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Momentum, M-100, UE6000, MDR-1R, or... ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So long story here, but hear me out - I apologize in advance.

I've been researching and auditioning headphones pretty extensively for the past few months, but I can't seem to make a decision. In December, I picked up a pair of m50s on amazon for $105. I very much enjoyed them, but I often listen to headphones while drifting off to sleep and sometimes I fall asleep in them. By the end of January (just two months of use) the pleather had become hard/cracking likely because the pads aren't very breathable and are rather susceptible to sweat/oil.

I then returned the m50s to amazon and picked up some dt770s from Guitar Center for $190, which I thought because they had velour pads, this would resolve my issue. Unamped, I found I did not like the sound as much as my m50s, and they were far more inconvenient due to the very long cable (the m50s were conveniently coiled). They just felt less sensitive, more lifeless.

In a last ditch effort, I went big. I ordered a Fiio e07k Andes and some AKG Q701s to audition against the dt770s with proper amplification. While I wanted to love the Q701s, and indeed, they felt very good on my head, I just found the bass lacking even through the DAC and the highs were quite prominent and very fatiguing to my ears. Amped, the dt770s didn't change enough that I was happy spending an extra $100 for a barely appreciable difference to my ears. Thus, I returned them both and am now in headphone limbo.

Now, here's where I'm at. I primarily use my headphones to listen to music - primarily rock, classic rock, and metal, but occasionally some modern top-40 stuff. Just as often, I use them to watch/stream movies and play games on my laptop and iPhone. I also use them to monitor my keyboard using a 1/4" jack.

Based on my experiences with the aforementioned headphones, here's what I like about each that I'd like to preserve in my next pair:

M50: While the sound is a bit "V-shaped," I don't mind it, and it actually made my piano sound really good. I also enjoyed the folding prowess (cups swivel, pads fold inward). I liked the shortness of the cable as it made it a more portable solution for my iPhone

dt770: The velour ear pads were very comfortable and the 1/8" jack fit in my iPhone without having to remove my massive case

q701: Fashion forward design, really nice big soundstage which made games and movies pretty immersive. I liked the roomier ear pads as well and the sheer lightness of the cans on my head compared to my previous two. I could barely tell they were on.

So here's what I'm looking for:

Something portable that works with my iPhone with the case on and has a shorter cable (mic/ volume controls would be a bonus). A folding design would also be preferable and some sort of case/ pouch for travel.

Adapts easily to a 1/4" jack to be used with my keyboard. Perhaps even a removable cable with a longer cable to use at home.

Great sounding with the types of music described above, but not so flat as to make movies/ games boring. So I guess I'm not opposed to "fun" sounding headphones, but as always, something audiophile quality is always a nice touch.

I'm looking into:

Sennheiser Momentums (which I've heard are cramped and perhaps a little flat or boring sounding)

V-Moda M-100s (which I've seen can be overly bass heavy which I'm worried might kill an instrumental guitar track, for example)

Sony MDR-1R (seem like lower build quality for $300, unsure of sound)

Logitech UE6000 (I've heard the active noise cancellation colors the sound and they seem to have a problem with the cable being loose in connecting to the phones)

Does anyone own (or heard) any of the above and can offer any advice? Or perhaps you have another suggestion not yet on my radar? If all fails, I'll probably just pick up another pair of m50s, perhaps in white, and try to be more careful with the pads.
post #2 of 17
I own the Momentums after having owned many headphones in the past. They are as smooth sounding as headphones get without sounding boring or completely flat. I have never ever heard instrument separation done this good, and that's even compared to my more expensive pair of Denon AH-D2000's. I have seriously thought about getting the V-Moda M100's but I hear the bass is a lot more impactful. I would rule the others out.
post #3 of 17

I have the Momentums and I agree with what Romani said about them. Very smooth indeed,

 

The only other headphone I would consider (and did seriously consider) is the Sony MDR-R1, which has about the same technical abilities as the Momentum, but a more 'fun' (v-shaped) sound, which isn't better or worse, it's just a different flavour. 

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input, Romani.

Greq, what about the M-100 would you shy away from? Is it the heavy bass, as Romani indicated?

I'm basically in a total toss-up between the Momentums and the M-100s (I feel the relatively lack of portability given the price of the MDR-1R rules them out, for example - no hard shell case). I've made piece with ruling out the others as well.
post #5 of 17

That's the only one I can't comment on, as they're extremely uncommon in Germany.

post #6 of 17
I would recommend the M100 over all the others for sure. The only question mark there is the bass quantity. If you have the ability to use a bit of eq, then go for it. My second recommendation would be for the UE6000. I haven't heard the Sony and I'm not a fan of the Momentum. The midrange and vocals tend to sound pushed back or distant on the Momentum, imho.

I own the M100 and with a little eq on the lower end it really is transforms into something special. Then, the bass is still there if you want that extra thump for mainstream music or rock. Think of it like a 2 in 1 sort of a deal. For example, AC/DC really slams on the M100 without eq, but I would tend to prefer some eq for most classic rock.
post #7 of 17

The M100 is a nice headphone however I've read multiple instances of comfort being an issue (not to mention they are overpriced). There's just no point in owning a headphone if its not comfortable to wear (this is pretty subjective and im sure people will chime in to defend their M100s).

 

The UE6000 is something ive heard at the apple store a few times, really like it and its not fatiguing sound for EDM.

I currently have the DT770/80 ohms and unlike the UE6000 you can order replacement parts for them, they do have a dip (recessed vocals, making it sound a bit dark in some cases, but I like this.) and then spike around 7 to 11ish khz which can fatigue some people.

If the UE6000 had replacement parts I would reccomend them to everyone. They are a bit sub bass heavy (as the m100 and dt770) and relaxed with low distortion, perfect for me.


