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Best headphones around $400

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 

I'm currently in search of the best headphones around $300-$500, maybe higher if it's really good.  I tried several of the recommended ones, and found problems with them, so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.  I currently have the DT990s.  The only thing I don't like is their sibilance.

 

Here's what I tried and what I thought of them:

 

AKG K702:

+Good detail

+Good sound balance

-Lacking slightly in bass impact and extension

-Unnaturally wide soundstage made music sound too broken up

-Very uncomfortable headband

 

Stax SR Lambda Pro (not mine and very expensive):

+Excellent detail and sound quality

+Excellent soundstage

+Excellent bass extension

-Lacking in bass impact

 

Beyerdynamic DT990 600 ohm:

+Good soundstage

+Excellent bass

-Lacking slightly in bass extension

-Annoying sibilance due to peak in response around 8-10kHz

 

Bose Triport:

+Good sensitivity

+Excellent bass extension

-Small soundstage

-Poor tracking

 

If I had to rate these not taking into account cost, I'd rate them:

SR Lambda Pro: 9.0/10

DT990: 8.0/10

K702: 7.5/10

Triport: 5.0/10


Edited by PointyFox - 7/25/10 at 7:47pm
post #2 of 73

Hmm...You should look into the Sennheiser HD650 and the Denon AHD2000 and the AHD5000 for around that price range.

post #3 of 73

I'll also throw in the Audio Technica AD2000. Though admittedly I haven't heard many cans in this price range.

post #4 of 73
Thread Starter 

I was thinking about getting HD650s, but there's a lot of reviews that put the DT990s ahead of them, and they're often cited as being slow and not very good for rock.  They're also $120 more.

post #5 of 73

I would seriously look into the HD-600. I've tried pretty much a dozen pairs under $400 and that's what I've settled on. A few years before that I tried the HD-650 and hated them. In the end I was so glad I took the risk and went with the HD-600s.

 

Believe it or not I actually bought these based on some frequency charts after having found what I thought was my preferred sound.

 

I wish someday I could see more people start with the HD-600 instead of the HD-650!

 

BTW I owned the DT-990 for two years straight, but had never tried out the HD-600. I liked the DT-990, but they have too much excessive detail for me and my version had very harsh highs. I eventually wanted to find something that I could listen to for a longer time without fatigue and the HD-600s did that for me.

 

I think the HD-600s would be a lot better then the HD-650s for rock. I listen to rock and they're perfectly fine for me. I actually haven't heard a genre where I thought that the HD-600 sounded bad with, unlike with say the AKG 701 and some other similar priced headphones.

post #6 of 73

Have you considered Grado for rock?  I suggest starting with the SR225 for around $200 new and if they aren't your cup of tea, you won't loose much reselling them here.  If they are your cup of tea, for around $400, you can get used RS2 and RS1 (if you're lucky).  If you're willing to wait, get the HF2 for $435.

post #7 of 73

+1 for ad2000, amazon has them for $489.99 right now which is a killer price!  

 

The ad2000 does every genre well, but most important to me is how it somehow does both Rock and Classical evenly well. 

 

It's weird that they often get overlooked so often, must be some kind of conspiracy. 

 

post #8 of 73

Agreed. I'd also recommend the ad2000s, unless you've got an amp that can handle the k701/2 or the hd650. And even then, my personal preference is the ad2000 for any kind of genre.

post #9 of 73

One more vote for the Senn HD 600, and they really open up with a APS v3 cable. Another option is a pre-owned Grado HF2.

post #10 of 73
Thread Starter 

I'm going to try the Denon AH-D2000 for $280.  Not too thrilled with the recent $80 increase in price.  It will arrive Wednesday.  I avoid Grado because they're very uncomfortable for me; and I try to order from places with good return policies like Amazon and Headroom.

post #11 of 73

I'm not too familiar with the denon line but the d2000 might be kind of a side step from your dt990. Were you looking for something that sounds better overall or just something that sounds different?

post #12 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigrock2150 View Post

I'm not too familiar with the denon line but the d2000 might be kind of a side step from your dt990. Were you looking for something that sounds better overall or just something that sounds different?


Both really.  I like the bass in the DT990s, but the treble is a too bright with the hump at 8-10kHz.  Sadly, I'm going from $230 DT990s to $280 D2000s.  I might end up keeping the DT990s if the D2000s don't do it for me.

post #13 of 73
Thread Starter 

I'm comparing them right now.

 

DT990:

More bass quantity and thump (100Hz hump)

Quicker bass

Bigger soundstage

More sound separation

 

D2000:

More lower bass

More midrange

Slightly more comfortable

Easier to adjust and seemingly higher build quality and easier to replace parts

 

 

Currently I'm in favor of the DT990s because of the better sound separation and lower price.

 

post #14 of 73

Quote:

Originally Posted by PointyFox View Post

I'm comparing them right now.

 

DT990:

More bass quantity and thump (100Hz hump)

Quicker bass

Bigger soundstage

More sound separation

 

D2000:

More lower bass

More midrange

Slightly more comfortable

Easier to adjust and seemingly higher build quality and easier to replace parts

 

 

Currently I'm in favor of the DT990s because of the better sound separation and lower price.

 

That's pretty much my thoughts on both of them (though I have the 250 ohm version) as well. What's your take on the highs for both?
 

post #15 of 73
Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I wish someday I could see more people start with the HD-600 instead of the HD-650!

 

 

I agree completely. They are even significantly cheaper.

 

@PF

 

Glad to see you liked the DT990s. The sibilance is one of the things that was brought up in your old thread. I'm sorry it didn't quite work out for you, but did you prefer the tonality overall of the DT990s to the K70X?

 

You should try HD600 if you still have that amp. I don't know if they will really shine well enough with the STX. I was using a 350mW amp with mine originally and it sounded great, then upgraded to a 2W+ balanced tube amp and it was a total shock at the improvement.

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