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Ultrasone 900 vs AKG Acoustics K550

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I am not an audiophile by any means so I don't really know anything about headphones so bare with me. I know people hate this but right now I have Studio Beats and I'm looking to upgrade. I listen to mostly Alternative Rock, Post-Hardcore, Electronica, and Hip Hop. so i do need wider range headphones. But to be honest i do enjoy the cheap thrills the Beats give me when listening to dubstep or hip-hop. They are not so great at Rock though so I am looking to switch up. I am currently looking at the Ultrasone PRO 900s and the AKG K550s. And yes looks are a deal-breaker for me considering I wear my headphones all the time. I really like how the AKG K550s look and the Ultrasones look good enough i guess. So now its down to sound. I do enjoy pounding bass when listening to dubstep and I don't think I'm willing to give up too much in that area, I would like to retain hard hitting bass while improving mids, highs, etc. So what do you guys think between these two? If there are any good looking cans I don't know about suggestions are fine too- I'm looking in the $300 price range

 

ALSO: Do I require an amp for either of the headphones, because I'm used to just replacing the triple As in my beats and that seems to be easier than carrying around an amp which i'm pretty much not willing to do at all. Unless its tiny I guess, but i'd prefer not to.


Edited by gustavthelion - 12/25/11 at 1:04am
post #2 of 26

The thing with Pro 900 is that it really seems to be a hit or miss kind of headphone.

 

Maybe you should consider auditioning them before putting down so much money for a headphone..? See which one you like the best..

post #3 of 26

 

 Cannot really be done ~ uber hard hitting bass and yet for rock you'd want extra crisp mids and upper mids.

 

 It's a very difficult request for the one headphone.

 

 Keep the Beats for your hip hop and consider an open headphone for rock as they walk over their

 closed counterparts for the genre.

 

 Beyerdynamic DT440 or Grado 225i, both are tops.

 

 Both are relatively easy to drive, get a Fiio E11 for next to nothing and take either anywhere you want.

 

 Sure it'll be open but it's workable. The Pro 900's isolation is pretty average.


Edited by Gwarmi - 12/25/11 at 2:32am
post #4 of 26

For $300, you can get two headphones that excel in the genres you listed.
Although I haven't auditioned it yet, the Ultrasone HFI-580 (from what I've read) is said to come close to the Pro 900's bass levels at a much lower price. They would cover your needs for EDM and Hip-hop. 

For Rock and Post-Hardcore, check out the Grado Prestige Series. I would recommend the SR-80i, or the SR-225i.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

@CdC all i have is best buy and the best cans they have are the studio beats... wish i could though

 

would anyone know if i need an amp for the 900s?

 

also @WoahReQQuiem would you know if the 900s still have good mids and highs even if not the best because that would be fine, its just that after listening to rock on my home stereo then switching to beats they are terrible, so even more than average is fine.I will also look into the ones you said thanks

 

And does anyone know anything about the K550s ? they seem badass but thats just at first glance, don't know too much about 'em

 

@Gwarmi yeah it seems like i can't have the best of both but even just over average would be great, I've heard the 900s are like the beats with bass but much better everything else, if this is the case that is fine even if the highs aren't amazing 

 

 

So then after reading everything, unless someone has used the K550s and comments, do the Grado Prestige Series SR325is have a decent amount of bass? Because I would like to end up with only one pair and sell my beats.

So overall considering ALL types of music(basshead all the way to acoustic) would i be better of with the 

Grado Prestige Series SR325is the AKG K550s or the Ultrasone PRO 900s?


Edited by gustavthelion - 12/25/11 at 3:00am
post #6 of 26

The Pro 900 has subwoofer-like bass, it goes very deep. And it is not so overpowering, contrary to what most people say about them. The mids are slightly recessed, it's like 6 rows away from you, but it is still very detailed. The treble is just great, although that might be because I am used to the treble of the Grado SR325i. You may (and probably will) find them harsh at first listen. Pre-burn in, they are definitely harsh (without prior experience to treble-happy headphones, IMO).

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yeah I am leaning towards the Pro 900s. also would you mind giving me a brief explanation of what you mean by harsh treble and what pre-burn in is? I'm a bit new to headphones. also your opinion on 

Ultrasone PRO 900s or Grado Prestige Series SR325is for all types of music if you had to choose one

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gustavthelion View Post

@CdC all i have is best buy and the best cans they have are the studio beats... wish i could though

 

would anyone know if i need an amp for the 900s?

