Originally Posted by pp312
I think every headphone listener should go to a symphony concert at least once, if only for ten minutes, just to get a feel for what a live orchestra sounds like. It's fine to like particular phones for particular genres, but I have to grit my teeth when I read high praise of certain Grado, AKG and AT phones and then read comments such as was recently posted: "The HD595 is just no good on music." Whatever phone you may like for whatever type of music, the first thing you realise in the presence of live music heard from a reasonable distance is how well balanced the higher end Sennheiser phones are, and how over-bright most of the other phones recommended here are. The 650 is probably the most realistically balanced, but the 595 comes close too, just perhaps from a closer perspective. Phones like the AKG 702, AT AD900 etc sound to me nothing like the balance heard from a live orchestra. Instruments just aren't that sharp sounding. Please, those who think phones like the 595 are "all midrange", get along to your local concert hall, treat yourself to some great music and find out what live instruments sound like.
Unless of course you don't really care.
Well, I have some sympathy for this, but the problem is there is no one concert hall sound! The balance in the hall can vary greatly depending on where you sit.
I go to concerts in NYC and on vacation in London (Barbican, RAH, Southbank center) and Monte Carlo (MC Philharmonic). I have sat all over the hall, but personally enjoy the sound best in the front half of the venue.
I heard Mahler 9 at Avery Fisher from front row center and it was the most overwhelming sonic experience. The sound there is powerful, with a brighter treble balance than further back but with the bass to balance. With no treble artifacts, that brightness is never harsh, just beautifully exciting.
So there is a variety of balances that could be called "concert hall sound". It's a matter of where YOU like to sit...