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[review/comparison] Beyerdynamic DT1350, T50p, Sennheiser HD25-1-ii, HD25-13-ii, Pioneer...

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Thread Starter 

I've decided to do a shootout amoung a number of popular cans:

Sennheiser HD25-1-ii

Sennheiser HD25-13-ii (600 ohm version of the above)

Beyerdynamic DT1350

Beyerdynamic T50p

Pioneer HDJ-2000

Pioneer HDJ-2000mod - http://www.head-fi.org/t/570868/pioneer-hdj-2000-bass-boost-extension-mod

V-Moda M80

AiAiAi TMA-1

 

The Senns and Beyers share similarities that are hard to ignore, being of the portable supraaural type, with the HD25 and DT1350 being geared especially towards the DJ types. I own the HD25-13-ii but have done extensive comparison vs the regular HD25-1-ii. The Pioneer is in there as another DJ can and as my reference to compare with my other DJ/studio review thread (link). I've also included the modded version as that is the current state of my HDJ-2000.

 

I know the DT1350 is the new kid on the block, and I have deliberately steered clear of the big review thread in hopes of keeping my impressions unbiased. Any existing reviews on the HD25-13-ii are also extremely scarce, and I think I'm possibly the main instigator of the HDJ-2000 on headfi.

 

The majority of my listening was done via iBasso D10, either fed via usb or optical via a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro II. I also had an Apex Butte as a review loaner and compared these four cans on it as well (review upcoming on that as well). For poops and giggles I also amped through a Bottlehead Crack + Speedball. For portable use, they were fed directly from my Sansa Fuze. Other gear used but not extensively: Miu Audio portable eclipse tin amp, crazy DIY stepdance inspired amp, Audio-gd Sparrow, Focusrite Saffire 6 USB, etc.

 

 

fuzzy table with fuzzy rankings not to be taken as absolutes or any other such nonsense

 

HD25-1-ii // 25-13-i

T50p

DT1350

HDJ-2000 // mod

M80

TMA-1

SRP/street (US)

$300/200

$330/$280

$300/300

$450/250

$230/200

$200/$200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

driver (mm)

 

30mm (?)

30mm (?)

50mm dome

40mm dual diaphragm

40 mm

range

 

10-23k

5-30k

5-30k

5-30k

20-20k

earpad dimensions inner/outer (mm)

65/25

55/25

60/25

90/45

N/A

70/37

impedance (@1kHz)

70 // 600

32

80

36

28.5

32±15%

sensitivity (I don't know if the ? are given per V or mW, so I've included a tentative calculation)

120 dB @ 1V   // ?

108.45 db @1mW

107 (?)

92

109 (?)

98

107 db @ 1mW // ? slightly higher

105 (?)

90

110±3 (?)

95

weight

140g (no cord)

174g

225g

290g (no cord)

180g (no cord)

190g?

cord length

singled sided,

1.5m // 3m

dual entry

single sided

 

singled sided

3.94ft (coiled)

9.8ft (extended)

two 36" w/ipod controls

 

plug

3.5mm, straight, threaded

3.5mm, angled

3.5mm, straight, threaded

3.5mm, straight, threaded

3.5mm angled

 

max power

200mW

 

 

3500mW

 

100mW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

isolation (1=best)

3

1

2

4

5

4

earpads

2 sets (velour and pleather), average

round shape, round surface

round shape, flat surface

protein leather, circumaural, soft

hex shape, soft

2 sets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

headband

 

 

 

 

 

 

clamping force (1=most)

1

6

2

4

5

3

comfort

6

1

3

5

4

3

cord microphonics

slight

moderate

moderate

very slight

moderate

slight?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portable

bag

fold flat, case

fold flat, case

fold flat, collapse, bag

hard case

bag

weight & distribution

1

1

3

3

2

6

heat buildup (1=least)

4

1

4

5

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price:

The HD25-1-ii is the cheapest of the bunch, while the Beyers sit around $300. The HD25-13-ii is apparently only available in Europe, which will affect shipping costs.

 

An important note about the Pioneers is that there are a *ton* of fakes out there. I would consider any list price below $200 highly suspicious and would quite frankly avoid the ebay ones altogether.

 

 

Cord:

DT1350: Thin, moderately microphonic, and somewhat tangle prone, but are also light and sized appropriately for portable use. Single sided, not detacheable.

T50: as above, but dual sided entry

HD25: Standard detacheable Sennheiser plug and fairly rugged and only slightly microphonic

HDJ-2000: Thick and coiled, a bit heavy and bulky for portable use, detacheable via mini-xlr

M80: Comes with two cloth (kevlar?) covered cords, one with a mic and other with ipod controls. Both feel very well made, if perhaps prone to tangling and memory. Detacheable with regular 3.5mm at the cup end.

TMA-1: I did not receive one for my loaner, but from my understanding it's a thick and heavy coiled cord, detacheable 3.5mm at the cup end

 

Plug:

They all terminate in 3.5mm and have 6.35mm adapters. They are all straight plugs with threaded adapter ends, with the exception of the T50p which is right angled and not threaded. The DT1350 plug is really beef and almost seems out of place. M80 plus are pretty.

 

 

Earpads/Clamping/Isolation:

 

HDJ-2000: The circumaural one in this bunch (though small compared to other full sized cans), and also the most comfortable for me. The pads are a soft protein leather and memory foam that do not heat up too much. Clamping force is moderate, but the pads do a great job of distributing it. In stock form these headphones are actually partially open with four tiny bass vents on each cup (hidden behind the arm). Isolation is good for a closed headphone, but is weak in this comparison. Taping over the bass vents will improve isolation marginally in the upper frequencies.

 

HD25: Small pads that sit directly on your ear. Choice of pleather or velour. A common “mod” is to wash the pads to soften them and increase comfort. Clamping force is rather high, which is excellent for isolation and keeping them secure, but may be uncomfortable (especially those with glasses). The pads themselves are filled with a soft foam; nothing special.

 

DT1350: Slightly larger and flatter than the T50p and HD25, and sits on the ear like the HD25-1-ii though clamps just a tiny bit less and more comfortable for glasses wearers. If you press on your ears, you can get a slight “pucker” feeling. The pads have a denser foam in them which I'm sure accounts for the improved isolation over the HD25. I think if the HD25 had better pads it would be at least equal or better. Takes a bit/lot of fiddling to get the fit right.

