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Closed cans with forward sound and sparkly highs? - Page 2

post #16 of 29

I'll throw in my vote for the HD25s as well. And yes, it is worth $10 in gas to try them out. In the end, you're the one who is going to be using them and you're the only one who can decide which one you like better.

post #17 of 29

Yea, the Shure's are VERY VERY reveiling for low quality music as well. the senns are a bit more forgiving.

post #18 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by ounwx View Post

Many thanks for the help so far.

 

I seem to be narrowing my search to the HD 25 II and Shure SRH-840/940.

 

New question: would the SRH-840 (significantly cheaper and in stock at my local Guitar center) have a similar sound signature to the SRH-940, and thus be down the alley of what I'm looking for?

 

Trying to decide whether it's worth the 45-minute drive and $10 in gas to try them out. They should have the Senn's in stock, too.


My bad, didn't realize the 940s were so expensive right now. They were on sale for around $200 a little while ago.

 

The 840 is pretty different, more bass and a little dark on top. The 440 should be closer, and if you buy some of the thicker 840 pads for it it's apparently pretty decent and isolates better. Some people even prefer that setup to the 840 itself.

 

Definitely worth the trip to Guitar Center so you can try out the hd25-1 and some 440s, and if you end up really liking the Shure you can upgrade to the 940 later when it comes down in price.

 

Both of them are known for having really good isolation, no worries there.


Edited by 200poundsofamp - 7/19/11 at 6:07pm
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 

I took the advice and made the 30-mile trek to GC today. And thank God I did. I was all but sold on the HD-25 II -- to the point where I debated just ordering them on Amazon, but figured I'd grab them locally because I'm getting antsy.

 

Long story short, I'm back home now two hours later empty-handed. Upon arriving and asking to try out the HD-25 and SRH-840, the guy unboxed each and handed them to me, then gave me a blank stare. I asked if there was any quality stereo or amplifier I could hook these up to, to which he responded: "uhh... you don't have an iPod or anything?" And so my cheap-ass smartphone was my "source" for this listening test. Hooray.

 

I tried the HD-25 first, and found the bass overwhelming. In addition, as I suspected, the comfort factor was firmly in the negative category. I didn't really hear the bright/trebly sound their reputation suggests, either. Next up was the SRH-840, which sounded similar, but with less bass (a good thing). The salesguy convinced me to try the Beyer 770 (80 ohm) as well. They were by far the most comfortable of the trio and seemed to leak the least as well, and honestly sounded less bass-heavy than the HD-25, despite their reputation. However, they would not get reasonably loud, even with my phone's volume on 10. Clearly, an amp would be a requirement with those.

 

Now I'm left confused and generally down on closed-back cans. I get the feeling I'm just not going to be happy with the sound from any of them, to be honest. I own a cheap pair of Senn HD497's I bought for $50 back in the day, and I think I prefer them over all three models I tried today. (And this coming from someone who prefers aggressive, forward, bright equipment -- the opposite of the Senn sound! Perhaps closed cans just aren't capable of such a thing?) The only complicating factors are (a) the lack of amplification in-store today, and (b) the possibility that break-in would tilt things significantly.

 

As much as I want a closed-back set that doesn't leak, I'm awfully close to just ordering the SR 80i and being done with it. If it's going to save me $100+, the need for an amp, *and* have a sound more suited to me, why not? I only wish I knew exactly how bad the leakage is. If it's no worse than the HD497's I've got, I could definitely live with that.


Edited by ounwx - 7/19/11 at 6:03pm
post #20 of 29

The only other recommendation that I can think of is the Ultrasone Hifi 680. From what I understand they're the most balanced of the 580, 680 and 780. However, the 580 and 780 are usually favored by bassheads and I'm not sure how much less bass the 680s have in comparison since I've only heard the 780s. The 780 is also pretty bright, forward and aggressive, so some of those qualities might carry over to the 680s. You might want to read up on them (the 680s) since they are usually the choice of those who want the most balanced sound of the 3.

 

As for your need for a pair of headphone that don't leak, maybe you could describe under what circumstances they'll be used? I would say that Grados can be used in an office situation provided the office isn't so noisy that you have to tum up the volume high, that you are not the sort who listens at high volumes and that you're not sitting right next to someone.

post #21 of 29

on the HFI-780's to quote a great saying"Everything sounds like symbols, and symbols sound like a glass box filled with symbols being dropped on the ground"

post #22 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

on the HFI-780's to quote a great saying"Everything sounds like symbols, and symbols sound like a glass box filled with symbols being dropped on the ground"


Couldn't disagree more. I find the HFI-780 to have forward sound and nice highs. Also, not to be a basshead headphone.
 

 

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

Many thanks for all who contributed. Just placed my order on Amazon for the SR-80i. I've been tepidly researching cans on and off for years now, always becoming frustrated at the lack of a "perfect" option and putting it off for another day. After hearing the three models (HD-25 II, DT770, SRH-840) in-store today, I have a gut feeling that closed cans just aren't for me.

 

Given that I wasted a lot of time recently during a speaker search listening to Klipsch naysayers who claimed the sound was too "colored" and "harsh," only to find those are *only* speakers I truly enjoy listening to my music on, I figure it's best to seek out the analogous headphone brand and run with it. Will update when they arrive.

 

DTKZ: I was hoping to use these both at home and work, but home was always the primary concern. I'll just have to find another solution for work -- either continue using my crappy $20 Senn buds, or perhaps have a look at the $90 Grado buds I noticed on Amazon tonight when purchasing the SR-80.


