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Best headphones for trance/ electronic dance music - Page 3

post #31 of 50

Beyer DT 990 Pro's or Premiums would be great. I have the 250 ohm Pros and though this isn't my favorite genre, I dabble... and they rock.

post #32 of 50

I think the 990 pro sounds dry and the bass isn't as impressive as it could be. The sound of the lowend reminds me more of port noise than low frequency tones. I don't think it's terribly excessive when amped properly. So my problem with it is quality of bass, not quantity. While the KRK 6400 is much more closed sounding, it's wetter and more tuneful. I quite like the Ortofon headphone, which is made by Ultrasone. The DT1350 has superior bass to the 990 pro, but is no where near as comfortable. It also has a more forward and textured midrange. Koss ESP 950 is fantastic, but my unit had some issues. Lowend isn't very articulate when a lot is happening, but fine the rest of the time. It's a warm headphone. Numark PHX is really fantastic with some headphone jacks when cranked WAY up for trance. You have to be careful to get a pair that has matched drivers, though. I don't think either of mine were matched well. There's also the issue of hearing damage and the fact it's not going to win any awards at lower volumes. And finally, I have yet to find anything that can beat the Etymotic ER4S for precision. The Koss is probably prettier and more delicate, though, but not as precise or flat. The lowend confusion and extra warmth of the Koss can get to be a bit much. I never get sick of the sound of the Etymotic. To be fair, I am home sick for the sound of the Koss, though. It has special highs and mids and is ridiculously comfortable on me. You also don't need to worry about whether you're amping it correctly if you haven't got a great quality amp. But I'd have a difficult time choosing which to use if I had both.


Edited by Reticuli2 - 2/4/12 at 3:51pm
post #33 of 50

The Ultrasones are good for electronic music and I prefer the Pro/PL-650 over the midbassy Pro-900. Here is more info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/401879/an-ultrasone-comparison

post #34 of 50

get HD 650 for sure, the other sennheisers don't have the bass needed for these genres. they where my first hi-fi headphones and i was very satisfied with how they performed with electronic.

 

they are also warm and dark sounding, so they are quite forgiving of poorly recorded music or weak sources (i would download alot of electronic music via the youtube downloader since i couldn't find mp3s for alot of them)

post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli2 View Post

I think the 990 pro sounds dry and the bass isn't as impressive as it could be. 



the bass i agree could be better,  but the dt 990 is an excellent sounding headphone that benefits really good from tubes. 

 

coming out of the WA2, the dt 990 sounds extremely good. strong bass, thicker mids, and smoother highs.

post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 

Just thought I should update. So I ended up buying the Denon AH-D2000 three months back. It was between Pro 900 and D2000/D5000. Due to circumstances I ended up getting D2000. I really loved it and was blown away. For one of the closed headphones, it definitely had one of the bigger sound stages. However I found the imaging to be a bit blurry. The bass had lot of impact and sub bass rumble was a beast. However after having listened to these with all types of genre for EDM and other general genres, I seemed to have picked up quite a few things on these. The mids are definitely recessed on these and so the vocals don't quite come out for most genres. Even for vocal trance, I always kept wanting a bit more in that department. Although for every rap song, I found the voicing of these to be perfect with. The pace seemed to match it perfectly. However for EDM, I found the D2000 to be slow, I always kept wishing for more resolution as the transients just weren't up for the job and detail got lost. The highs were good on these, I can definitely notice the sibilance on these but it was never one one that would bother me. Like few other headphones would pierce my ears and I would just have to stop from the pain. With these I would only hear the ssssss, but wouldn't feel it at all as piercing even for 5-6 hour sessions. For most electronica, I always wanted slightly more mid bass for that kick. Sub-bass was phenomenal in impact and rumbledddd. Although on many tracks it started interfering with the next notes as of slow speed. The attack seemed to be fine but the decay on these headphones were bad. If I had the chance to sacrifice a litlle sub-bass for more mid-bass, I would easily do it. However the main thing that didn't quite get me there to what I wanted wasn't the recessed mids or bass issues. It was the speed. As soon as you got into the 120+ BPM regions, for dubstep, trance, EDM, House, even psy trance stuff, it wouldn't be able to keep up as well as I wanted it. If the speed on these was faster, I honestly wouldn't have cared about the mids or bass. Although for slower dubstep from 80-110 ish this headphone does an exceptional job and I find the bass to be perfect in that case. That's why these are my go to headphones for rap everytime. BTW the phones were plugged into Fiio E10.