 

T50p: Smallest, rounded in shape, and sort of nestles within your ear which is odd. It might take a little (or a lot of) finagling to get the placement just right. Along with a light clamping force, the T50p kind of disappears once you get it placed just right. Isolation is also very high assuming you can get it in the right spot and is surprisingly the best in the bunch. Getting a good fit is important to achieving good sound. Getting the perfect fit gives you better isolation, though sound doesn't seem particularly improved at that point.

edit: I've been told the newer T50p come with the same pads as the DT1350

 

M80: Small and firm pads, with a unique hexagonal shape; the narrow form keeps pressure more on the whole ear rather than the outer edge. The clamping pressure is mild and very even and if anything tends to sway more towards the bottom, which is good news for those with glasses. The cups themselves can rotate along the horizontal axis, but not the vertical one. However, the cups are slightly tapered to angle more ergonomically with your ears. These headphones are actually semi-open in nature, which provides a rich midrange and good stage, but sacrifices isolation. Midrange almost seems to resonate and feels amplified, and a windy day makes it very difficult to hear your music. Treble isolation is better, but certain high frequencies also seem to cause a mild buzzing in the cups.

 

TMA-1: Incredibly soft and comfortable earpads that squish nicely and “pucker” ever so slightly without feeling like you just paid a buck for it. The cups don't have any hinges but have a certain amount of play do them so they can adjust to the angles of your ears. Clamp is moderate, which along with the soft earpads makes these one of the most comfortable on-ear headphones I've tried. Isolation is somewhat poor for this class in the mids, but is better in the highs.

 

Clamp: HD25 > DT1350 > TMA-1 > HDJ-2000 > M80 > T50p

(most to least)

 

Comfort: T50p > HDJ-2000 > TMA-1 > M80 > DT1350 > HD25

 

Isolation: T50p > DT1350 > HD25 > TMA-1 >= HDJ-2000 > M80

 

If I had to score the isolation... T50p = 8.75 ; DT1350 = 8.5 ; HD25 = 8 ; TMA-1 = 7, HDJ-2000 = 6.5 (mod = 7); M80 = 5 (mod = 5.5)

 

 

 

Headband:

 

HD25: Splitting the headband increases clamping force; the headband doesn't actually take much of the weight, though the headphone is so light it hardly matters. The splitting mechanism is quite secure and holds itself in place. Adjustment is a simple affair and the earcups click up and down. One earcup can swivel up, which is useful for DJs but annoying for a casual user because one side moving out at an angle will mess up the fit overall.

 

DT1350: The splitting band here doesn't hold nearly as securely as the HD25 so will tend to collapse if left alone. Overall, this distributes the weight across both the earpads and headband, which is good since the DT1350 is heavy for its size; noticeably moreso than the HD25. The headband itself has very minimal padding, though it seems adequate. Adjustment is a done by sliding the cups up and down on the band itself like the HD25, though it isn't as smooth. Another gripe though is that the headband itself curves strongly into a narrow fit, which results in pinching at the temples of my somewhat large noggin. Oftentimes it also impedes my ability to get any seal at all. I think carefully bending the frame could alleviate this, but as this pair was a loaner I did not want to try. Oddly, wearing a hat beneath the headphones actually made them fit better and improved comfort (and also alleviated the Beyer's pesky tendency to pull my hairs out at the side). Similar to the HD25, both earcups can also swivel. While in theory this offers more adjustment possibilities in order to find the perfect fit, I found it more of a hassle than anything.

 

T50p: It doesn't split nor swivel like the DT1350, which really just simplifies things and removes yet another spot to get hair caught. Size adjustment is the same. I find the Beyers easier to adjust off the head than on, as there isn't really a great place to get a hold. The T50p headband also doesn't bend as sharply as the DT1350, so is a more comfortable fit on my head as it gives my temples more clearance. It's also quicker for me to get a good fit with the T50p vs the DT1350.

 

HDJ-2000: Also a narrow fit headband, which is actually quite odd for a full sized circumaural headphone but provides a nice low profile aesthetic. Like the DT1350, this one also tends to press against my temples and I have to put a bit of extra padding in the earcups to provide clearance. Adjustment comes from a sliding section in the headband, and there's a little ledge that you can catch with your fingers that makes adjustment a cinch. The padding on the headband is a small patch of leather and memory foam. It doesn't seem like much, but it cushions very well.

 

M80: Very solidly built, and can survive more twisting and stretching than I can ever imagine putting regular headphones through. Headband adjustment slides and clicks within the band and feels very well machined. Padding is minimal, but the headband curves with your head and distributes weight very nicely. While they sit on your head, the arms do stick out slightly and leave a gap above your ears.

 

TMA-1: As far as I can tell, it's a metal band coated in rubber. No hinges or screws or anything could possibly break. Tough, functional, and not padded at all. It has a rather flat curvature, so for me places a lot of pressure right at the crown of my head and gets painful somewhat quickly. The sliding mechanism is reminiscent of the HD25, with the cups moving/clicking up and down the arms. Adjustment steps are somewhat large (roughly double those of the HD25) making it sometimes difficult to get the right fit, but the fit range is quite large and possibly the widest in this shootout. The arms do stick out a little bit and leave a bit of a space above your ears, and while not large by any means they are the biggest in this comparison.

 

See the next post for a couple pictures of the headbands, particularly the T50p vs the DT1350 overlapped.

 

 

Portability/Durability:

 

All make for reasonable portable use, though the longer and bulkier cords of the HDJ-2000 and HD25 might be cumbersome. Fortunately, the cords are detachable so you can replace them with other options. The stock cords on the Beyers are short and suitable for portable use, though not detacheable.

 

The Beyers are easy to wear around the neck, and fold flat as well. The Senn doesn't fold in any way, but is small enough to be worn on the neck. The Pioneer can fold flat and be worn around the neck if you wear them backwards, since the cups only swivel one way. Being full sized though, they might be a bit big for those with short and/or wide necks.

