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Rank all your Headphones - Mini Review Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 26

1. Audio Technica ATH-AD2000

 

Very forward sounding mids, but not too much. Vocals sound amazing on these, especially female vocals. The sound out of these is very smooth and there is not too much of any one frequency to my ears despite the forward sounding mids. I prefer these to the K702 I had a week ago. I felt the detail was higher on these, but the sound on these feels a tad less clear, but most will probably not notice. It's so nice having a headphone that sounds better than a K702 and not having to be tied down to an amp 100% of the time. These would be good as a headphone that's good for everything. It's also perhaps one of the best gaming headphones there is. Comfort is not that good and terrible with some heads. I had to do a easy and cheap mod. Now my ears don't sit against the driver. This problem is why I'm not raving about these things. I also feel like the pads are massive on my ears. I paid $425 for these like new and I thought they would be only slightly better than a $300 headphone. Boy was I wrong! I still would never pay over $500 for a pair. OK, maybe $550, but I don't know if they're THAT good. BTW I wonder what fans of the ATH-AD2000 upgraded to? Seems like it's always the LCD-2!

 

2. Sennheiser HD-598

 

I bought this only because I heard it had some forward sounding mids, which is what I love in a headphone. I wasn't expecting to love these and was pretty sure I may end up returning them. It turns out I loved them so much on the first day that I just had to keep them. I even have to admit that I now even prefer these by far to my old HD-600! The sound isn't as laid-back as most Sennheisers and these sound good for vocal oriented music and most pop. I listen to a lot of Jpop on these and they sound really good with that. These do have lots of detail, but they're still very forgiving of lower quality recordings. These definitely couldn't pick up any sort of recording hiss, but that's a plus for me. These actually feel a lot brighter than the HD-600 and HD-555, which is what I prefer. Music is just so fun to listen to on these. If I had to keep only one headphone I could probably go with just these. Even over the ATH-AD2000. These aren't that much worse to me. The AD2000 is much more clear though, has a bitter soundstage, more forward mids and more detail. The HD-598 is more comfortable though.

 

Main reason I love these is that they're great for gaming and movies. I actually find that these are on my head more than the ATH-AD2000, but they're not better. I thought the ATH-AD2000's sound was pretty smooth, but this is even more so. My only complaint with this headphone is that I hate the color. That's it. BTW the soundstage is quite impressive on this compared to the HD-555. Felt it was worth the $170 I paid. If I had known how good it sounded, I would have paid full price maybe.

 

BTW I loved the K601, but it had a few issues that forced me to sell them. These seem to fix the problems I had with the K601 and I prefer these over the K601 and even the K702! The sound of the K702 is more clear and more detailed, but the mids are a bit more distant sounding (not recessed) to me. The sound from these just make my music sound more engaging, which I am perfectly OK with.

 

3. Koss Pro DJ 100

 

Basically this is just about tied with the HD-598 in terms of sound quality, but the HD-598 gets more points because of better comfort and a better soundstage. I love how these are so cheap ($80) and sound so good. It's too bad these haven't caught on much. They deserve to be up there with the Porta Pro and KSC75. The mids are what I love the most about these. They're slightly forward, but not as much as the ATH-AD2000, but close. I've found that the level of detail is very high. The sound feels crystal clear to me and that's surprising for a $80 headphone. Imaging is good and I think these would make a good closed gaming headphone on a budget. Obviously an open headpone is best. The only negative is that these aren't exactly easy to drive. A Sansa View isn't enough to drive them, but an Ipod Touch makes them sound "acceptable". To drive them to their full potential, something like the Nuforce Mobile or Total Airhead is best. BTW the bass on these is very good and just below bass heavy. Despite the extra bass, the sound is very well balanced. Even with my other headphones, I still use these everyday and have been raving about them since I got them. They do have very slightly rolled off highs, but it's not a big deal for me. An open version of something like this from Koss would be amazing I bet.

 

4. KRK KNS-8400

 

One of the most comfortable portable headphones there is. It's most definitely a studio monitor and doesn't try to make my music sound better than it really is. There is also not a lot of bass on them. They do need a ton of burn in or else the treble will stab you in the ears. These are probably the most detailed headphone I' own. As a studio monitor I'd take these over the K240 Studio or Shure SRH-840 anyday. Soundstage is not that good unfortunately. If there was an open version of something like this, it'd be one impressive gaming headphone. BTW I liked these so much that I bought my old favorite the SRH-840 again to compare them. I ended up thinking the DJ100 and the KNS-8400 were better headphones.

