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Sennheiser Amperior: The Rivals?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

New to Head-Fi, so greetings to all and Happy Chinese New Year! dt880smile.png

 

I have had the Sennheiser Amperiors for a whole three days (post 50 hour burn in) and pretty sure i have found my perfect partner. I am addicted to headphones (not quite qualified as an Audiophile) and although i am convinced i have found my perfect partner, i can't help to cast my eyes on what else is out there! Look but don't touch, right?

 

I thought i would put to you experts who know far more than me if anything can rival the Senn Amperiors in terms of sound quality at a similar price point. So i can convince myself to stick with my Amperiors and stop casting my gaze elsewhere.

 

I know choice is a very personal preference but for me detail/solid punchy well defined bass/shimmering highs are all important to me.

 

My music preference is pretty broad - rock/indie, folk, classical, RnB, Rap, Hip Hop almost anything... probably not country music. So what i am really looking for is a versatile supra-aural sealed/semi open, portable, iPhone friendly (with remote is a nice to have) and less than £250 or thereabouts. Audiophile grade is probably going to be out of the question. Sorry, Hi-Fi!

 

I have tried many pairs and cast aside most as they could not even get close to the SQ of the Amperiors. My victims are what i would describe as mostly mid-fi due to being pretty poor. The list includes Philips L1, Bowers & Wilkins P5, AKG K451, Klipsch Image One, JVC HA-M750, all the way down to the underrated Sony MDR-ZX600 and Monoprice offerings.

 

I have long been an admirer of Head-Fi and enjoyed reading the numerous threads, but only now since i have had the Amperiors do i feel i have reached audio enlightenment and have had the sudden urge to join and mingle with you lovely lot!

 

So... the Amperiors vs.....?

 

Let battle commence!

post #2 of 59

DT1350, Momentum and M80/M100 come to my mind. However the 1350 doesn't have an iDevices cable, the M80 doesn't have the treble energy the HD 25/Amperior excel at, and M100 is more basshead oriented. Momentum supposedly also has a more laid-back sound.

 

The harman/kardon NC is also quite good, the NC feature works well enough. Could get uncomfortable after a while due to leather pads heating up and the cups are rather shallow, but still better than Amperior's.

post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

DT1350, Momentum and M80/M100 come to my mind. However the 1350 doesn't have an iDevices cable, the M80 doesn't have the treble energy the HD 25/Amperior excel at, and M100 is more basshead oriented. Momentum supposedly also has a more laid-back sound.

 

The harman/kardon NC is also quite good, the NC feature works well enough. Could get uncomfortable after a while due to leather pads heating up and the cups are rather shallow, but still better than Amperior's.

Hi LinkPro. Thanks for your reply.

 

The Momentum is an over ear design and as you say, have a more laid back signature - maybe slightly better than the Philips L1? Less clarity/detail compared to the Amperiors. Correct me if i'm wrong.

 

The M80 was definitely on my wishlist before i purchased the Amperiors, however, these are semi- open so was a little concerned over the noise isolation in busy environments - tube commute. Also, comfort and seal may be an issue considering that they do not swivel in the vertical axis. Bending the headband seems a little clumsy to me.

 

The DT1350 is a compelling choice. I have read that the 1350's were more neutral sounding/technical and lacks that "fun" sound signature compared to the Amperiors - apologies for the lack of technical terminology! I am no basshead but i prefer a solid well-defined bass presence more than technical accuracy.

 

The Harman Kardon NC is one that i have not heard of, so i will definitely look into that. How do the leather pads compare to the B&W P5s? The great thing about the P5's is that they are uber-comfortable! Shame they sound average compared to the Amperiors.

 

I will definitely test drive the M80's and the DT1350 at some point to see how they compare.

 

There seems to be a lack of places in the UK where i can try these out. Maybe Apple shops?

 

Ahhh I guess i am on the audio-hunt again!..... the wife will be pleased! confused_face_2.gif

post #4 of 59

You can try the h/k at Apple Store, or buy it and have a 14 day return period if it doesn't work out. They have quite a bit of clamping force, but are definitely more comfortable than the P5 due to being over-ear, I personally can't wear the P5 or any on-ears for more than 5 minutes because my glasses' huge frame gets in the way. Sound wise they're very suprisingly very good, as in I don't hear anything being missing or over-emphasized, overall a smooth yet intimate sound because the sound stage is not very wide or tall. The P5 sorely lacks clarity in comparison.

