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Classical music headphone.

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 



I browsed trough some threads but the land of heapdhones is too vast for me to comprehend without making my own thread.


I have a 200-500 euro budget.


I listen to music from the renaissance to Bruckner's symphonies, everything classical.


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 45



Assuming you have no source gear, here's some suggestions:


Sennheiser HD600, Hifiman HE-400, Beyer DT880, AKG Q701, Denon D5000 with NFB-12.1 (DAC/AMP)


Very best,

post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 

I listen trough an old NAD amplifier now. 3240PE. but I'm willing to buy a DAC/headphone amp (not included in budget)


The AKG Q701 looks interesting.

post #4 of 45

Classical does go beyond Bruckner, right?  Hope you're not missing a whole bunch from Bruckner on!

post #5 of 45
Originally Posted by GlennGulda View Post

I listen trough an old NAD amplifier now. 3240PE. but I'm willing to buy a DAC/headphone amp (not included in budget)


The AKG Q701 looks interesting.

I am a recent owner of the BeyerDynamic DT-660's.  They're amazing, especially for the price, amazon under $190.  This thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard prompted me to buy them but only after much consideration.  I'm glad I did.  They're easy to drive, no big need to buy something special for them although they might benefit some.  Their 32 ohm load is easy to power and they're very efficient.  I've owned the Q701's and thought they were O.K., but there was something odd about the mid-range on classical piano.  I recommend trying the DT-660's at a dealer or buying on-line with a 30 day return policy.  BTW, they can do symphonic bass drum and pipe organ very well.


Love your handle.  Two very great musicians.


Happy Hunting!

post #6 of 45

+1 on Denon D5000

post #7 of 45

Hd600 with an aftermarketcable/cardas/apuresound....hooked to a tube Lyr / littledot MkIVse....via a dacportLX..

n u get  a classical nirvarna.


post #8 of 45

I have the D5000s and I honestly think there are better options for classical. They are a bit too bass heavy for me.

post #9 of 45

AKG K550 & beyerdynamic very focused on classical performance music 

post #10 of 45
Like you, I enjoy all things classical, and I have owned a number of different headphones. If you have a strong preference for detail and neutrality in a sound signature, then I would recomend that you consider buying a used Stax system. In the long run it will save you money if classical music is your preference.

If you are going the dynamic route I would recommend trying the Shure headphones in addition to the headphones mentioned by others. They are easy to drive out of an iPod or other player or computer, and so you can spend your budget on the headphones. You can always buy an amp. later. I own the SRH-1840, which to me has the best features of the AKG 701s and Sennheiser HD600s for classical. I haven't tried the Shure SRH-1440, but from what I have read, it is similar to the 1840 for considerably less money.
Edited by Ridleyguy - 7/7/12 at 5:51am
post #11 of 45

HifiMAN HE-5LE, AKG K501.

post #12 of 45
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

HifiMAN HE-5LE, AKG K501.

X2 AKG 501

post #13 of 45

A 701 will work just fine, but I would actually recommend a used HE5-LE/HE-500 (should be in budget...?), or the HD600 mentioned by a couple others.  On more than a few chamber/opera recordings there is some super-stereo that goes on, and a headphone with massive soundstage like the 701 drives me insane in those situation w/o crossfeed.  I would definitely not get a Denon - way too much bass.


Never heard the 501 or 550.


The OP didn't mention opened v. closed.  For closed, I still think the AKG K271 is great for closed classical, and way cheaper than the above opens (but not as good, of course).

post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 
So many different choices, it's boggling my mind!
I could get the BEYERDYNAMIC DT 660 for 170 euro. 
But it's cheap, perhaps too cheap.
Then there's the AKG K702 for 320 euro.
What is the difference between Q701 and K701?
I'm willing to go above 500, it just has to be the best bang for buck.

Edited by GlennGulda - 7/7/12 at 12:03pm
post #15 of 45
Originally Posted by GlennGulda View Post
What is the difference between Q701 and K701?


this pretty much sums it up.




Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Quick comparison


  • These are obviously similiar souding (but NOT the same sounding) headphones.
  • Q701 has as warmer overall sound. It sounds fuller where K702 sounds a little colder and thinner.
  • K702 sounds a little more dry, sterile, and fast, where Q701 has a bit of "wet" ambience like a semi open headphone.
  • Q701s have a more body and impact in the bass and lower mids.
  • Soundstage and imaging appear nearly the same.



Edited by viralcow - 7/7/12 at 12:04pm
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