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KNS 8400 / ATH M-50 / DT 770 / SRH840??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello to my fellow Head-Fiers,

 

I hate posting for the first time requesting help, but I just found this forum and been reading some threads and it seems like there are so many audiophiles sharing detailed info about a variety of headphones that I had to reach out for your personal input.

 

I've been producing Hip Hop for 8 years now using DAW's and my trusty KRK monitors, but recently I find myself travelling often so I'm investing in a portable studio. I just bought an SP-404sx sampler to produce on and I need the right cans to go with it. I know that referencing, producing and mixing using headphones and monitors are two very distinct worlds, but I don't really have a choice since I can't bring along my monitors with me to everywhere I go, unfortunately. So I'm looking to get some headphones that will allow me to get a decent mix to present to artists while on the road before I get home and make the final adjustments to the songs in my studio.

 

That said, I'm completely new to the headphone universe so I've been doing a lot of research and I've narrowed my choices to the KNS 8400, the ATH M-50, the DT 770 and the Shure SRH840. I'm looking for the cans that will give me the closest possible results that a monitor would give me (even though I'm aware none get close by a long shot!). I'm used to the flat response of my KRK monitors so I'm not exactly looking for cans that give me vibrant bass nor a warm sound, but rather a "true", unembellished sound if you know what I mean. Isolation is not an issue for me. Not sure what a headphone amp can do regarding my situation either, but I can look into getting one too if it makes a substantial difference.

 

Thanks for reading and hopefuly you can help me with your personal experience, I need your input to complete my mobile production studio. Best regards to the Head-Fiers!


Edited by Pson101 - 6/16/12 at 9:48am
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pson101 View Post

I hate posting for the first time requesting help, but I just found this forum and been reading some threads and it seems like there are so many audiophiles sharing detailed info about a variety of headphones that I had to reach out for your personal input.

I've been producing Hip Hop for 8 years now using DAW's and my trusty KRK monitors, but recently I find myself travelling often so I'm investing in a portable studio. I just bought an SP-404sx sampler to produce on and I need the right cans to go with it. I know that referencing, producing and mixing using headphones and monitors are two very distinct worlds, but I don't really have a choice since I can't bring along my monitors with me to everywhere I go, unfortunately. So I'm looking to get some headphones that will allow me to get a decent mix to present to artists while on the road before I get home and make the final adjustments to the songs in my studio.

That said, I'm completely new to the headphone universe so I've been doing a lot of research and I've narrowed my choices to the KNS 8400, the ATH M-50, the DT 770 and the Shure SRH840. I'm looking for the cans that will give me the closest possible results that a monitor would give me (even though I'm aware none get close by a long shot!). I'm used to the flat response of my KRK monitors so I'm not exactly looking for cans that give me vibrant bass nor a warm sound, but rather a "true", unembellished sound if you know what I mean. Isolation is not an issue for me. Not sure what a headphone amp can do regarding my situation either, but I can look into getting one too if it makes a substantial difference.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you can help me with your personal experience, I need your input to complete my mobile production studio. Best regards to the Head-Fiers!

The DT770 is more amplifier dependent then the other 3 and will not fold up for traveling (and they are bassy).

I believe the ATH-M50 have more bass & treble, more for the end user, then the studio use?

I would go for the KNS 8400, as you can get them the cheapest.

As I have no idea on how the sound quality compares between the, SRH840 and the KNS 8400.

 

Amplifier wise, get the Fiio E11 ($65)

On eBay, you can get a battery charger and two spare batteries for the E11, for around $13.

Spare batteries (model # BL-5B) for the E11, sold on eBay (shipped from China) usually do not last as long as they are rated for, but for the low price it does not matter.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/16/12 at 12:05pm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input. The Fiio E11 looks great, I'll definitely look into getting one.  How do you feel about your DT990 Pro 250-Ohm and the HD558?

 

I'm currently more divided between the KNS 8400 and the M-50's, but I'm leaning towards the KRK's. If anybody has any other suggestions of cans for studio use within this budget feel free to jump in!


Edited by Pson101 - 6/16/12 at 12:22pm
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pson101 View Post

How do you feel about your DT990 Pro 250-Ohm and the HD558?

They both have their pluses.

The DT990 Pro 250-Ohm are good with just about everything, they have a "movie theater" like sound, so their the best for movies.

The HD558 I would call very functional (germen?), nothing super fancy about them, but will work fairly good with anything.

And as the HD558 are 50-Ohm, you know they will work with more audio devices then the 250-Ohm DT990.

