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Denon AH-D600 vs AKG K550 vs Bowers & Wilkins P5 vs Anything Else

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a great pair of cans with in the $250-410 range that I would use for gaming and for listening to music. I listen to basically every type of music. I was thinking about getting either the D600, K550 or the P5's. If you have any info that would help me please comment below. You can also suggest other headphones in that price range as well. Thanks everyone smily_headphones1.gif

Edited by Profoundsoup - 11/11/12 at 6:46pm
post #2 of 6

I demo'd a pair of K550's for two weeks and can tell you they're definitely awesome cans. I'm planning on jumping on another pair soon but being the bass head that I am, I'm really tempted to try the D600s despite the extra cost. I'd also like to hear opinions from anyone who has tried both.

post #3 of 6
Based on what I read about the K550, the D600 would probably be a better all-rounder.

I never liked the P5's, not a fan of overly rolled off treble.
post #4 of 6
I haven't heard the D600, I have demo'd both the K550 and P5 side-by-side. I felt the P5 was better built and better looking, easier to get a good fit/seal, and about equal in sound quality albeit more expensive. It's more user friendly. To throw a wrench into the works, I also tried the AT ATH-ESW9 (which I ended up going home with) - better fit, better sound, better looks (to me). smily_headphones1.gif

The P5 seemed to isolate better than the K550, but I can imagine the K550 being more comfortable if you get a good fit/seal. Sound-wise they're both good, as is the ESW9 - really depends on what you like though. The P5 are kind of dark (but not massively bassy) and can be a little bit "whizzy" or "tizzy" in the upper midrange (resonant would be a good word there methinks, the K550 felt somewhat upper-mid/lower-treble tilted with less bass but larger sound-stage, and the ESW9 had more coloration through the mids (which I happen to like, but ymmv), at least equivalent bass impact, and are relatively rolled off but crisp treble.

I'd add a fourth headphone to this comparison, the Kenwood KH-K1000, which are a fantastic full-sized closed can. Better than the Denon AH-D2000 imho, but no idea how they would (or wouldn't) stack up to the AH-D600 (which are a can I've been curious about, admittedly). They have a more even FR than any of the above, great extension, less coloration, large soundstage (they have angled drivers), and are very comfortable (albeit heavy). Not a lot more you can ask for in a full-sized closed can methinks (except for lighter weight perhaps).

I think, again Denon D600 out, someone could be happy with any of these four. It really comes down to preference and which presentation (or comfort/fit) speaks to you best. The AT, B&W, and AKG cans were all available to demo at Best Buy - the Kenwood aren't available in the US except online, so they're kind of a "sight unseen" purchase (which I do realize represents risk).

Less sonically:

I think the K1000 are the most comfortable in terms of pad fit, but the ESW9 in terms of long-term wearing (they weigh about half of what the Kenwoods do!); the P5 and K550 are probably somewhere in the middle. The P5 seemed to isolate best of pack, and are (if memory serves) the only ones with removable cables and ControlTalk (I know the ESW9 and K1000 lack that feature, I can't remember if the K550 cable comes off or not though).

Also, if you go with the ATs or B&Ws - I'd look to go through an authorized dealer; I know the ESW9 are one of the most counterfeited headphones in the world, and I assume the P5s are probably up there too (they're popular luxury audio after all).
post #5 of 6

I just demoed the K550 and AH-D600 side by side this evening. Almost everything about the Denon was dramatically better. I don't know where you will find them for a similar price range. The K550 that I demoed were $230 whereas the Denon AH-D were $470. The Denons were definitely more comfortable, had a better seal on the ear, much better bass response and simply more fun to listen to. I know this isn't a very in-depth description of either. I only listened to each for about 15 minutes. I flipped back and forth repeatedly on the two as well as listening to each for one full song. They are both good headsets, but the Denon is definitely my personal favorite. I can't wait to purchase these!

post #6 of 6

I hate saying it, but I prefer the beats studios to the P5s. What a terrible pair of headphones.

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