 

The Senns are well known for being near indestructible and all their parts are replaceable. The Pioneer has a nice solid heft to it, though being a full sized headphone it's an unfair comparison here. The Beyers both feel well built and machined, but compared to the others here they do feel a bit more fragile. The Senns I can toss around and not worry too much. The Pioneer I wouldn't want to drop per se, but I'd toss it into my bag (cord removed) and not worry. The Beyers I would want to make sure they were in their case before tossing into my bag as I would worry about accidentally bending or twisting them.

 

The Senn and Pioneer comes with a simple drawstring bag (random note: the Adidas HD25 bag has white markings, while the HD25-13 bag has blue markings; seems backwards). The Beyers come with a nice semi-hard case and a noodly wire wrapper thing.

 

The M80 is just as easy to wear on the neck as the Beyers and comes with a fantastic hard shell exoskeleton case, with elastic straps inside to carry your cables and accessories. Apparently designed to military specs, they certainly feel well built and I don't doubt their ability to take punishment, though with the nicer aesthetics you'll probably be less likely to toss them around than the HD25.

 

The TMA-1 is for the most part like a slightly bulkier HD25, though the easily detacheable cable does make storage and tossing it about easier. Unlike the shiny M80, the TMA-1 is more likely to be a “beater” headphone and you won't feel bad about that. It lacks the sheer disassembly and repairability of the HD25 though.

 

portablity: M80 = HD25 >= TMA-1 > T50p > DT1350 > HDJ-2000

durability: HD25 > M80 >= TMA-1 > HDJ-2000 > DT1350 >= T50p

 

 

Appearance:

HD25: plain, industrial, small but not low profile as the arms do “gap” around your head

T50p/DT1350: low profile headband, but looks like you have knobs sticking out of your head

HDJ-2000: low profile and slim look

M80: fit and finish is top notch and a definite attention grabber, especially with custom side plates

TMA-1: much like the HD25 but even more non-descript, somewhat larger and bulkier

 

 

 

 

Sound

 

I very roughly define midrange as the human vocal range, which is approximately 100-1000Hz. Treble and bass being above and below that obviously. From a more scientific standpoint, I also define midrange as the range at which we process left/right audio cues primarily via phase delays (strongest perception from 200-800Hz, give or take an octave above and below).

 

 

Bass

HD25-1: impactful with just enough rumble to give satisfaction, very strong midbass

HD25-13: just a little bit deeper and cleaner

T50p: it's there; nothing really of note

DT1350: very clean, but no body to it, feels overdamped actually

HDJ-2000: strong presence, pleasing thump, mild rumble, less impact and definition than HD25

HDJ-2000mod: even stronger, much more rumble

M80: strong, clear, decent impact (moreso in upper bass)

TMA-1: very strong, little impact or rumble, sort of a one-note doof for everything, bleeds a bit into mids

 

HDJ-2000mod > HD25-13 > M80 = HD25-1 > HDJ-2000 > DT1350 > TMA-1 > T50p

 

Sub-bass

HD25-1: remains punchy though not as good as the bass region

HD25-13: reaches deeper, maintains the punch better and you really feel the subharmonics

T50p: sub bass response is coloured and distorts at moderate volume even with a good fit

DT1350: while lean, fantastic extension here actually makes the bass feel stronger than it is

HDJ-2000: rumbles, but comparatively poor performance here due to rolloff

HDJ-2000mod: way more body, no rolloff, loses a bit of control without amping

M80: strong, but not as clean as the bass

TMA-1: impressive reach and very strong, but slightly bloated and slow

 

HD25-13 > HDJ-2000mod >= TMA-1 > HD25-1 >= M80 > DT1350 > HDJ-2000 > T50p

 

Mids

DT1350: the easy winner here; clean sound and solid separation

T50p: feels like it's all over the place, at times bright but sometimes dark too

HD25: recessed mids compared to the others here, but it doesn't perform badly

HD25-13: not as recessed, a touch cleaner in the midbass

HDJ-2000: definitely a warm tilt, vocal range forward

HDJ-2000mod: a *tiny* bit better articulation in the uppermids

M80: well balanced, good stage, lower mids stronger, upper mids start to fuzz

TMA-1: very flat response, recessed from the bass

 

DT1350 > M80 > HDJ-2000 > HD25-13> HD25-1 = T50p > TMA-1

 

Treble

T50p: the most energy and “sparkle”, but it kind of blends in

DT1350: generally clean, sibilant at times with a couple peaks

HD25-1: crisp, two strong peaks but only a moderate valley in between, possibly sibilant for some or shimmers just right for others

HD25-13: more subdued, peaks not as strong, deeper valley

HDJ-2000: very good articulation, good energy across entire range, smooth peaks compared to others

HDJ-2000mod: a bit stronger, better articulation/separation, smoother peaks yet

M80: remarkably flat (in terms of peaks and valleys) compared to the others, but lacks precision and crispness that makes it feel somewhat hollow and resonant

TMA-1: even more recessed than the mids

 

T50p = D1350 > HD25-1 >= HDJ-2000mod > M80 = HDJ-2000 >= HD25-13 > TMA-1

 

*the Pioneer and Senns are very similar here; the HDJ-2000 has better overall treble presence and detail, but the HD25 has a concentrated treble energy which could be preferable for some genres

 

 

Frequency Sweep:

This here is a very subjective thing. I play a log frequency sweep from 20Hz-20kHz (roughly volume matched by ear at 1kHz) and write down thoughts as well as draw freehand what I hear (see next post for the image). Note that even moreso than my notes about bass/mids/highs, the sweep is very specific to my ears alone and you should only draw loose comparative notes from it. I highly suggest reading up on equal loudness contours and Fletcher-Munson curves to further educate yourself.

