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Good, neutral headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post

The ones that I sorta/kinda agree with (more or less neutral but tend to be a tad humpy in parts):
AKG K240
Beyerdynamic  DT990 (get the high-impedance versions 250/600ohm)

Totally agree with this. The K240 has earlier bass roll-off than the DT990 but a very raw clinical honestly to all the sounds it makes. The DT990 has better separation that comes with a slightly bigger soundstage and better stereo imaging.

I find the AKG to be more naturally 'analytical' (without being boring) and the DT990 to be more naturally enjoyable for listening.

post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post

IF you read just about any topic regarding headphones within audio-engineer / recording circles, you'll constantly get the following headphones tossed around in terms of neutrality when it comes to checking a mix against monitors. Furthermore walk into any recording studio and you're bound to see any of the following kicking around. All of the following headphones are fantastic in general.
The ones I agree with (neutrality):
Sony MDR-7506 or MDR-v6
Shure SRH440
AKG K701/702 or Q701/702
Beyerdynamic DT880
Sennheiser HD600 / HD580
The ones that I sorta/kinda agree with (more or less neutral but tend to be a tad humpy in parts):
AKG K240, K271
Shure SRH840
Beyerdynamic DT770 and DT990 (get the high-impedance versions 250/600ohm)
Sennheiser HD650 / HD280Pro
Audio-Technica ATH-M50
As a guy who hunts exclusively for neutrality, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Sony MDR-7506 / V6 and Shure SRH440 on the cheap, and the Beyer DT880 and Senn HD600 on the higher end.
Here's a great link: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles/studioheadphones.htm

 

 

Awesome... thank you. This was pretty much what I was looking for.

 

Also, what do you mean by:

 

 

Quote:
Just remember use a low output impedance source otherwise you may be disappointed with the results. I would love to know how many people wind up being disappointed with a headphone because they plugged their low-ohm headphone into a high-ohm amp and had some severely altered FR.

 

 

If I were to purchase, let's say, a Sennheiser HD-650, wouldn't I want a high-output headphone amp, because its impedance is like 300 ohms?
 


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/22/12 at 3:18pm
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

when you refer to amp, you mean out put impedance correct? isn't there some rule of thumb for that. It's like the phones should be 6 times (or is it 8) higher impedance? do you know.

Yep - Output impedance. With speakers, it's generally a 1/10th rule (you want the output impedance of the amp to be AT LEAST 1/10th of the speaker resistance). According to piles of calculations that I've done, it's not nearly as drastic with headphones as they don't have the same resistance variations that speakers do, and hence the voltage is more constant. It really depends on the headphone in question, but a good rule of thumb based on my experience is that you want your amp to have at least 1/2 the output impedance of the headphone resistance. The higher the headphone resistance, the better too.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post


Awesome... thank you. This was pretty much what I was looking for.

Also, what do you mean by:




If I were to purchase, let's say, a Sennheiser HD-650, wouldn't I want a high-output headphone amp, because its impedance is like 300 ohms?

 

No - you always want a low impedance amp if you're looking for neutrality. Because the HD650 has a high resistance it will require higher voltage which makes portable amps a bit tricky.
post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post


No - you always want a low impedance amp if you're looking for neutrality. Because the HD650 has a high resistance it will require higher voltage which makes portable amps a bit tricky.

 

I see I see. In other words, the problems people face when they hook up 650's to portable amps, is because of voltage issues, not impedance issues.

 

Sorry for all the questions =D, but what if the sound card I'm going to use (HT Claro Halo) has two output options, one for 32 ohms, and another for 600 ohms? 32 ohms is around 1/10 of the Sennheiser HD-650, but you said with headphones, the amp should have 1/2 the resistance. Would it be safer to just go with the low-output, rather than the high output option?

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post


Yep - Output impedance. With speakers, it's generally a 1/10th rule (you want the output impedance of the amp to be AT LEAST 1/10th of the speaker resistance). According to piles of calculations that I've done, it's not nearly as drastic with headphones as they don't have the same resistance variations that speakers do, and hence the voltage is more constant. It really depends on the headphone in question, but a good rule of thumb based on my experience is that you want your amp to have at least 1/2 the output impedance of the headphone resistance. The higher the headphone resistance, the better too.

alrighty. sweet. yeah i supps the diffrence with speaker sensetivity is similar to high end iem. the ow impedance they have mkes them a bit finick as for source. esentislly, yu dont really have to worry abot the output too muhch as long as the cans have a relativelh high impedance  

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

 

I see I see. In other words, the problems people face when they hook up 650's to portable amps, is because of voltage issues, not impedance issues.