 

5. AKG K240 Sextett

 

To my ears these are only about 10-15% better than my K240 Studio. I'm not really impressed with them. They do have good mids, but I don't think they're forward sounding in anyway, but I wasn't expecting that. Soundstage is OK. Level of detail seems a lot higher than the K240 Studio. Level of clarity seems just very slightly better than the K240 Studio. Don't hate me, but my DJ100 sounds very similar and a lot better to my ears. They do have more bass though. I do like these headphones. Who would have known a headphone that was once $80 could sound so good? If you've got the amp for them, I'd take these over the K240 Studio. BTW I feel that these don't make music any more fun to listen to despite what some people say. I find them quite neutral overall, which is what I kind of expected. Like my KRK they don't try and change my music in any way.

 

5.1. AKG K240 Studio

 

When I had my favorite DJ100 out on loan, I used these and loved them. When I got my DJ100 back, the K240 Studio never got used again much. They're still very good and even a good HD-555 alternative for gaming. I actually prefer these to te SRH-840 due to the comfort. I sold my M50's and ended up with these and then the DJ100.

 

6. AKG K44

 

I posted a link to a deal for this back during Christmas and was telling everyone how great they were for the sale price of $30. Stupid me took that back when I found out I had the bass reduced!! Opps! Without an EQ I don't like these. These have terribly bloated (and bad) bass, but when you EQ it down the sound is very, very good for a $30 headphone. Sure, they're ugly, but they're quite comfortable. For a $30 headphone the sound is very clear and they have very good mids. One of the few $30 headphones that isn't garbage.

 

7. Beyer Dynamic DT-235

 

This is with the DHP-II pads. Would you believe that these headphones with those pads have too much bass?! I have to EQ it down a bit. I almost never use an EQ! When I do this they sound "good", but they don't impress me. The level of clarity is much worse than the K44. K44 has much better mids and a far bigger soundstage. With the DHP-II pads they're the most comfortable headphones I've ever owned.

 

8. Koss UR-55

 

These have dropped down a few ranks ONLY because of the comfort. I hate the pads and wish they were more circumaural. Without removing the grill, the sound is just "good". When you remove it, it helps the sound out a lot, but you lose out on some bass. When modded, you can even hear recording hiss with ease on these! The sound on these is not crystal clear and very, very slightly muffled. It's like a modded SR-80 with more detail, more bass, more rolled off highs, but less clarity. It even has a better soundstage! I think these could make a decent dirt cheap gaming headphone! Fans of the Porta Pro should love this headphone.

 

9. Sennheiser HD-497

 

I use these in my bedroom as a TV headphone. I hate them and I think I originally paid $70 for them when they first came out. I can't remember. I've had them for probably five or six years I think. To me they sound worse than the DT-235. I actually hate the bass on these. I don't know why, but all my cheap headphones have too much bass.

 

???: Modded Grado SR-80

 

I think these have good mids, but I don't think they're all that detailed. I compared the level of detail on them to the modded UR-55 and DT-235 and they lost out. Unfortunately I can't wear these AT ALL.I've tried and tried without any luck. Sorry! Soundstage and imaging seems poor too for some reason. I think this is the headphone I've owned for the longest period of time.

post #17 of 26

Sennheiser HD 650 - my favorite all around headphone. Gets most of my headtime by default because I like to listen to acoustic and jazz while at work. Also my gaming headphone

 

Audio Technica AD2000 - my favorite rock and vocals headphone. Very sweet mids, just as I like them, but non fatiguing. Gets roughly the same time as the HD650, except for gaming

 

Grado RS1i - My "fun" headphone. Also use it when I want some Grado goodness. Doesn't get as much headtime as the two above.

 

Sennheiser PX100-ii - for commutes and mobility. Shares the same qualities as the HD 650. My favorite portable

 

Beyerdynamic DT880 and 770/600 - When I was still a Beyer fanboy. Doesn't get too much use not, but still pop them out from time to time.

post #18 of 26

AKG K240 MKII ~ AKG K701 < XB500 < ATH-A700

 

The reason for the "~" is because they are both my favorites but for different reasons.

 

K240:

My first pair into audiophilia, and heck am I pleased. I bought these at the time without knowing anything about HP's, and it was only after i bought them I stumbled upon Head-Fi. A nice, warm sound, the bass is very supportive, not lacking in any sense, and the Mids are smooth and have great separation. The highs are also very clean and smooth without a hint of sibilance, making it easy to wear these for hours on end. I personally love this warm sound signature.

