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which do i want? DT880, AD900, K701

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

hey guys, i've been coming here for ages reading threads so i thought i might join and get another opinion, especially since it often comes to personal preference.


currently im using a essence ST with the HD555, one thing id like to note is that i've read reviews saying these are weak on the bass and can be harsh sounding. i've been quite happy with the bass (ive done the "595 mod") and cant really comment on the harshness since i've not had many phones to compare them with but they sound pretty good.


i've bought a kit for the bottlehead crack transformer-less tube headphone amp and would like a new pair of headphones to suit this setup.


personally i prefer headphones which are light and open and i like the warmer/natural sound not so much technical. the music listened to would be a range, its mostly the electronic and older rock i will listen to.

in terms of genre:
electronic: ambient, psychill, trance, psytrance, vocal trance, progressive trance, liquid DnB, dubstep-like stuff
other music: black sabbath, pink floyd, tool, fischer-z rage against the machine, some classical.
metal: power, symphonic, folk


i've been leaning towards the k701/2


im located in australia and am currently contemplating

AD900 $323AUD local seller

DT880 600ohm version $249USD from amazon

K 701 $305ISD from amazon

K 702 $277USD from amazon (might as well get these instead of 701? same headphone but cheaper?)

at the moment the AUD/USD is pretty much 1:1 so yeah


also my mate is looking to upgrade his onboard sound with the hd485 i've recommended him essence st/x and the AD700, others seem to agree this would be a good combo though i've seen people here say the AD900 dont need amplification so they might be a better option? he listens to similar music as me



Edited by cdtoaster - 12/13/10 at 6:09am
post #2 of 23

None of those fit what you listen to very well.


DT990 would give you the kick needed for dubstep and electronic. I do believe the others are a bit too soft and polite for these genres.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

the 600ohm version? they would be 230 from amazon which is within my range

post #4 of 23

As much as the DT990 is geared towards the genres mentioned, they are NOT in any way shape or form warm. They are bright with a pretty solid bass impact not usual in bright headphones.

post #5 of 23

DT880/DT990 600-Ohm would be a match for your tube amp.


I really enjoyed the DT990 listening to similar music. They definitely will have alot more bass than your HD555, but they aren't really super bass heavy or muddy by any means, it's very controlled and works very well with metal/rock/trance/dnb. They were a smidge too bright for my tastes out of my SS amp, but the fact that you have a OTL tube amp should help smooth this out.


K701 would be a very poor matchup for the type of music you listen to - very bright, and even less bass than your HD 555.

Edited by Elanzer - 12/13/10 at 5:04am
post #6 of 23

There is a used pair of Denon D5000 in the FS forum that might be right up your alley. I believe they are listed at $325.

post #7 of 23

Yes, the K701 and K702 are more-or-less the same headphone, and neither would suit your preferred genres. I've only briefly listed to the AD900 (although I own the AD700) but it too probably won't deliver the bass you want. The DT880 would be OK, but (although the DT880 is probably the better all-around headphone) the DT990 might be better for your music. It looks like the HD650 runs closer to $550 down your way, but it might be worth saving for it or buying used. You could always sell your buddy your modded 555's.

post #8 of 23

The K701/2s would be a bad choice, as they fail to impress when it comes to rock and metal. And I wouldn't really describe them as bright, more like flat.

And they would probably be a bad pairing with the bottlehead amp.


I second the dt990s. If you can get past the sibilance, it is a remarkable pair of headphones with almost any genre.


As others have once told me before, if the range of cans you are considering are so large, its time to find out what you really want first. Try to find a store/friends/head-fi meets to try them as their sound signatures are VERY different.


Your music preferences do sway you more to the grados though :D

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replys so far peeps, there really is so much to learn.

it does seem though that i dont know/cant describe what i really want =\ especially since i have no experience with a wide range of headphones.

i might have to find a local audio meet, i live in a pretty big city so there should be a crew i can find.

from the posts though it looks as though the DT880 or DT990 suit me best from the list.

i dont really want to get secondhand ones but could save longer for the denons.

what is meant by the sibilance in the 990s? i think if there is a hissing sound it would drive me crazy especially if im lying back in a beanbag with the lights off and my eyes closed

post #10 of 23

Why not the big Senns? They have a warm sound I didn't find in the DT880 and K701.

post #11 of 23

I think ATH A950Limited (A950LTD) can suit your music, it's close back though.


or just go straight to Senn HD650.

post #12 of 23

Sibilance in the DT990s simply means that 's' sounds will sound pretty harsh, as with all the music in general. Some people don't seem to experience it though, especially with the 600 ohm version and good setups & interconnects.

post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by cdtoaster View Post

what is meant by the sibilance in the 990s? i think if there is a hissing sound it would drive me crazy especially if im lying back in a beanbag with the lights off and my eyes closed


It means that the higher frequencies (ie: cymbals) are over pronounced. It can be a bit exhausting and harsh on the ears over a long period of time with certain types of music. I never really found this to be a big problem with my DT990 with a SS amp, and a tube amp will help smooth this over. They were more or less a perfect all-rounder headphone to me until I got my T1.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

i had considered something like the HD650 but was told outright they were for classical not for what i listen to at all


depending on how its presented i dont think the sibilance would be too much of an issue, the only time i could see it be annoying if i listen to the metal for an extended period but i dont really do that. i'll keep a look out on the audio meet thread for my city, it look as though it will be in january if it is soon i will go there and im pretty sure someone has the DT990. if the meet is not for a while i'll jsut grab them. if i really dont like them ill just return them or sell/trade but i cant really imagine that happening.

post #15 of 23

If my words are worth anything, I can say that the DT990 has made me stop looking for a full-sized can. They are practically perfect for me. I don't wanna upgrade from them.

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