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M50 vs D2000 for people looking for an upgrade

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I am writing this from a beginner's perspective for beginners. If some newbie in the future comes across this post before posting a "what headphone to buy for $100 - $200 dollars" post, he/she might find this useful. Alternatively, it might also help people who are slightly hesitant to upgrade from M50 to D2000 and are contemplating whether it's worth the upgrade.

 

Let me make it clear - If someone already loves his M50 and is looking for a relatively cheap upgrade, don't hesitate to get the D2000. I hesitated to get them as I already own the M50 and wanted to wait for a big upgrade to HD650. But after an impulse buy, I have been listening to them for the past 6 hrs. I am very convinced that D2000 is worth every buck I paid for it on Amazon and is surely a major upgrade from M50. I don't know how burn-in is going to change the sound, but I would have to say that I didn't stop smiling since I've put them on.

 

A comparison for newbies:

 

Test setup: foobar -> Musiland monitor 02 -> Little Dot I+ (M 8083/ LT1364) -> M50/D2000

 

My scores:

 

Bass:

M50 8.75/10  D2000 9/10

If you love bass, you can't go wrong with either of these cans. Lovely bass - probably a bit more tighter on the D2000s.

 

Mids:

M50 8/10  D2000 8.5/10

Yes, I don't find the mids in D2000 to be recessed at all. The vocals are very enjoyable on either of these phones IMO. The vocals on D2000 sound slightly more lively to my ears though.

 

Highs:

M50 7/10 D2000 8.5/10

I am very sensitive to highs and find the highs in the M50 to be slightly harsh and piercing. I know that it is strange, but that is what I find them to be. On the other hand, the highs in D2000 are very smooth.

 

Comfort:

M50 8/10 D2000 10/10

D2000 is nothing short of revolutionary as far as comfort goes. Big head, fat head, small head - it fits one and everyone.

 

Portability:

M50 8.5/10 D2000 6.5/10

D2000 is not portable by any standard. M50 is big too but it does fine.

 

Overall score for sound from Zune without any amp:

M50 8/10 D2000 8/10

I would'nt recommend the upgrade if you don't want to get an amp. IMO, D2000s don't show the possible tightness in bass and smoothness in highs unless you amp them. Also, mids come slightly forward upon amping.

 

Overall score with amp:

M50  8.5/10 D2000 9.25/10

M50 doesn't benefit much but D2000 definitely does.

 

Conclusion:

If you have an amp, don't hesitate to get the D2000. If you don't, wait until you save enough to get an amp and then get the D2000.

 

I am no expert but I enjoy listening to music. I can't comment on how accurate these cans are. All these scores are only based on how much I enjoy each aspect of the music from these cans.

For people wondering what music I used for comparison, I tried Kraftwerk's Autobahn, Kraftwerk's The Man Machine, Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns, U2's Joshua Tree, Radiohead's KidA, Enya's Paint the Sky with Stars and Michael Jackson's Thriller.

 

I'll add another column for HD650 when I get them sometime next year. Hopefully, someone will find this useful sometime in the future smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by proteinpig - 10/27/10 at 10:50pm
post #2 of 15


Funny how we all prefer different sound signatures. When I had the m50, I found the opposite to be true. That while being relatively balanced, there was a slight tilt toward the low end, and the highs were somewhat recessed relative to the mids and bass. I thought it was an unfatiguing sound signature - if anything, I found it a little boring. Just shows you how personal preference can vary among individual users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proteinpig View Post

 

Highs:

M50 7/10 D2000 8.5/10

I am very sensitive to highs and find the highs in the M50 to be slightly harsh and piercing. I know that it is strange, but that is what I find them to be.

post #3 of 15

I'm glad someone finally compared the two, but your review reassured me of what I assumed, the D2000 is not worth more than 2x the cost of the M50.

 

JxK - M50 boring? Compared to Grados, yes, compared to AKG, Senn, Beyer...no.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post


Funny how we all prefer different sound signatures. When I had the m50, I found the opposite to be true. That while being relatively balanced, there was a slight tilt toward the low end, and the highs were somewhat recessed relative to the mids and bass. I thought it was an unfatiguing sound signature - if anything, I found it a little boring. Just shows you how personal preference can vary among individual users.

