Originally Posted by Craigster75
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I'm glad you mention this. I have the general impression from many, many posts that closed headphones are considered inherently inferior to open headphones based, in large part, on soundstage. The Ultrasone Signature Pro, for example, is, IMHO, one of the best sounding headphones ever made, yet it is frowned upon and barely mentioned comparatively in this thread despite being one of a handful of closed summit-fi headphones on the market, again IMHO, because it is closed. In the real world noise is an issue, even in our own homes, and if I truly want to close my eyes and be transported to another place musically, nothing does that better than a closed headphone. This gives the Alpha Dog an advantage over most of the headphones where comparisons are being made, so I think when some say the Alpha Dog sounds great for a closed headphone it is a bit of a backhanded compliment. They are just great and in noisy environments will sound better than just about any open headphone.
Let my text beating commence.......................................................
I actually find it confusing, (bordering amusing) that people compare open with closed directly in such head to head detail. To me they are completely different things and can't be compared directly when it comes to openness. Firstly for me and my situation I can't ever see myself having a use for open headphones, (not seriously enough to warrant buying a pair for $1000+ anyway), so there is no other option period. I tend to skip over all the chat about openness of closed headphones compared to open headphones. It makes absolutely no difference to me.
Fair enough you can compare bass, tonality, treble on all other aspects of the sound, comfort, build quality etc but openness really is not a strong selling point to me, simply because surely it can't be equal? (??)
It's a fit for purpose thing more than summit-fi thing to me. Yes closed headphone may never be summit-fi due to physics (For now?), but presented with no other alternatives the argument is void. One day perhaps there will be a closed, MDR-R10 equivalent sounding headphone invented that is summit-fi and can match it with all the open headphones on the market, and that I could wear on the go every day (not something one can do with $6000 headphones), but until then I am content with what is currently on offer: A reasonably good sounding headphones for a very good price (for performance) bracket.
For those on the fence, I say why not buy one of each HE500 and Alpha Dogs and rest easy? HE500 for quiet night in, Alpha Dogs for all other times? Fit for purpose.
Who knows, perhaps the Alpha Dogs are part way there already to an open headphone? I'll find out in 4-5 weeks I suppose...