 

Traditionally on this forum for EDM headphones, most people seem to typically recommend the Denon 2K/5K/7K, Ultrasone Pro 900 and other Ultrasone and Beyerdynamic DT900 and sometimes even the Sony MDR-SA500. Out of these, I found the SA5000 and Pro 900 to have the most polarizing opinions from the rest. At a point I almost ordered the pro 900 because of its bass but due to the polarizing views on the even more recessed mids and excessive bass, I couldn't do it. I read some very good things about the SA5000. They were open and airy and really FAST, and was then shifted to these, but just like    with the pro 900's, these also had polarizing opinions about their bass. Also some people seemed to love the bright treble while some hated it. It was DT990 all over again. So I seemed to have been stuck again.

 

For the past two months, I started to look at planar magnetic headphones instead as I heard these had a lot of speed and could do bass as well. So after researching I came down to HE-500 and LCD-2. I looked at some estats as well but the prices of them were kinda too high, even used. After reading bunch of stuff on LCD-2 and HE-500, I noticed two things. First, for electronica there really isn't much advice in the high-end section. It's almost as if people assume that high end and electronica cannot go together. From the few and brief mentions, I was usually able to get good recommendations on LCD-2 with EDM as their bass was raved about. The HE-500 on the side, while people usually said it was very musical and could do every genre well, didn't really have any specific reviews or info on how it paired with EDM. Given the prices of these two phones and amp pairing, It seemed that the HE-500 was the easier choice. A new HE-500 goes for $700 new and used around $500-$600 and LCD-2 Rev2 goes for $995 new and used ($700-$900) - prices seems to vary more for LCD-2 Rev-2. From headphonia, and here at head-fi, It was easy to find a general consensus of hooking up HE-500 with Schiit products. Bifrost had a really nice dac and the Asgard and Lyr for amp. From what I've read the HE-500 needs 1 watt to be running at optimum. The Asgard can do a bit more than that (1.2 W...I think?) and seems to work well according to Mike from headfonia and others here including Malveaux. But then others also feel that the Asgard can't bring out the dynamics of HE-500 and the Lyr is necessary. More contradicting opinions again. Unlike the HE-500, it was hard to come to one final amp pairing with LCD-2.

 

My go to choice, based on what I've read for EDM would be the LCD-2 because of its ability to keep up with the strong beats of electronica while the HE-500 would be better for jazz, classical, indie and other moderately paced genres, according to Mike from headfonia. So the LCD-2 seemed to be the obvious choice. However, the cost of LCD-2 and the more stricter amp pairing for these kept me from pulling the trigger. One day I was able to find a good deal on HE-500 and just pulled the trigger, even though it wasn't the number one choice. To myself, I thought that I would just keep them for every other genre and just keep the D2000 for EDM. When I got the HE-500, I was completely blown away with HE-500 even straight out of the E10 on high gain which can do 300 MW (0.3 MW) so it was under amped but still kicked ass. I could tell that the dynamics weren't there but could still get a good preview of their true capabilities. Even out of an E10, the HE-500 demolished the D2000's for every genre, from pop to trance to dubstep to jazz or even dubstep jazz. Whether it was Michael Jackson or Nelly Furtado, it sounded so much better. Gone were the recessed mids with better highs and a way wider soundstage with far better imaging than the D2000's. Usually on this forum when people ask for phone recommendation for EDM bass seems to be one of the top prioties and the decision seems to end up depending on the bass as well. I find the bass to be quite important as well, but not a make or break point. The two best things about going from D2000 to HE-500 were the increase in the speed/resolution and open style which gave that airy sound, those two factors alone makes the experience so much better than D2000 or any closed phone. These are pretty fast and can resolve just about anything. On a side note, I would still love to know how the HE-500 compares to SA5000 as they both are airy and super fast and detailed. Back to the Denon 2K and HE-500. I was able to enjoy everything about the D2000 but with better vocals, more speed, better soundstage in terms of space as well as imaging, more air, far more natural sound. Yes I realized I didn't mention the bass, more on that later. Since this is about electronica in specific, I easily prefer the tonality and overall sound of HE-500 to the D2000 by quite a margin. I can truly enjoy vocal trance on these with their amazing mids and get a good sense of air while having an amazing punchy bass that can extend low. Although on very few tracks, I find the vocals of HE-500 to be a bit too much in my face and want them more laid back, this only seems to happen with female vocals, never with male vocals though. I just wanted to throw that out there but know that this is very minor and rarely happens. Still easily prefer the HE-500 in terms of vocals to D2000 where regardless of the genre I could only hear it and always wanted more.

