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Returned AKG K550 and VmodaM100. Would really appreciate some feedback for my search!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

This is a follow-up to my previous post regarding choosing in between AKG K550 and Vmoda M100. I bought both and was hoping to choose one to conclude my research for a semi-portable headphone. Unfortunately, I returned both. My requirements were:

 

  • Best sound quality I can get at the expense of portability (but still be portable) at the price range around $300 to $500
  • Decent sound stage / clarity / airy
  • Something that will utilize my E17

 

 

Here is my experience with them (source FLAC, Iphone 4s, used Equ in addition to E17 to play around):

 

AKG K550 (120 hours burn in, made sure I got a good fit as it makes a big difference, had to increase bass on E17 to +6~, increase treble +2)

  • Pros: Great sound stage, great clarity, very comfortable (you forget it is there), good build quality
  • Cons: Very low bass (it improved after burn in a little or I got used to its signature), not really portable but the only portability I need was using it at the airport, hotel and at home, so it worked out fine

 

I really wanted to like these headphones, At the end, I gave up because it is just not good enough to be OK with the problems with portability. It just didn't sound fun (lack of a better term). When I listened to Rock and rock-jazz (e.g. Niacin or some of Victor Wooten stuff), it was not giving the impact...

 

VMODA M100 (50 hours burn in, didn't make any difference, had to reduce bass on E17 to -4/-6~, increase teble +4)

 

  • Pros: PORTABLE, looks amazing, bass is impactful
  • Cons: Holy death grip batman (my head is not big any my ears are relatively small), it sounds too close and the music is slightly congested/not airy (not very much familiar with terminologies, so excuse me if I'm referring to something completely wrong), wasn't impressed with sound quality for $300

 

After attempts to reduce the death grip, I still couldn't keep it on my head longer than 20-30 minutes. If I kept adjusting the fit, I would survive around 45 but at that point I was focusing on the comfort issue more than the music. When I reduce the bass to -6 and slightly boost treble, I felt like the music was loosing its clarity a little more ( it might be me).

 

 

I was hoping you guys could help me to find a solution to my problem (maybe there is no solution for $500)   :) Here are the options I found after long research on this website:

 

  • HD650 - don't worry about portability, use it at home, at the hotel and get almost all of the items I'm looking for (would this be a good option?)
  • Get an IEM instead of over the head... Would IEMs be able to provide what I'm looking for at $500 price range? Here are the contenders I identified Westone 4, Shure SE535, Sony MDR EX100, Anything else?

 

I'm hoping to have airy sound, clarity, large sound stage, impactful/punchy bass but not overwhelming

 

I would REALLY appreciate any feedback.

 

Thank you in advance!!!!

post #2 of 19
Have you tried any Beyerdynamic cans? I have the 32ohm DT770 Pro. Has ample bass, VERY comfortable and great overall sound. I still prefer my Q-40's but if you thought the V-Moda was a clamper you may not like these (tho you can fix the clamp issue).

I almost always amp and am a confirmed basshead so I'm a bit biased towards those cans that rattle my brain a bit.
post #3 of 19

Ultrasone Pro headphones (750/900) both are good at what you need. 

post #4 of 19
I'm not sure the 900 are a good candidate, if he's reducing the bass to suit his tastes. redface.gif Otherwise I'd agree with you (I have no idea what the 750 sound like though) - they're good headphones. smily_headphones1.gif

Anyways, a few that come to mind:

- Kenwood KH-K1000
- Audio-Technica ATH-W1000X and ATH-ESW9
- Koss MV1

I think the W1000X and K1000 are your best bets. atsmile.gif
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the responses. It sound like Ultrasone 900 is similar to M100. Obobskivicn, I accidently pulled AKG K1000 instead of Kenwood K1000. Holy crap AKG K1000s are ugly :)))    (couldn't find kenwood k1000 on amazon)

 

Would anybody be able to comment on the headphones I listed in my original email (HD650, Westone 4, Shure SE535, Sony MDR EX1000)

 

I think I want to go either completely open (something like HD650) or if I can get similar characteristics, an IEM

 

Thanks a TON!

