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post #23476 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caessa View Post

Hail head-fiers!

 

I've been a long time lurker and connoisseur of low-mid ranged closed supra aural headphones (think ~$300 or less).  I'm finally interested in taking the plunge into the open around-ear headphone arena, and I'm looking for a good starting point.  Here's what I'm looking for:

 

  • Budget - $400 or less
  • High detail, expansive soundstage
  • Warm sounding, well-presented bass/sub-bass.
  • Amplifier if necessary (haven't needed one yet).  They will be used exclusively on my desktop PC.

 

The Sennheiser HD650 sounds perfect for what I'm looking for, but unfortunately it's slightly out of my grasp price-wise, and from what I've been reading it sounds like I'd probably also need to spend money on an amp to power it.  My question is this:  Are there any open cans out there that sound similar to the HD650s that would fit the budget? Would it be recommended to give the HE-400s a shot?

 

A second, slightly-related question:  Does anyone know of any nice audio stores that I could go to to audition some of the higher-end headphones out there?  I live in the Milwaukee area and haven't had any luck here (but I could be missing something). I'd be willing to drive down to Chicago if necessary.

 

Thanks in advance!


If you're willing to compromise on the bass, the Audio Technica ATH-AD900 is great choice for just over $200.  It does not require an amp, which you will need to get the most out of the HD 650 or HE 400.  It has a bigger sound stage than both the Senn & HifiMan.

 

You might want to check this out (which discusses all three cans):

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-57-headphones-compared-update-hifiman-he-400-added-12-24-12


Edited by KG Jag - 1/16/13 at 11:14pm
post #23477 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

HD600. biggrin.gif  Used HD650 would also fit your budget.

Yeah I should have mentioned it, it's definitely one I am considering.  My only concern is that it's not as warm-sounding as the HD650s (that is, based on what I've read here).  Thanks for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


If you're willing to compromise on the bass, the Audio Technica ATH-AD900 is great choice for just over $200.  It does not require an amp, which you will need to get the most out of the HD 650 or HE 400.  It has a bigger sound stage than both the Senn & HifiMan.

 

You might want to check this out (which discusses all three cans):

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-57-headphones-compared-update-hifiman-he-400-added-12-24-12

Hey thanks for the suggestion!  That one had slipped under the radar for me.  It's interesting that the ATH-AD900 and the HE-400 are both among the very few headphones that received an A+ rating (along with the HD600 as a third option).  With regards to amplification, it seems as though they both have the same impedance (35 ohms) and the reviewer recommended amplification for both of them.  In fact, he seemed to indicate that the AD900 benefited from an amp even more than the HE-400s did.  I'm not saying that you're wrong, but could you expand on the suggestion that the HE-400 would need an amp while the ATH-AD900 would not?

 

Once again, I appreciate the replies :o


Edited by Caessa - 1/17/13 at 12:43am
post #23478 of 29491

Hi,

I'm pretty new to the whole hi-fi thing, but I'm a big music fan and I always felt the need to go a little beyond what listening music through a laptop or an mp3 player could offer. I started by dropping mp3 for lossless formats, but cheap headphones and a poor sound card from my notebook are still pretty penalizing.
So I was evaluating two options, and I'd like your opinion since you are by far more experienced than me in the matter.
The budget is pretty elastic, I had in mind to either buy a DAC and a decent pair of headphones, or to go with the NuForce Icon HDp and the Sennheiser HD650. The latter would be more expensive I guess, but I was thining about buying them second hand (here on the forum possibly).
Would the second option be overkilled? Would it really make a difference from a good DAC plus a decent pair of headphones that need to amp for some untrained ears?

post #23479 of 29491
Help me out if you can please.
My current setup is sennheiser hd 600 powered by a asus xonar essence.
I was wondering if it would be worth it to use a 200-300$ dollar amp in between the two?
Id like to know if its really going to be a big difference with say a dot mk.iii, and if so would I be better off using an external dac? If I were to do that does the asus card serve any purpose?

So long story short tell me what you would do and if it involves getting any new equipment what do you recommend within a 200-500$ range.

Thanks for looking!
post #23480 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by PereUbu View Post

Hi,

I'm pretty new to the whole hi-fi thing, but I'm a big music fan and I always felt the need to go a little beyond what listening music through a laptop or an mp3 player could offer. I started by dropping mp3 for lossless formats, but cheap headphones and a poor sound card from my notebook are still pretty penalizing.
So I was evaluating two options, and I'd like your opinion since you are by far more experienced than me in the matter.
The budget is pretty elastic, I had in mind to either buy a DAC and a decent pair of headphones, or to go with the NuForce Icon HDp and the Sennheiser HD650. The latter would be more expensive I guess, but I was thining about buying them second hand (here on the forum possibly).
Would the second option be overkilled? Would it really make a difference from a good DAC plus a decent pair of headphones that need to amp for some untrained ears?

