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Highly detailed and exceptionally comfortable is what I'm searching for.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm new here and to higher end audio but want to get myself something special this year. I don't consider myself an audiophile by any means, I'm definitely a rookie, but have been bitten by the bug. 

 

I'm looking for over the ear headphones that are extremely comfortable and detail oriented. I currently use Sony xba 4s for my everyday listening. I think I would prefer closed type headphones, but my only open headphones are Audio Technica ATH-AD700 so I don't know if something like the Sennheiser HD 598 or Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO will change my mind. I obviously want quality, detailed music as a priority but closely (very closely) followed by extreme comfort. I can listen to music for hours with very little interruption and sometimes iems just don't cut it. I like my M50s but they can get warm and tight on my ears too quickly. 

 

I listen to all sorts of music but have recently been listening to acoustic music mainly. I will mainly be listening to them from my Fiio X3, an iPod classic with a line out to Fiio Andes E07K headphone amp, or my laptop Windows with a Modi DAC and a Magni headphone amp as my sources. 

 

My music files are flac from my CDs I rip myself, AAC files from my iTunes store buys, some HD tracks bought online, and a few 320kbs mp3 files.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 6

I find the Q701 to be extremely comfortable, but some people complain about the bumps on the underside of the headband. They are very light though. Detailed as well. 

post #3 of 6

Beyerdynamic are comfort kings. By your post I would recommend looking closely at the DT-880,  Here's an excerpt from DavidMahlers flagship review post that is sicky'd to the top of the forum page.  I recommend giving this thread a look, there's some good info there.   

 

Also, keep in mind that he dings the 880 for lack of speed and transparency, but in comparison to other "flagship" models.  These flagships include models that cost many times the price and in many cases are electrostatic models that dynamics almost always fall short of when you talk about speed, transparency and resolution.  

 

 

 

 

STRENGTHS

NEUTRAL: The DT 880 is a very neutral sounding headphone with a bit of extra sparkle in the treble. In my opinion, the tonal balance of the DT 880 is actually flatter than that of Beyerdynamic's current flagship, the T1.

 

MIDS: The DT 880 has a very pure sounding midrange. To my ears, it is neither forward nor recessed. The mid presentation here is able to complement just about any genre.

 

BASS: The DT880's bass is wonderfully extended. It is able to dig down deep into the lowest notes of a pipe organ.Several headphones which sound bassier than the DT 880 have what is called a mid-bass hump (an emphasis in the upper bass and lower-mids), but sometimes lack deep extension. The DT 880 is quite capable of deep robust bass because of its extension.

 

GENRE MASTER: The DT 880 is not a bass-head can, but when paired with a warm amp, they certainly can deliver big bass. Conversely, when paired with a bright amp, the DT 880's treble can sound accentuated. Over time, I've come to see the DT 880 as a fine all-rounder. I feel as though it complements every genre of music that I know of.

 

SOUNDSTAGE: The DT 880 offers a fairly wide sound view. It is not as impressive as the T1 in this regard however. Unlike the T1, the drivers of the DT 880 are not angled. The DT 880's soundstage is spacious without being as well defined as the T1's or the HD800's.

 

COMFORT: The DT 880 is a wonderfully light full-size headphone. It feels especially light on the head - lighter than the T1 by a significant margin. The round velour earpads never seem to overheat my head. They are one of the most comfortable headphones that I've ever worn; top ten in this regard.

 

CHOOSE YOUR IMPEDANCE: I appreciate that Beyerdynamic offers this headphone with three different impedance ratings. They offer these three impedance ratings with the DT 990 as well (and did so with the DT 770 until they discontinued the model in 2012). I have owned the 250 Ohms version in the past, but in this review, I evaluated the 600 ohms version specifically.

 

SOME ISOLATION: The DT 880 features a semi-open design which blocks out a bit of outside ambient noise, but not as much as a closed-back design is typically able.

