If you were to have just one back-up pair in the glovebox, which pair would it be?
Best Value: Tie between HTF-600 & DN-HP700, both offers a sound quality that I'd value roughly 3x their cost (HTF600 $30 => $90, DN-HP700 $100 => $300). These 2 are the only headphones I'd rate as 3x above their price in performance though, most very good headphones struggle with 2x the price ratio even (obviously sub $150 category only as the higher you go the more dimishing returns you get, only in low-cost range you may find hidden gems like these). The Monoprice 8323 DJs also fit quite nicely here, for $21 or so I'd rate them ~$60 worth of sound quality.
Best Sound: Denon DN-HP700
If you were to have just one back-up pair in the glovebox: M-Audio Q40
Because "objective" and "personal value" are slightly different, I try to avoid speaking of my personal taste and priorities as the truth. For me the bass response has far greater importance than the average person and I concider Q40 to have the best bass response of the bunch. BUT then versus HP700 the HP700 just destroys Q40 in terms of soundstage and it also has slightly better transparency and a bit more detailed highs and extension, microdetail is also slightly better in HP700. This is stock vs stock comparision though, the Q40 can still be improved quite a bit with some modding, for example burn-in has more impact on Q40 than HP700 from my experience and the Q40 pads can be modded to make the shallow pads deeper for better soundstage & imaging and the stock cable seems to have unusually high impedance for a cable which to my ears resulted in ever so slightly more "smeared" sound when comparing against a FiiO bundled cable or Monoprice 8323 DJ cable.
The "objective" value as compared to above ratings for Q40 would look like $170~$190 stock or so and ~$250 modded compared to $300 (non-modded) for HP700. But my personal ratings would look a bit differently as the HP700 fails greatly with bass extension versus Q40. :P I still concider HP700 as the better sounding headphone for sure but my personal taste the Q40 fits better. Yes you can concider another headphone better than your personal favorite if you look past your own priorities & taste.
I am awaiting a pair of Q40's based on weeks of reading your Q40 assessments.
I take headphone reviews with a grain of salt but your insights allowed me to pull the trigger.
i may be moving ahead from my beloved dt770/80 minus the pads. I also have a very nice oxymoronic Radio Shack boutique "small headed" cable from AUVIO waiting for tomorrows delivery sitting along side my E11.
I'm both a recording engineer and professional poker player, therefore I thought I could translate better with the EQ free listening curve of the Q40's as opposed to the artifacts you point out on the Denons since the Q40's will serve the dual function of tracking/mixing studio reference and listening while grinding on the poker tables. Seeking my ideal closed back phone (studio tracking and casino noise blockage, over the last month I've bought and (sold, returned):
AKG Q702 (love sound but need closed back, impractical for portable use, needs more solid bass note reproduction)
K550's (too middy, frown face signature)
668B (too honky)
And now the DT770's (best studio mix translation, comfort and listening experience to date) if the Q40's nail it.
I'm pretty hard to please but based on your overall review, I'm betting that the modded Q40's will be the go to phone for my needs.
Thanks for the data.
Fostex T50RP, at least with mods. They cost $75 but with minimal effort can be greatly improved. They can also completely outclass anything in the sub $300 price range with extensive modding/wooden cups.
No, I just love them to death I suppose. I'm going to buy another pair just for side by side comparison to the modded ones I have.
Agreed, these headphones really deserves to be mentioned in this thread with their mod capabilities, with modding taking into account, this headphone might even have the best price/peformance ratio but only if you know what you're doing.