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Trying to decide which Headphone is right for me ($600 price limit)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, this is my first post.

I'm looking to buy a new pair of Headphones. I currently own the ATH-M50's and they're lovely, but I want something more. I mostly listen to Pop (The New Pornographers type stuff) and Indie (Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, etc.) Maybe some Electronic and Dubstep thrown in there. I've put quite a lot of research into it and I think I've come up with the final contenders; the Denon AH-D5000's, AKG K550's and the Sennheiser HD650's, all used with the Fiio e11 portable amp paired with a fourth generation iPod Touch using a Fiio L3 line-out. I use the equ app to modify the sound on the iPod. I'll also use them for gaming and music on my Asus G74SX Republic of Gamers laptop. I'll be using these on-the-go all of the time, so I do need a portable amplifier, but can anyone comment on my speculation? I prefer a closed-back Headphone to be honest, but if the HD650's sound a lot better than I wouldn't think twice. I'm a bit of a bass head also, so I would love extra bass.

 

Any other Headphones or Portable Amps that I should look into for my musical tastes? Should I look into getting a completely new device for listening to music as I've heard that the iPod Touch's sound quality is horrid?

post #2 of 14

For sound quality I would definitely go with the D5000. Now the problem is that these are not great for portable. The isolation is fine for portable (IMO) but what will you do with them when not wearing them? Around neck isn't comfortable, you don't want to risk putting them in a backpack, and the cases you can get for them are huge.
 

Now, the K550 are also very nice. I like the sound of these but they don't match up to the D5000. The benefit to these is that they are more portable. I find them perfectly comfortable to wear around neck when not listening, and I can put them in my backpack when flattened out.

For the HD650, I don't have any experience so I can't talk about them

 

For between the D5000 and K550 it comes down to how important portability is versus sound quality, what trade off is allowed.

post #3 of 14
HD650 out of the E11? Lol. No.

You're better off with the HE400, though they are definitely not for portable use.
post #4 of 14

I actually found HE-400 harder to power overall than the HD650, although the HD650 does require less current and more voltage in comparison.

 

The HD650 is not the power hungry beast most claim it to be.  People just love to roll entire amps with it to get a desired coloration they're happy with.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay, I'll probably get the D5000's then. Will that amp be good enough? Any better amps for the money for that Headphone? How are the Ultrasone Pro 900's?

post #6 of 14

The Denons don't need an amp.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalTherapy View Post

How are the Ultrasone Pro 900's?

 

They have impactul bass that may suit your genres perfectly. 

post #8 of 14

I have the E10 and HE-500. Extrapolating that into the more efficient HE-400 and stronger amp in E11 - it could work. I have the D2000s as well as the HE-500. Both of them are great all-rounders and do well with trance, dubstep, house, electro etc. 

 

I have read good things about HE-400 and E11 here on the forum as well as on Headfonia.

 

So you can try HE-400, D2000, D5000, even a used HE-500. A great amp for the HE models is JDS Labs O2 - powers it nicely and sounds good with them. I have the O2 + HE-500 combo. O2 costs $150 - so you can get O2 and pair it with HE-400 - that'll be under your budget. 

post #9 of 14

Get the Denons! The D2000s I heard were lovely, works really well with your music. I can't imagine the D5000s being worse. The HE400s will run off the E11s fine, but everyone keeps on recommending them, it gets really tiring. I mean they're great pair of cans, I love them, but they can't just be thrown around as the end-all-be-all under $500 all the time. The main reason I'm recommending against the HE400s is that, while they are decent for transportable use (note that I don't say portable - you do not want to lug these cans while walking around), the D2000s were more comfortable, leak less (doesn't isolate, even when it's a closed pair), and are lighter overall.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Get the Denons! The D2000s I heard were lovely, works really well with your music. I can't imagine the D5000s being worse. The HE400s will run off the E11s fine, but everyone keeps on recommending them, it gets really tiring. I mean they're great pair of cans, I love them, but they can't just be thrown around as the end-all-be-all under $500 all the time. The main reason I'm recommending against the HE400s is that, while they are decent for transportable use (note that I don't say portable - you do not want to lug these cans while walking around), the D2000s were more comfortable, leak less (doesn't isolate, even when it's a closed pair), and are lighter overall.

