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Dennis' quest for great phones

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 




I already posted this question in this thread, but it doesn't seem to get as much love as all the other threads (which I can understand), so I decided to created a new thread. If I'm woefully out of line, please tell and I'd happily close this thread :)


Anyway, I'm 'in the market' for a nice set of phones.

I will mostly listen to them while at work, through my Macbook Pro. So they need to be closed.


Currently I own the Sennheiser HD201, which I like very much for it's laidback and natural sound. Also I can listen to them all day without fatigue and without sweating my ears off. So overall, I like them very much, but I want to take my listening experience a few notches up.

My girlfriend has a pair of Sennheiser HD447's, in some ranges a bit more detail than the 201's, but overall too boomy on the bass, muddy mid's and lacking high's.


I fell in love with the HD598's, both in looks and sound. My god, those are amazing! But.. they are open cans, so can't use them at work. They would be above my budget but I can get a good deal on them (50% off).


This weekend I went for a listen in a hifi store and have two models which I like very much: the Denon AH-D1100 and Beyer Dynamics DT660.

I like the warm, rich sound of the DT660's but I'm afraid it will get tiresome. I think in the end the natural, clear, brisk sound of the Denon's will suit me better for extended listening.


I have read some good and some bad reviews about both cans, but couldn't find a comparison between the two.


So my question is: which of the two would you recommend, and why? Also bear in mind that I don't have an amp and don't intend to buy one in the near future.

Are there other cans I should definitely listen to?


Maybe a good idea to state something about my musical preference: it's very broad: pop, 60s/70s, (hard, soft, classic, acoustic, symfonic) rock, some metal, hip hop, some classical, very little dance/house/techno.




Thanks a bunch!



post #2 of 8

I'm a big fan of the D1100. I think it does well with rock and bass-oriented genres.


I don't listen to classical so I couldn't say if it's good for that genre.


It's clear that the D1100 are not the most balanced headphones, but they are excellent for my musical tastes.


Maybe you should take some of your music to the hi-fi shop and listen.

post #3 of 8

I own the dt660s and I think you might have the descriptions reversed.  The dt660s are like closed grados, they have a peak in the upper mids/low treble that make them sound incredibly bright.  And they are not warm either, the mids to the bass are just neutral.  They are actually the least bassy closed headphones that I have ever heard.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

From what I have read about both, it indeed seems I got the descriptions reversed. Though I am pretty sure I got it right.

The Denon's have nearly round cups and are the most fragile of the two. The Beyer's are big and oval, with a velour padding right?


Maybe I just have strange ears ;) Anyway, it was the first time I actually to higher end headphones. For years all I heard were my HD201's.


So, they are both good headphones, but with a very different sound signature. I'll need another listen set :)



Anybody got other suggestions in this price range?

post #5 of 8

1100s are good but need to be EQ'd, otherwise the lower mids are colored. I have not heard the 660s so I can't comment

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Went to another store today, heard another three contenders (well, I heard some more, but these stood out): Shure SRH440, Roland RH-D30 and Sennheiser HD280.


This gets harder by the day..

And doh! Now I'm back listening to my girl's crappy 447's, which sound like hell. I want new 'phones! Now!


To my ears both the 440's and 280's sounded roughly equal, liked them both very much. The 440's maybe a little brighter.

The Roland's really blew me away though! Haven't seen anything about Roland on this forum. Are these considered crap? Can anybody say something about them?


And what is the deal with the 280's/380's. Read very mixed opinions about them, though they are ranked fairly high. The 280's at least. From the model number I suppose the 380 would be better and/or newer but is ranked significantly lower (and I can get them cheaper btw). How should that be interpreted?


Hmm..looking at the rankings a little more, don't know what to make of them. The HD201's are ranked #43 while the HD598's are #48, obviously not very correct. 


Anyway, I'm really interested in those Roland's anybody got something to say about them? Would be greatly appreciated!



Edit: What I don't like about the Roland's is that they are fairly bass heavy, a little too much for my taste. I wonder if anybody knows if that will settle in and/or you get used to it and/or if it's easy to suppress using an EQ (while preserving SQ of course).

Edited by dhaarbrink - 6/21/11 at 12:58pm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Alright, I've decided. And acted. Currently listening to my new Roland's!

They are *awesome*.


Very sturdy construction, cups and hinges made of aluminium, headband feels solid and very comfortable. Good clamping force, not skullcrushing, but they stay in place very well. 

They sound very good overall, bass heavy but absolutely not muddy. I'm a happy camper :)


I'll try and put up some hi-res pictures tonight. And maybe I'll write a review about them the coming week. Don't expect too much though, my ears aren't trained like most of you :)

post #8 of 8

Yeah I don't think many of us have tried them, so a review would be cool :)


EQing certain frequencies down is fine. It's when you start boosting frequencies that you run into some potential problems.

Edited by knubbe - 6/22/11 at 9:24am
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