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Headphones for Movie Scores/ Classical/ Symphonies

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hey guys!

 

Been looking into headphones specifically for the aforementioned genres. After doing some research within the forums, and many many many threads later, i've come to the conclusion that the HD600 and HD650 are the top contenders. Which do you guys suggest and why? Any opinion will be appreciated. Also, i would like to throw into the mix AKG K501 (if a used pair could be acquired) and the Sony MDR-SA5000 ( detail monster, so i've read). Thanks again!

post #2 of 25

MDR-SA5000 is about the best you can get short of HD800's

 

They do need a little amping though, make sure you have a amp or a good Source that can push them. Just for thought, but you could probably go without. My MDR-V6 are harder to push and everything other then my straight Desktop pushes them without worry.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the fast response BotByte! I would like to know more about the MDR-SA5000's. Can you comment on the soundstaging? I would also like to know what other genres would be compatible with its clinical nature. How are vocals? Thanks!

post #4 of 25

Need some more details, i.e price range etc. By far and away the best headphones I ever had for soundtracks were my LCD-2. Obviously quite expensive though. In the cheaper price range, the HD650's were nice, I don't think you'd be disappointed with those. Make sure you're properly amping them though.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Budget is 400 dollars. I have no preference for open or closed cans, as these will be used at home. 

post #6 of 25

I listen to nothing but death metal and movie scores. I listen to John Williams, Howard Shore, a lot of philharmonic stuff, and Grados give me the detail that the HD-580/600's don't, but the HD-600 is more neutral. I find the HD-600 is listenable to more articulate tracks for longer since the Grado treble can be wearing at higher volumes on violin heavy stuff, but it's worth it.

 

Umm whenever I don't want to bother with an amp, DAC, or plugging into my sound card, Etymotics are my go to.

 

Grado SR-225/325

Etymotic ER4 (I prefer these secretly to headphones but I can't afford to buy a pair right now)

HD600

post #7 of 25

The Ultrasone Pro 2900 willbe better match for these genres music and it through large soundstage with great instrument separation, imaging and placement. Sony SA5000 are also very good for these genres but it need serious amplification like HD600, HD650. The both Sennheiser are also good but one(HD600) has upper bass hump with forward mids and other has more subbass with laidback sound signature in mids.

post #8 of 25

For the K-500/501 you'll need some hps amp, for your needs I'll recommend the K-240MKll @ 55 ohm.

post #9 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IhateBEATS View Post

Hey guys!

 

Been looking into headphones specifically for the aforementioned genres. After doing some research within the forums, and many many many threads later, i've come to the conclusion that the HD600 and HD650 are the top contenders. Which do you guys suggest and why? Any opinion will be appreciated. Also, i would like to throw into the mix AKG K501 (if a used pair could be acquired) and the Sony MDR-SA5000 ( detail monster, so i've read). Thanks again!


I also listen mostly to symphonic classical and orchestral soundtracks. I've tried most of the mid-priced phones (won't bore you with a list) and ended up with the HD650 (and now the LCD-2, but that's out of budget). Forget talk about superior soundstage on this or that phone; your first priority with orchestral phones is to get the strings right or you won't be able to listen more than a few minutes, and that means a refined phone. For the price you won't do better for the genres mentioned than the HD650.

 

Needs burning in though, and decent peripherals. No need to spend a motza.

 

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

I listen to John Williams, Howard Shore, a lot of philharmonic stuff, and Grados give me the detail that the HD-580/600's don't, but the HD-600 is more neutral. I find the HD-600 is listenable to more articulate tracks for longer since the Grado treble can be wearing at higher volumes on violin heavy stuff, but it's worth it.

