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Bassy, yet not overwhelmingly so

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Any recommendation for other headphones are also appreciated.

 

Looking for a bassy sound that doesn't overshadow mids and highs, especially the vocal range. It will not be used for genres like classical and jazz, so a very large soundstage is unnecessary; however, I would still like them to be uncongested. I want a full mid bass which doesn't interfere with other frequencies or sound bloated/muddy. Headphones I've been considering include:

  • ATH WS99
  • ATH ES700
  • ATH ES10
  • Ultrasone Pro 900

 

What I've gathered from research:

 

ATH WS99: Solid bass; biggest bass of the three ATH's listed. Centered on mid-bass. Forward, full mids because of the high low-mid frequencies. Not muddy. Comfort issues with pads. No solution for the pad issue found on the WS99's thread that doesn't interfere with the sound too much.

 

ATH ES700: Bass not as pronounced; least of the three ATH's. Still has a significant bass boost. Very natural vocal reproduction. Looks quite fragile, however.

 

ATH ES10: Very prominent bass, very comfortable. Cups seem a bit flashy and scratch  very easily.

 

http://doctorhead.ru/upload/iblock/ffb/fr.png

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock134 View Post

I like to think of my ES10 as a miniature/portable version of the Pro900. It has nice highs and mids and very nice punchy bass.

 

It does have a smallish soundstage and average isolation though.

 

Reports say that the bass is very prominent. The graph doesn't really look so, but I'll take the head-fiers' words for it. However, if it indeed does sound like a mini pro-900 (more expensive and fragile), I don't think its a very good buy.

 

 

Pro 900: Very full bass. Recessed mids, bright highs. There have been many conflicting opinions about these headphones; graphs show that these are a bit sibilant. While the mids don't look too recessed many have complained about them being extremely recessed and unengaging (a big turn off). However, many in some other threads have stated that they felt that the mids were only slightly recessed, and that the highs were not harsh after burn in. However, I am wary of thread bias. The highs seem uneven (10KHz dip), but I'm not sure how this will impact the listening experience. They are secure and of very durable build quality. Comfortable except for the top headband. If I do buy these, I can do the HD650 mod to make the headband more comfortable.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=933


Edited by posteriorpounde - 5/16/13 at 5:09pm
post #2 of 11

I have the Pro 900's. I don't find them to be that sibilant, but I do find the midrange to be lacking sometimes. The mids can sound distorted and metallic on rock or acoustic instruments. The Pro 900's are best suited for electronica, IMO. If you're listening to classical and jazz but want a little more bass, something like the Sennheiser HD650s would probably be your best bet.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I want a headphone for alt rock (not classical) like The Killers, Phoenix, and Two Door Cinema Club, female vocals/pop like Marina and the Diamonds and Florence and the Machine, and various electro including Glitch Mob and Blackmill. The division is about 50%/30%/20%, however lots of music features a strong bass line. I find my K550 lacking impact (though it extends well). Though the soundstage is appreciated, I feel like it kind of goes to waste because I'm not listening to really separation intensive music like classical and jazz. A lot of the music is carried by vocals, so I'm looking for that to be more prominent and engaging.

 

Also, I'm looking for sealed headphones that do a fair job of isolating.

post #4 of 11

Of the phones listed I have only had the PRO900 and I can say that it will only work with electronic music. The sibilance was entirely unbearable with female vocals, for example Lana Del Rey, Florence + the Machine, and so forth. They worked well with Glitch Mob, The Black Keys, Ratatat etc. But its main strength was obviously genres like DnB, Dubstep/Chillstep.

 

Nontheless they are really fun headphones, but very fatiguing because of the highs and the comfort level. I loved to use them solely for bass and fairly good soundstage (for a closed can) in games and action-packed movies as well as for music where bass is very prominent. They will require some equilizing to sound OK, but despite of that its mids were too hollow for vocals and the type of music I listen to the most. They are however isolating very well, but unfortunately I found the phones way too bright.

 

Just thought I'd let you know my subjective opinion about the headphones since I also listen to classical music, as well as The Killers, TDCC, Florence + the Machine.

post #5 of 11

I could also perhaps recommend you look into a pair of used Denon D5000. To me they seemed more bearable with other genres and its comfort was superior to the PRO900. Obviously it doesn't have the same bass slam as the PRO900 (I doubt there are many headphones out there that does), but I felt it did sub-bass better. I also liked the soundstage more and its mids were slightly more forward and not as recessed as on the PRO900, while the highs were much more bearable. Isolation was still better on PRO900, though.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monir View Post

I could also perhaps recommend you look into a pair of used Denon D5000. To me they seemed more bearable with other genres and its comfort was superior to the PRO900. Obviously it doesn't have the same bass slam as the PRO900 (I doubt there are many headphones out there that does), but I felt it did sub-bass better. I also liked the soundstage more and its mids were slightly more forward and not as recessed as on the PRO900, while the highs were much more bearable. Isolation was still better on PRO900, though.

