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Need headphones for ~600$

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

First of all, I am new here and I dont know right ways here, so I am sorry if I miss smth.

 

Since I got some money to spare I got an idea to get some good sounding headphones. Firstly I would say I want some upgrade from Senns HD595 I used to have (sold them few months ago). My primary audio source is Cowon J3 and if it will be needed I may buy some quality portable amp.

 

I am looking for headphones with good-excellent soundstage, preferably well ballanced but I dont mind some warm sound signature. I also want them to be able to provide really deep basses with nice impact if I need them, basically to feel them in my chest :P. Sound isolation isnt a must for me, I am gonna use them at home, so it doesnt matter whether they are closed or not. They also have to be comfortable, but I guess in this price range everything is somehow comfortable. I also like good and somehow exceptional look, so the prettier they are the better.

 

About what I am gonna listen to, I have wide warriety of genres in my playlists, from symphonical/violin/piano/trumpet classics and choruses, through Jazz (and Brass Bands), Funky, Pop to techno, Rock/Metal and movie soundtracks. To name few artists/bands: Vanessa Mae, Wynton Marsalis, Louis Armstrong, Escala, Michael Jackson, Queen, Iron Maiden, Immediate Music, Nightwish and so on. I will also use them for playing games, but thats not rly smth I would take into account since everything above 60$ is good for games.

 

To give a bit of background of what I am used to, as I said above, I used to have Sennheiser HD595 which I happend to like them (well, didnt have anything in similar price range to compare them to, so I somehow had to like them :P ). Before I had gaming headsets Icemat Siberia and Steelseries 5h v2, which arent rly music friendly :P. Currently I am using my Audio-Technica ATH-EW9, they are excellent portable clip ons, but not so much for home use, especially not for straights 12 hours of use.

 

My personal favourite is currently Audio Technica ATH-W1000x, they have nice reviews and whats a big plus, they look great. They are (visualy) perfect complement to my ATH-EW9s, cherry wood, simply awesome. But if there some better headphones for less than 650$ I may reconsider.

 

Thx for any suggestions in advance.

 

regards, Jan

post #2 of 15

Ultrasone Pro900

 

Deep bass with a good soundstage and can be used for any genre without the dulling effect (as apposed to Grado which sound horrid with rap)

 

Easy to drive, meaning not finicky

 

Your HD595 are similar to my HD598's so I'll do a quick compare:

 

Highs: Pro900 - not as sharp

Mids: HD598 by a nose - a little more detailed, but the Pro900's still are great without recess.

Bass: This is a question? Pro900's - HD595's bass is lumpy and not detailed. The 900's are booming with to much boom and detailed to like the highs

 

Comfort: I like the Pro900's by a mile because the clamping could be adjusted a bit

Soundstage: Pro900's on a good song without too much bass gives not a airy, but exciting soundstage that still extends out. Exmple: Eric Clapton Unplugged: The bass scares me thinking the someone's at the door

post #3 of 15

Quote:

Originally Posted by filuS View Post

I am looking for headphones with good-excellent soundstage, preferably well ballanced but I dont mind some warm sound signature. I also want them to be able to provide really deep basses with nice impact if I need them, basically to feel them in my chest :P.


Unfortunately, you're not going to be able to find a "bass monster" that is also well-balanced across the spectrum.  I've ran through many basshead headphones and the only one that I could "feel in my chest" was the Headphile Darth Beyer V3.  Of course, this came at the expense of mid-range performance.  The Headphile Terminator V4, however, corrected this greatly but toned down the bass a touch.  It was still most definitely a monster and laughed at the comparatively puny performance of other bassy headphones like the PRO-900 mentioned above, but transient speed was a bit sluggish at times. (corrected well with a good amp to pair with it, but if you're going portable it's not going to do the job)

 

If you can deal with the peaky, unnatural treble, go with the PRO-900 above.  As described, they're nice and comfortable.  I personally found the soundstage to be average in size for a closed headphone, but I don't think the S-Logic worked as well with my ears as others seem to describe.  However, going back to the treble, it really caused me problems even after hundreds of hours of running in.  I was told by doctors that my ears have the frequency response of "an eight year old" earlier this year, so perhaps this isn't as much of a problem for others as it is for me.

 

As opposed to the above comment that Grados sound "horrible with rap," I've admittedly only ever listened to and owned one Grado product and it's said to be a very different beast from the rest.  The HF-2 is an absolutely glorious headphone that falls well within your price range, OP.  You're not going to get the bass performance of closed-backs, but it's going to absolutely trounce your Sennheiser and, truthfully, it has the best bass performance I've ever heard from open backs.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: with things like bass drums or electronica, they kick like a **** mule.  The presentation may just be a hint warm of neutral but is very much balanced and works with every kind of genre while still adding a bit of x-factor magic here and there.  The highs are surprisingly natural sounding (after so much blanket Grado criticism I was thrilled by this) and transient speed, while not the quickest, did a serviceable job with everything I threw at it.  Soundstage is probably smaller than average for open backs, but it still beats closed backs and doesn't feel lacking in any way.  One big drawback for some seems to be comfort, but after finding the right positioning I didn't have much of an issue here... but a far cry from Beyerdynamics to be sure.  If I had any use for open backed 'phones I would most definitely still own them.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

"As opposed to the above comment that Grados sound "horrible with rap," "

I dont listen to rap, and I never will, I personally dont consider it a music. So if smth sounds bad with rap, I can live with it

 

EDIT: and ye, after I posted this I realised it would be almost impossible to find bass monster with well balanced sound. I guess some more basses here and there are prefered over having totally balanced sound.


