Edited by PomPWNius - 9/15/12 at 1:07pm
- 559 Posts. Joined 12/2011
- Location: Massachusetts
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Edited by PomPWNius - 9/15/12 at 1:07pm
Beyer DT880 PRO
Ultrasone HFI 2400
Fischer Audio FA002
Pair with something like a Fiio E10, old AV receiver, etc.
Will you be amping?
Grados 225s are in your budget and good for metal music, but not well known for soundstage.
If you don't mind a roll-off at the highs, Senn 598s may fit the bill best from your description.
Which Grados have you tried? And of those, what pads were you using? Comfies or bowls? (In my experience, bowls really open up the sound on Grados, providing more natural soundstage and wonderful sounding bass response and better defined mids).
All Sennheiser I've tried make metal sound muted, dull, and blurry (compared to Grados anyway). What types of metal are you listening to?
Open headphones for metal music = Grados
Strong mids = Grados
Good bass, but not too strong = Grados
Really, I'm surprised you didn't like Grados for metal. Now I love metal, and in my experience, too large a soundstage just sounds weird on metal. If you're sure you like a big soundstage for metal, then perhaps you're right to look for something other than Grado, but I think the signature Grado immediacy is a serious boon to metal. Not only that, but Grados (I'm thinking SR80i & SR125i) have great punchy bass that works great with metal, and the highs are forward and exciting. Every frequency presentation of Grados are made for metal, including the small soundstage.
Maybe give Grado another try? Try SR80i or SR125i with L-Cush pads (bowls)! SR80i best value in Grado line imo, and SR125i is the best sounding Grado in the Prestige Series imo (most would say SR225i though...I never got that though).
Really, I'm surprised you didn't like Grados for metal. Now I love metal, and in my experience, too large a soundstage just sounds weird on metal.
I dunno, I had an SR225 and I preferred the HD600 for most of the metal subgenres I listen to. Grado's great with Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Hellcats, Hysterica, Slayer, Behemoth, etc; but Dream Theater, Kamelot, Nightwish, Epica, Rhapsody of Fire, After Forever, Metallica's S&M, etc I enjoyed better on the HD600. If anything's a disadvantage for the HD600, it's more sensitive with what amp is driving it, and compared to the PB-1 and Cantate.2 I didn't like it with the LD MkII for any of the music listed here. But with the right amp it's just fantastic for how I want the metal subgenres I listen to more to sound like, and yet doesn't give up too much to the Grados on the ones it doesn't have as much impact for, as long as it's with the right amp.
And a very personal reason why I like it better on metal - it stays better on my head on those times I impulsively headbang and forget I'm not on speakers. Grados have flown off my head one too many times, my SR225 and even my brother's SR80. However while I prefer the HD600 I must always highlight the cost advantage - they're sensitive enough that you won't really need that fancy an amp to drive them so chances are one might not even need an amp, depending on the source, but then again my CD80 was better at driving the HD600 (must have been the output impedance on a late 80's CDP).
Well the SR60i (I've only heard "i" improved models) has pretty weak bass when compared directly to the SR80i. That's something to consider.
In what way were your friend's SR60's broken? Also, what do you mean when you say you had trouble getting a "full" sound? What do you mean by "full"?
As for the properly amped HD600's working well with metal, that very well could be. I've never listened to a pair of HD600's, and even if I had a pair I don't have the budget or the patience to get different amps for it to pair with specific music. I've only listened to a handful of Sennheisers, including the HD598's - with which I was very disappointed with anything rock / metal. I've read the HD598 sound fairly similar to the HD600 & HD650, so I've never thought to dive into those headphones.
But Grado SR80i and SR125i are my suggestions. Neither need amping. SR125i a smidgeon more refined, with better bass extension, less sibilant highs, better defined mids, and a bit more depth of soundstage compared directly to SR80i - though still immediate, really fun sounding.
The SR225i I honestly can't recommend, myself. When I was first looking into headphones, I compared a few $100-200 pairs, ended up liking the Grado signature of the SR80i's more than the other pairs, and so I returned those pairs and decided to just go ahead and upgrade to the SR225i and settle for those, confident that the more expensive Grados are naturally better. Well after owning the SR225i for half a year, I decided to look into the other models in the Prestige Series, out of curiosity. To my surprise, I liked the SR125i better than the SR225i, and in fact I liked it the most of the entire Prestige Series. After hearing the entire Prestige Series, I've become rather perplexed as to the widespread laud of the SR225i. Maybe my pair is funky, but the lows and mids on it sound a bit less immediate than on the lower models. However, the highs do not sound less immediate. If anything, the highs sound more forward by contrast to the other frequencies, making the SR225i sound weirdly unbalanced with unnatural sounding highs.
The SR125i sounds a bit warmer by contrast, with a generally better balanced sound with my favorite highs of the entire Prestige Series, while yet retaining the super-immediate presence of the SR80i, just slightly more refined.
SR80i with Bowls = $120
SR125i with Bowls = $170
SR225i w/ stock Bowls = $200
SR80i best value. SR125i best sound (IMO!).