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Sennheiser vs. AKG

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I currently own a pair of Sony MDR XB-700s and I love them, but I want to invest into another pair of cans that are going to give me a much clearer response.  My budget is around 300 for headphones and I want a pair for gaming, studio reference, music and movies.  I've been looking into AKG K701, AKG Q701, Sennheiser HD 558 and Sennheiser HD 598.  I'm also in the market for a nice headphone amp that will make these headphones, along with my Sony's, shine.  The Fiio E17 has caught my eye.  Keep in mind, I do also have a music studio, so would it be wiser to invest into an nice audio interface with a 1/4" port for headphones and XLR outs for my monitors and sub?  Thanks!

post #2 of 17

Because you tend to like more bassy headphones I would stay away from the AKG K701.  Even the Q701 will be a tad bass light for you.  On the other hand the AKG K550 would be a great balance between what you have and a bright headphone.

 

I recommend a Total Bithead over most FiiO production, but that is based on the number of issues per product I have seen here at head-fi.

 

Oh and the AKG K550 is built really well.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Because you tend to like more bassy headphones I would stay away from the AKG K701.  Even the Q701 will be a tad bass light for you.  On the other hand the AKG K550 would be a great balance between what you have and a bright headphone.

 

I recommend a Total Bithead over most FiiO production, but that is based on the number of issues per product I have seen here at head-fi.

 

Oh and the AKG K550 is built really well.


Sorry, I should have clarified that a bit better.  I don't need anything with alot of bass, just something that is going to give me a really flat and accurate response, also something with an extremely wide sound stage for gaming.  I pulled up a frequency response chart for the K550 and they seem a little all over the place, how would you compare them to something that sits a little more flat like the Q701 and the K701?  Keep in mind I will also be using these as a reference source for production after I run the mixdown on my monitors, so clarity is more important than bass in this instance.  

post #4 of 17

Charts only tell you so much, particularly considering how difficult it is to find a good fit with these phones and how much the results vary depending on position. They sound very neutral and I use them for monitoring and video production work, as well as for music enjoyment. If you can get a good fit with them, they are really outstanding. Their mids are a bit too forward and shouty (plastic) for some people although personally I haven't found that this is something that bothers me when listening to them. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iAteBillyMays View Post


Sorry, I should have clarified that a bit better.  I don't need anything with alot of bass, just something that is going to give me a really flat and accurate response, also something with an extremely wide sound stage for gaming.  I pulled up a frequency response chart for the K550 and they seem a little all over the place, how would you compare them to something that sits a little more flat like the Q701 and the K701?  Keep in mind I will also be using these as a reference source for production after I run the mixdown on my monitors, so clarity is more important than bass in this instance.  

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

Charts only tell you so much, particularly considering how difficult it is to find a good fit with these phones and how much the results vary depending on position. They sound very neutral and I use them for monitoring and video production work, as well as for music enjoyment. If you can get a good fit with them, they are really outstanding. Their mids are a bit too forward and shouty (plastic) for some people although personally I haven't found that this is something that bothers me when listening to them. 

I'll take your word for it, but I'm a little worried about gaming with these since they are closed back.  Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that open air headphones tend to create a wider sound stage.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Also, what is your guy's stance on headphone amplifiers vs audio interfaces?  Lets say I were to buy something like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KompAudio6/, then would a headphone amp even be necessary?

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAteBillyMays View Post

Also, what is your guy's stance on headphone amplifiers vs audio interfaces?  Lets say I were to buy something like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KompAudio6/, then would a headphone amp even be necessary?

the biggest thing to consider is the output impedance. it needs to be 1/8th of whatever the impedance the headphones are AT MINIMUM. Theoretically 0 ohms would be ideal. for extremely wide soundstage and neutral accurate sound, i would give the ATH AD900 a try. i owned both the Q701 and the AD900 and did a comparison between the two, which i go into detail about here if you're interested. http://www.head-fi.org/t/630688/akg-q701-vs-ath-ad900-as-an-ad700-upgrade

