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Searching for a narrow soundstage

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am replacing some aging audiotechnica A900s that I bought around Christmas of 2005.  My source is an Edirol ua-25.


Overall, the A900 was a great headphone and great introduction to the audiophile world.  I have no regrets buying it and have recommended it to other people looking for headphones.  My big complaint about the headphones is that the soundstage is too wide for my tastes.  My listening time is split at roughly 50% brass heavy classical music and 50% gaming.


The music sounds unnatural because I am normally sitting in an ensemble or sitting 50 rows back in a concert hall.  I either want the music to sound as though it is happening directly around me or blended and some distance in front of me.  Instead, it felt like I was listening to two speakers, one twenty feet to my left, and one twenty feet to my right.


I didn't see a big advantage in gaming either.  It was not an advantage to hear sounds between 20 and 30 feet away to my left rather than 1 and 10 feet away to my left. For gaming, I want to be able to tell where the sound is happening.   I am not sure if the term for this is positioning or imaging.  This distance is determined by the volume of the sound from the game engine.  As long as the positioning/imaging is good, the size of the soundstage doesn't really matter.


Reading some posts, it looks like most people who are looking gaming/classical music headphones prefer a wide soundstage.  Is there one that works well for those categories with a narrower soundstage?



post #2 of 5

I know what you're talking about, I also cannot enjoy headphones with a laid-back soundstage that sounds like you're sitting far back in the crowd instead of sounding like being on the stage. I sold Denon D1100 cuz of this. XB500 which isn't probably what you're looking for frequency response balance wise is like the total opposite, you're like center of music, sounds like you're on the dancefloor or in middle of the band playing on stage. Works great for gaming too, very clear positioning and having a very large soundstage isn't a must IMO either. Don't know which headphone to recommend to you though but it's nice to see more people that find this particular property in the soundstage very important.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 9/18/11 at 12:50pm
post #3 of 5



Budget? Source equipment? Preference to open-air? Closed? I assume bass-lite is acceptable, so looking for more neutral perhaps even?


Just assuming from the cost of the previous headphone you have, I'm starting to think of the Fischer Audio FA-002 (open) or Fischer Audio FA-003 (closed), BeyerDynamic DT880 (open) DT770 (closed), AKG K272 HD (closed), Sennheiser HD598 (open), Denon D2000 (closed), and Shure SRH940 (closed) as starting points to sift through.


Very best,

Edited by MalVeauX - 9/18/11 at 12:56pm
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am looking at spending around $200 shipped.  I am leaning towards open headphones and don't need heavy or pushed bass.


I am using an Edirol UA-25 as a DAC and amp.


Thanks for the suggestions.  A lot has changed in the headphone world in the last 5 years.  I remember having to order my A900s directly from Japan.  I am looking up the headphones you have recommended now so I can figure out some intelligent questions.



post #5 of 5



Ok, great, let's narrow down some more options (open, neutral-ish, ~$200):


Fischer Audio FA-002

BeyerDyanmic DT880 PRO

Sennheiser HD598

Grado SR225i

Goldring DR150


Very best,

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