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Beyerdynamic DT 880, Sennheiser HD 598, which should I pick? Do I need an amp?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hello readers, as you might have read in my other thread, I am looking for some headphones, my budget is about €200 (270 USD). I decided to open a new topic as I have narrowed down my choices and have some other qeustions to ask. I am now deciding between the Sennheiser HD 598 and the Beyerdynamic DT880. My qeustion is, which do you prefer and why? I also wonder which impendance should I get if I get the DT 880 as from what i've read there are 32 ohm, 250 ohm and 600 ohm versions and what is the difference between these? 

 

I will be mainly using them on my Pioneer VSX-827 receiver, how would this receiver perform with those headphones? I would also sometimes like to use the headphones on my iphone (4) or laptop (asus n55sf).

 

I would use them mainly for music,movies and gaming. So i basically need a good all rounder. When i listen to music I like to listen to a lot of different genres but especially a lot of rock and classic rock. 

 

I currently do not own a headphone amp but I might get one in a few months, although i'm not sure about this yet. I am really wondering how the DT880 on the different impendances perform without an amp.

 

I am currently leaning towards the DT880 a bit, but I am also a bit worried about its performance without an amp. 

I am new to the headphone world, I have read a lot about headphones the last few weeks but it still is a bit confusing for me. I could really use some help from the experts, thanks in advance for your help!

 

 

Niels 

post #2 of 28

Let's break this into several parts.

 

The headphone sections of most modern A/V receivers are fair to poor.  To be more specific, you will have to talk with someone who has your specific receiver.  I am not that person but can tell you generally that in terms of what such receivers will generally power (quality is a separate discussion), such a receiver almost certainly can't properly power a 600 Ohm can and will probably not be able to properly power a 250 Ohm can.

 

The best can on you list is the DT 880 in the 600 Ohm flavor.  See this and note that this can is ranked in the same neighborhood as the HD 600 and 650 (as it should be)--and well above the good but downline HD 598:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_DT880

 

All than said, your safest bet to pair with your receiver is the HD 598.  It is probably less than optimal with an unamped laptop or idevice.  Try before you buy--especially if you can't return the cans for a full refund.

 

Of course you must know that all these cans are open--which means they leak sound and don't isolate well....

post #3 of 28

My two cents (opinion).

Get the DT880 Pro 250-Ohm and plug it straight into the Pioneer's headphone jack.

I would think the DT880 Premium 600-Ohm would work in the Pioneer, but getting the Pro 250-Ohm is the safe bet (and is usually cheaper).

I doubt DT880 Premium 32-Ohm would sound any better plugged in the receiver, over the Pro 250 and Premium 600.

As the Pioneer's headphone output would have a high impedance, the 32-Ohm Premiums might even sound a little worse of the three (big speculation).

 

What gaming sources are you using?

 

For the iPhone, and I'm assuming you will be using the iPhone/headphone combo at several places beside your residence.

Get the JVC HA-S400 (or HA-S500), they fold, so easy to travel with and should work decently plugged into the laptop.

 

The 50-Ohm Sennheiser HD598 usually should work plugged into anything, but I would assume it would be better to get closed headphones (JVC), for use with the iPhone, so as to block noise.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the very usefull replies, i will be using these at home only, so sound leakage is no problem. Just wondering how they would work on an iphone and laptop if i would move around the house. I am thinking of getting a 250 ohm dt880 now, i"ll probably get an amp in a month or 2, would i be able to use the dt880 250 ohm properly for now without one on my vsx 827? Gaming source is an xbox connected to my receiver so that should be ok. How much would a decent amp cost me and how is the sound qaulity difference between the 250/600?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
You can ignore what i said earlier about the iphone, i"ll use my IEMS for that. So you think the dt880-250 would sound better than a hd 598 with my receiver?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels Meijer View Post

Thank you for the very usefull replies, I will be using these at home only, so sound leakage is no problem. Just wondering how they would work on an iPhone and laptop if i would move around the house. I am thinking of getting a 250 ohm dt880 now, i"ll probably get an amp in a month or 2, would i be able to use the dt880 250 ohm properly for now without one on my VSX 827? Gaming source is an xBox connected to my receiver so that should be ok. How much would a decent amp cost me and how is the sound quality difference between the 250/600?

When you plug headphone into the Pioneer receiver, the speaker amplifier switches over from driving the speakers to driving the headphones, so there is no problem with power.

If you run HDMI from the xBox to the Pioneer, you should get some great headphone audio quality

Optical connection would be good second best.