 

With the HE-500, I was listening to the dubstep album by Nero - Welcome Reality. This album has some orchestra tracks, a bunch of beautiful vocal tracks with few purely instrumentals. Coming from D2000, the HE-500 did an amazing job with the vocals, I could finally feel something that was always lacking with the D2000s and other closed phones, the articulation and the change in air was amazing. Even though electronic music mostly has synthesized sounds for chords, bass, strings, to pianos. Whether it was purely an instrumental track or with vocals, the sound of HE-500 always made it sound so natural, despite it being synthesized. For lack of better words, everything "sounded right", synthesized or not. The treble was also better on the HE-500 as the cymbals could be heard naturally and not be lost in fast songs or DNB with 150+ bpm.

 

Moving on to the bass, it's a bit tricky here but overall I would pick the HE-500 in terms of bass. The speed on these is remarkably fast and super quick transients can let me enjoy it far more than the slower subwoofer bass of D2000. I also felt the HE-500 to be more punchy than D2000 especially in the mid-bass area. It delivered the kicks in the right place unlike D2000. In terms of purely sub-bass, I always adored the D2000 and this was their winning point for me. The sub-bass on the D2000 can reach insanely low, so can the HE-500's but perhaps just not as quite especially in that 20Hz to like 25ish Hz. This rarely happens though, on average 1-20 songs where I find the D2000s to go lower, so I am just mentioning this but it's not even a make or break factor, unless you selectively listen to old school dubstep from Benga and Skream that was primarily all sub-bass. With these the D2000 would beat the HE-500 as the sub-bass rumble was just so fun. While the HE-500 does hit hard and usually harder then D2000, it cannot rumble like the D2000 in sub-bass section. The HE-500 will rumble pretty low and hit hard but just not all the way down like D2000. However, if you prefer the newer dubstep from Flux Pavillion, Doctor P, Nero, Skrillex, Bassnectar and other artists that have a more emphasis in the mid-bass area (while still maintaining sub-bass), the HE-500 straight up beats the D2000 no contest.

 

If you like Psy-trance with strong beats, the HE-500 will be better as it hits harder and can keep up with the pace as you don't need the phones to be really rumbling too much.

 

For uplifting trance and that euphoric sound offered by Armin Van Buuren, Above and Beyond, Markus Schulz, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto (don't hate), the older David Guetta stuff from mid-2000's to late 2000's, the HE-500 will again best the D2000 in every facet. People here seem to assume that all electronic recordings are mastered poorly. If you listen to stuff released on labels like Ultra, Armada, Blackhole Recording, Enhanced, Kontor...they are mostly all mastered quite well and do gain a lot from better headphones. I still notice that a lot of people here that do listen to electronic as well as not listen to it, assume that trance and techno is all about bass and just suggest phones in terms of bass quality and quantity alone. It still annoys me, as other genres don't get this kind of treatment.