 

K701:

These were the first headphones that got me thinking about getting headphones, but because of price, I settled for the 240. After though, the craving finally got to me and I had to try these out. After a couple hours of pure head-time, I was thoroughly pleased with my purchase. It gave me clearer highs than the K240's, as well as more detail throughout the spectrum. The bass was also very detailed and, I felt, the bass was very detailed and accurate, and not lacking as much as other people say it to be. Also they look so good. The classiest headphone in my collection.

 

XB500:

After hearing the raves about the bass, I couldn't resist trying them out. And all the talk was absolutely true. The bass is incredible that it makes your head shake, but the highs weren't completely left out either. It had smooth highs but the mids were overall congested by the bass, but that was to be expected. These are overall the funnest pair I had ever bought, and I still regret selling them.

 

A700:

I honestly despise this headphone. Not even gonna hide it. My opinion will obviously be heavily biased; you have been warned.

I bought these thinking they were going to give me more bass and clarity than my K240's. I was right, except for the fact that the mids are essentially non-existent. I couldn't rock out to any of my songs with these on. Metal was missing the guitar scream, trance was like needles being stuck in my brain, pop had artificial vocals, and even my drum kit sounded like gunshots. The highs were excessively bright, that I couldn't stand wearing these for no longer than a couple hours. I will say this though: they were comfy as hell.

post #19 of 26

fx700 > es10 > hd 598 > eq5/re262 > ddm/ie8 > zx700 > t50p/ms400/p5 > dba02/se425 > k181dj/q460 > d1001 > es55 > triport ae > ie2 > triport oe > m1 > m9

post #20 of 26

ms400 = m50 > ie6 > m6 > ksc75 > m11 > m9

post #21 of 26
Sensaphonics J-phonics K2 MX > Yuin PK1 >> EarSonics SM2 = RE-Zero
post #22 of 26

I wrote this over the span of a few days. I've owned a few very rare and/or obscure headphones, so hopefully this will be of interest to someone. So here we go, impressions of every headphone I own or have owned (edit: not gonna try ranking them though...):

 

AKG

K141 (original) - Kind of like a Grado with an inverted frequency curve. Warm and punchy bass, though it does not extend very deep. Treble is very noticeably rolled off, but as a result there is no listening fatigue with these headphones whatsoever. The midrange is the focus here, very forward and liquid sounding mids. Soundstage is a bit hard to describe, it sounds flat on each side of my head but deeper and more 3D-ish in the middle. These are lacking in refinement a bit unfortunately. Still lots of fun to listen to and hard for me to take off sometimes.

K240 Sextett MP - The main thing that stands out with here is the Sextett's remarkable tonal balance. It sounds like some kind of AKG/Grado/old AT woody/Senn hybrid with the best qualities of each. Compared to the K141 it has a more laid back presentation with more treble presence. Where it is lacking somewhat is in regards to detail and soundstage, neither of which are spectacular. Still a very versatile and enjoyable headphone.

K240 Monitor - These are more a less a Sextett with a flatter presentation. They have a noticeable midbass bump, possibly to compensate for their lack of deep bass. Their main draw is their clear and natural sounding mids. Unfortunately there isn't much else going on with this headphone that excites me.

K400 - One of my favorite open headphones. Orchestral strings have never sounded more convincing, closing my eyes I feel like I could reach my hands out and grasp the instrument. Treble and mids are both excellent. They are somewhat lacking in the lower mids, as a result they lack the visceral sensation I would prefer for something like rock but for classical and acoustic music they are superb. The bass is textured and detailed, but lacks impact. Extension is good on both ends of the spectrum. Soundstage is on par with the K701s and it only lacks slightly behind in regards to detail.

K701 - A headphone I tried very hard to enjoy but just couldn't get into it. The K400 just sounds more natural to my ears. The K701 does have better instrument sensation than the K400 and slightly more detail. I EQed the lower mids up a few decibels and brought the upper mids down , but something still just sounded off about the midrange which is hard for me to articulate right this moment. I'm pretty sure this is the K701's "plasticky" sound that others have alluded to.

