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Best upgrade from Denon D2000? (Looking at HE-500, HD650, AD2000X)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I currently use Denon D2000s with an EMU 0404 USB DAC/amp connected to my PC. I've already ordered a Magni amp since the amp on the EMU may not be powerful enough.

 

I use my headphones primarily for aggressive music like metal and hip hop (bass is important), but overall performance is also important for gaming, movies, and other genres of music. I will be using the headphones for 8+ hours a day so comfort is extremely important. I have done some research and I'm thinking about the 3 choices below (looking to spend less than $800 and I would like to try open headphones):

 

Hifiman HE-500 - from what I understand, these will provide excellent quality but they are very heavy and uncomfortable. I would have pulled the trigger on these already, but I'm concerned about the weight and discomfort for long use.

 

Sennheiser HD650 - strong track record, but may not be the best for aggressive music (could these even be considered a downgrade from D2000 in this regard?)

 

Audio-Technia AD2000X - I don't know much about these, but A900s are super comfortable to me and I would love my next pair of headphones to be this comfortable.

 

Any insight into these 3 in regards to aggressive music and comfort? Are there any other headphones that would suit me? 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 11

Heya,

 

First, know that very few things will do what Denon does in terms of sub-bass. You simply will always lose out there, when you go open-air, unless you go ortho.

 

Being a Denon D2000/D5000 owner and loving Denon's sub-bass, the only open air options that have really been able to compete here are the orthos. The Hifiman HE-400 is a good start. The HE500 is a more natural sound, still handles sub-bass like a dream, but does not emphasize it.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Being a Denon D2000/D5000 owner and loving Denon's sub-bass, the only open air options that have really been able to compete here are the orthos. The Hifiman HE-400 is a good start. The HE500 is a more natural sound, still handles sub-bass like a dream, but does not emphasize it.

So you would recommend HE-400 over HE-500? What makes the HE-500 worth $300 more, and any comments about the comfort level of HE-400/500 vs D2000 for long term use?

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerviche View Post
 

So you would recommend HE-400 over HE-500? What makes the HE-500 worth $300 more, and any comments about the comfort level of HE-400/500 vs D2000 for long term use?

 

Heya,

 

For you, the HE400 probably is the way to go. The HE500 is a different headphone. Just because it costs more doesn't mean it does what you want. You're wanting a headphone for hip hop and stuff. I wouldn't get the HE500 for that. The HE500 is neutral and has a very natural sound, it plays what was recorded, not much emphasis on anything as it attempts to be balanced, neutral, flat. I love the HE500, but it's not my go-to headphone for bassy music. My Denon D5000 is. The HE400 is very similar to the Denons 2k/5k, it has a more fun sound to it, so it plays with bassy music nicely, as it's not intended to try to be a technological marvel, it's just made to sound good and be fun. Plus it's very easy to drive, so you don't have to get elaborate trying to feed it enough power. The HE400 is efficient and will play off anything.

 

The Hifimans are heavy headphones. The Denons are light weight. The Denon pads are very plush. The Hifiman pads are velour. I can wear them both for hours. But that's me. I use a third part headband pad on my Hifimans and my Denons. I like more cushion on all of them. In general I would say the Denons are always more comfortable than the Hifimans. But again, not to a point that I mind, but that's me. Some people are sensitive to heavy headphones and pressure. I'm not.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 11

I would say stay away from the HE-500 if you plan on having them on your head for that period of time.  Unless you have a very strong neck you will feel fatigued.

post #6 of 11
Why are you looking to go away from the Denon? Change of pace?

I'll be contrarian and suggest doing Lawton mods to the D2000, add either Alpha pads or Lawton angle pads, and call it good. If the headband comfort is an issue, put a HD650 pad on it and you're done.

As Mal said, you won't get much better bass than a Denon, and a modded D2000 is glorious.

I have all three Denons of the early vintage plus the D600. My fav sound and that's after about 40 headphones.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 Why are you looking to go away from the Denon? Change of pace?

They are falling apart (right cup has detached from the headband, the cable is completely twisted up and fraying, and the ear padding is worn down). I would also like a change a pace, and I have the budget for an upgrade. I assumed there would be plenty of options "better" than the D2000s for $800. I also really want to try an open pair of headphones. I'm under the impression that they will provide a superior sound stage and better comfort.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerviche View Post

They are falling apart (right cup has detached from the headband, the cable is completely twisted up and fraying, and the ear padding is worn down). I would also like a change a pace, and I have the budget for an upgrade. I assumed there would be plenty of options "better" than the D2000s for $800. I also really want to try an open pair of headphones. I'm under the impression that they will provide a superior sound stage and better comfort.

I'd like to experiment with some 3D printing tech so would you sell me your busted headphone? Hopefully cheap.........biggrin.gif
post #9 of 11
Perhaps a used D7000 may be in order?
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 I'd like to experiment with some 3D printing tech so would you sell me your busted headphone? Hopefully cheap.........biggrin.gif

They may be falling apart, but there's no way I'm giving up the D2000s without finding something completely better :dt880smile:

 

I'm trying the HD650s right now. I prefer the comfort/build quality over D2000s because of the lighter weight, velour pads, and modular cable, but the sound quality is underwhelming running directly from the EMU 0404 USB. They sound very flat compared to the D2000s. They aren't that loud at max volume, so I obviously need more amplification. Hopefully the Magni amp will give me a better impression.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerviche View Post
 

They may be falling apart, but there's no way I'm giving up the D2000s without finding something completely better :dt880smile:

 

I'm trying the HD650s right now. I prefer the comfort/build quality over D2000s because of the lighter weight, velour pads, and modular cable, but the sound quality is underwhelming running directly from the EMU 0404 USB. They sound very flat compared to the D2000s. They aren't that loud at max volume, so I obviously need more amplification. Hopefully the Magni amp will give me a better impression.


That's what I was meaning - if/when you find your replacement, let me know if you are going to move them.

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