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Upgrading from HD 598 to HD 650, Q701, DT 880 or even T 1?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey,

 

My HD 598's have been really great, I'm giving them away very soon though, so another headphone will have to take its place.

 

I've been looking around and listening to different headphones over the past few weeks, but couldn't a decision yet... These are the ones I'm considering (but please if you can suggest any others, do so):

 

Sennheiser HD 650: I wasn't able to listen to them for too long and also not with many songs I listen to a lot. My feelings are very mixed for these, so I can't comment much on the sound other than that I liked it slightly less than the Q701.. I also don't like the looks and material of it.

 

AKG Q701 (& K701): Really liked those, very precise. I don't want particularly bass heavy headphones, but these really had very, very little.. Again, precise bass though. Very comfortable. Don't like the Quincy Jones thing they did, nor do I particularly like the materials either, but better than the HD 650 IMO.

 

Beyerdynamic DT 880: Wasn't able to listen to them yet, but they look like a competitor to the two above.

 

Beyerdynamic T 1: Instantly thought these were the best out of all when I heard them. The only thing that's holding me back is the price to be honest.. I wasn't expecting to pay this much, but then again I'd rather pay more for something that I know will last. These are just made out of great materials and I appreciate that.

 

The T 1 would cost me about $870-$930, is that a good price (2 year warranty) or could I get them cheaper somewhere else? (I'm in Switzerland)

 

I will be listening to music (and occasionally watch movies) at home with my iMac. I don't have an amp. yet, but will get one after the headphones.

 

Is this a good choice? I don't want to pay more than that..: http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=O2Full

Or would an FiiO E9 do?

 

Do I need a DAC? If I had to choose between an amp. or a DAC in the beginning, which one would be a better investment for sound quality?

 

Any help will be very much appreciated!

post #2 of 18

First let me say that if you are going to shell out $900+ for a headphone consider the LCD-2 Rev 2 first.  They are probably the best headphones for that price range and have a very impressive sound signature as well as build quality.

 

If you prefer a more dynamic and fun headphone I suggest the Denon AH-D2000.  They will compliment your 598's really well by having a completely different, but awesome, sound signature.  The nice thing about the AH-D2000 is they can be easily driven by a portable device and they are closed.  I have both the Beyer DT990 and AH-D2000 for this reason.  Give them a try and let us know what you think.  The average price for a new and authentic pair of AH-D2000 will be around $300.  Far less than the $900 you find with the T1.

 

I found the T1 to be a little like the HD-650 in that it is a really laid back sounding headphone.  I was not impressed by any of the frequency response and decided on the DT990 instead.  If you are looking for this caliber of headphone the HE-500 would be your mid range budget headphone.  They receive some great reviews and I know Mal could chime in here to tell you more about them.

 

Denon AH-D2000

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/denon-ah-d2000.php

 

HiFiMAN HE500

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/hifiman-he-500.php

 

LCD-2 Rev 2

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/audeze-lcd-2-leather.php

post #3 of 18

That's an exceptional price on the T1's which I would probably jump on (hell could you get me a pair shipped to the US for that amount?) Just about all those headphones would run better with an amp which is more important than a DAC though if you're paying close to $1,000 you would benefit from a DAC if you notice noise from your source. 

 

I'm surprised you don't like the HD650's it sounds like they would normally fit the kind of sound you are looking for, I feel they do benefit from a slightly better power source than most computer outputs which really don't have much more power than a line level signal if even that.

post #4 of 18
Be sure to also listen to the HD600 which are preferred over the 650 by many people including me smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 18

Swiss, I would recommend the O2 over the E9, especially for those headphone options.  For upper-mid to top-tier headphones, I would absolutely recommend a separate external DAC to go with the O2.  A good option is the 150 dollar HRT Music Streamer II.  That together with the O2 should prove to be an excellent combination with any of those headphone choices.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys!

 

I'm still not sure which headphones to get....

