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Suggest me a replacement for my ATH-M50's (something like AKG-K701)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 



I received a pair of ATH-M50's for Christmas a few years ago, but never quite fell in love with them.  Listened to them just 4 or 5 times after breaking them in for ~ 40 hours.


I think overall closed headphones aren't just for me.  Could you please recommend a headphone that: 


1.  Is < $200

2.  Can be powered without an amp if needed (low impedance), though I have a Fiio E7 DAC

3.  Doesn't have such harsh highs as the ATH-M50

4.  Has a warmer mid range than the ATH-M50

5.  Bass is as deep and tight as possible.  The ATH-50's bass felt quite boomy to me.

6.  Prefer circumaural if possible


I currently have a pair of Grado SR-60's that sound pretty good, but are lacking in the bass and just kind of have a cheap build quality.

I'm strongly considering the AKG-K701/702 since I heard them and really liked them, but they were a bit lacking in the bass category for me.


What would be similar to the AKG-K701 with a bit more bass that I should listen to?

post #2 of 6



Scratch the Q701/K701, etc, off the list. In fact, just scratch AKG off your list. You want something with warmth, and AKG doesn't really do that in the majority of their line. You're wanting something with more bass than the Grado too. But you don't want harsh highs like found in the M50. Well, one nice thing about open air headphones is that it takes an edge off spiky treble because there's more air for the pressure to work against, so it translates to a softer treble that rolls down faster. Also, the Fiio E7 is an amp/dac, so it does both, and you have plenty of amplification available right there well into the 250ohm range. So you can get nearly anything frankly and it will work fine.


Beyer DT990 PRO is what comes to mind first for you. Treble is bright though, so you may want to test first.

Fischer Audio FA-011 is another warm open headphone.

AudioTechnica AD900 is a relatively good headphone with warmer mids and decent neutral bass.

Ultrasone HFI 2400 is very warm, look for a used set.

Sennheiser HD580/600, would be great for you, there's an HD580 for $175 in the for-sale section right now.


Very best,

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks - any thoughts on the lesser know German Maestro GMP 400 / 450 / 435S?

post #4 of 6
Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9
Kenwood KH-K1000
Grado SR-225 or higher (I'm kind of giggling that you say the SR-60 are "cheaply built" in comparison to the M50...)

Pick one.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Reading reviews that DT 990 pro sounds like a winner.  I'll see if I can find someone locally that has a pair I can listen to first!


Is the Fiio E7 powerful enough to push the 250ohm version of those?

post #6 of 6
I own a Sennheiser HD600 and love it's sound and soundstage. Just now I have listened to many alternatives. The HD800, which is an improvement over the HD600 but I am not willing to pay three times the price of my HD600 for it. And I have listened to the Beyerdynamic DT880 and the DT990 Pro and to be honest, I didn't enjoy them. Too much fatigue for me, not impressed by the mids at all, they are just not my thing. I loved having the HD600 back on afterwards.
The closed cans that really jumped out for me are the German Maestro GMP 450 PRO. The bass does have the punch, the mids are very good, soundstage is relatively wide for closed cans, and they are very comfortable to wear. And, even after longer listening, no fatigue. They had almost to throw me out of the shop.
So, if you haven't chosen the DT880's yet, give the German Maestro's a chance. I am sure you'll be impressed.
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