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Ultrasone HFi 780 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50 vs Other???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am new to the forum.  I found this site while browsing for headphone opinions.  I'm tired of buying cheap headphones and I want to purchase a quality pair......to me being preferably $150 or less, but I'd be willing to exceed that limit if I was convinced it would be worth it.  I've noticed several knowledgeable posts in these forums.  I was so impressed that I decided to register and try to find out if some of you could give me some advice.  It's just so hard to shop for headphones with all the options and preferences.  I wish I had a store nearby to try them out, but I don't, and I would like to avoid restocking fees. 

 

I will predominately be using the headphones with my mp3 player, which is a Sony Walkman X.  I don't know a whole lot about headphones, so please bear with me.  I started out with with an ipod, stock ear buds, and 128 cbr mp3s.  I didn't care for the ear buds at all, so I replaced them with some $40 Sony in-ear canals that kind of hung on the ears.  I liked these better due to SQ, bass, comfort, and they stayed in better.  Well, since then, I've re-ripped my music to 192 vbr and purchased the Sony Walkman X.  I did a bit of research and ended up buying some JBL Reference 410s, which I really enjoyed.  They were significantly better than my previous pairs of phones and I loved the added bass.  The only problem was that they weren't really comfortable and that they've recently broken.  The right ear piece came off the headband as I was putting them on.  I took really good care of them, so it must've been a quality issue.  So to sum up what I'm looking for for those of you who were kind enough to stay with me through here, this is what I'd like:

 

-$150 or less, preferably

-closed, over-the-head, either full-size or on-the-ear

-similar or better sound to the JBL Ref 410s

-equal or more bass than them, but not distorted at decent volumes

-quality phones that will last if I take care of them

-not too uncomfortable, although that varies.  I'd say my head and ears are above average in size.

-I'd also prefer a single-sided cord that isn't too long, but this definitely isn't a requirement

-I've also heard alot about amps, but I will be going without one

 

So, as you can see I'm using these just for personal use and fun, not anything that requires a flat response or too accurate.  As I mentioned, I prefer a bit of a thumping bass, which is what I've had the most trouble in figuring out.  One pair of phones may be too much bass for 1 person and not enough for someone else, which is why I'm hoping someone has heard the JBL Ref 410s.  Here's what I've been interested in so far: 

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Ultrasone HFi 780

Sony MDR-XB700/500/300

Sennheiser HD 228

 

I have heard great things about the 1st 2, but I'm worried that maybe I'm getting opinions from guys who may consider themselves audiophiles.  How do they compare to the JBLs as far as the bass goes?  If anyone can give me any kind of advice, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks for reading my post!

post #2 of 12

The 780s should be a step or two above the rest in terms of SQ, but the Sonys will have the most bass. The 780s are very easy to drive and do not need an amp (although they do improve with one). They aren't very comfortable, but they're not bad once the headband stretches out a bit. They are also a pretty aggressive headphone and some find them fatiguing due to the pronounced bass and highs.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have found the 780's refurbished for $200 and the M50's new for $115.  I'm guessing that the sound quality of the M50's would be good enough, I'm just not sure if the bass will be enough.  My walkman has 4 bass boost settings (0-3).  I had it set at 2 for the JBL's, and right now they're at 3 with the included phones, which I was told were pretty good for inclusions, and the bass is extremely disappointing.  Does anyone have any info on how the M50's respond to bass boosted eq?  

post #4 of 12

HFI 580 responds to bass boost FARRRRR better than the M50...  however, I use Cowon and Samsung mp3 players. They have insane equalizing capibilities

 

The HFI 780, on the other hand, were not for me.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

HFI 580 responds to bass boost FARRRRR better than the M50...  however, I use Cowon and Samsung mp3 players. They have insane equalizing capibilities

 

The HFI 780, on the other hand, were not for me.


Really? From what I've read, the M50's would never even need a bass boost, because they're so pronounced.

Unfortunately I can't speak from experience, since mine are still in the mail, but this is just from what I've researched.

post #6 of 12

People judge headphones too often by looking at FR graphs. I choose to see what it can really do but messing around with the bass equalizer on my Cowon and see how hard the headphone can hit. Also, to see when it will start distorting. The HFI 580 has been my best finding. The most detail to bass impact ratio in my mind. And yes, I have owned the XB500s and XB700s while having a Samsung with similar bass boost function as the Cowon.

 

The M50 has bass and a warm sound character, but it wasn't crisp sounding enough to me. Also the bass will never hit has hard as the HFI 580 can


Edited by wind016 - 8/17/10 at 2:20am
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

The 580s look good.  Found them for $160 new.  The only thing I heard that I didn't like about them is that they weren't recommended for ipod use.  I think the Sony Walkman X is more powerful than the ipod, but I could be wrong, or it may just not make enough of a difference.  Did you use the 580s unamped?  How much (rough percentage) did you have to jack the volume up to get an adequate amount of volume out of these phones?

post #8 of 12

The 580s are great.  I have both and consider the 580 to have the better quality bass.  For overall sound it comes down to personal preferences between the two and gear synergy.  As for boosting bass on either phone.  That's just sillyness IMO unless you have hearing loss.  

post #9 of 12

Sony's have tons of bass. but i find them a bit bulky. 

 

In this case, get the Ultrasones. You will like them. 

post #10 of 12

I just used the 580s through the Cowon S9. (I recommend the Cowon J3.) The S9 has more than enough volume. Maximizing the volume on the Cowon would be terribly loud.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp16 View Post

The 580s look good.  Found them for $160 new.  The only thing I heard that I didn't like about them is that they weren't recommended for ipod use.  I think the Sony Walkman X is more powerful than the ipod, but I could be wrong, or it may just not make enough of a difference.  Did you use the 580s unamped?  How much (rough percentage) did you have to jack the volume up to get an adequate amount of volume out of these phones?




Check out the thread 'Bass impact! that's all i ever wanted in life.' 580 bass impact is not enough for some of them through a regular equalizer...  I do miss hard hitting bass that breaks your balance, blurs your vision, and rocks your head sometimes too...  but yea, watch hearing

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

The 580s are great.  I have both and consider the 580 to have the better quality bass.  For overall sound it comes down to personal preferences between the two and gear synergy.  As for boosting bass on either phone.  That's just sillyness IMO unless you have hearing loss.  

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, wind016, you seem to know alot about what you're talking about and seem very passionate.  You've sold me on the 580s.  I've found them on ebay "new," open box, from a seemingly trusted seller for $130.  I guess I'm going to go ahead and take a leap of faith and make the purchase. 

post #12 of 12

thx...  i hope they are how you like, but please heed my warning about the Cowon mp3 player if you want more bass!

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