Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Help with second pair of headphones!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help with second pair of headphones!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hey head-fi! I am an amateur audiophile (although I probably rank more as a music listener than a critic). My first pair of headphones I've ever bought is my Audio-technica ath-a900 (the big blue ones). I love them, but would like to upgrade. I am looking for a pair of fun, detailed over-ear headphones that are a bit more portable than my big blues (the wings seem to increase the size tenfold). Something with great all around sound, with no skimping on the bass (but nothing too strong). My budget is max 400$ (so higher end headphones if below 400 used). Also, would I benefit from using a desktop DAC and amplifier? I don't want to pay much more than 150$ for the DAC. 

I listen to pretty much all genres, so nothing with too much emphasis on any frequency range.

post #2 of 30

Heya,

 

Are you going to focus on a closed set, or an open air set?

 

Very best,

post #3 of 30

Why do you want a second pair -- for practical reasons, like something more portable, to try a different type of sound, like something completely different from your current headphones, or to upgrade, like something that's similar to current headphones but better? What do you like/dislike about your current headphones in terms of the sound?

post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

I was actually going to ditch the a-900's if I am satisfied with their replacement. I would like another closed back pair, my house is pretty loud. I would like a design that has a regular headband, not the wings (they are very comfortable, but are massive). I am open to trying a different type of sound, although I have some no-no's. I heard Grado is a bit lack-luster in terms of bass, and ultrasone has metallic highs (although I've seen plenty of debates about this), so I would prefer to avoid those sound signatures. Sadly, my experience is limited with other sound signatures, so I do not even know how I would describe my current pair's. I suspect they are a bit pushy on the bass. I was looking at the K550's, Pro 750's, DT 770's. However, if there are any others I should consider, please mention them. As previously stated, Higher-end headphone are fine with me as long as they fall below 400$ used. 

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

Forgot to add that I could go with a bit less bass emphasis. I also noticed the sound stage seems to separate some sounds to individual sides. Not sure if this is over the top, but it can be annoying. So maybe a bit of a tighter sound stage. 

post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

Gosh, I keep forgetting things. My headphones are so comfy , so please, nothing that skimps on the comfort.

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacgunner1 View Post
 

Forgot to add that I could go with a bit less bass emphasis. I also noticed the sound stage seems to separate some sounds to individual sides. Not sure if this is over the top, but it can be annoying. So maybe a bit of a tighter sound stage. 

 

well the sound stage shoudl seperate some sounds to left and right only, that is well stero sound. That's more in the recording of the song than anything. so less sound stage would smear the sound, where as more or wider sound stage will result in what you are hearing now

 

I owned the A900x, and I can say try the Shure 840 or the Sound Magic Hp 100, both have less bass emphasis, and a normal headband design with comfort. Both also isolate very well 

 

also I'm selling a modded Shure 840 [wich sounds very much like the K550 but with a brighter tilt in sound] I sold the K550 over the Shure 840 I have now, because it was much more comfy. 

 

Still, if you REALLY want to get something that sound nice. The ATH w1000x is an option. It is how ever bigger than the A900x, has the and has the wing system. How ever if you can buy one with the "purrin" mods it is very nice. I've sold my Hp 100, K550 A900x [and have the Shure 840 for sale] simply because they can't compete with the W1000x [and btw I was almost going to sell mine for $375]

 

So there are a good number of w1000x here at head fi, granted the size of them and the less than average isolation could be an issue. But they sound wonderul! 

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacgunner1 View Post
 

Forgot to add that I could go with a bit less bass emphasis. I also noticed the sound stage seems to separate some sounds to individual sides. Not sure if this is over the top, but it can be annoying. So maybe a bit of a tighter sound stage. 

 

It sounds like you want a more focused center image. Some headphones do this better than others, but the best way to accomplish it would probably be to get a crossfeed plugin for your audio player. There are several free ones available for Foobar. Crossfeed works by mixing the left and right channels to varying extents (depending on the plugin and its settings).

I'm not that familiar with closed headphones, but if you want less bass, you should probably avoid the DT770. The Shure models are frequently recommended though. 


Edited by manbear - 9/30/13 at 8:21am
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

 

It sounds like you want a more focused center image. Some headphones do this better than others, but the best way to accomplish it would probably be to get a crossfeed plugin for your audio player. There are several free ones available for Foobar. Crossfeed works by mixing the left and right channels to varying extents (depending on the plugin and its settings).

I'm not that familiar with closed headphones, but if you want less bass, you should probably avoid the DT770. The Shure models are frequently recommended though. 

