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Neutral Headphones for U.S$150-200?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes, it's one of these posts. What are a pair of headphones between $150 and 200 that would please an analytical listener? I listen to many forms of music and I will be upgrading from my sr60is soon to something less forward and aggressive. I like neutral, detailed headphones with giant soundstages. I want to hear my music the way it was produced. I've heard the akg k702s before but they're a little outside my pricepoint (Unless you guys can find something...) so I want something similar but maybe with more bass. I am a midrange junkie so don't care too much about bass but I enjoy the juicy yet hidden sound of my grados. Please respond quickly.

post #2 of 27

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ

post #3 of 27
I vote the HD598. He says he doesn't care about bass, which the HM5 seems to have quite a bit of. The HD598 is quite natural, and it's bass isn't something to consider a strong point. It's there, but in no way close to the lovely midrange that it has. Also, that soundstage. THAT soundstage.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I vote the HD598. He says he doesn't care about bass, which the HM5 seems to have quite a bit of. The HD598 is quite natural, and it's bass isn't something to consider a strong point. It's there, but in no way close to the lovely midrange that it has. Also, that soundstage. THAT soundstage.


I have two reasons for quoting this, and the first is to say that the Sennheiser HD 598's can be had for $169 shipped at Electronics Expo with the coupon code "BOUNTII", which falls perfectly into the OP's price range. They're normally $249.99.

The second reason is to ask about the bass. I just ordered the HD 598's hoping they would be natural and beautiful sounding to my ears, but I also do listen to some music which sounds good with a nice strong bass. Is the bass terribly weak, or can it be pushed in with some good equalizer settings?

post #5 of 27
The bass isn't AD700 weak, but just slightly south of bass neutral for me. A slight bass boost would be optimal for my personal taste, though the HD598 isn't my type of headphone for music to begin with.
post #6 of 27

I guess I'll just have to see for myself when they arrive and after I burn them in for a few days. I'm hoping I can still get acceptable bass from them. I am upgrading from the HD 202's after all.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks, what about the senn. hd 555 or 558s? Is there much of a difference between them and the 598s?

post #8 of 27

 

Quote:
Thanks, what about the senn. hd 555 or 558s? Is there much of a difference between them and the 598s?

 

HD558 is better than the HD555 and the HD598 is better than the HD558, yes I know, its easy,lol.

 

You can remove the HD555, the HD558 and the HD598 are much better.

post #9 of 27


I'd also go for the HM5. It's just a tiny, tiny bit bassy, but it's an astounding value (been compared positively to the Sennheiser HD 600). However, if you're looking for something purely analytical the Sennheiser 5xx may be a better choice.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

So I think I've narrowed it down. HD 558 or 598? What about a certain mod I've heard about on the 558?

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrandall View Post

So I think I've narrowed it down. HD 558 or 598? What about a certain mod I've heard about on the 558?



With the 555s and the 595s, they had the same driver and the only difference between the two was that the 595 was prettier/more luxurious, and the 555 had foam in the inside of the ear cups behind the driver. Removing this foam effectively made them (almost) identical.

 

I suspect the same is true with the 558 and 598. 

 

BTW - sennheiser calls the foam "surround reflectors" I think. Marketing for "makes them cheaper than 595s" lol.


Edited by blama - 1/11/12 at 10:44pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by blama View Post



With the 555s and the 595s, they had the same driver and the only difference between the two was that the 595 was prettier/more luxurious, and the 555 had foam in the inside of the ear cups behind the driver. Removing this foam effectively made them (almost) identical.

 

I suspect the same is true with the 558 and 598. 

 

BTW - sennheiser calls the foam "surround reflectors" I think. Marketing for "makes them cheaper than 595s" lol.


Nope. It seems like everyone keep saying they're the same; however they are not. Most people claiming this based their evidence only on the same driver and external styling. If you own both, you will know it it's both different in sound and construction.

 

The 558-598 and 555-595 main difference is the clamping force; the lesser model has a stronger clamping force which result in a slightly different sound signature.

 

post #13 of 27

 

Quote:
So I think I've narrowed it down. HD 558 or 598? What about a certain mod I've heard about on the 558?

 

The HD598 has a more refined/detailled sound (differences between both aren't huge), when the HD558 has slightly more bass. Its not just an aesthetic question.

post #14 of 27

The ES821EB by ESMOOTH, they are exactly what you're looking for, big open sound stage, crisp natural highs, neutral clear midrange, and totally accurate bass. I've spent over $1200 on seven different pairs of headphones looking for perfection and these are the best of all of them, there is no need for me to spend any more looking for better ones, these are as good as it gets regardless of price.

I have checked out all the Sennheiser range and many others, none of them match these. I was an obsessed nut finding fault with everything i bought, listening critically for hours and comparing, i even have a pair of Sennheiser 449's right here in front of me and in an A/B they do not compare with these ESMOOTH (No i don't work for the company, i'm just one hell of a happy customer) I had never heard of ESMOOTH before, but i stumbled across them in a boutique Apple Mac store and initially thought "Here we go again" but wow, i am finally happy, and i'm sure you will be too. ESMOOTH is a high end specialist headphone company in China providing drivers for companies all over the world, but their own range is simply superlative. These things are so accurate it shows up a bad mix, whether i'm listening to Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston or just straight out hardhouse, these headphones nail it every time, extremely well balanced, i have A/B ed them with all the Beats Audio range plus multiple $500 Bose models and they all seem sadly lacking compared to these, trust me you won't be disappointed, if you simply want the truth/accuracy and nothing but the truth/accuracy i highly recommend these, cheers. Just know that brand new they are ever so slightly sterile sounding until breaking them in, i found 30 hours use was sufficient to bring the best out of these babies, they keep improving sound wise the more you use them up to about 50 hours use.

post #15 of 27

Hi,

 

Been travelling and only saw this now. Happy to hear you like these Esmooth cans so much. I like these too. I see you have a pair of B and W's in your Avatar - have you heard them? How did you think they compared?

 

Tell me about the rest of your system, IE what hardware do you use with these?

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