Three weeks ago I purchased a pair of Beyerdynamic dt880 600ohm. Ever since those have been getting most of the headtime. I was infact so impressed that when I got the opportunity to buy used T1 for a nice price I could not resist. I just had to find out how much better it could get. Anyway...now I have to sell the dt880 to fund T1. So I decided to do a little comparison between the beyers and Taksar HI2050 while I still can. I have owned the Takstar for allmost two years they are my favorite bang for the buck headphones. And I have heard many, check my profile if interested. Amp/dac used in this comparison is Xiang Sheng DAC-01A. Most music is high quality flac files but some are 320kbs mp3 through spotify premium. My purpose was to try many different genres but some are left out on purpose. For example I'm not comfortable reviewing gear when listening to piano music and jazz because im not familiar enough with those genres.
Takstar HI2050 vs Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohm
Beyers have better quality pads and the headband padding is more firmly in place. Other than that they're really close. Both are very comfortable but takstars headband might be small for people with huge heads. Not going to go into details about the build. I assume everyone knows this stuff by now.
The second I plugged the Takstar in I was shocked. Shocked because they sounded so good. I had completely forgotton. More I listened to Takstar's more I wondered why I had been so impressed by the dt880 for the past weeks. Eventually it was evident that dt880 is more of a sidegrade than upgrade to hi2050. Neither of these headphones is better than another. Takstars have more of a V shaped sound signature with more bass and emhasised highs. Beyers are fairly neutral in comparison. Soundstage presentation is good with both headphones but bit different. Takstars place the listener closer to the stage(not grado type of close of course) and with beyers it's more of a backseat ride.
When music most benefits from headphones imaging and soundstage abilities beyers came on top. I mostly listen to different varities of rock music and I feel these headphones to be evenly matched. It depends on the track being played. Neither one is genre master with rock.
When listening to pop and edm music where bass is vital takstars were better. As clearly as takstars are better with bassy music beyers were superior with fast aggressive metal music. If takstars highs weren't that over the top with metal music, I would say hi2050 is better allrounder...now it's a tie. With acoustic and most classical I'd go with beyers. With vocal oriented music I often preferred takstar's due to their ability to connect me emotionally to the music. I think that is propably because of the warmish sound of the of hi2050.
I'll be back with a comparison between HI2050 and T1. Mostly I'm interested how close the sound signatures and tonality are. Someone said T1 sounds like mix of dt880 and hd600. That's how I feel about HI2050, except for the excessive highs. Here are some of the tracks I listened to, which headphone I preferred and why.
Whitney Houston: I will always love you
Beyers bring out the instruments more, takstars are more focused on vocals. Even performances.
Whitney Houston: I wanna dance with somebody
This song is a lot more fun with takstars. Bassier presentation suits this song better. I clearly preferred takstars.
Avicii: Wake me up
Again takstars bassier nature comes in handy. Even though synths sound bit muffled compared to beyers it's no contest. Takstars got my foot tapping beyers did not.
Katy perry: Roar
This song is not that bass driven pop piece so takstars don't benefit from being bassier headphone. On the other hand there is not that much detail or realism for beyers to deliver. I call it a tie. Both do a fine job.
Alicia Keys: Girl on fire
I think beyers present vocals slightly clearer. Difference is very subtle though. I am unable to determine which headphone I prefer. Presentation is very similar with takstar again being more bassier but luckily not overpowering.
skrillex: bangarang -feat. sirah
Hands down bassier takstars are better. Not gona do deeper analysis with this one. My ears find dubstep retarted.
Lady Gaga: Poker face
I thought I'd like takstars better here but actually beyers are better. Even though more bass would be in order beyers presentation is more rhytmic. Weird how usually the more fun sounding takstars are the duller sounding now. I think it might be because IMO track is mixed bad. Everything is quite cluttered and beyers do a better ripping apart instruments and different sounds from each other.
Massive Attack: angel
With this track sound signature differences are clearly audible. Takstars have more emphasis on subbass but beyers have more impact. Takstars do excellent job portraying the eerie atmosphere with warmish tone beyers achieve the same sensation through better soundstage, imaging and detail. Two different presentations both extremely good.
The Prodigy: Voodoo people (pendolum mix)
Neither of the headphones work well with this track. Beyers lack bass but with takstars treble gets splashy. I love this song and it's a shame that most headphones I have don't work with this piece. Perfect track for headphones such as sony xb500 that have recessed upper end.
Frank Sinatra: My way
Franks voice sounds more lifelike with beyers. With takstars it's harder to visually recreate performance in your mind. But overall takstars are more enjoyable. takstars have more dynamic, really euphonic presentation and emotionally more engaging. I like the takstar presentation better. Again it's a shame I don't have hd600 with me anymore. Would be nice to compare hi2050 to hd600 with this song.
Luciano Pavarotti: Nessun dorma
Again beyers sound more real and better in technical sense. But like with Sinatras my way I prefer more engaging presentation of takstars. This is one of those songs that I can really connect with right gear. Instead of listening to music I can feel it. With that Takstars outperform beyers with wide margin.
Antonio Vivaldi: Four seasons-spring
It's a matter of preference. Takstars have warmer presentation beyers have more airy sound to them. I like both and refuse to choose one over another. Usually beyers are better with classical but this particular piece has always been one of my favorites with HI2050.
I prefer takstars more energetic presentation. Treble is bit too much at times but im not that sensitive to high frequencies. Songs like these I prefer energy and bit more bass over imaging and soundstage.
Metallica: Enter Sandman
Here beyers perform clearly better. Takstar bass is on the verge of becoming boomy where as beyers maintain neutral through out the song.
Rebeca Pidgeon: Spanish Harlem
Weirdly beyers are bit sibilant with this track. Still I prefer beyers. Sense of space is better. Reflections from the walls are clearly audible. Bass plugs are more audible and violins more airy.
Often these headphones sound very similar but with this song differences are obvious. Takstars are A LOT bassier here. Beyers are again airier and more neutral. I would go with beyers. Cellos are the main instruments here and airy presentation suits them better. Also Takstar bass is again very close to the limit it gets boomy. However I did enjoy takstars treble better.
Different tracks by Dark Tranquillity, Amorphis, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Mayhem and many others
Beyers are definately better. With takstars highs get shrill and ear fatigue is guaranteed with longer listening. Takstar highs are too much for aggressive death/black metal.
Livingston Taylor: Grandma's hands
Beyers sound more natural. Even though it's easy to visualize the singer with takstars with beyers I'm able to "see" him smile.
Vangelis: Chariots Of Fire
Beyers bring out structure of the composation better but Takstars are more euphonic. Again matter of preference. I enjoy both a lot.
Yo-Yo Ma: Ecstacy Of Gold
Takstars do a great job but it can't match soundstage and instrument separation of beyers. Beyers are a easy pick here.
Ana Caram: Correnteza
Beyrs have more natural presentation, better imaging and soundstage but takstars sound more euphonic. I preferred takstars. It's a shame I don't have hd600 at the moment. Would have been nice to do a comparison with this track.
Eric Clapton: Tears In Heaven
Acoustic guitars sound more realistic with beyers. Difference is very subtle though. Overall I preferred beyers by a small margin.
Tracy Chapman: Bridges
I prefer beyers here but not by much. Guitars sound tiny bit better with beyers and with takstars Tracy's vocals sound slightly veiled.
With this track takstars did better job with imaging debth but soundstage on beyers is more realistic. Takstars are alot bassier. I preferred takstars fuller and warmer presentation.
Eric Johnson: Cliffs of dover
I would choose beyers. Even though takstars sound really good the cymbals are too forward. Neither of the headphones are at their best here.