Edited by Docks - 2/22/13 at 10:36am
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
If we threw portability out, what is, hands down the best $300 pair of closed headphones? Is there a cookie-cutter recommendation at that price range (i.e. for $50-$100 you always hear Cal! or Grado, for $100-150 you always hear Ath-m50, at $200, it's the dt700). What is a "safe" bet at $300?
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAC View Post
 
 I'm not a fan of the Momentum. The midrange and vocals tend to sound pushed back or distant on the Momentum, imho.
 

First I've heard anyone say that about the Momentum.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docks View Post

The M100 is a nice headphone however I've read multiple instances of comfort being an issue (not to mention they are overpriced). There's just no point in owning a headphone if its not comfortable to wear (this is pretty subjective and im sure people will chime in to defend their M100s).

The Momentum hurts my ears more than the M100, so yes, very subjective to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

First I've heard anyone say that about the Momentum.

You have never heard anyone comment on the Momentum's recessed midrange?
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAC View Post


The Momentum hurts my ears more than the M100, so yes, very subjective to say the least.
You have never heard anyone comment on the Momentum's recessed midrange?

 

I do think that the Momentum have a bit recessed midrange. But maybe because my taste on mid range is more on the Shure sound side, which are considered to have very forward mids.

post #12 of 17
I'm not sure there's a "good" cookie-cutter suggestion at $300. I have a few thoughts though (I've heard/owned the K701 and M50, not the DT770, and none of the ones you're considering - so bear that in mind (in other words, I'm not trying to steer you away from any of those, per se, I'm only commenting on what I know about)).

My from-the-hip suggestion is (and I know this won't be popular) the Bose AE2 (or AE2i, if you want the in-line control stuff). They're very comfortable, very light, and very smooth/non-fatiguing (moreso than the AKGs or M50s). However, I like them for multimedia content more than just for music, and given that you have a few more dollars to spend, it might be worth looking at some other models too. You can probably find the AE2 to demo at a variety of stores, and I'd honestly suggest you just take the ~20 minutes to try them and see if they do anything for you. They are not "perfect" (and they are not $300), but they sound to me (at least the outset) like they'll tick all your boxes.

However in thinking about the ~$300 budget, I want to aim higher, and point at some fancier models. The Kenwood KH-K1000 come to mind immediately, but they're BIG (they're bigger than the 701). Despite that, they're easily driven, very comfortable, and I think they'd satisfy everything you want. They do run over $300 though, and you'll be waiting for a while on shipping (they have to be imported from Japan). My only single complaint about these is the size/weight, but they're supremely comfortable (every surface that touches your body is heavily padded and covered in very soft material), and do very well with a variety of music.

Finally, the Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 are a personal pick; despite being very colored, they're very pleasant to listen to, and will handle a decently wide range of music. They're certainly a somewhat narrow sounding can (and not a favorite for videogames), but manageable, and have decent positioning.

The rub here is that I don't love any of the above as top-picks for the music you've listed; but all of the headphones I *do* dig for that music will probably be torture for you (if you found the 701 fatiguing). So I'm somewhat hesitant to give the three above suggestions in that context. I'm not saying they're incapable, but IMHO they aren't cans I'd reach for if I wanted to spend and evening listening to Elvis, AC/DC, Santana, or Rammstein. redface.gif
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAC View Post


You have never heard anyone comment on the Momentum's recessed midrange?

Nope.

I'm very active in the "Sennheiser Momentum Review" thread and if it ever came up there, I must have missed it.

 

Also my ears missed it too - this is coming from someone who enjoys the mids from Grado RS2i and AKG K241 - both have slightly forward mids. 

 

@Brac - you mentioned that Momentums hurt your ears - do the Momentums fully surround your ears, or do they rest on top of them? If it's the latter, you won't get a good seal and the mids will seem to be recessed. 


Edited by GREQ - 2/22/13 at 2:29pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

Nope.
I'm very active in the "Sennheiser Momentum Review" thread and if it ever came up there, I must have missed it.

Also my ears missed it too - this is coming from someone who enjoys the mids from Grado RS2i and AKG K241 - both have slightly forward mids. 

@Brac - you mentioned that Momentums hurt your ears - do the Momentums fully surround your ears, or do they rest on top of them? If it's the latter, you won't get a good seal and the mids will seem to be recessed. 

It just goes to show how very differently we all hear and interpret sound. And, also why it's so very important to audition whenever possible. I gave the Momentum every opportunity to impress me by auditioning on three separate occasions, but in the end it simply didn't jive with me. YMMV.


I can get a good seal on the Momentum, but the ear pads definitely don't fully surround my ears. Then again, neither do the ear pads on my M100...
post #15 of 17

I listen to the same genres. If timbre accuracy and a great all-rounder are what you're looking for, please take a look at the Yamaha PRO 500. My only issue with the headphone is that it is slightly on the bulky side, but doable, for portable use. The ear cups are also on the small side. However, this is the best sounding closed headphone I have heard yet.

 

The more portable and comfortable choices for sure, will be the Sony MDR-1R and the V-MODA M-100. I owned the 1R and while I loved the warm and sweet sound, it's not as refined as the 500. The bass is also good but slightly less than the 500 (the 500 has the perfect amount of bass, mids, and treble for me honestly). The most prominent features of the 500 are the spacious sound, excellent layering and imaging, as well as the natural timbre and decay, They're nicely detailed and the instrument separation is top notch.

 

As for the M-100, I still have yet to try them and I am looking forward to picking them up as a fun, bassy, slightly more portable circumaural complement to my 500. But so far the PRO 500 is the headphone I had been always looking for SQ-wise since my time on HF.


Edited by roma101 - 2/22/13 at 3:23pm
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