Compared to HD 598 and HD 700:
Two completely different directions in headphones. The HD 598 are really bad when it comes to dubset or hip-hop, but has a really nice soundstage for orchestral pieces and acoustic guitar songs. In fact, I prefer the HD 598 over the HD 700 when it comes to some acoustic guitar songs. With the lack of bass, the HD 598 makes it sound like I'm listening to the song being played live in front of a campfire.
The HD 700 is not all that great at dubstep or hip-hop either. In fact, I had a friend who's really into dubstep tell me it does too good a job resolving the sound that the song sounds wrong.
However, the only common genre of music (that I listen to) that I feel all these headphones can work for is rock. Now these headphones take a different approach of the sound.
- Unsurprisingly bass heavy
- Gives a kind of garage sound, which can be considered a plus to some
- Feels like listening at a rock concert, where the sound is not clear, but you're having a fun time anyways
- For lighter rock, Beats tends to make sound heavier than they should
- One major con I noticed once compared to my Senns is that vocals sometimes have this shrieking high-pitch quality that bleeds out and is uncomfortable for the ears. Tested with smartphone and confirmed it happens too, so not amp related.
- For heavier rock, the HD 598 sounds hollow after listening to the Beats
- For lighter rock, I personally like having a larger soundstage here. The HD 598 starts shining here where bass in not really required to enjoy the music.
- When you get into acoustic guitar stuff, that's when I think the HD 598 even beats the HD 700 at times. For me at least, but only due to that campfire effect.
- For heavier rock, the HD 700 sounds like you're in the recording studio. The wide soundstage, yet with enough bass and heaviness gives it a good balance and how the artist intended the music to be heard. You hear every instrument clearly unlike the Beats.
- For lighter rock, the soundstage and clarity of instruments once again shines.
While I don't typically listen to more bass heavy genres like hip-hop or dubstep, I can see the Beats being better suited there than both Senns, not only due heavier bass, but also the more muddy, raw bass is actually desired over a clean, smooth bass of the HD 700. Also the more synthesized sounds of hip-hop and dubstep makes the soundstage of the HD 700 unnecessary. HD 598 does not really have enough bass to play those genres. For heavier rock, the Beats actually provides a very interesting sound to me at least. It has that raw garage or concert sound that I actually like. I also love how the HD 700 gives the studio sound where you hear all the instruments spread out in a wide soundstage. Both Beats and HD 700 are winners when it comes to heavier rock, but for different reasons. Then again the garage sound of Beats for heavier rock is a personal taste. For lighter rock, the Senns win hands down because Beats makes lighter rock not so light. For lighter genres like classical or orchestra, forget about Beats.
Honestly, my expectations going into this experiment was that Beats would get completely schooled in everything outside of hip-hop/rap/dubstep when compared to true audiophile headphones. However, I found the sound on heavier rock to be actually good. The sound was muddy and harsh, but it fit heavy rock well to me. A metaphor I can make to this is that people still hold classic 2D video games like Chrono Trigger or Mario dear to their hearts because it was a style. The Borderlands series is very cartoony, but that's also an artistic style. To me, when it comes to hard rock, Beats presents a concert/garage raw style that audiophile headphones cannot give. However, I do wish the vocals wouldn't have that high pitch effect.
Honestly, if I could get some lesser brand headphones with the same sound signature (minus the vocal shrill) as these Beats Pro for about $100-$150, I would totally buy them just for listening to hard rock. When I discovered open headphones, I completely discounted closed headphones cuz I loved that soundstage. But listening to Beats made me realize there still in a place for closed headphones for me when it comes to hard rock.
By the way, I'm not a purist when it comes to sound. In fact, I prefer a funner sound. Hence why I have the HD 598/700 rather than HD 600/800. This may also be reason as to why I like the raw garage sound when it comes to heavy rock.
Edited by Sonido - 5/24/13 at 9:58pm