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Best headphones for Electro-Ambiance and Electro-Drone? - I.e. Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, 36,...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey all! This is my first post on this wonderful website, so be nice. beyersmile.png

 

Okay, so lately I have been searching for the headphones that are perfect for my needs, and I think I have certainly found the model line. The main genre of music I listen to is ambient, IDM, drone, and sometimes trance/house. Because of my music tastes, I need a headphones that has a huge soundstage and great imaging, but also maintain a little bass. The Audio-Technica ATH AD line seems to be wonderful for my needs, because the headphones in this line supposedly all have a wide soundstage, and excluding the AD700, has some bass. My budget is around $500 at most, and I want something around the $300 so I can get an Asus Xonar Essence ST.

 

But anyways, lately I have been doing much research on mostly the AD900, and AD1000. The AD900 seems to be a great advancment in the AD700, since it fixes the frequency holes, and adds a little more bass, however, I have also been looking at the AD1000 because judging by the difference between the AD700 and the AD900, it is a little better than the AD900 in all the same ways. However, there are plenty of reviews that compare the AD700 and the AD900, and compare the AD1000 and the AD2000, but I need a comparison of the AD1000 and the AD800. So if somebody with expirience with both headphones could give me a description between both headphones, that'd be great!

 

Or, maybe I'm looking in the totally wrong area. If you know any other great brands or model lines that do well with ambiance (I.e. Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Solar Fields, Thomas Köner, 36, EUS), and has a very wide soundstage and great imaging, please let me know! smile.gif

 

Thanks in advance! smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by Cirofost - 10/25/12 at 12:35am
post #2 of 13

Asus Xonar Essence ST, unless you have a need for the ST model, get the STX it's cheaper.

Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium 600-Ohm, buy used off eBay.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's only cheaper by about $30, and the ST does perform a bit better than the STX.

 

And why are those headphones better than an ATH AD 900, or an AD1000? Does it sounds clearer? Does it have a larger soundstage? How does it compare?

But thank you for the response smile.gif

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirofost View Post

It's only cheaper by about $30, and the ST does perform a bit better than the STX.

 

And why are those headphones better than an ATH AD 900, or an AD1000? Does it sounds clearer? Does it have a larger sound stage? How does it compare?

But thank you for the response smile.gif

I do own the ATH-AD700 and ATH-A900X, I'm going to guess the sound of the ATH-AD900 is somewhere between them

I have no informed opinion on the ATH-AD1000, but I'm sure is sounds sweet.

Also own the Essence STX.

The Essence STX & ST's headphone output has an impedance (resistance, measured in Ohms) of 10-Ohms and the Audio Technica AD900/AD1000 headphone come with a 40-Ohm impedance.

So the headphone impedance is only 4 times that of the STX/ST, but it's preferred to have headphones that have an impedance that is 8 times (or more) of the headphone output.

So an amplifier with 4-Ohms or less would preferred for the AD900/AD1000.

Where as the DT880 600-Ohm would be fine plugged into a headphone output jack with 10-Ohm.

And you can find a used DT880 600-Ohm for $100-$125 less then the AD1000.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay, thanks for the info on the impedance, but that still doesn't answer my question. Why the beyerdynamics over the Audio-Technica besides price point? Does the beyerdynamics excel in ambiance music?

 

Again, thanks for the response. smile.gif

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirofost View Post

Okay, thanks for the info on the impedance, but that still doesn't answer my question. Why the Beyerdynamics over the Audio-Technica besides price point? Does the Beyerdynamics excel in ambiance music?

 

Again, thanks for the response. smile.gif

As I own the ATH-AD700s and the AD900 does everything a little better then the AD700.

The bass on the DT880 is going to feel more "full bodied" then the AD900s

 

I guess it more of the amplifier (Essence ST, 10-Ohm impedance) you have chosen for the AD900/AD1000.

I would think something like the Fiio E17, which has an amplifier headphone output impedance of only .5-Ohms, would be a better match for 40-Ohm headphones like the AD900/AD1000.

post #7 of 13

The AD2000 doesn't have a huge soundstage. It is wide enough, but definitely no K701 or even AD700 level here. Rather it goes for a more forward and intimate presentation. The AD1000 AFAIK is only sold in Japan and EU, therefore I don't know much. I've spent a grand total of 5 minutes with them in the ATH store in Paris and I thought they sounded good, considering that they normally go for half of what the AD2000 costs. I can't really remember whether they sound more like AD7-900 or AD2000, because the AD2000 is quite different from its little bros. 

 

As far as output impedance goes anything below 5 ohm should theoretically be a good match as stated above.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:

As I own the ATH-AD700s and the AD900 does everything a little better then the AD700.

The bass on the DT880 is going to feel more "full bodied" then the AD900s

 

I guess it more of the amplifier (Essence ST, 10-Ohm impedance) you have chosen for the AD900/AD1000.

I would think something like the Fiio E17, which has an amplifier headphone output impedance of only .5-Ohms, would be a better match for 40-Ohm headphones like the AD900/AD1000.

Well as again, thank you for the info on impedance, however I'm looking for headphones that do well with certain genres, not how well a certain headphones goes with an amp. As I know I will get an ST or an STX no matter what, and just because I have that extra power for headphones doesn't mean I need to use it. And also, just because a headphones has a higher impedance than others, doesn't make it better in every other way. But thank's for the response, again.

