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Mid-centric headphones for indie rock?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I posted this in the Recommendations thread, but got a pretty inconclusive answer. I want a mid-centric, preferably open headphone for ~$200-250. I'll be mainly listening to indie rock (Arcade Fire, The National, Phoenix, etc.) and some classic rock/British Invasion (The Who, The Kinks, etc.). I already have the HD600s and love them, but I'd love to have an airier, brighter sounding headphone as a complement with more clarity. Here are some more things that I'd prefer (but not vital, the main focus should be the midrange):

 

  • Good build construction -- hated the build on Grados, felt super flimsy
  • Fast and clear
  • Forward midrage to create intimate vocals
  • Pretty neutral, towards the bright side as a complement to the HD600s
  • Comfort -- this is probably last in importance, since I've rarely found headphones too uncomfortable
  • ~$200-250 preferred, will spend more if the improvements are huge

 

I've been eyeing the AD900s, which I've heard are airy and slightly forward with a huge soundstage. They sound like a decent complement to the HD600s. The bass of the Grados was fine, so I didn't think that their bass would be a huge problem. I was also considering the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000 and Sony SA-5000, also with the orthos -- Mad Dogs and HE-400. They're a bit out of my price range (the Mad Dogs are probably in the price range), but I'll definitely consider saving for them if they're much better. I'll be driving these out of a Schiit Asgard, so I should be able to get decent power out of them. Thanks!


Edited by HeroicPenguin - 7/29/12 at 9:05pm
post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 

Any suggestions or comments?

post #3 of 37

More towards the bright side, I'm thinking akg 70X or Beyer 880s/600ohm. Not crazy about the akg's(too bright for my taste) but they can wow you with detail, separation and huge soundstage. If it were me, I'd go with the k601 over the 70X. Never heard the Beyers, so can't comment other than FWIR, they're supposed to be very detailed with good bass and treble....lots of it.


Edited by lejaz - 7/30/12 at 9:47am
post #4 of 37

IMO the K601 is the perfect upgrade from the HD-600. I prefer the K601's sound signature, but I might take the HD-580 over the K601.

The HD-580 is slightly different than the HD-600.

 

K601 is hard to find for under $200 now. I wouldn't pay $300+ for one.

 

Actually the Asgard isn't a good match for them sadly. Wish I knew why.

post #5 of 37

Throwing out the HD598.  I love them for rock and indie, and you can snatch them up for as low as $150 used.

post #6 of 37

If you don't mind a closed headphone, the Sony MDR-CD900ST's have the best mid range I've ever heard in a headphone, at any price.

 

They don't have a huge soundstage, but their imaging is excellent. Really great for smaller rock and folk arrangements.


Edited by Kukuk - 7/30/12 at 10:18am
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 

The Beyers are definitely a consideration, since I've heard that the DT880s compliment the Senns well.

 

As for the AKGs, I've read that the 70x series and the 601 both do pretty terrible with the amp that I have, so those are unfortunately out of the picture, even though I'm curious.

 

I'm not really looking into another Sennheiser headphone right now, I'm feeling that the HD600 is good for now.

 

The Sonys mentioned do look really interesting though, I think I'll look into them.

 

Does anyone have anything to say about the orthos though? I'm quite curious about both the Mad Dog and the HE-400, and have yet to hear an ortho. For the price of the Mad Dogs, they're definitely in consideration, although reviews haven't been very plentiful.

post #8 of 37

from my own personal expierence it pretty much sounds like you're asking for the akg k601's, they fit the bill perfectly, and from my own research but havent personally heard the grado sr225i's also seem to be what you're looking for

 

 

honestly i like a little more bass when i listen to indie rock so i tend to go with the monoprice 8323's and portapros when i'm on the move

post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchi MerenGue View Post

from my own personal expierence it pretty much sounds like you're asking for the akg k601's, they fit the bill perfectly, and from my own research but havent personally heard the grado sr225i's also seem to be what you're looking for

 

 

honestly i like a little more bass when i listen to indie rock so i tend to go with the monoprice 8323's and portapros when i'm on the move

 

The K601s do sound like they'd be a good sound match, but I'm uncertain about the amp. Not sure how good the synergy between that and the Asgard is.

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroicPenguin View Post

 

The K601s do sound like they'd be a good sound match, but I'm uncertain about the amp. Not sure how good the synergy between that and the Asgard is.

Isn't the Asgard a ss amp. Any decent ss amp should work well with the akg's, FWIR. It's supposed to be a neutral amp isn't it? That's what you need for a 'neutral' phone I'd assume

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

Isn't the Asgard a ss amp. Any decent ss amp should work well with the akg's, FWIR. It's supposed to be a neutral amp isn't it? That's what you need for a 'neutral' phone I'd assume

 

Yeah, theoretically it should, but it seems the only person that's paired them together is tdockweiler, who mentions that this combo is pretty poor.

 

Anyway, it seems like I'm gonna go for the K601, the MDR-CD900ST, ATH-AD900s, or one of the orthos. I'd like to try out the SA5000 or the ATH-AD2000, but I think both are out of the price range. Even the K601 might be too expensive at its current price. Does anyone have anything else to say abou these (although I doubt people have heard all of them).

post #12 of 37

I used to own the K601's, and I gotta say, the CD900ST's still best them in the mid range. Not to say the K601's have poor mids or anything, but the CD900ST's are in a whole other class. They really hold their own against my friend's HE-500's, which should really say something.

 

To compare them to the K601's though, they are a little different overall. The K601's obviously have bigger soundstage, and also have better bass extension. The CD900ST's have a little better bass impact, so that might be something that's more desirable for your taste in music. The CD900ST's also have more treble presence, but not so much more that they become harsh or anything.

 

Not sure how the CD900ST's scale from amp to amp though. On all my gear they sound pretty much the same, but I have a pretty limited selection.

post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kukuk View Post

I used to own the K601's, and I gotta say, the CD900ST's still best them in the mid range. Not to say the K601's have poor mids or anything, but the CD900ST's are in a whole other class. They really hold their own against my friend's HE-500's, which should really say something.

 

To compare them to the K601's though, they are a little different overall. The K601's obviously have bigger soundstage, and also have better bass extension. The CD900ST's have a little better bass impact, so that might be something that's more desirable for your taste in music. The CD900ST's also have more treble presence, but not so much more that they become harsh or anything.

 

Not sure how the CD900ST's scale from amp to amp though. On all my gear they sound pretty much the same, but I have a pretty limited selection.

 

That's really helpful, thanks! I think I'll give the Sonys a try, they seem underappreciated in the States and might be worth a good look. Still curious about orthos, but that's for another time.

post #14 of 37

I think worst case scenario, they're an easy sell or trade. I should know, I bought mine the same day the seller put them up. tongue.gif

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

You listen to pretty similar music as I do, so I'll take your word for it. How does it sound with Dylan and Nick Drake?

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