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Best Orchestral Headphones (200-250CAD)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

 

 

Hey Guys,

I’ve been debating what headphones to buy, and I couldn’t find anything on the forum on this specific topic.

I’m looking for headphones with a wide soundstage, preferably closed-back but they don’t have to be. I listen to LOTS of soundtrack/concert music, so it’s usually Mahler, Beethoven, and Haydn, of anything a Philharmonic would play. I mean I’ve looked at the DT990s and ATH-A900s. Now depending on the amp I go with I’m looking at around a 200-250 Price range, it can obviously be less than that if there’s something better for less, but from what I’ve looked at it doesn’t seem like it. I’ve only heard talk about those two, but any cans in this price range that fit the criteria please any help would be appreciated.

AND if you know of an amp that works with the cans let me know normal_smile%20.gif. I’m currently looking at the TubeMagic D1 so my COMPLETE budget with Cans & Amp/DAC is $500CAD.

 

Thanks in advance,

FaceTheDream.

post #2 of 29

 

Quote:
I listen to LOTS of soundtrack/concert music, so it’s usually Mahler, Beethoven, and Haydn, of anything a Philharmonic would play.

 

I thought HD650, but its not in your price range.

 

HD598 is not bad with classic, AD900 is good too.

 

You can also try D2000, K601, K550...

post #3 of 29

It seems many closed headphones don't have a very large soundstage. The only exception is the D2000 or K550. The K550 would be a nice match but probably over your budget. It's a headphone that's not for everyone though.

 

I would suggest looking into the K501, K601 or Q701. K501 IMO has a much larger soundstage than Q701/K601, but it's fairly hard to find.

 

For your music, the K501 can't really be beat. It's worth tracking down but requires a very powerful amp.

 

 

One budget option is the KRK KNS-8400. It's $150USD, but it's soundstage isn't as large as that of the D2000 or K550.

 

K240 Studio is also very cheap and sounds good. Much easier to drive than the other AKGs, but has much less treble.


Edited by tdockweiler - 1/11/12 at 6:39pm
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Alright so here a question, persay I got the HD650s would it be absolutely necessary to have it driven by an amp? And for the K501 would the TubeMagic D1 be enough to power it, or would I need something more powerful? And if not what are examples of amps that would work nicely with it. 

 

I forgot to mention before that the reason I'm looking at the TubeMagic is because this is going from my computer so a COSLINK would be helpful instead of the onboard audio. 

 

Thanks again for the replies. 

post #5 of 29

 

Quote:
persay I got the HD650s would it be absolutely necessary to have it driven by an amp?

 

YES :)

 

But you aren't obliged to spend 500$,lol. A "good" pc soudcard can be sufficient.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:

YES :)  But you aren't obliged to spend 500$,lol. A "good" pc soudcard can be sufficient.



NOO. lol a good pc soundcard is going to cost me the equivalent of an amp that can power these lol. So now the hunt for the 501s begins. 

 

Well actually the  AD700s vs HD598 so which one would be better in terms of the soundstage and SC. and is the latter harder to power and get it to perform at its best? 

 

FaceTheDream.

post #7 of 29

 

Quote:
Well actually the  AD700s vs HD598 so which one would be better in terms of the soundstage and SC. and is the latter harder to power and get it to perform at its best?

 

HD598 is without a doubt, the best headphone.

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Okay so I really hope I can find some K501s but it isn't looking pretty. Anyways How does the HD598 compare to the K550s?

and does the K550 compare anywhere near the K501 that should probably be the first question. lol.

 

FaceTheDream,

post #9 of 29

 

Quote:
Anyways How does the HD598 compare to the K550s?

 

Good question,lol.

 

Both are relatively bright headphones, K550 soundstage is huge but sometimes feel unnatural. The HD598 is a more easy listening headphone imo. The best part in the K550 are the mids. HD598 mids are also very good, but i like the grainy sound from the K550. K550 is excellent with accoustic and Jazz, but imo, the HD598 is a better all rounder. In the bass department, i think the HD598 has more textured bass and go deeper, but K550 seem to have more mid-bass (well, both headphones are bass light).

post #10 of 29

598 and you don't "need" an amp.

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:

598 and you don't "need" an amp.


