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Closed Headphones for Classical music?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hello, just made an account. I have been lurking for a couple of days.

 

I am looking to buy a pair of headphones that:

 

1) Cost around $100-300.

2) Are comfy for studying.

3) Don't bleed much if at all. (do any closed headphones bleed?)

 

I will be using them primarily at school either in a computer lab or in the library. While studying, I listen mostly to classical, particularly piano, but certainly not limited to either. Electronic and rock music make cameos. 

 

I would like headphones that don't disturb my neighbors and that are comfy to wear. It would be nice if they had some kind of carrying case that fit in a backpack but I can manage really with any size.

 

I am no audiophile, but I would like to get into it now that I am listening to much more music. I was hoping you all could lend me your wisdom in picking out headphones that match my criteria and also have a fine sound.

 

edit: I should specify, if it wasn't clear, that I would like over-ear headphones, not in-ear. 

 

 

I would appreciate any help. Thanks guys.


Edited by Liszt - 2/20/13 at 9:41am
post #2 of 29

Two well-recommended closed-back headphones for classical: DT660 and HP100.

post #3 of 29

I hear that the AKG K550's are supposed to have a great soundstage for closed back headphones and do a pretty decent job of keeping the sound enclosed.

 

Bass is a little recessed, but great clarity for classical music.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Quest View Post

I hear that the AKG K550's are supposed to have a great soundstage for closed back headphones and do a pretty decent job of keeping the sound enclosed.

 

Bass is a little recessed, but great clarity for classical music.

 

I wouldn't recommend the K550s for classical. Their upper mids simply don't sound natural. You'll find violins to be a bit strident and have a plasticky timbre...  although solo piano recordings can sound decent on them.

 

And the bass isn't recessed at all. Depends on where you're coming from and what you consider "neutral" but it has more bass than, say, the K701.

post #5 of 29

Heya,

 

Easily one of these:

 

Shure SRH940 (comes with a hard case too)

Mr Speakers Mad Dog with Alpha Pads (you can get a hard case, like the Hifiman one from Head-Direct)

 

No amps or anything required.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

 

I wouldn't recommend the K550s for classical. Their upper mids simply don't sound natural. You'll find violins to be a bit strident and have a plasticky timbre...  although solo piano recordings can sound decent on them.

 

And the bass isn't recessed at all. Depends on where you're coming from and what you consider "neutral" but it has more bass than, say, the K701.

 

What headphone doesn't have more bass than the K701's? biggrin.gif

 

I've never listened to the K550s. I was just basing my comments on reviews that ive seen online. But if you've heard them yourself personally, then you'll know much better than myself.

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Quest View Post

 

What headphone doesn't have more bass than the K701's? biggrin.gif

 

 

That's the thing. The K701s are bass neutral to me. I honestly don't understand where K701's no-bass reputation comes from.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

Easily one of these:

Shure SRH940 (comes with a hard case too)
Mr Speakers Mad Dog with Alpha Pads (you can get a hard case, like the Hifiman one from Head-Direct)

No amps or anything required.

Very best,

+1. I'll second that SRH940 recommendation. Amazing clarity for classical and comes with a hard case.


The K550 is very nice too, but the fact that it doesn't come with a case is kind of a deal breaker. Fit issues are common with the K550 as well, and this issue is known to directly affect bass response on the K550. If you can get a good seal though, it becomes a very solid headphone. Again, great clarity for classical.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Quest View Post

What headphone doesn't have more bass than the K701's? biggrin.gif

MDR-F1. tongue.gif (I still love'em though)
Quote:
I've never listened to the K550s. I was just basing my comments on reviews that ive seen online. But if you've heard them yourself personally, then you'll know much better than myself.

I would probably regard the 550 as somewhat bassier, but neither are really exaggerated. The 701 are better overall (isolation aside) imho. Note that I haven't directly A/B'd them (or owned them concurrently).
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

That's the thing. The K701s are bass neutral to me. I honestly don't understand where K701's no-bass reputation comes from.

Comparisons to the HD 580/600 maybe? I'd agree that they're pretty bass-neutral. Not too much, not too little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liszt View Post

Hello, just made an account. I have been lurking for a couple of days.

I am looking to buy a pair of headphones that:

1) Cost around $100-300.

2) Are comfy for studying.

3) Don't bleed much if at all. (do any closed headphones bleed?)

I will be using them primarily at school either in a computer lab or in the library. While studying, I listen mostly to classical, particularly piano, but certainly not limited to either. Electronic and rock music make cameos. 

I would like headphones that don't disturb my neighbors and that are comfy to wear. It would be nice if they had some kind of carrying case that fit in a backpack but I can manage really with any size.

I am no audiophile, but I would like to get into it now that I am listening to much more music. I was hoping you all could lend me your wisdom in picking out headphones that match my criteria and also have a fine sound.

edit: I should specify, if it wasn't clear, that I would like over-ear headphones, not in-ear. 


I would appreciate any help. Thanks guys.

Yes there are closed headphones that leak (ph34r.gif), the older Denon models and the Beats ANC headphones are examples (I wouldn't suggest either of these anyways, for what you want). Headphones that I'd suggest for you, in no particular order:

- Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9
- Koss TBSE
- Koss MV1 (may need an amp; 250R Znom but not massively insensitive)
- Kenwood KH-K1000 (over budget by ~$100, BIG, and no case)

Depending on how you feel about bass, I'd also suggest the Ultrasone PRO900. Now hear me out - they certainly have a healthy amount of bass (and they're certainly type-cast as basshead blasters for EDM and nothing else), but they aren't one-trick cans. A little hot on the top-end, a little withdrawn in the mids, certainly very colored, but they're comfortable, come with a nice accessory package, and a nice case. They're also fairly easily driven and have removable cables. I think as general all-rounders they would be a fine candidate, especially for low-volume listening, but you should seriously think about them before ordering (in other words, on paper they're perfect for you, but sonically they might not be, as they aren't very neutral).

I think any of those five would probably satisfy you, and if you just want to grab something simple and easy that ticks all your boxes and doesn't cost a lot, I'd get the TBSE (they can probably still be had for ~$50 from Tuesday Morning, on sale).
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

 

That's the thing. The K701s are bass neutral to me. I honestly don't understand where K701's no-bass reputation comes from.

 

What gear did you use to run them though?

I hear that the sound signature of these headphones can change drastically depending on whats powering them.

 

At 62 ohms, you wouldn't think they would be too difficult to power, but that doesn't seem to be the case with these headphones from what i've read.

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Quest View Post

What gear did you use to run them though?


I hear that the sound signature of these headphones can change drastically depending on whats powering them.

At 62 ohms, you wouldn't think they would be too difficult to power, but that doesn't seem to be the case with these headphones from what i've read.

They're 62 ohms, true, but impedance doesn't (by itself) act as an indicator of "drivability" (as so many articles erroneously claim). Sensitivity also must be considered, and the 701 are only around ~90 dB/mW (which is relatively low). So they need a moderately competent amplifier to push them along. Beyond that, however, they're fairly stable and consistent - IME (I had them for years, and tried them on a lot of gear).
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Love the replies. So many good ideas.

 

I think I might spring for the Audio Technica ATHESW9A because I am a sucker for pretty things.

post #13 of 29

srh940 and dont look back.

post #14 of 29

Would those who've recommended the SRH940 still do so? 

post #15 of 29
yes, at least if the t5p is out of reach
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