Edited by filuS - 8/31/11 at 3:35am
post #5 of 15

I think you're after speakers if you want to feel the bass in your chest ;p

post #6 of 15

The closed headphones like D7000(used), D5000, ATH-W5000, T70(250 Ohm), Pro900, ATH-ESW10, ES10, Z1000, DX700 and open headphones are like SA5000, RS1i, Pro 2900, AD2000, HD650.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

how is sound of W5000 different from the W1000x? I have read some review/comparisons but they differs a lot in some cases/aspects. The price difference is minimal (well, on ebay I can get ATH-W5000 for ~650$ while W1000x are about 600$) and both looks really nice (wood, gotta love it :P )

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by filuS View Post

how is sound of W5000 different from the W1000x? I have read some review/comparisons but they differs a lot in some cases/aspects. The price difference is minimal (well, on ebay I can get ATH-W5000 for ~650$ while W1000x are about 600$) and both looks really nice (wood, gotta love it :P )

Those are pain in the neck to drive well, i don't know if a portable amp would get the job done, especially you using a J3 with no line out if I recall it correctly. If you wanna really nice portable HPs, I think Son Z1000 would be a nice choice, other wise you might wanna save up a bit and get the Ed8 from Ultrastone. 
 

 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I dont want portable headphones, I already have one. I just want to have something for home use. I want to know how W5000 sounds compared to W1000x because they are practically in same pricerange on ebay but from what I have read eventhought W5000 is supposed to be higher model, many users had some troubles with them.

 

About amp, I may buy one but I have no idea which one. I would prefer some small one (maybe even portable), possibly with DAC to be able to use it with my laptop. And I dont want to spent more than 200$ on it, the cheaper the better (I have HeadRoom Total BitHead in mind, but I dont know if they can drive that big headphones).

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

so, after a lot of thinking and reading reviews I decided that I will get pair ATH-W1000x. Only problem I have right now is I cant decide whether I really need an amp for showing their true potential (well, I think I need it, there is no point of having audiophile headphones when you have poor input...). That being said, my budget for amp will be somewhat limited, lets say around 200-300$ (I have read some threads about amp suggestions for w1000x, but nothing was as cheap as I want it to be). Which one would match the best in given price range with low impedance ATs ? It would be also big plus if it has DAC included since I would use it with my laptop as well (playing games + watching movies).

post #11 of 15

Heya,

 

Denon D5000.

 

If it's too much, Denon D2000.

 

It's the only headphone in this price range that I've heard (see my sig for what I'm comparing to) that does crazy low bass (flat all the way to 30hz) while still having great mids & highs.

 

Runner up would be the Ultrasone PRO 2900.

 

Otherwise, save up, and go Hifiman HE-500.

 

Very best,

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

well, I will get ATH-W1000x as soon as I get my paycheck this month. But I still need to pick some amp(/dac) for these cans, and eventhought I have read many threads about what matches them the best, I havent come to a conclusion yet (mostly because suggested amps are much above my intended budget). Atm I am looking for smth in 200-300$ price range, preferably with build-in DAC with usb input. I think the best from stand alone amps in this pricerange would be Matrix M-Stage but it does not have an DAC. From DAC/AMP I have found Matrix Cube and Little Dot DAC_II, both with same set of digital inputs (usb, rca, bnc, tos) but Matrix being on top with additional analog input. Would be there noticeable difference between Matrix M-Stage and Matrix Cube (I know Cubes amp cant match M-Stage, but dunno if that gap is that huge)? I would really make use of that DAC from Cube, finally I could bypass my sh***y soundcard in laptop and actually enjoy movies (but main source for music will be my Cowon J3, most likely with get line-out cabel for it as well).


Edited by filuS - 9/11/11 at 10:39am
post #13 of 15

For $600 I would totally get an ESP950 and walk around with that man purse thing.

post #14 of 15

beyer dt 990s 600ohm + amp (perhaps the music hall ph 25.2 amp or whatever its called)

post #15 of 15

you might want to look into the kenwood kh-k1000. it's extremely  comfortable, easy to drive, and the bass is impactful. there is a thread about this phone here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/344543/kenwood-kh-k1000 & project86 recently summed it up this way: "I can relate to the fact that some headphones just seem to do "it" for you, whatever "it" happens to be. For me it is the K1000. Not the AKG mind you, but the highly overlooked Kenwood KH-K1000. Skylab enjoyed it but didn't seem to love it.... but somehow I keep going back to it. It doesn't do a lot of things that my other headphones can do, yet I really enjoy it, and I can't exactly explain why."   (http://www.head-fi.org/t/571246/after-3-and-a-half-years-of-searching-i-was-right-the-first-time/15#post_7845029)

i'm somewhat inclined to agree with him.

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