 

The cravings that I had to try DT990 and Pro 900 are over, as I can't imagine going back to recessed mids. In general, I don't see a closed phone offering a better experience for EDM than an open phone like HE-500. The soundstage of closed headphones just doesn't seem natural after listening to HE-500, that's why I always preferred speakers over my other headphones but with the HE-500 it's much more closer to the speaker experience. The sound stage of HE-500 seems to work perfectly with any genre and any track. I have heard people describe the AKG 271 as very expansive and sometimes too expansive and unnatural to the point that some details seem to be going off into the infinity. With this as you move from centre to left and right, everything is placed naturally. The D2000 was pretty good in offering a wide soundstage but it was hard to pinpoint elements with its blurry imaging. Like even my KRK KNS 8400 with their smaller soundstage had far better imaging given its limited depth, width and height. The only closed phone out there at this point I would like to try and that might offer performance in the same league as this are Ultrasone Edition 8. I have heard great things about Thunderpants from time to time, but frankly I'm not too familiar with them. In the Denon family, I've heard that D2000 and D7000 are similar in presentation except that D7000 is better in every aspect of D2000 and also faster. The D5000 seems to be the mid-bassy phone of them, but unless those two phones are a league above the D2000, they have no chance in beating HE-500 for EDM. D2000 and D5000 have same drivers so I don't know if the speed is really better between the two and D7000 has different drivers and supposed to be faster, but again it would have to be quite marginal to keep up with HE-500. I've heard that treble was the only supposedly problem? with planar magnetic phones, which could be true, but not with HE-500. The treble of HE-500 extends higher than D2000 and offers more detail without it giving the feeling of being purely analytical. It presents it in a very musical way, oh and there is no sibilance whatsoever with these, which is apparently there with DT990, Pro 900 and at times with D2000. The treble is balanced perfectly as to not sound piercing but still offer every detail.

 

Overall, for EDM and general, I love the tonality of this phone. At first I was worried I wouldn't like the presentation of HE-500 or open phones in general for EDM. Usually whenever I try new headphones, it takes me a few minutes to understand the way it presents music and to get used to it. With HE-500, it seemed I was instantly hooked to it and its presentation is ridiculously natural like speakers. 

 

Also from a comfort perspective, the first thing I noticed about these were that they were heavy (500ish grams) to 350 grams of D2000. The problem with D2000 is that they are a bit too loose and if you tilt you head left / right / front / back you get a feeling that it's just about to fall off and at times they indeed would fall off, which made it hard to jam out with. The HE-500 velour pads are so much better than D2000 and don't need any adjustments after the first ten seconds. With D2000 it would get heated after a while and the fit wasn't perfect. It was comfy, but not that comfy that you would forget about it. I know a lot of people sell LCD-2 and HE-500 because of comfort issues and go on to something like D7000. Myself, I found the pads to be very comfy, also the headband was quite nice and had no problem. Also, I wear glasses and it didn't seem to affect that at all. Clamping force took some time to get used to but after a while its fine. Speaking strictly ergonomics, this headphone was made fine and if you have any Denon phones then the HE-500 will be fine. However the weight might be an issue for some as when I gave them to my mother to try, she took them off in ten seconds as she found them to be too heavy and cautioned me of neck problems in the future. I lift weights and have muscles and stretch it out enough with Yoga, so I didn't notice any pain but after two-three hours my lower neck was a little bit stiff and tired, a good half hour rest made it completely go away. So I can imagine for some people sensitive to the weight of this being turned away. With D2000 I would take breaks as well, with HE-500 I try to take breaks as well but the music sounds so good that I just want to continue listening.

