Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › New cans, Senn HD600, DT990 vs Dt880
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New cans, Senn HD600, DT990 vs Dt880

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

So i'm in the market for some new headphones.

 

Just to give a quick rundown of my previous experience; my first pair of decent headphones were some AD900's. Loved them but found they were lacking on the bass front. This lead to me purchasing some Hifiman He-400's a while ago and while they had awesome SQ I found them too uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time. Also the bass was not what I was lead to believe so I returned them (also big ups to Hifiman here. The 30 day return policy was legit and had 0 hassles. A+ for service). I was lead to believe the He-400's had quite a bit of impact and bass quantity but it wasn't as good as I expected. 

 

My local shop (in NZ) has a sennheiser sale on and essentially I can get the Senn HD600's Dt990's and Dt880's (600ohm) for the same price and I don't really know which can to pick. 

 

I will be using them predominantly for gaming and music.

 

My music taste is quite varied but I find myself listening to quite a lot of classical, rock and house. 

 

They will be driven by my Asus xonar STX soundcard. 

 

If you guys were in my position what can would you go for and why?

 

Also if you have any suggestions as to what you think I should get your opinions are most welcome!!

 

If I have left anything out let me know

post #2 of 17

Are both the DT990 and DT880, Premium 600-Ohm models?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yup correct, the Dt880s and Dt990's are 600ohm. All 500-510 NZD.

 

Edit:

Sorry yes they are all premium models. 


Edited by mink42 - 6/22/13 at 3:13am
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink42 View Post

Yup correct, the Dt880s and Dt990's are 600ohm. All 500-510 NZD.

As I own both of them, I would say to get the Beyer DT880 Premium 600-Ohm, but the DT990 Premium 600-Ohm is a close second.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Why would you choose the 880's over the hd600 and 990 just out of curiosity

post #6 of 17

This is pretty much the decision I am currently trying to make too! Sorry for jumping in! Can I also ask for more input on why the 880's over the 990's...is it that the DT880s are more neutral?  I'm leaning towards them myself from the reviews I have read.

post #7 of 17

@ Mink42 - hello fellow Kiwi

 

I currently own the DT880 600 and also the HD600.  I've noticed a lot of threads lately talking about the HD600 vs DT880 in terms of neutrality.  My personal thought is that they are getting the terms neutral and natural mixed up.

 

I'd probably call the DT880 maybe slightly more neutral - in terms of balanced frequency - apart from a pretty bright peak around 5-6 kHz.  But it is a very bright sounding can because of this - and that makes it slightly unnatural sounding.  The HD600 has a little too much mid-bass to be completely neutral - but it's again relatively neutral compared to a lot of other cans.  Where it has the edge over the DT880 is in it's naturalness.

 

Try going to a concert or recital, particularly classical - and listen to the individual instruments.  Then compare the actual to both the DT880 and HD600 representation.  IMO - the HD600 is far closer to true life.  Now it depends on your preference as to which one you'll like.  In the end I got both (and also the K701).  They each have a different presentation - but for the money, all are utterly compelling headphones. 

 

For a quick and dirty comparison, here is what I wrote for someone else a while ago - it may help:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Hi FULLAUDIO

 

Thanks for the impressions.  I am a reasonably long-time owner of all 3 headphones DT880 (mine are 600ohm), K701, and HD600.  I would encourage you (rather than quickly swapping the headphones) to actually spend a day with each - and then see if your ideas on the sound of each actually change.

 

You may find that after spending longer time with a headphone like the HD600, and only the HD600 - then switching to the Beyer or AKG - that you will then change your mind on which is most balanced.  Instead of the HD600 being overly warm and lacking energy - you may find that they Beyers / AKGs instead sound overly bright.  It's an interesting exercise.  Our brains adjust to what they are used to - then compare other sounds to that base.  As the base changes - so do our impressions of a particular headphone.

 

Anyway - it's a good idea for a thread - I'll also throw in my quick impressions of all 3.  My set-up is Foobar (PC) > optical out to an Audio-gd NFB-12, then either direct to the headphones or via my LD MKIV (the amp doesn't change the contrast, nor my impression of each).

 

DT880.

