don't discount comfort. I listen exclusively to classical audiophile CDs and have Lambda Pros, HD600s, K701s, and K501s with K701 pads along with many others. All of these are great classical phones but the ones I like the best because they're the most comfortable are K501s with K701 pads. Not only are they very comfortable but the K701 pads bring back the bass which seemed to be lacking in K501s. I wouldn't be too concerned about picking the very best classical phone. If you put all of the phones mentioned in this thread into a box and reached in and picked just one, the one you picked would be as good as any to start with but I guarantee it won’t be your last because anyone who falls down this rabbit hole ends up with a big dent in their wallet because there's so much good stuff here to savor.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post
...but the soundstage is weaker than both the 650s and the K701s.
What do you mean by this? I know when I auditioned my 880s vs the HD 600s, the Beyers' soundstage was noticeably wider and more realistic to me.

I get what you're saying about emotion though. To me, the 880s sound real, and that's what gives me an emotional response. As if I were listening to a live performance. The 600 was too colored to my ears (read: too much mid-bass and attenuated highs) to sound "real" so I couldn't let myself go as much. I was aware I was listening to headphones.

But if the 650s get you there, more power to ya. Subjectivity is not a bad thing when it only concerns you.

edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by wae5 View Post
All of these are great classical phones but the ones I like the best because they're the most comfortable are K501s with K701 pads.
Could you expand on this? I've heard about this before and it intrigued me. How do they (K501 + 701 pads) compare with the K701, or better the DT 880 if you've heard that?
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
What do you mean by this? I know when I auditioned my 880s vs the HD 600s, the Beyers' soundstage was noticeably wider and more realistic to me.

I get what you're saying about emotion though. To me, the 880s sound real, and that's what gives me an emotional response. As if I were listening to a live performance. The 600 was too colored to my ears (read: too much mid-bass and attenuated highs) to sound "real" so I couldn't let myself go as much. I was aware I was listening to headphones.

But if the 650s get you there, more power to ya. Subjectivity is not a bad thing when it only concerns you.
Hey....I feel like we both are the representatives of beyerdynamic / sennheiser haha I have the 600s too. I have a very interesting way of comparing the soundstages between headphones.....the K701s have the drivers comparatively far from your ear creating more involvement with your outer ear creating a feeling of width. The 880s are closer to the 701s than the 650s/600s but it feels more like exceptional imaging and a fairly wide soundstage. The 650s/600s don't have as large a stage in one sense, BUT they present an overall larger sound to me, a more engulfing sound...the instruments feel further away because you don't feel as if you're in the front row....but you are correct the soundstage is wider on the DT880s, i don't feel it is as big though. I hope that makes sense...this is all just my opinion. Also I feel the 650s are a far superior phone to the 600s for classical.
post #13 of 26
K1000 is my favorite for most classical music. I do miss the RS1 for listening to string quartets. Will probably buy another one soon
post #14 of 26
I'd say K701 for huge orchestral sound. But a powerful amp is prerequisite in order to bring out the k701. However, I've yet to experience a totally open (or un-veiled) sound from the k701, because compared to the k501, there is a lack of sparkle and crisp to the treble. It's as if I'm listening to the orchestra with a screen in front of them. It's just too bad the k501 is discontinued.


Nevertheless, a great headphone with the right set-up. Unless you can get your hands on a k501, r10 or maybe the he60/90. I guess the best choice is to go with the k701.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by That dude View Post
I'd say K701 for huge orchestral sound. But a powerful amp is prerequisite in order to bring out the k701. However, I've yet to experience a totally open (or un-veiled) sound from the k701, because compared to the k501, there is a lack of sparkle and crisp to the treble. It's as if I'm listening to the orchestra with a screen in front of them. It's just too bad the k501 is discontinued.


Nevertheless, a great headphone with the right set-up. Unless you can get your hands on a k501, r10 or maybe the he60/90. I guess the best choice is to go with the k701.
mm i share your pain as i also have the K501 and was, i suppose, conditioned into appreciating their high-end presentation

however - i must say that the K701 is a much better all rounder and in my opinion, for classical music, is about 90-95% as good as the K501 and so the better value as it's still in production - im guessing the K701 is more realistic sounding but that's just a guess (i came to that conclusion because i find the K501 is not so great for other genres while the K701 generally is decent)

and what's been bugging me is i dont know if i should sell the K501, but i think i might because i've some things to pay off
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