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Comfortable, open, flat/neutral, highly detailed and resolving headphones? (< ~$500)

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 

Edit: The novelty of my SRH940's excellent critical listening capabilities has worn off and I think my HD 650's are perfect for long term listening still. My HD 650 and SRH-940 make a perfect pair, satisfying options for closed (Shure) and open (Senn), analytical/forward (Shure) and smooth/refined/subtly detailed (Senn). I'm going to keep both as a complementing pair. Still, this thread at least serves as a helpful reference for some good detailed open headphones if I ever do choose to buy some open headphones to complement my HD 650.

 

Edit 2: Oops. Seems I couldn't resist buying AD2000's (which should arrive soon) :D

 

Edit 3: AD2000s were ultimately unimpressive and I sold them. SRH940s still won vs. AD2000s and HD650 in highs and detail. HD650 was superior to AD2000 IMO.

 

Currently I have a Sennheiser HD 650 and Shure SRH940 (with an Audio-gd NFB-12 DAC/Amp).

 

I really like the emphasized detail the SRH-940 provides, and the relatively flat sound signature is a nice complement to my HD 650's. However since they're closed and a bit uncomfortable, I'm thinking of getting some more open, comfortable ones also. My SRH940 will be my headphones when I need isolation, my HD 650 is good for soft smooth non-fatiguing sound, and maybe a third pair for comfortable listening with a bit more detail than my 650's.

 

AKG-701's come to mind, but I've heard that they're a little on the uncomfortable side and don't sound as nice as the SRH940. I was considering HIFIMAN HE-300, but I heard that they're not nearly as detailed as the SRH940.

 

Basically, my SRH 940 is pretty much perfect sounding to me, for critical listening, except maybe it would be nice if the high treble were toned town just a bit. So, any recommendations of comfortable open headphones that might work for this?


Edited by ac500 - 11/12/11 at 8:24pm
post #2 of 105

Beyer DT880

post #3 of 105

Stax Lambda with transformer box

post #4 of 105
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Wouldn't a stax + power source be a bit over my budget?

post #5 of 105

You could always get some Denon D2000s and turn them into open headphoneswink_face.gif

 

Seriously, though. You can test it out in a completely reversible way, and they do sound fantastic.

post #6 of 105

Sony SA5000(highely recommended), Pro 2900, AD1000, RS1i, DT880 and DT990.


Edited by ZARIM - 9/11/11 at 10:14pm
post #7 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

Sony SA5000(highely recommended), Pro 2900, AD1000, RS1i, DT880 and DT990.



Sony does not get a lot of love here, but the SA5000 pushes all of the right buttons.  I second "highly recommended".  These really fit the OP's criteria.

post #8 of 105

Second-hand AD2000s, if you can find someone willing to part with a pair.

post #9 of 105
Thread Starter 

SA5000, AD2000, DT880 and DT990 all sound good from what i'm reading so far. I should mention maybe that I don't want the bass to be rolled off or lacking, and not emphasized either - just flat, balanced, tight, and punchy as it should be (as long as it's as good as my SRH940 I'd be very happy). I read the SA5000 while extremely detailed, rolls off bass, so I don't know. Would be nice if a nearby Sony store had them to try, but I doubt it (don't remember them last time I was there). AD2000 looks very interesting, and would be nice if I could get them cheap.


Edited by ac500 - 9/12/11 at 12:05am
post #10 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Wouldn't a stax + power source be a bit over my budget?


Not if you go the transformer route.  Do you have a reciever or speaker amp laying around?  If not, you can add a T-amp for ~$30 to power the transformer.

 

post #11 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post
I should mention maybe that I don't want the bass to be rolled off or lacking, and not emphasized either - just flat, balanced, tight, and punchy as it should be


Just try the Q, or the K702, with a nice cable.

post #12 of 105

K701 is not flat, IMHO

 

like most AKG's, bass is quite poor

post #13 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

SA5000, AD2000, DT880 and DT990 all sound good from what i'm reading so far. I should mention maybe that I don't want the bass to be rolled off or lacking, and not emphasized either - just flat, balanced, tight, and punchy as it should be (as long as it's as good as my SRH940 I'd be very happy). I read the SA5000 while extremely detailed, rolls off bass, so I don't know. Would be nice if a nearby Sony store had them to try, but I doubt it (don't remember them last time I was there). AD2000 looks very interesting, and would be nice if I could get them cheap.

 

My open D2000 headphones keep their amazing extension (easily goes down to 20Hz) and gets rid of the exaggerated/boomy/muddy bass. It's extremely tight and very punchy, yet very balanced with the rest of the sound. My only complaint is that they can be TOO bright for my ears (depending on the album and volume). When I listen to them through iTunes, I have the EQ set with a very slight roll off starting at 4Khz. Personally preference, really. I have sensitive ears. Brightness aside, these are probably the most balanced sounding headphones I've heard. Punchy, balanced bass, beautiful midrange, very detailed sound, and large soundstage with accurate imaging. 

 

I got my D2000s for $250 new, and they easily beat my modded, recabled HD598 (which I got for around $180). Well worth it! And while I doubt you're looking to buy headphones just so you can mod them, I'll keep suggesting it. ;) Like I said, though, can be tested in a completely reversible way. You could always sell them off if you decide you don't like them open or closed.

post #14 of 105
Thread Starter 

I don't really like the idea of permanently modding headphones though.

 

> Not if you go the transformer route.  Do you have a reciever or speaker amp laying around?  If not, you can add a T-amp for ~$30 to power the transformer.

 

I have an Audio-gd NFB-12, and nothing else.

post #15 of 105

ATH-AD2000 or a used K501, K500, K401 or K400.  I think the latter AKG's lack bass, but a lot of people say the SRH940 lacks bass as well so you may be fine.  Those AKG's are all about airy detail presented in a smoother way than other treble dominated dynamics.

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