 

Your experience with similar music and the Pro 900s is very welcome and much appreciated. I feared that the highs might make it so; I guess that's the case.

 

The D5000s are quite far out of my budget, unfortunately. I've also heard from others that the Dx000 line is rather fragile, and suitable only for home use, which makes it out of the realm of possibility, since I'll likely be bringing these about. Have you had any experience with the Audio Technicas? Or even any other headphones that you would recommend, with a sturdier build like the pro 900s?

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by posteriorpounde View Post

 

Your experience with similar music and the Pro 900s is very welcome and much appreciated. I feared that the highs might make it so; I guess that's the case.

 

The D5000s are quite far out of my budget, unfortunately. I've also heard from others that the Dx000 line is rather fragile, and suitable only for home use, which makes it out of the realm of possibility, since I'll likely be bringing these about. Have you had any experience with the Audio Technicas? Or even any other headphones that you would recommend, with a sturdier build like the pro 900s?


The PRO900 was probably one of the most sturdiest headphones I've owned. Of Audio Technicas I have only so far tried the M50. It's a fairly good headphone, and eventhough it had slightly less harsh highs than the PRO900 I found them sound sort of metallicy--almost tinny at times. I actually liked the DT770 80ohm more, and it's far superior in terms of comfort than both PRO900 and M50, it is also lighter and still fairly sturdy. About the same amount of bass as M50 but with smoother highs and wider soundstage; the mids are almost equal on both M50 and DT770 but I haven't A/Bed them, only going from memory now, and as far as I can recall the PRO900 had even more recessed mids than both M50 and DT770.

 

I have also tried the HE-400, but they were slightly heavier, and they are open design so I didn't feel like they offered the same amount of bass. It was also a more recent revision I think, so it sounded a bit different from what I had read of it.


Edited by Monir - 5/16/13 at 7:11pm
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monir View Post


The PRO900 was probably one of the most sturdiest headphones I've owned. Of Audio Technicas I have only so far tried the M50. It's a fairly good headphone, and eventhough it had slightly less harsh highs than the PRO900 I found them sound sort of metallicy--almost tinny at times. I actually liked the DT770 80ohm more, and it's far superior in terms of comfort than both PRO900 and M50, it is also lighter and still fairly sturdy. About the same amount of bass as M50 but with smoother highs and wider soundstage; the mids are almost equal on both M50 and DT770 but I haven't A/Bed them, only going from memory now, and as far as I can recall the PRO900 had even more recessed mids than both M50 and DT770.

I have also tried the HE-400, but they were slightly heavier, and they are open design so I didn't feel like they offered the same amount of bass. It was also a more recent revision I think, so it sounded a bit different from what I had read of it.

Does anything come to mind where vocalists like Killers and Florence really shine, yet still maintains bass presence? I don't need head rattling bass, but some impact would be nice.
post #9 of 11
I agree on the Denon D5000 but totally disagree on the Pro900. I listen to classic rock and smooth jazz and love them.

It's all individual choice. I don't like to tell people "you'll hate this or that" headphone. If I listened to that I would not have my Denon D600 OR Pro900's and I love them both.

My advice - dont listen to us. biggrin.gif
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
My advice - dont listen to us. biggrin.gif

This biggrin.gif

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post

I agree on the Denon D5000 but totally disagree on the Pro900. I listen to classic rock and smooth jazz and love them.

It's all individual choice. I don't like to tell people "you'll hate this or that" headphone. If I listened to that I would not have my Denon D600 OR Pro900's and I love them both.

My advice - dont listen to us. biggrin.gif


Yeah, I agree. That's why I said it's a subjective opinion. Now I can actually see it working with some rock; but I can't comment on jazz since I don't listen to it. It was still very fatiguing with some of OP's artists like Florence and The Killers. The highs aren't as tinny on the M50, but have a certain smoothness to it. The sibilance with female vocals and cymbals though was a problem. I really liked the PRO900 otherwise, so it was hard for me to part with them when time came and I had to upgrade.

 

I also think that amplifier could help in this case. I tried it briefly with the V200 and founds its high slightly smoother, but I can imagine better results with a very warm tube amp or the FiiO amp. The most important thing is to somehow counter the sibilance.

 

 

What I realized in my search for the perfect bass was that these 'basshead' headphones are usually tailored in such a fashion that their frequency curve should appear as 'fun', aka have a V shape curve most of the time with overemphasized bass but also overemphasized highs - that's what I would usually call fatiguing and aggressive, and, depending on the listening they can be very fun and engaging to listen to.

 

I can't comment on the other Audio Technica headphones you listed, maybe they're not so bright, I don't know. You could also check out Audio Technica PRO700 MKII and M-Audio Q40, both of those should be extremely good candidates for the price below the D5000. However, I can't comment much more about them since I haven't listened to them.

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