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Main unamped 'phone for a variety: Beyer DT 880, Grado 225, Grado 325, HiFiMan HE-400, or other? - Page 2
Poll Results: Beyer DT 880, Grado 225, Grado 325, HiFiMan HE-400, or other?
17% (5)Beyer DT 880
20% (6)Grado 325
10% (3)Grado 225
34% (10)HiFiMan HE-400
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Okay, fine - now I've realized that an amp is a good idea. What if I got AKG K550s and a Fiio E17? Is that a good combo - versatile, comfy, good sound, DURABLE? Darn you guys and girls for making an amp sound like so much fun!
No problem!! Please post impressions!
Honestly, don't waste your money on an amp when you're getting an ultra efficient headphone like the K550. Get an amp when you're getting in the 50ohm+ headphones
For the genres you've listed, Sennheiser HD 598 is good bet. Also long as you don't into heavier stuff that require a lot of bass, the HD 598 are probably the best unamped headphones I know. Then again, this is my personal opinion and I have heavy bias when it comes to soundstage, cleanliness and individuality of instruments, which the HD 598 excel at in those areas. It is very comfortable. Only drawback for you might be the 2 meter cable. Don't go walking in the halls with those.
They are open headphones which means it leaks sound, but not as much as some other ones. I use them at my desk at work and there's a droning sound in the room I work which covers any leakage for the most part and I play at moderate volume.
What worries me about the 598s is the open backs - if I'm going to go back to open backs, why not go Grado? Also, the plastic construction bothers me, but Grados have that too. Arrgh! Now I'm all confused again! I'm just gonna get the AKGs, I think. I'll post whenever I do get something this week.
We are amp-happy lol. But when a headphone does not need an amp or does not really benefit from one, what's the point? It helps the sound ever so slightly.. It's not even noticeable, honestly.
The K550s are efficient enough that they don't need an amp to drive them with most portable sources. Not sure about the iPad, but the Galaxy S3 is supposed to be pretty similar to my Galaxy Note 2 in SQ, which the K550s sound very good on. The E17 wouldn't really help a lot unless you wanted more volume. However, if you are using a PC laptop or desktop with sort of standard not so great SQ, the E17 could help because of its built in DAC.
If you don't need a DAC but just want an amp, I would recommend the C&C BH. I like it a little better than my E17 and it's a little cheaper: http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review
Also, if you want to save a few bucks, Crutchfield has the K550s refurbished for $225.
My only other experience outside of my HD 598 and 700 are CX 300 II in-ear buds, and going back to them as comparison I can say the CX 300 are trash. Then again that's what you probably get for $30. I'm not surprised the lower end Sennheiser models aren't very impressive at all. Idk a lot about anything below the midrange 500 series, but I've only heard good thing about anything 500 and above. Also, are you looking for a more neutral experience or a more "fun" one? The HD 600 might be a better bet for the neutral experience, but this one needs an amp. The HD 598 are more "fun" and to me especially the midrange and treble appear more "sparkly". This works well for pop rock and acoustic guitar for me.
Here's a more in depth definition on "fun" headphones:
The HD 598 has weak bass despite how they define fun over there, only fun on the midrange and treble side.
You mentioned your HD 280 was boring, maybe "fun" headphones are what you're looking for?
Thanks for all the recent posts. It's helping me get through a day of correcting essays.
Perhaps a "fun" headphone IS what I'm looking for, but mostly I know I'm looking for detail, immersion. From what I've read the AKGs are kind of a nice balance between the two. I do think that the problem I had with the HD280s is the plastic-y, almost "distant" sound. Does that make sense? It wasn't immersive. I don't care for boomy bass, but I like punch. Put another way: one of the instruments I play is bass. I prefer a stack of 10" speakers to a couple of 15" speakers - more definition, maybe not as much boom. That's what I'm looking for in my headphones. I think, from what I've read, unamped AKG K550s may be good.
I thought Tyll's review at Innerfidelity to be a good representation of them: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/wonderfully-competent-akg-k550-sealed-headphone
Edited by cel4145 - 5/26/13 at 5:02pm
Excellent article, cel4145. I read part of it earlier, but went back to it after you posted. Makes it clear to me.
So, in the end, what's the correct etiquette for this thread? It's morphed so much, do I edit it to reflect the content by changing the title?