Quite flat  - but with elevated high-end.  Bass extends pretty well and is nicely defined.  Mids appear slightly further back in the spectrum - particularly compared to the highs.  For me - it is the most detailed (like shining a spotlight on the music).  Has the smallest sound-stage of the 3 - but still great for almost any genre.  Very, very comfortable.  Definitely brighter than 'normal' sound.

 

K701
Again reasonably flat response - but with more emphasis on mid-range and highs.  Bass is recessed compared to mid-range and highs - but what is there is well defined, and IMO sounds really good.  Definitely the most bass-light of the 3.  Does a beautiful job of the mid-range - particularly acoustic and stringed instruments in general.  Widest soundstage of the 3 - by quite a margin.  Imaging is OK - sometimes struggles with center stage (not sure if that is particular recordings though).  Handles fast paced music pretty well.  Appears very detailed - but IMO the Beyer shows more actual detail in comparison.  Comfort because of the bumps in the headband is not great.  Because of this, I removed the bumps, added a small layer of foam, and then finished it with a soft lamb-skin leather layer.  It is now extremely comfortable.

 

HD600

Whilst I wouldn't call it exactly flat - I would say it gives (to my ears) the most natural presentation of the three.  It is the most life-like and has really good resolution and timbre.  Sound stage is close to the Beyers (marginally larger), but the imaging is better than both to me.  Has a little mid-bass bump, and gives the impression of slightly forward mids.   Appears slower than both the Beyer and AKG.  Appearance of less detail is often misleading - the detail is all there  - it just doesn't have a spotlight shone on it like the others.  Comfort is pretty good - although a bit clampy at times.  Over time they have become more comfortable for me - and sit between the Beyer and my (now modified) AKG.

 

Of the three headphones - with a good (well recorded) live performance - all three headphones sound superb - but the HD600 is the only one (if I close my eyes) that can actually give me the feeling that I am actually sitting in the audience - their tone, timbre and imaging really is superb.

 

Short summary (just my view):

Bass (quantity) - HD600 > DT880 > K701

Bass (quality) - DT880 > HD600 = K701 (just different presentation between the Senn and AKG)

Mid-range - HD600 > K701 > DT880

Highs (quantity) - DT880 > K701 > HD600

 

Sound-stage (size) - K701 > HD600 > DT880

Imaging - HD600 > DT880 =/> K701 (tough to call depends on recording)

Naturalness - HD600 >>>> K701 > DT880

Comfort - DT880 > HD600 > K701

 

I love all 3 headphones, and I probably spend equal time with each - depends on my mood.  They are all stellar performers for their price.

 

 

And NZ $500 - I guess you are talking about the CL promo - is too much to pay for the Beyers.  You can get them second hand on the Head-Fi forums for around USD180-220 + cost of freighting would be around USD 50-60.  Most people here baby their gear.

 

If you're serious about purchasing the DT880 and want a second hand option - PM me.  I've been tossing up for a while on whether to stick with my mid-fi cans and I'm leaning toward selling the Beyers and keeping the AKGs instead.  The Senns are definitely staying though :)

 

I'm away for an hour or so (church) - but back later today - and can send pics etc.

 

Your call.


Edited by Brooko - 6/22/13 at 3:14pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

I currently own the DT880 600 and also the HD600.  I've noticed a lot of threads lately talking about the HD600 vs DT880 in terms of neutrality.  My personal thought is that they are getting the terms neutral and natural mixed up.

I'd probably call the DT880 maybe slightly more neutral - in terms of balanced frequency - apart from a pretty bright peak around 5-6 kHz.  But it is a very bright sounding can because of this - and that makes it slightly unnatural sounding.  The HD600 has a little too much mid-bass to be completely neutral - but it's again relatively neutral compared to a lot of other cans.  Where it has the edge over the DT880 is in it's naturalness.

I've only had a short time to demo the HD600s, but that is what stood out to me in comparison to the DT880s. In their neutrality, the DT880s tend just a little too much toward that clinical analytical sound and the HD600s a little more natural.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoThisIsSound View Post

This is pretty much the decision I am currently trying to make too! Sorry for jumping in! Can I also ask for more input on why the 880's over the 990's...is it that the DT880s are more neutral?  I'm leaning towards them myself from the reviews I have read.

