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Looking to broaden the horizon after the K701

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So as the title says, I'm looking to broaden my horizon after having the K701 for a year and would be particularly interested in fellow K701 owners whom had upgraded/side-graded to something different.  


Before full-size headphones I've mainly been using earbuds and IEM, started with cheap Sony buds then gradually audition high end IEM like Klipsch X10, Ulimate Ears 5pro, Triple Fi etc and finally ended my journey at the Westone UM2/UM3x for my portable listening, then I decided to build a desktop system and the setup I've got now is Asus Essences ST -> Burson HA160 -> K701 and I'm really satisfied with it.  From my own research it would seem that if I were to go the upgrade path looking for the same revealing quality with large sound stage then I would end up at something like the HD800.  But before jumping right down the deep end I think like my IEM journey it would be beneficial to try some different sound signatures to get a better feel of the sound I want, so what if I want to try something with more "fun", musical and more forgiving to poorer recordings as a compliment to the K701 then what headphones would be worth trying?    My music is varied in genre though nothing in the rap, hip hop and R&B so I'm probably not looking at bass heavy cans.  Also they nearly always involve female vocals, sometimes the occasional soundtracks.  I'm thinking possibly a pair of Audio Technicas?  


Any ideas appreciated :)

post #2 of 6

How about the HD650 or DT880?


Have a read at this lovely article of the old school trio - K701, HD650 and DT880: http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/

post #3 of 6

I'd suggest the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000. They're far better than the K702 in most areas to me and are much easier to drive. I had the K701 a few years ago and eventually found myself buying another pair recently (K702), but ended up trading it within a month. It just wasn't the same and I almost always preferred my ATH-AD2000.


Vocals are very good on them and the best i've heard yet. The vocals on the K601 were also good (and better than the K702), but I still preferred the ATH-AD2000. You could also track down a W1000, but I haven't heard them, but they might be good and possibly a bit cheaper.


For me, the ATH-AD2000 seems to do a good job with every genre I listen to. For a cheap alternative, I think I'd take the HD-598 over the K702 any day. It's just more fun to listen to and it has some very good and slightly forward mids. Both the ATH-AD2000 and HD-598 are also good for gaming and movies too.


ATH-AD2000 is a bit hard to find, but I got mine for $425 shipped. I think they go for around $400-$500 used on here. I could probably live with just the HD-598 since it's not much worse than the AD2000. These days, I had to admit it, but the HD-598 is on my head most of the time. The AD2000 does have a bigger soundstage, more clarity and a lot more detail. It's mids are also much more forward. ATH-AD2000 is somewhat forgiving of a source, but the HD-598, even more so. 



You could also try the HD-600, but I prefer the HD-598 by far and it's much cheaper.

post #4 of 6

for fun and musical you definitely need to try a Grado or Alessandro! I recently got the ms-pro and it is stellar, very balanced clear and musical sound.

post #5 of 6

I was pretty much in the exact same situation you are in now, though It took me lots of money and time to figure out something that could surpass the K701 in terms of detail and resolution while at the same time provide a little more "emotion" to the music. There were many options, HD800, Qualia 010, SA5000, Orthos(owned HE-5 + LE) etc... until I found a good deal and always had interest in the ATH-W5000's, which for me at the time was a risk but one that paid off in the end. There are mixed reviews on these cans here and it's really no surprise since the first time I got them being amped from my EF-5, it was a total let down. After matching them with my stereo headphone out, I fell in love with them and have never looked back since! (although later I bought the HA5000 amp designed for them... evil_smiley.gif). The detail and transparency is far superior to the K701, and the sonic presentation is not so "tin" can like, but provides the perfect balance of emotion to the music. After listening to the D7000, D5000, HD650, K701, HE-5, HE-5LE and HD800 briefly, I can honestly say that with the proper amplification (HA5000) these cans are something truly special, whether you will like their sound signature is a different story, but looking at your preferences you won't be disappointed! Good luck mate! 

post #6 of 6

I recently got a pair of K702, which I quite enjoy.


If it matters, out of what I listened to, I enjoyed Ultrasone the most. I did not like Beyerdynamics one bit, and Sennheiser feels so very veiled after listening to both the Ultrasones and K702.


The Ultrasones are a fantastic complement to the K701. They have a fairly sparkly top end, which should feel familiar to a K701 owner, but match that with very quick and impactful bass. They also maintain a fairly wide soundstage, which is similar in style to the K701 (not quite as big, but with better transparency). Very 'fun' headphones, indeed.


Ultrasones are likely to be a sidegrade however, not an upgrade. If you say you want to experiment with a different sound, then by all means.


edit: after fulle re-reading your post, I see you said you'll be listening to mostly vocals. In that case, you might not want to go Ultrasone. They do have a noticeably recessed midrange.


Personally, I'm returning my K702 and am tempted to get the LCD-2, to better complement my Ultrasones with a bit of a warmer and more musical sound.

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