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A Man With a terrible problem....

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK, so here is my crazy story,

 

For the last 2 weeks... I have been researching non-stop on everything audio.... and I've come to the conclusion that i need to make my own thread and get some help from the best community ever, Head Fi :)

 

All right, let me start with m setup (A lot of people may find this shocking but oh well) I use my ATH-M50s hooked up to my PSP (Playstation Portable)

 

I am aware that it is NOT a preferred device at all but honestly it sounds great so i never thought that was the problem.

 

So let me get to the real problem, i have been researching Amplifiers (Portable), MP3 players (iPod touch 4g&5g, also Cowon and HiFiMan Hm-601) and almost bought the touch but i then thought... maybe i just need new headphones? (Right now im looking at Ultrasone PRO 750, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro's, and MrSpeakers "Mad Dogs")

 

Anyways, i just really wanted something that was better than my ATH-M50's or something that would make them sound better. BTW i was looking for a jump not persay upgrade but a JUMP from what i have.

 

My Reasons why: I feel my M50's are "Suffocated" like the soundstage is limited (Im guessing its probably the PSP) also sometimes i wish i could make the bass "Punchier" as well but without drowning out the Mids and Highs.

 

Also, My music genre is really everywhere but to narrow it down, its usually Techno,Dubstep,Classical,Rock,Classic Rock,Soft Rock. To narrow it down more, by Artist it would be,

 

Daft Punk, Gran Turismo 5 Soundtracks, Foo Fighters, Drum and Bass Artisits, Phoenix (1901,Fences,Lasso), Earth Wind and Fire, ETC. (I could go on forever lolz,)

 

Basically i want something that has that "Sparkle" to the highs and Bass that really is "Puchy" but not bleeding into everything else. with the Mids, i need help with that, how would you describe Mids exactly? as little as i know about it, i want the mids to still be there but not too little and also not too much.

 

OK, so if someone can help me PLEASE would be MUCH appreciated. And just to clarify me a little bit more, Im guessing i would need an "Overhaul" on my setup, but, preferably not. i would like to keep my PSP but if its really worth changing the MP3 player then ill go for it.

 

OH, the most important part lolz 250-300$ is my spending limit. 300$ being the honest MAX. Thanks in advance :) Merry Christmas to all :)

post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 

Oh, One more headphone to add to the list Ultrasone HFI-780. Also my preference for a headphone is Around-Ear and closed back. i want to be able listen to music in public without people hearing it, and if it could noise cancel some as well but definitely not focus on it.

Also, if u guys think i should strike thing off my list please tell me, Thanks :)

post #3 of 24

Seems like Ultrasones seem to be right for you.  I've found the closed back Ultrasones to give acceptable isolation from outside noises. Not a library like silence, but it'll dull the roar of a crowded subway. 

post #4 of 24

How about the AKG K550?  I hear that they are easily driven, sound pretty good unamped so it should be fine with a PSP, and of course, the price just falls under your budgetwink.gif.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ok, ill take it under consideration. BTW if u could clarify, which Ultrasone? The  PRO 750's? or the HFI 780's? Thanks is advance

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

Also, i should've clarified this before, I do want something that does have a good amount of bass but not to the point where it ruins highs and mids. Also remember, if it's unnecessary to buy a whole new pair of cans then please advise me.  But, then again, i do realize that a new pair can make a huge difference.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton1234 View Post

OK, so here is my crazy story,

For the last 2 weeks... I have been researching non-stop on everything audio.... and I've come to the conclusion that i need to make my own thread and get some help from the best community ever, Head Fi smily_headphones1.gif

All right, let me start with m setup (A lot of people may find this shocking but oh well) I use my ATH-M50s hooked up to my PSP (Playstation Portable)

I am aware that it is NOT a preferred device at all but honestly it sounds great so i never thought that was the problem.

So let me get to the real problem, i have been researching Amplifiers (Portable), MP3 players (iPod touch 4g&5g, also Cowon and HiFiMan Hm-601) and almost bought the touch but i then thought... maybe i just need new headphones? (Right now im looking at Ultrasone PRO 750, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro's, and MrSpeakers "Mad Dogs")

Anyways, i just really wanted something that was better than my ATH-M50's or something that would make them sound better. BTW i was looking for a jump not persay upgrade but a JUMP from what i have.

My Reasons why: I feel my M50's are "Suffocated" like the soundstage is limited (Im guessing its probably the PSP) also sometimes i wish i could make the bass "Punchier" as well but without drowning out the Mids and Highs.

Also, My music genre is really everywhere but to narrow it down, its usually Techno,Dubstep,Classical,Rock,Classic Rock,Soft Rock. To narrow it down more, by Artist it would be,

Daft Punk, Gran Turismo 5 Soundtracks, Foo Fighters, Drum and Bass Artisits, Phoenix (1901,Fences,Lasso), Earth Wind and Fire, ETC. (I could go on forever lolz,)

Basically i want something that has that "Sparkle" to the highs and Bass that really is "Puchy" but not bleeding into everything else. with the Mids, i need help with that, how would you describe Mids exactly? as little as i know about it, i want the mids to still be there but not too little and also not too much.