 

 

 

Interesting that you mention the Grados... I was looking into the Alessandro MS2 earlier because of their said ability to identify great detail in songs but decided to give up on them since they "have a very small sound stage," and i was looking for a more expansive and wide sound experience to keep up with philharmonics. But you got me thinking again! rolleyes.gif I find it interesting that you comment on the neutrality aspect and not the sound stage. Do you feel that the difference in sound stage between the grado's and HD600 is small? If i could get myself a pair of headphones that kick butt in both rock and classical, thats something i would STRONGLY consider.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

The Ultrasone Pro 2900 willbe better match for these genres music and it through large soundstage with great instrument separation, imaging and placement. Sony SA5000 are also very good for these genres but it need serious amplification like HD600, HD650. The both Sennheiser are also good but one(HD600) has upper bass hump with forward mids and other has more subbass with laidback sound signature in mids.


The Ultrasone Pro's seem great but they are a bit out of my price range. Can you comment on the more significant differences between the SA-5000 and the Pro2900? Assuming you've spent considerable time with both..... If the differences are large enough to justify the higher price tag, I would maybe consider spending a bit more money.  Also, amplification shouldn't be a problem. I will be using a yamaha natural sound cd player and receiver. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

I also listen mostly to symphonic classical and orchestral soundtracks. I've tried most of the mid-priced phones (won't bore you with a list) and ended up with the HD650 (and now the LCD-2, but that's out of budget). Forget talk about superior soundstage on this or that phone; your first priority with orchestral phones is to get the strings right or you won't be able to listen more than a few minutes, and that means a refined phone. For the price you won't do better for the genres mentioned than the HD650.

 

Needs burning in though, and decent peripherals. No need to spend a motza.

 


Now we are getting somewhere! +1 for the HD650. I am looking for exactly these comments. Thanks!

 

 

 

post #11 of 25

+1 vote for the 650's. They sound nice for orchestra/classical when properly amped. 

post #12 of 25

To me, soundstage is just an illusion, instrument separation is what is important and you get that with all the aforementioned headphones. I have a preference towards Grado for bright treble and a forward (distinct) midrange because I can listen at lower volumes yet hear the detail.

 

Sennheisers will take the crown if you want soundstage, I'd be an idiot to tell you Grados even had one, but absolute detail will go to Grado along with treble extension. The treble extension on the lower end models is accompanied with "sparkle" which is a nice way of saying you get a little bit of bzzzz to the treble which can sound pleasing, but on the higher end models the treble will extend even further with increased clarity. On the SR-325 it's really as good as it's going to get, the higher end models I've heard with exception to the elusive PS-1000 add warmth and bass to the sound via their different cups, but the SR-325 is as high as most people will end up going anyway, some prefer the 225, but both are excellent.

 

I don't even enjoy rock and metal in particular even though with properly produced music of either genre you'd really get 100 percent, but I prefer to listen to orchestral and lead guitar soloists like Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert. I hate when people romanticize how headphones sound because after all it's just two drivers but you get an uncanny amount of detail and warmth. For instance Yo Yo Ma I picked up just because... and I believe where the HD600 will do all of it in it's entirety, the Grado SR-225 will do it with tight punchy bass and a very rewarding treble presence. The treble comes off as shrill to some due to it's brightness, I either suffer from extreme deafness at this point (doubt it) or I just became acclimated to the treble coloration.

 

Honestly it's a win/win/win situation. The HD650 is smooth with a very organic/natural sounding frequency response, yet veiled (treble is forcefully silky, which may cause some purists to dismiss), HD600, neutral, yet some people might not like that, Grado detailed and just plain fun, but some criticize it for being overly bright and quality of build is questionable compared to the others.

 

If it were me and money wasn't a concern, it'd be a cointoss, it takes a few tries to get your preferred sonic signature down and from there on, you just buy what you can comfortably afford. Nobody said Sennheisers were bad at rock, it just all depends on what. If it's speed metal it's probably not going to fly, but anything with a moderate pace should absolutely sound good through almost any good headphone. A friend recently told me a good headphone plays all things well and isn't genre limited... he also has more money than I do so....