No problem! The more the merrier haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

@ Mink42 - hello fellow Kiwi

 

 

And NZ $500 - I guess you are talking about the CL promo - is too much to pay for the Beyers.  You can get them second hand on the Head-Fi forums for around USD180-220 + cost of freighting would be around USD 50-60.  Most people here baby their gear.

 

If you're serious about purchasing the DT880 and want a second hand option - PM me.  I've been tossing up for a while on whether to stick with my mid-fi cans and I'm leaning toward selling the Beyers and keeping the AKGs instead.  The Senns are definitely staying though :)

 

I'm away for an hour or so (church) - but back later today - and can send pics etc.

 

Your call.

Hello!

Always good to see a fellow Kiwi haha

 

I've been doing a lot of research on the HD600 and DT880 situation the past few days and have to say your thoughts have been probably the most valuable out of any I've read regarding the similarities/dis-similarities. Stumbled across your comparisons a few times when the issue has been raised. 

 

I think I'm going to get the Sennheisers, one of the reasons is that I've heard/read so much about them I'm very curious to see what all the fuss is about. Also as I've had predominantly quite bright headphones in the past it would be good to test out a more natural sounding can. 

 

And yes good old Clounge. Going to pick them up first thing tommorow morning. Shame they aren't open on Sundays.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink42 View Post

Why would you choose the 880's over the hd600 and 990 just out of curiosity

Can't offer an option on the HD-600 Vs DT880/DT990, as I've never listened to the HD-600

The DT880 Premium 600-Ohm is very well balanced sound, the DT990 Premium 600-Ohm is more the "Movie theater" like sound.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/25/13 at 8:31am
post #11 of 17

@mink42

 

Nice - the HD600 are great cans.  You'll find your Fiio will drive them a little easier than the Beyers as well.

 

As far as audio stores go (in future) - suggest you also keep Addicted 2 Audio (Melbourne) in mind.  George is great to deal with, and will ship to NZ.  Otherwise (once again) I really do endorse using the FS forums here.  It's a lot cheaper and you get to meet some pretty cool people.

 

If you are looking for a reasonably priced desktop dac/amp in future - keep Audio-gd in mind.  Very reasonably priced, sound fantastic, and drives everything from my 32 ohm Grados to 600 ohm Beyers.

 

If you get time - post back your impressions of the HD600s.  They will be clampy at first (you do get used to it) - plus the pressure does relieve over time.  Do not bend the headband under any circumstances (it will break under too much pressure)  Just extend the extenders fully, and lightly bend them only.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice its much appreciated!

 

I'm driving them with an Asus STX which I think should do the trick.

 

Will most definitely be posting my impressions when I first get them and then a few weeks after. Will either post here or on the HD600 appreciation thread. 

post #13 of 17

Doh!  Getting threads mixed up.  Your STK will have no issues with them

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Finished finals today. Have spent about 5 hours with the HD600's today just chillin. This is just some initial impressions. 

 

First off I'm going to say I was rather hesitant about buying these headphones.I had recently purchased the Hifiman He-400's, and while I very much enjoyed the SQ on those i found them far too cumbersome and uncomfortable. This was most likely due to the weight of the cans and lack of cushioning on the headband (which you can buy cushioning for). I also found that the velour cups didn't form a precise seal on my head which i suspect really didn't help with the bass. 

 

My preferences for headphones have to date been a rather bright sound signature. I was brought up on a healthy dose of AD900's and i freakin loved the comfort they offered. The bass was a bit lack lustre. This was my incentive for searching for a new headphone. 

 

I read a lot about the Hd600 and was struck curious by the sound signature that it offered. A much more natural sounding headphone, with a mid emphasis. This was most definitely different from my normal tastes. I demo'd a HD600 at a friends and was really quite unimpressed. I have a feeling that something was up with his setup (he was running a Matrix M stage amp and dac combo which i suspect was not genuine, as were his various headphones). 

 

Still after a lot of trawling through forums, friendly help from the lovely folk here, and a nice discount from the local audio store I made my purchase.

 

Packaging:

Quite impressed with the packaging truth be told. It has the feel of a quality product. It comes enclosed in a hefty black box with metal clasps. To open the lid has the feeling of opening the lid on high fidelity music. There on a foam bed lie the HD600's with an instruction manual on top. 