OK, so if someone can help me PLEASE would be MUCH appreciated. And just to clarify me a little bit more, Im guessing i would need an "Overhaul" on my setup, but, preferably not. i would like to keep my PSP but if its really worth changing the MP3 player then ill go for it.

OH, the most important part lolz 250-300$ is my spending limit. 300$ being the honest MAX. Thanks in advance smily_headphones1.gif Merry Christmas to all smily_headphones1.gif


It's the M50s; not the PSP. You're more or less describing them pretty accurately - "wall of sound" presentation with boom-boom bass and shouty highs encasing recessed mids. Just get different cans. You can spend a small fortune on new amps, cables, a new mp3 player, etc and probably trick yourself into thinking you've made *some* difference, but it's going the wrong direction.

Question is - do you need these to be closed cans? Or can you deal with an open can?
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

I do understand the advantages of an Open headphones, especially the soundstage and from what i understand everything else as well :) But, these are going to be used for traveling AND home use. I mostly wanted something i can use everywhere, it would seem pretty pointless to just use at home. so i guess, what is the best set of cans under 300$? and if i really had to go pass the limit at least explain the advantages. BTW, actually is there a set of semi-open cans that dont leak that much? Thanks in advance.

post #9 of 24
Semi-open is kind of a fantasy. The K701 get kind of close in that they don't leak out a whole lot of sound, but they don't isolate at all, and aren't good mobile. I wouldn't suggest them here, just using them as an example.

Regarding "best" - that's kind of a personal preference question. You'll get a lot of people's opinions about what is best under $300, but there is no absolute here. One suggestion I'd make (again, preference), would keep you with AT - the ESW9A. Alternately you might look at the Bose AE2 or Sennheiser HD 380 (both will image much better, they have different signatures though - you'll probably like one and not the other). There's plenty of other options though, and I'm sure other people will have their own picks as well. I'll add that generally as you move up the ladder with closed cans, you start getting into models that are less designed for mobile use, and more designed for at home (and therefore isolate less - for example the Denon AH-D2000/5000 - they're fine headphones, but they don't isolate very well, and aren't really designed for mobile use (they don't fold, they're big, they have a large dual entry cable that doesn't detach, etc - sure you can use them mobile (and a lot of people do), but it isn't like the HD380 that fold, can drop their cable, come with a hard-case, isolate fairly well, etc)).
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, actually i have tried ESW9A and the Bose AE2 as well. i actually liked both of them but, the ESW9A is an On-ear set and it just becomes un-comfortable too quickly, but i did like them, but still thought that my M50's sounded better. The Bose AE2 i tried a VERY long time ago, back before i knew what REAL audio quality was. (At that time i had my Skullcandy-Skullcrushers) and i do remember falling in love with that soundstage they had, i still think about that pair to this day, but do they really compete here? anyways, you said that i would *think* there would be a difference  if I bought a new player or an Amp. even though M50 doesn't benefit from one as ive heard, that would still make a difference right? plus sometimes honestly the volume just doesnt get loud enough sadly. But, with the AE2, the reason i didnt keep them back then was because they just didnt have enough bass in them, im not a basshead but i do enjoy having that "Punch" when i want it.

 

Also, one more thing i need to ask, what about the other headphones i mentioned? i heard lots of good thing about the Custom One Pro's , the Ultrasone HFI-780 and the MrSpeakers "Mad Dogs"

 

anyways thanks in advance. 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Also, bob, i wanted to clarify something, i think your getting the wrong message about what i want. Because you took what i said *Sparkly highs, punchy bass* and you put it as if that was the problem. Thats what I like about the headphones not dis-like, i like the sprakly highs and the puchy bass(I wish it was punchier, can feel clouded at times), and as i said, im not quite sure what mids are in a song, like how would describe them?

 

As always, thanks in advance.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton1234 View Post

Well, actually i have tried ESW9A and the Bose AE2 as well. i actually liked both of them but, the ESW9A is an On-ear set and it just becomes un-comfortable too quickly, but i did like them, but still thought that my M50's sounded better. The Bose AE2 i tried a VERY long time ago, back before i knew what REAL audio quality was. (At that time i had my Skullcandy-Skullcrushers) and i do remember falling in love with that soundstage they had, i still think about that pair to this day, but do they really compete here? anyways, you said that i would *think* there would be a difference  if I bought a new player or an Amp. even though M50 doesn't benefit from one as ive heard, that would still make a difference right? plus sometimes honestly the volume just doesnt get loud enough sadly. But, with the AE2, the reason i didnt keep them back then was because they just didnt have enough bass in them, im not a basshead but i do enjoy having that "Punch" when i want it.

Also, one more thing i need to ask, what about the other headphones i mentioned? i heard lots of good thing about the Custom One Pro's , the Ultrasone HFI-780 and the MrSpeakers "Mad Dogs"

anyways thanks in advance. 

IMO the AE2 are superior to the M50, but I'm going to say that we're probably pretty far apart in our views of SQ, based on your M50/ESW9 comparison. redface.gif

If you want more bass (which certainly is into the "basshead" territory if you're viewing the AE2 and M50 as "not enough"), I'm probably not going to be able to give you any better suggestions (as I really don't like that much bass, and despise boomy headphones).