 

also @WoahReQQuiem would you know if the 900s still have good mids and highs even if not the best because that would be fine, its just that after listening to rock on my home stereo then switching to beats they are terrible, so even more than average is fine.I will also look into the ones you said thanks

 

And does anyone know anything about the K550s ? they seem badass but thats just at first glance, don't know too much about 'em

 

@Gwarmi yeah it seems like i can't have the best of both but even just over average would be great, I've heard the 900s are like the beats with bass but much better everything else, if this is the case that is fine even if the highs aren't amazing 

 

 

So then after reading everything, unless someone has used the K550s and comments, do the Grado Prestige Series SR325is have a decent amount of bass? Because I would like to end up with only one pair and sell my beats.

So overall considering ALL types of music(basshead all the way to acoustic) would i be better of with the 

Grado Prestige Series SR325is the AKG K550s or the Ultrasone PRO 900s?



 

 Pro 900 will certainly need an amp of some sort ~ they sound really flat, lifeless especially in the bass region without one.

 

 Best of both worlds? Consider a Pro 2900. It still retains the Pro 900 signature but the semi open design makes it airier and

 it's better with the mids. Closest you'll come to eating your cake and having it too smile.gif

 

 Now you just need to work out whether you want a portable amp or a desktop amp.

 

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

I can't swing that much unfortunately frown.gif but with the Pro 900s without an amp will they sound even worse than the Beats? And then on top of that any suggestions on the the cheapest possible portable amp available that will get the job done?

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gustavthelion View Post

I can't swing that much unfortunately frown.gif but with the Pro 900s without an amp will they sound even worse than the Beats? And then on top of that any suggestions on the the cheapest possible portable amp available that will get the job done?



 Yes cannot say that I would recommend the Pro 900 without an amp, but that's me.

 

 $64 later - E11 is yours

 

 http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E11-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0053KWDES

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Alright sounds good. One last thing though. Is there any advantage to me getting the http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E7-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B003E6K1VK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324812096&sr=8-1  E7 instead? people are talking about inputs being the issue. I would like to use the Pro 900s with my Laptop, iPhone, and Zune. Do I need that LOD cable for my iPhone? and if so then will they even work with my Zune? This last bit- DAC or no DAC is confusing me confused.gif


Edited by gustavthelion - 12/25/11 at 3:26am
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gustavthelion View Post

Alright sounds good. One last thing though. Is there any advantage to me getting the http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E7-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B003E6K1VK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324812096&sr=8-1  E7 instead? people are talking about inputs being the issue. I would like to use the Pro 900s with my Laptop, iPhone, and Zune. Do I need that LOD cable for my iPhone? and if so then will they even work with my Zune? This last but DAC or no DAC is confusing me confused.gif



 Ahh right, you want to use them mainly on your laptop. the DAC (digital analogue converter) already exists in your laptop, it's part of the soundcard section

 before the headphone out but it's usually quite cheap and noisy. The E7 will be much cleaner sounding, it effectively takes over as soon as you plug it in.

 

 I'd consider the E10 ~ it's also a DAC and amplifier, really tiny and it runs off USB.

 

 

 

E10-03.jpg

 

 

Most people would connect the E7 like this

 

143297.png

post #13 of 26


Harsh treble is kind of like.. cymbals crashing at 3 feet away from your ear. It hurts.
Pre burn in? Its the time when your headphones are brand new and still have stiffer drivers. Burning them in (pink/white noise burn in or using your music) "softens up" the drivers.

About the amping issue, yes, the Pro 900 is a bit flat in the bass region without an amp. If you'll use them for portable use, get a Fiio E11 / iBasso T3 and the Fiio L9 Line Out Dock if you're using an iDevice. For desktop use, I'd recommend the Fiio E10, Fiio E7/E9 combo and the Audinst HUD-MX1. For both portable and desktop use, get the iBasso D6, or if you want a cheaper option (but uses 9V batteries), get the iBasso D4.

Note that I am solely basing my suggestions on reviews, and not my own ears, so take them with a grain of salt. They are popular products in their price ranges, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gustavthelion View Post

Yeah I am leaning towards the Pro 900s. also would you mind giving me a brief explanation of what you mean by harsh treble and what pre-burn in is? I'm a bit new to headphones. also your opinion on 

Ultrasone PRO 900s or Grado Prestige Series SR325is for all types of music if you had to choose one



 

post #14 of 26

check out this powerhouse of a player..

http://www.head-fi.org/t/586947/rocoo-p-dap-full-review

 

tomorrow is the last day to get a superdeal...50% off :P

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585608/all-items-of-hisounds-products-are-50-off-as-the-xmas-gift/75

 

 

 
 
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the help guys. if i can sell my beats i will go ahead and get the Ultrasone 900s and the E7 amp. I'll report back if i do!


Edited by gustavthelion - 12/25/11 at 4:48am
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