 

The phones that remain on my wish list to try are: SA5000, Ultrasone Edition 8, Denon D7000 and Audeze LCD-2. When I asked Mike from headfonia about HE-500 vs LCD-2 for EDM, he told me to go for LCD-2 for its better bass and prat. He said that the voicing of HE-500 isn't right for electronica, but then again a lot of people find the Denon X000 to be the best cans for this genre along with the Ultrasones and Beyerdynamic. The one thing that I can infer almost certainly is that the bass of LCD-2 is better in comparison, however I don't feel the bass of HE-500 to be lacking in speed, quality, quantity and extension. I'm sure it is better but I don't feel a need for improvement or anything missing as I did quite shortly after D2000. I find the energy of HE-500 to be perfect for every genre I have tried it with including all sub-genres of electronica. From what I've heard, the LCD-2 is dark sounding so I don't know if it will a good match for all genres like euphoric/uplifting trance. It would probably suit very nicely with Psychadelic and Goa. Again, I'm just speculating, I might find the LCD-2 to be even better than HE-500, but I have finally gotten to a point where I don't find anything lacking. I'm sure there is still a lot of room for improvement but by no means the performance of HE-500 isn't short of anything but excellent. The one thing that Mike said about HE-500 for electronica  was that the voicing of HE-500 isn't right for it and he prefers it a bit laid back. I can somewhat see his point as on few vocal tracks I wish it was slightly laid back (I do mean very slightly), but the thing is that this headphone is so natural in its presentation that I honestly don't get bothered by the vocals. It is exceptionally good. Also, I've heard that LCD-2 has slightly better mids, and more suited for trance. I guess I'll have to try them to find out. I have over 1000 albums of just electronica from all genres and with HE-500, it does an excellent job with each of it. I was expecting an average performance for these genres with HE-500. I am glad I was so wrong.

 

If the LCD-2 is really dark from what I've heard, I don't know if it can suit all genres within. I find the HE-500 to be more musical and energetic than D2000 and yet easily less fatiguing. I find the energy in the treble to be actually perfect. To be sure, I have to hear the LCD-2 to make my mind as there's so many different views and preferences. Oh and if I didn't make it clear, the HE-500's bass is outstanding and well suited for even the bass heaviest music.

 

To summarize, only two verrryyyy minor "adjustments" with HE-500 for trance:

 

- At times female vocals seem a touch too forward

- Sub-bass near 20Hz won't rumble as much as D2000 (it hits harder but less rumble and far more controlled and layered)

 

Besides these two minor things, there is nothing I would change about these headphones in general and for EDM.

 

A summary of the problems I had with D2000

 

- slow drivers

- poor transient response

- recessed mids

- bloated boomy like bass, not exactly would qualify as muddy and leaking into mids. The belatedness somewhat impales you for the next note

- Mid-bass deficient (don't feel the kick to be in the right place, needs a bit more kick in the mid-bass while still maintaing sub-bass) and yes this is possible as HE-500 can do it

- Blurry imaging (needs to really improve on the precision)

- Ssssssibilance (a hint too much on certain tracks, but otherwise not really a problem)

- vocals laid back too much

 

 

For those that don't have D2000 or Denon phones, I don't want to make it sound like these are terrible. They one of the best options at their price range and best sounding. These are really fun for casual listening, the bass is fun to listen to, and make a great all-rounder with for any genre. I can honestly view the HE-500 as the next best all-rounder after D2000. These take D2000 and improve it in every way and still retain the sound that always keeps you listening to it. If I had to do it all over again, I might still have gone for D2000/D5000, definitely as all rounders. For EDM specifically, the pro 900 offers better bass and speed but the even more recessed mids and the really bright treble might perhaps have not suited me for long listening sessions.

 

Bottom Line: I can whole heartedly recommend HE-500 for any genre of electronica and it will satisfy your speed, mids, bass craving. The airy sensation of open phones is far better than any closed headphone I have listened to. It suits the reverb, echo of trance and it gives just the right amount of breathing space so it never seems to get congested or be overly expansive. The experience of HE-500 is very coherent, whether in terms of soundstage of left-center-right or throughout the extreme of each spectrum.

 

Thanks for reading my review/rant. I would love to hear other people's opinion on this. Apology for the many grammar mistakes above, I am sure they are there.

 

post #37 of 50

awesome review. kinda helps since i had d2000 and own lcd-2 and planning to buy he-500 soon (or maybe keep rs1i for its unique sound, but i wanna sell because T1 replaced rs1i as rock headphone).

 

if the he-500 sounded that good for electronic, just wait till you hear LCD-2. 

