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Considering upgrade to D2000. Advice/better options?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased the AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio, hoping it would be a nice upgrade and circumaural counterpart to the regular TMA-1, which I love. Unfortunately, I have been pretty disappointed with the sound of the Studios and will probably be taking them back to Best Buy.


I'm looking for something that has a more neutral and expansive sound signature than the TMA-1s, but retains a decent bass impact. I'd also prefer to stick with a closed headphone so I can listen to it at work without bothering my officemate. Based on what I've read in various places while lurking this forum, it seems like the Denon AH-D2000s would be a good choice. Am I correct in this assessment? Does anyone have any other suggestions that might work?


If I do buy the D2000s, I assume I will want to get a DAC/amp to complement them. I can use the headphones with my Yamaha receiver for home listening, so this amp would most likely be used with my 4th gen iPod touch and either of my two office machines most of the time. The FiiO E7 seems like it would be a good option that wouldn't cost me an excessive amount of money. Is there any reason this amp wouldn't work well for my setup?


Thanks in advance for your advice.

post #2 of 12

I would not really call the D2000 neutral, though they do pack a good bass punch. Also, they are not really a pair of closed headphones per se, they do leak a bit of sound.


You will not need an amplifier to power your D2000, as they are relatively easy to drive and are sensitive. If you are going to use your iPod touch, then a DAC/amplifier combination (such as the E7 that you are considering) may not really be worth it, as you would still be using the iPod DAC (essentially, the E7 would just be an amplifier).

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I guess I should be clear that I'm not looking for a "neutral" headphone per se, just something that's closer to neutral than the TMA-1. Also, I was under the impression that FiiO makes a separate line-out cable for the E7 that will allow it to bypass the iPod's DAC. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

post #4 of 12

Akg k550 I think is the more middle ground your looking for.As for the e7 only the amp works for the ipod.

Edited by skit - 6/13/12 at 5:22pm
post #5 of 12

If you have a best buy near you, you might go see if they have a 550 there to try out.  The one by me does.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I don't think they had any K550s there when I went in to buy the Studios yesterday, but thanks for the recommendation! What's the sound signature on the 550s like compared to the D2000s? Also, are they drivable without an amp?

Edited by DorianMode - 6/13/12 at 5:26pm
post #7 of 12

AKG550 is mid and high- centric compared to the D2000.  It will probably be a long departure from what you'er used to, but that's why it's best to see if you can try to listen to one first.

post #8 of 12

Bear in mind sound is subjective, I'd consider the JVC RX-700 as an upgrade from the D2000s.


The Denons are known for their bass and they won't let you down in that department, the mids and highs however aren't great and for that reason I don't consider them an all-rounder.

The RX-700s have a similar overall signature to the Denons with bass that's on the same volume as the rest of the spectrum. They also have better soundstage with the free and easy earpad mod.


I have since moved on from the RX-700s to Denon D7000s which I do find an improvement overall, they cost a lot more however.

post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

AKG550 is mid and high- centric compared to the D2000.  It will probably be a long departure from what you'er used to, but that's why it's best to see if you can try to listen to one first.

Since you may encounter situation that they lacking deep bass as they do when paired with Burso 160D for example

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hmm, with more responses I'm becoming less certain of myself here. Maybe it makes more sense for me to not worry about the headphones being closed (since I could still use my HD 280s and TMA-1s in the office) and think about looking into a lower end open headphone to complement what I have (such as the Grado SR 125i, which is apparently $130 on Amazon right now).

post #11 of 12

im by no means an authority being as my experience and taste tend to run towards darker phones, but if you're looking for a good set of closed back neutral cans, you should really consider the koss pro4aat, and yes you will definitely want an amp with these (250 ohm impedance) 



these things to my ears are pretty much flat and even across the spectrum but really really detailed, no mudiness in the lows and conversely no sharp or piercing highs, mids also fall in line with the other 2 to give a straight line across the board, plus they're cheap, look cool and have a lifetime warranty that cant be beat

post #12 of 12

oh an by the way, i saw mentioned earlier that the jvc rx700's are a contender, while i did have these for a while and they did sound nice (modding potential on these is through the roof) they are far from neutral, they're really dark and bass heavy stock, and the bass doesnt even sound good, its a bloated mess until you burn them in for like 90 hours, but they are decent phones overall and really really good if you consider the price, ultimately its your call, you might also want to look into some m50's

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