 

to put it short, it has a very similar signature to the Q701, but a substantially better soundstage, along with the ability to resolve more detail than the Q701. in my opinion, it's just a better headphone. the only thing lacking is bass when compared to the Q701, they hit all of the bass notes just fine, but it is definitely a bit on the thin side. 

post #8 of 17

i can't find any information on the output impedance of the komplete 6, but i can say that it lists it's power output at 20mW at 100ohms and only 11mW at 33 ohms. to me, this suggests it isn't a low output impedance, as the main reason the output would go down with a lower impedance load is due to a higher output impedance causing a voltage drop on low impedance phones. if you take a look at any low output impedance amps, you will see that the output goes UP with lower impedance phones.

 

again, this is just speculation based on what i already know (an educated guess you could say). you could always call the company and find out.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

the biggest thing to consider is the output impedance. it needs to be 1/8th of whatever the impedance the headphones are AT MINIMUM. Theoretically 0 ohms would be ideal. for extremely wide soundstage and neutral accurate sound, i would give the ATH AD900 a try. i owned both the Q701 and the AD900 and did a comparison between the two, which i go into detail about here if you're interested. http://www.head-fi.org/t/630688/akg-q701-vs-ath-ad900-as-an-ad700-upgrade

 

to put it short, it has a very similar signature to the Q701, but a substantially better soundstage, along with the ability to resolve more detail than the Q701. in my opinion, it's just a better headphone. the only thing lacking is bass when compared to the Q701, they hit all of the bass notes just fine, but it is definitely a bit on the thin side. 

Wow...  This is an incredibly tough decision.  Those AD900's seem like they sound incredible, I'm just worried about the low end.  I did mention that bass isn't too much of a concern for me, but I'm also a little worried that these headphones don't have enough.  I really wish I could demo these headphones somewhere to determine for myself.  Thank you for that in depth comparison though!

So what's the deal with Sennheiser, are these not as well regarded as the other two brands?

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAteBillyMays View Post

Wow...  This is an incredibly tough decision.  Those AD900's seem like they sound incredible, I'm just worried about the low end.  I did mention that bass isn't too much of a concern for me, but I'm also a little worried that these headphones don't have enough.  I really wish I could demo these headphones somewhere to determine for myself.  Thank you for that in depth comparison though!

So what's the deal with Sennheiser, are these not as well regarded as the other two brands?


If you want "normal" sounding bass, they have plenty, but they're not going to hit you like an earthquake like the Sony XB's. Nothing wrong with the senn's, just nobody has commented on them. i don't own them and i have never owned them so i can't really make a comparison myself. Speaking of frequency response, i noticed you mentioned they looked "all over the place". That's normal for a headphone, they have to compensate for our ears own frequency response because the drivers are facing our ears at an odd angle and are at a close distance.

post #11 of 17

+1 on K550

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post


If you want "normal" sounding bass, they have plenty, but they're not going to hit you like an earthquake like the Sony XB's. Nothing wrong with the senn's, just nobody has commented on them. i don't own them and i have never owned them so i can't really make a comparison myself. Speaking of frequency response, i noticed you mentioned they looked "all over the place". That's normal for a headphone, they have to compensate for our ears own frequency response because the drivers are facing our ears at an odd angle and are at a close distance.

I mainly scared of low end muddiness from roll off.  I don't want to hear my speakers crackle as a grenade blows up.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAteBillyMays View Post

I mainly scared of low end muddiness from roll off.  I don't want to hear my speakers crackle as a grenade blows up.


there is absolutely none of that. that's one of the best things about the AD900 IMO, they're tight and fast across the entire freq. range.

post #14 of 17

Keep in mind with gaming you are not going to hear more detail with an open can most of the time because they allow ambient noise to trickle in.  This includes fan noise, outside traffic, and anything else that may distract your ears.  For gaming I always use a closed can.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

the biggest thing to consider is the output impedance. it needs to be 1/8th of whatever the impedance the headphones are AT MINIMUM.

 

At a MAXIMUM.

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