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Sennheiser HD650 vs. AKG K 701 vs. Shure SE530

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys


I am uncertain about which of the above to buy. After only having owned sub 50€ headphones until now and noticing just how much better the sound of my Sony MDR EX85 (also sub 50€) is compared to my old AKG 324, I am really longing for superior sound.

At the moment the AKG K 701 are my favorite, because they got great reviews and are about 30% cheaper than the Shures, but actually I am more keen to buy the Shure because of their noise isolation and portability.

My main concern is audio quality so my question goes:

Do the Shures offer sound quality equal to that of open headphones in general and equal sound qulaity to that of the Sennheisers and AKG in specific?
post #2 of 13
People are going to tell you that the first two need an amp to live up to their potential. They do.

Oh...

Welcome to Head-Fi, and sorry about your wallet !
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I have an X-Fi in my computer, doesn't that amplify?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycorrhiza View Post
Well I have an X-Fi in my computer, doesn't that amplify?
your Xfi probably has line outs and optical output. you'll still need a decent power amp.

and it's very hard to compare headphones to IEMs cus the purposes of the 2 devices are completely different. since you mentioned Xfi, let's assume u're talking about home use, in which case i'd say go for the headphones.

it depends on your budget too. HD650 and SE530 are around the same price, so if you can afford either, i'd say go with what you need more. sound quality, or portability.
post #5 of 13
I initially hated HD650/600s and grabbed a K701 instead...that is, until I heard HD600s balanced!
if you're willing to spend good amount of money for decent amping, go with K701 or HD650, if not, look for iems or easy-to-drive cans.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycorrhiza View Post
Well I have an X-Fi in my computer, doesn't that amplify?
You will have a REALLY REALLY hard time driving the HD650 with that, not too mention the poor sound quality. The X-Fi might be good enough to be used for its optical out though, in conjunction with an outboard DAC.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerc View Post
You will have a REALLY REALLY hard time driving the HD650 with that, not too mention the poor sound quality. The X-Fi might be good enough to be used for its optical out though, in conjunction with an outboard DAC.
If you're talking about pure volume (the dependent clause points to that), you're plain wrong...

It isn't that hard at all, to drive a HD650 to pretty loud volumes.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
So basically what you are saying is that the Koss would be the better choice for pure audio but that I need an amp (my X-fi has only one optical out afaik).

How much would a good amp cost?

If its more than the 130€ (I guess it'l be another 300-500€ min) the Shure cost more than the Koss, I'll go for the Shure.
It has excellent reviews on sound quality and it will be a huge improvement on everything I owned so far. And the portability is also an issue.
Though I don't travel that much, I do travel ocassionally and full headphones aren't good for that.

Thanks for the input so far!

Once I am rich I might consider not buying another Ferrari but high end sound equipment

BTW: Whats cool here in Germany is that you have the right to give back any item you purchased only within 14 days. So if the Shure don't fullfill my expectations, I can always just return them and get the Koss.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhymesgalore View Post
If you're talking about pure volume (the dependent clause points to that), you're plain wrong...

It isn't that hard at all, to drive a HD650 to pretty loud volumes.
What made you think that? Since when does anyone talk about driving something in terms of pure volume here?

I'm talking about the huge 300 ohm impedance the HD650 has, and the even larger impedance it has in the mid bass, which is close to 500 ohms. I'd like to see an X-Fi to drive that properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycorrhiza View Post
So basically what you are saying is that the Koss would be the better choice for pure audio but that I need an amp (my X-fi has only one optical out afaik).

How much would a good amp cost?

If its more than the 130€ (I guess it'l be another 300-500€ min) the Shure cost more than the Koss, I'll go for the Shure.
It has excellent reviews on sound quality and it will be a huge improvement on everything I owned so far. And the portability is also an issue.
Though I don't travel that much, I do travel ocassionally and full headphones aren't good for that.

Thanks for the input so far!

Once I am rich I might consider not buying another Ferrari but high end sound equipment

BTW: Whats cool here in Germany is that you have the right to give back any item you purchased only within 14 days. So if the Shure don't fullfill my expectations, I can always just return them and get the Koss.
There aren't any Kosses on your list, you have Sennheiser, AKG, and Shure. Most high end headphones will benefit more from an amp. Some more than others. IEMs like the Shure SE530 are low impedance, and can be driven out of most headphone sockets, while it will have better synergy paired with the right amp. I really wouldn't use the K701 and HD650 without an amp.
post #10 of 13
Okay, I am currently running HD650s out of my laptop soundcard, and they still sound fantastic. Of course, once I stick these suckers in my balanced setup things will go to 11!
post #11 of 13
hrm, I guess the XPS M1210 has good headphone out, because even my HD600 sound terribly thin and uninspiring from my Macbook Pro's head out.
post #12 of 13
I'd rather look at what kinds of music you listen to. If you listen to a lot of acoustic stuff then I'd consider getting an HD650. I know your x-fi may have a problem driving it but it's still listenable and you can always get an amp down the road. But if you listen to rock stuff, I'd consider getting a grado since they are easy to drive and better suited for rock.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I listen to Classic, Rock, Metal, Hip Hop and some Vocal Music (preferably Joss Stone, Corinne Bailey Rae and the likes)

I never ever listen to Techno or such, although I enjoy some Industrial Static-X or such from time to time but i'd put that under Metal.
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