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Can't Decide: Choosing from a shortlist of Mid-range headphones for a wide range of music.

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hello by the way..  this is my first post :)

 

I currently have a pair of Sony MDR-V700 headphones.  I bought them because they had good sound isolation in noisy environments (was a DJ), but I bought them just because at the time, that's what other DJs used.  They sound OK, but lack detail, and seem a bit crude at the top end, and they're not too comfortable for long listening sessions...  they also don't play nice with my FLACs of classical music.

 

About me:  I'm probably someone who will annoy you in my musical tastes...  because I like everything.  I listen to a great deal of classical music and opera, but also love sub-bass heavy dance music (yes..  including dubstep..  don't shoot me) and more conventional rock/bands...  in short...  pretty much the whole spectrum.

 

I drive my phones from my computer using a Asus Xonar Essence sound card, so very high impedence phones are not something I'm interested in.

 

I have compiled a shortlist from researching various phones, but I have nowhere near me where I can audition headphones :(

 

AKG K550

Shure SRH940

AGK K701

Beyerdynamic DT880

Beyerdynamic DT770Pro (32 Ohm)

Denon AH-D2000 (hard to find new now)

 

Basically I want feedback from those who own these headphones.

 

I like an open transparent sound, wide soundstage with uncoloured mid-range....  I hate "cuppy" or "boxed" mid range!!!

 

However, I need sub-bass to be prominent when required...  although not at the expense of mid range.

 

 

Sounds like a tall order perhaps, but any feedback on my shortlist would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 

Oh..  forgot to add...  these are for home use only, and open or closed is fine...  although I do prefer to be isolated from the environment.

 

 

If anyone suggests anything outside my list, I DO need over hear headphones that are circum-aural.

 

As for sound types...  I prefer a slighty v shaped response, with slight exaggeration of highs and sub-bass.


Edited by pookeyhead - 10/12/13 at 4:30am
post #3 of 41
No experience with those, bur I recommend putting the beyerdynamic dt990s on that list. They've got a nice slight v shape to them and work well with most genres.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by torturechambers View Post

No experience with those, bur I recommend putting the beyerdynamic dt990s on that list. They've got a nice slight v shape to them and work well with most genres.

That they do but the Sub Bass is not the best sadly, but you could very easily EQ that back in, as trust me dude the Dt 990 is one of the best bass heavy cans in the $150 NEW price range! 

 

Or you could try the K550, which is not as open or as fun as the dt 990 but it has slighty better Sub bass

 

OR if you wanted to, you could spend about $300 on a used HE 400 and have teh best of both worlds, the HE 400 has wonderful Low an central mids, it's literally linear from like 30-900 hrz, but features a dip in the upper mids and a treble spike, which imo is not the best for all genres. STILL just taking about mids and bass, the HE 400 is top notch, 

 

Still I very much enjoyed my Dt 990 with Classical and Dub Step [no one will shoot u] you could try the DT 880, but I fear it may not have enough bass for you in edm

 

either way, the DT 990 is a great headphone, and the price [pro 250 ohm dt 990] is really... un matched in terms of bang for u buck! 

post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

Would the 250 Ohm 990s be driven OK from my sound card?  

post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 

HE400s are really out of my price range a little, and hard to find new here, which is a pity, as they sound interesting.  So far I'm leaning towards the K550s.

 

Any comment on the Shure SRH940s from anyone who's used them?

 

Also..  what's the deal with the DT770 Pro?   I've read reviews praising them, and reviews absolutely hating them.   I'm just so baffled now, I may remove those from my shortlist.

 

 

[edit]

 

I'd like to throw the ATH M50s into the mix after just reading a review....    any comments.

 

Also...  as I am finding it hard to audition headphones..  how do any of these actually compare to my Sony MDR-V700s?   I;'d hate to invest and then realise the phones I have are actually pretty good.

I HATE not being able to compare products...   I'm buying blind here...  not good.  :(


Edited by pookeyhead - 10/13/13 at 3:48am
post #7 of 41
if you can stretch your budget, go for HE 400 and you would not regret your decision.

I connect HE 400 to E17. They are very easy to drive.
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 

I'd love to, but they're around £395, and everything I've read suggests I'd also need to replace the stock cable because it's highly irritating.  For £395 I really don't want to be replacing anything.

 

 

I'm starting to wonder if subjective reviews are actually worth bothering with.  I've just read several reviews of my wife's headphones...  a cheap pair of Sennheiser HD429s..  and even in here...