So the DT990 do have the added expense of really always needed an amplifier.

post #5 of 14

This question has popped up a few times. A few times its recommended to look at avsforum. But from what my reason tells me, you want a flat, analytical and revealing headphone. The KRK and the Shure are the best bets in that category. And not far behind would be AKG, but they need a real amp, and are not portable. 

 

When you read up on the headphone the keywords are flat, analytical, revealing, unforgiving.

And the Fiio is a good start, but IMHO not enough for serious work... You would want atleast a 110SNR DAC at a minimum. 

 

There are other headphones that meet the keywords and criteria, but I can't think of them now, and I frankly can't recommend anything I don't own. So I am just giving suggestions and tips. Good luck! This is a tricky one

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

@PurpleAngel: Sounds great, I'll definitely look into those for general listening. The DT990 seems very interesting and should sound great

 

@WiR3D: Thanks a lot for your input. I just finished reading some user reviews about the KNS 8400 and I'm pretty much sold on them. They seem built like the KRK monitors sound-wise (which takes time to get used to) and perfectly suited for my needs. And according to multiple users an amp won't add much except for more volume so I'm going to pass on it for now

 

Thank you for the help!

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pson101 View Post

@PurpleAngel: Sounds great, I'll definitely look into those for general listening. The DT990 seems very interesting and should sound great

 

@WiR3D: Thanks a lot for your input. I just finished reading some user reviews about the KNS 8400 and I'm pretty much sold on them. They seem built like the KRK monitors sound-wise (which takes time to get used to) and perfectly suited for my needs. And according to multiple users an amp won't add much except for more volume so I'm going to pass on it for now

 

Thank you for the help!

Amp wont matter, a good dac will

 

its a pleasure :)

post #8 of 14

The KRKs are definitely flatter across the board than the M50s. I believe the KRKs will be your best bet! :)

post #9 of 14

Have tried all the headphones from your first post. I found the Audio Technica M50s a bit recessed on the mids but it's built well and should withstand traveling. The Beyer DT770 Pro80 are also mid recessed and very bassy (compared to the other 3 mentioned!). The Shure sound is my favorite and I find that they excel with mostly everything you throw at them. They Isolate well and have very present mid and highs. Found them comfortable for long use (much more so than the M50s but not better than the Beyers). But my pick would have to be the KRK 8400s. Although I don't prefer them for my usual music listening, for tracking, recording and mixing they do well. They also have a forward sound (mids, upper mids, lower highs) similar to the usual studio monitors (or at least mine... Tapco/Mackie monitors).

 

One thing to note, either if you go with KRKs or Shures, don't overextend the bass on the recordings... remember these are bass-shy.

 

Good luck!

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

@WiR3D: Def feel free to share a couple of DAC's you believe make the difference :) I bought an M-Audio Fast Track Pro audio interface for the time being to consolidate the headphones with direct recording from my sampler to a laptop, but I'll look into your suggestions for sure!

 

@roma101: Thanks for your input on the M-50's. At first I was putting serious thought in them but as I deepened my research I found they wouldn't suit me very well for my purposes... and thanks for confirming it :)

 

@gelocks: Many thanks for such an insightful comparison. I guess you were in a similar situation at some point? And I definitely know what you mean about the bass extension, before I got used to my KRK monitors I'd exaggerate on the bass EVERYTIME, and that was obviously present in a variety of different audio devices. But once I burned-in those monitors I was able to get pretty decent mixes even in my untreated room. I hope these KNS 8400 will give me at least a little taste of my KRK's. And Mackie markets some mean monitors for sure!

 

I appreciate all of you for the input, after your personal opinions and reading aditional reviews online I decided the KNS 8400 would be my perfect match. They should arrive tomorrow so I'll def post my thoughts once I get a decent listen with them. Thanks!

post #11 of 14

Great!

Let us know how you like them.

And as always, test a first track on a few systems (car stereo, home theater, etc.) so you make notes on what needs to be tweaked while using the headphones!

 

Good luck!

post #12 of 14

ODAC for a dac is impossible to fault for the price, and the O2 is a good transportable amp for it. Get them both in one case, just make sure you get it with the batteries.

 

There are better amps, but not really many better DACs, not unless your spending easily over $1000. 


Edited by WiR3D - 6/19/12 at 12:03pm
post #13 of 14

The M-Audio interface should provide enough power for the KNS-8400s... I use a similar interface (old, Lexicon Omega) and it drives my Shure SRH940s rather well. I would suggest to the OP to first try the headphone+interface pairing and if more power is then needed, then start looking at headphone amps...

post #14 of 14

My pleasure! :)

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