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Grado vs Sennheiser vs AudioTechnica

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I've been into hi-fi stereo for the last ten years (half my life) and now that I'm satisfied with my setup i'd like to get into headphones too.  I'm leaning towards the new Rega Ear as it shares technology with the Brio-R I love so much.  What I'm looking for is a pair of headphones that is full and warm but also quick and dynamic (the attributes I worked so hard to find in my full size stereo).  I listen to a wide variety from classical and jazz to rock and electronic.  I'm looking to spend between 500 and 1000 , and any description of a specific companies "house sound" would be helpful.  Thanks!

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by midflder92 View Post

I've been into hi-fi stereo for the last ten years (half my life) and now that I'm satisfied with my setup i'd like to get into headphones too.  I'm leaning towards the new Rega Ear as it shares technology with the Brio-R I love so much.  What I'm looking for is a pair of headphones that is full and warm but also quick and dynamic (the attributes I worked so hard to find in my full size stereo).  I listen to a wide variety from classical and jazz to rock and electronic.  I'm looking to spend between 500 and 1000 , and any description of a specific companies "house sound" would be helpful.  Thanks!

 

Heya,

 

Look into the  Hifiman HE-500 and a simple NFB 12.1 or similar amplifier (alt: Schiit Lyr).

 

(Alternatives: Denon D7000, D7100, Beyer T1, LCD2, Ultrasone PRO 2900, modded T50RP's)

 

Very best,

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendations! Could you describe the specific characteristics of some of them?  Also why you suggest those over Sennheiser and Grado?

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by midflder92 View Post

Thanks for the recommendations! Could you describe the specific characteristics of some of them?  Also why you suggest those over Sennheiser and Grado?

 

Hey, like Mal said above, I also recommend the HE500. If you want to save a bit of cash, the HE400 is also a great choice, but seeing how your budget is much higher, the HE500 should be a great headphone for those genres. Hifiman HE400, HE-4, HE-5, HE500, HE-6 are all Planar Magnetic drivers (Ortho) while Sennheiser HD600, HD650, HD700 and HD800 are Dynamic drivers. I find that Orthos have great bass capabilities and that's why I find them "better" than Sennheisers and Grados for the genres you listed (especially Electronic). I find that the "general" Hifiman Ortho house sound is bass with great slam and extension, really liquid-like vocals, and not overly bright treble. Another headphone comparable to the Hifimans is the Audeze LCD-2. I find a great amp for the HE-400 and HE-500 is the Hifiman EF5 amp. The EF5 probably won't have enough power for the HE-6 and maybe the HE-5. Not too experienced with the HE-6 and HE-5. The Lyr is also another great amp, but I found great synergy with the EF5+HE-400/HE-500.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.  Would the HE-500 still be good for acoustic and classical?  As much as I love warmth and bass, it took me a long time to find speakers that gave me both without underperforming on more well-recorded material.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by midflder92 View Post

Thanks for the info.  Would the HE-500 still be good for acoustic and classical?  As much as I love warmth and bass, it took me a long time to find speakers that gave me both without underperforming on more well-recorded material.

 

Heya,

 

The HE-500 renders everything as close to perfect as you can get for under $10,000. Unless you can actually hear the last 0.001%.

 

Seriously, there's no genre that the HE-500 cannot do. It's just so natural and musical.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by midflder92 View Post

Thanks for the info.  Would the HE-500 still be good for acoustic and classical?  As much as I love warmth and bass, it took me a long time to find speakers that gave me both without underperforming on more well-recorded material.

 

They perform really good with acoustic and the soundstage is perfect for classical. 

on the bass area they are probably similar to the HE-400 to my ears. 

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

 

They perform really good with acoustic and the soundstage is perfect for classical. 

on the bass area they are probably similar to the HE-400 to my ears. 

 

I believe the bass on the HE-500 is a tad bit tighter than the HE-400, to my ears. Both deliver the same amount (maybe the HE-500 a bit more? I need to A/B them again), but I feel that the HE-500 has a bit better control, even though the HE-400 has very controlled bass already.

post #10 of 18

Forget ATH if you care about classical music.

I guess you have a general amplifier with headphone out on hand.

If you do not want to spend extra money on high-end headphone amp, I will not consider Senn.

HD800 is great, but you have to build a system around it.

 

For your listening preference and bang for the buck,

Look for Grado PS500 or GS1000.

You may still need a good headphone system for either one of them.

But if your existing  audio system is good enough, they should be pretty enjoyable.
 

post #11 of 18

Hifiman's headphones are really great, they can perform every kind of music, and sound really great :)

 

if you are looking for Sennheiser, then i will recommend the HD700 which i consider the headphone that has the best ability to perform varied music among all the headphones that Sennheiser is still producing. 

 

As for Grado, i will also recommend PS500 and GS1000.

 

And Audio-technica, i can say that its headphones are not good at classic... 

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernz View Post

Hifiman's headphones are really great, they can perform every kind of music, and sound really great :)

 

if you are looking for Sennheiser, then i will recommend the HD700 which i consider the headphone that has the best ability to perform varied music among all the headphones that Sennheiser is still producing. 

 

As for Grado, i will also recommend PS500 and GS1000.

 

And Audio-technica, i can say that its headphones are not good at classic... 

 

I don't recommend the HD700 personally. I would rather go straight for the HD800 or HD600/650. Don't get me wrong, the HD700 is still a good headphone, but to me, it sounds like a mere shadow of the HD800 and I also find the HD700 soundstage to sound more "correct" than the HD800's. For $1000 MSRP of the HD700, I find the Shure SRH1840 a better alternative to the HD700 IMO.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

 

I believe the bass on the HE-500 is a tad bit tighter than the HE-400, to my ears. Both deliver the same amount (maybe the HE-500 a bit more? I need to A/B them again), but I feel that the HE-500 has a bit better control, even though the HE-400 has very controlled bass already.

HE400s have more, and I'd say it's more tactile and has better impact. Also cleaner. Extension is about the same, the HE500s barely win in terms of microdetails. I found the HE500's bass was a bit boomy for my liking when compared to HE400s and LCD-2s, against other headphones, not at all. I've only heard it through a few hour-long A/B sessions between the two at a local store, so not ideal home conditions. It was with the Asgard/Lyr and Bifrost, so no lack of power there. While the HE500s would win overall, especially the treble (that sweet, sweet treble) and in terms of details, IMO they admittedly lose out in bass quantity/quality against the lower model. 

post #14 of 18

HE-400 has less harmonic distortion in its bass compared to the HE-500, so its bass should be a bit better controlled.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

HE400s have more, and I'd say it's more tactile and has better impact. Also cleaner. Extension is about the same, the HE500s barely win in terms of microdetails. I found the HE500's bass was a bit boomy for my liking when compared to HE400s and LCD-2s, against other headphones, not at all. I've only heard it through a few hour-long A/B sessions between the two at a local store, so not ideal home conditions. It was with the Asgard/Lyr and Bifrost, so no lack of power there. While the HE500s would win overall, especially the treble (that sweet, sweet treble) and in terms of details, IMO they admittedly lose out in bass quantity/quality against the lower model. 

 

Yes.. Dat treble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

HE-400 has less harmonic distortion in its bass compared to the HE-500, so its bass should be a bit better controlled.

 

I'm gonna need to have another good listen to the HE-500 again... Both you and TwinQY are saying the HE-400 have better controlled bass but from my personal experience I found the HE-500 to be very well controlled as well, even better than the HE-400... Maybe because the HE-500 I auditioned for a long time had Silver cables?? Either way, it seems like we have a disagreement here so I will happily try the HE-500 again and report back.

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