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HFI-580 vs. Pro 550 vs. HFI-680 vs. Q40

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I've been looking for new headphones for about a week now, and have narrowed it down pretty well to these headphones. 


I currently own Senn HD280 Pros (I like them ok, but less bass than I like and sort of boring) and Westone UM3xs (Great phones, but are IEMs and also are a little bassless/flatter than I like. Much prefer the sound of these over the HD280s nonetheless, of course). I do not own an amp currently and want a phone than at least for the time being, will sound great without one. 


I listen to Metal, Rock, and EDM/Dubstep primarily. Also need headphones that can articule softer genres like acoustic and post rock, however. 


Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I'm looking for: All around high quality headphones, fairly detailed, decent soundstage, reasonably even mix (i.e. not super recessed mids or anything), and with solid, stimulating bass. Basically, decent quality headphones that are fun to listen to. Isolation and comfort are big plusses. 


Here's my take on the 4:


HFI-580 ($189) - frankly, out of my price range. I'm a college student and will buy these only if I become convinced it's the only way to get what I'm looking for. The SS seems to suit what I want. 


Pro 550 ($139) - supposed to be more expensive than the 580, but are listed as cheaper on amazon. I'm thinking this could be a really good option, though I am concerned about lack of bass based on what I've read. 


HFI-680 ($119 - special amazon deal) - Could be the real steal here. I really like what I hear about the smoothness and overall quality of the sound but am also concerned about the bass. 


M-Audio Q-40 ($139ish) - These seem to be great sounding headphones with more than enough bass, but I'm concerned about 2 things: 1) Stock cable supposedly is awful and hinders the SQ noticeably, so that's another 20 bucks i'm into these cans. 2) Build quality/reliability seem to be a common problem for them. 


Thanks so much guys, I've been reading a ton about these phones and I think a direct comparison thread will help me make my choice! If there's another phone for about 100-125 bucks you think I'm missing that would be perfect for me, please throw out those suggestions as well. Be back soon, peace. 

post #2 of 5
the 580's are ridiculously expensive right now, they are usually around 135 on Amazon. The q40's cost $100 directly from maudios website, and usually people buy a pair of Beyer dynamic pads along with them. I would try to demo and ultrasonic before you buy, a lot of people don't like s_logic
post #3 of 5
you could look into some of the Beyer dynamics too, although some think their mids are pretty recessed
post #4 of 5

I own all three Ultrasones you listed.  The 680s at that price is a steal....For your genres either of the 'Sones you listed will be good.  Listening to a little melodic power metal in the form of Amaranthe at the moment with the PRO550s and it sounds great...


Sorry if I missed it but what will you be plugging them into?



post #5 of 5

Just got my HFI-680's @ $119 two days ago. If you're looking to get them you'll need an amp for sure. They sound ok without one but there's more potential to be had with a headphone amp (tested with my Fiio E6).


As far as the sound I cant really say yet as I am still burning them in. Out of the box the mids seem recessed but I like the balanced sound and soundstage coming from a closed can.


Build quality is top notch and the fit on my head is excellent.

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