Audio Technica

W10VTG - Euphony is the name of the game here. These have warm plentiful bass, smooth treble, and (most noticeably) a lush and beautiful midrange. If you like rich, tubey sounding mids this is as good as it gets. Soundstage is intimate (appropriate with these cans) but laid out very convincingly. Listening fatigue is nonexistent. Part of their magic comes from an added decay around notes, this enables them to sound wonderful with slower music (particuarly vocals, which are among the best I've heard), but this also makes them less than ideal for say faster paced rock music. A personal favorite.

W10LTD - Strangely neutral sounding for an AT. These are an incremental step up from the VTG in terms of detail, soundstage, and seperation (the latter of which is particularly good for a closed can). Bass is revealing and extends low, and while there is some slight treble rolloff it was not enough to bother me and the treble achieves a nice balance, neither harsh nor overly smooth. What I didn't like about these was the dry sounding midrange, which made the whole presentation sound a bit dry and unengaging. I will say that I didn't really give these a fair chance, I didn't have a tube amp at the time (which these need, IMO) and I think these would have sounded great with my MG-Head. Even with my SS setup these sounded wonderful with jazz (particularly the oldschool type) and remain among the best headphones I've heard for this type of music.

W11JPN - Another minor step up in terms of refinement from the W10's, these actually sound like a mishmash of the first two woodies. They have a warm presentation, but clearer than the VTG and not as rich or dark sounding. I prefer the treble of the JPN, it is more present (but still very smooth) and extends slightly further. They also have an enjoyable bass presentation which is "speaker-like" to my ears. Their overall sound is reminiscent of the newer HD650, but with more bass and thicker mids (and a more holographic soundstage). But the HD650 sounds more natural by comparison, the W11JPN has a fatiguing peak in the upper mids which (to my ears) is their one major flaw.

W100 - Weird headphone. These sound reminiscent of the W10VTG but with less bass quantity, slightly more treble, and the same liquid mids (but even more forward sounding). The problem here is that this combination just doesn't work with most types of music. The W10VTG balances its rich mids with a warm bass and smooth treble, and everything comes together to sound natural and cohesive. With the W100 the midrange stands out to an unnatural degree (and this is coming from someone who enjoys forward mids). The end result is that the W100 can be very enjoyable with some genres but oddly colored with others. They also inherited the JPN's upper mid peak.

W11R - A wonderful headphone, provided you have the right setup. Long story short, these sound like a more refined W11JPN with a wider soundstage and less bass (but the bass is more textured and revealing). The tighter bass makes the midrange stand out even more clearly, while eliminating the feeling of sluggishness I sometimes felt when listening to the JPN. The result is a headphone with a high level of detail retrieval and extension that excels with vocals but sounds very good with all types of music. A warm setup is pretty much necessary, as I found them to sound far too bright otherwise.

W1000 - Reasonably detailed, with a wide soundstage (but lacking in depth). These have a polarizing sound, for obvious reasons. If you like forward vocals that are clear and detailed, you stand a good chance of liking these. But if you are looking for a more balanced presentation, these will probably come across as nasal and shouty instead. Add to that their lean bass and upper mids peak and you have a headphone that (much like the W11R) will need to be paired with a well-arranged setup to sound their best.

L3000 - A departure from the W-Series in regards to sound. They still have a very compelling midrange (with excellent depth and detail), but it is not as forward sounding, rather the L3000 sounds more balanced. Bass is perfect in about every way for my tastes, it exudes power and reaches very deep, but never sounds muddy or too over-exaggerated. Treble is smooth and extends high. Dynamics are among the best I've heard. I can really find very little to complain about, but if you crave an airy presentation with an emphasis on highs these will probably not satisfy you. As for myself, this is my favorite headphone.

AD700 - This was the second full-size headphone I owned, and a polarizing one. On the one hand, their separation, detail, and soundstage size are all excellent for a headphone in its price range. On the other hand, they are also lacking in terms of body and bass impact, get easily congested during complicated passages, and have a midrange that is so sweetly colored it comes off as saccharine. They are very comfortable and sound good with some types of music (such as New Age), but do not expect them to be a jack-of-all-trades.

A900Ti - Compared to the woodies, these are not as detailed or resolving. And yet, I liked them a lot when I had them. I would describe their sound as close to neutral, but with a hump in the lower mids that lends them a slightly visceral quality. The soundstage and dynamics on these are both quite good, and I enjoyed the bass impact and relatively smooth upper end these provided (no upper mid peakiness with these). I would liken these to the W10LTD, which sounds more detailed and has better instrument separation but a very similar sound signature, minus the lower mid bump. That bump actually made the A900Ti more fun to listen to.