 

If you ultimately want a well versed opinion, call HeadRoom. They are the ones who convinced me to get the Grados AND the HD580, even though it wasn't from them at the time since the 580 was d/c'ed. Great people.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

A Gradophile indeed! haha you are pitching the phones quite well Chris. I'm not sure if this is the case for the sr225/325 but i'm currently auditioning a pair of sr125 and the "soundstage" is nill to none. I feel as if im standing in a whirlwind of musical notes. My Dt770s on the other hand, seem to present the music to me rather than throwing me in it. Maybe it's something I have to get used to with Grados...

 

Also, can you explain your statement here. "treble is forcefully silky, which may cause some purists to dismiss." I'm relatively new to audiophile terms and dont quite understand this. I would like to understand any and all "flaws" before purchase. Thanks again!o2smile.gif

post #14 of 25

If you can't find k501s, the k601s handle classical pretty well (soundstage is a bit smaller and there is a bit more bass - I have both). Maybe you should consider the k701/2 too (I never heard them tho). Anyway, I think those AKG's are great for orchestral music due to being very airy sounding.

I can't comment about the Senn's.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by IhateBEATS View Post

A Gradophile indeed! haha you are pitching the phones quite well Chris. I'm not sure if this is the case for the sr225/325 but i'm currently auditioning a pair of sr125 and the "soundstage" is nill to none. I feel as if im standing in a whirlwind of musical notes. My Dt770s on the other hand, seem to present the music to me rather than throwing me in it. Maybe it's something I have to get used to with Grados...

 

Also, can you explain your statement here. "treble is forcefully silky, which may cause some purists to dismiss." I'm relatively new to audiophile terms and dont quite understand this. I would like to understand any and all "flaws" before purchase. Thanks again!o2smile.gif


Haha my years of Grado listening experience tend to show in my posts. The truth is I love ALL headphones and I could freely swap between anything. Grados honestly are just the most inexpensive while giving me an audiophile approved sound. The buy-in price is very cheap as well as the supporting hardware to use them properly. For example the average high end Grado setup is probably 1/3rd of the AKG K701 setup. If somebody were to drop off a DT880 by surprise at my door, I probably wouldn't post as much about them anymore and switch sides :)

 

Oh no all Grados more or less sound the same in term of general tone. I don't encourage people who don't like the lower end models to buy into them. It's like somebody who likes pianos buying more expensive electric guitars lol. I completely agree with your statement and I understand it's one of the limitations of the design. Don't force yourself to like them because of the immense noteriety surrounding them, they're just headphones lol.

 

The Sennheiser HD650 sounds very smooth. This "smoothness" is the frequency spectrum being made to sound that way. From a listening standpoint, this sound very lovely. From an analytical standpoint, it's not as raw. Either way it sound better than the HD600 if you just use your ears, but the HD600 will sound more raw. The smoothness is called "Sennheiser veil". This doesn't exist in many of their headphones so it's a case by case situation. For example the HD800, HD600, HD580, along a few others do not have this. Now there are ways to make it less raw via amps and cables and the like, but honestly it's not a big deal. Some people like it, some people don't just like anything else in the world. Again, the veil might not even make itself very obvious, I actually liked the HD650, I just didn't feel it was worth an extra 150 dollars to me at that point in time. What you get in exchange for this veil is a very warm midrange, the bass is upped by about 15 percent, and the treble is rolled off. It'll play the high end well, it'll just mask the piercing highs to be more pleasing to the ear. 

 

The 650 is a polar opposite of the SR-325, if you didn't like the 125, maybe it's worth looking at this option then.

 

Back in the day when I started using Head-Fi, it was Grado RS-1, AKG K701, Sennie HD650, and Beyer DT880, in terms of king of the hill. Then you had your exotic stuff that not a lot of people got into back then like the Audio Technica and Denon people but people swore by those and bought multiples of those because of how much they loved them.

 

I liked the DT880, and the RS-1 just because I prefer a very meaty midrange followed by bright treble. The DT880 is analytical which sacrifices low end bass to present you a very accurate midrange and treble. The RS-1 is a Grado.

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