 

Very true (probably more so on the either ends of the freq spectrum)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

I'm glad someone finally compared the two, but your review reassured me of what I assumed, the D2000 is not worth more than 2x the cost of the M50.

 

JxK - M50 boring? Compared to Grados, yes, compared to AKG, Senn, Beyer...no.


I wouldn't say they are not worth 2x the cost. I would rather say they don't sound 2x as good. I believe that they are surely a tier above the M50. Probably one of the best bang for the buck phones at $200 range (along with the members of Beyer/Grado family).

I see that you haven't tried them yet. IMO you should definitely try them once. They sound very sweet.

post #5 of 15

I still want to try them, but I'm not sure what I would get out of them. I use the M50 for portability, pop, rnb and hiphop and HD580 for everything else. I can't imagine they are better and open sounding than my 580. They are about the only midrange phones I haven't tried, so I guess I owe it to myself. But all I ever read is that the mids are recessed and I do find the M50 recessed for some stuff and that is my main issue with all Beyers. Senns just do mids the right way.

post #6 of 15

Can anyone elaborate the sound signature of the D2000? Would one be safe to say that the D2000 have the same laid back warm sound signature as the M50 except an improvement version?  Or does the D2000 have a more aggressive sound/more aggressive bass? 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

I still want to try them, but I'm not sure what I would get out of them. I use the M50 for portability, pop, rnb and hiphop and HD580 for everything else. I can't imagine they are better and open sounding than my 580. They are about the only midrange phones I haven't tried, so I guess I owe it to myself. But all I ever read is that the mids are recessed and I do find the M50 recessed for some stuff and that is my main issue with all Beyers. Senns just do mids the right way.

 

I have heard only two Senns - HD555 and PX100 (which I use as my portable cans). I find the D2000 to have probably very minutely recessed mids "compared to" HD555. The low end and the highs are much better on the D2000.

 

@soundeffect: IMO D2000 is warmer than M50 with more aggressive bass and smoother highs. Both the cans have similar mid-range though.

post #8 of 15

Thanks proteinpig,

 

your description of he D2000 does sound sweet.  The M50 bass can be slow sometime, but I like every other part of the M50 sound frequency.  Base on your description I might grab one and maybe sell the M50. I find sometime the M50 can be uncomfortable.  The padding is a little on the thin side, clamp for are slightly tight, and the leatherette can produce sweat after 1 hr.  So if the D2000 live the hype I'm going to keep those unless I find out the D1100 is just as good as the D2000.  I'm sort of sad I might departure from the M50 since they have been really really good to me.

post #9 of 15

hey good job, i also didn't know the m50 highs can be harsh, my ears thank you.  glad you are liking your denon,  when i first got mine, denon  blew me away watching some movies, but it wasn't until i properly amped  them.  i have yet to find anything close in comfort and none ive tested can beat its punch

cheers


Edited by RockinCannoisseur - 10/14/10 at 5:59pm
post #10 of 15

M50 highs harsh? Wow, I think i've heard everything now. Even the HD-650 being too bright. Of course I don't agree with this and that's OK. I'm very picky with the high frequencies and I don't find them anywhere near harsh. I don't think it's good to skip out on the M50 because of someone thinking this. This seems to go against what nearly everyone else has said. The M50's are so cheap that it's worth the risk.

 

To me, other then the bass at times, the M50 is VERY non-fatiguing. Even more so then the SRH-840.  I do find the highs on the SRH-840 to be slightly harsh at times and headphone is considering to be somewhat "dark", which makes no sense to me. My ears cannot handle the highs of a headphone like the Grado 325i and some Beyer headphones. I can't even stand my SR-80 for more then an hour because of this before. Luckily modding it fixed that.

 

I'm curious though, which headphone between the M50 and D2000 have the more forward mids? I returned my D2000 because of trouble hearing some vocals, but I've heard the bass gets tamed a bit after burn in. Maybe that makes the mids more clear. Basically I'm not willing to keep any headphone with even slighty recessed mids. The D2000 still might be worth a second chance from me. I think when I tried them 8 months ago I didn't burn them in long enough! The bass was just too much for me. I felt they even had more bass then the M50, but maybe not. It also seemed like the bass of the D2000 was not very well controlled, but maybe it is. It's hard to remember.

 

I found the M50 to be a good headphone overall, but just too much bass for my music. I was able to deal with any other negatives of the headphone. There's isn't many. I just prefer more forwards mids and less bass, that's all. I must be one of the only people here who didn't love the M50.

