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Perfect headphone for up to $1,400 budget?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
The music I listen to is mostly vocals. I have the Beyer T1s, Anedio D2, custom Woo Audio amp (equivalent to WA2) and an IPod dock with digital out.

My impressions on what I have heard are:

Beyer T1 - great balanced sound but treble can get fatiguing after long listening

LCD2 - great control. Better bass and mids compared to T1 but vocals too far away (more drowned out by bass and mids). Not as comfortable as T1s

HD800 - find the sound too analytical but very comfortable headphones

Hifiman HE-6 - treble seemed dull compared to the other 3 headphones

HD650 - not heard this but read it's not as detailed or has the control of the other headphones mentioned but very musical.

Is there a headphone that I should listen to? I am looking for detailed, musical headphones which have a good emphasis on vocals but not fatiguing. Or is the case of modding the T1? Just scared of opening up such expensive headphones. Any advice would really be appreciated.
Edited by Clsmooth391 - 4/26/13 at 3:18pm
post #2 of 29

edit: Sorry didn't read the post

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 29

I'd say the HD650's. I've listened to all the headphones mentioned above, except the 650's. I have researched the HD650's heavily though, and if your search isn't over by next Friday, PM me. I am recieving the HD650's next Friday.

post #5 of 29

Perfect headphone for up to $1,400 budget?


Sorry but there is no perfect headphone :)


I haven't heard any of the headphones you mention, however I do wonder a bit about the fatiguing treble of the Beyerdynamic T1 headphones.


Maybe you could just try curing that?


There are various possibilities.


You could try crossfeed. I personally find this essential for listening to music on my headphones. My experience with crossfeed will move the instruments into a more coherent soundstage and can reduce the sense of having them playing right in each earhole. There are many different approaches to crossfeed, the one I use is the one in my Meier-Audio StageDAC. However there are software ones if you use a computer for your source.


I don't see what amplifier you use but sometimes people use valve amplifiers ("tubes" in US) with headphones because the treble can be very smooth with them.


Obviously there is also the possibility of an equaliser, if you are using a computer then you could check this out.


With a computer as source you could also check out different replay software of course.


Maybe you have tried all of these things and they have not worked out for you. However in any case I hope you do get a bit closer to audio nirvana :)

post #6 of 29

Consider Stax. They have the kind of sound signature you like, and they're very different from dynamics. This set might be a good start to look at - though used will get you a lot of value.



post #7 of 29

AKG K1000, my all time fave midrange / vocal headphone.  Although it needs  considerable power, think 5-10 Watt speaker amp or a very high output headphone amp.  Hard to tell from your post what your amp is capable of, or how loud you listen to your music.


x2 on a Stax setup. 

Edited by kramer5150 - 4/27/13 at 12:54pm
post #8 of 29

Can you audition the Ultrasone Edition 8?  You might like what they offer...



post #9 of 29

A 2nd hand LCD-3? may be a bit over your budget though. Vocals sound very natural (lifelike)

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the the suggestions.

Wofltan44, please let me know what you think of the HD650s in comparison to he other headphones.

Re: Stax, would the SR-007 mkI or II be what I am looking for. Really don't want to keep upgrading.

ButtuglyJeff, does the Ultrasone have the qualities of the T1 but with more forward vocals? I might be able to audition these.

Formula1, does the LCD3 have more forward vocals than the LCD2? Are the vocals more lifelike than the LCD2?
post #11 of 29
Originally Posted by Clsmooth391 View Post

ButtuglyJeff, does the Ultrasone have the qualities of the T1 but with more forward vocals? I might be able to audition these.


I've only had very short auditions with both, and not at the same time.  But my memory tells me yes, buy a hair.  But do not go by my words, you should listen if you can.


BTW, the Stax is way, way over your $1400 budget, plus you would need to add an electrostatic amp...

post #12 of 29

None. LCD-3 could fit the bill but is over your set budget.


Another option is the Koss ESP-950 or maybe the new King Sound Headphone 1.

post #13 of 29

I'd put my money on the HD 650. They aren't the most detailed or controlled headphones on your list, but for vocals you can honestly go no better. It's musical, and never fatiguing with a smaller soundstage that actually makes it idea for vocals. 

Since you've heard the LCD 2, I'd say that the 650s are a less dark and more comfortable LCD 2. :)

post #14 of 29

I hear the HE-500 are close to the T1 with maybe less fatiguing treble (I don't find the T1s treble fatiguing, so idk how you'd like the HE-500).  if you can find a pair to try might be worthwhile for you.

post #15 of 29

the ed8 is cooler sounding than the T1..less bright too. The earpads are kinda small..barely fits my elephant ears.

i had to..and liked to crank up the volume on the ed8 just to get the mids/vocals alittle forward..

and i liked it on starwars kind of spacey music...

then i SOLD IT. 


I would go for the hd650 and add a silver cable.

its lush, its smooth, there is an attack to the sound somewhere in there. :P

check out the hd650thread...a thousand pages to read..have fun.


add : comfort wise, this is such a big factor for us music lovers...

        much as the LCDs/HEs are popular, i aint gonna let them sit on me for hours. hehe

Edited by Lorspeaker - 4/28/13 at 6:28pm
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