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Sennheiser HD25-1 or Ultrasone HFI 580 (*edited May 19 added Sony ZX700 out of curiosity)

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hi! I am new to this audio thing. I need help in choosing my first headphone. I have lurked here for quite some time and searched threads of the same topic but I did not find one. Basically, I am going to use it as my transportable headphone (used in an office setting as I want to isolate myself with my noisy coworkers plus I use my Klipsch s4 for my daily commute) and I am going to pair it with my 4th gen iPod Touch, unamped. The music I listen is mostly rock (Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc) and a little of classical, jazz, hip hop, and RNB.  I have auditioned the HD25-1 for a short time. It was great. Very upfront, with good bass punch(not sure of the term). It's quite comfortable for me and I was amazed with its isolation. However, the HFI-580 intrigues me as I read that it is very Grado-like. Can anyone compare the two of them or at least share some experiences? Pros and cons and the like. Thanks! :)

 

 

Edit: I added ZX700 on the title. It's quite new and affordable. I would also like to know how that fares with rock music. I added it out of curiosity. :P


Edited by xallarap - 5/19/11 at 3:39am
post #2 of 49
Thread Starter 

Bump for today. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

post #3 of 49

I didn't hear HFI-580, but did own HFI-680 (less bass).

 

I can't imagine that for rock orientated music, 580 could even come close to HD-25.

 

If the clampage doesn't bother you, I'd definitely go with HD-25. And if you're up to it, even a Fiio 'L3 lod cable' with 'E5' brings noticable improvement to your sound, using your HD-25 with ipod stuff

post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

I didn't hear HFI-580, but did own HFI-680 (less bass).

 

I can't imagine that for rock orientated music, 580 could even come close to HD-25.



I haven't heard the HD-25, but also doubt that the 580 would be what you were looking for. Not that I don't listen to rock (among many other things) on my 580s, but it doesn't seem like the sort of sound that people would generally say is what you want with rock. They certainly don't sound like I expect Grados would, but I've never heard any to know for sure. The 580s are somewhat flat, with some bump on the low and high ends. I wouldn't call the bass strong, but it's fairly tight and mixes well with the rest (IMO). Mids are a little distant for me (slightly), since the other bump is in the highs (which are well-represented though some seem to complain about the highs being too bright or harsh, though I haven't personally noticed anything like that).

 

 

I'd say if you've auditioned the HD-25s and are really happy with those, and don't have a way of auditioning a 580, just go for the HD-25s. You already know for sure they work and seem to like them, and the 580s are more of a question mark on whether you'd like them as much, so it would seem a safe bet that the HD-25 is the right choice.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 

All right thanks for the replies. I saw some recommendations here that HFI-580 and 780 would be good choices for rock.I was just reading stuff here that the HFI-580 and 780 and our local audiophile site that it was very Grado-like for a closed headphone.  It was described as headphone aggressive sound signature, bright and quite bassy(I am a semi-basshead I think). I was considering the HFI-580 because of this(Grado-like) and it's cheaper than the HFI-780.When I tried the sr80i, HF2, and RS1 plus the MS1i on our local meets, I really loved the way they presented the songs on my player, very energetic, music almost on my face. However, although I like them very much, owning them is not practical for me as listen to music mostly at work and when I'm commuting.

 

And @idale, you're probably right on sticking with HD25. I was just looking for alternatives as the price is quite steep. It's not locally available here in my country and I would probably source it internationally. Doing so will put it around the $250 range. I am just hesitant to shell out $250 in an instant as I have other stuff to pay for. Maybe you can recommend other headphones. :)

post #6 of 49

I've heard the 580, 780 and HD25-1 and I have to agree with Proglover on rock music and the 580/780. IMO they were much better suited towards electronic music while the HD25s did better with rock if my memory serves correctly. The 580s are very agressive though with a big treble and bass but lack the midrange presence of Grados. Still no two ears are alike so it wouldn't surprise me if someone felt differently. Is there any possibility of auditioning any of your choices?

post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by xallarap View Post

All right thanks for the replies. I saw some recommendations here that HFI-580 and 780 would be good choices for rock.I was just reading stuff here that the HFI-580 and 780 and our local audiophile site that it was very Grado-like for a closed headphone.  It was described as headphone aggressive sound signature, bright and quite bassy(I am a semi-basshead I think). I was considering the HFI-580 because of this(Grado-like) and it's cheaper than the HFI-780.When I tried the sr80i, HF2, and RS1 plus the MS1i on our local meets, I really loved the way they presented the songs on my player, very energetic, music almost on my face. However, although I like them very much, owning them is not practical for me as listen to music mostly at work and when I'm commuting.