 

Agree'd I've got a Shure 840 [modded] that has a very balanced sound [as I've mentioned] and it does have a nice centered sound stage. Although I'm not too sure how u'd serach for "centered" sound staged headphones... I've found that usually a centered sound stage is well a feature of headphones that lack resulution and clarity. For example the Ath A900x has a very centered sound stage [which muddies up left and right seperation] 

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

 

Agree'd I've got a Shure 840 [modded] that has a very balanced sound [as I've mentioned] and it does have a nice centered sound stage. Although I'm not too sure how u'd serach for "centered" sound staged headphones... I've found that usually a centered sound stage is well a feature of headphones that lack resulution and clarity. For example the Ath A900x has a very centered sound stage [which muddies up left and right seperation] 

 

I agree that resolving headphones will always have clear stereo separation, it's going to be hard to find a good headphone that doesn't separate left and right when the music calls for it.... I'm thinking more of say my Q701 vs my HE400. Both will make certain sounds like they are coming from the far left or right, but the HE400 gives me a better sense of sounds coming from the center. With the Q701, the middle seems more hazy. But this are small differences, much less than turning on crossfeed.

Personally, I don't like crossfeed because it veils the sound a bit and compresses the soundstage. But I use it sometimes when the stereo mix annoys me, like on Daft Punk's Alive, which sounds like I'm standing sideways at the concert... all the music is coming from the left, and crowd noise is coming from the right. I have no clue why they mixed it that way, it's a great album otherwise....

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

 

I agree that resolving headphones will always have clear stereo separation, it's going to be hard to find a good headphone that doesn't separate left and right when the music calls for it.... I'm thinking more of say my Q701 vs my HE400. Both will make certain sounds like they are coming from the far left or right, but the HE400 gives me a better sense of sounds coming from the center. With the Q701, the middle seems more hazy. But this are small differences, much less than turning on crossfeed.

Personally, I don't like crossfeed because it veils the sound a bit and compresses the soundstage. But I use it sometimes when the stereo mix annoys me, like on Daft Punk's Alive, which sounds like I'm standing sideways at the concert... all the music is coming from the left, and crowd noise is coming from the right. I have no clue why they mixed it that way, it's a great album otherwise....

 

True, although if your having an issue with a cleary defined Center, try balancing the HE 400. I run my HE 400 out of a balanced set up and it does left right and center very well. Still that's wierd the album is mixed like that :/ your only getting half the BASS that way lol

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post


Personally, I don't like crossfeed because it veils the sound a bit and compresses the soundstage. But I use it sometimes when the stereo mix annoys me, like on Daft Punk's Alive, which sounds like I'm standing sideways at the concert... all the music is coming from the left, and crowd noise is coming from the right. I have no clue why they mixed it that way, it's a great album otherwise....

Sounds like you only have half of the stereo image. Usually in live recordings it's music in the centre and crowd noise to the left and right.

 

With my HD600 I get three distinct blobs of sound - centre, left, and right - but there's a bit of empty space between the blobs.

 

As for recommendations, the K550s have pretty good soundstage. You could probably find a used Denon D5000 in your price range, although those might have a bit too much bass for you.

 

I once found an AT W5000 for $350 but someone beat me to it :(

post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

Sounds like you only have half of the stereo image. Usually in live recordings it's music in the centre and crowd noise to the left and right.

 


Are you saying that something is wrong with my copy of Alive? I suppose I could try finding another copy to compare, but I always assumed it was just mixed that way. I do hear sound from both left and right channels, it's just that most of the music is on the left. Crowd noise is on the right. Can anyone who has heard this album tell me how the mix sounds to them? The weird stereo mix I'm hearing is not subtle. 

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

Are you saying that something is wrong with my copy of Alive? I suppose I could try finding another copy to compare, but I always assumed it was just mixed that way. I do hear sound from both left and right channels, it's just that most of the music is on the left. Crowd noise is on the right. Can anyone who has heard this album tell me how the mix sounds to them? The weird stereo mix I'm hearing is not subtle. 

I don't know, it could be the way it was recorded. If it bothers you, you can always edit it if you have an uncompressed copy of the file.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions! If seperating the left and right sides preserves clarity, I'll take that. Besides, it may just be the track (although to be perfectly honest, I can't remember it. Jeez, I need to pay more attention). The denon D5000 might still be an option; as long as the bass is not overwhelming, it's fine. I have come to the conclusion that I would pick quality over portability at this point, so the w1000x is another option.  I'll do some searching around the for sale section to see if I can snag a deal. You never know, another at w5000 might just show up!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Help with second pair of headphones!