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Have HD650 - should I get DT880 or K701?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Let me explain, I am not someone on a quest for sonic perfection. I'm not looking for the 'uber' headphone. I like a variety of different headphones - not even to listen to different genres on different headphones, but to listen to the same albums on different headphones - I simply like the variety they give, and I like how I get a different take on the same songs. They even make me focus on different things within each track.

 

As someone who already owns the HD650, and is looking to get a very different sounding headphone to them to offer a completely different presentation, but still looking at the old mid-fi trio, should I get the DT880, or the K701? Which is more different? Or are they both equally different, in different ways?

 

From what I've read, going from the HD650 to the DT880, I will find the DT880 very thin on bass and midrange, but get more treble, and going from th HD650 to the K701, I will find the K701 offers a huge soundstage...?

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks in advance...

post #2 of 20

The K701 will sound similar enough that you probably will not get what you pay for with that swap.  The HD-650 is honestly one of those headphones that if you play it out enough it becomes really amazing, but at low volumes the veil is a bit too laid back and the sound quality suffers.  If I were you I would look into a closed headphone like a Denon AH-D2000 or AKG K550.  They are a great compliment to an open headphone like the HD-650.  Keep in mind that the HD-650 is a tremendously scalable headphone and the better amp, DAC, and cables you have the better it will sound.

 

When I was listening to the STAX 009 and Blue Hawaii SE setup and then went back to the HD-650 using a Cardas cable through the a WOO WA3 I was stunned at how well the HD-650 sounded.  This was done at slightly above nominal listening levels which really brings the HD-650 to life.

 

Would you be so kind as to list your audio chain from source to headphone?  This way we can make suggestions beyond another headphone.

post #3 of 20

Well... for starters the K701 is only 65 ohms so it generally needs an amp capable of bigger current peaks than higher impedance DT880 models and your HD650.  So your HD650 amp (depending on what it is) should be better matched with the DT880 in its two higher impedance versions.

 

I haven't heard the latest DT880 though. so I can't offer any detailed help.

post #4 of 20

I think it depends on how different and what kind of sound you're trying to achieve. When I got my DT880 after the HD650, I sold it immediately because the mids were far too recessed for my liking. I personally prefer the K701 but a good point was raised that maybe you should look into other than the trio. A900X maybe?

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post

I think it depends on how different and what kind of sound you're trying to achieve. When I got my DT880 after the HD650, I sold it immediately because the mids were far too recessed for my liking. I personally prefer the K701 but a good point was raised that maybe you should look into other than the trio. A900X maybe?

 

Was it only the mids that left you dissatisfied with the DT880 after having experienced the HD650? Or was the DT880's bass too weak as well, comparitively?

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post

 

Was it only the mids that left you dissatisfied with the DT880 after having experienced the HD650? Or was the DT880's bass too weak as well, comparitively?

Pretty much yea, the DT880 has some really strong points; better extension in the treble and bass. The lack of bass was not an issue. You are afterall looking for something to complement the HD650 it just depends what kind of different.

Personally I'm looking at either the A900X or the K701, both I've already auditioned, they have neutral mids instead of recessed and works well with classical and string instruments so for me that's way I'm going

post #7 of 20

Orchestra and anything else with uber details and sound stage sound amazing on the K702, dt880 left me feeling kinda "meh" being that I didn't see anything that it did really well apart from comfort.  I may be a bit biased though since I've had my K702 for months and only had an afternoon with the dt880 before returning it.  If you just want something that has its own unique flavor the K702 would be great assuming you can power them.

post #8 of 20

I have a pair of 650's and I've owned a pair of 701's. One question I would ask is how do you like the feel of the 650's? 

I ask this because my 650's put a medium amount of pressure on my head but its enough to really stay on even if I'm moving around alot which can happen when I'm gaming. The 701's I found fantastic but they put almost no pressure on my head and they slip off with relative ease which you might find frustrating or you might not. I have no experience with the 880's. Sonically I found the 701's had a larger sound stage and were for lack of a better word more airy than the 650's. I loved my 701's and to my everlasting shame I dropped them and they broke which is why I no longer have them. I liked the way the 650's felt more and I liked the sonic presentation of the 701's more but they are both great and I would take either one any day.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceace1014 View Post

I have a pair of 650's and I've owned a pair of 701's. One question I would ask is how do you like the feel of the 650's? 

I ask this because my 650's put a medium amount of pressure on my head but its enough to really stay on even if I'm moving around alot which can happen when I'm gaming. The 701's I found fantastic but they put almost no pressure on my head and they slip off with relative ease which you might find frustrating or you might not. I have no experience with the 880's. Sonically I found the 701's had a larger sound stage and were for lack of a better word more airy than the 650's. I loved my 701's and to my everlasting shame I dropped them and they broke which is why I no longer have them. I liked the way the 650's felt more and I liked the sonic presentation of the 701's more but they are both great and I would take either one any day.

How far did you drop them?  The abuse that I've given my K702s in terms of just throwing them around is beaten only by the abuse that I've given my grados but I've never had any trouble with my AKGs.  On another note, the AKGs have a self adjusting headband so their pressure depends on the size of your head.  For me I have a huge head so they're pretty comfortable, but I could understand how they wouldn't exert much pressure if you had a small head or maybe even a average sized head.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post

Pretty much yea, the DT880 has some really strong points; better extension in the treble and bass. The lack of bass was not an issue. You are afterall looking for something to complement the HD650 it just depends what kind of different.