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615825/sennheiser-hd-429-impressions-reviews

 

.. they get a reasonable amount of peopel liking them, but I think they sound really, really crap.  Boxed in, woolly, congested and makes everything sound compressed.  I'm beginning to think that until I can manage to actually hear them for myself, I'm just reading people's opinions..  which vary from one review to the next.  After all, everyone's hearing is different.  I have exceptional hearing for my age apparently (45), with less that 6db variation, both ears, between 17hz and 16k... (if I'm reading this chart correctly)...   on paper that's great....  but that doesn't mean I'm automatically an audiophile, but I will have a very different perception of a headphone than an average 45 year old with a pronounced dip around 4k and a roll off after 12K (the most common type of hearing loss due to age).

I'm <-----this far---->  from just giving up reading reviews.  I'll have to just go and hear them for myself.  No idea where....  but I suspect a trip to Manchester or London would be required.

 

Maybe I'm just too fussy..  or paranoid..  LOL

 

Am I alone in this frustration?  After all, I am new to this head-fi scene.  


Edited by pookeyhead - 10/13/13 at 5:40am
post #9 of 41

I was also in your situation few weeks ago. It is very difficult to decide when you do not have an opportunity to test. I use HE 400 with custom cable, but I do not find stock cable as irritating. I also own a pair of K240 MK II. I read one or two reviews of K240 stating that the cable of K240  is so flexible and weak. I think that this is subjective.

 

Check headphones for sale/trade section of this forum. I saw two HE 400's which were available for sale in UK. It is a tough journey in the audiophile world. Good luck

post #10 of 41

Welp,

I'm gonna say something a little atypical and suggest some Sennheiser PX 100 II's or Koss Portapros or Koss KSC75. Big sound, little investment. No need to spend more for the kind of sound that you want. The only way I'd suggest spending much more money is if you were craving a very audiophile and flat sound.. which it seems isn't your end-goal.. Even then, I'd suggest used "mid-fi" headphones ;-) It's easy to find headphones that hit well above their price point.. but, it's even easier to find headphones that absolutely do not.

Don't get too caught up in the hype machine or the reviews man, and best of luck finding something you like!

Chris

 

P.S. My favorite mid-fi headphones that are commonly available are the Sennheiser HD580/HD600 and modified Fostex T50RP. Both are pretty flat though, and I'm not sure they are up your alley. I'm not wonderful at suggesting V-shaped headphones, because I have been chasing a different dragon for a while now :)


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 10/13/13 at 8:16am
post #11 of 41
He400 stock cable isn't irritating to me at all. It is a little bit on the thick side, so not super flexible, but I wouldn't assume that replacing it is mandatory. It's fine. If it's out of your price range then so be it, but fwiw, the he400 is like an improved dt990 -- similar overall signature but better at everything except perhaps soundstage width (slightly). Dt990 pro is a steal at its price though.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookeyhead View Post
 

I drive my phones from my computer using a Asus Xonar Essence sound card, so very high impedence phones are not something I'm interested in.

 

AKG K550

Shure SRH940

AGK K701

Beyerdynamic DT880

Beyerdynamic DT770Pro (32 Ohm)

Denon AH-D2000 (hard to find new now)

 

The Asus Xonar Essence (STX or ST) can drive headphones up to 600-Ohms.

 

The Essence's headphone output has a 10-Ohm impedance, so the 25-Ohm Denon AH-D2000 might be a good choice if you switched to amplifier with a lower output impedance.

I'm thinking the Beyerdynamic DT880 250-Ohm or 600-Ohm would be a good balance for music, movies and gaming.

AKG K550 you can get refurbs for a good price off eBay, sold by HarmonAudio with a factory warranty.

With the DT770s, I think the 250-Ohm version would be a better value, over the 32-Ohm version.

post #13 of 41

You sound like you are from the UK (since you used Pounds as a currency)

 

If you can make it down to the London head-Fi meet, its this saturday.

 

I'm surprised no one has seconded the DT880 yet. (Edit: Purple angel did just before i did ;) )

 

Cracker of a headphone for the money.


Edited by Cakensaur - 10/13/13 at 8:43am
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

He400 stock cable isn't irritating to me at all. It is a little bit on the thick side, so not super flexible, but I wouldn't assume that replacing it is mandatory. It's fine. If it's out of your price range then so be it, but fwiw, the he400 is like an improved dt990 -- similar overall signature but better at everything except perhaps soundstage width (slightly). Dt990 pro is a steal at its price though.

exactly, while the DT 990 Pro is wider, the HE 400 is deeper. And if you fully balance and recable a HE 400 then well it over takes the DT 990 100% 

post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookeyhead View Post
 

Would the 250 Ohm 990s be driven OK from my sound card?  


The Asus Xonar Essence (STX & ST) can easily drive 250-Ohm headphones, like the DT990s.

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