 

had to get rid of pro 900 because the LCD-2 have a tighter punch, more slam, and more authority and control in the bass than the pro 900 (even if the pros did have more mid-bass). my LCD-2 are amazing for any electronic. house like deadmau5, dinka, pryda, avicii, shm trance like above and beyond, atb, armin van buuren, dubstep like flux pavilion, knife party, krewella, skrillex, datsik, excision, substep infrabass, noisia, umm and even psy and full on like infected mushroom, electro sun, ananda shake, skazi, 1200 mics etc... it does all of it, REALLY GOOD!!#! wink.gif

 

Audeze LCD-2 best headphone for all electronic in the high end realm, period.


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 7/13/12 at 12:20pm
post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

awesome review. kinda helps since i had d2000 and own lcd-2 and planning to buy he-500 soon (or maybe keep rs1i for its unique sound, but i wanna sell because T1 replaced rs1i as rock headphone).

 

if the he-500 sounded that good for electronic, just wait till you hear LCD-2. 

 

had to get rid of pro 900 because the LCD-2 have a tighter punch, more slam, and more authority and control in the bass than the pro 900 (even if the pros did have more mid-bass). my LCD-2 are amazing for any electronic. house like deadmau5, dinka, pryda, avicii, shm trance like above and beyond, atb, armin van buuren, dubstep like flux pavilion, knife party, krewella, skrillex, datsik, excision, substep infrabass, noisia, umm and even psy and full on like infected mushroom, electro sun, ananda shake, skazi, 1200 mics etc... it does all of it, REALLY GOOD!!#! wink.gif

 

Audeze LCD-2 best headphone for all electronic in the high end realm, period.

 

If I had my choice, it would have been LCD-2, but the price and amp pairing threw me off for now and also I got a sick deal on used HE-500 so it was a no-brainer for now just to get a taste of planar magnetic. LCD-2 will most probably be my next headphones. Still not enough dough for a proper Stax. Haha I wonder how Stax would do electronica.

 

Besides these artists: infected mushroom, electro sun, ananda shake, skazi, 1200 mics.....I have thoroughly listened to all the other artists mentioned from their CD albums to Mix compilation to podcasts (Club Life, A State of Trance, Trance Around The World...) and so we have quite in common in our taste. If you even remotely liked your D2000 for electronica, you're gonna love HE-500 for it. I guarantee it.

 

LCD-2, soon....very soon.

 

 

 

 

post #39 of 50
Thread Starter 

One thing that I forgot to mention about HE-500 vs D2000. For rap specifically, the D2000 were better than HE-500. The D2000 had the best voicing I've ever heard for rap. The slower subwoofer sound of D2000 matches perfectly with rap. Nice tight punch coupled with sub-bass rumble offers the perfect experience.

post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

One thing that I forgot to mention about HE-500 vs D2000. For rap specifically, the D2000 were better than HE-500. The D2000 had the best voicing I've ever heard for rap. The slower subwoofer sound of D2000 matches perfectly with rap. Nice tight punch coupled with sub-bass rumble offers the perfect experience.

 

thanks, looking forward to HE-500!!! gonna miss my rs1i though still.

 

 

totally agree with the D2000 for rap. best headphone ever. however, the D7000 was more refined (lost a bit of sub-bass though) with a similar sound, so i just ended up upgrading.

 

their sub-bass definitely goes best with rap/hiphop, nothing comes close.

post #41 of 50

LOL I asked this exact question 5 years ago and being the anal guy that I am I started tallying answers in an excel spreadsheet.  The top answers back then were DT880, DT770, DT990, MDR-SA5000 and D2000.  Having owned both the DT880 and MDR-SA5000 and listening exclusively to electronic music (not whoomp whoomp whoomp necessarily) I prefer the DT880 for it's neutrality and great extension in both directions.  I could see the fun factor of the DT770 and 990 though - more bass, less mids. 

post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

awesome review. kinda helps since i had d2000 and own lcd-2 and planning to buy he-500 soon (or maybe keep rs1i for its unique sound, but i wanna sell because T1 replaced rs1i as rock headphone).

