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Sennheiser HD 558's too 'laid back' and Denon AH-D2000's too 'exciting'. Is there a happy medium...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Right now I own 2 pairs of headphones and I want to find that sweet spot listening to music.

 

I love the Sennheiser HD 558s, but the sound is too clinical, laid back, and not 'exciting' enough. This could be due to the open nature and lack of deeper bass on the headphones.

The Denon AH-D2000s are great headphones, but man! the music sounds like it's on crack when blasted. Too much bass and high end sizzling in your ears.

 

I want to sell both these headphones and hopefully upgrade to something in the price range of $400 that finds this happy medium between laid back/clinical and exciting/bassy and trebly. Any recommendations?

post #2 of 10

It would help to know what sources you are plugging the headphones into?

 

I really like my Audio Technica ATH-A900Xs for music ($220)

post #3 of 10

The HD558 have a somewhat laidback nature, but is very balanced (Most for soft music). I heard really good things of the HE400 by Hifiman in the $400 price range and seems to have the things that you like, but i can't tell you much because i dont have this headphones. Search for threads related to the Hifiman HE400.

post #4 of 10

You say you want a laid back/clinical and exciting/bassy and trebly headphone, but sometimes people mean completely different things when using these terms.

 

Someone i know loved my HD558 sound in the first 5 hours, i hated it cause it gave me headaches, after the mod he hated them and i loved them.

 

Warning: Dysfunctional redundancy ahead.

 

Well i have the 558's, but at first i hated them, cause the bass was way too strong and was causing headaches ( still needed to "burn in" ) , so after 50 hours of use it got better, but now the annoying thing was that because the bass become more acceptable to me, now the treble was sounding muffled, it could do a lot better.
So i Googled, and i found this easy mod, that everyone can do, turns out Sennheiser has applied some sort of foam across the middle of the cups, causing it to cover easily 40% of the tiny holes that the driver uses to suck in air.

So after the mod, the bass sounded well enough to my then untrained ears, but of course i discovered the crystallizer thingy on my sound-card, making the hd558 sound better then how they sounded with the mod alone( not neutral/laid back at all, to me that as )

 

But as said by PurpleAngel, if you could tell us the source (sound-card and codec used for the songs, such as mp3 aka lossy or flac/wav aka lossless audio ), that could make a world of difference.

 

For example, i was happy with my HD558 and ALC892 onboard + Crystallizer ( and tons of mp3 files, later became all flac files ), but after buying the Asus Xonar STX, the HD558 sounded MUCH MUCH better!!!!, i was almost regretting buying the Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO, but that was before i could listen to the DT880's.

And it also depends on how you as an individual listens to music, are you someone looking for boosted cans, or do you prefer neutral/natural sounding headphones?

 

And do you happen to play a musical instrument?, if so what are you playing, i ask because a bass-player will most likely focus on the bass in songs because he/she knows that best.( assumption based upon my frame of reference. )

 

 

TL;DR

 

Soundcard > on-board or dedicated ( pci/pci-e )

Format > mp3 or lossless

Preference > boosted or natural/neutral

Musical instrument > what do you play or what do you prefer

Genres > which one do you like or use

Volume > at what volume do you listen mostly ( @ PC like 10 or 20 from 100 at the volume control )

What type of listener are you > actually listening to the whole song, or do you focus only on vocal or instruments , or is it only for background music or gaming etc.

 

 

Derp.


Edited by Derpus-Maximus - 11/4/13 at 8:57am
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses guys! And yeah I'm a musician/audio engineer actually. I did the foam mod on the Senns and they are great. Awesome for mixing or really 'listening' to things evenly. However, with music, sometimes I want to crank the volume and feel the deepness of the bass and upper midrange bite of electric guitar. The Denon AH-D2000's do this but it's too extreme IMO. Some EQ might do the trick but it always feels unnatural.

post #6 of 10

So deep bass as in overwhelming or subtle and distinguishable?, upper midrange speaks for itself.

 

Here is a link to the frequency response graphs of the 558 vs d2000 vs DT880 600 ohm ( i now use DT880 pro 250 Ohm )

CLICK  (i hope you are not colorblind, cause red,blue, green are the lines in the graph )

 

As you can see in this graph, the DT880 has better lower bass and some treble spike ( 7.000 > 10.000 hz ), this is how i found my headphone for my budget, no stores in my area to test other stuff )

 

I looked at the HE-400 and i thought the response graph was not good for my taste, and i read an review about the DT880 600 Ohm from Ken Rockwell, and he was very pleased with his DT880, he preferred them over the HD800 ( dunno what version he has ), cause those are too bright for him, i can see that in the graphs, but its so personal/relative.


Edited by Derpus-Maximus - 11/4/13 at 4:03pm
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I like what the Denon's do with bass (as evidenced by the freq response graph). There's also a subjective quality about them. The closed nature of those headphones make the music feel like it's pulsating in your head, it's a suitable mood for blasting music. However, I noticed that the Denon's distort when turned up a bit (even when the source is clean). I'll admit my ears are more dulled than the average person but I'm not one of those 'dangerous' listeners that listen at unreasonable volumes. Perhaps an amp that smooths out the sound of a headphone would well suit the Denon's.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

And I've actually tried out the Beyerdynamics. I was not pleased with the treble spike. I guess my brain is so used to the neutral treble of the Sennheisers!

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuk View Post

I like what the Denon's do with bass (as evidenced by the freq response graph). There's also a subjective quality about them. The closed nature of those headphones make the music feel like it's pulsating in your head, it's a suitable mood for blasting music. However, I noticed that the Denon's distort when turned up a bit (even when the source is clean). I'll admit my ears are more dulled than the average person but I'm not one of those 'dangerous' listeners that listen at unreasonable volumes. Perhaps an amp that smooths out the sound of a headphone would well suit the Denon's.

A Lawton modification might tame that bass enough for you. Makes it very tight and mellows the treble.

By the way, doubt it's the Denon distorting.
post #10 of 10

I am extremely interested in buying the Denons, as they would my first audiophile headphones 

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