Hello there, welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet!  tongue_smile.gif

 

First of all, what kind of music genres do you listen to? Headphones often have a kind of sound signature that you may or may not like depending on the type of music you listen to. The HD650 tends to be a very relaxing, laid-back, and warm-sounding headphone.

 

Second of all, the audio you hear at the end of the "audio gear pathway" will depend on the system.

Source of music -> DAC -> amplifier -> headphones -> your ears

 

 

You upgrading your source from MP3's to FLAC is a good start in the audio chain. From my personal experiences, most DAC's tend to be pretty good these days and an amplifier powering a headphone makes more of a difference (again, this is what I've found for the most part, I'm sure some people will disagree).

 

That being said, the amplifier and the headphones can make a big difference in audio quality. A poorly driven headphone with a non-suitable amplifier might sound kind of bad (AKG K 701 being powered by a cheap portable media player for example). A properly driven headphone with a better amplifier will most likely sound much better (AKG K 701 being powered by an Objective 2 for example). Depending on the headphone, certain amps may sound better than others. Your personal tastes also play a factor into the whole "audiophile" hobby. A neutral amp such as the Objective 2 might sound good to me, but it might sound too sterile and non-musical to another who prefers the sound of a tube amp.

 

Amps aside, I think the biggest change in sound quality for untrained ears comes from the headphone itself (the sound signature thing I was talking about). Proper amping only allows the headphone sound more like itself/how it's supposed to sound.


Edited by miceblue - 1/17/13 at 12:51am
post #23481 of 29491

Hi All,

 

Firstly, I've found this site to be a great source of information but I'm still a little stuck. 

 

Music genres: Mostly Indie, punk, rock but I also listen to generic pop and hiphop.  Additonally, playing drums in a pipeband, I listen to bagpipe music and drumming only tracks too.

Portable: Yes but size isn't really an issue for me.

Price range: The headphones I'm looking at are around the £150 ($250) mark but could go higher.

Amped: If need be then yes.

Closed/Open: Closed.

Headphone preference: I normally prefer to have a fair bit of bass no matter what I listen too.

Used with: Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad 3. 

 

The two phones I'm interested in are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50S (straight cable) and the AKG K550.  The amp I'd probably purchase would be the FiiO E11 as a DAC isn't important.

 

If anyone could offer an opinion I'd appreciate it or if anyone has an alternative(s) then that'd be great.
 

post #23482 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Hello there, welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet!  tongue_smile.gif

 

First of all, what kind of music genres do you listen to? Headphones often have a kind of sound signature that you may or may not like depending on the type of music you listen to. The HD650 tends to be a very relaxing, laid-back, and warm-sounding headphone.

 

Second of all, the audio you hear at the end of the "audio gear pathway" will depend on the system.

Source of music -> DAC -> amplifier -> headphones -> your ears

 

 

You upgrading your source from MP3's to FLAC is a good start in the audio chain. From my personal experiences, most DAC's tend to be pretty good these days and an amplifier powering a headphone makes more of a difference (again, this is what I've found for the most part, I'm sure some people will disagree).

 

That being said, the amplifier and the headphones can make a big difference in audio quality. A poorly driven headphone with a non-suitable amplifier might sound kind of bad (AKG K 701 being powered by a cheap portable media player for example). A properly driven headphone with a better amplifier will most likely sound much better (AKG K 701 being powered by an Objective 2 for example). Depending on the headphone, certain amps may sound better than others. Your personal tastes also play a factor into the whole "audiophile" hobby. A neutral amp such as the Objective 2 might sound good to me, but it might sound too sterile and non-musical to another who prefers the sound of a tube amp.

 

Amps aside, I think the biggest change in sound quality for untrained ears comes from the headphone itself (the sound signature thing I was talking about). Proper amping only allows the headphone sound more like itself/how it's supposed to sound.

 



Hahaha yeah, I guess my wallet would like it better if I stick with mp3s and cheap headphones :P
I mostly listen to rock, but it's a pretty various genre. I like experimental rock, progressive, psychedelic rock, krautrock, blues rock, rockabilly, hardcore, proto-punk, post-punk, alternative rock, no-wave, industrial, noise.
Do you think that the Sennheiser HD650 driven by the Nuforce Icon HDp would be a good choice in my case?

post #23483 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caessa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

HD600. biggrin.gif  Used HD650 would also fit your budget.

