Thanks for the samples. Just remember with my comments that I'm 46, have mild (but permanent) tinnitus, and tend toward brighter cans (I personally found the HD650 a tad too coloured when I compared them to the HD600). I like most genres of music - and that includes jazz, classical, opera, blues and most forms of rock. I like grunge - not really into metal or really heavy (thrash type) rock. I like orchestral dub (Lindsey Stirling) - but not a huge fan (or haven't heard) much else I like (in the dub genre). I do like some trance and electronic - but they are not high on my list of favourite genres. I tend to like cans with slightly forward mids (vocals, guitars - esp acoustic, sax etc). I like some bass - but balanced.
Anyway - I'll give you a few brief impressions based on limited listening.
Lonely Rolling Star - really hard for me to pick sound stage - because the track itself doesn't really provide a lot of staging clues. Of the 3 cans - K701 has the widest stage with most separation. DT880 has the most detail - but vocals have the most distance - comparatively the vocals on the K701 are more forward. Stage on the DT880 is narrower with less air. HD600 stage is between the two - but has the best imaging. If I was to pick a can for this one - it would be between DT880 and HD600 - probably the HD600.
The Xenogears OST track - slightly muffled on HD600 at first listen, but I think this may be more to do with switching between HD600, DT880 and K701. HD600 and DT880 have similar soundstage. DT880 far more detail. K701 - again wider stage - needs more bass impact. Illusion of more detail than DT880 - but switching back negates that - it's just the lack of bass. Guitar solo better on the HD600 than anything else. Close between HD600 and DT880.
The dubstep youtube (Savant - Nightmare Adventures) - like icepicks on both K701 and DT880. Wasn't quite as bad on the HD600 - but still pretty unpleasant to these ears. I can only conclude that it really isn't my sort of music - so maybe better if I leave comments on that one to other Beyer/AKG/Senn owners. I really disliked this music - sorry.
Left Baba Yetu until last - mainly because I own the album (Calling All Dawns). Hope you don't mind - but I used my own lossless rip. DT880 and HD600 once again very close on stage depth and width. K701 has widest stage and most separation - but for me the HD600 has (again) best imaging and depth. DT880 has best (accurate) bass and most detail. K701 has a very pleasing warmth and combined with space makes this really nice to listen to. HD600 again most realistic sounding though - bass just slightly boomy. My choice would be HD600 > K701 > DT880.
All of above was on PC - optical to an Audio-gd NFB-12 then to a Little Dot MKIV with upgraded tubes (6H30Pi EH & Mullard M8100). So they do tend to bring the mid-range slightly forward for all 3 cans (the set-up really helps the DT880 which can tend to be a bit dry IMO).
Perhaps best to give you my overall take on the 3 cans in main areas I think you wanted comparisons.
- Bass = DT880 > HD600 >> K701
DT880 is most accurate in the bass to me. HD600 has plenty of it (for me), but more mid-bass which can sometimes exhibit a bit of bloom.
- Mid-range = HD600 > K701 > DT880
HD600 has most forward mid-range, but for me it is also most accurate and realistic. Instruments really sound like they do in real life - especially stringed instruments.
- Highs = DT880 > K701 > HD600
DT880 really are detail monsters - definitely brightest of the 3. Again - most realistic though would be HD600. At times DT880 can be a little too etched.
- Sound stage width = K701 > HD600/DT880
No question - K701 definitely wider with more separation. I really like them for classical and instrumental - but sometimes they suffer from not being totally realistic. DT880 and HD600 are about right IMO.
- Sound stage depth & imaging = HD600.
Hard to classify the K701 and DT880. The HD600 though is simply more holographic and gives more accurate spatial cues.
- Speed = DT880/K701 > HD600
Both DT880 and K701 seem to handle speed better than the HD600 - however for most of my music, speed is not a requisite so all of these cans are great.
- Comfort = DT880 >HD600/K701
DT880 in front but not by a lot. HD600 is very comfortable in it's own right - but I rank it with my K701 because they are lighter clamp + I have removed the bumps, and added a layer of very soft lambskin leather (with foam padding under it). My K701 are very comfortable after the mod.
Overall ranking - for me - HD600 = DT880 = K701
I know that's a cop-out, but I use all of them practically every day - just depends on what sort of mood I am in. They are each excellent headphones.
If you have some harsh recordings that won't stand up to a headphone with a high level of detail - maybe the DT880 may not be ideal. Their mid-range (while pretty well balanced) are not the focal point either - so consider that if vocals are important.
Parting observation - DT880 are far and away most detailed. HD600 are (for my ears) most realistic. K701 is somewhere in between - albeit with less than ideal bass.
Hope some of that helps.
BTW - thanks for the music links. Will leave you with a couple - more for the sound stage than anything else. Definitely different to what you may normally like but hope you enjoy. Both are fantastic on the HD600 in particular .
(I have the CD - the ripped version is better than the youtube upload)
The whole album (Portico Quartet) is a stunner.
Edited by Brooko - 5/22/13 at 3:15am