just got my mad dog pro upgrade back (from 3.2 w/alpha pads), and currently swapping back and forth between my coworker's 3.2. I've infected half my dept with headphone lust!
first, same smooth, dark sound signature as the 3.2, but with enhanced bass impact, and a slightly more open soundstage. highs are ever so slightly brighter, but I still would not say these are bright at all. just brighter than the 3.2.
I think most people buy/upgrade the pro for the bass, as that seems to be it's selling point. well the pro does not disappoint. if you're a hardcore basshead then no, these will not please. but for someone who likes balance AND bass, these fit the bill wonderfully. it's hard to quantify the bass difference, but all I can say is it seems to hit harder, dig lower, and resonate a bit more (slower decay, but we're talking very slightly slower). i think the resonance is due to the larger soundstage and cup material, but i'm guessing. texture is better reproduced on the pro as well. one of the most fascinating things about my alpha prime is it's ability to send my ears an image of the surface being struck. the texture is amazing. though the pro doesn't quite reach that level, it's still incredibly textured and detailed. if I never had my prime, I'd say they're the most textural headphones I've heard under $1000. yes that includes the dt1770, he400i/500/500i, and possibly lcd 2.2. its been ages since I've had them, but I did have my MD3.2 then and even the 3.2 sounded almost as textural as the lcd. yeah you can crush me on that one but I stand by what my ears heard. finally, the bass can sometimes get a touch boomy compared to the 3.2. I never thought the 3.2 was boomy. but after a few hours with the pro, boomy keeps creeping in my mind on some tracks. on others it's super tight and controlled. so lets chalk that up to my music, not the pro.
mids are still forward and rich. they don't seem AS forward as the 3.2. maybe the bass is bleeding every so slightly into the mids? I'm not sure yet, but I'm not complaining. these are NOT sloppy sounding or tuned headphones. I'm just hearing things in direct comparison to the 3.2. if I wasn't swapping back and forth I probably wouldn't be thinking this. vocals still sound amazing on the pro. they have a bit more heft and weight from the bass, but not oversaturated or unnatural sounding. though the bass is much more forward on the pro, the mids still are the signature frequency. they're just awesome.
highs are a touch brighter with more extension. they don't get sibilant at all though. but they have a bit more energy to them vs the 3.2. I'm really enjoying the highs, it's a nice departure from the rolled off highs on the 3.2. that being said, I might still say they're somewhat rolled off, just not as much as the 3.2. I don't like bright highs so I'm loving them.
soundstage is more open, and was immediately evident upon my first listen. it's wider, but probably of similar depth. great soundstage for a closed headphone, I have no complaints.
all in all I'm super excited about my pros. i'll miss the slightly darker 3.2, it's a bit more level sounding, more smooth and refined. the pro has a bit more energy and isn't quite as even in it's sound signature. but it's a really fun listen. I'm loving the extra bass impact, to me it was a very worthwhile upgrade.
let me give a shout out to Dan and his team. I'm a pest of a customer, I contact vendors a lot with (probably) stupid question and status update requests. his team was always very nice. A+
a quick comparison to my coworker's dt770 80 pro - well the mad dog pro is better in all regards. more detailed. smoother. bigger soundstage. better imaging. higher resolution. what surprised me was bass impact. I expected the dt770 to hit harder. and initially it did. but I realized I wasn't quite even on the volume. so I volume matched with my spl meter, and to my surprise, the pro dug deeper and hit harder. slightly, but it did. one thing I noticed when swapping between the pro and 770 was I thought I was as the same volume level just going with my ears, but when I got out my meter, I was at least 3-5db lower with the pro. and at that volume difference the 770's bass was harder. but when bringing up the volume on the pro, it was the harder hitter. what still confuses me though is the fact that my ears swear the pro is much louder when I use the meter to match. maybe my method? all I do is play an even test tone, with the meter bulb sitting in between the ear cups. anyhow that probably doesn't matter much.
finally, bass on the alpha prime vs the pro. well the pro appears to have the more prodigious bass, but honestly the prime is the bassier of the two. contradictory huh? yeah I thought so too. but here is what I'm hearing. with the pro, the bass is a bit dominant in the sound signature. you definitely know it's a more bass tuned headphone, even though it's far from a basshead set. the prime, in comparison, is infinitely more balanced and even toned. so the bass doesn't have the appearance of prominence. but when I play certain bass heavy tracks, the actual rumble and impact I'm hearing is superior on the prime. but the mids and highs are equal to it, so nothing really sticks out. make sense? yeah doesn't sound right to me either. but my eardrums insist they're getting hit harder by the prime than the pro, by a small margin.
anyhow just wanted to share my thoughts. and these are my thoughts/opinions, not fact. many will hear differently and that's good, that's what makes this hobby so fun. hopefully this will help those out there debating getting their mad dogs upgraded to the pro.
one final rant for Dan, please oh please come back to the sub $500 segment of the market with future products. I know you're killing it with the Ethers and upcoming electrostatic. but most people cant/wont buy a $1000+ headphone. and that's a shame, because your headphones are some of the best ever, and more people should have a chance to experience them.
Edited by erics75 - 4/11/16 at 2:26pm