A100Ti - An unknown headphone (I think its been over five years since one has been seen in the F/S forums), but a very good sounding one nonetheless. I would liken their tonal balance to an HD600, but these are faster and do not have the HD600's warm mids. This makes them a very versatile headphone, but their impactful bass makes them especially suited for pop and rock. Vocals also sound very nice, owing to the clear and natural sounding mids. They are quite detailed, but I find myself wishing the bass was a bit more refined. Compared to other ATs I've heard the soundstage is more compressed, so they can sound congested at times. All that said, these are my second headphone for rock after the L3000. I prefer these to both the HF2 and the W11R for rock, high praise indeed.

Denon

D1001 - These were not my cup of tea. They were not very comfortable for me (though I have big ears, and most find these to be very comfortable), they have muddy bass, and (despite their smooth treble and dark presentation) they have a fatiguing upper mid/lower treble peak reminiscent of some of the ATs. They sounded a lot like a Bose AE with clearer mids, but at least the Bose did not sound fatiguing and isolated much better, so I'd be hard pressed to say which I preferred.

Goldring

DR150 - These were my first full-size headphone, and it's been a long time since I've bothered listening to them, so I will hold off on describing their sound for now. But the way others have described them (as a Senn/Grado hybrid of sorts) sounds pretty accurate to me from memory.

Grado

HF2 - The thing that stands out the most to me about these was how uncomfortable they were for me to wear (unfortunately). Even the Pioneer Monitor 10 is easier for me to wear, which is really saying something. But soundwise I have few complaints. These are not the most versatile headphone around, but they have a forward energetic sound with impactful bass that pairs well with rock and pop music. Timbre was pretty much spot on with these. The bottom end does not extend as deep as a lot of other headphones I've owned, and there is some recession in the mids, but the overall sound I found to be quite agreeable.

Woodied 325i - First of all, props to swbfcheater for coming up with pads that not only made Grados comfortable for me, but made them into one of the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. The sound out of these was very dark, more so than say the HD650. I like dark headphones, but I found these to be rather unengaging. I also found them to be lacking somewhat in regards to overall refinement. I had major synergy issues with them though, I think out of a brighter system they could probably sound quite nice.

 

JVC

HA-S7000 - These have muddy bass and recessed mids. The high-end is very smooth and non-fatiguing, but noticeably rolled off. Still, for what they are, these are decent beater portable cans that are comfortable, manage to look nice and isolate reasonably well (a rare combination, for some reason). They both look and sound very similar to the Bose AE, but are much cheaper (the price is more in-line for the level of sound performance you get).

Koss

UR-55 - These were a present for a relative, so I only listened to them briefly. Basically they are a step up from the Koss Portapro/KSC-75 sound with a better soundstage and more detail. Not bad for the price.

KSC-75 - I think everyone has heard these at this point, so I'll refrain from describing how they sound. An excellent value, like most of the Koss stuff I've tried.

Pioneer

Monitor 10 - These sound neutral, with a slight upwards tilt across the frequency spectrum. Not at all lacking in regards to detail, I was quite surprised to hear just how detailed a dynamic headphone from the mid-70s could sound and it makes me wonder just how far we've come since then. I find these to be quite musical and enjoyable with all sorts of music, but I do much prefer them with tubes to soften the edge off the highs a bit. Notable for being one of the only headphones that I really enjoy with Led Zeppelin, where they sound just right. Their downside is their comfort, I can only wear them for an hour or so before having to take them off.

Sony

CD1700 - Clear and smooth, with the widest soundstage I've heard yet from a closed headphone (I haven't heard the CD3K, DX1000, or R10). They sound a bit more warm and lush than neutral, with an emphasis on the midrange. Bass and treble are present but both exhibit some rolloff. Detail is good but lacking compared to some of the higher-end cans. I found their sound to be very agreeable with whatever I threw at them, but not particularly standing out in any one way. What stood out the most was their comfort, which is the best I've experienced with a headphone.

CD900ST - The clear and analytical mids on these is what stood out to me the most. They are quite rolled off in both the bass and treble, but the midrange exhibits a good level of detail. The soundstage on these is very 2D-ish and not much to my liking. Still, I enjoyed the tonal balance of these and found them to sound pretty versatile, and listening fatigue was never an issue. If they were as detailed as the bass and treble as they were in the mids I would've likely hung onto them. When it comes to studio monitors I prefer the Pioneer Monitor 10, but I liked the tone on these more.


