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HD 25-1 II vs ???

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So, I'm going to look at headphones today, and for metal and rock this forum seems to give a lot of love to the HD 25-1 ii. Now, I WAS going to go with Grado Labs, but I was not very happy when I heard them and I realized how little they block out sound. They don't even try, and I plan to use these a lot when traveling. So, that has led my search of which led me to the HD 25-1 ii. My only question is, with a $300 budget, is there anything better than this in your opinions? 

When you post, I would like to know:

1. What headphone is better.

2. Why it's better.

3. Why the HD 25-1 ii is worse.


and any added information you have.

post #2 of 14

I have nothing to contribute, except to chime in that I am also interested in the HD-25-ii as an option for metal and rock while at my micro-cubicle at work. I am working with a similar budget goal. I'm going to follow this thread.

post #3 of 14

I only tried two portable headphones yet, the hd25 and srh940.

Regarding sound quality , I much prefer the srh940.

Regarding built quality, unfortunately, the srh940 has limited life expectancy compared to hd25.

post #4 of 14

I have some Amperiors and listen to a lot of metal, and I'd say they're pretty good, but I've heard that the Beyer DT 1350 is supposed to be better for that (I'm actually trying to get my hands on some of those to compare as well). I haven't actually heard the DT1350 yet though, so I can't provide a useful comparison at the moment unfortunately, but they seem like another good option to consider.

post #5 of 14

The HD-25i-II's are one of the best isolating phones out there, not to mention it has one of the highest dB output ratings around - definitely ear-damaging if you're not careful and let the volume creep up.wink.gif


I've been curious about the Beyer DT1350's, too.  However, purrin's experience has really made me gun-shy.  Last time I read his comments on them, it seems that every one of them he's gotten has measured differently.  Most have reported that the German engineering has plenty of mechanical quality, but it doesn't sound like they have very good quality control over the driver variances.

post #6 of 14
You can try the B&W P5, their isolation IS great ! (But sound signature is not as neutral as hd25ii one)
post #7 of 14

I've had the HD-25-1 for a year now, use them as my outside headphones and love them. 

Their main drawbacks, given my use of them, is their size : they're very large and don't fold, which can make them very cumbersome when "out on the town". You can't slip them into a coat pocket, for instance. They're sturdy enough to be put in a bag however.

Also, be prepared to hurt like hell for the first couple of months if you were glasses, as they clamp hard.

post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

I only tried two portable headphones yet, the hd25 and srh940.

Regarding sound quality , I much prefer the srh940.




post #9 of 14

I've never had the HD 25-1 II, but I have had the DT 1350 for a while now, I use it with a Fiio E11 connected to an iPod classic with the LOD, and with this setup I really don't feel much incentive to upgrade my portable headphones (and I've gone through plenty of others in the past).  The next step will probably be a Fiio E12 or something equivalent.

post #10 of 14



I have exactly the same rig as Steely Dan [respect to "The Dan" wink.gif] above, and whilst I do not actually use my E11, I love the Classic / 1350 combo for portable use. Very much towards an "open sounding" headphones but with great isolation. For the OP's reference, I use Sennheiser HD800 at home [you might have a pair seeing your avatar biggrin.gif] and Grado 325i's when away from home.


I chose the 1350s after demoing many different cans. The HD25s were one of those I compared against [and the latest Amperior].


Hope this helps.


Best wishes, Julian

post #11 of 14

Regarding the B&W P5 ... I recently spent an hour auditioning this headphone at Best Buy using my Zune HD and some 320 kbps files (no software EQ). I played Mr. Bungle's "Ars Moriendi" as a comparison track because of the intense dynamic range, meter shifts, vocal emphasis, and variation of instruments. The song includes everything from heavy metal to jazz and klezmer styles.


For this music/source, the B&W compared well to everything  BB currently has on offer (including full sized Denon, AKG, Sennheiser, Audio Technica in the $150-$450 range) in the posh "Magnolia " room. As Slash 86 mentioned, it provides great isolation (for supra-aural). It's a beautifully constructed headphone that is extraordinarily comfortable to wear.