 

I also don't seem to mind a lot of bass if it's very well controlled. I was perfectly OK with the amount of bass on the HFI-680 and DT-770 32 ohm, so something with similar amounts of bass would be good to me.

 

post #11 of 15

I'm wondering if there are different sound signature for different production runs of the m50's because my brand new pair (over 100hrs burn in now) does sound somewhat bright, and the bass is not overpowering at all.  

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

@rockincannoisseur - thank you

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VulgarDisplay View Post

I'm wondering if there are different sound signature for different production runs of the m50's because my brand new pair (over 100hrs burn in now) does sound somewhat bright, and the bass is not overpowering at all.  

 

 x 2. Mine came in a Gray box (as opposed to a blue box) and the vendor told me that's it's new stock.

 

 

@tdockweiler - I find it strange too. People have complained about bloated bass in M50 but I have never seen many people complain about harsh highs. I like them but I do find them a bit fatiguing and bright. I convince myself from this graph. The M50 has a peak at ~10K and I think my ears are sensitive to that freq. It happens only with a few recordings that play fine with D2000. Or, it may just be that the new batch is slightly brighter. We may never know if that's the case unless one of you experienced heads goes back and gets a new pair of M50.

 

BTW IMO HD650 might be just the perfect match for you. I would have got them had I not spent so much money on other stuff already. But , I am very very happy with my D2000. They are indeed great headphones.

 

headphone.png

post #13 of 15

I got my D2000 almost 2 weeks ago. I really have nothing bad to say about them. IMO, I don't think the bass is loose and flabby. It's not as tight as grado's bass, but its not too loose and out of control. But these headphones are definitely bass heavy, in a good way. I'm still able to listen to the rest of the sound spectrum. I don't have the M50, but I've heard many good things about them. The only other closed headphones I have to compare with is the D1001. To my ears, the D1001 has uncontrolled, flabby bass. The bass is so uncontrolled in fact, that it covers up the mids and you end up only hearing bass and treble. The D2000 on the hand, has cleaned up sound overall and has really controlled the bass. Another big thing worth mentioning, is that the D2000 sounds very open and spacious for close headphones. It doesn't have the typical "in your head" sound like other closed headphones do. 

 

As of now, they are one of my favorite headphones. I can listen to them for hours without listeners fatigue and at the same time not getting bored. I think the mids are still slightly recessed though. I'm a grado fan, and I personally cannot stand recessed mids, but in the case of the D2000 it sounds natural and does not bother me. If the mids really bother you, you can use an equalizer and increase 3-6 db at around 1-3K

post #14 of 15

From my experience the D2000 also improves a lot with an amp. If the M50 is comparable to the D1001, then it probably wouldn't improve much with an amp. 

 

I wonder if the D2000 sounds better with the little dot mkI+ than the mkIII. Even though the mkIII is not meant to be used with lower impedance headphones, I think it sounds great with the D2000. 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amp2xpand View Post

I got my D2000 almost 2 weeks ago. I really have nothing bad to say about them. IMO, I don't think the bass is loose and flabby. It's not as tight as grado's bass, but its not too loose and out of control. But these headphones are definitely bass heavy, in a good way. I'm still able to listen to the rest of the sound spectrum. I don't have the M50, but I've heard many good things about them. The only other closed headphones I have to compare with is the D1001. To my ears, the D1001 has uncontrolled, flabby bass. The bass is so uncontrolled in fact, that it covers up the mids and you end up only hearing bass and treble. The D2000 on the hand, has cleaned up sound overall and has really controlled the bass. Another big thing worth mentioning, is that the D2000 sounds very open and spacious for close headphones. It doesn't have the typical "in your head" sound like other closed headphones do. 

 

As of now, they are one of my favorite headphones. I can listen to them for hours without listeners fatigue and at the same time not getting bored. I think the mids are still slightly recessed though. I'm a grado fan, and I personally cannot stand recessed mids, but in the case of the D2000 it sounds natural and does not bother me. If the mids really bother you, you can use an equalizer and increase 3-6 db at around 1-3K


D2000 FTW. I hope people are not discouraged by the flabby bass and the recessed mids complaints. I was concerned when I bought them and thought of returning them after a week if I didn't like them. But, these are not going anywhere anytime in the future.

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