 

 

Quote:

First let me say that if you are going to shell out $900+ for a headphone consider the LCD-2 Rev 2 first.  They are probably the best headphones for that price range and have a very impressive sound signature as well as build quality.

 

If you prefer a more dynamic and fun headphone I suggest the Denon AH-D2000.  They will compliment your 598's really well by having a completely different, but awesome, sound signature.  The nice thing about the AH-D2000 is they can be easily driven by a portable device and they are closed.  I have both the Beyer DT990 and AH-D2000 for this reason.  Give them a try and let us know what you think.  The average price for a new and authentic pair of AH-D2000 will be around $300.  Far less than the $900 you find with the T1.

 

I found the T1 to be a little like the HD-650 in that it is a really laid back sounding headphone.  I was not impressed by any of the frequency response and decided on the DT990 instead.  If you are looking for this caliber of headphone the HE-500 would be your mid range budget headphone.  They receive some great reviews and I know Mal could chime in here to tell you more about them.

 

Denon AH-D2000

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/denon-ah-d2000.php

 

HiFiMAN HE500

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/hifiman-he-500.php

 

LCD-2 Rev 2

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/audeze-lcd-2-leather.php

 

Thanks a lot. I really want to check out the HE500, Denon, LCD and the DT880/990 but I can't find them here :/

I didn't think that the T 1 was laid back, the 650 certainly was though.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65535 View Post

That's an exceptional price on the T1's which I would probably jump on (hell could you get me a pair shipped to the US for that amount?) Just about all those headphones would run better with an amp which is more important than a DAC though if you're paying close to $1,000 you would benefit from a DAC if you notice noise from your source. 

 

I'm surprised you don't like the HD650's it sounds like they would normally fit the kind of sound you are looking for, I feel they do benefit from a slightly better power source than most computer outputs which really don't have much more power than a line level signal if even that.

 

I might be able to do that, would cost a bit more though with shipping I guess..

 

The 650's weren't exciting for me, as far as I can remember.. I listened to them from an amp. and CD as source...

 

Quote:
Be sure to also listen to the HD600 which are preferred over the 650 by many people including me smily_headphones1.gif

 

Yeah, I did. Thought the 598 sounded better.. :)

 

Quote:
Swiss, I would recommend the O2 over the E9, especially for those headphone options.  For upper-mid to top-tier headphones, I would absolutely recommend a separate external DAC to go with the O2.  A good option is the 150 dollar HRT Music Streamer II.  That together with the O2 should prove to be an excellent combination with any of those headphone choices.

 

Why would you recommend the O2 over the E9? Is there really a noticeable difference in sound quality?

 

Thanks


Edited by Swiss - 2/10/12 at 7:48am
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss View Post

Why would you recommend the O2 over the E9? Is there really a noticeable difference in sound quality?

 

Thanks



The E9 is a good option and it works well with most headphones.  I just find the O2 to be a bit more transparent, refined and smoother sounding.  Most importantly it has a very low output impedance(.5 Ohms), ensuring compatibility with virtually any headphone.  It does lack a little bit of the E9's dynamic range though.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, thanks Digital-Pride.

 

If I could listen to the HD650, Q701, DT880, T 1, HE500, AH-D2000 and the LCD-2 all side by side then things would be easier.

 

Has anyone listened to some of these and can compare them?

post #9 of 18

Out of all the ones you listed above, I'd say go for the HE-500 or LCD-2 if money is no problem. I haven't yet listened to the T1 so I can't commend on those.

If you're considering the D2000, might as well get the D7000.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Well, today was interesting to say the least...

 

I went to a store where they had these:

 

Ultrasone:

 

Edition 10

Edition 8

 

Beyerdynamic:

 

T 1

T 5 p

DT880

 

Grado:

 

GS1000i

RS2i

One of the prestige series, can't remember the model

 

Sennheiser:

 

HD 650

HD 598

HD 558

HD 518

 

AKG:

 

K701

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I think they had some more models actually....