 

EARPADS The DT 880's stock earpads are made of extremely comfortable velour material. Furthermore, they are very easy to remove and replace. Beyerdynamic offers replacement earpads in the form of the original stock velour as well as leather. I prefer the feel of the velour and I also favor the sound of the headphone when using the velour earpads.

 

 

WEAKNESSES

LACKS TRANSPARENCY: For all its neutrality, the DT 880's ability to serve as an ultra-transparent window to the music is surely surpassed by many other offerings. It does not offer an entirely grain-free sound and it does not possess quite the speed of many flagship headphones which are capable of providing extreme detail retrieval.

 

LACKS DETAIL: The DT 880 has extra sparkle in the treble which brings out much of the upper harmonics. I appreciate this. However, when compared against other headphones which offer a superior transient response and quicker decay, it becomes apparent that even the extra treble sparkle does not compensate for the slight lack of detail.

 

IMAGING: While the DT 880 offers a wide soundstage, its ability to image is lacking in some ways. In this case, the soundstage is wider than it is ultra-defined. The overall presentation of the DT 880 lacks some of the precision which higher-end headphones have.

 

CABLE: The DT 880 has the distinction of being the highest ranking headphone on my list with a one-sided cable design. I don't particularly like this cable design as I feel there is a high likelihood of sonic degradation in this configuration. On the other hand, many may find a single-sided cable design to be more comfortable than a Y-split cable design.

 

 

ON THE FENCE

TREBLE: I happen to like the treble presentation of the DT 880. It is just a hair forward. It doesn't resemble the rather subdued treble presentations of the HD600 or the HD650 (two headphones with which it is often contrasted). Consequently, it is less veiled sounding than either of those two headphones. Many users will love the DT 880's treble, although others will prefer the more rolled-off treble presentation of the HD6xx for the simple fact that it is less fatiguing. I prefer the treble presentation of the DT 880 over the HD600's and HD650's. However, I find the overall sound of the DT 880 to be less engaging.

 

 

FOR THE PRICE

A+

It is probable that the DT 880 was never intended to be considered a flagship by its manufacturer. But that is precisely the reputation it took on for several years until the T1 was introduced in 2009. The DT 880 is a phenomenal choice for editing and mixing, yet no less wonderful for just plain ol' listening. The HD600, ATH-AD900 and HE-500 are the only other headphones to which I have awarded an A+ price-to-performance rating.

 

 

QUICK CHECK

  • DESIGN: Full-Size
  • DRIVERS: Dynamic
  • IMPEDANCE: 600 Ohms
  • ISOLATION: Some
  • AMPLIFICATION: Highly Recommended
  • MY PREFERRED AMP: Manley Labs Neo Classic 300B / TTVJ Millett 307A
  • SOUNDS BEST WITH: Everything & Anything
  • CABLES USED: Stock
  • REVISIONS KNOWN: Several
  • FLAGSHIP STATUS: Not Applicable
  • PRODUCTION STATUS AS OF 2012: In Production
  • COST: $349
  •  
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

I find the Q701 to be extremely comfortable, but some people complain about the bumps on the underside of the headband. They are very light though. Detailed as well. 

 

 

I owned the K701 very early into my career as a headphone audio enthusiast.  I cannot recommend them at all to anyone who cares about comfort.  They seem ok at first but after a solid 10 minutes I couldn't take them anymore.  I had to secure the headband suspension with zip ties to keep the center bump (this has to be one of the all time design blunders the world has ever seen) from feeling like it was trying to bore a hole in my skull. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. I'm checking out both those recommendations. 

 

Just to be clear, when it comes to detail, clarity and sound stage is it in agreement that I should be looking at open headphones only? 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylercaulfield View Post
 

Thanks for the info. I'm checking out both those recommendations. 

 

Just to be clear, when it comes to detail, clarity and sound stage is it in agreement that I should be looking at open headphones only? 

Not necessarily.  I owned the Dennon AH-D7000 for a while.  It is a spectacular headphone, with great detail and clarity. The soundstage was the best I ever heard in a closed model, but still not quite up to the better open designs.   I did ended up selling them because I just prefer the way open cans render sound.

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