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Am I going sideways?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Ok, I am curious. I have not been able to find a nice "musical" set of headphones. By that, I mean, nothing seemings to be "wowing" me like I was in a concert hall.


I listen to lossless (high bit rate) files from my iPod classic. I have 3 types of amps: Fiio E6, E11 and PAVA 2 amp.


Headphones I have bought so far....HD448, HD598, Sony ZX700 and M50. All of them have burn-in. My hearing is in top-notch condition. Either the phones are too analytical that they dissect the music so that it doesn't sound like a cohesive whole where your ears concentrate on certain instruments playing while other times, the sound feels distant, not intimate...like they are faraway. Am I doing something wrong...or have I just bought the wrong phones.


I am a recreational listener and do not mix, produce, sample or whatever.


So, now I am looking at the Shures and KRK...but will these also be lateral moves? I just want a fun set that makes me feel like I bought the best tickets in the hall.

post #2 of 40

Most of your headphones are on the low-end of the spectrum, with the 598's slotted into the midrange. You seem to be going laterally already. And by what you're saying, you seem to want a balanced but musical headphone with a big soundstage. Usually headphones like that cost a pretty penny.


EDIT: Actually, reading that again, I'm a bit confused. You say you want something like a "concert hall", which would make me guess big soundstage, but then you say things sound too far away, and not intimate enough, which would make me guess small soundstage.

When you say sounding far away, do you mean soundstage or recessive frequencies? Meaning is the mental "room" the music is in too large, or are all the instruments in the mids (or some part of the frequency range) soft, while everything else is louder?

Edited by Taowolf51 - 3/7/12 at 1:12pm
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

Sorry I should have make myself clearer...By faraway, I mean it feels like the music is far and not immediate. I just want something engrossing. Something with clarity and detail that feels like I am there. I don't know how else to explain it.


The HD598 just sound too airy.

The M50 sound shrill at the top end.

The Sony ZX700 are way too polite and not terribly exciting

and the HD428 sound like they are in the next room.


I also believe that you can get good sound for under $300. For years, I loved my Etymotic 4p IEM and my Q-Jays...but I am done with sticking things in my ears. Soundstage is not a priority...I just want to sit back and get lost in the music.

post #4 of 40

In my opinion that still didn't clarify much . . .

post #5 of 40

What about a used set of HD650's from the For Sale forum.   I bet you could find those for under $300 there,  I think I paid $300 for mine if I remember correctly.

post #6 of 40

Oh, for that you want the SR-225i or the DJ100. It feels like someone took a speaker and shoved it in your ears.

DJ100 is one of the few that felt like I was using an IEM. Sounds weird I know.


Sounds like what you need is a headphone with some forward mids and an engaging sound.


The Dj100 is one of the most fun headphones I own. Forward upper mids and a slight bass boost.


The trick is just to find the sound signature that does it for you. I think I'm addicted to the mids of the DJ100 and SR-225i.


One more to try is the AKG K601. It has more forward mids than the Q701 and is a little warmer too.


The KRKs have very engaging mids for me, but some find them bass light, which is just weird..They're not as fun to listen to as the 225i or Dj100 though.


Best of all, if the DJ100's don't do it for you, it's easy to return them. They're found easily at any Best Buy. I use mine with M50 pads. They're a perfect match for your E6 too.



post #7 of 40

Could try the HD-650 if you want a sound that's less airy than the HD-600/598..

It's hard to suggest since they now cost an arm and a leg.


It's soundstage on a normal amp (with stock cable) is much smaller than the 598/600.


Never found it that engaging, but it may be for you.

post #8 of 40

Mmmm...Grados are probably too bright for you.  You should check out he Beyer 770/880/990 lines.  My guess is that the 880/880 pro would be the place to start.

post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 

OK I shall try this again. The faraway thing is basically all mids are set back and I hear either highs or bass...but even then, the music sounds like distant church bells in the next town...clear but no presence...nothng in your face.


Maybe its me...maybe I am going crazy...maybe I listened to too much Led Zepplin back in the day. Nowadays, I listen to mainly classical (all forms),with some jazz and jazz vocals and acoustic music (think Lucinda Williams and Mary-Chapin Carpenter)

Also, I don't want to buy a high end headphone only to find I got too much headphone for the source. So maybe the answer is to just accept the sound you get and hope it grows on you. Sound is subjective and maybe I am being too demanding for the headphones I got. Just thought I would throw it out to see if there was something better.

post #10 of 40

So you mean the mids are suppressed then . . . also if you want music that is 'up in your face' then you probably don't want headphones with a good sound stage.

post #11 of 40

Headphones with a good sound stage are meant to make it seem like your music is coming from outside of your head . . . what it sounds like you want is headphones that make the music sound in your head.

Edited by KingOfTheWild - 3/7/12 at 2:51pm
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Oh, for that you want the SR-225i or the DJ100. It feels like someone took a speaker and shoved it in your ears.


tdockweiler, you kill me. I love that line...I have been following your postings and enjoy them.


post #13 of 40
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Oh, for that you want the SR-225i or the DJ100. It feels like someone took a speaker and shoved it in your ears.



Death by speaker? Sounds like a good way to go. ;)

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

Tdockweiler, I think I will try the DJ100 even though your raves about the KNS6400 and 8400 almost had me forking over the old credit card. Wouldn't it be funny it DJ100 are the ones...that I prefer a $79 set as opposed to the $249 HD598. If that happens, don't tell anyone.

post #15 of 40

I think you may like a pair of modded Fostex T50rp's with shure pads if you're willing to do a bit of work. I spent about $120 for the headphones, modding materials, and shipping. And if you have a good enough DAC/amp to go with them, they're nice. With them plugged into my Zune 30, classical sounds very similar to a live performance. They don't have sparkly highs, and are a tiny bit dark (which makes them almost fatigue-free), and aren't the most exciting things in the world, but it might be worth it to check them out as well if you know someone locally that has a modded pair.

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