Personally I'm looking at either the A900X or the K701, both I've already auditioned, they have neutral mids instead of recessed and works well with classical and string instruments so for me that's way I'm going

 


Are you saying, compared to the HD650, in the DT880 there was a lack of bass but you didn't find it to be an issue? Or there was no lack of bass, hence no issue?

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post

 


Are you saying, compared to the HD650, in the DT880 there was a lack of bass but you didn't find it to be an issue? Or there was no lack of bass, hence no issue?

There was a lack of bass but it wasn't an issue for me, one more thing, the very wide soundstage and the reduced bass made some music genre feel lost. eg pop/electronica where you would expect a big impact seemed non coherent ( i will grant you that this is prob not the best example). For classical maybe soft rock the DT880 would perform quite well.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott5526 View Post

How far did you drop them?  The abuse that I've given my K702s in terms of just throwing them around is beaten only by the abuse that I've given my grados but I've never had any trouble with my AKGs.  On another note, the AKGs have a self adjusting headband so their pressure depends on the size of your head.  For me I have a huge head so they're pretty comfortable, but I could understand how they wouldn't exert much pressure if you had a small head or maybe even a average sized head.

 

Far enough. 6 feet onto concrete. It cracked the housing and while it didn't make a sonic difference it really bothered me so I gave them to my brother when he needed a pair of headphones and I never replaced them. 

post #13 of 20

Heya,

 

The HD650 is a warm dark headphone. It has a little mid-bass hump, so it's always warm regardless of the recording. And the treble is very polite, rolled off, dark, so it really is forgiving at higher volume if you're sensitive to treble, and it's forgiving of hiss/noise from poor recordings and/or equipment.

 

A bright headphone that is anemic would be the polar opposite. And that's the AKG K701, Shure SRH940 and Beyer T70.

 

The Beyer DT880 is a better headphone in my opinion than the HD650. It has better balance, better more exciting treble (because I don't like laid back rolled off dark treble) and it just has better sub-bass presence to me. I find it to be a more exciting and fun headphone while still being very balanced and capable in all frequency ranges. A real world class do-it-all-headphone.

 

If you want to explore some new sounds with different sound stages, maybe start looking into:

 

Hifiman HE-400

Sony MA900

 

Very best,

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

The Beyer DT880 is a better headphone in my opinion than the HD650. It has better balance, better more exciting treble (because I don't like laid back rolled off dark treble) and it just has better sub-bass presence to me. I find it to be a more exciting and fun headphone while still being very balanced and capable in all frequency ranges. A real world class do-it-all-headphone.

 

 

 

Having had extensive experience of both I totally agree, with the proviso that the user has some way of rolling off the treble slightly if he needs to. I wouldn't recommend the DT880 to anyone just using a dedicated HP amp unless he could audition first, as the treble definitely can be too hot for some people (I reduce it by about 3db--I use a NAD integrated). Given that the treble is sorted out, and it's hardly difficult, I believe the DT880 is better balanced than the HD650 and indeed most other headphones. It's quite amazing really the performance this very modestly priced phone is capable of; its street price really is a complete misnomer. I can well imagine people who equate price with sound quality totally dismissing it as I nearly did--how can a phone typically selling under $300 sound so good? That's of course if you're after something accurate, balanced and neutral.To a lot of people the DT880 would just be "boring" and I've seen it so described in numerous threads here.  

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

The HD650 is a warm dark headphone. It has a little mid-bass hump, so it's always warm regardless of the recording. And the treble is very polite, rolled off, dark, so it really is forgiving at higher volume if you're sensitive to treble, and it's forgiving of hiss/noise from poor recordings and/or equipment.

 

A bright headphone that is anemic would be the polar opposite. And that's the AKG K701, Shure SRH940 and Beyer T70.

 

The Beyer DT880 is a better headphone in my opinion than the HD650. It has better balance, better more exciting treble (because I don't like laid back rolled off dark treble) and it just has better sub-bass presence to me. I find it to be a more exciting and fun headphone while still being very balanced and capable in all frequency ranges. A real world class do-it-all-headphone.

 

If you want to explore some new sounds with different sound stages, maybe start looking into:

 

Hifiman HE-400

Sony MA900

 

Very best,

 

Thanks,

 

So the DT880 will give stronger sub-bass, and the HD650 will give stronger mid-bass?

 

Am I right in thinking that very few tracks actually have any sub-bass in them though? For example, if I listen to rock or metal music, even the kick drum, bass guitar and low palm muted guitar (the lowest sounds heard in rock or metal) fall under the 'mid-bass' category, don't they? None of them have frequencies that actually go down as low as the 'sub-bass' category? Only very low sine sweeps in the bassiest of electronic music actually have any sub-bass, isn't that right?

 

So, since the HD650 has stronger mid-bass but weaker sub-bass, it will sound much bassier than the DT880 on pretty much all genres, because no genres apart from highly specialized bass-centric electronic music actually have any sub-bass content anyway?

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