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Best headphone & amp for ambient music - Page 7

post #91 of 167
Quote:

The qualities I'm longing for are:

1.Great Soundstage (as much as it doesn't hurt naturalness of the sound)
2.Great Deep bass
3.As Detailed as possible
4.As Neutral as possible
5.As Balanced as possible
6.Great instrument separation (I don't know if its included in number 3 or not)

Important note: I really want my headphone to sound natural and without any external qualities (Impurity) addition to the music (as much as possible)
 

 


And the top choices (based on recommendations / for AMBIENT/NOISE music) are:

Hifiman HE-400 (Audio-GD NFB-12 / Fiio E17 / Fiio E10 / Little Dot MKII)
AKG Q701 (Fiio E9 / HiFiMan EF2 / Matrix M-stage / Fiio E10)
Denon D5000 (Fiio E10)
Shure SRH-1440
Sennheiser HD 600

and other recommendations (selected) are :
STAX SRS-2170
Shure SRH-1840
Denon D7000  (Fiio E9)
Koss ESP-950
Shure SRH940

 

 

Thanks in advance for any other help.

Hello,

 

it's getting more complicated to choose only one pair, huh?biggrin.gif

 

until now, my choices are :AKG Q701 & Hifiman HE-400, but extrabigmehdi made me curious about srh1814 too.as he said you can ask Mike at Headfonia, however sometimes he doesn't replay, but try it, it's free!tongue.gif

post #92 of 167

read this:

http://www.headfonia.com/akgs-new-reference-the-k550/

 

Mike's review is horribly positive. I don't know if his emotions overwhelmed him when writing this review or not or if he changes his mind later or not (as in the case of hd700), but he claims that K550 is much better than k701 & is much better in many areas than srh1814.

post #93 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldoon View Post

read this:

http://www.headfonia.com/akgs-new-reference-the-k550/

 

Mike's review is horribly positive. I don't know if his emotions overwhelmed him when writing this review or not or if he changes his mind later or not (as in the case of hd700), but he claims that K550 is much better than k701 & is much better in many areas than srh1814.

 

He also seems to like it more than the HE-500!

 

From the review:

"You can take something like the HE-500 planar to try to match the K550′s technicalities, but even then the AKG K550 would still be better on many aspects. The background is still blacker on the K550, the sound cleaner, and the soundstage imaging, accuracy, depth, and coherence all being superior on the K550. Not to mention that the K550 runs fine straight out of a Fiio E10. The HE-500 is still the more musical sounding of the two, in my opinion, but given the price difference, easy to drive factor, and the K550′s mostly superior technicalities, it’s a hard battle for the Hifiman."

post #94 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
He also seems to like it more than the HE-500!

&

 

Quote:

read this:

http://www.headfonia.com/akgs-new-reference-the-k550/

 

Mike's review is horribly positive. I don't know if his emotions overwhelmed him when writing this review or not or if he changes his mind later or not (as in the case of hd700), but he claims that K550 is much better than k701 & is much better in many areas than srh1814.

Thank you brokenthumb & goldoon.

 

Yeah, it's really positive. He thinks K550 is better than HE-500 & SRH1814!! I don't know if it's good enough for me too or not?

 

By the way brokenthumb, you have Hifiman HE-500 & Sennheiser HD650 and had AKG K701 & Denon D2000, which one do you think is the most suitable headphone according to my desired qualities (look the top of page, please)?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #95 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartograph View Post

&

 

Thank you brokenthumb & goldoon.

 

Yeah, it's really positive. He thinks K550 is better than HE-500 & SRH1814!! I don't know if it's good enough for me too or not?

 

By the way brokenthumb, you have Hifiman HE-500 & Sennheiser HD650 and had AKG K701 & Denon D2000, which one do you think is the most suitable headphone according to my desired qualities (look the top of page, please)?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Out of the headphones I've had these match the descriptions best to my ears...

 

1.Great Soundstage (as much as it doesn't hurt naturalness of the sound)  HD650 = HE-500>K701>D2000
2.Great Deep bass  HE-500>D2000>HD650>K701
3.As Detailed as possible  HE-500>HD650=K701>D2000
4.As Neutral as possible  HE-500>K701>HD650>D2000
5.As Balanced as possible  HE-500>K701>HD650>D2000
6.Great instrument separation (I don't know if its included in number 3 or not)  HE-500>K701>HD650>D2000

 

The HE-500 is the most well balanced can I've owned from top to bottom of frequency range.  Nothing really stands out but that is b/c everything is so well balanced.

 

I think a cheaper alternative would be the HD600, many have said that the HE-500 is a HD600 taken to the next level.  I've yet to hear a HD600 but my HD650 sounds roughly 85-90% of the HE-500 to me.

post #96 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartograph View Post

&

 

Thank you brokenthumb & goldoon.

 

Yeah, it's really positive. He thinks K550 is better than HE-500 & SRH1814!! I don't know if it's good enough for me too or not?

I know that mike comparisons can be a bit convoluted, and not as straightforward you'd expect.
I've read his review, "and more musical" can mean in fact a lot, when he said for instance that the srh1840 is more musical. Also he never said that the k550 is better than he500, just by some aspects.  Anyway, it's obvious that not everyone is seduced by the k550 sound, just look in the appreciation thread. Off course the k550 is something to consider, for ambient I  don't know.
The point , is that's  it's always interesting ask his opinion on his blog.

post #97 of 167
Thread Starter 

Thanks brokenthumb for your detailed replay.