 

HD25-1-ii: slightly elevated bass but even, slight bump down in the upper mids, peaks early and late treble and elevated throughout

HD25-13-ii: bass stronger, treble weaker, overall range flatter

T50p: sub bass sucks, bass weak, mids shoot up strongly then plateau, slight dip in upper mid then slowly climbs into a surprisingly flat treble, one valley then spikes up hard at the end

DT1350: bass starts strong, early midbass dip then shoots up, plateaus very briefly then climbs again, three strong peaks/valleys in the treble

HDJ-2000: fairly flat in bass, bumps up a bit in mids, about the same in treble but bumpier and drops down near the end

HDJ-2000mod: better bass and treble extension, added a very mild mid-high dip

M80: bass starts strong, bumps up a bit for the mids, early treble peaks very slightly but unlike the others has a very controlled wobble afterwards

TMA-1: subbass starts remarkably strong, mids fall, treble falls more

 

 

Amping:

HD25: feels a bit veiled (especially around the midbass) without amp, but still sounds good without

HD25-13: moreso than above, but still competent

T50p: helps extend the bass a little bit

DT1350: sounds different, not necessarily better, probably just the characteristics of the amp

HDJ-2000: very slight improvement, nothing special or cost justifiable by itself

HDJ-2000mod: remarkably becomes even more sensitive after modding, so extra gain might be too much, though amping helps control the bass

M80: not necessary, and the high sensitivy made these somewhat prone to noise from amps

TMA-1: treble response differs on some amps, making me think there's an impedance spike in there somewhere; otherwise no real difference noted

 

 

General sound descriptions in brief:

 

Sennheiser HD25-1-ii: Moderate V shaped frequency response with a bass tilt, comparatively recessed mids and uppermids, plenty of punch in the bass and treble.

These cans are tried and true, with a great all-rounder sound. Good energy throughout, the bottom end provides a nice driving rhythm and the top end is tuned for just the right amount of shimmer with hihats. While the bass extension is good, most of the bass energy comes from the upper bass region that gives great impact but not much rumble. In the treble, there is a strong peak at the lowish end (roughly 2kHz) and another in the upper range (around 8-10kHz, which is very typical for closed headphones). The valley in between the peaks stays quite strong, and in my opinion it is partly this lack of a deep valley which reduces sibilance. The midrange region is recessed in comparison to the bass and treble and feels a bit veiled though generally flat, sloping up gently until the first treble peak.

 

 

Sennheiser HD25-13-ii: More neutral, more controlled.

As above, but just a bit cleaner and more detailed sound overall, and surprisingly still easy to drive from a portable source. Perhaps not quite as much impact as the HD25-1-ii. Midrange comes out clean and unassuming. Driving from an OTL tube amp (Bottlehead Crack), the bottom end thickens up a bit and delivers more body.

 

 

Beyerdynamic T50p: Moderate V shaped frequency response with a treble tilt, weak sub bass response, great treble energy.

Getting the right fit is crucial to good sound, and getting the perfect fit provides fantastic isolation. A rock oriented sound to my ears, with a nice midbass and strong highs. It might be sibilant for some, and it does have a certain Grado like character to it. At times this headphone sounds bright, at others dark. The subbass could be better, and the treble may be too hot for some, at times possibly even twangy. The T50p is also very sensitive to noise; treat it like an iem in this regard.

 

 

Beyerdynamic DT1350: Clean, precise, and ultimately a bit sterile.

I can't find fault in any of its technical merits, and test tones and frequency sweep response is fantastic, but it just doesn't groove when you've got music going. The midrange is the strong point of the headphone, while the bass and treble feel dry and brittle. My main criticism of the bass is that it feels thin, with no body or reverb to it. From a critical listening and studio application aspect this is may be a good thing, but from a casual listening standpoint it just doesn't have any body or energy. Reproduction of well recorded music and the studio room/hall acoustics is excellent; produced/generated music not so much.

 

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000: Bass tilted sound not as clean as the others but it thumps, treble more subdued than others but definition edges out, overall balance very good.

The sound is definitely a bit coloured and warm sounding, but it's “fun”. It has the technical chops, but a less formal presentation than the others. The bass is the loosest of the bunch, but it's also satisfying in the way it growls. Treble detail is surprisingly good, perhaps even better than the others even though it doesn't have the same presence or "sparkle". Unlike other DJ cans, the mids come forward very nicely.

 

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000mod: A thicker bottom end provides extra cushion for the pushin' and it's all good.

 

 

V-Moda M80: Well balanced, somewhat airy, engaging but polite.

A surprisingly balanced headphone within this shootout. There is a lighter texture to the sound reminiscent of the full sized winged Audio Technicas, but still provides a decent lower end impact to the music. Upper and lower extension does a fine job of remaining relatively flat, especially in the treble end which in this category of headphones is plagued by spikes and valleys. Detailing feels a bit weak at times, with some excessive energy delay in the upper mids/lower treble where finger snaps and cymbals just seem blurred. Sub bass also seems to lose coherence during more aggressive phrases.

 

 

AiAiAi TMA-1: I like my headphones how I like my coffee: dark bitter roast.

These are possibly the most bass sloped headphones I've heard. Bass response and extension is excellent but somewhat sluggish. Beyond that, response just seems to fall off the map as you move up. This isn't so much a headphone for bass lovers as it is one for treble haters. The sound (mostly the bass) has a very one-note doof that plays very well to lo-fi electronica, but not so much to everything else. Vocals are somewhat distant, and instrument reproduction is weak, but synthetic sounds are generally good.

 

 

 

Comparisons:

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000 vs Sennheiser HD25-1-ii

- The HD25 is noticeably more V shaped and concentrates a lot of energy into a narrow bass and treble band for that impactful energy and zing. The Pioneer spreads that energy across a wider band, so it trades the bass impact for a wider range rumble, and the hihats zing for a more balanced shimmer across the treble.

- the Pioneers also have a stronger midrange and vocals come out much better.

- vs the HD25-13, the Pioneer has noticeably more overall treble extension but still doesn't match the shimmer of the Senn who also edges out in detail for the one narrow treble peak

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000 vs Beyerdynamic DT1350

- The DT1350 is like you're sipping martinis while at the Metropolitan Opera. You're well dressed, you're refined, and you're here to enjoy the sophisticated performance of highly trained and accredited individuals. The Pioneer puts you neck deep in a mosh pit with a brewski in either hand. With the modded Pioneer, replace brewski with groupie and you're good to go.