 

if the he-500 sounded that good for electronic, just wait till you hear LCD-2. 

 

had to get rid of pro 900 because the LCD-2 have a tighter punch, more slam, and more authority and control in the bass than the pro 900 (even if the pros did have more mid-bass). my LCD-2 are amazing for any electronic. house like deadmau5, dinka, pryda, avicii, shm trance like above and beyond, atb, armin van buuren, dubstep like flux pavilion, knife party, krewella, skrillex, datsik, excision, substep infrabass, noisia, umm and even psy and full on like infected mushroom, electro sun, ananda shake, skazi, 1200 mics etc... it does all of it, REALLY GOOD!!#! wink.gif

 

Audeze LCD-2 best headphone for all electronic in the high end realm, period.
 


+1

LCD2 pretty much replaced my Pro 900 as my EDM headphones too. The mids are definitely an improvement for vocal trance as it is so smooth and beautiful!!

post #43 of 50

I realize this post is somewhat old now, but I stumbled across it today when for a new pair of headphones.  I have a really old pair of Sennheiser's and was looking to buy something much nicer specifically for EDM music.  I'm glad I did because your review (Zoom) was awesome.  All of your "listened to artists" are on my list as well, so I'm glad I found sometime with the exact same taste in music that could recommend a set of cans.  $700 seems a bit pricey for my scrooge type taste, but your review makes it seem worthwhile.  I'm new to the whole amp/dac concept with headphones, so this is all a bit overwhelming at the moment.

 

As far as EDM is concerned, does anyone think there is really a difference for the $300 between HE400's and HE500's?  I read over in another thread specifically relating to the HE400's that they don't need a whole lot driving them to get the best bang for your buck.  The OP in that post said that he got very good sound with only a FiiO E17.  Since this is my first venture into the hi-fi arena, I don't think I want to spend $900 on a Lyr/Bifrost combo...seems a little overkill for my first purchase.  $139 (E17) vs. $900 (Lyr/Bifrost combo) seems like a better way to delve into this IMO.

 

As for my setup, this is just home use connected directly to my PC where 95% of my music listening happens.  From everything that I've read on the forums, I feel like I should just be able to connect the E17 to my PC and the headphones to the E17, correct?  Would be nice to be able to mount in a 5.25" drive bay, but that's not totally important.


Edited by mikeduffy13 - 1/2/13 at 2:45pm
post #44 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeduffy13 View Post

I realize this post is somewhat old now, but I stumbled across it today when for a new pair of headphones.  I have a really old pair of Sennheiser's and was looking to buy something much nicer specifically for EDM music.  I'm glad I did because your review (Zoom) was awesome.  All of your "listened to artists" are on my list as well, so I'm glad I found sometime with the exact same taste in music that could recommend a set of cans.  $700 seems a bit pricey for my scrooge type taste, but your review makes it seem worthwhile.  I'm new to the whole amp/dac concept with headphones, so this is all a bit overwhelming at the moment.

 

As far as EDM is concerned, does anyone think there is really a difference for the $300 between HE400's and HE500's?  I read over in another thread specifically relating to the HE400's that they don't need a whole lot driving them to get the best bang for your buck.  The OP in that post said that he got very good sound with only a FiiO E17.  Since this is my first venture into the hi-fi arena, I don't think I want to spend $900 on a Lyr/Bifrost combo...seems a little overkill for my first purchase.  $139 (E17) vs. $900 (Lyr/Bifrost combo) seems like a better way to delve into this IMO.

 

As for my setup, this is just home use connected directly to my PC where 95% of my music listening happens.  From everything that I've read on the forums, I feel like I should just be able to connect the E17 to my PC and the headphones to the E17, correct?  Would be nice to be able to mount in a 5.25" drive bay, but that's not totally important.

 

Hey, welcome to Head-fi! It's been some time since I wrote that, glad to know you found it helpful. Since then I got a JDS Labs O2 and an Emotiva Mini-X-a-100 amplifiers. I'll fill you in about those.