Edited by ounwx - 7/19/11 at 11:16pm
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

I took delivery of the SR80i's yesterday, and I must say, my initial impressions are not quite what I was expecting.

The treble is very bright, indeed -- bordering on too harsh and shrill even for my tastes, I dare say -- but I was somewhat taken aback by what I perceive as muddy, veiled mids. This runs counter to almost every description of the Grado house sound I've read over the years. After a bit of research and experimentation, I believe I've determined the culprit to be the stock "comfy" pads.

After removing the pads and allowing the drivers to sit right on my ears, I cannot overstate my opinion on this matter: the stock comfies are completely unacceptable in their SQ, and should be illegal to use on any headphone! I'm still in disbelief at the amount of muddiness they introduce at all frequencies. Needless to say, it looks like another $20+S/H is in order to rectify this with bowls. I'm fairly peeved, too, because if I'd known this "upgrade" would be necessary, I probably would've just sprung for the SR225i's from the get-go. The price gap has now closed from $80 to only $50 or so.

Aside from the pads, I'm hoping that burn-in and the addition of an amp will also make these things sing. Even with the pads off, the mids aren't quite as aggressive as I was hoping for; however, I recall having a similar impression when my HD497's arrived years ago, and they definitely opened up over time.

post #25 of 29

Try the quarter mod smily_headphones1.gif

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 200poundsofamp View Post

Try the quarter mod smily_headphones1.gif

 

Done. Also have a solid 100 hours of burn-in now.

 

I think some of the mudiness and veiled sounding mids have improved.

 

But I have to be honest: the final product just isn't quite what I was expecting. Very disappointing, because I've gone years thinking Grado to be the holy grail of rock headphones and couldn't wait to try them someday. I was so sure they'd be all I ever wanted and needed in cans (being that I'm not a connoisseur like a lot of y'all).

 

I wasn't expecting nor concerned with a wide soundstage for music, but everything seems so compressed spatially that it almost hurts my ability to hear all the parts simultaneously. But the bigger issue is what I'd describe as a "grainy" quality to the sound. The highs aren't just strong and forward; they're almost harsh, thin and shrill, too.

 

I have a pair of Klipsch B2 bookshelf speakers I picked up for $100, and I think they sound substantially better than the Grado's, which were the same price. They're forward and aggressive with strong treble, but not grainy. Given the old saying about how you can expect 10x more quality out of cans than speakers for a given price point, I assume I can probably do better. Course, now that I've quarter modded these Grado's, I can't send them back.

 

Gah. Not much is more frustrating than shopping for headphones. Absolutely no way to try most of them out locally, so you have to splurge and hope for the best.

post #27 of 29

it's already been suggested here, but give the ultrasone's a try. they aren't for everyone but those that like them will swear by them. i have a pair of the pro 900s and i don't think they are harsh or bass heavy. in fact i feel that they are one of the most detailed cans around. here's a huge thread of reviews http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/243343/an-ultrasone-review-collection

post #28 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by ounwx View Post

 

Done. Also have a solid 100 hours of burn-in now.

 

I think some of the mudiness and veiled sounding mids have improved.

 

But I have to be honest: the final product just isn't quite what I was expecting. Very disappointing, because I've gone years thinking Grado to be the holy grail of rock headphones and couldn't wait to try them someday. I was so sure they'd be all I ever wanted and needed in cans (being that I'm not a connoisseur like a lot of y'all).

 

I wasn't expecting nor concerned with a wide soundstage for music, but everything seems so compressed spatially that it almost hurts my ability to hear all the parts simultaneously. But the bigger issue is what I'd describe as a "grainy" quality to the sound. The highs aren't just strong and forward; they're almost harsh, thin and shrill, too.

 

I have a pair of Klipsch B2 bookshelf speakers I picked up for $100, and I think they sound substantially better than the Grado's, which were the same price. They're forward and aggressive with strong treble, but not grainy. Given the old saying about how you can expect 10x more quality out of cans than speakers for a given price point, I assume I can probably do better. Course, now that I've quarter modded these Grado's, I can't send them back.

 

Gah. Not much is more frustrating than shopping for headphones. Absolutely no way to try most of them out locally, so you have to splurge and hope for the best.



Wow, that sucks, sorry. But if you buy a Grado expecting detail and well controlled sound you're setting yourself up for disappointment, they're definitely a little grainy and harsh. Or at least a low end one - they might improve up the line, I wouldn't know. What makes them great to me at least is how lively they sound, they really make you feel like you're up front at a show. Really glad to have one again actually,

And your expectations of headphones are probably way too high. Dollar for dollar headphones give you better sound quality, sure, but 10x? No way. And I haven't heard a headphone that has the presence or visceral sound of speakers either. On the other hand headphones are better at detail and don't have a sweet spot.

Do you like the tone of the SR80s though? Mine are four hole modded which gives them a little more bass presence, but both the HFI-680 and SRH940 are close tonally to it, they really don't have the typical bassy closed headphones sound. If anything the 940s are a little cold sounding.  So if you like the tone of your Grados but want a more detailed, controlled and expansive sound both will give it to you, and although their treble is boosted neither are as harsh as the sr80.

The SRH440 might still worth checking out too btw if nothing else works for you, they're supposed to sound much closer to the 940 than the 840s. The KNK 8400 too probably.


Edited by 200poundsofamp - 7/29/11 at 6:11am
post #29 of 29
Check out the shure 940. I had a chance to listen to them briefly at GC and the upper frequencies were very forward, clean, crisp, and sharp. The lower end was very lean and felt like extended bass as opposed to bass that is punchy.
Edited by ates - 7/29/11 at 12:03pm
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