- the Pioneer bass is looser and wild while the Beyer is cleaner and polite

- for fast electronica I actually prefer the Pioneer which seems to separate the notes more quickly

 

Sennheiser HD25 vs Beyerdynamic DT1350

- If the DT1350 is the opera, the DT25 is your favourite rock show

- the separation of layers is better in the Beyer

- comfort better on the Beyers, isolation marginally better

- the Senns easily win for bass impact and energy delivery, and overall durability

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000 vs Beyerdynamic T50p

- These are such completely different cans, it's difficult to compare them... like an ogre vs a leprechaun or something like that (I have no idea where that came from).

 

Sennheiser HD25-1-ii vs Beyerdynamic T50p

- vaguely similar top end energy, with the T50p having more “ssss” and the HD25 more “ch”

- while the Senn has the upper bass thump, the Beyer has a lower mid emphasis

- Senn has recessed mids that are slightly boxy, Beyer's are forward and sharp

 

Beyerdynamic DT1350 vs Beyerdynamic T50p

- in some ways I feel the DT1350 is actually more sibilant than the T50p due to its wobblier treble extension, even though the T50p treble energy is overall higher

- the DT1350 has significantly better bass than the T50p, though the T50p punches a bit harder in the midbass (but it falls apart going into the subbass)

 

Sennheiser HD25-1-ii vs HD25-13-ii

- the 25-13 has easily better bass extension, but doesn't have as much impact

- soundstage width is better on the 25-13

- treble peaks of the 25-1 are significantly stronger, while the 25-13 is better controlled but doesn't have as much “shimmer” or energy

- HD25-13 sounds nicer out of a tube amp

- mids are less recessed on the HD25-13

- the HD25-1 rocks harder, while the HD25-13 is more calm but produces slightly better definition

- HD25-13 is relatively easy to drive, but needs much more grunt to lift the veil compared to the HD25-1

 

M80 vs HD25

- upperbass (snares) hits harder on the M80, while the kick drums and cymbals sound better on HD25

- treble on the M80 very even but slightly blurred, while the HD25 has a great zing but can be a bit too strong/fatiguing for some

 

M80 vs DT1350

- both are very well balanced across the spectrum

- M80 is slightly bassier and rocks harder with more impact in the upper bass

- Beyer has way more treble clarity, but also suffers from sibilant spikes

 

M80 vs T50p

- both have an airy texture

- T50p rocks harder, but is shriekingly sibilant in comparison

 

M80 vs HDJ-2000

- decent staging on both, with the M80 feeling airier and the the Pioneer more enveloping

- M80 has more forward mids, lower better bass extension

- Pioneer warmer sound with more midbass hump

- treble well controlled on both, with the Pioneer edging out in detail and separation

 

TMA-1 vs DT1350

- the DT1350 does recorded instruments and vocals well, but synthetic sounds poorly

- TMA-1 does synthetic sounds well, but live stuff poorly

- Beyer has whispy upper mids, while TMA-1 is deep and slow

- though both share that they don't have much resonance and feel somewhat overdamped

 

TMA-1 vs T50p

- these are the polar opposites, like you've got the slacker pothead laughing his head off at Spongebob Squarepants, vs the amphetamine junkie who just ragequit on xboxlive

- dark and murky vs tight and bright

 

TMA-1 vs HD25

- Senn has bass punch while the TMA-1 has one-note bass doofs

- Senn has treble sparkle, TMA-1 just doofs

- Senn has slightly recessed mids, TMA-1... doof! doof! doof!

 

TMA-1 vs M80

- it's like you've got a freshly whipped frappadappacino vs coffee (comma) black

 

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000 vs HDJ-2000mod

- mod and info here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/570868/pioneer-hdj-2000-bass-boost-mod

- essentially the bass presence and extension is greatly improved, treble definition improved slightly

 

V-Moda M80 vs M80mod

- small amounts of blutak at rear of cup, one layer of thin felt

- decrease bass, tightens sub bass (removes distortion)

- lose some soundstage and bit of mids

- treble clarity increased

 

AiAiAi TMA-1 vs TMA-1mod

- ring of thin closed felt foam under pad assembly, chunk of open celled foam under back half of each pad to angle cups more towards the ears

- ever so slightly better isolation

- bass impact a bit more defined... Doof with a capital D

 

 

 

Soundstage:

 

Well none of them are that great for soundstage to begin with. I think I might actually give the nod to the T50p here or the HDJ-2000. While supraaurals with small cups seem to have the edge for isolation, my general experience is that they lose out on soundstage.

 

HDJ-2000: I figure it's just the larger cups and resonance that tickles the earlobes that create a sense of depth

T50p: The strong mids and more consistent treble here are what give it an edge in separation and width over the DT1350

DT1350: ok but nothing special

HD25: a little cramped compared to the others, and the tight fit/clamp adds to that sensation

M80: the semi-open nature and resonant highs give a good and airy if somewhat blurred stage

TMA-1: the recessed midrange and treble really kills any sense of staging

 

T50p >= HDJ-2000 >= M80 > DT1350 > HD25 > TMA-1

 

edit: I notice that my rankings here are almost directly proportional to the clamping force (with the exception of the TMA-1).. so psychosomaticacoustic biases are not to be dismissed

 

 

Distortion Products:

Ok so this is one of those things that I chalk up to my bat-like hearing. I don't know what it is exactly, and it is difficult for me to describe... but it's like hearing artifacts in the sound, or maybe it's harmonics generated in the headphones themselves. They are most easily noticeable for me in the lower frequencies (<200Hz). Anyhow, almost all headphones I've heard will suffer from this to some degree or another, and the ones in this comparison are no different. However, the Beyers were odd in that their distortion noise sounded like it was an octave up compared to the others. The others were technically louder, but the Beyers' distortion were more noticeable. The TMA-1 actually sounds rather clean compared to the rest.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Armaegis - 10/18/11 at 7:46pm
post #2 of 440
Thread Starter 

Someone had asked me to expand on some thoughts regarding classical music and instrument reproduction. I'll give some brief thoughts on those plus other genres:

 

DT1350:

- violins are excellent and well defined

- brass is a bit iffy; trumpets come off shrill, french horns better but come off bright

- vocals (opera) are very very good and best of the bunch

- generally sounds good with any well recorded instrumental/jazz/acoustic/vocal/etc

- sounds sterile with synthesized sounds

 

 