It was paradise, unfortunately there wasn't enough time to really listen to them all and think about it long enough. I stayed past they're closing time though :p

 

I made an appointment for next week, they'll install all headphones side by side and I'll bring a CD with some songs. Then I'll just sit there for the next hour or so and try to make up my mind.

 

If they had the LCD-2, Denon D2(or 7)000 and the HE-500 I would have teared up :)

post #11 of 18

^Awesome!  I would love a store like that in my state.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

This may be a weird question..

 

I have an appointment tomorrow to listen to the above headphones, well the higher end models. They said I should bring a CD..

Can anyone recommend some songs, some that really put a headphone to the test or are exceptionally recorded... Of course I'm putting music on it which I love listening to and have listened to for a while, but I'm sure there's more.

 

Any suggestions are welcome.

 

 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss View Post

This may be a weird question..

 

I have an appointment tomorrow to listen to the above headphones, well the higher end models. They said I should bring a CD..

Can anyone recommend some songs, some that really put a headphone to the test or are exceptionally recorded... Of course I'm putting music on it which I love listening to and have listened to for a while, but I'm sure there's more.

 

Any suggestions are welcome.

 

 

I usually use these to test on how well they handle complexity and hear the presentation, timbre, neutrality and soundstage. For me, classical really cut open songs and reveal what it really can do but it's just me. Don't laugh, but I used those HD THX/Dolby short videos to see if I'll enjoy watching movies with them. biggrin.gif

 

Classical

Holst's Jupiter - Orchestra

Send in the Clowns (S. Sondheim) - Orchestra

Melodie (Souvenir d'un lieu cher op.42) [Julia Fischer] - Violin, piano

Antonio Vivaldi: 'L'estate' Summer II. Adagio - Violin Concerto

Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007 [Yo-Yo Ma] - Cello Solo

 

 

 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks nikp.

 

Okay, so I listened to the HD 650, Edition 10, GS1000i, K701 and the T 1 yesterday. I also listened to some others, but these stood out.

 

HD 650 was way too boring and muddy (right word?) for me. They did sound slightly better with this setup compared to the last time I heard them at a different store and with a different setup, but still, they weren't very precise and they made the songs sound boring and distanced..

 

The Edition 10 was really bright and had odd highs. Some songs sounded pretty good, but I wasn't very impressed. I love looking at it though :p

 

GS1000i was actually wonderful, especially for rock, jazz, classical and vocal. They were brilliant, airy, separated the instruments well and made the music exciting. For rap, electronic and such it wasn't bad, but that's it. I wouldn't want to use these for that kind of music.

 

I have listened to the Q701 on a couple occasions and on different setups. They always sounded extremely precise with vocals and instruments. Same thing with the K701... What I don't like is the bass, there was just incredibly little. I don't want a lot of bass, but these really have too little for me. The little bass it has is well defined though!

 

Finally the T 1. The first time I heard it a while back, I instantly thought it was the best I've ever heard. That was confirmed yesterday, when I listened to each headphone for like 10-20 minutes each. While they weren't as perfect as the Grado for the above mentioned music types (stil amazing, don't get me wrong), they really were the best IMO for all other music genres. The bass is just slightly more than the K701, but that's completely sufficient for me. It was a really nice bass too, I'm not very good at describing though.... Everything just sounds amazing on these :)

 

I can get the T 1 for $930 now.. If I can't get them cheaper anywhere else (shipped to Switzerland!) then I'm probably picking them up.. Can I get them cheaper somewhere else?

 

Also, is the O2 still a good idea for them? I don't really want to pay much more right now....

post #15 of 18

The O2 is a terrific amp along with possibly being one of the most versatile. I would venture to say that I don't think anything currently out there favorably competes with it at its price range. Don't expect it to fluff up the sound of your headphones with coloration. It is very revealing and shows the true sound of your headphones...


Edited by juantendo8 - 2/15/12 at 10:50am
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