Was about time for the app thread I guess! ;-)
I can say that I LOVE... let me say that again, I LOOOOOVE my Mad Dogs.
Have been an owner for a few months now (got them first with the 840 earpads and now the Dog Pads) and I can't find too many faults with it (compared to previously owned headphones).
First of all, a few months ago I decided to get a couple of closed-back headphones just for the heck of it... but MAINLY to find a suitable upgrade/sidegrade for my Denon D5000s. Why? Because I work in a "cube" environment and the D5000s leak... not a WHOLE lot (not in an open-back kind of way) but they do leak at the volumes I usually listened to. So, basically that meant:
1) Wanted bass and subbass
2) Wanted sparkly highs
3) Ok soundstage/instrument separation
4) Good Mids
I already had my trusty Shure 940s (very nice, detailed and clean mids/highs. Awesome for vocals but lacking body/bass on a lot of songs),
Sennheiser HD600s (open-back, so not that great for work!), Panasonic RP-HTF600-S (cheapo but great on the bass quantity and non-fatiguing. These are "semi" so they also leak A LOT!!!!) and I think that's it. In a short time where I went looking I purchased:
- Skullcandy Mix Master Mike
- V-MODA M-80
- Denon D600
- Fostex T50RPs (Mad Dogs!)
- Ultrasone Signature Pro
- Sony MDR-1R
- V-MODA M100
- Fostex T50RP (Stock)
I have to say that there is A LOT to like on the list above (be it sound-wise, built quality/portability, main use, etc.). For example:
- the Denon D600s which a lot of head-fi'ers seem to "hate" are actually quite good sounding to my ears (even though the highs sounded weird to me, there was an inconsistency in its presentation). They were not harsh, they did have good quality/quantity bass (maybe a bit too much) and the mids were not that withdrawn to my ears. They were also comfortable to boot.
- Same goes with the V-MODA M-80s. Really balanced, with full-bodied sound (surprising for such a tiny enclosure!!! -- they are on-ears) but missing the highs a bit.
- Sony MDRs and M100s were the last of that list that I bought and used for weeks and they also have very very good qualities. The M100s have a lot of bass, and good controlled highs. Mids are not the best BUT they are not super recessed. I mean, I can enjoy most genres without problems. The thing that killed it for me was comfort. The earpads just plain... suck. Yep, they are good quality material but their shape is probably working against it and it hurt my ears (and no, I don't have weird nor big ears! ;-)). The Sony MDR-1R are actually very pleasant sounding, a bit too much midbass but mids were present and good sounding and so were the highs BUT they felt bright much of the time to me and I didn't like it which was weird as one of my favorite headphones is the SRH940s which are bright as hell. But if you read the MDR-1R thread, some people say they find them "warm" with a lot of bass presence too... so YMMV!!!! To my ears, the upper-mids.highs become fatiguing...
BUT in the end, I only kept coming back to two headphones, Ultrasone Signature Pros and the Mad Dogs!!!
The Signature Pros, again, to MY ears, have a "warmer" sound, more bass presence, great extension and POWERFUL sub bass (maybe not the same quantity as the Denon D5000s but definitely better defined!), very present Mids and Highs. In fact, I was surprised because, well, being Ultrasones I just expected a TON of bass, recessed mids, and shrill highs! I was wrong, apart from being warm, they are tonally great with great extension on both ends and present mids! If it wasn't for them being a BIT uncomfortable, they would be the BEST headphones I have ever bought! They clamp a bit hard which is great for isolation and for controlling leakage but that very same clamp makes my ears hurt just a bit after two or more hours straight of listening to my music.
Then, Mad Dogs... "Neutral-ish" but I find bass to be a bit increased also (which I like). To my ears these are still as mid-centric as the Stock pair but without the resonances and the uglyness!! ;) . LOVE the mids of the Mad Dogs (which was one of the things I loved from the SRH940s), they have good highs presence and excellent Bass reproduction (including subbass). No, it doesn't reach the Sig Pros nor the Denon D5000s in quantity but the quality is great and it's "there". Apart from this, these are THE MOST COMFORTABLE HEADPHONES I have tried (yup, better than the Denons and the new MDR-1R). They feel like pillows on your head and I have listened to them for more than 4 hours straight without any problems).
These two became my comparison "control" group lol.
So I compared everything against them, the D600s, the M100s, the MDR-1Rs, the D5000s.
Guess who won!?!? ;-)
I just have to say that I sold MOST of my headphones thanks in part to the Mad Dogs!
I think that speaks for it's presentation and sound reproduction!!!
My D600s, M100s, MDR-1Rs, and all above I have sold. I only have my Sennheiser HD600s (relegated for Home use!), my cheapo Panasonics (for PC gaming use) and the Ultrasone Signature Pros and Mad Dogs (which I sometimes alternate for use at work... lately I've just been using the Mad Dogs!).
So, unless you/someone is looking for something VERY SPECIFIC (i.e. portability/durability/basshead == M100s, comfortable/neutral-ish/good looking == MDR-1Rs, lower budget/with good sound == M80s, SRH840s, treble happy/Mid-centric == SRH940s, etc. etc.), I will recommend the Mad Dogs to everyone! lol
To my ears and my head, Signature Pro > Denon D5000 > Mad Dogs > Shure SRH940s > Sony MDR-1R > V-MODA M100 > Denon D600 > V-MODA M-80 > Skullcandy Mix Master Mike > Fostex T50RP (Stock)
But as always, this above is according to MY ears and MY preferences! As always, YMMV!!! The best thing of course is to try them yourselves! But I can say with GREAT CONFIDENCE that the Mad Dogs are one of the best offerings out there.
Thanks for reading this Wall of Text!! LOL
And congrats to Dan for creating a pleasant sounding mod of a current headphone available at an INCREDIBLE and accessible price! Also, thanks for the quick responses and great customer service!
P.S. No, I don't work nor am I associated to Dan! LOL I just find these headphones quite incredible for the price and can give similar headphones in the price range a run for their money! No B.S.!
Edited by gelocks - 1/6/13 at 6:23pm