HDJ-2000:

- fantastic cellos (rich and full bodied)

- possibly my favourite of the group for overall instrument balance and creating a concert hall feel, but the others do specific areas better

- upper woodwinds and brass well defined though slightly tamed

- one of my favourites with guitar blues

 

 

T50p:

- upper woodwinds are nice, flutes in particular (clear and sharp without being piercing)

- brass is strong but not shrill like DT1350

- vocals very clear

- weaker drums, but guitars shred well (verging on bright)

- doesn't quite play well to an entire orchestra, but folk and acoustic recordings sound nice

 

 

HD25:

- not my first choice for classical in general

- the impact that it brings to rock and metal just doesn't translate to classical;

- midrange instruments feel boxed in, bassy intruments too boomy; treble is good actually and reminds me of the T50p somewhat

- great for rock and metal, guitars and drums/cymbals have emphasis

 

 

M80:

- competent at most genres

- brass is somewhat subdued

- strings very nice and spacious

- vocals also nicely toned

- guitars a little muddled, individual string twangs not as clear

 

 

TMA-1:

- instrument reproduction overall mediocre

- plays well to lo-fi electronica and low end synthesized tones

 

**********************

 

Picture dump!

 

b7ad29f1_cups1.jpeg

9313c815_group2.jpeg

side by side of the DT1350, HD25-13-ii, HDJ-2000

 

 

99552f8b_group1.jpeg

in their cases/bags (the T50p has a similar case but without the inner form)

 

6f80b7e0_groupcollapse.jpeg

folded, retracted, and collapsed

 

04e747bd_Beyerheadband1.jpeg

b6187ed6_Beyerheadband2.jpeg

Headbands of the DT1350 (black) and T50p (silver). Note how the T50p headband is slightly larger and wider, it bows out more at the temples which makes it more comfortable for me

 

 

09f0846a_group3.jpeg

a9a09981_group4.jpeg

all together: Pioner HDJ-2000mod, Sennheiser HD25-13-ii, Beyerdynamic DT1350, Beyerdynamic T50p

 

 

 

Charts from Headroom for the HDJ-2000, HD25-1-ii, and T50p. Take from them what you will. I draw my conclusions from my listening tests, not the graphs.

ac98ff08_DJ_freq.png

4a4bce1d_DJ_iso.png

fdd2bbca_DJ_imp.png

4058983e_DJ_50.png

781b443c_DJ_500.png

1b22d320_DJ_dist.png

 

 

 

 

***NEW PICTURES***

 

c18bbb58_IMG_5322.jpeg

 

f863837c_all62.jpeg

 

932f6707_IMG_5324.jpeg

 

HDJ-2000, HD25-13-ii, DT1350, T50p, M80, TMA-1

 

 

b5300157_IMG_5325.jpeg

 

a970917c_IMG_5326.jpeg

 

left to right:

Pioneer HDJ-2000

Sennheiser HD25-13-ii

AiAiAi TMA-1

V-Moda M80

Beyerdynamic DT1350

Beyerdynamic T50p

 

 

And one last one... (no I won't be adding all of those to the review)

ea976232_IMG_5327.jpeg

Koss 6ALC, SR125, Sextett MP, DT880/250, DT250/250, A900, HDJ-2000, HD25-13-ii, TMA-1, M80, DT1350, T50p, Realitic Pro30, Jana BJ-2000

UE700, SE215

not shown: Phiaton PS500 with transplanted T40v1 ortho drivers, Sextett with transplanted SFI ortho drivers

 

 

edit:

these are my rough notes; do not take it as gospel (Click to show)

 

rough notes...

Sennheiser HD25-1-ii
- frequency response is quite flat and extends well into the lows
- though it feels slightly V shaped with slight bass tilt
- mild veil in the mids (probably because they are slightly recessed compared to the lows)
- bottom end feels emphasized due to "punch"
- punchy and aggressive sound
- very mildly fatiguing due to impact of bottom and top
- strong clamp, splitting the band increases it moreso
- presses on the top of my ears, uncomfortable with glasses, leaves dent
- separation of layers is not the greatest, but I'm comparing to orthos
- strong 2k(?) sibilant spike, recessed around 4k
- looks: headband sticks out, but design is rather low key
- very light, might feels flimsy because of that
- very durable construction
- excellent isolation, one of the best I've tried




Sennheiser HD25-13-ii
- just a bit more refinement in the lows and highs (didn't notice much change in the mids)
- like it loses a bit of the punch but trades it for better clarity, feels like faster decay
- midrange veil more noticeable, wants amping
- surprisingly easy to drive; can still reach very loud volumes from a Fuze (though feels a bit veiled)
- try driving from OTL tubes? feels a little overdamped/congested
    - nice from Crack - more rumble, a little fuzzier on the details but overall more pleasant
- does not sound that good at low volumes
- not much noticeable difference with amping?
- "better" out of Crack than Apex Butte, gains more low end body
 

 

Beyerdynamic T50p
- a weird can, at times feeling bright, other times dark
- great looks, comfortable, comes with case and little rubber cord wrap thingy
- weird fit though, takes some fiddling but very comfortable, good for wide heads because it bows out a littel bit
    - those small pads also don't put any pressure on the outer ear which is great for those with glasses
- getting the fit is crucial for good sound
- light clamp, so very comfortable
- mediocre subbass extension
- V shaped feel with treble tilt (the bass end is more of a midbass hump, since the bass rolls off rather quickly)
- more upper end shimmer than the DT1350 (arguably too bright)
    - maybe a bit "twangy"
- very sensitive to noise
- mediocre bass extension, falls apart by 40Hz
- but feels like it has more energy than the DT1350