 

And @idale, you're probably right on sticking with HD25. I was just looking for alternatives as the price is quite steep. It's not locally available here in my country and I would probably source it internationally. Doing so will put it around the $250 range. I am just hesitant to shell out $250 in an instant as I have other stuff to pay for. Maybe you can recommend other headphones. :)


The 580s are somewhat bright and somewhat bassy ("U response" I guess is what some people call it), and is indeed forward (I hesitate to specifically use the word "aggressive"). I don't feel like the 580 is a basshead 'phone, but the bass is definitely present (moreso than in the 780, so they say). I'm what I'd call a "bassophile", but what I love about bass is quality: I want there to be some impact but remain fairly tight and controlled and not drown out everything else. "Everything in moderation" and all that. Some people are all about the bass with less regard to the other frequencies, which would point to other headphones. If the mids were a little stronger the 580 would probably be a contender, but as they're a little distant, the more rock-like songs I have don't seem as "engaging" as I feel they could be. I don't personally care as it'd be difficult if not impossible to find something that's "ideal" for all the various music I listen to, so I'm fine with being "good" for everything. smily_headphones1.gif Not to mention how it's hard to say when your source audio is what's deficient and not completely your headphones (or amp or DAC or whatever).

 

Unfortunately I'm new to the headphone world (generally have had to put up with what I could find in behind-the-neck portables on the laptop at home due to spousal restrictions, but needed a pair for work and wanted them to be actually good since I'll be listening to them much of the day) and there's apparently no real headphone shops in the area to audition at, so my experience is extremely limited (*cough*HFI-580 only*cough*) and my research was in a limited sector.

 

Here's one sample thread of someone asking about a closed-back Grado equivalent: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/463720/blasphemy-looking-for-closed-phones-with-a-grado-sound . Seems from this and other threads like you can't get something with quite the same response feel, but this thread has various suggestions and the OP's got a good post on the second page where he gives his thoughts on other headphones he tried and how he liked them.


Edited by idale - 5/18/11 at 7:15am
post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmK View Post

I've heard the 580, 780 and HD25-1 and I have to agree with Proglover on rock music and the 580/780. IMO they were much better suited towards electronic music while the HD25s did better with rock if my memory serves correctly. The 580s are very agressive though with a big treble and bass but lack the midrange presence of Grados. Still no two ears are alike so it wouldn't surprise me if someone felt differently. Is there any possibility of auditioning any of your choices?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by idale View Post




The 580s are somewhat bright and somewhat bassy ("U response" I guess is what some people call it), and is indeed forward (I hesitate to specifically use the word "aggressive"). I don't feel like the 580 is a basshead 'phone, but the bass is definitely present (moreso than in the 780, so they say). I'm what I'd call a "bassophile", but what I love about bass is quality: I want there to be some impact but remain fairly tight and controlled and not drown out everything else. "Everything in moderation" and all that. Some people are all about the bass with less regard to the other frequencies, which would point to other headphones. If the mids were a little stronger the 580 would probably be a contender, but as they're a little distant, the more rock-like songs I have don't seem as "engaging" as I feel they could be. I don't personally care as it'd be difficult if not impossible to find something that's "ideal" for all the various music I listen to, so I'm fine with being "good" for everything. smily_headphones1.gif Not to mention how it's hard to say when your source audio is what's deficient and not completely your headphones (or amp or DAC or whatever).

