Its down to these two. Im looking for a set of headphones that I can wear comfortably for hours on end while studying. I listen to a very diverse mix of music. Folk, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Rap, Hip-hop, literally EVERYTHING. I know that the Sony's have some extra bass in them (or so I have read) and Im worried that this might throw off the balance when listening to classical, jazz, rock, ect. Because of this I am leaning a little toward the Sennheisers but I figured it would be wise to consult the forum before I buy. Can anybody tell me the differences between these and/or which set you would recommend.
- categoryHeadphonestagged by System, 9/10/12
- productJDS Labs CMoyBBtagged by System, 9/10/12
- productSennheiser HD 439 Headphonestagged by System, 9/10/12
- productSennheiser HD 555 Headphonestagged by System, 9/10/12
- productSony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphonestagged by System, 9/10/12
- productSony MDR-XB700 50mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphonestagged by System, 9/10/12
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Sennheiser hd-439 VS. Sony MDR-XB700
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 129/4/12 at 6:46am
I'm not fan of the XB700, the bass is too overpowering and your ears get sweaty after a while. I've not heard the HD439s but for around the same price you could get a pair of HD555s. They're an out of date model, but they're still a great pair of headphones, they're slightly laid back but I think that gives them a nice balanced presentation overall, super nice for jazz and anything acoustic. They're also really comfortable.post #3 of 129/4/12 at 7:07am
Go with the Sonys. While I've never owned the XB700s, I've owned the XB500s as well as the Senns you're looking at. The HD 439s actually had too little bass. If it was flat that would be fine, but they were pretty wimpy down low rather than flat. While the XB500 bass got muddy on some tracks, I'm told the XB700 is a bit better. Also your non-bass-heavy genres won't be awful on the Sonys. The detachable cable on the HD 439s was nice though. I'd say Sennheisers if you prefer Folk and Classical, Sonys if you prefer Rock and Rap/Hip-hop.post #4 of 129/4/12 at 7:29amThread StarterQuote:Originally Posted by wes008
Go with the Sonys. While I've never owned the XB700s, I've owned the XB500s as well as the Senns you're looking at. The HD 439s actually had too little bass. If it was flat that would be fine, but they were pretty wimpy down low rather than flat. While the XB500 bass got muddy on some tracks, I'm told the XB700 is a bit better. Also your non-bass-heavy genres won't be awful on the Sonys. The detachable cable on the HD 439s was nice though. I'd say Sennheisers if you prefer Folk and Classical, Sonys if you prefer Rock and Rap/Hip-hop.
Thanks for your response. What kind of music do you typically listen to? Im curious because it will help me to better understand your description and how the senns were lacking in bass. I listen to an equal amount of everything and I think I would rather have too much bass sometimes than too little (depending on what Im listening t at the time). What was the difference in sound clarity and fidelity between the Sonys and the Senns? -Alexpost #5 of 129/4/12 at 7:48am
Mostly Alt Rock and EDM, with a small smattering of everything else. For pop, folk pop, folk rock, and classical the Senns performed really well. At Alternative things start to go downhill. Guitars sound great, as well as smooth vocals, but with lows that are mostly dull songs started to lack the thump that I was used to with my Sonys (my daily drivers before I got the HD 439s). When it came to Rap and EDM, song were flat-out boring :( It's a shame, I'm sure the HD 439s would be great for some people, but the didn't do my music justice.post #6 of 129/4/12 at 9:39amThread Starterpost #7 of 129/4/12 at 9:56ampost #8 of 129/4/12 at 10:06amThread Starterpost #9 of 129/4/12 at 10:15amThe awesome thing about most headphone retailers, they'll give you 30 days grace to return them for a refund. So try them out! If you don't like them, send them back! (I have total respect for the people who handle returns, I've sent so many back :P ). If the Sennheisers are still tempting, I feel like this might fix the weak bass: http://www.jdslabs.com/products.php?page=cmoypost #10 of 1210/25/12 at 6:04am
For others who might consider either the Sony or Sennheiser; The HD 439 is very bass heavy.
To be fair, it's a surprisingly fine bassline, but too bassy for ''audiophile'' listening. When eq'ed properly, you get a nice balanced sound, but you need to manually eq the phones. Any iXXX without good equaliser will not give you anything but a very dark sound.
For Hip-hop and EDM the Senns are not eq'ed just very good, but for anything else they need some adjustments. People who say the HD 439 are bass-shy are, I guess, those who prefer the Beats.
At the end of the day everybody has their own tastes of course, but for most music genres the bass is just a bit too much. Depending on the genre.post #11 of 121/3/13 at 4:42pm
I own both these headphones and I use them alternatively: the XB700s I use at work for mostly EDM, pop, hip hop and r&b- genres that embrace big bass and that's xb700 land. They're gret fun, punchyand bring this music to life.
At home I listen to the hd439 which are much better ll-rounders I think. They distort more at high volumes than the xb700s but for rock, metal, chill out, or other genres that are not that bass-driven, they do a great job. Don't get me wrong, they dont lack bass, but the xb700 was built specifically with bass in mind. On some occasios it's just too much on some typer of music
They're both extremely comfortable.post #12 of 121/3/13 at 7:02pm
I own the HD 439's and have used xb-700s and I'd go with the xb700s.
However in your case which you listen to all kinds of music, the HD 439 might be better. I listen to mainly bass heavy music and found the HD 439 to be too lacking. On music such as rock and such I found them to be a bit airy in the vocals however. However I'm more attuned to more electronic genres so I'm not an expert in that area.
- Sennheiser hd-439 VS. Sony MDR-XB700
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