On the other cans you've mentioned - I don't like beyerdynamic (basically I don't have anything nice to say, so I don't say anything), I have not tried the Mad Dogs (or any other T50 modification), and while I more or less have enjoyed every Ultrasone I've tried, the last closed model I tried was years and years ago. The 780 are very popular though, and there are plenty of owners that could probably give you more information. That said, I'm guessing they're probably where you should be looking - they tend to be pretty punchy sounding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton1234 View Post

Also, bob, i wanted to clarify something, i think your getting the wrong message about what i want. Because you took what i said *Sparkly highs, punchy bass* and you put it as if that was the problem. Thats what I like about the headphones not dis-like, i like the sprakly highs and the puchy bass(I wish it was punchier, can feel clouded at times), and as i said, im not quite sure what mids are in a song, like how would describe them?

As always, thanks in advance.

Ah! See, I think you're describing the M50 pretty accurately - but we're in disagreement on whether or not that's a good thing. redface.gif The "congested" or "clouded" thing however is just part of how the M50 are - they very much are in that "wall of sound" presentation, and no amount of money-spending on upstream equipment will change that. As far as "I'll maybe believe in the difference so it's okay" - that's a rabbit hole I don't think your wallet wants to go down. redface.gif

My advice would be to look into some of the Ultrasone closed models, or perhaps the new Sony X10 (they're fairly punchy and fun - I've only spent a brief time with them, but they might be right up the alley of what you're looking for, if I'm understanding you now).
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton1234 View Post

Also, bob, i wanted to clarify something, i think your getting the wrong message about what i want. Because you took what i said *Sparkly highs, punchy bass* and you put it as if that was the problem. Thats what I like about the headphones not dis-like, i like the sprakly highs and the puchy bass(I wish it was punchier, can feel clouded at times), and as i said, im not quite sure what mids are in a song, like how would describe them?

 

As always, thanks in advance.

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

K550 has a big sound stage but people tell me there's some problems with seal (may not apply to everyone) which in turn may affect the bass.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, Just came back from best buy and I tried out the ESW9A(Again), the AT A900X, K550, and Denon D600(Cant believe they had that!) anyways, i dont want more bass actually i just sometimes wish they would get louder because if i plug my M50's into my laptop and turn it up its an INCREDIBLE amount of PUNCH :) anyways, i actually love the ESW9A but that On-Ear feel isnt that great so i  passed, the K550's..... I'm not quite sure what to say about them, i know they should be burned in a lot more than the average headphone but unless the display was screwed up, they Literally had no bass, like as if it had no low end pick up, i was very confused anyways besides that they sound pretty good ( They seem to be a little too analytical). BTW i have had the A900X's in the past, they have a BEAUTIFUL Soundstage and they honestly just sound like a better pair all together VS my M50's but those definitely feel like they need an amp. Anyways, I tried the Denon's... Wow, they actually sound really awesome, again love the soundstage but still questioning the 400$ price tag......

 

But after that, i really am interested in the Denon's and the A900X(Again)

 

But do u guys think a psp is enough to power them? or do u think they need an amp? i am aware the Denon's break the bank but still.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton1234 View Post

Well, actually i have tried ESW9A and the Bose AE2 as well. i actually liked both of them but, the ESW9A is an On-ear set and it just becomes un-comfortable too quickly, but i did like them, but still thought that my M50's sounded better. The Bose AE2 i tried a VERY long time ago, back before i knew what REAL audio quality was. (At that time i had my Skullcandy-Skullcrushers) and i do remember falling in love with that soundstage they had, i still think about that pair to this day, but do they really compete here? anyways, you said that i would *think* there would be a difference  if I bought a new player or an Amp. even though M50 doesn't benefit from one as ive heard, that would still make a difference right? plus sometimes honestly the volume just doesnt get loud enough sadly. But, with the AE2, the reason i didnt keep them back then was because they just didnt have enough bass in them, im not a basshead but i do enjoy having that "Punch" when i want it.

 

Also, one more thing i need to ask, what about the other headphones i mentioned? i heard lots of good thing about the Custom One Pro's , the Ultrasone HFI-780 and the MrSpeakers "Mad Dogs"

 

anyways thanks in advance. 

 

Thanks for your brief notation on the sound of the ATH M50s vs. their ATH-ESW9a headphones.  I've been looking at making a leap on another pair of Audio Technica headphones.  The M50 has been on my radar as well as the ESW9 / ESW9a.  They are not going to be my main headphones, but will be an available closed pair of headphones that I want to reach for when I need a bit of privacy that the open-cup headphones can't offer when needed.

 

The Mad Dog variation of the Fostex headphone is a good one that is available for not too much money.  However, as I've heard many modified Fostex headphones, as well as owned plenty, too, I've found that the sound stage with most instances seems to be one aspect that can hold it back a bit.  Again, though, that's just my impressions on owning about 6 pair and comparing them to many, many other headphones that I've owned in the past.

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