Yeah I should have mentioned it, it's definitely one I am considering.  My only concern is that it's not as warm-sounding as the HD650s (that is, based on what I've read here).  Thanks for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


If you're willing to compromise on the bass, the Audio Technica ATH-AD900 is great choice for just over $200.  It does not require an amp, which you will need to get the most out of the HD 650 or HE 400.  It has a bigger sound stage than both the Senn & HifiMan.

 

You might want to check this out (which discusses all three cans):

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-57-headphones-compared-update-hifiman-he-400-added-12-24-12

Hey thanks for the suggestion!  That one had slipped under the radar for me.  It's interesting that the ATH-AD900 and the HE-400 are both among the very few headphones that received an A+ rating (along with the HD600 as a third option).  With regards to amplification, it seems as though they both have the same impedance (35 ohms) and the reviewer recommended amplification for both of them.  In fact, he seemed to indicate that the AD900 benefited from an amp even more than the HE-400s did.  I'm not saying that you're wrong, but could you expand on the suggestion that the HE-400 would need an amp while the ATH-AD900 would not?

 

Once again, I appreciate the replies :o


The Ohm rating alone does not tell the whole story for any can.  I can play my AD900 right out of a CD player and it sounds great.  Also see the buying guides linked in the opening post of this thread.  Both rate it as a "1" or "amp unnecessary".  That's not to say that an amp won't scale them up a bit.

 

The HE-400 are plenars, efficient for a pleanar, but plenars none the less.  Their sensativity is rated at 92.5 dB (compared to 100 dB for the AD900).  They crave some power; not a great deal (like the HE-6 or even the HE-500), but some.

post #23484 of 29491

Hi guys, first post here for me!

OK. Currently my best cans are a set of modded HD280s that I've had for 4-5 years now. I love them. I have a few other cans around, some of them from much research and deliberation stalking this forum.

My Phillips HP250 died some weeks ago, and I threw them out. They weren't the best headphones in terms of quality. But for what they were, I really enjoyed the type of very thick padded/warm sound the provided. My replacement for them, I want a simliar sound. It was almost like listening to a tube amp (but obviously not exactly the same). The headphones should deliver the full audio spectrum and be reasonably balanced (not too much V EQ). I also liked the fact that they were OPEN, so they produced a wide soundstage and were likely easier to engineer.

The way the HP250s generated that sort of unique sound/distortion was by having a small diaphragm for sound, and having that sound resonate through a very large chamber. THis produced a nice sound. I always have the modded HD280s for accuracy and pure clarity. THe HP250s were certainly not clear.

Currently, I've been looking at:

phillips HP 890 (now unabailble)
Phillips HP 910... I hope these run on the same principle as the old HP250s.
JVC HARX 700
JVC HARX 900

My focus is on value for money, and I want headphones in a similiar price range as the ones listed above... unless there's other very good value for money suggestions. I've heard a LOT of other headphones. I know people will suggest the ATH-700. They were nice in their padding and thicknes, but a little too bright /warm (emphasis the higher end of the mids). Also, they had virtually no bass. Hence, I don't like them for their lack of representation of the full spectrum.

post #23485 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


Agreed--you need a good and fairly powerful amp (and dac or dac/amp depending on your music/sound sources) to hear what the HD 650 and T1 offer.  The easier to drive 598 is an excellent can, but at least a tier below the other two.

thank you KG Jag and zeinharis. i am going to sell 598. it is really very good looking imo and sounds GREAT (to me) !!!!!

 

i am choosing an amp now. A1 is an easy option to go with T1 and HD650. as i am from australia, so the choices are limited. i want something below $1k (shipping included). i can get A1 from amazon, very convenient. but i know A1 is not popular, and people all recommend tubes (wa2) to go with T1. however, i dont have many options available. 

 

do you think A1 (at $750 shipped) will be a fine match to T1 and HD650, in terms of sound quality and value? 

 

these days, i am using Fiio 17 to amp HD650. definitely not ideal, but better than nothing. as to T1, well, i can do nothing with it at the moment. 

post #23486 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattimis View Post

Help me out if you can please.
My current setup is sennheiser hd 600 powered by a asus xonar essence.
I was wondering if it would be worth it to use a 200-300$ dollar amp in between the two?
Id like to know if its really going to be a big difference with say a dot mk.iii, and if so would I be better off using an external dac? If I were to do that does the asus card serve any purpose?

So long story short tell me what you would do and if it involves getting any new equipment what do you recommend within a 200-500$ range.

Thanks for looking!