 

Have you ever listened to HE-400? if yes what do you think about it?

post #98 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartograph View Post

Thanks brokenthumb for your detailed replay.

 

Have you ever listened to HE-400? if yes what do you think about it?

 

Your quite welcome.

 

I've never listened to the HE-400, but from what I've read it's close to the HE-500 except with a more engaging and warmer sound signature.  I would love to hear one, sounds like it's a great headphone and at a terrific price.

post #99 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Your quite welcome.

 

I've never listened to the HE-400, but from what I've read it's close to the HE-500 except with a more engaging and warmer sound signature.  I would love to hear one, sounds like it's a great headphone and at a terrific price.

Aha, thanks again!

post #100 of 167
Ambient music is deceptively tricky to get right. Because it has a tendency to engage so many different frequencies at the same time, you have to have a pretty even frequency response. Since it tends to have so much low-level detail, you'll need something fairly detailed and quick enough to keep up with it. You will need a fairly large and competent soundstage to capture all the reverb, and because you have so much high-frequency information you'll need highs that are extended but not spiky or sharp. Generally, I'd say you need a fairly well-balanced headphone that gives you lots of detail without harshness, and one that has very good transients (or, in earth-speak, one that sounds lush).

HD600/HD650 is your best bet out of the conventional stuff, and the Stax 2170 is worth looking into, though I've yet to hear it. I like ambient on electrostatics, but mind you I like everything on electrostatics, though I'm not alone in that. Of course, any sufficiently transparent high-end headphone will need a quality signal path, and for electrostatics that's doubly true.
post #101 of 167
Thread Starter 

Thank you.

 

 

Quote:
Ambient music is deceptively tricky to get right. Because it has a tendency to engage so many different frequencies at the same time, you have to have a pretty even frequency response. Since it tends to have so much low-level detail, you'll need something fairly detailed and quick enough to keep up with it. You will need a fairly large and competent soundstage to capture all the reverb, and because you have so much high-frequency information you'll need highs that are extended but not spiky or sharp. Generally, I'd say you need a fairly well-balanced headphone that gives you lots of detail without harshness, and one that has very good transients (or, in earth-speak, one that sounds lush).

Amazing analysis.

 

 

Quote:
HD600/HD650 is your best bet out of the conventional stuff, and the Stax 2170 is worth looking into, though I've yet to hear it. I like ambient on electrostatics, but mind you I like everything on electrostatics, though I'm not alone in that. Of course, any sufficiently transparent high-end headphone will need a quality signal path, and for electrostatics that's doubly true.

HD600's are really popular among ambient listeners & I still place it in my top 5 choices. But I'm not sure about Stax.I don't know if it's that good that some people say or not.


Edited by cartograph - 5/30/12 at 1:24am
post #102 of 167

@cartograph
What are you currently using to listen ambient, and why are you not satisfied ?

Regarding the sennheiser mid-fi headphones  (h5xx & hd6xx range) : you won't see much people complaining of them, or dissatisfied people usually remain shy . However dissatisfied people ,  usually describe them in a similar way: , slow, with recessed high, or veiled.
The true problem, is that the price of all sennheiser headphones has recently increased, which I think make them less competitive.
In a recent thread , it was funny to see that someone that already own the hd650, asking if they are really good. In fact he probably got them at a quite expensive price.

post #103 of 167
Thread Starter 

@extrabigmehdi

 

I own Sennheiser HD-280 PRO, Sony MDR-XB500 & Sennheiser HD201. But none of them can't satisfy me.They lacks the clarity, neutrality & almost all of my desired factors.

post #104 of 167

I'm sure that coming from these headphone you'll find a lot of models that satisfy you. You might even like better the cheap ksc75.

The biggest difficulty is perhaps to have great clarity & bass at same time. The bass from your xb500 is probably an overkill for ambient.

 

A model, that people often forget to consider : Sony MDR-SA5000.
I'm unsure if the bass is good, but it is detailed , and originally marketed for sacd listening.
There's a  nice price at amazon.

post #105 of 167
I don't think you need to worry about Stax being good. Their relative lack of popularity is more due to them being electrostatic and requiring special amps, which inherently makes them less practical and more daunting as a prospect. That, and they tend to be on the pricy side, though not more pricy than competing dynamics in terms of sound quality per dollar. Still, Stax don't come cheap.

I also think you should stop agonizing over the decision and just get something. Whatever it is, from your list it should be a step up. Then, if you don't like it, return it or sell it, and get something else. You're not going to get a consensus on this board simply because not everybody here has heard every headphone you're thinking of getting so we can't do real comparisons. And if you're basing your decision based on popularity, keep in mind that your ears are your own, and headphones you like may not necessarily be headphones that we like, and vice versa. Heck, we can't even agree on what's good around here, so you should take any advice you're given with a grain of salt, and use your own ears.

Also, here you'll find a headphone measurement database that provides a pretty good objective basis for headphone comparisons. Headphone measurement is not an exact science and the merits of these measurements are more in how headphones relate to each other rather than their absolute sound, but they still are a very important tool in figuring out what's good and what's not - if you know how to read them.
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