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Choosing between AKG 701, DT 880, AD900's and AH-D2000's

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I'm upgrading my headphones. Currently I have Sennheiser HD-555's and they have served me incredibly well for the past three or four years. But now I have a lot of extra money on my hands (~300 dollars at most) to get new audio equipment.

Right now, my top four are AKG 701's, ATH-AD900's, Beyerdynamic DT 880's and Denon AH-D2000's. Keep in mind that I won't be able to afford an amp immediately, I'll only have my X-Fi XtremeMusic. 

They'll be used for a little gaming but mostly music (according to last.fm: I'm into indie, alternative, experimental, folk and shoegaze). Any help weighing the pros and cons of these cans would be appreciated

post #2 of 25

The AD900 would be the easiest to drive since they don't need an amp. They will improve some with one though. DT880 and K701 will need an amp and the AD900 will sound superior than either without one.  Adding a good desktop amp into the equation will make the DT880 and K701 sound  better than the AD900 overall but if you want something that will sound good right away and not even have to worry about spending more in the future, the AD900 would be the best option.


The D2000 will most likely sound worse than all 3 due to being closed.

Edited by JayB18 - 9/12/10 at 2:38pm
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I should for sure go with the AD900 in this case? Even if I can get the Denon's for 205 dollars from amazon and then use a relatively cheap amp to drive them?

post #4 of 25
Originally Posted by munchiselleh View Post

So I should for sure go with the AD900 in this case? Even if I can get the Denon's for 205 dollars from amazon and then use a relatively cheap amp to drive them?

Well If choosing between open and closed phones, Id almost always go with open ones. Only get the D2000 if you need isolation or want a bassy headphone.  The DT880 and K701 with a good desktop amp will sound better than the AD900 with one so its up to you if you want to deal with worse sound now for better sound in the long run. THe AD900 could potentially save you a couple hundred in the long run if you decide not to add an amp in the future.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

I see what you're saying. I'm pretty sure it's between the AD900's and DT 880's (32 ohm) right now. What do you think about AD900 unamped vs 880's 32 ohm version?

post #6 of 25

Never, ever, use the K701 without an amp. I've tried it for myself and guess where it ended? (See signature)


The AD900 absolutely does not need an amp, while I'm not to sure about the DT880 32ohm. Some have said they still benefit greatly from an amp, yes, even the 32ohm edition.


Be sure if you decide on the AD900 though, you know what you are getting into. 10-15% improvement for nearly $200 more than the AD700. Don't get me wrong, it's probably a fabulous headphone, and many have loved it dearly, but if you want to save a bit of money the AD700 is almost all the AD900 is. AD900 is still an improvement though, but the margin is not as big as most would think.

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hmm. I definitely will consider that. But could you please explain to me the difference between the dt 880 32 ohm and dt 990 32 ohm? They cost almost the exact same, I might as well spring for the extra ten or so bucks right?





post #8 of 25

I cannot tell you verbatim the exact differences between the two, but I can tell you the basics. Hopefully someone can chime in a bit.


DT880 = More Neutral

DT990 = DT880 + More bass.


DT990 has more bass than the DT880 which some likely prefer, but some don't like. DT880 is definitely a more popular headphone though.


Search some of the thread around here, as many have "DT880 vs DT990" things going, and they can better explain the differences than I can.

post #9 of 25

All versions of the DT880 and DT990 really need an amp, even the 32 ohm from what I have read.  DT990 is less balanced than the DT880. It has boosted bass and treble with a recessed midrange. Soundstage is smaller as well.  DT880 has a much more balanced sound and a better soundstage.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately this is an incredibly hard decision for me to make. I dislike the idea of having "fun" headphones because it reminds me of the kids from my high school days that listened to skullcandy headphones with gimmicky bass that got old after a while. Granted, I don't listen to a lot of bass heavy music (except for a few specific bands like Have A Nice Life, which have awe inspiring bass lines that I don't want to have diminished by having inferior bass) but I still want headphones with good bass. Thing is, the bass on my 555's is enough to have my jaw drop during those songs, and according to a head room frequency response chart even the dt 880 32 ohm version kicks the shit out of the 555's bass. So I could only imagine what the dt 990 would sound like.


My main fear is that the dt 990's will be totally unbalanced and annoying and that they'll be confined to listening only to music with strong bass. 


Basically, will the overpowering bass muddle the highs and mids?

Edited by munchiselleh - 9/12/10 at 3:35pm
post #11 of 25

Currently own both the DT880 and K702, i can tell you the dt880 is superior in every way. K702 has a piercing high and very bass light even driven with an amp, so if you prefer more bass i don't think K702 is for you. DT880 though really stands out in my collection, everything just crisp and and the bass is amazing in quality and quantity. Don't know about the DT990 but if you prefer balance sound throughout the spectrum, get the DT880. 

Edited by vicktnguyen - 9/12/10 at 8:39pm
post #12 of 25

I recently purchased and ATH-AD900s. Currently running them through my sound card alone and they sound brilliant. Could only imagine they'll sound even better once i get my new dac and amp. They get a recommendation from me :)

post #13 of 25

ad900s if you like indie and acoustic. If you've got a good amp (a really good amp), the k702s will run circles around the ad900s, but you need synergy for that to happen. Unless it's the 600ohm version, I wouldn't recommend the dt880s.

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

So it would be a poor decision to buy the 32 ohm version of the dt880/990 over the ad900's?


Actually I just ran into a bit more money, what kind of budget amp would drive the 600 ohm versions of the dt880/990? the amp can't be too expensive (preferably sub 200 dollars or a bit over). Would an amped dt 990/880 250 ohm sound better than an unamped 32 ohm?

Edited by munchiselleh - 9/13/10 at 10:47am
post #15 of 25

From what i've read, beyers under 600 ohm aren't the best purchases.


They don't sound very good in comparison and aren't that much cheaper than the 600 ohm. 


I'd say go with the AD900 or D2000. 


If it were between the AD900 and the D2000 i'd go with the D2000 for it's modding capabilities. 

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