 

Build Quality & Appearance:

Straight out of the box the build quality seems solid. The first thing that struck me was the 'marble' design. From pictures I was anxious to see what it looked like in person. I had a bad feeling it would look tacky and cheap but this was not the case. You can immediately appreciate the build of the headphones, the marble finish is actually quite sophisticated. 

Coming from the Hifimans I was quite suprised at the comparative light weight of these cans. They really don't weigh much. 

 

Comfort: 

When I first put these on I was a bit taken aback at the clamp. I have a medium sized head (i would like to think) and the force was quite apparent. I was told however this would ease with time and it has. I have had these headphones on for the past four hours straight and they are sitting very nicely. They stay firmly in position if i say feel the need to bob my head vigorously, which is quite a bonus if you like to have a bit of quiet time at the desk and place you're head on your forearms. With the hifimans they would immediately slide out of place and I would be constantly needing to adjust them. Given time these headphones seem to adjust and stretch naturally to your head. 

 

Sound Quality:

First impressions:

That Sennheiser veil. It had to be mentioned. This was one thing that I was again anxious about. I like my music to be upfront and alive, not be distanced. Having listened to the Hifimans for a few weeks I had gotten used to that sound signature. If theres anyway to describe the Hifiman's in one word it would be 'alive'. Music on the hifiman's sound almost electric, very energetic and present. I enjoyed it. When I loaded up 'Beast' by Nico Vega the very first chord was like two cymbals crashing together at the center of your head. That was one of the moments where my eyes widened, I sat back and went 'huh... that.... sounds *******... awesome.' I have come to understand that this is a characteristic of the planar technology in the Hifiman's. To give a quick quick summation the sound signature I would describe as being present and alive if one can use those terms. The high's are good, the mids are a bit recessed from what I could tell, and the bass is pretty good. I was however a tad dissapointed with them as I was led to believe the bass would be something that it clearly was not. When users describe the bass as 'phenomenal' I expected it to be super impactful, deep and rumbly, almost visceral. This was not the case and I unfortunately regarded the Hifimans as having not met my expectations. Despite this the bass was deep and quick, it made rock music sound awesome whenever a snare was present. After listening to the Hifiman's for more than half an hour things tend to, for me, get a bit uncomfortable. The weight of the headphone caused strain on my head and having to constantly readjust the strap was a bit of a pain. I also found that despite the comfort factors my ears started to get quite fatigued from the headphone itself. 

 

Now back to the Senn's. As a comparison when I first started listening I was a bit shocked and intrigued by what I was hearing. There was none of this excessive 'im alive' sound coming from the music anymore. It sounded different, and in a good way. To put it bluntly it sounded the way it was supposed to sound. I then realized that what I was hearing on the Hifiman's was really something that I didn't overly care for. They did sound good but in comparison to the HD600's they sound a bit fake and overemphasized. I would liken it to getting a new girlfriend, and finding out that your recent ex had fake boobs, and your current gf had the real deal. For some reason they just seem better. This was really a turning point for me in appreciating a different sounding headphone. While i did enjoy the bright sounding headphones I found an immense pleasure in the reality of the Senn's. Listening to music the way it was meant to sound without any artificial meddling to accommodate the 'mass audience'. By this I mean the treble centric and bass heavy headphones that seem to popular these days......coughbeatscoughcough. 

 

Highs-

As I have previously mentioned I am or was a fan of bright headphones. I liked hearing that sparkling treble as I listen to a lot of female vocals. I was absolutely terrified that I would lose that sparkle and a lot of my music would lose that magical allure that sends shivers down your whole body. The infamous sennheiser veil was something of a dealbreaker for me. I am very happy to report that the highs on the sennhieser while not able to be as in your face as other bright headphones (a good thing it turns out) does a remarkable job. 

 

Mids-

Now. This is what really suprised me. The HD600's have changed my perception of what I consider sounding 'good'. I listened to a lot of music that centered around mid's. One track that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to was 'Iron Man' by Nico Vega. That whole album in my opinion is very well recorded. The guitar, piano, pipes(organ?) that come in half way through the song redefined my perception of good music. It was also conincidentally the moment where I knew I would not be getting rid of my HD600's for a very. very long time. The HD600's seem to bring the mid's forward a tad, it makes male vocals standout a lot more which I find pleasant. Michael Buble has never sounded better. One thing I will note, and I can't say for sure. Is that it really depends on the quality and recording of the source as to how much these come through. For Buble's music his voice is very prevelant, if it was any more so it would be in danger of becoming uncomfortable. When I switch to Tool however the whole band seems to have taken a step back from the microphone, sounding ever so slightly distant and far away. 