 

You can get the M80 and DT1350 from amazon and have a 30 day return period. You may also find the 1350 in pro audio shops, along with Beyer's DT line, since they're used a lot for studio work. And I don't think the M80 is semi open at all - they seemed like a closed-back when I tried them, and isolated quite well.

post #5 of 59

Avoid the DT1350 if you want something fun and bassy. I own the DT1350, i love them, but i don't think they'll be for you. I think it all comes down to liking the 'Beyer sound' some would say.

 

I also have the Momentums, as for laid back sounding, quite possibly. But i think you should try them out, they are very warm sounding and the warmth certainly leaks into the rest of the spectrum i found. Beautiful for guitars. Vocals aren't bad either!

 

You can demo the Momentums at John Lewis of all places. That's where i got mine, must of spent 45 minutes standing there. Both attendants got bored of me demoing them, haha. I think they thought i was gonna try and steal 'em. Amazon returns policy allows you to try and then send back too. They're a massive company, so screw them! I spent £300 on some IE80s and HD380 pros, sent both back saying 'quality inadequate'. Got a refund on both, along with my original 1st class postage that i paid for.

 

It's a shame even here in Bristol there isn't really anywhere that sells much where i can go in and be a loyal customer. 

post #6 of 59

Add Yamaha PRO 500 to the list - my Amperior serves as a great ultra-portable complement to my PRO 500, which is the best portable headphone I have had the pleasure of hearing and owning to date. It's basically the most natural-sounding headphone I have ever heard. All my time on HF, I have been a big timbre nut and very nit-picky, looking for the headphone that most accurately reproduces instruments (from drums to piano to sax and cymbals to vocals etc.). Never thought I would find a headphone this good.

post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by roma101 View Post

Add Yamaha PRO 500 to the list - my Amperior serves as a great ultra-portable complement to my PRO 500, which is the best portable headphone I have had the pleasure of hearing and owning to date. It's basically the most natural-sounding headphone I have ever heard. All my time on HF, I have been a big timbre nut and very nit-picky, looking for the headphone that most accurately reproduces instruments (from drums to piano to sax and cymbals to vocals etc.). Never thought I would find a headphone this good.

Really? When i first saw the pro five hundred i went "Beats look-alike, thus couldn't possibly be worth hearing." So you say it's fantastic? Hows the sound stage? And how are they to drive? I'd be really interested in them as kinda an end game portable can. So how big are they exactly?

 

Thanks so much.

post #8 of 59
That's why they haven't been getting much attention. I thought the same thing too till I read someone's impressions about them on the main Yamaha thread. He (Beagle) mentioned how pianos and vocals sounded natural and there was this slight lower mid/upper bass emphasis that many headphones seemed to be missing. Anyway it was like a lightbulb going off in my head as soon as I read his impressions - piano and vocals are hard to reproduce accurately and this lower mid/upper bass emphasis sounded like how I would describe my beloved Panasonic HJE900s, which I have been looking for headphone version of. I can now say that I found the headphone that surpasses my HJEs. When I listen to the Yamahas I find myself just enjoying the music, and not thinking too much about my other cans - a big deal to me. I also think my hunt for headphones is pretty much officially over. I will continue to try other cans as I'll be curious but I highly doubt any other portable will sound as natural and detailed all at the same time. They're amazing to y ears.

To answer your questions, they're extremely efficient and can be driven to very loud volumes from my nanos. Kind of on the slightly big side for portable but definitely doable. Beware of some comfort issues - the ear cups are slightly small but I can deal with these little nitpicks for the SQ they produce.
Edited by roma101 - 2/12/13 at 1:07pm
post #9 of 59
Forgot to add that soundstage, layering, and imaging are all amazing on this can to my ears. People need to give these a shot.
post #10 of 59

oh goodness, it sounds like everything you could ask for in a portable. Hows the isolation? I know for me the isolation has to be incredible. Like and hour on a bus daily. And about a half hour in an incredibly noisy atrium. Can they handle it? 

 

And do you have a review or second impression i could take a look at?

 

Thanks so much. I think my wallet is about to fall victim to the head fi curse.

post #11 of 59
I take the subway everyday, which is pretty damn noisy, and find myself enjoying them in that environment as well. The isolation is good, better than most circumaurals I think. Almost as good as the HD25/Amperior. The bass is punchy and impactful and it works very well in that environment.

Check out the Yamaha thread, I just posted some impressions there. It's not like me to hype up any headphone but the Yamahas do so many things right. It's the first time I've been sure about a headphone being a keeper. And usually the more expensive a headphone is, the more critical I am. I feel that I got my money's worth.
Edited by roma101 - 2/12/13 at 7:18pm
post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

You can try the h/k at Apple Store, or buy it and have a 14 day return period if it doesn't work out. They have quite a bit of clamping force, but are definitely more comfortable than the P5 due to being over-ear, I personally can't wear the P5 or any on-ears for more than 5 minutes because my glasses' huge frame gets in the way. Sound wise they're very suprisingly very good, as in I don't hear anything being missing or over-emphasized, overall a smooth yet intimate sound because the sound stage is not very wide or tall. The P5 sorely lacks clarity in comparison.