 

Sorry for all the questions =D, but what if the sound card I'm going to use (HT Claro Halo) has two output options, one for 32 ohms, and another for 600 ohms? 32 ohms is around 1/10 of the Sennheiser HD-650, but you said with headphones, the amp should have 1/2 the resistance. Would it be safer to just go with the low-output, rather than the high output option?

 

I'm not too sure about what variables change with the 2 different settings for the HT Claro Halo, but I CAN tell you that in terms of an audible difference, IF the Claro Halo changes the output impedance you should notice a significant boost in the bass frequencies (approx 100-250hz) given the impedance graph of the HD650 which is undesirable (in terms of neutrality).  I would select whichever setting provides adequate volume for the HD650 WITHOUT causing a bass boost.  It could be that the 600ohm switch provides more voltage (which would allow higher volumes without clipping), and as long as there isn't a significant boost in the bass, I would select the 600ohm option. 

 

The HD650 is known as a warm/neutral headphone, and using a high output impedance amp (or soundcard with a high output impedance opamp) WILL definitely increase the bass beyond what is considered optimal.  You'll have to play around with the 2 settings to find out which one provides adequate volume without clipping AND doesn't boost bass frequencies due to higher output impedance. 

 

I used to use a tube amp with my DT880 with variable gain settings.  The high gain settings MOST DEFINITELY increased bass to the point of muddiness, so I typically used the lowest gain possible that would retain neutrality whilst preventing clipping at higher volumes (which is a result of inadequate voltage). 

post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

alrighty. sweet. yeah i supps the diffrence with speaker sensetivity is similar to high end iem. the ow impedance they have mkes them a bit finick as for source. esentislly

, yu dont really have to worry abot the output too muhch as long as the cans have a relativelh high impedance  

 

The higher the impedance of the headphone, and the lower the impedance of the amp, the smaller the change in frequency response.  The vast majority of headphones I have seen will produce boosted bass frequencies if paired with an amp with higher output impedance.  I have a distribution headphone amp with an output impedance of 51ohm and I've performed calculations with all of my headphones.  The DT880 250ohm will have a boost in the bass frequencies of ~0.25dB (inaudible) whereas the ATH-AD700 32ohm will have a bass boost of over 1 dB which although slight, is within the threshold of audibility.  If I were to plug in some 16ohm IEMs it would be even worse. 

post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post

IF you read just about any topic regarding headphones within audio-engineer / recording circles, you'll constantly get the following headphones tossed around in terms of neutrality when it comes to checking a mix against monitors. Furthermore walk into any recording studio and you're bound to see any of the following kicking around. All of the following headphones are fantastic in general.
The ones I agree with (neutrality):
Sony MDR-7506 or MDR-v6
Shure SRH440
AKG K701/702 or Q701/702
Beyerdynamic DT880
Sennheiser HD600 / HD580
The ones that I sorta/kinda agree with (more or less neutral but tend to be a tad humpy in parts):
AKG K240, K271
Shure SRH840
Beyerdynamic DT770 and DT990 (get the high-impedance versions 250/600ohm)
Sennheiser HD650 / HD280Pro
Audio-Technica ATH-M50
As a guy who hunts exclusively for neutrality, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Sony MDR-7506 / V6 and Shure SRH440 on the cheap, and the Beyer DT880 and Senn HD600 on the higher end.
Here's a great link: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles/studioheadphones.htm

For non-studio usage and just to enjoy music, would you reccomend the AKG k701/Q701, DT880's, or Senn Hd600's.

 

Also, can you give us some pros and cons of both?

post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post

 

I'm not too sure about what variables change with the 2 different settings for the HT Claro Halo, but I CAN tell you that in terms of an audible difference, IF the Claro Halo changes the output impedance you should notice a significant boost in the bass frequencies (approx 100-250hz) given the impedance graph of the HD650 which is undesirable (in terms of neutrality).  I would select whichever setting provides adequate volume for the HD650 WITHOUT causing a bass boost.  It could be that the 600ohm switch provides more voltage (which would allow higher volumes without clipping), and as long as there isn't a significant boost in the bass, I would select the 600ohm option. 

 

The HD650 is known as a warm/neutral headphone, and using a high output impedance amp (or soundcard with a high output impedance opamp) WILL definitely increase the bass beyond what is considered optimal.  You'll have to play around with the 2 settings to find out which one provides adequate volume without clipping AND doesn't boost bass frequencies due to higher output impedance. 

 

I used to use a tube amp with my DT880 with variable gain settings.  The high gain settings MOST DEFINITELY increased bass to the point of muddiness, so I typically used the lowest gain possible that would retain neutrality whilst preventing clipping at higher volumes (which is a result of inadequate voltage). 