Senns responded well with upgrades on amp/DACs. I've never tried the ASUS so i'll better off with DACport or Matrix Mini Portable if i want a simple all in one DAC/amp, or go with DACport LX + Schiit Asgard/Graham Slee Novo

post #23487 of 29491

Hello all,

 

I've been looking for a new pair of cans for the past few weeks, but being an entry-level audiophile I've had a rough time narrowing down my choices.

 

I would really appreciate your guys help.

 

I am musician and currently own a Bose (I know...). What I am looking for is a HIFI closed can (for isolation from exterior sounds), easily portable ( a bulkish can won't be a problem, but a pliable one would be great), ranging from 100 to 250 $, for all sorts of music (but mainly rock, soul, folk, blues, jazz, pop, latin). I am a heavy user (on average 6 hours a day - at a low volume) so confort is a big issue. Finally, durability is also a big win (my Bose has given up on me after 2 years).

 

Now the challenge : I am in Paris, so all is not available to me (though we'll probably be touring in the US in a couple of months - I could wait a little if a certain model turns out to be just the one I need).

 

Finally, I don't have an amp, but I am considering buying one (I mostly listen to music on my Macbook Pro, a old office Dell, and my Samsung Galaxy II). 

 

Mostly, I want to able to hear musical details better , that brings a song's production closer to the ears, and be able to do so confortably in the subway or at home all day long. 

 

So far I've narrowed down a couple of available phones in Paris. Do you think any of these (or others) suits my needs ?

 

AKG K 701 (246€)

Beyerdynamic DT 1350 (250€) (tough I am not sure about supra-aural cans)

Beyerdynamic TP 50 (238€)  (same)

SHURE SRH 940 (219€)

KRK KNS 640 (100€)

KOSS Pro DJ 100 (55€)

V Moda Corssfade M80 (179€)

Beyer DT 770 pro 80 OHMS (on sale for  145€, but is it portable ?)

 

Thanks a lot!

 

post #23488 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Looking for a good closed classical phone for ~$300 for my dad. I was thinking the Sony MDR-1R or the Mad Dogs(I would give him my FiiO E11((not sure if he's fine with carrying the amp around though)) ) Any other recommendations from other people?


Is this to be used unamped from something like an iPod?

iPad.

post #23489 of 29491
Quote:
Originally Posted by titofr View Post

Hello all,

 

I've been looking for a new pair of cans for the past few weeks, but being an entry-level audiophile I've had a rough time narrowing down my choices.

 

I would really appreciate your guys help.

 

I am musician and currently own a Bose (I know...). What I am looking for is a HIFI closed can (for isolation from exterior sounds), easily portable ( a bulkish can won't be a problem, but a pliable one would be great), ranging from 100 to 250 $, for all sorts of music (but mainly rock, soul, folk, blues, jazz, pop, latin). I am a heavy user (on average 6 hours a day - at a low volume) so confort is a big issue. Finally, durability is also a big win (my Bose has given up on me after 2 years).

 

Now the challenge : I am in Paris, so all is not available to me (though we'll probably be touring in the US in a couple of months - I could wait a little if a certain model turns out to be just the one I need).

 

Finally, I don't have an amp, but I am considering buying one (I mostly listen to music on my Macbook Pro, a old office Dell, and my Samsung Galaxy II). 

 

Mostly, I want to able to hear musical details better , that brings a song's production closer to the ears, and be able to do so confortably in the subway or at home all day long. 

 

So far I've narrowed down a couple of available phones in Paris. Do you think any of these (or others) suits my needs ?

 

AKG K 701 (246€)

Beyerdynamic DT 1350 (250€) (tough I am not sure about supra-aural cans)

Beyerdynamic TP 50 (238€)  (same)

SHURE SRH 940 (219€)

KRK KNS 640 (100€)

KOSS Pro DJ 100 (55€)

V Moda Corssfade M80 (179€)

Beyer DT 770 pro 80 OHMS (on sale for  145€, but is it portable ?)

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Beyer and Shure are good, but they're bulky. M80 is a good choice. Add Denon D1000/Creative Aurvana Live! ( Same things ) to the list too, ithink it will suits you best. Comfortable, not as bulky as Shure and Beyer, fit to your genres, sounds good already without amp

post #23490 of 29491

Thanks, I will take a look at the Denon! I am also considering the sennheiser hd 380 or even stretching out for a SHD 25-II, but I am afraid the sound will be too rough. 

 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › ++ FULL-SIZE HEADPHONE RECOMMENDATIONS THREAD++ CLOSED: Please post a thread in the Introductions, Help and Advice forum