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Audio Technica ATH M50 vs Ultrasone HIFI 580 Vs Denon AH D1100 vs Sennheiser HD25-1 ii vs AKG K181??

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hi I am new to headfi but I listen to predominantly trance and techno.  I have a pair of AKG k518 at the moment but I find them to be quite bass heavy but have that boomy resonant bass with a long decay period, with somewhat recessed mids and veiled highs to my ears anyhow (I have removed the ear pads and burned them in but really had no success there).  I would be interested in something like the Ultrasone hifi 580/780, Audio Technica M50, Denon AH D1100, AKG K181 or Senheiser HD25-1 ii the industry standard as it seems.  I am looking for a headphone with good bass extension ie bass with impact in lay mans terms I need a headphone that can handle complex bass lines without making it sound boomy.  I would also like the mids to be more forward I think and highs to be less veiled because I like vocal trance, I like to get immersed in the music but the AKG K518 was not good with vocal trance with it's uncontrolled slightly bloated bass response.  I am not sure if I should look for a more neutral analytical headphone or opt for a warmer or dark "can" that has more musicality, if that makes sense.  I am running my headphones from my PC with a fairly good sound card but would be prepared to amp with something like the FiiO E7 if required.  


1) Good Bass Extension impact

2) Mids slightly more forward less recessed

3) High's (treble), well controlled smooth not muffled


 I am hoping someone on headfi with their experienced knowledge can help steer me in the right direction and help me make an educated purchase/decision etc :-)   

post #2 of 41
If bass is your priority, the HFI-580 SHOULD be the best bet for your preferences. To date (IMO), they have the tightest basshead bass in their price point. However, treble can sometimes be a little uncontrolled due to the fact that it has a pretty aggressive high end. Mids are recessed too; moreso than the M50 but are definitely clearer. More details in my review in my sig if you need it.

The M50 would be my next option, but seeing as you could afford the HD25...
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hey cheers for your response, Ive heard that the Ultrasone Hifi 580 has a very controlled bass response which would be very important for me and as long as the mids are clear I could settle for some uncontrolled highs :-)  The Sennheiser is very expensive for me but if there was a significant step up from the AKG K518 then I would definitely pull the trigger on these.  The only thing that worries me about the Sennheiser hd25 is that the mids might be very neutral not forward and I heard that the highs are very bright is this a good sound signature for vocal trance, low end is important but the mids and highs equally so.  Is there any other cans ive missed out in the Ultrasone hifi 580 price range??

post #4 of 41
I've heard great things about the HD25, but never auditioned it extensively. There is an (almost) universal agreement that the HD25 is, to some extent, better than the M50. As for other alternatives, you can take a look at the Pro700 MK2 as well, just for kicks.
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks I might have a look at the AT ATH pro700 mk2 aswell.  Though my wreckless streak is telling me to have a punt at the Ultrasone hifi 580!  It might be a risk but hey if it has controlled bass and fairly good mids and highs it might just be worth a shot and save me some money.  I would like to get the Sennheisers but they might not be as interesting as the ultrasones, "can you feel the bass" lol :-)  Cheers for the help.

post #6 of 41

How important is isolation?


Not all closed headphones isolate all that well. DJ headphones usually isolate very well and/or go very loud. The Stanton DJ2000 for instance is not bad but its isolation is no better than a PX200 II while the HD25 and K181 isolate very well. 


Have you tried removing the foam disc in the K518? It can be a slight improvement but I gave up on that headphone and the K181 is now my portable headphone. 

post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 

 I'm not really concerned about Isolation, I know my AKG k518 isolates very well but it's not a big concern for me as I will be using the headphones primarily with my desktop computer.  I havent tried the Stanton DJ pro 2000 alot of people said they isolate well but the sound quality is very poor so I didn't bother with them but how do they sound are they worth considering??  I was also interested in the AKG K181 how do those compare to the K518, is the bass more controlled, mids less recessed and treble a little brighter??  I was also thinking about the Denon AH D1100 which is about a 100 pounds here in Belfast but I can get the AKG K181 for a 100 pounds aswell so any advice regarding the K181 would be greatly appreciated :-)

post #8 of 41

The Stanton does not age well. I would skip if for durability and parts. Sometimes people mistake loudness for isolation.


AKG K181, if you can get it for 100 pounds and audition before purchase try it. The K181 sounds so HiFi you would think it was not a DJ headphone, my opinion of course. Ljokerl in his 'massive thread' also reviewed the K181 and many others. Check it out if you can. 

post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hey cheers will see if I can find the AKG K181 in some of my local stores and try it out and I will also read through Ljoker's thread aswell, thanks for the help.

post #10 of 41

I think either the 580's or the HD-25's will be your best bet. Another phone to look into are the Pioneer HDJ-2000's. I have them and I love them.


The K181's sound interesting. Report back once you've tried them.  smily_headphones1.gif

Edited by roma101 - 7/19/11 at 10:13am
post #11 of 41


My favorite genres since 1998...

After having both M50 and DJ1 i must say that DJ1 is clearly the winner..

When it comes to electronic music the aggressive and organic sound of Ultarsone is a delight to listen to..

Not to mention the surround feeling you get when the sound doesn't hit your ears right in the middle but all around....

post #12 of 41

I have the M50 and HD25 and I prefer the HD25 in every respect except for comfort. BUT, my industrial (piercing) has more to do with that than the headphones themselves with the M50's being circum and the HD25's being supra. Electronic sounds AWESOME on the HD25's. Gets my foot tapping and head bobbing every time. Great detail and clarity while still being highly energetic and fun, very up front in your face. They also might be easier to get a hold of/cheaper too if you're in Ireland.

post #13 of 41

Do they not still sell the HD25 "basic" edition? It was cheaper than the normal version, with the only difference being it doesn't come with the velour pads or the travel bag. (Note: I do not mean the HD25-SP)

post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 

Wow I have alot of options now the Ultrasone dj1, Audio technica M50, Ultrasone hifi 580, AKG k181, Sennheiser hd25 and possibly the Denon AH D1100.  The fact that jantirak describes the Sennheiser HD25-1 ii as energetic and fun sounds promising because I was a little worried they might sound too neutral and a little cold - soundstage wise.  I can get the Sennheiser here for about £139 (pounds) which is still expensive but I was prepared to go for something around the £100 mark or slightly above so it might be worth the extra push to get the Sennheisers.  I can also get the Ultrasone DJ1 for about £110 pounds, what do you think would anyone strongly recommend the Ultrasone dj1 over the sennheisers because I'm open to any can it doesn't really matter which make??  The key factors would be good bass punchy impactful, slightly forward mids and smooth highs (not sure if I'm using the right terminology here) but I guess I want it to be good with fast bass lines and really sing nicely with the vocal trance I like aswell :-)

post #15 of 41

I don't think you can go wrong with the HD25 or DJ1/580 (aren't they the same thing essentially?). It's been nearly a year since I had the HFI-580 so I couldn't really compare them to the HD25 though.


Personally I'd scratch the M50 off that list. Also, the D1100 might have too much bass which you might find boomy-ish. I don't think it's that extended either into the sub-bass.



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