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AKG K 701, Sennheiser HD650 or Beyerdynamic DT880?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I currently own AKG 242 HD and Audio Technica M50 headphones but mostly use the 242 HD. I want to upgrade to a real high-end headphone and need help with my choice. I narrowed down my options to three headphones as the title of this thread states. Which one should I go for? I mostly listen to jazz in any form, instrumental and blues. I've heard good things about all three of these headphones but haven't had a chance to audition them myself. I really like the sound signature of the 242 HD. Will an upgrade to K701 make a whole lot of difference? My equipment as for now is a Cowon J3 with Fiio e5 amp (soon to receive Fiio e11).

 

Thanks for all the feedback in advance...

 

/metsat

post #2 of 43

you need a better amp for any of these, not worth the upgrade w/o a new amp


Edited by alv4426 - 8/5/11 at 3:21pm
post #3 of 43

FiiO E5 is not a amp, but a bass boost button for idio-

 

Forget it

 

 

You can't run any of those cans because they need amps. Except the 880, but I never liked Beyer, very boring to me.

 

I liked the Shure 940 for Jazz, rock and so then Blues. Fun and really nice to hear. $300 and doesn't need a amp, but would like one none the less.

post #4 of 43
Thread Starter 

If I had a better amp which headphone should I go for? And which portable amp would you recommend?

post #5 of 43


I dont think a portable amp would be able to power these. Maybe the 32 ohm dt880, but definitely not the 600ohm version that I have and from what I have heard the other 2 are even harder to drive than the beyers. And by not being able to power these I mean that they will play sounds but at a much lower level than properly powered ones, to the point where the M50s will sound like god's only gift to audiophiles compared to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metsat View Post

If I had a better amp which headphone should I go for? And which portable amp would you recommend?



 

post #6 of 43

The DT880 is well known as a classical and jazz headphone. It is reasonably efficient and has an almost resistive load to the amp, so it is very easy to drive and usually does not require a headamp. The 250 ohm version is the most versatile and will usually work in situations the 600 and 32 ohm versions are most recommended. It is better value for money than your other two choices. Well known for its comfort.

post #7 of 43

Just get the DT880 and worry about a headamp later. You may learn you don't need one (I do not use one with mine in most cases), but if you decide to get one, you will at least know what aspects to improve.

 

Don't place too much importance on what others think sounds the best. The DT880 is a great headphone based on many years of satisfied users and the fact it has been continually upgraded. You will find that no one headphone sounds the best on all recordings. I have 4 headphones that I use, and they are all the best at some use.

 

Don't waste money on expensive snake oil cables and other forms of audiophilia nervosa ignorant tomfoolery.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by metsat View Post

If I had a better amp which headphone should I go for? And which portable amp would you recommend?



IF THE HEADPHONES DON'T NEED A AMP, DON'T GET ONE

 

Get a headphone that doesn't need a amp so then you don't need to buy one

post #9 of 43

Hmm, if you listen to instrumental jazz and classical than the K701 would probably be your best bet.  It has the massive sound stage and instrument separation that would work well with your preferred music genres. 

 

The E11 would be adequate the drive the K701, but I would recommend a desktop amp, such as the E9, to drive them better.  There are however, portable amps that can drive full-size headphones well.  If you prefer a portable amp then I would suggest checking out iBasso and Ray Samuels' line of portable amps.

post #10 of 43


     Quote:

Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

IF THE HEADPHONES DON'T NEED A AMP, DON'T GET ONE

 

Get a headphone that doesn't need a amp so then you don't need to buy one


 

The problem with that train of thought, is one will be excluding themselves from trying quite a few higher-end headphones.

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Pride View Post

Hmm, if you listen to instrumental jazz and classical than the K701 would probably be your best bet.  It has the massive sound stage and instrument separation that would work well with your preferred music genres. 

 

The E11 would be adequate the drive the K701, but I would recommend a desktop amp, such as the E9, to drive them better.  There are however, portable amps that can drive full-size headphones well.  If you prefer a portable amp then I would suggest checking out iBasso and Ray Samuels' line of portable amps.


I was leaning towards the K701 after reading a lot about them on this forum. I really like the sound coming out of the 242 HD and I guess K701 will sound much better with a good amp. The DT880 gets a lot of great user reviews here in Sweden though, so I am still hesitating to push the "buy" button for the K701. What about the treble for both phones? 'Cause I don't like none of them to sound too harsh, clear but not harsh.

 

I've heard good things about these amps you are recommending but I will try out the E11 when it arrives before I jump on another amp. 

 

post #12 of 43

The DT880 has more of a treble presence than the K701 and some users have described the them as being a bit too bright.   Though, that probably has more to do with just how revealing the DT880 are, meaning it will show the flaws of poorly recorded or mastered tracks.  The K701 have a treble presence that is a bit smoother than that of the DT880's, while still revealing a great amount of detail.  If you're still concerned about the treble of both headphones, then I suggest taking a close look at the HD600 or the HD650 for a safe bet of non-fatiguing highs.


Edited by Digital-Pride - 8/6/11 at 10:57am
post #13 of 43
I am going to buy the K701 next week and I already own the Fiio E9. I am listening the same genres as you classical (a lot of opera) jazz, ethnic. I have heard the Q701 and I find them to be great for this music, so I think the K's will be very close...
post #14 of 43

The Q701 are alluring in their midrange and treble detail but they do, substantially, lack bass - compared to the other options under consideration. You could plot it along a spectrum really easily, actually:

 

More highs, less lows: AKG K701 --------------------- Beyer DT-880 --------------------- Senn HD-650 :More lows, less highs

 

That's just quantity, though. Quality is great across the spectrum for the AKGs, but Quincy's opinion aside I definitely prefer the whole darn Thriller album on my HD-650s than I do on the Q701, otherwise ¿donde esta THE KICK?

 

DT-880s are a lovely middle ground. I don't personally find much difference between 250ohm and 600ohm, the driver mass is awfully similar and the requirements to drive them are, too. DT-990 and DT-770 are no slouches, either, though both tend perhaps to hype treble a bit much. But at least they bring low frequencies along for the ride, some of the best I've heard...

 

I won't go into extraordinary detail apart from saying I've owned the HD-650 longer than any other headphone, I've sold and rebought headphones during the period, and the HD-650 remain my outright favorites. They are a world-class can.

 

I'm still keeping my Q701, mind you, that detail is really handy in monitoring and close analysis of mixes, but the lows are, depending on who you ask, either just perfect and everyone else needs to get over their hyped boomy low frequencies, or a tad bit on the not enough side of things.


Edited by NotJeffBuckley - 8/6/11 at 11:48am
post #15 of 43

Unfortunately the sound is a bit different for the different phones listed. The three sets here seem to the be standard recommendations for moderately high end conventional phones. I have a Sennheiser HD580 (an older model in the same series as the 600 and 650), and a Beyerdynamic HD880. I prefer the Beyer, but it's quite clear that it's a matter of taste. You probably want to listen to them, and not depend upon recommendations. The problem with recommendations is that since they're all three fine products, and the difference is primarily personal preference, you should get something that matches your own personal preference.

 

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