 

I don't know your budget exactly, so will try to keep it as cheap as possible while still providing very, very good sound. Among headphone amplifiers, for HE-500 you will get recommended Schiit Lyr, Schiit Mjolnir, sometimes even Schiit Asgard, JDS Labs O2, Burson Solo.....these are some of the common ones, of course there's some variety, but that you can look up when you are more familiar. The JDS Labs O2 amp is the cheapest of them all (which I own) and can drive the HE-500 quite well.

 

For the HE-500 and especially the HE-6, some people will also recommend running them directly out of speaker amplifiers. Look for speakers amplifiers that can do about 50W @ 8 ohms. Speaker amplifiers will have more power than all of the amplifiers I mentioned. In particular there is Emotiva Mini-X-a-100 offered by Emotiva that do international shipping from their website and offer relatively good deal on shipping, customs and taxes since they have a deal with FedEx. Although you can tell them to ship to your country through any shipping company. These guys are based out of Tennessee, USA, so it will be the cheapest there. The Emotiva Mini goes regular for $219. I recently got it for $179 with holiday sale price. With everything included it shipped to me in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with everything included for $267. At $267, this is still cheaper then all of the amps I mentioned above, except the JDS Labs O2.

 

Here's a link to my comparison of running HE-500 from O2 vs Emotiva Mini-X-a-100----> post #420

 

A benefit to getting the Emotiva is that it can be used to power both speakers as well as headphones. For the past two weeks, I have been using the Emotiva with two tower speakers (150W) and it sounds very impressive. The Emotiva with no doubt can power every Hifiman created so far and can be used to power speakers as well, thus making it by far the safest bet....It also helps that it sounds quite good :)

 

Also with HE-500 a good DAC is also a must, using the HE-500 from Emotiva or O2 with either the Fiio E10 or Marantz CD5004 as a DAC, the difference in sound quality is easily noticeable. The HE-500s benefit quite a bit from good DACs. I would recommend getting the JDS Labs ODAC. Both the O2 and ODAC go relatively cheap and offer the best quality:value ratio. Additionally, the ODAC and O2 can be built into one box - this thing costs less than $300. 

 

If you go HE-500, from the above combos I would first recommend: JDS Labs ODAC + Emotiva Mini-X-a-100, followed by JDS Labs ODAC + JDS Labs O2 (as separate) and then the ODAC+O2 (in one unit). I personally like to keep things separate so it gives you more freedom to mix and match later on.

 

Regarding the HE-400, some people will tell you they prefer the HE-400 more for EDM due to it having more bass and being a better value (debatable). I haven't listened to the HE-400 so don't know how the HE-500 fares with HE-400. Although regarding the bass of HE-400 being fuller, I just want to say that the general consensus is that the D2000 has more bass quantity than the HE-400. Even though the D2000 has more quantity, I easily find the HE-500's bass more than suitable. So take it for what you may.

 

The HE-400 are much easier to amp than HE-500 and don't need a speaker amplifier. The O2 should power the HE-400 with more than enough reserves. You could go for a HE-400 and O2+ODAC combo. This overall will cost you $700 (new).

 

I found my HE-500 used for around $500, so I saved some money. Try keeping an eye on the Headphone Sale/Trade forums here at head-fi. You can find very good stuff here sometimes, but also know that good deals can go real fast....this is all assuming you don't mind used equipment in the first place.

 

This is what I could think of at midnight right now. biggrin.gif If I remember something new, I'll fill you in. Also do let me know your budget.

post #45 of 50

Don't forget about your amping as well, it ain't wise to spend all the money on headphones that in a short run won't leave you any left over money from your budget to amp them. I have 4 headphones out of 3 different amps (2 desktop, 1 diy portable) to keep myself satisfied with the very different electronic based genres I listen to. For basshead sakes, complemented with the right tubes and headphone (Synergy wise) you will not get the same amount of bass, sub-bass, bass articulation, bass detail with solid state amps (mosfet or opamp based) as you would with a tube amplifier.

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