Well it depends on your preferred sound signature. There's so many different preferences around here. Some people love a lot of treble and bass and others love forward sounding mids. I want a fairly balanced signature with some engaging mids. I'm usually willing to give up a little treble for more bass or more forward mids. In the last year I've disliked closed headphones, but these actually have a good enough soundstage to make me not care if it's closed.
I don't want to give anyone the impression that these are bass heavy. They have very good bass extension (probably better than the M50), but the bass on them is definitely more controlled than that of the old M50 I had.
My first M50 had really bloated bass. Supposedly the newer M50s have less bass and more treble? That's what i've heard anyway. My M50 made the D2000 (when desktop amped) seem almost bass light in comparison!
The KNS-8400 is closer to the K702/K701 IMO. The treble on both can be a bit bothersome..at first. The treble on the 8400 smoothed out a tad after 3 days of burn-in. Maybe I just had a goofy pair and there is a possibility some pairs won't need any burn-in. My 6400 definitely did not.
My 6400 has a really smooth signature. I could listen to them for 8 hours without fatigue maybe. It depends on the recording. Some of my Jpop stuff is painful to listen to even on this headphone, but less so than say the K702 or even the K601. It's maybe a tad more energetic than the HD-598 I think. Comparing them is the last thing I want to do, but I think I like the KRK more in some ways. Just sounds a little more clear.
The 6400 is good at fooling me sometimes. Often it'll sound like crap and it's the recording. I wish I could say it's forgiving, but not as much as it could be. I still remember one day thinking the sound clarity was awful, but that's when I finally realized it was the song itself and not the headphone. I was so worried there for about 2 seconds. It really is amazing how many CDs there are that are so poorly mastered and they sound so bad. I have a Joe Hisashi CD that's nearly unlistenable due to the sound quality. This is ripped to FLAC or ALAC.
Basically these things to me are really quite accurate based on the recording itself. They don't really change anything. If anything they do maybe have slightly forward mids. Not as much as the HD-598 though.
My suggestion is to demo these at a local store if you can. If not, see if you can return them if you don't like them. I bought my pair at Guitar Center with a service plan for under $100. Got some coupon for giving them my email address.
I can't wait until a few more people have tried these. I'm not easily impressed with headphones. It seems these days I must only like about 10% of what I try
To me $99 is a stupid good deal for these considering how good they sound.
BTW for your genres the KRK KNS-6400 would be a good match. It's one of the few headphones that's nearly good for every genre.
Also...I had the K702/K702 about oh...4 times before and even went out and bought a new amp for them TWICE. I can say for sure that music on these would be about 10x more engaging than on the K702. OK, maybe not classical, but the K702 has that advantage due to it's soundstage. I'd take this for female vocals over the K702 any day. I listen to a lot of female vocals, acoustic music, even asian pop.
Another good alternative to the M50 is the Koss Pro DJ100. I probably love it more than the KNS-6400, but it needs an amp at all times and it's best to change out it's stock pads for MDR-V6 pads. The DJ100 has even more forward mids and even more bass than the 6400. Female vocals are even better on the DJ100, but it's a harder headphone for people to like maybe. The DJ100's soundstage is very good, but the 6400's is even larger. The DJ100 is what made me sell the M50. There's a comparison I did in other threads. Even the HFI-680, MDR-V6, SRH-840 and ESW9a lost out to the DJ100.
I had decided on the Audio Technica M-50 but after reading this thread I'm thinking about the KNS 6400. I'm now using the AKG 701, and the open phone realy,realy bothers others around me. I also find that the bass is thin on the 701 and they are too analytical and I get listening fatigue using them. Im using a doge tube headphone amp and using FLAC files through a stand alone DAC. I also have a momba portable amp for my sanza fuze. So my question is which closed headphone the Audio Technica M-50 or the KNS 6400 would be most likely to keep me happy (for a while,anyhow)? Is there a different closedphone that would be better?
I listen to electronica,female jazz and some music from the 70's (Pink Floyd ect.)
Edited by tdockweiler - 7/25/11 at 7:15pm