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Headphones With Bass and Clarity- M-Audio Studiophile Q40?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey guys


I've been a long time lurker and learned many things from your useful insights. I wanted to buy new headphones and trawled the internet for different ones. I came up with a top 5 list, narrowed it down to perhaps 3. 


I read MalVeauX's terrific review of the M-Audio Studiophile Q40 and became dead set on buying them. However I came across Sony's XB range, essentially designed for a basshead. Bass is very important to me as I mainly listen to DnB, UK Bassline and Hip Hop. That being said, I love clarity and enjoy listening to the little details and nuances I hadn't heard before. I understand that you can't have one without sacrificing some of the other.


My question is, do the M-Audio Studiophile Q40 offer clarity and a cleaner sound over the XB700/500, or is £100 extra for the Q40 simply not worth it.


By the way my max budget is around £150.


Thanks a lot guys

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Anyone frown.gif

post #3 of 5

I haven't heard the XB700.  However I do have both the XB300 and XB500.  And while they both feature copious amounts of bass, I can't say that I'm particularly pleased with either of them as their mids are just too recessed for my tastes.


Hopefully, I'll get a chance to review the M-Audio Studiophile Q-40 soon, and be able to give you comparative impressions of those (vs. an XB500).  In the meantime, hope this bump does some good!  smile.gif

Edited by warrenpchi - 9/4/12 at 1:02am

Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

post #4 of 5


The Sony XB500 is actually quite excellent, and responds to equalization well. If you equalize up the mids & treble a few dB, like 2~5db, it remains very bassy while having a smooth but much more balanced overall sound that sounds much less recessed. For $40~50, it's quite a bargain. The Q40 does a similar sound, simply without having to be equalized and comes in a much nicer frame/build (better materials, stronger frame, more sturdy, detachable longer cable, etc).


Alternatives I'd suggest you explore is the DT770 PRO, Ultrasone HFI 580, used Denon D2000, and Shure SRH750 DJ.


Very best,

post #5 of 5

As a previous XB700 owner and XB500 owner and currently a big fan of the M-Audio Q40 I can say I honestly think Q40 are well worth the extra price. However XB500 fares also very nicely ampless (XB700 not so) while Q40 demands some amping for the best result, it improves a lot with the right amp, doesn't have to be too expensive but it scales well with better amps too. XB500 can be equalized to sound a whole lot better but even with optimal EQ settings the imaging and soundstage remains a bit better on Q40 and particularly the Q40 has very little resonances going on in the mids & highs while XB500 has average amount resonance also going on in the upper-midrange and A LOT with the bass response also. So if you want to get away very cheap XB500 + EQing will fare nicely, otherwise Q40 + an amp like E6 (and use the blue EQ setting) or SoundMagic A10 or FiiO E11 will probably lead to a noticably better result.

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