 

Thank you thank you. beerchug.gif

 

How would you pair a headphone and a headphone amp, in terms of voltage (not impedance)? Is it kind of a trial and error thing, by checking to see if the headphone clips at higher volumes? Or are there certain values I need to look for?

post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

 

Thank you thank you. beerchug.gif

 

How would you pair a headphone and a headphone amp, in terms of voltage (not impedance)? Is it kind of a trial and error thing, by checking to see if the headphone clips at higher volumes? Or are there certain values I need to look for?

 



This is one factor that I've never truly understood, but I believe this relates entirely to power supply.  From what I've read, a portable amp powered by a 9V battery will suffice for high impedance headphone use, but an amp that plugs into the wall will supply higher voltages (e.g. 12V) which should do the trick.  FWIW, unless you listen to really high volume, or music with high dynamic range (which includes loud peaks in the 110-115dB range), even lesser voltage sources will suffice.  Believe it or not, I occasionally run my 250ohm DT770 and DT880 from my my Fiio E5 and PA2V2 (which are low/med voltage sources)  and I've yet to experience clipping although the volume could be a tad louder.  Most soundcards I've used seem to power my 250ohm beyers to adequate volume without clipping at ~50-75% power too. 

 

Impedance matching is a bit of rubbish if you ask me.  You want your output impedance to be low at all times, and your source (amp / DAC) should provide enough juice to provide adequate non-adulterated volume without clipping or distortion. 

post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post

 



This is one factor that I've never truly understood, but I believe this relates entirely to power supply.  From what I've read, a portable amp powered by a 9V battery will suffice for high impedance headphone use, but an amp that plugs into the wall will supply higher voltages (e.g. 12V) which should do the trick.  FWIW, unless you listen to really high volume, or music with high dynamic range (which includes loud peaks in the 110-115dB range), even lesser voltage sources will suffice.  Believe it or not, I occasionally run my 250ohm DT770 and DT880 from my my Fiio E5 and PA2V2 (which are low/med voltage sources)  and I've yet to experience clipping although the volume could be a tad louder.  Most soundcards I've used seem to power my 250ohm beyers to adequate volume without clipping at ~50-75% power too. 

 

Impedance matching is a bit of rubbish if you ask me.  You want your output impedance to be low at all times, and your source (amp / DAC) should provide enough juice to provide adequate non-adulterated volume without clipping or distortion. 

 

 

I see I see. Thank you again. This will definitely help when upgrading my sources, after I use the HT Claro Halo a bit. Thanks again. =D


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/22/12 at 7:44pm
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaborus View Post

For non-studio usage and just to enjoy music, would you reccomend the AKG k701/Q701, DT880's, or Senn Hd600's.

Also, can you give us some pros and cons of both?

Having heard all three, I prefer the DT880s because they are relatively flat with great frequency extension on both ends which is great for my preferred musical genres (electronic, ambient, techno etc) . The DT880s are a little peaky around the 10khz mark which is probably why they're considered "very detailed" by many listeners. The K701 are similar in many ways to the DT880 but the bass extension is relatively lacking. The HD600 is also extremely flat with less bass extension than the DT880, but flatter treble (no peakiness), so the sound is more smooth all around. But make no mistake, all 3 are great headphones and my personal preference would be DT880 > HD600 > K701/702

If I had to summarize, I would go HD600 is you're looking for something a bit more relaxed, and the DT880 if you're looking for a crisp and ultra-clear presentation. If you like to analyze your music go DT880, if you like to kick back and enjoy your music I'd go HD600. DT880 = more energy, HD600 = more mellow.
post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 

^ I see I see. I'm also a fan of electronic, and electronic-sounding pop music. So of the two, between the Beyerdynamic DT 880, and the Sennheiser HD-600, which is more like listening to a pair of studio monitors? And now that I think about it, it seems like what I've been referring to when stating my preference for studio monitor sound, was not only their neutrality, but their "upfrontness", so would it better to say the Beyer since the HD-600 is more laidback? Also, how does the DT 990 compare to the DT 880?


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/23/12 at 2:07pm
post #30 of 43
The DT880 remind me of sitting 3 feet in front of my studio monitors, whereas the HD600 has that smooth treble sound that you get when you sit 10 feet away (the treble frequencies attenuate over distance).

The DT990 is basically a DT880 with a bass boost of about 5dB between 80 and 200hz, and slightly peaky(er) treble. While the sound of the DT990 is certainly great fun and sounds amazing, it has a bit of a smiley face curve that sucks out the mids a bit. For total neutrality, you'll want to stick with the DT880. Just imagine a DT880 with a bass-boost button and you'll have a DT990. The soundstage is a bit more open with the DT990 too due to it's open design as opposed to the semi-open DT880. I could barely notice a difference though when A/Bing them.
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