 

Bass-

The bass was something I was not expecting to impress me. The Hifiman's were allegedly a bassier headphone both in regards to the quantity, impact and depth. I have a feeling people will have very different opinions as to which bass sounds better. The bass on the Senn's in comparison with no EQ has roughly the same quantity with a marginal amount more impact which I would I would say comes to its alleged slightly boosted mid bass. I would say that in general the bass does not extend to the depths of sub bass that the 400's can (Pun. Bet that's never been used before). There are moments when you are listening to some recordings when the Senn's delight the socks off you with some rather visceral subbass. You kinda just sit there thinking where.... the fudge did that come from. Despite the inconsistency in subbass I do find it more enjoyable than the 400's. The impact is greater and that really does add a lot of value to music for me. Whether it be Part of Me by Katy Perry or Flume's latest album (which sounds freakin dope by the way. If you own the HD600's please give it a listen. It is fantastic). The bass never ever overpowers the rest of the frequencies and is very consistent. If a song calls for an appropriate amount of bass it will deliver, if it doesn't then no bass for you. 

 

Equalisation-

These headphones... LOVE EQ'd bass. While I love the natural sound they produce 90% of the time. Increasing the bottom two frequencies in the STX centre releases the inner bass head. For stuff like flume or Mt Eden Dub where just a touch more bass really does add a lot to the music its incredible. Just bumping up the frequencies makes the Senn's breathe new life into the bass. The impact becomes a lot greater and the subbass more prevalent (although not greatly so). What is best is that in doing this, it doesn't mess with the rest of the frequencies. No distortion, no nothing. With the 400's I couldn't increase the bass without the rest of the spectrum suffering a noticeable amount. 

 

Gaming-

I'm a competitive gamer. Not professionally but I play a lot of FPS to the point where if I'm not in the top 3 I'd be dissappointed. With my current soundcard the Asus Essence STX I find the game and EAX settings completely useless. Not to say they don't work, but they don't work with the Senn's. Once you activate them positioning becomes completely indistinguishable. Sounds become muddied and it sounds like its all coming from center stage. If you keep the HQ option ticked where the source is the cleanest you can get a fairly good idea of where things are. Not pinpoint accuracy by any means but you can get the general gist of where things are coming from. For non competitive I jammed some Mass Effect 3. Focussing just on the audio experience the Senn's do a good job. The mids do a good job of making dialogue clear and the overall experience is pretty flawless. Only option I could mention is again upping the two lower frequencies a tad. Just allows for a more immersive experience. 

 

Just as a note, if you are planning on getting the 600's the source and recording of your music will impact on you're listening experience.

Also as much as I may have whinged about the Hifimans the SQ is still stellar. A great headphone and the after sales service at Head Direct was nothing short of spectacular. After a month of owning the 400's and finally (and at the time slightly begrudgingly) returning them, Head Direct had no problems with extending that two weeks when I was due to travel to HK so I could avoid the rather steep return shipping fee. If you find the Hifiman's comfortable (or perhaps invest in the cushioned pad if you don't) they would be a fantastic addition to any headphone collection. 

 

To finish I will say this. The HD600's have redefined my perception of quality audio. Whilst i was previously a pure bass and treble fan the HD600's have grown on me at a lightning rate. The detailed an prominent mids have made music I have loved that much more enjoyable and that really is priceless for me. Best of all In the hour it took me to write this, I have listened to a large portion of a Tool album, with this being the 5th consecutive hour of wearing the 600's. I have absolutely no fatigue and have no need to readjust them. I may as well sleep with them on.

 

Apologies for the poor grammar and spelling errors but it is now 3am. Bloody Sennheisers. 

post #15 of 17

Nice review man, I went with DT-990s, and have to say I am blown away. Not ready for a full review yet but I'll try to do a decent one soon

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › New cans, Senn HD600, DT990 vs Dt880