post #6 of 19
post #7 of 19
HD650 are truly amazing if you're okay with the laid back sound.
post #8 of 19
If you're interested in the HD650 don't forget to check the HD600 too. It's cheaper but sonically on the same level.
If you're still looking for something portable though, Mr. Speakers Maddogs and the LFF Paradox seem to be grat options. These are closed and portable headphones that are said to be grat sounding. And well within your pricerange too
Edited by papamogl - 4/6/13 at 2:31am
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorkem View Post

Thank you for the responses. It sound like Ultrasone 900 is similar to M100. Obobskivicn, I accidently pulled AKG K1000 instead of Kenwood K1000. Holy crap AKG K1000s are ugly smily_headphones1.gif))    (couldn't find kenwood k1000 on amazon)

Would anybody be able to comment on the headphones I listed in my original email (HD650, Westone 4, Shure SE535, Sony MDR EX1000)

I think I want to go either completely open (something like HD650) or if I can get similar characteristics, an IEM

Thanks a TON!

Audiocubes sells the Kenwood K1000; they're very different from the AKGs. They will sound somewhat like the Sennheiser models, but with a livelier top-end and somewhat more forward mids. The Sennheiser wouldn't be a bad choice either (I haven't heard the 650, but the 580/600 would probably get you where you want to go).

IEMs will not, IME, produce the soundstage you want - at all. But that's no reason to shy away from closed headphones; the K550 were pretty ho-hum IMO, and I haven't tried the M-100 - they aren't the final word on closed cans. redface.gif
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

This forum is simply AMAZING! I think I further refined my research based on all the great feedback. It looks like, I'm focusing on open headphones removing IEMs and closed cans from the list. The ranking so far looks like

 

  1. HE-400
  2. HD-600
  3. HD-650

 

One thing I want to avoid is to have a weak bass response (what I experienced with AKG K550). I'm not a bass head but appreciate a strong sub-bass where it is required. I dared to listen to Enigma's MCMX on AKG K550 and it was definitely not a fulfilling experience. 

 

If I were to concentrate on the following attributes, would any of these listed cans satisfy them?  (Airy, not congested, detailed, large sound-stage and decent sub-bass, nothing like Vmoda m100 though atsmile.gif  )

post #11 of 19
The Sennheiser models are not what I'd describe as "airy" or having a "large soundstage" - but otherwise I think you'd be satisfied. You're describing the Denon AH-D2000 more than anything else though. redface.gif
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hmm I thought I read hd600 and HE400 had large soundstage and was airy (i might be completely lost hehe).. I checked AH-D2000 and it looks like they are discontinued and not a big fan of buying second hand electronic equipment (due to bad experiences in the past) confused_face(1).gif

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorkem View Post

Hmm I thought I read hd600 and HE400 had large soundstage and was airy (i might be completely lost hehe).. I checked AH-D2000 and it looks like they are discontinued and not a big fan of buying second hand electronic equipment (due to bad experiences in the past) confused_face(1).gif

Indeed the Denon are...frown.gif

And I think soundstage size needs to be evaluated in relative terms - the K550 are fairly spacious for a closed headphone (compare them to something like the ATH-M50 or P5), the HD 600 are fairly narrow for an open headphone (compare them to something like the K701 or MDR-F1). It honestly sounds like you're pretty-well sold on the HD 600, and I don't think they'd do a bad job for what you want - I think, however, that your overall "wants and desires" are somewhat broad (and potentially are asking for too much); honestly I'd suggest the HD 600 given that, because you seem to have an affinity for them, and they should satisfy what you want (and if they don't, you'll have a better idea of what you do and don't like, having tried something else).
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

You are right on the spot. I think I'm asking for too much at 500-600 price point rolleyes.gif

 

I guess what I'm struggling with is in between HD600 and HE400. Could anyone comment on the sub-bass of these? I have a E17 to drive during my travels (in the hotel room etc) and also Yamaha V671 for my home office use. I liked K550's sound stage and airiness it was just the bass was lacking and making the sound hmmm "not fun?" I think I'm almost there to make the final decision, just need to decide in between these 2 biggrin.gif

post #15 of 19
sony ex1000
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