Well  see I I need a DAC anyways, something to make my music sound better when listening to it obviously the source needs to be better yes, but 3.5mm on board isn't going to cut it. So If I got the TubeMagic I  think with the 598 it would suffice. 



Quote:

In the bass department, i think the HD598 has more textured bass and go deeper, but K550 seem to have more mid-bass (well, both headphones are bass light).


How bass light are we talking tho, is it lacking in bass or is it just not the thump you would expect?

 

 

Quote:
Both are relatively bright headphones, K550 soundstage is huge but sometimes feel unnatural.

In terms of huge, is it comparable to the K501s soundstage? or bigger? Because ultimately if it has a smaller soundstage even if the 598 has a smaller soundstage, if  I can have enough clarity to hear and pick out each instrument so it doesn't sound like mush, that would be the game winner for me. Especially in Mahler's Symphonies which use a lot more instruments, So I guess I'm asking which one of the two cans (K550 & HD598) will be have a clearer sound to it?


FaceTheDream.

 

 

 

post #12 of 29

 

Quote:
How bass light are we talking tho, is it lacking in bass or is it just not the thump you would expect?

 

Not lacking bass, its just more balanced bass but not punchy imo. 

 

 

Quote:
In terms of huge, is it comparable to the K501s soundstage? or bigger? Because ultimately if it has a smaller soundstage even if the 598 has a smaller soundstage, if  I can have enough clarity to hear and pick out each instrument so it doesn't sound like mush, that would be the game winner for me. Especially in Mahler's Symphonies which use a lot more instruments, So I guess I'm asking which one of the two cans (K550 & HD598) will be have a clearer sound to it?

 

Unfortunately, i never tried K501.  I think that the HD598 has a better instruments separation and the K550 a bigger soundstage. But attention, for me, the K550 hasn't a good clamping force and the earpads don't force on my ears, artificially increasing the soundstage.

 

The HD598 is the safe choice imo, the K550 is also very good but it will not please everyone imo.

 

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 

Alright thanks for the clarification, I'm not a fan of a punchy bass, unless I'm listening to some electronic music which is really really rare. 

 

So does  the Beyer DT990s not compare to those cans? And I was looking and the K601 seems to compare closer to the 701 & 501, perhaps with a smaller  sound stage than the 501, but the 701 is better. Man this is a hard decision right now, lol. I have the K601 which compares to the HD598 but the K601 is a little picky with amps while the 598 doesn't NEED an amp, and no one has mentioned Beyer, so is there something wrong with them or what? 

 

I think depending on which I can get locally the HD598 or K601 I will get whichever I can find, but the K601 seems closer to what I'm looking for.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceTheDream View Post

Alright thanks for the clarification, I'm not a fan of a punchy bass, unless I'm listening to some electronic music which is really really rare. 

 

So does  the Beyer DT990s not compare to those cans? And I was looking and the K601 seems to compare closer to the 701 & 501, perhaps with a smaller  sound stage than the 501, but the 701 is better. Man this is a hard decision right now, lol. I have the K601 which compares to the HD598 but the K601 is a little picky with amps while the 598 doesn't NEED an amp, and no one has mentioned Beyer, so is there something wrong with them or what? 

 

I think depending on which I can get locally the HD598 or K601 I will get whichever I can find, but the K601 seems closer to what I'm looking for.

I owned a Q701 for a while.  Thought the mid-range was mechanical sounding as in, artificial.  YMMV.
 

 

post #15 of 29

 

Quote:
So does  the Beyer DT990s not compare to those cans? And I was looking and the K601 seems to compare closer to the 701 & 501, perhaps with a smaller  sound stage than the 501, but the 701 is better. Man this is a hard decision right now, lol. I have the K601 which compares to the HD598 but the K601 is a little picky with amps while the 598 doesn't NEED an amp, and no one has mentioned Beyer, so is there something wrong with them or what?

 

DT990 is completely different. If you don't like punchy bass, avoids them,lol. DT990 has a V shaped signature, lot of bass, recessed mids and sometimes harsh treble.

 

K601 is the warm cousin from K701 imo, but like you say, they require a good amp unlike the HD598.

 

DT770/880/990 are all very good headphones and according to your taste DT880 would be a good choice, but i find the HD598 more easy to listen for long periods.

 

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