 

Somewhat agree. The D2000 definitely leak less than my HE-500, although Isolation wise, they are roughly the same in my experience. If comfort, portability, amping requirements are considered, then D2000 or D5000, easily with no contest. 

 

I haven't heard the HE-400, although if they're anything like my HE-500 (which I've read a lot), then they'll outclass either of the Denon's SQ wise purely. Although I like my Denon's more for watching movies and sub-bass oriented music - nothing rumbles like that. It's the closest thing to a subwoofer attached to your head. 

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Somewhat agree. The D2000 definitely leak less than my HE-500, although Isolation wise, they are roughly the same in my experience. If comfort, portability, amping requirements are considered, then D2000 or D5000, easily with no contest. 

 

I haven't heard the HE-400, although if they're anything like my HE-500 (which I've read a lot), then they'll outclass either of the Denon's SQ wise purely. Although I like my Denon's more for watching movies and sub-bass oriented music - nothing rumbles like that. It's the closest thing to a subwoofer attached to your head. 

I hear the 400s and 500s as different flavors, each with their own capabilities. The HE400s have slightly more tactile, cleaner bass, but the HE500's treble is drool-inducing, to say the least. Mids are up in the air for me. The HE500s are smoother, richer, cleaner, and more technically competent, but the HE400s have a leaner sound, while not being recessed, at all. I sort of prefer that, which was why I got the HE400s rather than the HE500s as a complement to my LCD-2s. It all comes to preference, and you don't really lose out by picking either. Movies would go to the HE400s, I'd imagine.

 

For the OP, D2000s are more practical, and while I like the HE400s better purely for sound, they are both very competitive. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I actually found HE-400 harder to power overall than the HD650, although the HD650 does require less current and more voltage in comparison.

The HD650 is not the power hungry beast most claim it to be.  People just love to roll entire amps with it to get a desired coloration they're happy with.

Regardless, the HD650 out of the E11 is a stupid combination. The HE-400 is more equipped to be driven out of a portable amp, despite your claims. Portable amps like the E11 can't handle high impedance cans well at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

The HE400s will run off the E11s fine, but everyone keeps on recommending them, it gets really tiring. I mean they're great pair of cans, I love them, but they can't just be thrown around as the end-all-be-all under $500 all the time. The main reason I'm recommending against the HE400s is that, while they are decent for transportable use (note that I don't say portable - you do not want to lug these cans while walking around), the D2000s were more comfortable, leak less (doesn't isolate, even when it's a closed pair), and are lighter overall.

They are getting recommended because they are among the best sound quality wise that compare favorably to cans costing more than double the price. There is absolutely nothing wrong with recommending a headphones that does basically every genre well, has bass, balance, a natural tone, that isn't THAT hard to drive, is a planar (which produces a very unique sound compared to standard dynamics), and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. There are some people who prefer it over the HE500, which IS regarded as one of the best in any price range, so that says alot.

Just because you're not as thrilled by them, doesn't mean everyone else wouldn't be.

I have A/B'd them with the D7000, and they are in the same league as one another. Everyone I know prefers the D7000 over the D2000 by a long stretch, so thinking the D2000 would come close to the HE-400 is...yeah.

I do agree that they aren't exactly portable, and leak a crapton, so they wouldn't suit the OP completely, but if sound quality was first priority, the HE-400 is daaaaaamn hard to beat in the $400, FWIH.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/2/12 at 12:54am
post #13 of 14

Why would you think I don't like the HE-400s? I frequent the main HE-400s all the time. I am thrilled with the HiFiMANs, hell I bought them, why wouldn't I be? They've almost completely taken up the LCD-2s head time for me. Just wanted to break the cycle of everyone recommending them, is that so wrong? Literally, I could see handfuls of threads everyday where people blindly recommend these, without paying attention to the person's wants, or even having heard them. 

 

However, if you would have actually read my post right, and I do mean, right above yours, you would see that I have nothing but good things to say about them. I've even said that I prefer the HE400s to the HE500s, which you do say in your post. The D2000/5000s (actually used D7000 would fit the OPs budget too) is simply more suited to the OPs, by sheer virtue of having better portable qualities than the HE400s.

 

Uh, this could have been easily remedied if you had read before you said anything. Shouldn't have gotten called out for this...


Edited by TwinQY - 10/2/12 at 1:25am
post #14 of 14
I replied to that other post as soon as I saw it. Didn't see this one.
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