 

Unfortunately I'm new to the headphone world (generally have had to put up with what I could find in behind-the-neck portables on the laptop at home due to spousal restrictions, but needed a pair for work and wanted them to be actually good since I'll be listening to them much of the day) and there's apparently no real headphone shops in the area to audition at, so my experience is extremely limited (*cough*HFI-580 only*cough*) and my research was in a limited sector.

 

Here's one sample thread of someone asking about a closed-back Grado equivalent: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/463720/blasphemy-looking-for-closed-phones-with-a-grado-sound . Seems from this and other threads like you can't get something with quite the same response feel, but this thread has various suggestions and the OP's got a good post on the second page where he gives his thoughts on other headphones he tried and how he liked them.


All right sirs! Thanks for describing the HFI-580 sound. I think I have a good idea of it's sound. The pushed back mids is kinda turn off.  As for auditioning, I still haven't met someone here who owns one, the HFI-580 that is, and a store that carries it. So it's kinda hard.

 

Also I'll look into that post. But it really looks like I'm going for the HD25-1, expensive. But I can't take the HFI-580 out of my mind. :P the thread that I read a couple of days ago listed the HFI-580 close to the sr80i. I hope other members chime as well. Thanks.

 

post #9 of 49

Ultrasone HFI's like Grado's? Absolutely no way

post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

Ultrasone HFI's like Grado's? Absolutely no way



I read that somewhere. From what I read, it's quite similar however the Ultrasones have mids recessed or laid back. I saw some threads here that recommend Ultrasones as closed headphones for rock. I am only basing it from what I read. I have no real experiences about Ultrasones that's why I am asking.


Edited by xallarap - 5/18/11 at 9:11am
post #11 of 49

There are lots of people posting here at head-fi:)

 

No, Ultrasone's are not like Grado's

 

Just spend some more time doing searches like 'best rock headphones' 'portables rock' 'portables like Grado' (you will find that HD-25 shows up often then and practically never Ultrasones)

 

Good luck:)

 

(don't get me wrong, I'm not against Ultrasone HFI models, it's just not that close to Grado's sound)


Edited by Proglover - 5/18/11 at 9:23am
post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

There are lots of people posting here at head-fi:)

 

No, Ultrasone's are not like Grado's

 

Just spend some more time doing searches like 'best rock headphones' 'portables rock' 'portables like Grado' (you will find that HD-25 shows up often then and practically never Ultrasones)

 

Good luck:)

 

(don't get me wrong, I'm not against Ultrasone HFI models, it's just not that close to Grado's sound)


Yeah, a lot of people are posting so it's quite hard to know which post is correct. I spent my first few weeks here in head-fi searching for the best rock headphones. And HD25 is really the most common recommendation for closed portables. I just find that by asking questions, I will know more. Auditioning is really the way to go. Thank you sir for the tips. I really hope I can audition the Ultrasones one of these days to satisfy my curiosity. :)

 

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

There are lots of people posting here at head-fi:)

 

No, Ultrasone's are not like Grado's

 

True, they have different sound signatures. I like more ultrasones for bassy stuff.

Audition the ultrasone's and keep us posted!! 

 

 

 


Edited by winma - 5/18/11 at 12:03pm
post #14 of 49

As an owner of both the HD25 and a Grado, let me reassure you that the Sennheisers do rock and metal even better. There, I said it. :D Don't even think, pull the trigger on some HD25s and you're set for life. If the price is a problem, get them used.

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by winma View Post



 

True, they have different sound signatures. I like more ultrasones for bassy stuff.

Audition the ultrasone's and keep us posted!! 

 

 

 


all right sir. I will try searching them here and hopefully I can finally audition. If I do, I'll post my impressions here. Thanks!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmd View Post

As an owner of both the HD25 and a Grado, let me reassure you that the Sennheisers do rock and metal even better. There, I said it. :D Don't even think, pull the trigger on some HD25s and you're set for life. If the price is a problem, get them used.

 

Landslide. :D I really hope I can find one cheap. Or even used. If not, I have to save up more or try other headphones that will suit my needs. I am starting to feel sorry about my wallet and ATM. One of the rules of this hobby. Be prepared for the wallet to have a severe case of anorexia. :)) Anyway, thanks sir!

 

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