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DT990 vs HD650?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I'm in the market for a new pair of headphones, plus an amplifier. This post is mostly about headphone choice though.

I will be using my new headphones exclusively with my desktop computer, nothing else. I play some games, I listen to music, and I watch movies. In order of importance, I would like my headphones to be most suited for music, then movies/tv shows, and finally games. Actually, I dont really care if they sound crappy with games, lol.

As far as music goes, I have wide ranging tastes, but my favorite genre is rock. However, I also lisen to some acoustic, instrumentals, soft rock, and pop. The hardest rock songs I listen to are from bands like ACDC and Bon Jovi. I dislike metal, with one exception: Iron maiden. I do not listen to any rap or hip hop.

After a reasonable amount of search, I have narrowed my choices to two models: DT990 and HD650.

My last headphones were Sennheisers HD555 model. I had a good experience with them, but they broke eventually. One of the things I'm trying to understand about the HD650 and DT990 are the bass levels. From what I understand, they're both strong on the bass front, but the DT990 is stronger. While I like bass, too much bass might annoy me. If it helps, I thought the HD555 that I ran without an amp had pretty decent bass, although I might appreciate a bit more. On the other hand, bass way more than what the HD555 creates is probably something I don't need.

If anybody has used all three of these headphones, ie the HD555, HD650, and DT990, and could make direct comparisons and recommendations, it would really help me. I plan on using my new headphones for a long, long time, so I want to make sure I make the right choice smily_headphones1.gif

Thank yoU!

post #2 of 28

Welcome to Head-Fi. 

 

What's your budget for buying new headphones, and what equipment will you be plugging into? 

post #3 of 28

You might also want to check out something in the Grado line. The DT990 and HD650 are entirely different beasts.

 

What are you going to be using them with (source/amp)? What do you like in your sound?

post #4 of 28

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=563&graphID[]=853&graphID[]=2141

The HD 650s might have the right amount of bass for you. smily_headphones1.gif

 

They also have absolutely fantastic mids. 


Edited by Satellite_6 - 11/9/10 at 2:30pm
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

BUDGET: Around $350 max for the headphones. I can get either the HD650 or DT990 within this budget from amazon.com. Around $300ish for an amplifier. I haven't decided which amp though, so any suggestions in this regard are welcome.

SOURCE: I'm going to be using these headphones exclusively with my desktop. Never with an ipod or a phone or a laptop or a tv or anything else.

GRADO LINE: I'll take a look a them. I briefly did see a couple, but it seems like their models aren't circumaural in design. As silly as it might sound, I only want to consider circumaural headphones because I feel they offer a much greater comfort level, and I can be at the computer for a few hours on occasion.

WHAT I LIKE IN MY SOUND: This might be a little hard for me to describe since the HD555 are the only audiophile level headphones I've ever used. I like bass in my rock music, but I don't listen to rap or hip hop, so its possible I don't need too much bass. For what its worth, I foudn the bass levels of the HD555, which I used with my computer but without an amp, to be pretty good. However, I feel bass a little more than what the HD555 had to offer might be even better, but bass significantly higher than that might get overbearing. I do like to listen to soft, slow, melancholic songs as well, and I feel heavy bass can be a detriment to these.

I don't know how else to describe what sort of sound I like, haha. I don't think I would like neutral sounding headphones, I would much prefer something that makes the music come alive. I like clear treble, but too much treble can be annoying.

Some examples of bands I like:

Iron maiden (the ONLY metal band I will hear, I dislike everything else metal)
Led Zeppelin (ok I know some people say this is metal, I dont have a degree in music but I feel this is rock)
Bryan Adams
Bon Jovi
ACDC
Queen
Sigur Ros
Duaghtry
Pink Floyd
X Japan
Dire Straits
Rolling Stones
Sting/The Police
The Doors
U2

I hope this list gives you a rough idea of what sort of music I listen to. I also listen to a fair amount of pop and country, but theres no one band or singer from these genres whose songs I uniformaly like. And I LOVE listening to acoustic guitar songs. Pity there are so few of them frown.gif

I suppose I'm looking for headphones with clarity, good but not overbearing bass, well defined but not overtly sharp treble, and hopefully well defined sound across low, mid and high ranges. Am I hoping for too much?

post #6 of 28

If you like the sound of your Sennheisers, then I suggest you stay with the Sennheisers. the 650 is a great upgrade with the kind of bass you said you liked as satallite_6 stated. 

post #7 of 28

If you come from the HD555 I guess the DT990 is NOT for you. They may be simply to bright. Also the HD650 should have better tolerancy for different music genres and types of recordings. I could imagine the DT990 may sound too bright on any of brighter rock music. Just bear in mind that my opinion is generally based on what I read here on head-fi. However, I have heard the HD555 and I really doubt the DT990 would be good just because they are so different to what you are used to. Maybe a better headphone would be HD600 as it would be better allrounder than both of the above. I have HD580 which are supposed to be identical/nearly identical and rock with these cans... just rocks.biggrin.gif

post #8 of 28

I recently changed from sennheiser to dt990, let me tell you that they are bassy, as Professor said they are bright too, so you must remember that most of what you'll listen will have a u shaped curve, with high bass and high highs, for me they are perfect for rock, but if you're happy with the sennheiser bass you should go with the 6x0 series.