Edited by CFabian - 2/19/11 at 4:00pm
post #23 of 26

In terms of what I tend to use most based on overall satisfaction with no unpleasant surprises even on bad recordings (1=used most often):

1. Grado PS1000 (these never shout, so are great with digital)

2. Beyer T1 (Controlled mids to low bass; very sophisticated, refined sound overall. Hot, tipped-up, over equalized CDS will transmit this characteristic.)

3. Senn HD800 (when the recording is really fine, like a great SACD, these are the best).

4. Audeze LCD2 (Smooth and musical but not as communicative of the real thing as the others. Very forgiving.)

post #24 of 26

-Koss Portapro-~-Sennheiser HD201-~-Sony ZX100-~-Sony XB500-(Sold)-SC Uprocks(Blue)

*These are all in my own personal opinions

Soundstage

1-Koss Portapro

2-Sennheiser HD201

3-?Sony XB500

4-?Sony ZX100

5-SC Uprocks.

Clarity, Clearness in Sound

1-Koss Portapro

2-Sennheiser HD201

3-Sony ZX100

4-SC Uprocks

5-SonyXB500

Overall Bass, Lows

1-Sony XB500

2-Koss Portapro

3-Sony ZX100

4-Sennheiser HD201

5-SC Uprocks

Isolation

1-Sony Xb500

2-Sennheiser HD201

3-SC Uprocks

4-Sony ZX100

5-Koss Portapro

Overall Portability

1-Koss Portapro(folds, included pouch)

2-Sony ZX100(Swiveling Earcups, No Pouch)

3-Sony XB500(Included Pouch)

4-SC Uprocks(no Pouch)

5-Sennheiser HD201(no Pouch)

Design, Style, Eyecandy

1-SC Uprocks

2-Koss Portapro

3-Sony XB500

4-Sony ZX100

5-Sennheiser HD201

post #25 of 26

1. HiFiMan HE-6: Recently acquired, so still going through the honeymoon with it.  So far it's excellent.  Clear, detailed, musical, emotional, and fast, without sacrificing detail.   In terms of technical prowess, this is hands down the winner.  Comfort...not so much.  Takes EQ like a champ!

 

2. Sennheiser HD650 (w/ silver cable & tubes): Tried & true, almost 6 years my favorite headphone, and I still haven't lost my enjoyment for it.  Refined, detailed, warm, easy to listen to forever, with the most lifelike handdrum reproduction and smooth & sweet female focals, snappy transients, and overall comfortable and light, it's hard to top at any price.  These headphones will never leave my setup. 

 

3. HiFiMan HE-400 (tubes): A fun, but still natural headphone with ever so slight a u curve keeping a neutral midrange, and a nice dark weight to them.  Same comfort issues as HE-6, but a different all around sound, sacrificing complete realistic presentation for something a little more fun and a bit more closed a venue.  While HE-6 is bent on "sounds like life", HE-400 gives a slight "sounds slightly better than real life." effect, and is a bit easier to listen to.  HE-6 would be a nightmare for recordings that are less than perfect.  HE-400 could make it palatable, even enjoyable.

 

4. Denon D5000: A very fun headphone with a unique signature that can't be matched.  Overbacked midbass bloom, but for the genres I use it for, it's still the go-to choice above the others.  Electronica & chill just wouldn't be the same without 'em!

 

5. AKG K702 (tubes):  Studio flat.  Analytical. Bright, fatiguing, sharp.   Yet always impress me more than I expect when I try them.  They're not my first choice for much of anything, but they're essential for binaural recordings and any test or tweak in my gear I want to see the effect on at flat response, it's a must have in an audiophile arsenal. They take well to EQ, much like HE-6.

 

6. Sure SE535: IEMs aren't headphones but these have to fill in the #6 spot.  Portable, high quality, and comfort unmatched in an IEM, they're like little pocket HD650s when on the go!

 

7. Audio Technca AD700: Not the greatest headphones, terribly short on bass, but what they lack in bass they make up for in a fun sound with a vast soundstage and immediate positioning.  Easy enough to drive, makes it my go-to can for any form of non-music media and portable devices.

 

10. (Skipping a few numbers since everything else can't compare to the above): UE TF.10: For when a normal "v" curve just doesn't recess the mids enough.  But the detail and livliness make them very fun.