 

 

 

Quote:

The AD2000 doesn't have a huge soundstage. It is wide enough, but definitely no K701 or even AD700 level here. Rather it goes for a more forward and intimate presentation. The AD1000 AFAIK is only sold in Japan and EU, therefore I don't know much. I've spent a grand total of 5 minutes with them in the ATH store in Paris and I thought they sounded good, considering that they normally go for half of what the AD2000 costs. I can't really remember whether they sound more like AD900 or AD2000, because the AD2000 is quite different from its little bros. 

 

As far as output impedance goes anything below 5 ohm should theoretically be a good match as stated above.

I've also done a good bit of research on the AD2000, and I too have discovered that they do not nearly have as good as a soundstage as the other three models, and it costs quite a bit more than I have, so that model is certainly out of the question. However, the AD1000 is only a hundred dollars more than the AD900, so I thought maybe it would slightly better, like the AD900 is to the AD700.

 

I'm still very conflicted as to get the AD900 as I know it is perfect for my needs, or take a gamble as spend a little bit more for the AD1000, and it may be better than the AD900 for what I need it for, but it may also be worse. Either way, thank you for the info.

post #9 of 13

Have you read that comparison? http://www.headfonia.com/audio-technica-ad-series-ad300-ad700-ad900-ad1000prm-ad2000/

 

I've no idea how different the 1000PRM is from the standard version but it sounds to me ideal for your geners. The AD900 would also do a fine job but IME it sounded a tad soft, as in a bit grainy in the midrage, to romantic give the appropriate sense of a black background by my standards.

 

I'll second the recomdation on a Beyer DT880. but a 250ohm would be far better suited to run off a soundcard. Compared to AD900 they're better technically for your needs: faster, more resolving, better bass response (in all respects), more precise imaging, cleaner and flatter mids. I like the AD900 personally more for acoustic music, and vocals.

 

Ditto for Sony's MDR-SA5000, They're even more resolving and faster than the DT880 IME, even meaner in the mids, less neutral and natural tonally, But these have the blackest 'contrast ratio' i've heard in electrodynamic headphones (bar HD800) so would be my top pick for electronic music of any kind.


Edited by Amarphael - 10/24/12 at 9:57am
post #10 of 13

Heya,

 

Based on your genres and what you're looking for sound wise, it sounds more like Sennheiser HD650 for you. Get one used maybe (often $300ish here at Head-Fi in for sale forum). With the rest of your budget, maybe explore a sweet warm tube amp (little dot mk iii) or a simple solid state like the schiit Asgard or an O2 amp.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 10/24/12 at 2:32pm
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Have you read that comparison? http://www.headfonia.com/audio-technica-ad-series-ad300-ad700-ad900-ad1000prm-ad2000/

 

I've no idea how different the 1000PRM is from the standard version but it sounds to me ideal for your geners. The AD900 would also do a fine job but IME it sounded a tad soft, as in a bit grainy in the midrage, to romantic give the appropriate sense of a black background by my standards.

 

I'll second the recomdation on a Beyer DT880. but a 250ohm would be far better suited to run off a soundcard. Compared to AD900 they're better technically for your needs: faster, more resolving, better bass response (in all respects), more precise imaging, cleaner and flatter mids. I like the AD900 personally more for acoustic music, and vocals.

 

Ditto for Sony's MDR-SA5000, They're even more resolving and faster than the DT880 IME, even meaner in the mids, less neutral and natural tonally, But these have the blackest 'contrast ratio' i've heard in electrodynamic headphones (bar HD800) so would be my top pick for electronic music of any kind.

I had not read that article! But thanks for the link. smile.gif

And thank you very much for the additional info on other headphones, I'll be sure to take those into consideration also. dt880smile.png

 

 

 

Quote:

Heya,

 

Based on your genres and what you're looking for sound wise, it sounds more like Sennheiser HD650 for you. Get one used maybe (often $300ish here at Head-Fi in for sale forum). With the rest of your budget, maybe explore a sweet warm tube amp (little dot mk iii) or a simple solid state like the schiit Asgard or an O2 amp.

Ahh yes, I've also been looking at the HD650 also! And thanks for the info on the amps, I'll be sure to take a look at those too. smile.gif


Edited by Cirofost - 10/24/12 at 6:49pm
post #12 of 13
HD650 is a warm headphone with a emphasis on midbass, espcially off something like ld3 tube amp. I'd stay far away from such a presentation for ambient electro which needs a lean and clear sound sig to help extract all those ambient cues from the background.
Edited by Amarphael - 10/24/12 at 10:39pm
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes, I just recently discovered that also the HD650 is a very smooth and warm headphone, and is ideal for relaxed and casual listening, it is not good at all for precision, detail, and neutral-ness.

 

However, I have narrowed down my search of the perfect headphone to four decisions;

 

 

Audio-Technica ATH AD900
 
Audio-Technica ATH AD1000
 
AKG K702
 
Beyerdynamic DT 800 600 Ohm
 
All of these headphones, as far as I know, have an exceptionally large soundstage, especially the Audio-Technica's, and AKG seems to be a very precise and detailed headphones, but I fear is may be too precise, and may be more suited for mastering rather than actual listening enjoyment.
 
And the Beyerdynamic's seem to be a great all-around headphones with good bass, slightly recessed mids, and very nice high's. However, I feel these may be too much of a "Jack of all trades", and does well with a lot of things, but I want something with exceptionally precise detail and a very wide soundstage.
 
Well, either way, I guess I may just have to do a bit more research on all of these 'phones before I make my final decision. But, like before, if anybody has any other suggestions or ideas on which to choose, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Cirofost - 10/25/12 at 11:21pm
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