 

For movies the Beyers are great, the sub bass is great, the explosions sound huge. They are transparent, even with the extended bass you wont loose much detail, I haven't used them on games, but later today I'll use them with BlackOps, but with movies the sound is very 3d you can spot where things happen very easily.

post #9 of 28

No, but FWIR about the HD650 and DT990 you're not going to get the type of sound you want. You won't stand for the highs of the DT990 - and the HD650 is bassy and smooth sounding. I primarily listen to the same rock music you do - owned the HD555, HD650, HD580, and 15+ other headphones. I've searched for headphones for rock music (with sound stage) that do acoustic guitar justice. I like my HP910 (discontinued) and modded RX700 for this. The only other headphones that I would consider buying for this music would be the DT150 - FWIR it seems to fit the type of sound you described. I also might consider the FA-003 - but I don't know enough about it yet to pull the trigger. I suggest being patient and getting more input before choosing.   
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEnergy View Post

Am I hoping for too much?


Edited by 1Time - 11/9/10 at 6:32pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=563&graphID[]=853&graphID[]=2141

The HD 650s might have the right amount of bass for you. smily_headphones1.gif

 

They also have absolutely fantastic mids. 

 

Hmm, that's one reason I trust my ears more than frequency graphs. I found the HD650's to have much more bass quantity than the DT990s, but the bass on 990's was tighter with better impact.

 

I would agree that the DT990s are a bright headphone, but they were never sibilant on any of my setups, and I thought they were fantastic for rock and pop. The sound is forward and lively, while maintaining a large soundstage. I found the HD650 to be waaaay to laidback and mellow for rock music, to the point that they made the music boring. The DT990s kept the excitement and energy of the music.

 

If you definitely want to try a Sennhieser, take a look at the HD600. They're much more fitting to your genres of music, IMO, The HD600s retain the fun and energy of the DT990s, but with a smoother and fuller sound.

 

For whats its worth, I owned the DT990s the longest out of the three, but were replaced because I never used them once the HD600s came around. These two phones are more similar than they are different. The HD650s were short-lived because while fantastic at some things, just didn't cut it for rock music in my setup.
 

post #11 of 28

I don't trust those graphs completely either but the bass always seems accurate to me. . . 

 

Rock is one of the main genres I listen to and the HD 650s are fine for this. Just because you don't like their laid back sound doesn't mean they are bad for rock. 

 

My HD 485s are a bit funner to listen to but over time I came to appreciate the HD 650s laid-back sound. 


Edited by Satellite_6 - 11/9/10 at 6:52pm
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonsosnot View Post



 

Hmm, that's one reason I trust my ears more than frequency graphs. I found the HD650's to have much more bass quantity than the DT990s, but the bass on 990's was tighter with better impact.

 

I would agree that the DT990s are a bright headphone, but they were never sibilant on any of my setups, and I thought they were fantastic for rock and pop. The sound is forward and lively, while maintaining a large soundstage. I found the HD650 to be waaaay to laidback and mellow for rock music, to the point that they made the music boring. The DT990s kept the excitement and energy of the music.

 

If you definitely want to try a Sennhieser, take a look at the HD600. They're much more fitting to your genres of music, IMO, The HD600s retain the fun and energy of the DT990s, but with a smoother and fuller sound.

 

For whats its worth, I owned the DT990s the longest out of the three, but were replaced because I never used them once the HD600s came around. These two phones are more similar than they are different. The HD650s were short-lived because while fantastic at some things, just didn't cut it for rock music in my setup.
 


i've owned the DT990 and HD650 and pretty much agree with this.  i would also say the HD650 bass is a bit too lumpy and plumpy in contrast to the DT990, which is clean with a linear roll-off.

post #13 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

I don't trust those graphs completely either but the bass always seems accurate to me. . . 

 

Rock is one of the main genres I listen to and the HD 650s are fine for this. Just because you don't like their laid back sound doesn't mean they are bad for rock. 

 

My HD 485s are a bit funner to listen to but over time I came to appreciate the HD 650s laid-back sound. 


With something as subjective as audio, pretty much every statement is prefaced by "in my opinion" and closed with "your mileage may vary."

 

I just let the OP know my reasons for not liking the HD650 for rock music. What are the reasons you do like it? He needs all points of view to make an informed decision, and mine is definitely not the end-all, be-all! I believe there are quite a lot of folks on here that love the HD650 with rock.

post #14 of 28

Fair enough, I guess the reason I would give is that all though they are laid back they are also fairly lively and have relatively forward sounding mids. The source matters to, not that I've tried them on different sources, but when I changed the tubes on my amp the sound became much more musical and engaging, plenty so for me. Before I changed the tubes the sound was rather dull, but still not entirely boring

 

The HD 650s bass isn't lumpy. . . I don't find the bass to be that amaizng though, not as clear as the mids. 


Edited by Satellite_6 - 11/9/10 at 10:24pm
post #15 of 28

I had both.

The DT990 has punchier and more textured bass but it isn't as linear or as extended (deep) as the bass on the HD650s. I like both cans for bass, though the DT990 was more musical here (they also had more bass than the HD650s).

In terms of soundstage, the HD650 is better and sounds more open/layered/holographic, extending the image farther in front of the listener. The DT990s have a wider soundstage but with less height, forward depth, and layering.

The midrange is better on the HD650; not only more pronounced, but more detailed and natural.

They both have decent highs, although the DT990 is better in terms of quality. The DT990 has a lot more treble quantity as well. I ended up selling both my DT990s because of their excessive treble.

 

Compared to the Beyers, I find the HD650s scale higher with equipment upgrades and are more resolving in general.

 

Anyways, I agree with tonsosnot about the HD600s. I would choose those over both the DT990 and HD650 because they seem to strike a nice balance between the two.


Edited by Shahrose - 11/9/10 at 10:43pm
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