Not sure on how much Headphone Surround Sound there will be using the Pioneer, but your looking at investing in an Astro Mix-amp and maybe an add-on headphone amplifier for use with the Astro to maybe improve on surround sound.

It's just so much easier to plug headphones into the receiver.

 

I would say the slight audio quality improvement with the 600-Ohm from the 250-Ohm does justify the much high price of the 600-Ohm.

I got a really good deal on some used DT880 Premium 600-Ohm, but i was lucky enough to live near the seller and paid cash and no shipping costs (maybe $10 for gas).

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've read that the dt880 isnt great at producing rear surround sound for movies, is that correct? Would the hd598 be better for that? i'm going to use it for movies a lot so thats also important for me
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you purpleangel btw, you are very helpfull!
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels Meijer View Post

You can ignore what i said earlier about the iphone, i"ll use my IEMS for that. So you think the dt880-250 would sound better than a hd 598 with my receiver?

I have a quality mid tier highly reviewed Onkyo A/V receiver.  Its headphone section is not up to driving 250 Ohm cans (with average-ish sensitivity ratings) or even the Q701.  In contrast my 1970's Sansui receiver will drive the HE 5 well from the headphone jack.  You buy even moderately difficult to drive cans to pair with your Pioneer at your own risk unless you try them first.

 

I have the 250 & 600 Ohm versions of the DT 880.  Yes there is a significant jump in quality (e.g. clarity, extension) moving to the 600 Ohm--assuming you can drive it properly and you have a quality music source and upline equipment.  As the 600 is more expensive than 250, reasonable folks will differ with regard to which one is the better value.

 

The HD 598 is a 50 Ohm can with a sensitivity rating of 112 dB.  In contrast the DT 880 Pro 250 Ohm can has a sensitivity rating of only 96 dB.  The higher the Ohm rating the more difficult a can is to drive.  The lower the sensitivity rating the more difficult a can is to drive.

 

Conservative Rule of thumb: If you’re looking for headphones to use with a portable player or laptop, stick to the range of 16 – 32 ohms with a sensitivity (efficiency) rating of at least 100 dB/mW. [There are some higher impedance headphones, up to 80 ohms or so, that are efficient enough to work well with at least some portable gear—especially if you don’t like it very loud. But, in general, the lower the impedance the better the match with battery powered devices.]

 

Some cans, like the Q701, are more difficult to drive properly than their ratings (62 Ohms/105 dB) suggest.


Edited by KG Jag - 9/26/13 at 1:51am
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels Meijer View Post

I've read that the dt880 isnt great at producing rear surround sound for movies, is that correct? Would the hd598 be better for that? i'm going to use it for movies a lot so thats also important for me

Most cans are built for stereo reproduction.  You might try a brand like Ultrasone if you are seeking multi-channel effects. 

 

However, I am aware of no can that can do 5.1 like a set of good cheap speakers--like the Pioneer Andrew Jones line.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
So what would i need to drive dt880 250/600 properly? And how is the dt880 32 ohm compared to the sennheiser hd 598 and 250/600 dt880 for movies/gaming/music?
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have suggestions, I am now at the point of deciding whether to just buy a HD 598 or buying at 250 ohm dt880 and an AMP later, I am VERY curious how the DT880 sounds with movies compared to the HD 598. 

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels Meijer View Post

So what would i need to drive dt880 250/600 properly? And how is the dt880 32 ohm compared to the sennheiser hd 598 and 250/600 dt880 for movies/gaming/music?

You need a decent headphone amp.  They usually start in the low to mid $100's.

 

Have not heard the the 32 Ohm version, but all reviews I have read say that is a couple notches below the 250 version.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels Meijer View Post
 

Does anyone have suggestions, I am now at the point of deciding whether to just buy a HD 598 or buying at 250 ohm DT880 and an AMP later, I am VERY curious how the DT880 sounds with movies compared to the HD 598. 

Later today when I get back home, I'll try comparing my DT880 Pro 250-Ohm to my HD558s, while plugged into my Yamaha RX-V671 A/V receiver, while watching a Blu-ray movie.

As the HD558s use the same driver as the HD598, but a different cup design, hopefully will be able to say how the two headphone compare.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/26/13 at 11:21am
post #15 of 28

Id get the Fidelio X1 or MDR MA900 and call it a day.  Neither need an amp.

 

Heres the MDR MA900 appreciation thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663121/sony-mdr-ma900-appreciation-thread


Edited by Trunks159 - 9/26/13 at 11:23am
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