Beyerdynamic DT1350
- dry, somewhat thin sound, more technical/clinical
- feels a bit overdamped
- very prominent mids and midhighs which come forward
- bass is present but not pronounced, feels like very fast decay, not much "body" to it
- where's the energy? it performs but it doesn't really groove in the bass, doesn't shimmer in the highs
- feels good for mixing
- much better with live recorded music
    - fantastic with opera
    - classical, especially violins sound sweet
- more sibilant than T50p? but T50p has more treble overall but DT1350 is wobblier across the range
    - brass instruments are especially bright and piercing
- like the T50p, getting the fit right is even moreso crucial for good sound
    - due to clamp, tricker for me to get good/comfortable fit
    - can't chew gum or loses fit  (but I have a wide jaw and temples)
- separation of layers better than HD25-1-ii, though still doesn't match orthos
- good comfort, several axes of movement which is much better than the HD25-1-ii
- isolation is very good, at least on par or even a bit better, but it takes longer to get it there
    - you can get a slightly pucker on the ears if you get them right
- band is a bit narrow and might pinch at the temples of wide heads
- does not pinch the top of my ears as badly as the HD25-1-ii, but still pinches
    - kinda wish the pads were a little smaller like the T50p
- very good isolation (at least on par with HD25-1-ii)
- good build quality, though not as rugged as HD25-1-ii or feels as substantial as the Pioneer HDJ-2000
- why doesn't it have a removeable cord?
- cable is microphonic, quite a bit of noise when it brushes against collar
- some people say it has more body when driven from OTL tubes? I'm guessing less damping is the factor
- not that great on the Crack
- looks: like I have knobs sticking out of my head
- outdoor use: not too much wind noise
- catches hair
- swivel arm not really useful, better to just shift earpad off ear
 

 

Pioneer HDJ-2000
- slightly smaller earcups than the 840/M50/Q40; if you have big ears they might not fit entirely inside
- most comfortable of the lot, memory foam and protein leather
- mild clamping, but with the padding you hardly notice, stays quite secure on your head
- folds more compactly than the other three
- very sturdy cable, slightly difficult to remove, mini xlr connector (standard for replacement, but $)
- not quite as punchy as the M50, but close
- midrange is smooth as the 840
- small soundstage
- relatively flat frequency response for a DJ can (still U shaped)
- bass rolls off earlier than the others
- very easy to drive; does not need amp, but benefits from amping
- 298g without cord, 398g with cord and bag
- overall sound is better than the other three without amp
- sound is rather flat at low volumes, opens up nicely when turned up (typical for cans of this style)
- I would describe the sound as warm and bass tilted
- more fun rather than analytical
- looks: shiny but low profile
- outdoor use: wind noise moderate

w/mod
- doesn't roll off nearly as much, significantly stronger
    - more reverb, feels like an Ultrasone bass
- upper mid separation just a touch better
- much more satisfying thump
- less wind noise due to covered vents

 

 


V-Moda M80
- excellent low end extension in terms of volume, but loses control
    - subbass sine wave feels choppy
- v.strong treble extension... too much? hollow sound/echoey
    - a couple resonant peak somewhere in there... 1400/2800Hz? drop at 3k then up again
    - but the peak/valley area isn't as rollercoaster as others
- slightly peaked/sibilant female vocal
    - I can hear some details and peaks better, but others not..
    - sibilant is the wrong word... but drawn out "sss"
- stock cable somewhat microphonic, though better than the Beyer cords
- cups are slightly angled, no y-axis rotation
    - angle is due to tapered platic under earpads
- needs volume to really come alive, sort of like the Senn veil
- upperbass (snare drums) kicks slightly better than HD25-1-ii, lowerbass kick the Senn is better
- earpad pressure much more even, maybe even more on the bottom than top which is good for glasses
- isolation worse than HDJ-2000, maybe better in highs, but midrange amplifies (most noticeable around 400Hz?)
    - kettle and washing machine; can't hear kettle but washer is loud and clear
    - traffic is louder
    - ambient vocals are louder
- ports improve soundstage
    - but left side isn't as good due to the circuitboard in the way
- stronger distortion products up into the lower mids, playing test tones
- stronger bass extension than DT1350, reaches down to 16Hz, can hear footstep
    - but it isn't as clean <40Hz
- cello good but not as full as Pioneer, flutes sing very nicely, brass slightly sharp but not as sharp as DT1350
- not that great for piano, notes feel blurred
- bassier than DT1350 and HDJ-2000mod
- treble feels a LOT like the HDJ-2000mod - moderately forward
    - separation not as good, slightly blurred, definition not as good
    - cymbals/hi hats just can be heard, but sound veiled
- subbass HD25-13 > HDJ-2000mod=M80... stronger but sloppy
- bass HD25-13=M80
- treble M80 =HDJ-2000mod, feels the same but M80 has to be louder to "feel" the same energy
    - M80 less wobbly, but less detailed
- piano too resonant in highs
- maybe wrap the case in the box... mine came with minor scuff, some parts actually rubbed off
- not the greatest at separation, chord notes blurred together, DT1350 better... hard to say
- tizzyness to the sound, moreso with burn-in? due to the pads
- isolation lousy, and can obviously hear resonance upper mids (female vocals); probably coincides with the tizziness
- cables feel slightly damaged, stiff at the bends
- feels good for movies
- comfort very good, below P5 and T50p
- bad for wind noises
- soundstage is ok, not great, good for a closed portable... HDJ-2000 >= M80
- heat buildup about on par with the rest of them
- vs DT1350: M80 slightly bassier, 1350 way more treble, M80 rocks better
- mod: blutack and felt - bass less, mids/soundstage more closed, treble emphasis better
    - bass close to the DT1350 now


AiAiAi TMA-1
- driver slow
- not great definition
- sub bass (clean response) better than M80, not as good as DT1350
- bass doesn't impact, but doesn't really rumble either... just lazy
- dooof added to everything
- super comfortable pads
- headband painful spot right at crown, no padding at all
- clamp light
- feels a bit like a DT770
- isolation ~HDJ-2000, slightly less at mids, slightly more at highs
- mids slightly recessed but clear
- treble peaks/valleys (moreso valleys) change on different equipment
    - makes me suspect there's an impedance peak in the trble
    - overall more recessed than mids
- can't really hear the snares or cymbals
- vs DT1350: very opposite... detailed and lively upper mids vs deep and slow
    - though both share that they don't have much resonance and in a way almost feel overdamped
- good for slow electronica
- not so much a basshead headphone as it is a "I hate treble/sibilance" headphone
 

 

 


Edited by Armaegis - 10/19/11 at 5:50pm
post #3 of 440
Thread Starter 

Reserved, though I doubt I'll ever need a third post.