I didn't buy it (yet), however, because it seemed like a headphone intended for a different type of listener than I am. It seemed best suited for mellow acoustic tracks, jazzy vocals, and "cigar and brandy" type music. It has a very laid-back sound. It was by no means bad, and the headphone is extremely comfortable, but it lacked treble clarity and bass punch (immediacy?) of some of the portable AKGs and Sennheisers I've owned/tried over the years. I'd listen to Michael McDonald on this headphone (if I listened to Michael McDonald ; )

Here are a couple reviews I've found helpful so far. Actually, I'm finding the whole innerfidelity site to be a treasure trove of info and thoughtful reviews::

Edited by Triakel - 12/26/12 at 8:02am
post #12 of 14

I just picked up the Amperior ($350), which uses the same (or very similar) driver and to the HD-25-1-ii ($200-250). The main design differences, from what I've been able to gather, are aluminum vs. plastic ear cups, copper cabling vs. steel cabling, and a hundred dollars. Fit and weight should be nearly identical.


I can say these phones isolate well and sound great, particularly for hard rock, pop and metal. I can hear outside rumbles and impacts, but conversation is inaudible, even at my busy office. I imagine they would be great on the bus or subway unless you require total isolation. They will not come off your head by accident. They clamp on.


Soundwise, they are seem very balanced, but lively. Bass is punchy. Treble is crisp but not shrill (although I hear the HD-25 can be). Soundstage is narrow/small, but not annoying unless you really want audiophile characteristics (super-high resolution, separation). I'm picking out a lot of detail that I wasn't hearing with my open-aire HD 560 Ovation-IIs, or any of the cheaper Sennheisers I've heard. They are no match for an HD 580, but that's an open aire phone. IMHO, they kill the HD 280 and HD 380, at least on a cursory listen. I've heard this driver sounds more Grado-like than most Sennheisers, but I have no idea. I've never had the opportunity to hear Grado.


I've listened to these against a (closed) Bose OE2, and the clarity is similar. Positioning and isolation is slightly better on the Bose, but the Sennheiser has that characteristic (and appealing to my ear) brightness and vitality. The OE2 is flat by comparison. Perhaps it is unfair to compare a $150 headphone to a $350 headphone, but since you're looking at the HD-25-1-ii at around $200 ... the info might be useful. I also listened to the Audio Technica ATH-M50 (a slightly more comfortable, somewhat more laid back $400 phone), and didn't like it any better than the Amperior. I love the B&W P5 ($300), especially for comfort, but its sound is way muddier and more removed than this.


Comfortwise, they are not as nice as a circum-aural, but they are very comfortable for supra-aural. Clamping force requires giving the ears a break every hour or so. Otherwise, this seems to be an excellent all-around headphone for both stationary and portable use. If you like the Sennheiser sound, I can't imagine you'd object to the Amperior or HD-25-1-ii.

post #13 of 14

I have two which I can compare:

1) HD 25 Adidas (= same sound, crazy colourway (which kinda suits the way they sound)) - bright, superb PRaT, light, durable, replaceable parts, easy fit, great isolation, unwieldy (effectively take up as much space as T5P or Ed. 8). Amazing for gym, and once in a while I pick them over Edition 8 for their PRaT (and don't forget the colour!). Nice synergy with Shuffle (2nd gen.), Sansa Fuze, Sansa Clip+, fine with Tera Player, too.

2) DT 1350 - subjectively seem to be more accurate, clearly better for classical and for analytical listening in general. Heavier but still OK, fitting takes practice, but once mastered, isolation is great, very good travel case, - my missions/ travel solution. Do not go well with Shuffle, very good with Fuze, Clip+ almost the same, little used with Tera Player (it was a fine match, but others were better).


For me Edition 8 [when used with Tera Player] combine the best of both worlds - detail of DT 1350 and fun factor of HD 25 II, with comfort far surpassing any of those two; however, for classical and jazz T5P beat them all (well, it's not like day and night , but once you hear the difference, it grows on you...).

I'd say it would depend on musical taste and future plans (any [particular] more expensive cans envisaged), but both HD 25 II and DT 1350 are sound choices.


I have no opinion on P5: my salary is paid by EU taxpayers, therefore it seems just a question of common decency to spend it on locally manufactured items whenever I have the choice (= hence also Tera Player ;-))

post #14 of 14
Get the amperiors on amazon for $217 and call it a day. They are the updated hd 25-1 II and currently they cost less than the hd 25-1 II!
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