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best cans for $600 to $700 range?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

so i'm looking to purchase a set of circumaural studio headphones for about $600 - $700 (approx). Preferrably closed cans; are open ones better? Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but i can't find any local stores here that actually carry decent studio qualility cans. old roommate had a pair of ATH-W1000's which sounded and looked amazing. however, that's the only point of reference i have.

 

can you guys suggest a few pair in that price range that you'd recommend, and maybe why?

 

i listen to mostly electronica - downtempo, trip-hop, house, etc. i'll be using these to write music with mostly, either on my G5 and/or my mbpro. I have am-audio firewire 410 to power it. it seemed sufficient for the AT; should i be purchasing a separate amp as well?

 

thanks for the help!

 
post #2 of 12

The super easy reply is:

 

Fiio E7 DAC

Fiio E9 amp

Sennheiser HD-650 headphones

 

(the E7 and E9 work together as a pair, they're designed to do so)

 

It's hard to go wrong starting with that combo. The HD-650s don't really have any weakness. There are cans that do individual genres better than the 650s, but there's nothing the 650s can't do. The -only- knock of them for your listed genres may be that they're a bit "bass light". they're actually pretty good at bass for high end headphones, but the E7 has a pretty decent bass boost to compensate. They'll never kick like a subwoofer, but they'll do a pretty damn good job for something that's sitting an inch from your ears.

 

If you don't like the 650s, you can either return them (I hate doing that personally, but many people have no issues with it) or sell them to the pretty substantial secondary market for 650s and pick up something like the Beyerdynamic DT, etc.

 

I was listening to some trance last night on my beyer DT880s, and I was totally completely -there-.

 

Edit: if you're really happy with your soundcard as is (for recording reasons), you can look into some of the mid-range $300 amps to go with the headphones you pick. My personal feeling is that given budget $X for your entry into head-fi land, -roughly- 2/5 on amp and 3/5 on headphone is your best price/performance ratio, but that's just me. 

post #3 of 12

Audio Technica AD2000. You can also go for vintage Stax, if you're so inclined, They have the speed and timing for electronica, but might lack the bass punch.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks guys. i'll check into all of your recommendations. re: bass response, i kinda want something that has a true and accurate sound. i'll be using these headphones to master tracks or mixes, etc. i have a pair of regular studio monitors to compare with as well as the sennheiser hd 25-1 ii's, crappy sony v6's and both a medium and low end home system.

 

now that i think about it, i might want to get a closed can since all of the others i mentioned above will probably drive the roommates mad having to hear the same track over and over... that said, is there a significant difference in sound between a closed and open can pair of headphones in the same price/quality range? does one have more accurate sound than the other?

 

post #5 of 12

I second the e7/e9 combo but you can also switch out the 650s with 600s!

post #6 of 12

How do the Koss ESP/950 compare to the e7/e9+600/650 combo? 

post #7 of 12

i'll have to second the E7/E9/HD650 combo. seems like a killer value to me.

 

two of the many many genre's i listen to are downtempo and trip hop. the HD650's do a great job there in my opinion. i'd say as long as you are not a bass head the HD650's bass should satisfy you. the HD650's are just amazing for ambient electronic if you are into that. they sound so open and airy with ambient.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks jason (and everyone else). i'll def check out the hd650. def not a bass head, but need to make sure I get an accurate sound when I'm mastering.

will also check out the ad2000. from all of your suggestions, i'm assuming open cans are the way to go.

 

all of your input is very much appreciated.

just hoping i can at least test drive one of these out here somewhere. will look into some hi-fi music stores (the rare few that are still left).

 

post #9 of 12

If you're looking for some closed cans to master with, the audio technica ath-m50s have been flavor of the month around here for several months now, and technically that's what they were designed for. They're just way under your stated budget so that's probably why nobody has brought them up yet. Never heard them, but I see nothing but positive things about them.

 

FYI, if you do go with open, I currently have two sets of cans in your price range, the Sennheiser HD650s and the Beyerdynamic DT880s. Both the Sennheiser HD-600/650s and the Beyerdynamic DT880s have very textured, controlled, and accurate bass, from fairly neutral headphones (comparativly speaking). The 650s go a bit lower (just a bit) than the 600s. The 600/650s favor midrange more than treble. The 880s favor treble more than midrange. The sennheisers are more musical and warm than the beyers. The beyers are more detailed and analytical than the senns.

 

The senns wrap the music around you like a warm blanket and say "relax and enjoy". The beyers bring the music up to you and say "here, touch, explore". They're both fantastic purchases.

post #10 of 12

I agree with E16 and HD650's

 

if it really has to be closed design, amazon has Denon D7000's for 669 usd at the moment...(and D5000 for 399)

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarecrow77 View Post

If you're looking for some closed cans to master with, the audio technica ath-m50s have been flavor of the month around here for several months now, and technically that's what they were designed for. They're just way under your stated budget so that's probably why nobody has brought them up yet. Never heard them, but I see nothing but positive things about them.


While I will agree that the M50's are excellent cans for their price, I think the reason they aren't mentioned here is because there are better choices, not just because of the pricerange. They would probably pair very nicely with HawaiiR's music, but as for being a studio monitor? I think you could get a much better soundstage and greater instrument separation with the DT880's you mentioned.

 

Unfortunately I don't have experience with Sennheisers, but I'd highly recommend testing out any headphones you can find first, perhaps at a Guitar Center or your regional equivalent. It gives you a better idea of what to expect, especially if you can listen long enough to recognize a brand's sound signature.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

sadly the guitar center equivalent around here doesn't seem to have any of the headphones you guys mentioned. i'll have to call one of the hi-end stores to see what they might have.

 

i'm a bit of a sucker for design. so as much as sound is very important, so is the look of the product. that said, i'm not a huge fan of the way the Sennheiser 600/650's look. I'll give them a listen anyway, especially since so many of you are recommending it. will also look for the denon's you suggested.

 

thanks again guys. this is very informative...

 

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