 

I doubt I'll ever really be "done" the review, as I'm terrible at writing things. I start jotting down notes, then I transition to long form, then I get lazy or run out of time and start going point form... then I just give up and copy/paste the whole sh'bang and leave it as is.

 

Feel free to discuss or ask questions, as I will not have all of these headphones in my possession for much longer since I will have to return some of them to their respective owners.

 

 

 

 

edit: more pics!

 

33c6f5bb_frequency.jpeg

freehand drawn frequency response charts for all 6

 

b12ee4c3_TMA-1mod1.jpeg

15c81f9a_TMA-1mod2.jpeg

TMA-1mod: adding a closed cell foam ring under the pad assembly for better seal and isolation; you can't see the foam padding added between the pad and plastic mount

 

910602cb_M80mod1.jpeg

M80mod: my usual schtick, a bit of blutak for mass loading and a piece of felt for acoustic damping

slightly better isolation and better treble definition, but I also lost some bass energy (likely due to reduction of internal volume)

I think a lighter felt will bring back some bass without giving up the better definition, but I'm too lazy to open them back up right now

edit: actually I just replaced the felt with a thin piece of open cell foam situated above the vents: isolation is worse than felt, bass rumbles a little stronger (though not as strong as without), highs are more clear


Edited by Armaegis - 10/18/11 at 9:37pm
post #4 of 440

Great to read, thank you.

 

I like how you describe the DT1350, from all the reviews Ive read about it this is the one I feel gets closer to my impression about it.

post #5 of 440
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMcProgger View Post

Great to read, thank you.

 

I like how you describe the DT1350, from all the reviews Ive read about it this is the one I feel gets closer to my impression about it.


Glad to hear at least one person shares my views on it. I still haven't read any other reviews, so I don't know what other people are saying about it.


Edited by Armaegis - 10/19/11 at 5:20pm
post #6 of 440

 

Quote:

Pioneer HDJ-2000 vs Beyerdynamic DT1350

- The DT1350 is like you're sipping martinis while at the Metropolitan Opera. You're well dressed, you're refined, and you're here to enjoy the sophisticated performance of highly trained and accredited individuals. The Pioneer puts you neck deep in a mosh pit with a brewski in either hand. With the modded Pioneer, replace brewski with groupie and you're good to go.

 I got a good laugh when I read this part. I'm enjoying your review very much so far and look forward to more groupie analogies lol

post #7 of 440

Excellent review/comparison!

post #8 of 440

wow, nice review man.

 

I'm really looking forward to the M80 review as well

post #9 of 440
Thread Starter 

The M80 should have been here by now, so I'm really hoping it was just a customs thing and didn't get lost in the mail...

 

I think I've got a got a guy lending me his TMA-1; just waiting for shipping confirmation.


Edited by Armaegis - 10/5/11 at 11:12am
post #10 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Glad to hear at least one person shares my views on it. I still haven't read any other reviews, so I don't know what other people are saying about it.


Let me summarize it for you: "best headphone ever by far regarding everything. ever"  basically.

post #11 of 440
Thread Starter 

Seriously? I mean sure they're really good in a few spots, but certainly not the end-all-be-all. I'm curious if those opinions were formed before or after Tyll and Mike/headfonia and Joker posted their reviews.

post #12 of 440

After Tyll, ( this is why I blame Tyll) Mike and Joker were late to the party.

 

 

Using my DT1350 out of the iBasso D3 and from a laptop USB. It is a love and hate relationship with the little beyer.

 

right now I'm loving the isolationa nd some Older Genesis albums. cant help to nitice a big improvement in sound when I press the cups hard closer to my ears, it doesnt sound so thin anymore. and Ive play with the fit too much.

 

post #13 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

 

 I got a good laugh when I read this part. I'm enjoying your review very much so far and look forward to more groupie analogies lol



x2 The analogies had me crackin' up too. Great read and imagery. :)

 

Awesome review/comparisons Armaegis. You really nailed the HD25 along with the HDJ-2000 for sure. And I always felt the mids on the HD25 were a bit recessed/distant too. I have a love/hate thing going on with my HD25s in regards to that, because as much as I love that punchy bass I wish the mids were just a smidge closer. 

 

Anyway, I can't wait till you get the M80 and the TMA-1 to compare. Can you also compare the imaging of each can and how natural to life the instruments sound on each can? I know it's all subjective but if you could comment on what you think, I'd appreciate it. 

post #14 of 440
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMcProgger View Post

After Tyll, ( this is why I blame Tyll) Mike and Joker were late to the party.

 

 and Ive play with the fit too much.

 


Hmm, I'll have to read through the DT1350 thread at some point (well, maybe just a few pages). I remember seeing Tylls review, but kinda glossed over it since at the time I really didn't have any interest in it.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roma101 View Post

x2 The analogies had me crackin' up too. Great read and imagery. :)

 

Awesome review/comparisons Armaegis. You really nailed the HD25 along with the HDJ-2000 for sure. And I always felt the mids on the HD25 were a bit recessed/distant too. I have a love/hate thing going on with my HD25s in regards to that, because as much as I love that punchy bass I wish the mids were just a smidge closer. 

 

Anyway, I can't wait till you get the M80 and the TMA-1 to compare. Can you also compare the imaging of each can and how natural to life the instruments sound on each can? I know it's all subjective but if you could comment on what you think, I'd appreciate it. 


See post #5 for some brief thoughts on instruments.

 

post #15 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMcProgger View Post

Let me summarize it for you: "best headphone ever by far regarding everything. ever"  basically.


Hahaha - yeah, does kind of sum it up - the DT1350 have hit FOTM type status.  I do love mine, but they are not the perfect headphone.  They are a really nice small portable option if the HD-25's aren't your style.  I owned both for a couple of weeks, and kept the beyers, as they are more my style of sound, and suit my needs well.  
Armaegis - you pretty well nailed the differences between the HD-25-II and DT1350.  I don't have experience with the others.  Nice review, and an entertaining read for sure!

 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › [review/comparison] Beyerdynamic DT1350, T50p, Sennheiser HD25-1-ii, HD25-13-ii, Pioneer HDJ-2000, V-Moda M80, Aiaiai TMA-1