Originally Posted by bourbonhoova
Can anyone make a comparison between the HP50 and any of these 3 headphones, just in terms of sound quality... Shure SRH940, Audio Technica ATH-ESW9 or the AKG K550?
I'm trying to choose a closed-back model mainly for at-home listening, and I want to keep to a budget of $300AUS if possible. My at-home listening set-up currently is HE-500, Audio-GD SA-31SE, M2Tech Hiface and lap-top. On the whole, I'm quite content with this rig, it's just that I have a tendency to get tempted to turn the volume up evidently a little too loud at times. I've had tinnitus permanently since I first got a bit carried away when testing how a DT990 sound when you actually turn them up loud enough to enjoy the midrange (about a year or so ago), and this seems to be my major issue with open back headphones... the bar has been lifted in terms of the level of detail and instrument separation that I crave now, but even though I don't think I ever turn them up stupidly loud these days, I'm often torn between being careful not to risk exacerbating my tinnitus and having the music at a level where you feel immersed in the music in the same way as listening to a good stereo system. So my next headphone purchase will be of the sealed cup variety.
I have auditioned and was impressed with the SRH940 and the ATH-ESW9. Decided against picking up the Shures because I wanted a bit more weight in the bass and couldn't go for the Audio-Technica's because I thought durability wasn't good enough for a portable phone. I mentioned the K550 because I think it could be another viable option in the price range.
I would describe myself as a bass-head but I demand a good level of detail and a fully 'rounded' sound. If I can't have a basshead can that is also a genuine audiophile performer within this budget, then I'll settle for a more neutral headphone - as long as it does have punch to the bass and can do sub-bass. Definitely wouldn't be happy with something on the bass-light side of neutral. The opinions on the bass of the HP50 seem to vary quite a bit from what I've read. Obviously there's little doubt that they offer good value for money.
I also own IE80s (which I love) and QuietComfort 2. Thanks a lot (in advance) for any opinions/comparisons.
I might use the cans outside the house from time to time but portability isn't a priority at all.
I've owned the 940's, the 550's, and the ESW9's;
and currently own the Momentum's and HP-50's/
If you found the bass of the 940's lacking (as I did, plus there were
some other aspects of their SQ I didn't like), you'll most likely find
the bass of the K550's lacking as well.
The HP50's and Momentum's, to my ears, provide more bass than
the other three headphones..
And the HP50's and Momentum's seem to have a similar bass response.to
(BTW, I use various setups for listening, but here I'll assume use of an IBasso DX50,
flac files only, a JDS Labs O2 amplifier, and Cardas connecting cable.)
As for which I like more of those two...not entirely sure yet - and I've had them both
for a few months already. I find myself listening to the Momentum's more often so
I guess that says something - as mentioned from time to time in this thread and
elsewhere, the HP50's - with all of their strengths - have a sort of "unreal" aspect
to their sound. Yet I'd have to say, at the same time, that I like the HP50's
overall more than the Momentum's since overall I just think they're better,
truer sounding headphones.
Another factor, or perhaps "wild card" in my listening to these five headphones, and the main reason
I no longer own the first three (940's, ESW9's, and K550') regards the Sony MDR-7520's which best all five of them IMO.
The HP50's isolate more effectively than the 7520's, and the Momentum's have smaller earcups which I find useful
for listening while lying down. Also, the HP50's and Momentum's do sound very good indeed and provide variety
to my closed headphone listening. But if I had to pick only one set of headphones out of all of these, I'd choose
the 7520's. (There's a large thread on them here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/682534/sony-mdr-7520/720#post_10207344)
TL;DR: HP50's over Shure 940's, AT ESW9A's, and AKG K550's.
[Edit: Added TL;DR]
Edited by zazex - 1/29/14 at 12:57am