 

11. Sennheiser PXC 450 (active noise canceling):  For when the whine of a dozen blowers, fans, and other equipment just can't be filtered by the 535's, these are as OK as noice canceling allows, with stellar comfort.

 

12. Sony MDR-7506: The definitive reference for if you need to know what sibilance sounds like.   Studio monitor headphones that fold small, take abuse to the end, and never let down.  They run hot on hot recordingssssssss, pinch the earlobe like crazy but manage not to hurt, but somehow I still can get into their Beyer-overdone treble happy sound.  They're shockingly accurate for a cheap closed can.

post #26 of 26

The ones I currently have, in order of preference:

 

  1. Sennheiser HD600 (silver screens) - Possibly the best dynamic headphone out there.
  2. Sennheiser HD580 (black screens) - Sligthly less refined than the HD600, but more forward and just as enjoyable.
  3. Koss ESP-950 - sound-wise, close to perfection. Needs to be treated like a raw egg, unfortunately.
  4. Sennheiser HD800 (EQ'd) - Treble is too prominent, but sounds excellent when equalized. A bit grainy in comparison to stats.
  5. Fostex T50RP (modded) - Does everything well. My everyday headphone.
  6. Beyerdynamic DT250 (basically 80 Ohm version but with 250 Ohm drivers) - nice balanced sound and comfortable to wear. Excellent allrounder that also provides good isolation.
  7. Beyerdynamic DT1350 - Portable & great isolation. Sounds good for a small on-ear phone.
  8. Kenwood KH-K1000 (modded) - Very colored, but fun sometimes. Great soundstage, excellent for movies.
  9. Sennheiser IE80 - I don't like IEM's, but they're useful when travelling.

 

 

 

 

 

Complete list (more or less), in order of preference:

  1. Sennheiser HD600 (silver screens) - Possibly the best dynamic headphone out there.
  2. Sennheiser HD580 (black screens) - Sligthly less refined than the HD600, but more forward and just as enjoyable.
  3. Koss ESP-950 - sound-wise, close to perfection. Needs to be treated like a raw egg, unfortunately.
  4. Sennheiser HD800 (EQ'd) - Treble is too prominent, but sounds excellent when equalized. A bit grainy in comparison to stats.
  5. Beyerdynamic T1 (120Ω adaptor for use with SS amps) - One of my favourites, but a bit too treble-happy.
  6. Fostex T50RP (modded) - Does everything well. My everyday headphone.
  7. Audeze LCD-2 Rev. 1 - Regret having sold them, better than the Rev. 2
  8. Sennheiser HD650 (silver screens) - Great, but not as balanced as the HD600.
  9. Beyerdynamic DT250 (basically 80 Ohm version but with 250 Ohm drivers) - nice balanced sound and comfortable to wear. Excellent allrounder that also provides good isolation.
  10. Grado RS1 (Vintage "B") - Great, but painful to wear for more than five minutes.
  11. Audeze LCD-2 "Rev. 3" Bamboo - Technically great, but doesn't sound effortless enough. Heavy.
  12. Sony MDR-Z1000 - Good, but unnatural midrange.
  13. AKG K701 - Plastic enclosure, plastic sound.
  14. Phonak Audeo PFE 112 - One of the few IEMs I can tolerate (comfort-wise). Great value.
  15. Grado SR60 - Same as RS1 (but not as great sounding)
  16. Grado SR325is - Same as RS1 (but even less comfortable!)
  17. Stax Lambda Signature SR-404 - Bass can be a bit boomy, but otherwise wonderfully smooth. Near-perfect midrange and treble (For instrumental music only, sounds unnatural with voices).
  18. Hifiman HE-6 - Didn't like them very much. Possibly insufficient amping. Extremely uncomfortable.
  19. Beyerdynamic DT1350 - Portable & great isolation. Sounds good for a small on-ear phone.
  20. AKG K240 Sextett (LP) - Very fun sounding, but a bit muffled treble.
  21. Sennheiser HD595 - Good sound when amped properly, lacking when unamped.
  22. Philips L1 - Surprisingly good, but somewhat uneven sounding.
  23. Kenwood KH-K1000 (modded) - Very colored, but fun sometimes. Great soundstage, excellent for movies.
  24. Sennheiser IE80 - I don't like IEM's, but they're useful when travelling.
  25. Sony ZX700 - Nothing special.
  26. Westone UM3X - Where did the treble go?
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