 

You can get the M80 and DT1350 from amazon and have a 30 day return period. You may also find the 1350 in pro audio shops, along with Beyer's DT line, since they're used a lot for studio work. And I don't think the M80 is semi open at all - they seemed like a closed-back when I tried them, and isolated quite well.

I think i prefer over ear as a commuter headphone, but yes over ear would be more comfortable. Fortunately, i don't have to wear glasses yet although i do feel like my eyesight is failing me!

I will make a trip to the Apple store to check the H/K's out although i am not sure i fancy the boxy design much... i make change my mind if i see them in the flesh so to speak!

 

You know what, i think the build quality and design of the P5's are absolutely ideal as a commuter 'phone. Flat profile, great build quality, solid but lightweight and just about the right clamping force for me personally. Maybe i have a really small head! The noise isolation is pretty good too. Real shame. Furthermore, i am so paranoid that someone will pull the phones from my head seeing as the B&W logo is emblazoned on the back of the cups. That is why the Sennheiser Amperiors seem like a better commuter pair for me as it is not obvious that they are expensive unless they really know their stuff about headphones.

post #13 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecansmancan View Post

Really? When i first saw the pro five hundred i went "Beats look-alike, thus couldn't possibly be worth hearing." So you say it's fantastic? Hows the sound stage? And how are they to drive? I'd be really interested in them as kinda an end game portable can. So how big are they exactly?

 

Thanks so much.

I think the design is a little bit too cheesy for me but definitely worth a listen going on what Roma says.

post #14 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo View Post

Avoid the DT1350 if you want something fun and bassy. I own the DT1350, i love them, but i don't think they'll be for you. I think it all comes down to liking the 'Beyer sound' some would say.

 

I also have the Momentums, as for laid back sounding, quite possibly. But i think you should try them out, they are very warm sounding and the warmth certainly leaks into the rest of the spectrum i found. Beautiful for guitars. Vocals aren't bad either!

 

You can demo the Momentums at John Lewis of all places. That's where i got mine, must of spent 45 minutes standing there. Both attendants got bored of me demoing them, haha. I think they thought i was gonna try and steal 'em. Amazon returns policy allows you to try and then send back too. They're a massive company, so screw them! I spent £300 on some IE80s and HD380 pros, sent both back saying 'quality inadequate'. Got a refund on both, along with my original 1st class postage that i paid for.

 

It's a shame even here in Bristol there isn't really anywhere that sells much where i can go in and be a loyal customer. 

Exactly the imrpession i get just from reading the reviews and threads on it. Maybe one day i will try the Beyer sound out. But yes you are right, i definitely prefer a bit of bass but obviously not Dr Dre bass. Tried them in Currys and was not impressed! I had to clean my ears out afterwards from all the mud spewing from them.

 

 

By the way, the Momentums can be had for £208 from amazon Italy if anyone is interested.

http://www.amazon.it/Sennheiser-505630-Momentum-Cuffia-Stereo/dp/B009QV15DU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360748478&sr=8-1

 

Haha i can imagine the JL staff looking a bit twitchy.


Edited by jayp266 - 2/13/13 at 2:00am
post #15 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roma101 View Post

That's why they haven't been getting much attention. I thought the same thing too till I read someone's impressions about them on the main Yamaha thread. He (Beagle) mentioned how pianos and vocals sounded natural and there was this slight lower mid/upper bass emphasis that many headphones seemed to be missing. Anyway it was like a lightbulb going off in my head as soon as I read his impressions - piano and vocals are hard to reproduce accurately and this lower mid/upper bass emphasis sounded like how I would describe my beloved Panasonic HJE900s, which I have been looking for headphone version of. I can now say that I found the headphone that surpasses my HJEs. When I listen to the Yamahas I find myself just enjoying the music, and not thinking too much about my other cans - a big deal to me. I also think my hunt for headphones is pretty much officially over. I will continue to try other cans as I'll be curious but I highly doubt any other portable will sound as natural and detailed all at the same time. They're amazing to y ears.

To answer your questions, they're extremely efficient and can be driven to very loud volumes from my nanos. Kind of on the slightly big side for portable but definitely doable. Beware of some comfort issues - the ear cups are slightly small but I can deal with these little nitpicks for the SQ they produce.

Headphones hunt over?! Makes me sad to hear that  :(

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