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For chambermusic and mixing - Dt880 or K701?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone

I know there are a many comparison out there between these two headphone, but I'd love to get some input in comparing them for a very specific purpose.

I need new headphones and I'd use them for listening (almost exclusively classical music). Chamber music's high on the list, string quartets, piano music, some symphonic or concerto music too.

Secondly I'd use them for some mixing. So I need the most detailed, analytical phone I can get. Instrument separation is very important too.

So I've narrowed the search down to either the Beyerdynamic Dt 880 or the Akg K701. The latter has a nice wide soundstage, but it isn't as deep as I'd wish. Plus compared to the Dt880 they definitely lack some punch in the bass.

What do you think, knowing that both are great headphones, which one would be better suited for these specific tasks?
post #2 of 12

Mixing is a dangerous game with headphones (not recommended at all). Otherwise, I'd go for the Beyers.

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post

Mixing is a dangerous game with headphones (not recommended at all). Otherwise, I'd go for the Beyers.

Why is this? PM me.

post #4 of 12

DT 880's.

 

They have a richer, "sweeter" sound.

Soundstage not quite as vast as the 70X's.

More bass on the DT880's.

 

You'll need a decent amplifier for either.

post #5 of 12
So the Dt 880 was preferable? The lack of bass impact on the K701 bothered me too, and I don't have a problem with the Dt 880's treble. So Beyerdynamic might be the winner here
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post

So the Dt 880 was preferable? The lack of bass impact on the K701 bothered me too, and I don't have a problem with the Dt 880's treble. So Beyerdynamic might be the winner here

 

I think so.

post #7 of 12

I'm listening chamber music 80% of the time an for my taste it is K701 without a slightest doubt.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexon View Post

I'm listening chamber music 80% of the time an for my taste it is K701 without a slightest doubt.


Have you listened to chamber music on the other headphone mentioned,

the Beyer DT880?

post #9 of 12

I have the DT880s, and chamber music is one of the best genres on them. Classical Italian guitar sounds great, my favorite being Vivaldi's mandolin concertos, which are robust, dynamic, yet detailed. I feel like I can hear everything, every page-turn, breath, and shuffle by the performers. You can pick out individual instruments amidst a crescendo easily, its a microscope into the music. I've heard a K701 before on chamber, but no A/B comparison on the same song. K701 lack the lower harmonics that add fullness, but you can pinpoint instruments more easily and its airier, which could be beneficial for chamber. The downside of that, though, is that the soundstage is pushed far to the left and right. Feels like you are sitting between performers. DT880 soundstage is more natural and audience-orientated. Regardless of choice, remember that these detailed headphones will give you a close-up view of the music, with exaggerated detail and less bass compared to speakers. It might be a good idea to implement these alongside a dark headphone or a pair of speakers with good low frequency response to get a rounded perspective on the mix you are creating.  

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks strangelove for that helpful insight. Really appreciated

post #11 of 12

I do have a pair of AKG K702 headphones. I do listen to chamber music a lot, but I could not compare them to the Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones as I have never heard them.

 

My AKG K702s are superb for orchestral music and are possible the best headphones of them all for this, however for chamber music I don't think they are necessarily better than other headphones.

 

On the issue of soundstage I use a crossfeed nearly always when listening to music through headphones. I think it would be good to check this out, especially if you are wishing to mix recordings using the headphones.

 

The crossfeed I use is built into my Meier-Audio StageDAC, but there are software crossfeeds available as well.

 

I could not listen to chamber music without a crossfeed because the strange stereo created by playing music mixed for stereo speakers through headphones is very apparent with chamber music recordings.

 

If you were to get the AKG K701 headphones the problem of very wide soundstage mentioned by one person so far would probably be resolved with the crossfeed, I think.

 

I do mix sound for videos I'm working on using headphones.

 

If you are mixing using headphones then it is good to use a crossfeed and check regularly with a pair of speakers with a flat freq response.


Edited by p a t r i c k - 4/21/13 at 6:56am
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

 

If you are mixing using headphones then it is good to use a crossfeed and check regularly with a pair of speakers with a flat freq response.

 

This is pretty much the reason. Crossfeed is an acoustic trick to get the left speaker gets to my right ear and right speaker gets to my left ear occurrence of speakers on your headphones (which is actually what is natural about speakers, not isolating channels like headphones do). In reality, mixing/mastering with headphones is generally frowned upon. Flat detailed speakers are the best way to mix/master.

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